Anyone who’s ever been a bridesmaid understands two things. First, it’s an honour to be asked (obvs). And second, after one or two weddings your wardrobe can start to feel like Jane Nichols’ in 27 Dresses – full of expensive dresses that you can practically never wear again.
Buuut it turns out there are a few nifty tricks you can do to reinvent your bridesmaid dresses so you’ll actually want to wear them repeatedly. Rebecca Lau Marsh, Founder and General Manager of White Runway, has got some killer tips to get those babies back into regular rotation. What’s better? They’re also SUPER easy (TG!).
1. Your dress is too long and formal. If your bridesmaid dress is a floor length gown type sitch Marsh recommends bringing up the hem, transforming it into a sexy (and wayyyyy more useful) cocktail dress.
‘Some girls may love their bridesmaid dress but will often not wear it again because they don’t have a formal occasion to attend to,’ Marsh explains. ‘Hemming the dress will give it a new life and will make it more appropriate to wear to semi-formal or cocktail events.’
When to come to how much to take up, Marsh advises, ‘starting off with a midi hem (just below the knee) for form-fitting dresses, and then you can determine if you need to go shorter. For long and flowing silhouettes, aim for a hem that sits just above the knee.’
Unless you really know what you’re doing behind a sewing machine, Marsh suggests taking your dress to an alterations specialist and remember to shop around to make sure you’re getting a fair price.
2. The colour isn’t working for you. While you might not be stoked with the colour of your bridesmaid dress (‘cause, let’s be honest, not everyone suits canary yellow), it doesn’t mean it’s is a complete right-off. Marsh recommends revamping your dresses by giving it a good ol’ dye.
If you’re down for a DIY job, it’s worth noting that the kind of dye you use will vary depending on the fabric. ‘iDye can be purchased at various craft retailers and has different dye formula for natural fabrics, poly fabrics and also for items that need to be laundered frequently,’ Marsh explains. ‘Polyester may need to be dyed twice to achieve a deep, rich colour.’
Before going all-out with the dye, Marsh recommends doing a spot-test first to see how the colour turns out when mixed with the dress’s existing hue.
3. When it feels just a little ‘blah’. If you’re dress’s length and colour are A-Okay but you’re just not feeling it, why not try adding some glam factor by switching up your accessories and makeup game.
‘Change up the belt or add a brooch – this will completely alter the look of your dress,’ Marsh says. For example, if you’ve got a traditional floral or pastel style dress, Marsh recommends adding a metal belt to take the look from day to night, or opting for a statement necklace ‘to add drama to the neckline and get your once-feminine bridesmaid dress looking party ready!’
Alternatively, mix up your look in a more subtle way by adding a sexy cateye or a coat of colour-pop nail polish and you’re good to go.
So go forth and get crafty – your new cocktail dresses are waiting for you.
This article was originally published on Cosmopolitan Australia