How to Restyle Your Bridesmaid Dress After the Wedding

Give your bridesmaid dress some serious mileage after the wedding with these style tricks.
Sleeveless teal bridesmaid dresses
Jess Marie Photography
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
by Maggie Seaver
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
Maggie Seaver
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Maggie Seaver is an Associate Digital Editor at RealSimple.com.
  • Maggie writes about life, career, health, and more.
  • Maggie was an editor at The Knot from 2015 to 2019.
Updated Jan 23, 2018

Even if the bride gives you a say in the bridesmaid dress decision, the one you end up wearing still might be more her style than yours (as in, you love bright colors, but the bride insists on slate gray; or you typically only wear black, but have to party in pastels for your best friend's day). Before you get rid of a bridesmaid dress or let it gather dust in your closet postwedding, check out these creative ways to make it last and make it "you."


Transform It

Floor-length blush bridesmaid dresses
Mango Studios

Get out your sewing machine or bring your ensemble to a tailor for a little transformation. Hem a floor-length gown into a versatile cocktail dress or edgy separates, perfect for any number of occasions (even another wedding), or have it dyed black to be your new staple. When it comes to color dyeing clothing​, trust the pros to handle it for you—they know best what chemicals and colors react with what fabrics and materials

Upcycle Embellishments

Gold and red bridesmaid saris for Indian wedding party
Hanky Photography

Not into that big bow in the back or floral appliqué on the shoulder? Have a tailor remove it for a more streamlined style—or just do it yourself. If you want, keep the embellishment and turn it into a fun accessory: Add a flower accent to a clutch, sew it onto a headband or create a fun children's accessory (a great DIY gift for kids).

Dress It Down

Cocktail-length bridesmaid dresses in beige and white
L Hewitt

Depending on the dress style, adding more casual accessories can lend the perfect low-key look. Layer up with a denim or leather jacket, cardigan or shawl. Pair it with sandals, big sunglasses, a fun bag and natural hair for a more everyday warm-weather look

Accessorize

Floor-length bridesmaid dresses in lavender
Robert and Kathleen Photographers

It's absolutely possible to repurpose a bridesmaid dress for another occasion without doing anything to it. Finish with a new set of accessories and rock fresh hair and makeup (try bold earrings, a sleek updo and a pair of chunky heels) to make it feel like a totally different look—without anyone even knowing.

Find all the bridesmaid dress inspiration you'll ever need right here​.​

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