Video: Restyling a bridesmaid or formal dress

Jenny Yoo tulle dress – shortened ~3,” runs slightly small (I’m wearing a 0 for reference)
Tadashi Shoji lace dress – runs 1-2 sizes big (I’m wearing a 0 clipped back)

I started my wedding gown search at BHLDN, so was excited when they asked me to work on a fun bridesmaid project. I’m not far enough into wedding planning to have a dress chosen for my bridesmaids, but the girls have been trying options in search of something universally flattering.
BHLDN Jenny Yoo Chloe bridesmaid dress
I brought my sweet friend Isabel (who is self-described as “short and curvy”) to show you guys a few different ways to re-style a bridesmaid dress beyond the wedding day. Since the extent of my video skills is setting up a tripod at home, I enlisted the help of Long Haul Films, who were simply wonderful to work with!

Jenny Yoo is actually known for her convertible bridesmaid dresses, like the Annabelle which is designed to be tied 15 different ways. We’re showing her Chloe dress which is not convertible, but its tulle skirt makes it a great candidate for creating new looks with layering. A short dress tends to be more versatile for wearing again after a wedding, but I admittedly love the elegant look of bridesmaids in floor-length pieces. If you have long dresses you love but don’t get any more wear out of due to the length, consider hemming it after the wedding to make it more versatile.

1. Classic fall: H&M; floral scarf (old), Rachel Simpson shoes and BHLDN belt
BHLDN jenny yoo bridesmaid dress
This look showcases the full dress and could work well for bridesmaids and party guests alike. Instead of a plain wrap, experiment with a lightweight printed scarf for a more playful look.

2. Mix + match: Target chambray shirt (old), HALOGEN HEELS (color sold out – SIMILAR)
BHLDN bridesmaid jenny yoo dress leopard heels
This look juxtaposes the dreamy tulle skirt against a more rugged chambray texture, and adds print with the leopard heels. I think a moto jacket (left mine at home!) layered on top would bring about a good mix of sweet and edgy, and would be cute for a night out.

Lace elegance: Tadashi Shoji “Savannah” lace topper (sized down), no brand earrings
BHLDN bridesmaid dress lace top
Another beautiful and elegant look that could work for bridesmaids or guests. Hairstyle can play a big role in changing up a look – with a higher boatneck-style topper, we swept her hair back into a clean but voluminous bun to show off the neckline.

Playful romance: F21 sweater (old), heels, vintage Hermes belt
BHLDN bridesmaid jenny yoo stripe sweater
Nick’s cameo in this video was a stark reminder that we could use dance lessons before our wedding! We both love a good dance party, but weren’t blessed with any skills or coordination to say the least. We also have yet to take engagement photos, which is what got me thinking about this romantic + flirty pairing as a perfect look for a couples photo session.

Thank you to BHLDN for sponsoring this video! All BHLDN items shown were borrowed from the Boston boutique for the purpose of the video.

Giveaway details:
Mandatory – fill out the form below with your email address (email address will be used solely to contact the winner). Extra entries for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter friends! Giveaway is open only to those with a U.S. mailing address, and the winner will be selected using the generator. a Rafflecopter giveaway


45 thoughts on “Video: Restyling a bridesmaid or formal dress

  • Reply Anonymous November 2, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you for sharing such lovely ideas! I'd really like to get the most out of my bridesmaid dresses.

    I was wondering if you would do a blog post about menswear for weddings? I mean, obviously guys wear suits, but I wanted to see maybe a different take on menswear wedding garb. Maybe you could coerce your fiancé into maybe writing a blog post about what he's thinking of wearing? I'm just really curious what you two would come up with.

  • Reply Ping November 3, 2014 at 12:43 am

    I love this video!! Do more please. 😉

  • Reply Stacey November 3, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Hi Jean, where are your shoes from when dancing with Nick? xo

  • Reply Kim November 3, 2014 at 12:52 am

    LOVE Anthro/ Their dresses and boutique are so beautiful and so are you all! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Sasa Zoe November 3, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Stunning! Love the dresses:)

    Shall We Sasa: Blanket Scarf Three Ways

  • Reply Audrey Lin November 3, 2014 at 1:37 am

    I always just assumed that the gowns/formal dresses I bought could only be worn once, or maybe worn a few times but only between huge intervals. I love the second mix and match look! And the last playful romance look reminds me of Parisian fashionistas. It could also just be the French haha. Anyways, WOW I'm totally mindblown at how versatile bridesmaid dresses can potentially be. Who knew you could dress it down in so many ways?? -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

  • Reply Dressed with soul November 3, 2014 at 2:37 am

    I never saw so cute bridesmaid dresses! And the bridesmaids are for sure so pretty, too <3

  • Reply Carla Krae November 3, 2014 at 5:33 am

    It's also an option to have a light-colored dress died a darker color that you'd wear more often.

  • Reply Taramixandmatch November 3, 2014 at 6:07 am

    This is so cute! Loving all of the different options 🙂

  • Reply Sonya Gao November 3, 2014 at 8:34 am

    This is so gorgeous. I definitely wouldn't have thought of wearing a sweater or a casual top, but what a great idea!

  • Reply Jennifer November 3, 2014 at 10:46 am

    What a brilliant post!! We all have a few bridesmaid dresses that are impossible, but this lends a bit of a silver lining!!

    Question for you or anyone: I am going to an engagement party this weekend. It will be held at a downtown restaurant (casual Tex-Mex, exposed brick, unique fixtures). The Bride-to-be will be wearing a cocktail dress, which nixes my idea of wearing jeans. It is expected to be about 30 degrees. What should I wear??

  • Reply little random happiness November 3, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Thank you for hosting such a fabulous giveaway! I must use rafflecopter for my next giveaway…made it so easy hehe 🙂

  • Reply Champagne Star November 3, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I love these looks! I don't have any weddings or parties planned, but I've been looking at tulle skirts for a while now and have been thinking of ways to create dressy and casual outfits. This post has given me a lot of inspiration!

  • Reply Emma November 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Wow, this vid is looking SO professional! I LOVE the 2 casual looks- that's my style. I don't have many "formal" dresses (more into pants), but these are all great ideas. Good luck w/ the dancing thing- I gave up on myself (LOL)!

  • Reply Emma November 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Oh yeah, GREAT point! These looks DO remind me of Paris fashion!

  • Reply Suzie Q November 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    This is such a cute video! The bridesmaid dress that you featured in it is so pretty and I love all of the different restyled looks that you girls created in it! Good luck with your bridesmaid dress shopping!

    Suzie Q

  • Reply Amanda Hawkins November 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I love the styles at BHLDN! I'm hoping to get my hands on a dress for our upcoming engagement shoot!

    – Amanda | The Chic Counsel

  • Reply Joyce Pak November 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for this post! I love the idea of retooling a bridesmaid dress, and you definitely did the challenge very well. I love the look of tulle fashioned into everyday wear!

    Characters & Carry-ons

  • Reply Liz | Shopping My Closet November 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Love the gorgeous pale pastel color!

    Liz @

  • Reply Misha November 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    This is such a good idea! Love number 2 and 4!
    Carpe Noctems

  • Reply andrea November 3, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I love how you're trying to find bridesmaid dresses that your friends will be able to get multiple uses out of…so thoughtful! My favorite look #2 with the chambray shirt…perfect combination!


  • Reply lisacng @ November 3, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    You & Nick are just adorable!

  • Reply xoyaoyao November 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I love this post and I've missed you on youtube 😉 The dress is so gorgeous. And I love it the way you restyled it. Looks so nice.

  • Reply Ashley November 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Love BHLDN! I'm a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding and we're actually hoping to look at the Chloe dress. Thank you so much for sharing alternative ways to wear the dress.

  • Reply Anonymous November 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    It simply looks so stunning! All of alternative ways to wear the dress are cute and unique.

  • Reply Janki November 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    The dress is really gorgeous. I personally would just love to see people dress up a little more at weddings and use that as your occasion to re-use a bridesmaid dress. It's so frustrating to see the words "black tie" or "formal" on the invite and find folks wearing casual sun dresses!

    On a related note, do you think that wearing black to a wedding is still a no-no? With my capsule wardrobe I find it hard to keep a "fancy" dress for weddings that is a color.

    Great video and I'm glad you brought your "curvy" friend. It's great to see petites of all sizes.

  • Reply Kelly H November 3, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    so excited for you Jean.
    An idea is to have different dresses but all the same length and color scheme!

  • Reply Anonymous November 3, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Too cute!

  • Reply prudence yeo November 3, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    A dress with a tulle skirt is indeed great for layering to create different looks! Love the examples given, thanks for your tip!


  • Reply Bostonista November 3, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Very cute! I love the idea of a tulle skirt for every day 🙂


  • Reply A Golden Tulip November 4, 2014 at 1:06 am

    This post is so helpful…love the casual looks with tee shirt and chambray shirt…totally transforms the dress…you have a great sense of style to mix and match…


  • Reply November 4, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I love the idea of convertible dresses. I think there are a couple brands out there offer convertible maxi dresses for bridesmaids.

    Love your styling as always!


  • Reply purpleheart November 5, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I like the last look the most! Youthful and comfortable. I will sure to try this with all the bridesmaid dresses taking up space in my closet :). Thanks Jean!

  • Reply Michelle R November 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I agree with Ping…more videos. :p The lace topper over the dress is really pretty. Excited to see when everything comes together. Glad you are enjoying the hunt, though. 🙂

  • Reply Amanda November 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    This was a fun post! I am wanting to go check out my bridesmaid dress now to see what I can do with it.

  • Reply Anonymous November 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I really like how you can make something expensive look so casual.

    This is going to be a really random question, but I noticed from previous blog posts that you wear these really cute necklaces, the one with the arrow and the heart. Where did you get those?

  • Reply Jean November 10, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Hi there – we haven't started to look at options for the boys yet, but if we come across anything interesting in terms of options we'll definitely consider doing a post! Thank you for the topic suggestion : )

  • Reply Jean November 10, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Hi Stacey! They are "nana" brand from a website called, but I got them a few years ago : /

  • Reply Jean November 10, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Hi Jennifer, I'm so sorry for having missed your question before your party! I think a cute shift or fit+flare dress with tights and ankle boots would be perfect for the occasion. Hope you had a blast!

  • Reply Jean November 10, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Hi Janki – I personally haven't, but I've surveyed tons of ladies and the answer always has been "yes" black is okay for weddings. I'm also happy to see your encouraging words for my friend! Even at 5'1" ish she does not believe she is petite due to being "curvy" in her own words and doesn't usually shop that department as a result! I had to do a lot of convincing with her that petites come in all sizes and body types!

  • Reply Jean November 10, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Hi there – those are from Stella and Dot and the arrow necklace is called their "on the mark" necklace. It's one of my favorites because it is a delicate piece for those outfits that just need a little something vs. a statement : )

  • Reply Berty Morales November 10, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Thank you for sharing such a lovely giveaway. Wish me luck, and good luck to the rest of the entries as well. Beautiful dress and I love how you styled it. What a great idea and thank you for the inspiration.
    #MadForFashionForLess Follow me on Facebook!

  • Reply Martina Stossel November 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Poderia ter língua em português também né?

  • Reply Anonymous November 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Love the way you styled the gray dress with different tops to create a tulu skirt effect

  • Reply Cat December 21, 2014 at 1:17 am

    haha I had no idea there is a way to pronounce BHLDN . . . I always just sounded the letters out

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.