21 Dresses Under $200 that Bridesmaids Actually Can Wear Again

We’ve scoured our favorite national online retailers in search of dresses that work for a bridesmaid and her life thereafter. All come in under $200. Come on, brides! Time to forgo the traditional chiffon, ruche-busted gown in favor of something fresh and fashionable that your friends will thank you for!

Which one is your favorite?

Shop the Dresses:

green linen maxi, J.Crew $138
hot pink pleated midi, ASOS $80
floral boatneck midi, Zara $99
blush embellished maxi, ASOS $104
navy pleated maxi, Victoria’s Secret $99
pink flared midi, Zara $119
yellow midi, J.Crew $168
black maxi, Rachel Pally $229
knot-front zig zag dress, T-Bags $181
navy mini sweetheart neckline, J.Crew $200
champagne fit and flare, Alfred Sung $198
blue flute mini, Aryn K. $98
floral maxi, Little Mistress $148
black and white tie-neck maxi, Ark & Co. $98
fuschia lace midi, Zara $89
lime jacquard, ASOS $142
champagne maxi, Jarlo $136
blue and white floral midi, Eliza J $138
neon coral maxi, BB Dakota $120
navy lace mini, Pim and Larkin $98
nude and gold maxi, Little Mistress $142

  • Meg

    That was both wonderfully put and so well-timed. I actually had a very honest talk with my mother this past weekend, discussing just that!

    In addition to being a hopeless romantic (and I mean *hopeless*), I’ve always been someone that’s very sensitive to everyone else’s wants and needs. So when it’s come to relationships, I’ve not only had this expectation that it would be picture-perfect (think: unicorns and glitter), but I’ve also let everyone else’s opinions sway my own. I’ve assumed that when everyone else is happy with the guy, it will be the right one for me. That is, up until the last one.

    My current boyfriend is a fantastic guy, but my parents aren’t too sure about our overall compatibility. They do see how well he treats me, and how much he cares about me, but they just aren’t convinced that we’re a perfect fit. In addition to that fact, I was also raised in a Christian household, and he is Jewish. So while they will stand beside me in whatever I choose for myself, my parents have also made it clear that sometimes it isn’t easy to blend the two cultures, when both sides are practicing.

    Needless to say, it’s been difficult. Those two issues combined has made it very hard to answer questions like “How will you raise your children?” “What religion will you choose?” “What will your wedding be like?” – and has, in a way, forced me to answer questions and fight for things that I’m not even sure I have a full grasp of yet.

    Married couples always make comments about “knowing”, and “knowing when it’s right”. Personally, that always drives me crazy, because I know that it’s all relative to the situation. So instead, I’ve been asking questions like “what were your concerns when you were getting married?” and “did you feel madly, stupidly in love all the time?”, which has helped get more manageable results. I think it’s also helped me identify which direction I want to go in or lifestyle I want to lead, and in the end will help me determine if he is going with me.

    Despite all the confusion and the emotionally-charged discussion this past weekend, my mother did make one lasting point: One, that while it’s her opinion – it’s also *just her opinion*. She could be wrong – no one said that she was perfect. And two, that at some point I’m going to have to tell people to “pound sand”. If it isn’t this guy, there will be something about the next one (I am their daughter, after all). I’m going to have to be confident enough in my choices to know when it’s worth fighting for. And that, I think, will be something that no one can sway.

    • Lyndsay Rush

      Thanks for sharing, Meg! It is SO hard when you’re a people pleaser (I am too!)

    • Elizabeth

      Meg, as a product of a Catholic and Jewish marriage, I hope that I can speak with some knowledge about growing up in both religions. My sisters and I were raised Congregational (which is an incredibly liberal branch of Protestantism), but celebrated the Jewish holidays with my mother’s parents, and then would spend Easter and Christmas with my father’s mother. I think (at least on this point), you have to just remember that it’s your life you’re creating and (if you get there) your family. Your parents and his parents most certainly should feel comfortable to voice their opinions, but you are right in saying that they’re just opinions.

      In the words of many a wise woman, at some point you just need to do you.

      Best of luck.

  • Elle Ramirez

    I completely agree its all about what’s right for you and not everyone else.

  • Ahyana

    Such a great article! I think in my few years as a clinical counselor and talking to sooooooooo many people about relationships the one thing I find myself reminding people is that “it’s your relationship”. As long as it is healthy (free from any type of abuse) you and your partner are free to design what works best for the two of you. And…I like to take a step further, in my own life, I wait for my friends to define their relationships. I ask how things are going and they are happy to share about recent dates, burnt dinners, awkward first kisses, meeting best friends and family, and when they decide to be exclusive.
    And I appreciate the incorporation of personal values/being raised in a Christian household. Same here and dating has been tricky to navigate for sure.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Lyndsay Rush

      Ahyana, religion *does* indeed it extra tricky to listen to your gut or to go your own way. I love your approach with friends and their relationships. It’s so liberating to have friends who think like you do!

    • Guest

      Ahyana,

      Religion *does* make it extra tricky to go your own way or listen to your gut. But I encourage it! And I love your approach to asking your friends about relationships–how refreshing 🙂

  • Jami

    Do finances play a role in who you want to be in a relationship with? Two freelancers can be rough.

    • Rebecca Ann

      I agree that two people, both with limited income, can have a tough time in a relationship, but I don’t think that’s what it should be about, at all. You don’t need money to be in love, you just need to enjoy being with someone. If you find yourself in a relationship where both partners don’t make very much, that can be way more fun than being with a rich person. You get to challenge yourselves to come up with creative and fun date ideas on the cheap/free! And when things get really serious (like wedding/kids serious), you can have fun saving together for those big things, because doing it together will really make your lives feel like a team effort.

      • elle

        I totally agree with this – as long as both people are on board and optimistic. I just mutually ended a four year relationship, and while we’re still friends and always will be, I knew that his attitude about finances wouldn’t work in the long term. Being short on cash in his previous job made him so unhappy, he could never see the fun in making thrifty picnic dinners or finding free things to do in the city. So much of his happiness weighed on what he could afford (and not even big things, but getting a casual dinner out, or having a round of happy hour drinks) that it truly brought us to a halt. There were many other factors that brought us to our decision to split, but this was one of the biggest that I thought about when deciding whether to build more of a future with him. If both sides of the couple are wiling to make it work and create an adventure out of it, though, then I think that’s a fantastic way to live together! Just have to be sure from the get-go that you’re both on the same page.

        • thebluehaiku

          I totally agree with this. I don’t think finances would factor into my decision generally, but I do think
          that people’s finances can affect who they are and how they feel- and THAT part matters. I
          know many people who don’t make much and are happy (mostly) with that
          decision because of the tradeoffs. I know others who are
          desperate to have more and would be unhappy if their future didn’t entail a certain standard of living. I’m not here to say who is right or wrong on that point, just that people should consider what it is they really want for their futures together.

  • Rachel

    Thank you so much for this article. I guess I grew up in a similar family and it does kind of feel like I’m expected to have a relationship in a certain way. I think that slogan will have to go up on my wall or something!

    • Lyndsay Rush

      maybe we should make a poster 🙂 thanks for your comment, Rachel!

  • What timing! Thank you for this. Really.

  • Megan

    Thank you. This perspective has been so helpful! I’m in a relatively new relationship (less than six months) with someone I’ve known for a long time (over 10 years). He treats me great and makes me really happy but he has a social anxiety issue which makes any event or occasion involving my friends, family, or coworkers really awkward. Because of this, my friends and family are putting subtle pressure on me to end the relationship. They don’t see it lasting but I want to give it more time and see where things go. So I’m at the “pound sand” point of things and I have absolutely no issue with that.

  • Lexee

    Love this article!

  • Ally Basham

    Interestingly enough, the guy I’m dating right now was one that everyone was pressuring me to date. I decided to go on a date with him not only to shut everyone up but because I wanted to see if anything was there. Amazingly enough, something was and we’ve been dating for almost 5 months. Sometimes pressure can be good. But now people are asking when we’re going to get married. I say that we’re still getting to know each other and we’re not even there yet. I’m honestly not sure if that’s what I want. But I’m willing to take the time to find out. If I was wasting my time I say, I wouldn’t be here.

  • This comes at a perfect time.

    I started dating a guy back in December and rumor spread that we were in a relationship. I hadn’t heard of them yet but he confronted me asking if I was the one who had spread them. We were far from being there!

    We went long distance almost immediately and the actual relationship only started then really. Some friends have been saying: he’s no good, for whatever reason, but they don’t even know him personally either.

    Honestly, we are just doing it our way and we know right now what we need most is patience. We are meeting again in less than 3 weeks and I am so thrilled. There’s no pressure. Maybe some things will be clearer after this – since we haven’t seen each other in months but perhaps it will just continue the way it has been going in the past.

    Anyways, as long as it is working for us, it doesn’t matter what others are saying. There really is no right or wrong here.

  • Megan

    This happens to me all the time! A while ago my (long-distance) boyfriend asked me how I would feel if he went traveling with a female friend of his (whom he happens to have had a brief fling with several years ago). I had said it would make me uncomfortable; but I know he would never cheat, and she was the only person available to take the trip with him, so I said he could go and I’d just suck it up and deal with it.

    When I mentioned this to my male colleague, he basically told me I was crazy and naive and that if it were him on that trip, he would definitely sleep with the other girl. And while my immediate response was ‘That’s why I’m dating a decent guy and not someone like you’; in my head I began to question whether or not I was being completely naive and whether or not I could actually trust my boyfriend.

    Why do we let people pass judgement on our partners, and on the relationship, when they know absolutely nothing about any of it?! When I look at it from my point of view, my boyfriend is the most stand-up, trustworthy guy in the world. And even if I’m wrong, that’s a mistake I have to make for myself. You’re totally right. We all need to stop setting too much store by other people’s perspectives and give ourselves more credit.

    Thank you!!!!

  • Lyndsay,

    This column couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I actually just wrote a post regarding this yesterday on my blog. I’m in a relationship situation/type thing that I have people asking me the same questions and to be honest, Im happy with what we have going, but at times i question it because others question it and in the end I think I end up hurting myself with my thoughts because I think the worst of something that is really pretty perfect at this point.

    Part of it for me though is just who I am as a person and the type of relationship I always see myself having or expect myself to have but this experience is something new and enjoyable at the same time. I just need to keep my thoughts above water and stop drowning myself in the negative ones.

    Thanks!

    • Lyndsay Rush

      Christina–thanks for your comment–I think over-analyzing can be totally crippling. Sometimes you just have to take a baby step and breathe and drown out the opinions. It’s how we develop our own set of values; by deciding for ourselves what deal breakers are (and aren’t!)

  • Jazmine

    totally agree with you! I also have a Christian background and all the rules and expectations drive me nuts sometimes! There’s a whole Christian relationship culture and I seriously question how much of it is actually scripturally based and how much of it is just society. Sometimes we create rules so that we feel like we have more control, instead of just leaving things up to God.

    • Lyndsay Rush

      Gosh Jazmine I so so so agree. It’s a culture we’ve created. It should definitely be held to the light and considered before just following blindly. Thanks for your comment!

  • Lys

    I completely agree with the idea of keeping your relationship YOUR relationship. Of course, relationships be quite obviously unhealthy sometimes, in which case, you don’t need a doctor to point out. However, if that couple wants to continue on, then let them. I’m not saying advice from family members and close friends should not be taken into consideration when it’s negatively affecting a person’s well-being, but I definitely think it’s important to remember to simply nod and change the subject with some people. So many people in life think their opinions are the most important ones, when in fact they often are not.

  • Faith

    honestly, I think the church has made it harder for Christians to “just date” that is why most of the time I could ask never ask a guy out because they take the initiative approach very seriously!

    Like you said, you can’t just go out; people are wondering after your first when the wedding date is!

    I find nothing wrong with “just dating” I think there is more pressure from the church to marry that I think that is one of the reasons many guys my age don’t date and tell me they’re single forever!

  • KG

    Wow, read this at such a poignant time, thanks for sharing!

  • shar

    I think it’s a mixture of the the two: knowing when and who to take advice from and then knowing when to ignore what other people are telling you and go with you gut. If you run around trying doing what everyone else tells you to do, you’ll lose yourself and your relationship. If you don’t when to ask for help, then you’ll miss out on good info/advice from the RIGHT people.

  • Dangela

    Fantastic advice! I’m learning to do this steadily everyday! Not just with relationships but with EVERYTHING! Your life is a gift and no one can live it for you.

  • Hi69

    Some dating advice to really worth it! Like here http://webfind.org/