You know the cliché. Bridesmaids always get stuck with awful dresses they can never use again. Most modern bridesmaid dresses would never be considered "awful," however, they still lack the ability to be worn again, as is. You can reuse your bridesmaid dress with a little tweaking. Here are some ideas for putting those old bridesmaid dresses to good use.
Bridesmaid dresses make great Halloween costumes. You could go as a princess or add some wings and be a fairy. If you like humorous costumes you could tape a sign to yourself that says "always" and be "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" incarnate. Or if you prefer gorier Halloween attire, grab a long blond wig, splash some fake blood on your dress, and be Carrie!
Some simple alterations can turn unusable bridesmaid dresses into great additions to your wardrobe. Many bridesmaid dresses come in two pieces now. If you have one like that, try shortening the skirt to make a cute, short satin skirt that can be worn for a night out. You can even keep the cut-off fabric to create a wrap.
You can put a sleeveless bridesmaid dress top beneath a black suit for a splash of color. If you're dress is a one piece, talk to a seamstress about what your options are for removing the skirt from the bodice. Most bridesmaid dresses can be reworked into at least one, often two or more, useable additions to your wardrobe.
If you have a daughter, why not add your old bridesmaid dresses to the dress-up clothes pile? Your daughter will love putting on the satiny bridesmaid dresses, no matter how oversized they may be for her. Playing dress-up is a classic type of play that shouldn't be missed out on so add to your daughter's collection with some old bridesmaid dresses.
There are some bridesmaid dresses that aren't appropriate for you, a twenty or thirty something professional, to ever wear again. However, they might be appropriate for someone else to wear, such as a teenage girl attending a homecoming dance.
Considering donating your bridesmaid dresses to a place that provides prom and other formal occasion dresses for young girls in need. You'll know your money was well spent on the bridesmaid dress if a girl is able to use it.
If nothing else, you can use your old bridesmaid dresses for the fabric. Make some awesome decorative, satiny pillows for your daughter's room. Or create a texture ball, with some silky pieces, for your toddler. You never know what you might end up needing fabric for in the future, so cut up your old bridesmaid dresses and keep the fabric for future projects.
Thank you, Emily Harmon, for these thoughts!