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, but it also completely changes 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.
Style It With: A denim jacket, straw hat, and strappy sandals.
Toughen up a sophisticated 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.
Style it with: A plain T-shirt, ballet flats, and a trendy accessory.
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.
Style It With: Sneakers, a backpack, and a scarf.
There are several organizations today that take used prom dresses and donate them to those 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
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
Style it with: A blazer, polished bag, and pumps.
Repeating formal attire can seem like a total faux pas, but you have to admit that 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 a mini clutch for the perfect wedding guest look.
Style It With: Nude heels, a clutch, and elegant jewelry.
Lastly, shop the genius site that turns old prom dresses into adorable tops
Available in size S.
Available in size M to L.
Available in sizes S.
Available in size M.
Available in sizes S to M.
What did you wear to your prom? We want to know! Tell us in the comments below.
Opening Image: Adam Katz Sinding