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Published: Sunday, May 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

At last, bridesmaid dresses you really can wear again

  • Left: Jenny Yoo’s Harlow in black metallic swirl lace, $295; www.hitchedsalon.com, nordstrom.com. 
Right: Top with a dressy jacket to wear it...

    Marvin Joseph / Washington Post

    Left: Jenny Yoo’s Harlow in black metallic swirl lace, $295; www.hitchedsalon.com, nordstrom.com. Right: Top with a dressy jacket to wear it beyond a wedding.

  • Left: Jenny Yoo’s Coco in metallic dot jacquard, $275,  includes a removable sash; www.hitchedsalon.com, brideside.com. 
Right: Trends in bridesmaid ...

    Marvin Joseph / Washington Post

    Left: Jenny Yoo’s Coco in metallic dot jacquard, $275, includes a removable sash; www.hitchedsalon.com, brideside.com. Right: Trends in bridesmaid dresses are shifting to more versatile colors and fabrics that can be worn after the wedding is over.

  • Left: Alfred Sung dress, style D660, $107 on sale; victoriasbridalcouture.com; available in a variety of colors and lengths. 
Right: Add a short jack...

    Marvin Joseph / Washington Post

    Left: Alfred Sung dress, style D660, $107 on sale; victoriasbridalcouture.com; available in a variety of colors and lengths. Right: Add a short jacket and bright pumps and it more than passes for chic evening wear.

Brides have long told their closest friends and family a little white lie when asking them to be part of the bridal party.
“Don't worry,” an infinity of women have uttered to their bridesmaids, “you'll be able to wear the dress again.”
In truth, most women of a certain age have yards of pastel chiffon shoved into the far corners of their closets, never to be seen again.
Thankfully, designers have begun shifting the aesthetic of bridesmaid dresses to more closely mirror ready-to-wear pieces, said Julia Lichtman Kepniss of Hitched bridal salon in Washington, D.C.
Neutral shades like charcoal, black and tan are pushing out the lilac and cornflower. Choices in fabrics have expanded past the crinkled chiffon and silk satins that dominated the past decade. Lace, tulle and jersey have emerged as more versatile options.
Restyling these dresses so they may be worn to other events is possible. It all comes down to accessories, said Saks Fifth Avenue stylist Michele Lopez. Large earrings or a dramatic heel can change the entire feel of a dress. Tailoring is also key. Slimming the silhouette of a skirt, taking up a hemline or removing straps and embellishments can help make a begrudged purchase into a treasured staple.
Story tags » Fashion

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