Post # 1
I know everyone says this, but I would love to get dresses for my bridesmaids that they can (and will) wear again. I’m trying to compose a list of all the reasons why people don’t wear their dresses again, so I can try to mitigate them all!
Bees who have been bridesmaids in the past, what made you not want to wear your bridesmaid dress again? Personally, I was a bridesmaid recently and my dress was a pale purple, floor-length chiffon gown that just screams ‘bridesmaid’, and I doubt I’ll wear it again.
Main factors seem to be:
– Length (too long, or a ‘trendy’ style that dates almost immediately)
– Material (taffeta or chiffon are very bridesmaid-y)
– Style (unflattering, or not reflective of your normal style)
– Colour (too bright or too pastel)
Anything I’ve missed?
Post # 3
They won’t wear them again. Everybody knows this when they agree to be a bridesmaid. Just get them to wear what you like and don’t try so hard to please everybody.
Post # 4
@padme: +1. It’s an admirable, but unrealistic goal. BMs don’t expect to wear them again, so don’t spend too much time worrying about it.
Post # 5
I agree OP, most Bridesmaid or Best Man won’t ever look at that dress again and shove it to the back of the closet 🙂 To answer your question though, I do thinks shorter dresses are more wearable along with a lighter fabric choice, such as chiffon or a light silk.
I went with J Crew Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses because they are a bit more rewearable and more casual for my wedding. I have a J. Crew chiffon dress that I wore in a wedding and I have worn it countless times since.
Post # 6
Really its none of the above for me… I just wouldn’t re-wear a bridesmaid dress because no matter how trendy they look, they still look like a “bridesmaid dress”. If it was something shorter I would POSSIBLY wear it again, but only to a wedding. They really just don’t work for other occasions – at least not for me.
Post # 7
Oh ok 🙁
I just really want to do my best. I’m looking at cocktail-style dresses (shopping at places that cater to this, rather than shopping at bridal stores).
I guess I’m trying to get a cocktail dress that can be worn for a bridesmaid, rather than a bridesmaid dress that could possibly pass for cocktail, if that makes sense?
Post # 8
Never been in a wedding, but pretty sure unless you get it at forever 21 (which i seen a few times on here, and it looked so cute) or a convertible dress it probably wont be rewearable. My Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses will be definately fancy, but one of my Bridesmaid or Best Man said she plans on wearing hers to the captains dinner on her next cruise.
Post # 9
I might wear mine again, but it’s pretty formal. I don’t know where I’d wear it. The color is okay, but if I’m going to something that formal, I’d want a black dress. Mine is a dark plum color. I never get to go to anything formal, so I’d want something EXACTLY that I love and I’d probably go buy something perfect. If I went to many formal events, I’d use it just for variety. It’s pretty plain though. It was this in dark plum:
Post # 10
I don’t think any bridesmaid will ever wear her dress again regardless of what it looks like. It’s been labeled a “bridesmaid dress” mentally, and nothing can take that off.
I’ve been a bridesmaid. While the dress I had was perfectly able to be worn again as something else, I never did. It was always a bridesmaid dress to me.
Post # 11
none of the above. option its a bridesmaid dress 🙂
Post # 12
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
I was very lucky when I was last a bridesmaid, because I’d just started university, so we had a number of formal balls each year, which meant that whilst my dress was long and formal, I was still able to get a good amount of wear out of it (which was good because seriously, it was over £200 – $300 – and we had to buy it ourselves!). However, my two cousins who were also bridesmaids have never worn theirs again, because it wasn’t really a colour or style that flattered them at all. That was another thing – we had to pay for them but got no say at all in the choice of dress or shoes. (And the shoes were £65! But that said, I did wear those bad boys into the ground, but again my cousins didn’t wear them again)
ETA: Here’s a picture of the bodice, no full-length ones that I can get hold of!
I think it’s important to keep their tastes and lifestyles in mind – because I was at a stage in my life where there were more formal events, and it was a fairly pretty dress, I was able to wear it again, but my older and younger cousin didn’t have those opportunities.
So I’d say:
– Get a colour that suits their skin tones; you’ll probably have to compromise a bit, but we were a group of unanimously pasty pale people, put in a pastel pink dress. Didn’t suit at all – I had a bit more colour than the other two, and I’m still fairly “pale and interesting”.
– Get a style that they’re happy with and that can flatter a number of body shapes. The dress we had was a sort of strapless straight-dress, with a slight bodice, but a straight skirt and neckline. Didn’t flatter the shape of my heavier cousin, and made the rest of us look somewhat rectangular. And as mentioned, the length sort of wrote it off for wearing out elsewhere.
Sometimes I think it can help to do as you’re doing – look at non-bridesmaidy stores. Another tactic which I’ve seen people over here use is to just give people a colour and a length, and let them buy their own dress. You’ll have mismatched dresses, but they’ll be able to dress to their tastes.
Hope that helps!
Post # 13
That’s really nice of you to think of them. I agree with one of the posters above who said it’s partially mental. Even if you love the way the dress looks, every time you look at it after the wedding you automatically think “bridesmaid”. It’s hard to go out to a different event in it with that in mind. Plus, when you know 4 or 5 of your friends (or casual acquaintances) all have the exact same dress hanging in their closets, it doesn’t feel special or unique enough to wear to another fancy event.
Post # 14
My bridesmaids wore dresses from the Vera Wang line at David’s Bridal. The dress was formal and floor length, however, the cut was trendy, cute and very stylish. I know one of my bridesmaids was getting it shortened after the wedding to wear to a dance, another one of my bridesmaids lent it to her sister to wear to a family wedding, and another one of my bridesmaids is actually wearing it to a friend’s wedding this December where the bridesmaids were told to just pick a dress in one a few colors and come in it. (ETA: Below I actually said I was going to borrow it for another friend’s wedding and I didn’t end up, but I was also planning on borrowing it for this wedding where I am also a bridesmaid, but have decided not to because I don’t want to match with the other bridesmaid, and seeing how she owns the dress and I don’t, she’ll wear it and I’ll find something else.)
I chose a dress that was formal, but I think on trend enough that it can be worn to other formal events without looking like a “bridesmaid” dress. I see no reason a bridesmaid dress shouldn’t be formal, but I think its the detailing that lends itself to either being worn, or not worn, again. I was looking at a lot of options and even the ones that I thought looked good my bridesmaids vetoed saying it looked to bridesmaid-y. I know that some of my friends aren’t wearing the dress again, but I even thought of borrowing it to wear myself to an event recently (although I went with black for that event – my dress was navy – so I didn’t borrow it in the end).
Post # 15
Yeah, go with J. Crew or other brands that you can find in a mall or something. I wouldn’t shop at a bridal store if I were you. Pick a color that is “normal”, meaning a color that is used in everyday clothes. For example noboday wears a solid green dress unless it’s a bridesmaid thingy.
AND, you could let your bridesmaids choose their own dress within your color.
I have a J Crew silk taffeta dress in navy which I think they sell it as bridesmaids’ and formal wear. This one definitely, I can wear to work and/or for going out.
What is your color scheme?
Post # 16
The weddings I have been in, the dresses I have been the least likely to wear again are ironically the ones where the bride asks “you will all want to wear this again, right?” where we all said of course, but… we didn’t.
Based on what we looked at, I ended up offering my bridesmaids two options: an inexpensive dresses they definitely would not wear again, or an expensive dress that they might wear again… they picked the dress they wouldn’t wear. Finding a material that is casual enough for every day or business casual doesn’t always fit with the tone of the wedding.
Anyway, don’t worry about it. Most of us have tried. Few succeeded. Your bridesmaids won’t think any less of you for this.