Gowns and Formal Dresses

Updated on November 30, 2010
P.O. asks from Antioch, TN
14 answers

What do you suggest I do with wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, graduation gowns, engagement formal outfit, etc that I have stored in closet for "memories" but is really just clogging up space. I don't want to get rid of the memory, but I want to get rid of the clothes without feeling the guilt, especially on the wedding dress since I do not have girls. I could save it for niece, but I am sure by then some form of "plastic linen with threaded electronic beads for cyberspace connections will be the in thing then" lol

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for your great suggestions. I like the idea of buying the suction bags and storing the wedding dress but donating the other gowns to goodwill or another charity.

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

consignment or find a thrift store - Junior Leagues often have thritft shops and look for nice clothing

also, donating to a prom...

also, as dress up clothes for you niece now?

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

There is a charity called "The Glass Slipper Project" where you can donate your dresses. They will then be provided to low income high school girls who can wear them for their prom.

Many bridesmaid dresses can be altered into something truly usable, if you can find a good seamstress.

Wedding dresses can be made into Christening gowns for babies.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Just my 2 cents, but hold on to the wedding dress--a lot of people want "classic" rather than nouveau for wedding dresses, and at least having the option is very nice. If your niece says no, you can donate it then. Or ask her now, if she thinks she'll ever interested in it.... It probably possible to dye the wedding dress and turn it into a non-wedding formal dress that way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I would see if I had any pictures with me in those dresses. They are definantly ways to preserve memories. You could also look into the space bags. They are supposed to suck your clothes down flat to almost pancake size. Otherwise,if you really want to get rid of them then go to a consignment shop and see if you can get some money for them that way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Hi, A:

It is difficult to part with memories that are so
dear to your heart.

Advertise to give them to a good home.
Or something likethat.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I agree with selling or donating all the dresses except for the wedding gown. I personally could not part with my wedding dress, but we've only been married 7 years...maybe that feeling will change after more years have passed. Take photos of/with the other outfits for the memories, then consider donating them so someone else can make new memories with them.

Something I haven't seen mentioned yet is having a portion of your wedding dress made into ring bearer pillows for your kids/niece. Also, one of the big name interior designers (Nate Berkus, I think) says to cut a piece of the fabric that you love and put it in a frame or shadow box so it is out on display to be enjoyed.

Why not hold onto the dress and see if your kids/niece might want to have a piece of it for some of the things suggested by other moms. They might surprise you and value the sentimental value instead of whatever is new/popular at the time of their wedding day!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

For the bridesmaid dresses and graduation gown, I'd get rid of them without guilt. You could try craigslist.com or a consignment shop.

my wedding dress would be harder to get rid of.

Update: I literally just stumbled on this website: http://www.fairygodmothersinc.com/ they have a location in Hatboro, PA.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Photograph them for your own album then donate or sell on ebay

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

In my area our high school has a dress sale before homecoming and prom. It is put on by Key Club, which is a club through school and is a community project club.

This year before homecoming Key Club had a dress sale and sold any dress for $10 to girls that were not able to go out and purchase an expensive dress. They also opened it up to the public, it was just not for our schools students, teachers and parents but to EVERYONE! The money they raised which was well over $400 went towards their SHARE THE WARMTH project, which provided any elementary school child who did not have a winter jacket a jacket. They purchased 73 coats from Macy's valued at over $5000 and only paid a little over $900 for them. Macy's department store was very good to our club.

They take dresses donated by whoever would like to donate. Two years ago they had dresses donated by Sharon Stone, which was a former student of our school. It was a great success. And the girls looked gorgeous.

If you are looking to get rid of them without "throwing" them away, I would definitely contact your local high school and see if they have some sort of club that does stuff like ours. If not, then I would check into what Kate said. Either way, you will be helping a very thankful young lady. And that can sometimes be the best memory to hold on to.

Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

I know in our area, we have a women's center that takes donations for formalwear and once a year (usually before a prom) they have a big sale and the less fortunate can come in and purchase (for really cheap) a formal dress for their prom. Maybe they have something similar in your area? If not, and you want to get rid of them, i would donate the bridesmaid dresses and put the wedding gowns on eBay or Craigs list. If you don't need the extra $$, I would donate those too, then.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

i wouldn't get rid of them all together, i put all my old "big keepsakes" like that in a plastic tub and up in the garage, keeps the mice and other critters from getting to them and if someone wants to use one at one point, they are still there. I wouldn't be so quick to get rid of them, they may be something special your kids may want to hold on to, just find a different way to store them such as one of those big "zip lock" bags that have a way to suck all the air out of them, i've used those for seasonal storage and LOVE THEM, dunno if i'd use them for long term storage though...space bags, that's the name.............thuppp been a long day lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Kate said it best.. the Prom Project is what we also have.. they can make sure the gowns go to those that could never afford it otherwise.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

I agree with Kate. You could take your wedding dress and have some of the material made into a smaller baby dress or have a few squares saved hankerchief's to use in a tux for wedding and such. As for the other gowns I would just find a good will or resale shop to take them to. It will give you so much joy knowing that there are woman out there that can not afford much and you are probably making someones day when they come across one of your old dresses. I also saved just a few prom dresses for my girls to play dress up in. I know you said you don't have girls but with sons you will still be a grandma one day. So you could put them in those space saver bags so they are stored better and one day your grandchildren or nieces would love to play in them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I donated my wedding dress to goodwill & have never regretted it. Same with old bridesmaid dresses & formal gowns from college. I'm sure someone who needed it purchased it & now happily has a new dress.

I'm sure you have plenty of pictures for memories. And someone else could make great memories with your clothes. Let them live on with someone else.

1 mom found this helpful
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