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How to Recycle a Bridesmaid Dress

The following is a guest post from our friends at The Budget Fashionista.

The notorious bridesmaid dress has been immortalized in all its silk taffeta awesome awfulness. Yup, we’re talking about Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses and the slew of bridezilla movies featuring the horrid bridesmaid’s dress. Yet, for those of us who have been there, done that, most bridesmaids dresses are somewhere between horrible/terrible/no good and the thoughtful bride’s insistence that it’s “soooo wearable.”

To prevent having 27 “interesting” (for lack of a better word) bridesmaids dresses accumulating dust in your tiny closet, we’ve got five suggestions on how to recycle your bridesmaid’s dress.


How to Recycle Your Bridesmaid Dress!

Sell it on Ebay: Is your dress from one of the go-to retailers? (Ahem, J.CREW!) Chances are 43243243 other women are donning or will don J.Crew bridesmaids dresses, and there is someone out there who will need your baby blue silk chiffon number. If you’re not going to wear your long, plum-colored dress again (and trust us, you won’t), put it up for sale on eBay. You get some of your money back, and another bridesmaid gets her dress for a huge discounted price. Everyone wins!

Donate as a prom dress: When else can you wear a poofy dress in shiny pumpkin orange? Does prom ring a bell? So, most of us would rather eat a toenail than travel back in time to the days of braces and breakouts. (Plus, the slight problem that time travel hasn’t been invented yet.) Instead, donate your old bridesmaid dress to charities like the "Princess Project" and "Donate My Dress" that provide outfits for girls who can’t afford prom dresses. You get rid of your dress, a teen gets a dress for prom and you may get a tax break! Again, everyone wins!

Keep it handy for Halloween: Bridesmaids was the most talked about comedy of the year, and more importantly, it forever glorifies the crazy bridesmaids. Ride on the pop culture wave, and keep your dress readily available for Halloween. Gather up your other former ‘maids, and dress up as the entire Bridesmaids entourage this Halloween. Or just go solo as a zombie Maid of Honor. (Yeah, we added in the zombie part since people always dress up as zombie brides.) Either way, it saves you a trip to Party City and a $40 costume you’ll wear once.

Alter it: Whether you’re a DIY chica or you’re BFFs with your tailor, consider alterations. While it’s unlikely that you’ll wear a satin red dress, you could wear it in pieces. Consider separating the dress into two parts, and voila, you have a top for a night out on the town. Or you have a slightly over-the-top skirt that you can temper with a calm top. If you wore a long number, consider shortening the length to a cocktail dress.

Gift it back to the bride: We poke fun of less-than-stellar dresses, but the truth of the matter is that being asked to be a bridesmaid is really the highest honor when it comes to friendships. Consider repurposing the dress into a memorable gift for the bride. A quilt, headband, picture frame or decorative pillow. The possibilities for creative reinterpretation are endless, depending on how handy you are in the sewing room.


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