What Price a Bridesmaid’s Dress?


(Image via Emily the Professional Bridesmaid)
We all know that bridesmaid’s dresses are expensive, and ugly, and not something you can ever wear again… unless you get an amazing break from a very special friend. But The Awl decided to ask whether the price of bridesmaid’s dresses has really increased significantly over the years in real money.

After all, you may have paid $35.00 for a bridesmaid’s dress in 1972, but after adjustment for inflation, how different is that from spending $200.00 on a Desigual dress today.

Oh, they also asked whether people re-wore those gowns. The answers ranged from women who wore bridesmaid’s dresses until they literally fell apart to one colorful tale I’ll give a highlight from:

As for wearing it again, I would fish clothes from a foetid river before wearing that dress again. I hung in the back of my mother’s guest room closet, and refused to even bring it home to Boston. You can’t cut up stretch knit for cleaning rags, after all. They don’t absorb. Although, against my usual environmental sensibilities, I hope it is in a landfill. I hope that in 300 years or more, it is excavated more or lest intact, causing the people of the future to acknowledge fashion travesties of the past that they must not repeat.

But don’t hold back. Tell us what you really think.

As for the results of the poll… well, they aren’t terribly scientific, based as they are on whoever happened to see and answer the poll, assuming they’re telling the full, unvarnished truth about the price tags, and realizing they didn’t get even one response that concerned any wedding in the eighties. Still, what they did come up with is kind of intriguing. Go check it out and learn more.

Then come back and tell me the worst horror story you have about a bridesmaid’s gown. Was it something you were forced to wear? Did you inflict it on someone else and now wish you hadn’t? Dish, folks! Let’s hear it!

2 Responses to “What Price a Bridesmaid’s Dress?”

  1. Lisa July 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I am filled with deep loathing every time I look at the dress I wore in my brother’s wedding in 1999. I am pretty crafty, so every time I visit my parents’ house (where the dress resides), I try to think of ways to refashion it. But it’s made of such a weird polyester and has such a weird cut (think: athletic bathing suit on top, floor-length A-line skirt on the bottom) and fugly color (a chintzy lavender) that I never get anywhere. Worst of all, the only reason the bride chose this dress is because her bossy sister had already worn it to a previous wedding and didn’t want to shell out twice, and thus steamrolled the bridesmaid look for her own benefit. Ugh. But the worst part? The died-to-match lavender pumps that I was forced to purchase and wear with it!! Barf.

  2. SarahDances July 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    My best friend is getting married in November, and she had us all pick dresses from the Aria dress website, which run $160-$200 for knee length dresses, depending on materials. And we all got to pick a style we like, even of the color (deep purple, which I happen to love) isn’t to everyone’s taste.