Bridesmaid & Beyond: 10 Dresses You Can Actually Wear Again
Weddings are often the most important days of someone’s life. With calendars filling up fast with weddings to attend far and wide, the newlyweds-to-be may find themselves wanting more bang for their buck.
One of the ways to do this is to find a bridesmaid dress that can be worn again, except we actually mean it this time. As well as being more versatile, it’s also way more cost-effective. A lot of traditional bridesmaid dresses come with a hefty price tag for fittings, alterations and the cost of very expensive materials, such as chiffon, silk and taffeta – only to end up with a dress that’s worn for a day and will be banished to the back of the wardrobe forever. These days, why not opt for a high street dress that your beautiful bridesmaids can re-wear across other occasions?
In this article, we discuss the best ways you can shop and choose your dresses to make sure you get the most out of your money – which means a bigger, better honeymoon (or just a bigger bar tab at the reception!)
3 Tips for Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses They Can Actually Wear Again
1. The Choice of Dress
The shape of the dress should be in the midi or maxi range to maintain a formal look and have your bridesmaids feeling comfortable and elegant, especially if you’re shopping on the high street. For a uniform look, we suggest treading the line between structured and floaty. The dress should be well-fitting, but with enough room for graceful movement up and down the aisle and – of course – dancing the night away in the evening. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with a mini dress if that’s what you’d prefer for your wedding party – just make sure your bridesmaids are all comfortable with wearing a mini dress confidently.
2. The Materials
The trick to choosing bridesmaid dresses that can be worn again is the use of materials. Try to steer clear of anything using taffeta or chiffon and stick to one clear material like cotton or viscose. These materials usually make up the majority of someone’s wardrobe, meaning they’re worn by pretty much everyone. This also guarantees your bridal party will feel comfortable from day to night.
3. The Colour of the Dress
These days, we’re seeing more mixed colours with bridesmaids. For instance, the maid of honour may have a different coloured dress, but with the same style, or even alternating colours that’ll have a lovely look at the altar and in wedding photos. The only caveat to choosing different colours is the choice of dresses is more limited in terms of what you can easily access in colourways. If you’d prefer to go traditional, then your choices are limitless!
Joe’s Top 10 Dresses for Bridesmaids that Can Be Worn Again
Find our top dresses that can be worn again. For those who want a little variance in colourways, the first five all have different colourways for your bridesmaids.
1. Francesca Frill Dress
The Francesca Frill Dress is a classic midi dress that belongs in every woman’s wardrobe. Flattering, floaty and feminine, there are two gorgeous colourways to choose from. The pink colourway has a bolder floral pattern, while the other has more of a ditsy floral print throughout.
Featuring a stunning wrap design, an adjustable sleeve tie and short, floaty split sleeves, this dress is not only figure-hugging but also adjustable to different shapes, with details that’ll have your bridesmaids feeling confident and elegant. Easily worn again for the races, a garden party or afternoon tea, it’ll quickly become a favourite in any bridesmaid’s wardrobe.
2. Polly Jersey Dress
This strappy maxi style is perfect for outdoor weddings, especially in hotter weather or climates. Trust us when we say this maxi dress can do it all, and with two colourways to choose from, the Polly Jersey Dress will be a strong contender. The blue colourway features a beautiful floral print throughout, however, the pink and orange colourway has a gorgeous, zesty tone that lends itself beautifully to the summer season.
This seasonal staple is soft, comfortable and so easy to wear, thanks to the shirred bodice. What’s more, the shirring works perfectly with the print to create a fabulously flattering style. Simply add a pair of heels, corsage and bag or shrug to dress this number up for the big day, but it can just as easily be paired with pumps and a denim jacket for all the days after.
3. The Jasmine Dress
If you’re looking at a demure style, the Jasmine dress is a fabulous choice. In two colourways of lilac and black, this vintage-inspired silhouette is classy and elegant with enough simplicity to let the bride shine. The black colourway features white polka dots, and the lilac colourway has a white ditsy floral print throughout – these patterns pair together excellently, making this a perfect choice if you want bridesmaids in different dresses.
With a floaty, free skirt, this button-through style has a V-neck, under-bust shaping and just enough frill to keep the dress full of details that’ll be loved by your bridesmaids for years to come. The gently puffed sleeve and under-bust shaping make for a figure-hugging silhouette that’ll have your bridesmaids brimming with confidence.
4. The Elouise Tea Dress
Coming in with another vintage silhouette, but this time with a shorter length, the Elouise Tea Dress is a strong contender thanks to its colour palettes and ditsy floral print across two beautiful colourways. The light blue colourway features pretty pops of orange, red and white across the florals, while the orange colourway has a white ditsy floral print, meaning they’ll complement each other on the big day if you choose to mix the colours up.
The V-neck has a classic tea dress collar and a matching belt for a fabulous silhouette. If you’re a fan of less is more’, the Elouise Tea Dress is an elegant traditional choice of dress that bridesmaids can break out to dress up or down as they like.
5. Sienna Swirl Dress
Bringing in the super-trendy boho vibes, the Sienna Swirl Dress is a favourite of ours. In a classic boho style, this maxi dress comes in two pastel colourways of green and blue, with the blue featuring a beautiful swirl pattern and the green with a ditsy floral print.
Guaranteed to feel sensational when worn, the dress features pretty shirring at the waist, playful tassel ties and a lace panel at the back, giving a unique point of interest to this bridesmaid dress. The floaty design ensures a great effect when twirling the night away and is easily dressed up or down for endless outfit ideas after the wedding. Both are available in petite sizing, so even perfectly petite bridesmaids can twirl the night away!
6. Prettiest Floral Dress
This V-neck midi dress is simply sublime with frills, a floaty skirt and boasts a glorious floral pattern. With two layers of ruffles at the shoulders and an open back with a tie at the neck, the Prettiest Floral Dress has enough detail to have those blushing bridesmaids feeling confident and ready to catch that bouquet!
7. Fabulously Floral Dress
For a dress with great movement, the Fabulously Floral Dress is one of our favourites. In a bright blue with a white ditsy floral print, it’s classic, timeless and dying to be worn over and over again. Featuring a V-neck and fabulous ruffles to the shoulders and hem, this dress has all of those finishing touches that make an excellent bridesmaid dress, yet can just as easily be paired with white pumps for casual day drinks.
8. Marni Halterneck Dress
For a more glamorous approach, the Marni Halterneck Dress is a satiny style that is truly unlike any other. Featuring a remarkable paisley print, this dress is luxe to a tee and perfect for a lavish wedding. With shirring at the elasticated waist, your bridesmaids are guaranteed to feel comfortable and totally confident from day to night.
9. Sweetest Strawberry Dress
One of our favourite looks of the season, our Sweetest Strawberry Dress is a midi dress with scrumptious strawberries on a backdrop of cream. As well as having the bridesmaids and bride looking like a cohesive party, this dress can also pair as a summer wardrobe must-have. This delicious print and silhouette are complemented by its pretty sleeve ties and under-bust shaping for a classic, timeless fit. Whether it’s styled with red heels or their favourite pumps, it’ll be a sure favourite in their wardrobe.
10. The Nancy Ditsy Dress
If you want a bridesmaid look that won’t be forgotten, the Nancy Ditsy Dress is an exquisite example of a classic piece with its own unique touch. Great for spring and summer, this stunning green colour and iditsy print are subtle yet effective, leaving the draped sleeves and back necktie to stand out as the real star of the show, making for a beautiful floaty number that will complement any figure and unique style. This is a dress that’s sure to be loved and worn time and time again.
More Tips on Joe’s Bridesmaid Solutions and Women’s Occasion Wear
Do my bridesmaids have to wear dresses?
Absolutely not, in fact, we’ve seen an upturn in bridesmaids wearing jumpsuits, which can be just as flattering and fabulously elegant. A big plus for jumpsuits is they can easily be dressed up or down, which is perfect if they want to slip out of their heels and into some pumps to carry on the festivities.
Should bridesmaids all wear the same dress?
There’s no right answer to this one, however, some people may prefer to have dresses in two different colourways which looks great in photos! Another option is to have the maid of honour in a different colourway, which also looks different and a little more boutique.
Our favourite option, though, is if you want each of your bridesmaids to have their own personality, but still want the party’s overall look to seem cohesive, encourage them to add their own jacket, shoes, accessories and handbag. It brings a real dynamic to the party when your bridesmaids have that little bit of freedom to represent their own style in their accessories.
Can I wear any of these dresses even though I’m not a bridesmaid?
Of course, you can! These are all occasion dresses in their own right, also with the versatility to be dressed up or down for any style of event. The only way one of these dresses shouldn’t be worn to a wedding is if the bridal party are wearing the same dress.
I’m not comfortable in dresses – what other options do I have for occasion wear that I can wear again?
Alternative wedding guest outfits are all the rage right now. Aside from jumpsuits, co-ords have a brilliant effect for more formal occasions and can be worn together or alone for countless outfit combinations. Why not try a blazer and trouser combo such as Sally’s Statement Blazer and matching trousers or the Rebecca Suit jacket and trousers? Another option is to wear white skinny jeans, with a camisole or blouse and a blazer thrown on top to elevate your outfit. Just add heels and your favourite statement accessories for a no-fuss occasion outfit that’ll let you feel comfortable and confident.
If you’ve enjoyed this series, why not take a look at Suited & Booted for men’s occasion wear and groomsmen solutions? We also have a dedicated article for mothers of the bride and all the advice you’ll need on choosing the perfect outfit for that big day.
If weddings aren’t in your calendar this season – check out our favourite seasonal occasion dresses for the York Races, Wimbledon and beyond for an unforgettable summer in unstoppable style.
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