How to Rock a Bridesmaids Dress After the Wedding

We all know the token always-a-bridesmaid friend; for me, it’s my sister. With over 20 dresses in her closet, is she destined to donate, re-sell, or store for decades? Can you really ever re-wear a bridesmaid dress?

Many bridesmaid dresses are expensive, while some may truly be never worn again, others have the opportunity for continuous wear. Here are some tips for transforming those dresses into wear-again pieces for other weddings or more formal events:

Bridesmaids Dresses


  • Add a denim jacket or a casual blazer to de-formalize a chiffon or tulle floor length gown.
  • Layer on bohemian inspired metal and stone based bib style necklaces. Chunky jewelry accessories personalize a bridesmaid dress and make it look less like part of a cohesive story.
  • Carry a funky clutch with lots of ornate beading or bright colors. This will detract from the formal quality of the dress and look less bridesmaid as bridesmaids generally don’t carry a bag.
  • Add a fun mid-waist or empire-waist belt to minimize the appearance of bridesmaid and add a casual quality to the dress.
How to Rock a Bridemaids Dress After the Wedding


  • Take that floor length dress into a mini or midi with the help of a local seamstress. Bridesmaid no more!
  • With a fitted waist, this is a great opportunity to have the dress made into a high waisted skirt with a fitted band to create an instant separate that can pair with your favorite top or bodysuit.
  • With separates, alterations are not necessary. Swap out the top for a mismatched satin, silk, or lacy one to freshen up the look.
Bridesmaids Dresses

Make-Up & Hair

  • Most bridesmaids don’t have a bold make-up look. If make-up is your thing, play around with pairing your gown with some bold pops of color: a smokey cat eye, or red lips for example.
  • Consider changing your hairstyle. For instance, if your dress is a silky, more formal number, tousle your hair into some fun beach waves to give the look a more casual feeling.
Bridesmaids Dresses

Future Black-tie Events

  • While altering some dresses, keep your favorite few as is to pair with some fun heels for future black-tie events. Especially when attending a formal wedding, you’ll be glad to save some pennies and recycle a beautiful floor length silk or satin gown.

As the height of wedding season draws to an end, this is the perfect time to enact some alterations to those gowns to have them ready for some late-season events. More than likely the bride that selected the bridesmaid dress wants to see you enjoy it again and would be happy to know you’ve gotten multiple uses out of the dress.