When signing up to be a bridesmaid, shelling out $200 to $700 for a gown you’re not head over heels for is often the name of the game. Most women have at least one bridesmaid dress hanging in the deepest, darkest corner of their closet. Although these celebration frocks are moving away from yesterday’s unflattering, stiff, satin monstrosities, there are still a ton of dresses out there that need a second chance.
If you’re willing to invest the time and a bit more money, you can have the gown shortened or otherwise altered to fit your style. Or, give it a new lease on life by teaming it with your closet staples. This way, the gown will work in your wardrobe for everyday—not just for dressy occasions.
Here are three ways to give a J.Crew drapey crepe bridesmaid dress ($218, USD) a revitalizing makeover. Though you may not have this exact frock in your closet, any full-length chiffon, jersey or crepe dress should fit the bill.
A floor-length gown in a vibrant or pastel hue may seem impossible to wear anywhere except for a fancy bash, but it can also be a striking dress to wear on a tropical vacation.
Add: Flat sandals, a sun hat (wide-brimmed or fedora!), bohemian accessories such as a tassel necklace
Leather tassel pendant, $36, baublebar.com. Fedora, $62, bananarepublic.ca. Leather tote, $198, canada.roots.com. Dior 'Pondichery' sunglasses, $160, clearlycontacts.ca. 'Eisenbach' sandals, $60, aldoshoes.com.
Nothing plays down the dressiness of bridal wear quite like a denim jacket. Skip the tricked-out necklace—instead, wrap a lightweight leopard-print scarf around your neck for flair.
Add: Denim jacket, lightweight scarf, cross-body bag, solid shoes such as wedges or chunky platforms
1969 denim jacket, $80, gapcanada.ca. Scarf, $14, joefresh.com. Leather bag, $60, hm.com/ca. Floral earrings, $13, lechateau.com. 'Nissana' cork platforms, $45, callitspring.com.
Transform your dress into a maxi skirt by layering a roomy structured shell, like this sleeveless striped blouse, overtop. Cover your shoulders with a blazer or polished knit and keep accessories elegant and understated.
Add: Blouse, blazer, closed-toe high heels, structured bag
Frilled top, $50, zara.com. Wilfred 'Chevalier' jacket, $225, aritzia.com. Kate Spade New York earrings, $37, shop.nordstrom.com. Vince Camuto 'Charlotte' pumps, $160, thebay.com. Leather 'Chloe' bag, $149, danier.com.
Runway-inspired wedding hair and makeup ideas