The Best Five Ways to Reuse Your Bridesmaid Dress

 In Advice, Disney, Dresses, Makeup, and Hair

“The best thing about this bridesmaid dress – you can shorten it and wear it again!” said almost every bride ever. Though I think 99% of bridesmaids would disagree. Most of the time you don’t get lucky enough to reuse your bridesmaid dress for any other occasion.

Reuse your bridesmaid dress. 5 creative ways to reuse, repurpose, or recycle your bridesmaid dress.

Don’t blame the bride! It’s hard to get everyone to like the same dress and have it match your vision. Whatever you do though, don’t be like Jane in 27 Dresses. Those two or three (or 27!) dresses will take up precious closet space. You spent money on this dress, so be creative in the way you reuse it. I recommend following this mantra: reuse, repurpose, recycle!

Reuse your bridesmaid dress

If you are fortunate enough to like the dress you had to wear, reuse it. That is the simplest way to get more life out of it. Here is some proof it is possible to reuse your bridesmaid dress.

When my best friend got married her colors included black. I got my dress at Banana Republic and was able to wear it again since it is business professional. That same best friend reused the bridesmaid dress she wore at my wedding for a baby shower!

Although I’m biased, I think my sisters found the best way to reuse their dresses. We are all Disney College Program alumni and they wore their dress to a homecoming event. It was a semi-formal for past cast members to reconnect. No better way to meet Mickey than in your finest bridesmaid dress!

My sisters reused your their bridesmaid dresses at a Disney alumni reunion.

Shorten it or cut the top off

Feeling like you can’t reuse your bridesmaid dress as is? Shorten it and rewear it again! Some bridesmaid dresses actually look really cute this way. Or maybe go the other way around and have it turned into a skirt.

Repurpose it

Don’t love the dress but want to keep it for sentimental reasons? There is tons of fabric there to make some awesome stuff! Maybe consider making an awesome pillowcase, a child’s costume, or even a handbag.

Depending on the style, you could save it to use again as part of your Halloween costume. Or maybe a New Years Eve party? Themed events are a great way to repurpose and reuse your bridesmaid dress.

Reuse your bridesmaid dress as a costume.

Dye it

If the dress is not “your color,” consider dying it a different color! RIT makes a great fabric dye for synthetic and delicate fabrics. I actually did this with a dress I wore to my bachelorette party as a bride. It was a white dress that I wore out in Atlantic City. I then dyed it a pretty shade of powder blue and wore it again on my honeymoon.

Donate it

If it’s really not your style, consider donating it to an awesome place like Becca’s Closet. When donating to programs like these, you help send girls to prom! There are tons of websites out there where you can donate your used dresses and help support awesome causes. Just google “donate used dresses” and pick the one that you feel a connection to.

Donate your bridesmaid dresses to help girls go to prom

What do you think of these ways to reuse your bridesmaid dress? Anything we missed? Share with us in the comments.

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Showing 29 comments
  • Karen

    These are great ideas! I wore several of my simple bridesmaids dresses for years! Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  • Sarah Althouse

    A great place to Donate is Night to Shine -a prom for students with special needs. They’d love it!

    • Reply

      Aww I love it! I think the other dress I have might be going for donation. It is too big for me now and I just can’t see wearing it again. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • Mimi

    Great tips! I really don’t like when I wear a dress only once, so I’m always happy to repurpose it

    • Reply

      In my early 20s I was always like “I can’t wear that more than once!” As if it was some fashion mistake. LOL Now I’m always trying to repurpose everything!

  • Kristin Davies

    Great ideas! I’ve donated most of mine. I also had one shortened once and loved wearing it as a cocktail dress afterward.

  • KD Harris

    Such great ideas. Thanks for this!

  • Ashley

    Love these ideas! Especially donating them!!

  • Michelle

    I love the idea of reusing the dresses for other events but if the bride paid for the dress, what if she felt offended by you repurposing it? I didn’t pay for my bridesmaid dress so I don’t feel that I could go that far!

    • Reply

      Hi Michelle! I believe you are in the UK or somewhere outside the US? In the US it is very rare for a bride to pay for anything for her bridesmaids. I have heard that in the UK the dress is given back to the bride since she bought it. That seems appropriate.

  • Bianca

    Yes, I think donating your dress is the best option. I always recommend this to people!!

  • Claire Ady

    It all depends on the style of the dress, doesn’t it? I re-purposed a bridesmaid dress I wore as a kid in the 80s by adding a few choice accessories and being Little Bo Peep for something or other at school. I wore a slightly more glamorous one more recently as an adult, which I would wear again, if only I looked as good in it as I did before, now that I’ve had two babies! Wearing my wedding dress again is whole other issue…

    • Reply

      OMGosh I think the 80s theme is perfect for some of the crazier colors or bigger dresses. I love the idea of making it into a costume. I totally feel you on not being able to wear a dress again for sizing reasons LOL. Now as far as my wedding dress goes, I actually sold mine to another bride! It was so cool because we became facebook friends and I got to see her wedding pictures.

  • Colleen, O'Niel Events

    What a great idea! Mine are still collecting dust in the closet, time to make a change!

  • Carolyn

    Good ideas! Now I just have to see if i FIT into my bridesmaid dresses still! 🙂

  • Angela Amores

    I’m all about shortening brides maids dresses after the fact. They make the best cocktail appropriate attire. Great tips!!

  • Julie I Aloha Lovely

    Great ideas! I hadn’t thought to repurpose the dresses.

  • Lee

    All very great tips! Wish I had them back when I still had bridemaid dress’.

  • Karen

    i love this idea. i am getting married and searched for dresses they could wear after too

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