Did you buy a gown for an event, and now don’t know what to do with this expensive, single-use piece of fashion? Whatever you do, don’t throw it away! Whether you had a red-carpet affair, a formal work party, or a fancy wedding, there are a few ways to contend with a formal gown after the event.
Have It Altered
Altering your dress is a fabulous way to get more out of it than a one-time use. Go ahead and take it to your local tailor to talk over ideas for turning the gown into a piece that you can wear over and over again. Try adjusting the length, adding a different type of fabric, or removing the embellishments to create something new.
Commission a Designer to Upcycle It
Go a step further than alteration. Commission a designer to completely remake it. Ophir El-Boher, who specializes in upcycled clothing design, points out that upcycling is different from simply recycling a garment, because you’re creating something of greater value. You can transform your formal into wearable art!
Sell or Trade It
There are different ways to go about selling your formal gown. You can try an app or an online marketplace. You can also take it to your favorite vintage store that buys or trades clothing. Formal dresses are expensive for only wearing them once, so why not try to get a return? If you sell, the money can go toward something more practical to keep in your closet, such as a new pair of comfortable jeans or a little black dress. Or better yet, donate the earnings to your favorite nonprofit.
Let Someone Borrow It
Maybe you have a sister or friend who’s the same size with an upcoming event requiring a gown. Let them wear the dress to save them the hassle. Try reaching out on social media if you can’t think of anyone off-hand.
Purchasing a brand-new gown is a luxury to some. Make someone’s day and donate your formal gown to a charity so they can enjoy the gift of fashion in a way they couldn’t have otherwise.
You might have another formal event coming up, or you’re just not ready to part ways with such a gorgeous piece of fashion. Whatever the reason behind keeping it, be sure you understand the proper way to store an evening gown. You want to protect it from bugs — like moths — and dust particles present in our homes. It’s a keepsake from an evening you’ll never forget, and proper storage will make it last a lifetime, just like the memories.
Whether you keep it or pass it on, make sure you don’t throw that gown in the trash. Do your part to avoid clothing waste by challenging the idea that a formal dress can only be used once!