The Pros and Cons of Wearing a Second Hand Dress On Your Wedding

Just like anything else, buying a used wedding dress has its pros and cons.

The Pros Of Wearing Second Hand Dress On Your Wedding

The price : 

The big advantage of used-or second-hand wedding dresses is that you can often find a wonderful one at a fraction of its original cost. Your dream wedding dress can be a bargain.

It was already worn on a very happy day : 

Wedding dresses were made to be worn on what is considered one of the happiest and most important days of life. It is a pity to leave such a beautiful piece hanging at the bottom of a wardrobe. We are in the era of consciousness that makes us rethink habits and attitudes and the circular economy is the alternative for the best relationship with the environment and with fashion.

Many opportunities : 

There are many offers of used wedding dresses and you may end up falling in love with a style, color or model that you never imagined before.

Be part of something bigger: 

Share stories and collaborate with fashion conscious people.

The Cons Of Wearing Second Hand Dress On Your Wedding

The price

Obviously, not all second-hand dresses are cheap. You need to think carefully if you prefer a dress from a famous brand because it is cheaper or if you prefer some other option (a new dress without a known brand, an upcycled dress, a handmade dress, or a line dress, etc.)

It has been used before: 

The reality is that second-hand wedding dresses have been used before. If exclusivity is an important factor for you, a second-hand dress is not the best choice. “For brides looking for an exclusive custom-made model, this is not on the second-hand market.”


Size restriction is one of the main cons. Wedding dresses are often made to suit a particular bride; therefore, finding one that fits your biotype correctly can be a problem. Here’s how to choose the ideal wedding dress for each body type.

-> Pencil Tip: one solution is to buy a used wedding dress bigger than your size and change it. However, this will incur change costs that you must plan for in your budget.

How to Buy or Rent a Used Wedding Dress?

Just like buying brand-new wedding dresses, you can find a used wedding dress by searching the Internet, visiting specialty stores, or opening your family’s women’s wardrobe.

Only you – looking at your own budget, your body, being realistic with your expectations, and sincere with your taste – will know which option is best for you.

Used Wedding Dresses Online

If you like a dress and are going to buy it on some website, we have some tips so that you don’t end up with a huge headache. Unfortunately, it happens, people! In fact, these rules apply to new dresses too, okay?

  1. The online purchase process will be done without any advice and will be at your own risk. Some sites have a very limited chat or advice, so don’t count on their efficiency at this time.
  2. Carefully review e-commerce references. Look at reviews, comments, and especially complaints. Read the exchange and return policy carefully.
  3. We have to talk about costs, right? In addition to the dress itself, you need to calculate shipping and the fact that your dress ends up at customs here and is taxed. Will you buy in dollar or euro? Don’t forget the quote and credit card taxes and fees.
  4. We know that people abuse Photoshop in e-commerce images. The published photos are always edited and corrected with filters, the piece is always different from the one you will receive. If possible, ask for detailed photos of the model you fell in love with, ask what type of fabric used and how the finish is. 
  5. Send your exact measurements, neither too big nor too small.
  6. This type of purchase requires a lot of advance notice. Imagine everything that can happen (delivery time + courier time + time to clear customs + time to make adjustments) to calculate how far in advance you will need to buy your dress.

Now talking specifically about second hand dresses:

  1. You will need a lot of time researching until you find the dress of your dreams.
  2. Be specific with your search terms: citing the brands or seasons associated with the style you want will help narrow your search to the most relevant items.
  3. Be flexible with the sizes, adjustments, and cuts of old and used wedding dresses can be very different from today, so don’t expect your usual size to be 100% equivalent to the piece. In addition, as it was used, it may also have been changed.
  4. Your dress will need adjustments. Most brides need to change their wedding dress after purchase, so don’t be alarmed by the idea of ​​having to change it to suit your body.
  5. Consider the condition of the part. More significant signs of wear and damage require more thought. Do not risk your money with worn, punctured, and stained items.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The beauty of shopping through a platform means that you have a direct line with the seller, where you can ask any questions you want.
  7. If you like the dress, buy it: vintage and used dresses are usually unique pieces.
  8. If possible, try similar models before buying online, to be sure of the fit.

What it is and why choose a second hand or vintage wedding dress?

Finding the dream wedding dress is finding an outfit to improve and reflect the person who wears it, no matter if they are new or if they already have a little more history. A second-hand wedding dress can be more economical, special and environmentally friendly.

Second-hand wedding dress, is it worth it?

Most of us would not think twice about borrowing, renting, or buying almost anything. Think about it: don’t you borrow a book or bag or rent a car?

Often cheaper, always more environmentally friendly, and full of stories, we are more than used to renting a beach house or receiving a wedding ring from a woman dear to the family, especially in recent years when several online platforms have made it easier than that we never share it all.

But when it comes to a second-hand wedding dress, opinion is divided. Not all brides see this option as a means of making their dream come true. Wearing a dress the way you imagined it is a big temptation. However, we note that there is an increase in interest on the part of brides in opting for used wedding dresses. Online searches for wedding dresses that include the words “vintage”, “used” or “second hand” collectively increase 38% year on year.

We went to chat with Daniela and Rafaela from Redress Noiva, a second-hand wedding dress studio in Brasília, to share a little bit of everything you, the bride, need to know to choose your second-hand wedding dress. Their brand emerged as a cry to the collaborative economy in the midst of weddings and we have already become fans.

What is a Second Hand Wedding Dress?

It is that dress that has already been worn by another bride, has a perfect state of conservation and is a current model, thus allowing the continuity of a story and a new opportunity for the piece.

Are Vintage Dresses Also Considered Second Hand?

Vintage dresses (aged 20 or over) can be considered used or second hand. The great advantage of them is that they were made with material of incredible quality – imagine the pure silk, embroidery and the lace of the past decades – and built with perfection, so much that, if they were made today, they would cost a small fortune. Vintage also includes haute couture dresses from famous designers, at very low prices. When choosing a vintage dress you get a lot of quality for a percentage of the real value.

3 Good Reasons to Choose a Used Wedding Dress

1) It’s good for the planet

The newlyweds who are getting married now are very aware of the damage they do to the planet and are actively trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible. When we launched our super post on wedding trends in 2020, we almost broke the internet by stating that ecological weddings are not a trend, they are a reality and part of the lifestyle . To give you an idea, the search for weddings with little waste grew 235% on  Pinterest.

By making everyone stay in lockdown, COVID-19 ( see our post on the subject HERE ) made the couple pay even more attention to ways to reduce the ethical and environmental impact of their consumption at home, which is reflecting in a new way of living and this, for sure, will reflect in their marriages. One of the ways to decrease the carbon footprint of the big day is not to invest in a wedding dress that will only be worn once in a lifetime.

2) The Cost Benefit

There is no denying the cost and how much your budget will thank you for choosing a second-hand dress. It will make a big difference in your wedding financial spreadsheet. “ A very relevant reason is the value you invest in a second-hand piece, considering the real market value of the product. The second-hand piece will always have a higher cost-benefit. ”

Of course, prices are influenced by the designer and the age of the dress, but they usually have a good discount on the original retail price. “Today, a second-hand dress in Brazil can cost up to 60% cheaper than a new model. This percentage can vary widely and is performed individually with each dress. It depends on many factors, such as the year of purchase, the brand, fabrics, model, and especially the state it is in, ”says Rafaela da Redress Noiva.

3) Sentimental Value

“Redefine the dresses in a movement of sonority from bride to bride. It is to continue stories, feelings and moments so that they impact life. ”

The sentimental pleasure of seeing a dress reborn in this way only increases when it belongs to a family member.