Where to Buy & Rent Secondhand Bridesmaid Dresses Online
Way too often we are asked to purchase a dress for a wedding that gets used once and is never touched again. Especially if you're a bridesmaid, you're often forced (by the bride) to get a dress in a color/style you personally hate. Thankfully the trend of letting bridesmaids pick their own dress in a general color scheme is taking hold!
If you're lucky enough to be in a wedding where you are given the choice of where you buy your bridesmaid dress from, you'll definitely want to consider getting one secondhand. And if your bride hasn't decided whether she's going to pick the dress for you, maybe give her a nudge in the right direction?
Secondhand Dresses are Cheaper
Dresses are expensive! Buying a secondhand gown can dramatically reduce the cost of your wedding outfit
Secondhand Dresses are Sustainable
Everything secondhand is better. Or at least that is the general rule of thumb! Buying a dress used means you are reducing the carbon footprint of that dress and reducing the demand on virgin materials.
So how exactly do you get your hands on a gorgeous, well kept secondhand bridesmaid dress? Let's go through some options!
Looking for a secondhand wedding dress or bridesmaid dress but not willing to purchase it online? Check out these consignment boutiques in the Pacific Northwest where you can see and feel your dress before purchasing!
Buying a Secondhand Bridesmaid Dress Online
This post is part of my Zero Waste Wedding series! For more ideas on how to make your wedding sustainable, use the search bar at the top of the page or check out the recommended posts at the bottom.
PreOwned Wedding Dresses is an online listing service that's been up and running since 2004. Sellers pay a one-time fee of $25 to list a wedding dress (or just $5 to list a bridesmaid dress!) and buyers contact them directly through the site. Although PreOwned has a technical support and help desk team, you'll be communicating directly with the seller to arrange shipping and payment. They recommend all buyers use Paypal and only communicate through their integrated online message system to ensure buyer protection.
You'll find dresses from all over the world listed although the most variety are in the U.S. and Canada.
ReBridal purchases secondhand dresses from brides and wedding guests and then sells them again. Purchasing a dress with ReBridal means you'll be dealing directly with them and don't have to worry about communicating with the original seller. If you have a dress you're wanting to sell after your wedding event, they'll quote you the price upfront and pay you for it - so no waiting for it to actually sell!
They have a 5 day refund policy if you get your dress in the mail and it isn't right (but you will have to cover the cost of shipping it back). The stock in bridesmaids dresses is rather limited compared to some other sites but definitely has high-quality, no flaw options you should at least look at!
Online + Brick and Mortar Store in New York City
Rent the Runway has a unique setup for their wedding attire as they allow customers to either buy an item, rent it for four days, or purchase a membership plan. Membership plans start at $69 a month and include four items of your choice. They offer clothing options well beyond wedding attire as well so if you find yourself in a profession that requires fancier clothes quite often, this could be an interesting option to test out.
RTR has one brick and mortar store in New York City and offers easy drop-off locations for swaps/returns in a variety of major U.S. cities.
Do you have a bridesmaid dress you no longer need? You can also visit any of these sites to see about selling it for a little cash back in your pocket - and giving the dress a longer life!
Once Wed honestly looks to be almost exactly the same as PreOwned Wedding Dresses. They function as a listing website so buyers have to communicate directly with the sellers. The price for listing a dress is almost the same too with Once Wed only charging $20 to list a wedding dress for sale.
Once Wed seems to have a slightly smaller collection of bridesmaid dresses (or at least less "sage green" options that my bridesmaids are looking for!).
Tradesy also acts a a listing platform but handles a few more of the details than other wedding attire websites. Tradesy covers the cost of returns within 4 days of receipt and refunds the buyer's money as site credit, which means that you'll want to make sure there are other dresses you're interested on the website if you need to send it back.
Tradesy also only sells designer dresses which means it won't be the cheapest option necessarily for a secondhand bridesmaid dress.
U.S., Canada, Australia
Online thrift shopping has grown in popularity and Poshmark is one of the commonly used websites for listing secondhand garments! It isn't specifically for wedding attire, unlike the above options, but it has a huge quantity of listings across all types of clothing.
You can only purchase from Poshmark if you're in the U.S., Canada, or Australia and you'll be communicating directly with the seller to finalize purchasing details.
ThredUp is an online thrift store - which means you don't have to deal with different sellers, different shipping prices, or questionable quality. Everything is sent in to ThredUp to be looked over before being listed for sale on their website.
The benefit for you is also that the photos tend to be clearer and descriptions more accurate than on listing websites where individual sellers are in charge of the details. ThredUp offers secondhand clothing of all varieties but you'll definitely find quite a few bridesmaid dress options at really affordable prices.