Here's what you can do with old bridesmaid dresses

So, you dropped $300 on an eccentrically-colored bridesmaid dress with a giant bow for one night of dancing, wine stains and too many photo opportunities. Now what?

That's the question bridesmaids have been asking themselves for far too long. Especially if you're attending more than one wedding this year, as a guest or in the wedding party, you can expect to rack up some serious bills. According to RetailMeNot, the average wedding gift can cost up to $195 -- and then there's travel, lodging and other expenses. 

Oy vey. 

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What to do with old bridesmaid dresses
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What to do with old bridesmaid dresses

Donate it to charity

There are plenty of ways to do good with your old bridesmaid dress. Charities such as The Glass Slipper ProjectBecca's Closet and Operation Prom collect old gowns and donate them to students who are unable to afford their own prom dresses. Some of these organizations also accept pre-owned shoes, jewelry, bags and accessories as well. 

Other organizations such as Goodwill and your local thrift store are also good options. 

Sell it

If you're looking to make some bucks on that $300 bridesmaid dress, then there are plenty of online resources to help you do so.

Preowned Wedding Dresses calls itself the largest online bridal marketplace of sample and used attire, while Bridesmaid Trade doesn't charge to list, but will collect a $15 trade fee at the end of a sale. Other popular outlets include the classifieds at The Wedding Bee and Forever the Bridesmaid.

If you went the designer route... 

The Vestaire Collective is an online designer consignment shop, where you'll receive up to 75 percent of the item's sale price. The Real Real is another online luxury consignment shop that allows you to earn up to 85 percent of the product's sale price. 

You can also take a look at both Poshmark and Ebayboth of which accept listings. 

Alter it

If you think you can salvage a dress and get some more uses out of it, it might be worth chatting to a tailor about some redesigns.

Bows and other embellishments might be an easy snip, as might hemlines and necklines. You can add sleeves, turn a gown into a minidress or even turn a tiny dress into a skirt. Some have even shortened a dress to add to a child's costume closet. 

If you have a good tailor or are skilled with the sewing machine, the possibilities are endless. 

Spruce up the home

You can turn it into a cute throw pillow or add some decorative curtains. Let this adorable Pinterest post be your inspiration.  

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But luckily, you've got more than a few options to make sure that dress doesn't hang in the back of your closet until the end of eternity. Whether you're looking to make a few extra bucks, help out a local charity or refurbish some old throw pillows, we've got you covered. 

Scroll through above for some of our favorite ideas! 

Related: 10 lovely hairstyles for a summer wedding: 

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10 perfect hairstyles for summer weddings
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10 perfect hairstyles for summer weddings

1. Boho Braided Bob

It’s the unraveling, loose-ended plait and tousled tendrils that give this short hairstyle some serious aisle cred.

To make sure the braid stays put sans hair tie, spritz the ends with strong-hold hairspray, and back-comb slightly. Next, lock in the look with another shot of spray, this time all over.

2. Floral Crown With Low Pony

A softly side-swept ponytail is an ideal “updo” for the minimalist bride.

For a polished finish, wrap your hair tie with a few strands of loose hair and leave a few wispy tendrils free. Then work shine serum through your ’tail and add a halo of crisp white blooms up top for a wedding hairstyle that's equal parts elegant and effortless.

3. Fishtail-Braided Chignon

This modern, intricately braided updo -- it’s the varied size and tightness of each braid that makes it so unique -- is offset by its classic chignon styling.

To get the look, prep your hair before braiding with curl-enhancing mousse that will give your strands the right grip and volume to create this woven style. 

4. Tousled Bun

There’s something oh-so-alluring about this upswept style. The secret to keeping tousled tendrils from looking unkempt is curling each one before tying them all into a topknot.

5. Double-Braided Halo

An all-up hairdo is great for girls with ultra-thick strands. Prep your hair with a frizz-fighting shampoo, and spritz your finished braid with shine spray to banish flyaways. Then add a wreath of baby's breath to give your milkmaid braid a more ethereal energy.

6. Pinned Half-Up Hairstyle

For a sexy, blown-back look, use bobby pins to discreetly pull your hair back for a tucked-behind-the-ears down-do.

7. Braided Headband

An intricately plaited hair wrap is an easy way to inject drama into an otherwise ordinary down-do.

8. Side-Swept Braid

Thanks to its ultra-long length, this plait, unlike most traditional French braids, gives off an unexpected romantic vibe.

Check out this celebrity hairstylist trick for making the end of your braid look perfect!

9. Undone Twist

Her wedding day is just about the only time a girl can get away with wearing a tiara. A delicate crystal crown will look regal but not stuffy when paired with a tousled, undone bun.

10. Sleek Updo

Ultra-short hair can be aisle-worthy, too! Simply sweep pixie-length locks to the side, set with hairspray, and spritz with smoothing serum for a chic faux updo. 
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