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Styling Tips 

How To Reinvent Your Bridesmaid Dress Post Wedding

Go from lady-in-waiting to summer goddess.

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Image: via @belleandbunty on Instagram

Maybe you’re not quite Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses yet – but if you’re a woman in your twenties with a moderately-sized social circle, you know the struggle: as your friends start to pair off into matrimonial bliss, your Instagram slowly becomes a feed of amateur wedding photography (#HappilyEvelynAndAdam), and your closet starts to look like a size-specific outpost of the David Bridal bridesmaid section. As hundreds of dollars worth of chiffon gathers dust in our closets, it begs the question: are our bridesmaid's dresses doomed to a single afternoon of posing in flower gardens, or can we give them a second life – one that doesn’t involve wearing the exact same outfit as six other people?
 
With a few alterations and the trendiest (read: least bridal) accessories you own, the answer is yes. But before we even begin to think about restyling our gowns, our starting point is the original dress. If your bride lets you choose the type of neckline you prefer, make sure it’s one that you can see yourself rocking to future casual or semi-formal events. Try to avoid anything that screams “bridesmaid” (or “junior prom”) – we’re talking about halter necks with sheer chiffon panels, strapless dresses in that telltale pleated fabric and full circle-skirt, off-the-shoulder gowns. Instead, go with a simple neckline without too many frills, which can be styled in a more versatile manner post-wedding. Try a spaghetti-strapped V-neck, for example.
 
After your dress has fulfilled its wedding-day duty, it’s free to become whatever it wants to be, whether it’s a Greek goddess à la Chanel – styled with a pair of ready-for-battle gladiator sandals – or a gauzy summer dress that seduce cuties on rooftop bars. The first step in this transformation: going to your local tailor to have the dress shortened. If you’re looking to transform the gown into something suitable for everyday wear, mid-thigh (or thigh-grazing) works best. But if you’re content with a more formal look, mid-calf is fine.
 
The final step to shedding your dress’ past as a demure lady-in-waiting is to make sure your accessories are on point. This will look different depending on the occasion and your personal style – that being said, with bridal fabrics like chiffon, lace and charmeuse, your best bet is a look that’s somewhat flirty and romantic, while still being on trend. If you’re looking to take a summer #OOTD, add a pair of face-framing shades, some choice pieces of minimalist jewelry, even bright, printed kimono-style robe for those breezy nights. Bridesmaid? More like beach babe. 

Ready to shed your bridesmaid cocoon and emerge with a beautiful new look for the summer? Shop our selection of stylish accessories that will completely reinvent your dress:
1/22
Halogen Iris Lace-Up d'Orsay Pump - $100
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2/22
Fara-S Sandel - $65
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3/22
Nasty Gal Girl Can Wrap Wood Platform - $50
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4/22
Sam Edelman Sheri Sandal - $120
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5/22
Mark Fisher Zala Pump - $160
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6/22
Nasty Gal A Fray To Remember Denim Heel - $50
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7/22
Jenna Point Mid Heel Court Shoes - $100
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8/22
Free People I'll Be Around Cardigan - $128
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9/22
Forever 21 Plus Size Floral Kimono - $20
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10/22
Alice + You Floral Printed Duster Coat - $79
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11/22
Off-White Printed Ecru Denim Jacket - $924
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12/22
ASOS Curve Denim Girlfriend Jacket - $64
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13/22
J-Crew Crop Denim Jacket - $110
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14/22
Madewell Seed Bead Charm Necklace - $28
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15/22
Madewell Hoop Post Earrings - $19
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16/22
Zara Party Earrings with Tassels - $20
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17/22
Zara Pack of Three Arrow Necklaces - $20
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18/22
H&M Two-Pack Chokers - $10
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19/22
Warby Parker Hadley Sunglasses - $145
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20/22
Warby Parker Piper Sunglasses - $95
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21/22
ASOS Rose Gold High Bar Retro Sunglasses - $19
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22/22
Covry Gemma Paradise Sunglasses - $135
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