What to Do with Old Bridesmaid Dresses: 7 Great Ideas

Being a bridesmaid is a huge honor, and the gown you wear at the wedding can contain great sentimental value. However, we’re talking about a piece of clothing that is generally worn only once. And if you’ve been a bridesmaid more than once, you might have several gowns you never intend to wear again. So, you might find yourself asking – what to do with old bridesmaid dresses?

You might have a hard time parting with the dress, but why keep such fancy clothes collecting dust somewhere in your closet, especially when you’ve spent good money on the dress? Believe it or not, there are things you can do with your used bridesmaid dresses to put them to good use.

When you think about it, your dress was made and bought with great love and dedication, so it deserves a better destiny! That’s why we’ve provided a list of ideas to get your creative juices flowing and give that gorgeous dress a new lease on life!

Top Ideas for What to Do with Old Bridesmaid Dresses

1. Consider slight adjustments

If you find the dress has some sentimental value and you can’t bear to part with it completely, consider making some adjustments. If you have a bit of skill with the sewing machine, you can wear your gown again with a few simple changes. This is a great option when you don’t want to give it away but don’t want to look at it collecting dust either

Sometimes, there’s no need for complex customizations and just a few small tweaks will do the trick. For example:

  • Shorten a long dress and get a great summer dress for different occasions.
  • With a long-sleeve design, feel free to make the sleeves shorter or remove them altogether.
  • If the design allows it, you can cut a slit to make it bolder.

Changing little things can make a big difference and you can end up with something you’ll wear again and again!

recycle and upcycle old bridesmaid dresses

2. Resell it and allow another person to enjoy it

Reselling your bridesmaid dress is another great option to give it some more use. If it’s just sitting somewhere in the back of your closet, there’s no reason not to find a new owner. There are many brides dying to find gorgeous, affordable bridesmaid dresses for their squad, so you can truly make them happy. 

There’s no shortage of websites, such as Poshmark and Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses, that sell dresses from mid-range to high-end brands. Plus, you get to earn some extra money, so it’s a win-win all around! 

3. Donate your dress and do a good deed

If you aren’t going to wear it, then why not allow someone else to? Many women decide to donate their old bridesmaid dresses since it’s a good way to support a charity. Plus, you are contributing to environmental conservation and helping someone avoid costly expenses.

Donation is an overall winning solution when you’re thinking about what to do with old bridesmaid dresses. This way, you know that you have done the right thing, and your gown is no longer a piece of clothing just hanging somewhere, taking up your space. 

4. Recycle and upscale it 

Given the era we’re living in, you can never go wrong with recycling. To recycle bridesmaid dresses means giving them a whole new look without using any more fabric. If you are looking for ways to be environmentally responsible, this is an excellent opportunity to do so, especially if you’re handy with a sewing machine!. 

Your cherished gown can get a completely different look, and you can get the chance to wear it more frequently. For most people, formal events don’t happen often, so keeping beautiful attire is pointless when you can’t wear it.

Need some inspiration? How about these ideas:

  • Shorten the hemline and use any extra fabric to create fantastic matching accessories. A stylish scrunchie or a trendy belt will be a great addition to a chic dress.
  • Convert it into a two-piece skirt and top ensemble to provide additional flexibility, allowing you to wear it as separates.
  • Not keen on the color? Try dyeing your dress so that it’s more to your liking.
  • Add some accessories and use it as a Halloween costume. You could be a beauty queen, Miss America, a fairy godmother, a zombie bridesmaid, etc.

With some creativity, your bridesmaid gown can continue to dazzle and serve you well beyond its initial use.

5. Bring some new style to it 

When unsure what to do with old bridesmaid dresses, be creative and think if there’s a way to change the style. It is absolutely possible to go from elegant to chic and more casual. Or, you can turn your dress from plain to something really whimsical. A few added details, such as a cardigan, belt, or scarf, will definitely do the trick. 

Here’s another idea, combine old bridesmaid dresses with knitwear. For example, you can put on a cute knit sweater over a long silky gown and portray that street style everyone is crazy about. 

RELATED: 15 Bridesmaid Necklaces to Gift Your Girls

6. Rent it and make some money on the side 

Old bridesmaid dresses can be a fun way to make some money on the side from time to time. If you don’t want to sell your dress – but also don’t want to see it go to waste – renting is another solution. 

Peer-to-peer lending is an eco-friendly initiative that offers affordable access to designer fashion. For example, you can go to StyleLend, and list your dresses. You can set the rental price as the lender, typically paying per day. We’re not talking about big money here, but why not gain something extra? 

7. Store it safely and preserve it 

You may think long and hard about what to do with old bridesmaid dresses, but deep down, you know you want to keep them! With the abundance of stunning options, it’s not uncommon to find a gown in a timeless style that can be easily worn again sometime in the future.

So, if you adore your dress, there’s no harm in storing it for future generations. Whether it’s for a niece or daughter (or even a granddaughter!), there’s a good chance that someone down the line will fall in love with its vintage charm. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I re-wear a bridesmaid dress for another wedding?

Absolutely! It’s quite common and acceptable to re-wear a bridesmaid dress to another wedding, if it fits with the wedding style. This especially applies if the dress is versatile and appropriate for the occasion.

Do I have to buy a new dress to be a bridesmaid? 

The decision to buy a new dress as a bridesmaid varies. Some brides require matching dresses, while others are open to different options. So, it’s essential to communicate with the bride to determine the expectations for bridesmaid attire.

The Bottom Line 

As you can see, you have many options when it comes to the big question of what to do with old bridesmaid dresses. Whatever you choose, make sure the decision makes you happy. There are so many alternatives that will keep your closet from overflowing, so it’s up to you to opt for whatever suits you best! 

UP NEXT: What can Bridesmaids Carry Instead of Flowers? 21 Bouquet Alternatives We Love

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