You will often hear jokes about what to do with old bridesmaid dresses once they’ve been used in a wedding. Most people always have good fashion sense and taste when it comes to old bridesmaid dresses, whereas others don’t know what to do with them.
In a real sense, you can actually do something productive or creative with the dresses, such as giving them out to teenage girls for promotion, rather than stashing them at the back of your closet until the next time you move house.
This article will provide you with the most creative ways to handle those old bridesmaid dresses. You don’t have to feel like the dresses are a waste. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
- Turn them into Princess Dresses
One of the creative ways that I often advise ladies is to cut down the dress into a cute, pint-sized princess dress. Most of our kids, especially girls, are always happy to wear their mummy’s old bridesmaid dress.
You can also take those old clothes and turn them into a pretty princess dress for playing the dress-up-in game.
- Turn them into Beautiful Tree Skirts for Christmas Decorations
Did you know you can easily convert the bottom part of those old dresses into tree skirts since most of the bridesmaid dresses already have lovely circular skirts? You can do this with little or no sewing is required. Additionally, you can take some of your favorite parts of the old dresses and turn them into an ornament; after all, you already have the bottom hemline.
You can decorate your Christmas stocking’s front however you like it with lace, sequins, or anything else from your dresses.
- Make Decorative Pillows Out of the Dresses
One way to put your dresses on permanent display is to cut up parts of the dresses and then use the material to make beautiful throw pillows if you don’t want them to crowd your wardrobe. You can even create coordinating designs by mixing and matching the parts of the gown on various pillows.
- Create a Patchwork Quilt
Did you love the pillow idea? Then know that you can also turn the old bridesmaid dresses into a patchwork quilt. The patchwork quilts are suitable for incorporating more memorable elements from your wedding as well.
To make it more memorable, you can add several items such as your parent’s or grandparent’s handkerchiefs used during the wedding. You can also include some material from the tie or shirt your husband wore during the ceremony.
- Create a Teddy Bear Out of Them
Do you want to create a keepsake from your old bridesmaid dresses? Then have a teddy bear created from those old clothing. You can also have several bears made for all of your children or even all of your grandchildren if you have enough dresses left.
- Donate the Dresses
Take the old dresses to a local charity or secondhand shop and offer them as a donation if you genuinely won’t reuse the dress. Charities appreciate all clothing donations, and some even run programs collecting formal dresses for disadvantaged girls. Who knows? You might be able to help someone find their dream prom dress or traditional event ensemble for free or at a discounted price.
You can check this out: Donatemydress.org
- Hem them Shorter
Did you know you can turn your ball gown into a flirty short number or create an easy cocktail dress? The alteration is just perfect for showing off those legs you had to hide not to upstage the bride on her big day.
However, the alteration only applies if your dress is floor-length, to begin with.
- Reuse the Fabric
I understand that you may be slightly attached to that old bridesmaid dress in your closet. However, you can always rip the dress apart (oh, the horror!) and reuse the fabric for other textile items. You can use them in various ways, including window treatments, tablecloths, tube-tops, and tarp to keep rainwater from entering your home during the rainy season.
- Create Christening Gowns for Teenagers
Since silk and lace from the dresses lend themselves to an easy transition into lingerie, they can easily be transformed into a christening gown for your neighborhood teenagers or your future children. Therefore, why not save the outfit your child wears to his or her baby dedication anyway? You can make them extra special by creating the gown from a keepsake piece. After all, old is gold.
- Accessorize the Dresses
You can still turn an old bridesmaid dress into the most excellent wear than it is. Try to accessorize it! Embellishing or accessorizing an old dress can transform the look of a dress from something overly formal to something a little more wearable. Try something with floral appliques or a chic metallic belt to really revamp the look.
Even a small change, including an accessory, can make all the difference in any old bridesmaid dress.
- Redesign the Dresses
Redesigning that old bridesmaid dress is also an excellent idea. Length aside, redesigning the clothing could be anything from changing the neckline to fit. To achieve this glam, take a strapless dress and some matching fabric to create a chic halter neckline or a flowy A-line gown. The combination could get taken in for a tighter pencil fit. Try it today.
- Take the Dresses to the Prom
If you have a teenage girl and yet your bridesmaid dress is still in style, see if she’d want to wear it to the prom. However, even if the dress is out of style, but with the right accessories and maybe a little tailoring, she can make the look entirely her own.
- Turn them into Cute Handbags
If you have old strapless bridesmaid dresses, then it is your chance to think outside the box and turn them into cute handbags. One of my friends had such a dress hanging around in her closet a few years after wearing it and decided to make this adorable handbag. Guess what? She has it for sale in her shop.
- Turn them into Military Ball Gowns
I once purchased a different older bridesmaid dress from the Goodwill stores and turned it into a stunning gown to wear to the Military event. I conceived the idea from a story of a middle-aged lady who tried to refashion a dress she had for a Military ball, and it was a big fail. So, I decided to use her idea but using an old bridesmaid dress. It worked magic!
- Transform them into Halloween Costumes
Did you know you could have a happy Halloween with your old bridesmaid dresses? Just ensure your imagination runs wild in the transformation and turn yourself into a beautiful queen, a zombie bride, or a princess. You can add a crown and a sash to achieve the changes and some zombie face paint. You would be surprised how many different costumes require a dress!
- Take a “Trash the Dress” Photoshoot
Since “Trash the Dress” shoots are popular with old prom dresses and wedding dresses, you and your best girlfriends can get together for a trash dress sash of your own.
- Turn them into a set of Custom Lingerie
Who doesn’t like to impress her husband in custom lingerie? One way to achieve this is to take those old bridesmaid dresses from you and create something exotic out of them. This would make an ideal surprise for the husband.
To make the perfect candidate for a lingerie set, you may choose to incorporate some beadwork or rhinestones from the old dresses on the straps to give it an extra special touch.
- Repurpose the Dress as a Gift to the Bride
Do you remember when the bride picked you as the bridesmaid? It was a way of the bride saying that you were of value to her. Now, if you are wondering how to return the favor, look no further than that old bridesmaid dress in your closet. You can find a creative way to repurpose the old clothing into a gift for her. You can turn the dress into a decorative pillow or a nice throw for a new home.
- Start Your Own Rent-a-Dress Business
Another excellent idea for your old bridesmaid dresses is to rent them out at an affordable fee. You can start your own rent-a-dress business. It might be challenging to get the total amount you paid back for a bridesmaid dress but, after four or five times of renting out your clothing for at least $50 each, you will break even. Are you unaware that half a loaf is better than none, as the saying goes?
- Dye the Dresses
Sometimes what makes our bridesmaid dress difficult to re-wear is the color. Then, why not dye it? If you want to achieve this, do a quick dye job. You will realize how you could almost get away with creating a whole new dress for a fraction of the cost. But first, you must ensure the dresses were made from light-colored fabrics such as cotton, silk, linen, or another natural fiber.
- Sell them
Did you know you could also sell the old bridesmaid dresses and make a few dollars? Selling the old dresses to places like Tradesy, Bridesmaid Trade, or Pre-owned Wedding Dresses can help you make a fraction of what you paid back. You can also consider auction sites such as eBay to get the best price for the dresses.
Remember, if you decide to sell the dresses, make sure to accurately include all the details, including size, measurements, designer/brand, and several clear images.
Dye them darker, either with an at-home kit or with the help of a professional.
- Store them
Of course, most of the above ways apply if you do not want the dresses. On the other hand, you might love them! In reality, a bridesmaid dress in a timeless style can be re-worn. In this case, you can store the dresses for your niece, daughter, or even granddaughter that will no doubt fall in love with her vintage dress.
- Cut it
You can dry-cutting your old dress along the midsection. The action could leave you with two separate clothing items that you could seamlessly mix and match into your wardrobe. If you also add some strategic cut-outs to the original dress, it can result in a piece that’s both original and so on-trend.
- Use them for Evening Dates
Most bridesmaids often wear their after-wedding clothes for evening dates. Ladies, try that old dress in your wardrobe for your next evening date and let it work magic for you. To look stunning in your old bridesmaid dress, you can lay a shirt underneath, throw on a jacket, wear over a button-down, or style with pants.
- Tailor them to Fit Properly
If you have long and elaborate old bridesmaid dresses, you can tailor them to fit correctly. If the dresses seem out-of-place at your other social events, find a tailor who can adjust the dresses to suit your upcoming events by hemming the length or removing the sleeves. You may also be able to have it refashioned into a playful skirt, depending on the material and cut.
- Consign the Dresses
You could always consider offloading the dresses at second-hand clothing or Wedding consignment stores if all other options fail. When the consignee sells the dresses, they will pay you an agreed portion of the sales proceeds.
- Wear them in a Different Occasion
As long as the dress isn’t overly flashy, there might be opportunities to re-wear it. An old bridesmaid in solid colors or subtle patterns that don’t overtly read as a bridesmaid’s dress can undoubtedly have a second life as an evening gown or cocktail dress.
If you also intend to attend a fancy party, you can consider classic black, navy, or gold dress.