In the 2008 rom-com classic 27 Dresses, Katherine Heigl plays a serial bridesmaid with a bad habit of holding onto every dress she’s ever worn down the aisle. And while they range from a puff-sleeved cowgirl monstrosity to a Southern belle hoopskirt situation to a yellow-and-pink taffeta explosion, all of the looks do have one thing in common: they’re all pretty hideous, and certainly not worthy of a second outing.
But guess what? It doesn’t have to be like that! In fact, there are tons of lovely bridesmaid dresses on the market today that are worth purchasing even if you aren’t walking in a friend or family member’s nuptials anytime soon. In the gallery above, I’ve compiled 35 excellent examples; in the interest of authenticity, I limited myself to dresses clearly touted as bridesmaid wear—either from bridal brands or from the curated "bridesmaid" sections of some of my favorite e-commerce sites. Click through to browse 35 bridesmaid dresses so beautiful, we wouldn’t even wait for a wedding to wear them. Now the only challenge left is convincing that bride-to-be to get on board, too!