How to Get the Most Out of Your Formal Dress Post-Prom

Lauren Eggertsen

Prom is great, yet returning home only to hang your dress up after a magical night is definitely a tad depressing—not just because the night is over, but because you will likely never wear it again. That sad notion stops here. Whether it's your prom dress or a formal dress you bought for a special occasion, we sought out to find alternatives for that stunning frock that don't involve hanging it back in your closet and never seeing it again. 

Even if the dress is floor-length, mini, or strapless, there is more than one way for you to use what you've got and turn this once hopeless situation into an opportunity to be resourceful. Styling it for different occasions is one way, and donating it to a good cause is another, but whichever you choose, you'll be getting way more use out of your dream dress than you ever thought possible. 

Keep scrolling to see the many ways you can get use out of your formal dress once the night is over! 

Having your elegant dress shortened by a tailor is not only totally doable, it also completely changes the the overall aesthetic, quickly turning it into a flirty summer dress. Pair with a denim jacket, straw hat, and bright heeled sandals and you'll basically have a new dress for your next vacation. 

Dress: Topshop Lace Trim Maxi Dress ($130).

Style It With: H&M Denim Jacket ($40); Tibi Clark Sandals ($425); Zara Striped Hat ($26).

Toughen up a feminine formal dress by layering a T-shirt underneath and accessorizing it with these edgy ballet flats and a wrap-around choker. Trust us, with these add-ons, no one will even recognize your dress. 

Dress: Mango Cut-Out Silk Dress ($175).

Style it with: Adam Lippes Pima Cotton T-Shirt ($95); Miu Miu Double-Buckle Ankle-Tie Flats ($620); Tran Black Leather Choker Lariat ($56).

Even this pink strapless dress can be made casual with these high-top sneakers. We advise accessorizing wisely with this strapless silhouette—a printed neckerchief and leather backpack will do just the trick by covering up a little more of your upper body. 

Dress: Tibi Manuela Strapless Dress ($625).

Style It With: Adidas Originals White & Black Stan Smith Mid Top Sneakers ($90); Urban Outfitters Cotton Patterned Square Neck Scarf ($12); Kara Small Textured-Leather Backpack ($440).

There are several organizations today that take used prom dresses and donate them to women who cannot afford to buy a dress on their own. If you know that you'll never wear your dress again, why not give it to someone who will appreciate it just as much, if not more, than you did?

Dress: Rachel Zoe Kim Plissé Silk-Blend Jersey Maxi Dress ($425).

Even the most embellished of formal dresses, like this one here, can be made professional enough for the office. Slip into a classic blazer, sleek pumps, and a polished handbag for an outfit that looks like it was meant for the workplace all along. 

Dress: Tory Burch Embroidered Dress ($1,045)

Style it with: Zara Buttoned Blazer ($70); Sigerson Morrison Wynne Wedge Pumps ($275); & Other Stories Top Handle Leather Bag ($195)

Repeating formal attire can seem like a total faux pas, but you have to admit, you would love any excuse to wear that stunning dress again. A spring or summer wedding is a good one. Style the dress with subtle and light accessories like these nude heels and mini clutch for the perfect wedding guest look. 

Dress: Self-Portrait Amaryllis Dress ($680).

Style It With: Schutz Lola Suede Ankle Wrap Sandals ($180); Mango Wood Clutch ($60); Loren Stewart Diamond + Opal Open Band ($290).

What did you wear to your prom? We want to know! Tell us in the comments below. 

Opening Image: Adam Katz Sinding 

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