What Do I Do With Old Bridesmaid Dresses?


July 11, 2014

HELP! What do I do with old bridesmaid dresses after the wedding?

 There’s a place deep in my closet – behind the Forever 21 cotton sundresses that have been washed and worn so many times that they look like old dust rages – behind the professional office attire I bought at Anne Taylor Loft for my first job and only wore once (because I realized, soon after, that wearing jeans to work was more acceptable than wearing an A-line wool skirt).

Even behind the “I’ll give these away…next time” pile is a crumpled up ball of bridesmaid dresses.

I have a feeling you know what I’m talking about.

I’m talking poofy, tulley, chiffony dresses with enough fabric on them to make formal dresses for an entire sorority. Dresses that cost me more than a month’s grocery bill to pay for an electric bill to alter. All for just six sweaty and make-up filled hours of wear and sometimes even tear.

 So, what do you do with them when the wedding’s over?

I tend to stuff the dress in my travel duffle bag and then unpack it and store it in the way, way back of my closet. Only to be seen again when I decide to finally do some Spring-cleaning in December and reorganize my belongings.

You, my dear, have a couple of options:

– You could keep them hanging around, like an old boyfriend you occasionally talk to when you’re feeling lonely once or twice a year during the holiday times.

– Have an ugly bridesmaid dress party/contest with your friends where the winner takes home all the dresses.

Or you could try out one of these things below:

1) Cut them up and use the fabric for other things.
I’m talking window treatments, tablecloths, tube-tops, as a tarp to keep rain water from entering your home during the rainy season.

2) Sell them and make a few dollars
You’ll make a fraction of what you paid back by selling it to places like Tradesy, Bridesmaid Trade, or Pre-owned Wedding Dresses.

3) Start your own rent-a-dress business
It’s difficult to get the full amount you paid back for a bridesmaid dress. If you’re extra savvy or have a collection of dresses that would make Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 Dresses roll her gorgeous eyes at – you can start your own rent-a-dress business and after four or five times of renting out your dress for $50 each – you’ll break even.

4) Give them away for free
Either ask your friends or post a dress you want to give away on social media and see if anyone is in need of that style or color dress. Lend them out – or if you’re extra desperate to get rid of them – tell the girl to keep it and call that her early Hanukkah present.

5) Donate them
There’s some great organizations out there that take will give your old bridesmaid dresses away to other women who may need them. Check out: Donatemydress.org, Becca’s Closet, or Fairy Godmothers Inc.

6) Make them more your style
Bring your dress to the tailor and have them shorten it or cut off some of the layers of unnecessary fabric – that way you can wear it as a cocktail dress or a party dress.

7) Make a quilt out of them
It gets quite cold in the winter and with the amount of fabric you’re working with, you could make yourself quite the snuggly couch throw. Check out this one on Pinterest.

8) Wear one as this year’s Halloween costume
Add a crown and a sash and some zombie face paint.

9) Swap the old dresses out for something new
There’s some sites out there that’ll let you trade in your dress for something more your style and agreeable to your taste buds. Check out: Newlymaid.com.

10) Use them as wrapping paper for future gifts for the bride & groom
Reuse. Reduce. Recycle.

**Before you do any of the above, promise me two things**
Take a picture of yourself in the most outrageous bridesmaid dress you own and send me a picture (jenglantz@gmail.com) + Before taking it off (if the bride who made you wear it is just a few miles away) stop by her house, ring the doorbell and ask her one last time:

What the heck were you thinking?

Welcome, friend!

Choose your

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