Bridesmaids Revisited

Every bride says it: "You can wear it again!" It's usually the third part of the bridesmaid-dress sales pitch, along with "It looks great on you!" and "It's a really good price!" To determine the criteria necessary for a dress to meet the oft-stated, rarely achieved "wear again" standard, we reviewed hundreds of photos of real bridesmaids, then reworked the outfits of a select few to show you how to choose a dress that can be worn a second (or 10th) time.

For their older sister Tamar's wedding, Lori and Taleen shopped for bridesmaid dresses as a team. The bride's only stipulation was that "the dress had to fit in with her wedding's black and white color scheme," says Lori. The result was this silk dress from BCBG Max Azria.

Why this dress works The combination of a neutral palette and a modern pattern makes this silk dress very versatile. On Lori (far left), the black and white combo paired with vibrant accessories makes the outfit perfect for a daytime event, like a baby shower or an upscale brunch. Taleen looks sleek and office-appropriate when she covers the sexy strapless neckline with a modern jacket and adds black tights.

On Lori: Cashmere cardigan, $165, White + Warren; Roselie Shine coin purse, $92, Brighton, zappos.com; stainless steel bangle set, $125, D&G, Bloomingdale's; Melanie pumps, $69, RSVP, zappos.com

On Taleen: Gabe B jacket, $375, Theory; Eternity Bead hand-carved black coral and 18k gold earrings, $485, Passman Galleries, 702-791-3376; acrylic cabochon stone ring, $12, shopthelook.net; Roslyn pumps, $165, Geox

Todd Stoilov (left), Robert Mitra (right)