I don’t think you can fathom how often I’ve heard the phrase, “You can wear it again.” One look at Katherine Heigl’s wardrobe in ‘27 Dresses’ and I can understand how this phrase is frequently met with poorly concealed scepticism to blatant disbelief. Considering a bridesmaid dress is intended to match the flowers, the theme, the venue and the table setting to a tee, it is understandable that regardless of how beautiful the gown is, it’s no easy task to find an appropriate place to wear it again. And if you do, remember that two or three (or maybe more) women own the exact same dress as you and are usually floating in the same social circles.
Keeping this in mind, here are five ways to repurpose your fancy frock:
1. Chop it. You heard me. Wearing a floor-length formal dress more than once is the exception, not the rule. Unless you’re a regular at formal balls (Who are you, Kate Middleton?) then it’s time to take your dress to the tailor to give it a new life. Start small with a cut to the knee for a stylish cocktail dress. Once you get tired of that, have your tailor be a bit more adventurous with the scissors… And voila, your new favourite LBD!
2. Add a strap. One shoulder is all the rage right now. Have a seamstress fashion a strap (or two), putting to use some of that extra fabric you’ve accumulated since shortening the dress. This is an inexpensive way to transform a strapless dress to something more conservative, or have the original straps removed for the opposite effect.
3. Belt it. Again, recycle that extra fabric to make a belt or sash. Alternatively, get creative by throwing in another colour to change the look completely. Or add a bit of sparkle – our Poppy headpiece doubles as a stunning vintage belt.
4. Bling! There’s nothing like a statement accessory to change up an outfit. Dress it up with some elegant drop pearl earrings or dress it down with a chunky necklace and a few bangles. Or let your feet do the talking with a bright red heel.
5. Dye it. Now we’re getting crazy. On The Day, the dress matched everything perfectly, yet ordinarily, hot pink isn’t a colour on high rotation in your wardrobe. Hot tip: Leave this one to the professionals. We don’t want your hands to match your dress. The recommended fail-safe colour is black, of course.