Chit Chat

Can we talk about reusing bridesmaid dresses?

larrygagalarrygaga member
First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
edited April 2014 in Chit Chat
1. Bridesmaid dresses always look like a bridesmaid dress. I don't want to wear it again. 
2. How many people get to go to enough formal parties where they can get away with wearing one? I wouldn't wear a bridesmaid dress to another wedding, and that is probably the only formal party I and most people get to go to. 
3. Just because you think we will wear it again does not mean you can go over budget.
4. Don't have hurt feelings when I sell my dress. They take up half my closet.


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CLoGreenEyesKeptInStitchesstef42188[Deleted User]
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Re: Can we talk about reusing bridesmaid dresses?

  • I never kept a BM dress. I either donated them or threw them out. I chose black for BM dresses for my wedding in hopes that one day (maybe) they could be worn again, but if they end up getting sold again, donated or thrown out, I'm not going to get all butt-hurt about it.

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  • larrygaga said:
    1. Bridesmaid dresses always look like a bridesmaid dress. I don't want to wear it again. 
    2. How many people get to go to enough formal parties where they can get away with wearing one? I wouldn't wear a bridesmaid dress to another wedding, and that is probably the only formal party I and most people get to go to. 
    3. Just because you think we will wear it again does not mean you can go over budget.
    4. Don't have hurt feelings when I sell my dress. They take up half my closet.


    ESPECIALLY the last one. I have actually donated all of my BM dresses to The Cinderella Project, but even then, my bride-friends have been hurt, and I'm like, 'Really?! You're hurt that I got rid of my pastel blue, pastel green, or pastel pink dress that I'll never wear again, anywhere? GTFO it.'

    The only BM dress I've ever gotten to re-wear was one I already owned that I wore as a BM dress ('navy and knee-length' were the bride's instructions). And only then because it's navy and navy dresses are easy to wear multiple times.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • I told my BMs to get a black dress that they like. I was trying to respect budgets, tastes, shapes, etc. My one rule: decide as a group on long or short. So far, it seems like everyone would be happier if I dictated what they wear.

    I've done black BM dresses before because the bride thought we could wear them again. I never did and donated it 5 years later. Colored bridesmaid dresses are even less likely to be worn again. A friend has 2 butter yellow dresses from different weddings- she's holding on to them only out of guilt.

    That said, FSIL (who will also be a BM) was a BM in another brother's wedding. They had short teal dresses with a ton of ruching, etc. She was just starting college when she was in the wedding and ended up wearing it to a bunch of sorority formals. She admits that she wouldn't have worn it if she had the money for more dresses but she did get wear out of it...
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  • My BM dresses were short and black and 3 of my 4 girls have worn their dress again (the 4th was 7 months pregnant at my wedding so her dress doesn't fit anymore). 

    Agreed on points 3 and 4. 



  • I have another one. There was a bride who had her heart set on a specific dress, but wasn't going to tell any of us because she was worried it wasn't rewearable. That dress was super cute and we all wanted to wear it, and told her not to worry about if we can wear it again. I wish the rewear thing wouldn't affect the brides opinion on it. I don't like having my dress picked out for me, but I do want their honest opinion not influenced by what we can do with the dress after the wedding.
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  • Yeah, you bought it, so it belongs to you. Do what you want with it. I've never worn any of my BM again. And I'm unlikely to do so - mostly because they are ALL satin and strapless.

    My girls picked their own style from a designer's line I've chosen. Three of them have told me they plan to rewear them at other weddings this summer without prompting. My hope is they actually mean it.
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  • I'll admit, one of the reasons I chose short dresses was so that IF they ever wanted to they could wear them again. The material and shape is not very bridesmaidy. However, having donated one of my BM dresses to goodwill, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they preferred not to wear theirs again. Because of course it's theirs and they bought it.
  • This is one of the reasons I've told my MOH (who is my only BM) that she can wear any dress she likes as long as it's short, in any shade of green she likes (because she actually wears green a lot, and she looks amazing in it). She actually does go to a lot of events and fuctions, but the dress she has her eye on is cute, not fancy fabric (I think it's cotton), and that's perfect because it's a morning wedding.

    If she decided she didn't want to wear it again (or donated/sold it or whatever), I wouldn't be hurt. I might think she'd wasted money buying something she wouldn't wear again when I told her to wear whatever she liked, but that's her business.
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  • The BM dress I wore for my brother's wedding, I have re-worn a few times and they were married in August 2012.  It's a beautiful blue color (Malibu from DB) and it's just short and satin, nothing over the top or overly formal.  In fact, I will most likely be wearing it this summer to FBIL's wedding because it doesn't scream "this was a bridesmaid's dress before now!"

    The dresses that my girls choose and buy, I wouldn't ever be offended if they didn't keep it.  They spent the money, it's their possession to do with as they please.  They wanna donate it?  Sure.  They wanna sell it?  Go ahead.  It isn't mine!
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  • I have never been able to rewear the BM dress. I am eyeing this one in navy though- do you think its rewearable? http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Lace-Cap-Sleeve-Dress-with-Side-Ruffles-XS3393?&orderId=8140700&orderItemId=25608085

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  • @Fran1985- one of my BMs loved that dress. She decided it wasn't BM-y enough (I'm letting them pick their dresses) but she wanted it anyway. She mentioned buying a knock-off of it from JC Penney for $45 the other day. I'm not sure if it's exactly the same but it's a pretty big price difference...
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  • labrolabro member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its

    @Fran1985 I could see myself wearing that dress outside of a wedding...especially in a color like navy. It looks more like a cocktail dress and less bridesmaidy than most.

    I've never reworn a BM dress. I suppose if I were in another wedding and the color was the exact same and the bride let us choose our own dress then I probably would. I came really close to re-wearing one dress to a holiday function last year but decided against it because the function was formal...just not formal enough for a floor length gown. I might get it cut short since it's navy and probably rewearable, just not as a long dress.



  • I donated all of mine to the Junior League prom dress drive. It seemed like a waste of yards of satin and closet space, so at least someone used them.

    The only one I re-wore was from an LDS wedding I went to. It was a red, long-sleeved wrap dress and not the least bit bridesmaidy.
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  • KGold80KGold80 member
    First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2014
    Why on earth would any bride get upset at her bridesmaids for donating or selling their dresses? That just doesn't make any sense! I think my MOH looks fabulous in her dress and she could really rock it if it were shortened afterward, but if she chooses to never wear it again or sell it or whatever, it's her dress, she can do what she wants! The other girl standing up with me is 12 years old, so the chance she could wear her dress again is pretty slim.

    ETA: Punctuation is important.
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    AprilH81
  • I have only re-worn one bridesmaid dress. I was in a friend's wedding when I was 19 and we picked out the dress in Macy's. 
    Every other bridesmaid dress I've bought was worn once and then donated. 

    Two bridesmaids from my first wedding wore their dresses again - my cousin wore hers on a cruise and a friend wore hers to another wedding. 
  • phiraphira member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    There's a growing trend of bridesmaids wearing Modcloth dresses, specifically because they're not designed to be bridesmaids dresses.
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    RebeccaFlowerHaileyDancingbearbride2b71614
  • I still have all of the bridesmaids dresses in a separate closet in a spare bedroom.  I've never reworn any of them I probably won't.  I actually loved all of them.  I probably should donate them but I'm so tiny I'm not sure who would fit into them.

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  • phiraphira member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    I have one bridesmaids dress from DB that I still need to get rid of. The one I had from my aunt's wedding is looong gone. Never wore that again either.
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  • Totally agree on all counts.
    Even when I've liked the dresses I've worn, I haven't worn them again. No matter how pretty they are, they're not my style and I prefer to get my own new dresses for special occasions.

    And for the love of God, can we stop with the tea-length!?!?  That's the number one reason I didn't re-wear two dresses, and the proportions look off if you try to shorten them.  

    I'm excited to see patterned dresses coming into style. I think that's why BM dresses always "look like a BM dress"--- they're do damn plain, no matter how much rouching there is.  
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  • I think solid-color satin always screams "bridesmaid dress." Mine will be cocktail length peau de soie silk in aqua - not necessarily with the intent of them wearing it again, but I think they could if they wanted to. The girls are each choosing their own style within that length and fabric, and they all at least claim to like the color. IDK, I'd wear it again. Hell maybe I'll borrow one and wear it to some other wedding or party. But if anyone cuts it up/sells it/donates it/sets it on fire I really won't care.
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    kitty8403
  • My BM in her dress, they just came in (she doesn't need to alter at all!) They are typical bridesmaid's dresses, but...I don't know...the color might make them more wearable?
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  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited April 2014
    Totally agree. I've been lucky to never have to wear a traditional looking BM dress. I made sure when I looked at dresses for my maids that the dresses were something that could actually be worn again - if they wanted to. If they didn't want to wear them again, whatever. I paid for them, but they can do whatever they want with them after the wedding. They both love the dress and are hoping to wear them again since they're just... dresses. Heck, if either of them want to give me back their dresses, I'd totally wear it. This is the one we picked out, in cobalt.
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  • One of my bridesmaids is wearing her dress again for her Special Olympics formal this year, and is really excited about it.  Another one said she would wear hers again if it still fits the next time she goes on a cruise.  I couldn't care less what they do with them after the wedding though.  At that point it is their dress to do with what they will.  They got to pick their own dresses in a specific color, and then I just asked them to agree on a fabric and length amongst themselves.  They are all different sizes and I wanted them to be comfortable.  As fate would have it, they all picked the same dress anyway.  They all look amazing in them too.
  • edited April 2014

    I told my BM's to get any short dress they want in a navy blue color.  And I didn't care if it was an official "BM" dress, what material it was, if they matched, or if they bought it at Target even.  I figured that navy blue is a wearable color post-wedding and they could pick out anything they liked and at any price point.  They chose to coordinate and buy same dress at David's.  It looks like its a cute cotton dress and may be wearable afterward, but who knows?  But, that was their choice.

    I have a long, red BM dress that is still sitting in closet at my parents house from 10 years ago that I've never worn again.  I liked the dress, but there just aren't any opportunities to wear something that formal. I probably should donate it or get rid of it. About 6 years ago, I bought a black, strapless satin A-line as BM dress for a wedding that got canceled 2 weeks before wedding. I've never worn it. That bride kept saying that she may have us wear same dress again when she does get married, so I kept it. Well, now she's getting married again this summer and she chose a different dress. Its still a black, satin, but now it has a halter top instead of strapless (very close in look to the first dress).  I've taken the old dress in to get it shortened just below the knee.  I thought it would look stupid until I saw another dress that was exact same style that comes in similar length, so I figured I might as well give it a shot.  I still won't have many opportunities to wear tea length black satin dress, but I figure it will be perfect for formal night on my cruise this summer and not as formal as floor length dress. I figure that I paid $300 for that dress so I want to wear it at least once.  I may or may not find opportunities to wear it later, but I'm not counting on many chances for it.

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  • This is why I chose a print dress. That said, if they want to sell/donate them, I wouldn't be offended. Hell, I even paid for half (I only have two BMs, so it was doable). I was a BM in my brother's wedding, back when I was a senior in high school. We were asked to pick any purple dress. I did wear it to one other wedding, and the only reason I didn't wear it more often was because I didn't have a lot of formal occasions to wear it to, and my boobs quickly outgrew it. It was a beautiful, raw silk dress from Nordstrom.
  • ElcaBElcaB member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    OP, the reasons you listed along with my contempt for the look of most typical BM dresses is exactly why I chose a regular dress for my BMs. It's Lauren Ralph Lauren and has a floral print on it. Three out of four of my BMs have expressed how much they love it and will definitely be wearing it for other events post-wedding. 

    As for the BM dresses I've acquired, I usually wear them once to my friend's annual formal martini party then sell them or give them to the thrift store. 

    PS - Chiffon BM dresses can suck it. 
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  • kla728kla728 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    edited April 2014
    @fran1985 that is very similar to my bridesmaids' dresses... They are spread out across the country so we used weddington way. They say they could see themselves rewearing it so we will see!

    ETF spacing... On my tablet.
  • nicoann said:

    I told my BM's to get any short dress they want in a navy blue color.  And I didn't care if it was an official "BM" dress, what material it was, if they matched, or if they bought it at Target even.  I figured that navy blue is a wearable color post-wedding and they could pick out anything they liked and at any price point.  They chose to coordinate and buy same dress at David's.  It looks like its a cute cotton dress and may be wearable afterward, but who knows?  But, that was their choice.

    I have a long, red BM dress that is still sitting in closet at my parents house from 10 years ago that I've never worn again.  I liked the dress, but there just aren't any opportunities to wear something that formal. I probably should donate it or get rid of it. About 6 years ago, I bought a black, strapless satin A-line as BM dress for a wedding that got canceled 2 weeks before wedding. I've never worn it. That bride kept saying that she may have us wear same dress again when she does get married, so I kept it. Well, now she's getting married again this summer and she chose a different dress. Its still a black, satin, but now it has a halter top instead of strapless (very close in look to the first dress).  I've taken the old dress in to get it shortened just below the knee.  I thought it would look stupid until I saw another dress that was exact same style that comes in similar length, so I figured I might as well give it a shot.  I still won't have many opportunities to wear tea length black satin dress, but I figure it will be perfect for formal night on my cruise this summer and not as formal as floor length dress. I figure that I paid $300 for that dress so I want to wear it at least once.  I may or may not find opportunities to wear it later, but I'm not counting on many chances for it.

    Oooohhhh @nicoann I would be livid! You sound like a far calmer friend than me. Can't she just let you be a little different than the others? Or add some damn straps if it's so important?

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  • I'm planning to have my BMs pick any light blue dress they like that isn't too short or low cut. I feel like they should be able to find something re-wearable within those parameters. But I wouldn't be offended if they got rid of it after the wedding.

    Has anyone sold their BM dress?
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  • ElcaBElcaB member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    I'm planning to have my BMs pick any light blue dress they like that isn't too short or low cut. I feel like they should be able to find something re-wearable within those parameters. But I wouldn't be offended if they got rid of it after the wedding.

    Has anyone sold their BM dress?
    Yes, to a secondhand store in the area that buys and sells gently worn apparel. I've never gotten much for them (usually around $15-30), but hey, it's something. 
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