Bridesmaid Dresses They Can Wear Again (Really!)

Being a repeat bridesmaid is a great honor, but it can leave you with a closet filled with unwearable gowns (we've all watched 27 Dresses). Bridesmaid dresses can be very costly, so do your 'maids a favor and select a style that is not only comfortable, but versatile enough to wear again. Sounds like an impossible feat? Follow these tips to ensure that your bridesmaid dresses won't get dusty in the back of your friends' closets!

1.  Select a flattering silhouette with straps. The draping of this Mori Lee dress is what makes it so versatile. Unlike long bridesmaid gowns, this short style can be worn again to a cocktail party, office function, or special dinner.

Morri Lee DressDress by Mori Lee, Style #185

2. Give your bridesmaids a color and length requirement, but let them pick the style. Your bridesmaids all have different body types and tend to know what looks best on them, so why not let them select the silhouette? The bride should have the final say to ensure that all of the different dresses will look cohesive as a group, like these two pretty options from Eden Bridals and Liz Fields.

Eden BridalsLiz FieldsLeft: Dress by Eden Bridals, Style #7323, Right: Dress by Liz Fields, Style #370

3. Consider jewel-toned dresses. One of the biggest complaints we hear from bridesmaids is having to wear a color that is difficult to pull off (neon orange, anyone?). Choose a hue that is complementary to all skin tones, like a rich purple or green. This stunning Alfred Sung dress in sangria adds just the right touch of originality and will look great on all of your girls! 

Alfred Sung DressDress by Alfred Sung, Style #d565

4.  You can never go wrong with black. Every woman knows that an LBD never goes out of style—select this timeless look and you'll never worry about having dated wedding photos 25 years down the road. Black is flattering on all shapes, sizes, and skin tones; plus, it makes a great contrast to your white wedding gown. Select a dress with great texture, like this Bill Levkoff style, which features soft petal pleats.

Bill Levkoff
Dress by Bill Levkoff, Style #158

5.  Select a dress that can be easily altered. Although your wedding may be black-tie, it can be tough to re-wear an ultra-fancy gown. Keep this in mind and choose a style that can be easily shortened, or one where you can either add or remove straps, such as this elegant Bari Jay dress.

Bari Jay DressDress by Bari Jay, Style #555

—Ilana Mauskopf