Author Topic: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding  (Read 3528 times)

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Danika

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Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« on: March 23, 2014, 01:49:59 AM »
This is just a hypothetical question for now since I don't currently fit into this dress, but as my diet seems to be going well, it's something I would consider in the future.

I was a bridesmaid in a wedding 10 years ago and got a common style dress from a popular chain bridal store in a spring color. If I'm invited to a wedding, can I wear this dress? It would be at least 10 years out of style so I doubt that the current bridesmaids would be wearing the same dress, even if the color were the same. I don't want to be mistaken for a bridesmaid and step on anyone's toes. Would it be ok to wear it as long as I made sure that the bridesmaids wouldn't be wearing that color?

I tried to find a photo of the dress online, but it is so woefully out of fashion (as I tend to be) that they don't have photos of it! It's floor length and looks like this, but in an adult size:


TurtleDove

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 02:52:25 AM »
I wouldn't wear it, mostly because it is floor length. It comes across to me clearly as a bridesmaids dress.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 04:17:23 AM »
I agree, a dress of that style and in that fabric just screams bridesmaid dress.   You may want to look at getting it shortened to tea length or knee length. 

cicero

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2014, 06:20:25 AM »
I think if it was shortened - with the right shoes and accessories it might work. but then again, not every long dress works well as a short dress.


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BarensMom

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2014, 06:46:30 AM »
Shorten it, put a fancy shrug or sweater over it, and the right shoes and accessories might make it work.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2014, 07:25:02 AM »
I agree that if it's really floor length, it would be better if you shortened it, but I think that maybe you wouldn't have to, if you put something underneath it and wore it like a jumper instead of a stand alone dress.  A pretty blouse in a spring print, for example, would soften the "bridesmaid" vibe, I think.  As would a sweater or shrug over the top, in a slightly less formal style than the dress. 

As others have said, shoes and jewelry would make a big difference also.  To a wedding, I wouldn't wear a simple pearl choker, for example.  Because that, at least to me, would give a stronger "bridesmaid" vibe.  And definitely no shoes dyed to match (if you still have them, or ever had them).   But to another type of formal event, that would probably be fine.

I think what I would worry about most, now that I think about it, is not that it looks like a bridesmaid dress as such.  My concern would be, how formal is the wedding? If it's in somebody's backyard, then probably this dress is too formal even if shortened.  A black tie, or even white tie, evening affair in which the wedding party has floor length dresses also? This dress would fit right in for a guest, I would think.

ETA: I am basing my advice somewhat on the fact that "maxi dresses" (that literally touch the floor) seem to be making a comeback around here, even in very informal fabrics and styles. YMMV.

« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 07:26:38 AM by whatsanenigma »

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 10:07:18 PM »
At a formal black tie wedding, you could probably get away with it with a nice shawl.

jmarvellous

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 10:22:51 PM »
A friend just posted some photos of another schoolmate's quinceanera in 2000, and the damas/attendants' dresses were just like that. It kind of does scream "circa 2000" to me; the color/cut also seems quite young, I think (notwithstanding that the photo was of a child).

You could get away with it with a long jacket or shawl, but I generally think it'd need to be altered to look stylish, if you cared about such things. At that point, it might be more worthwhile to just go shopping.

Lynn2000

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 03:35:29 PM »
With the right accessories, I think it would be fine, provided that the length matched the formality of the event. Granted, I don't know much about fashion, but it seems like a pretty simple dress style to me; I could imagine it being worn at a lot of fancy events, with the right jewelry and wrap and so forth. If you were going out to buy a new dress to wear as a guest to the wedding, and you found this dress, would you think it appropriate and buy it? If so, then I don't see a problem with wearing it now.
~Lynn2000

Sophia

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2014, 03:49:32 PM »
I think it is a very pretty dress. 

Yvaine

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2014, 03:52:05 PM »
It does read bridesmaidy to me.  :-\ I think it's a combination of the solid color, the fabric, and the stiff A-line shape of it. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2014, 05:01:22 PM »
I had that dress! In that color.

and I wore it to a wedding, and I felt like a bridesmaid. And the other girl who wore a similar dress (diff color) looked like a former bridesmaid.

I shortened mine to just above the ankle.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could have changed it to not look like a BM dress. I think the solid color was a huge part of it, as was a lack of trim and the unusualness of the color.

So I thought about doing some pony-bead-type beading except with tiny seed beads (so it looks more refined -- making flowers, or abstract shapes) using tiny beads in the same color plus others, and adding them to the waist, or three or four of them dancing up the skirt.
   
   I thought about attaching purchased appliques from the trimming stores I have access to in NYC on the hip, skirt, shoulder.

Or put trim around the hem and neckline (like, maybe parallel rows of grosgrain ribbon). Or making my own bias ribbon (bias tape) using a print fabric that coordinated and applying it. Anything to break up the solid color.

You could also perhaps add something like a bolero.

I'm not sure it would have worked. But I will say that for most of the evening, I didn't really notice it. And it's not exactly rude, and not even bad form. Just sort of noticeable.

Peregrine

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2014, 05:36:54 PM »
To me, this A-line shaped dress just screams to be cut just at or above the knee.  A contrast belt perhaps with a jeweled buckle or something might help the front a little.  I would also personally avoid a shawl or wrap....those tend to end up looking bridesmaid or senior prom to me.  If you felt the need for a shoulder covering a dressy cardigan worn open might be a good choice.

I think part of the issue is that it's hard to visualize this on an older person when it's being modeled by a little kid. 

Is your dress in the same color family as this?  I think color would also determine it's appropriateness as well.  I don't think I would wear this pastel color to an evening or fall/winter wedding even if it was restyled.  However, if your dress was a more vibrant color it would more easily lend itself to a more formal evening event.  But that just may be my own perceptions talking.

ladyknight1

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2014, 06:53:53 PM »
With the right accessories, I think it would be fine, provided that the length matched the formality of the event. Granted, I don't know much about fashion, but it seems like a pretty simple dress style to me; I could imagine it being worn at a lot of fancy events, with the right jewelry and wrap and so forth. If you were going out to buy a new dress to wear as a guest to the wedding, and you found this dress, would you think it appropriate and buy it? If so, then I don't see a problem with wearing it now.

POD. A long necklace, a lacy shawl or wrap, some cute shoes? I think it would be great.

I have three maxi dresses and they are all that length and appropriate for all occasions with the right accessories.

Danika

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Re: Wearing an old BM dress to a wedding
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2014, 07:23:28 PM »
The dress is floor length, but the skirt has two layers. I remember it was going to be expensive to hem it to shorten it, so instead, I bought 4 inch heels instead of 2 inch heels because it was far less expensive. It's all one dress (top and skirt attached to each other). The top is satin with some beadwork. The outer layer of the skirt is some sheer polyester type thing. Then it is lined with satin. The dress is light lilac/lavender.

I think the pastel color is what makes it look most like a bridesmaid dress.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 04:46:16 PM by Danika »