‘Always A Bridesmaid’: This Bridesmaids Dress Has Been Worn All Over The World!

Rebecca Whitlinger, now 62, embarked on an unconventional adventure 35 years ago when she first laid eyes on a gold sequined gold lamé bridesmaid dress for her close friend’s 1988 wedding. At the time, she despised the gown, considering it unlikely she would ever wear it again. However, rather than letting it gather dust, Whitlinger decided to embrace the unexpected and create a remarkable journey with the dress.

“If I couldn’t wear it anywhere, I’d wear it everywhere and take the pictures to prove it,” Whitlinger stated. She remained silent about her feelings towards the dress and wore it with grace, demonstrating her deep love for her friend. The entire bridal party joined in, donning matching golden disco-style dresses for the occasion.

For the past 35 years, Whitlinger has taken the custom-made, now-tailored, golden gown with her wherever she travels, capturing moments through photos shared on her social media account, @golddressdiary.

This dress has been around the world with her, from Milan to Paris, skiing in the Swiss Alps, hiking Machu Picchu, exploring caves in Iceland, and even riding a camel in Morocco. She has snapped photos in London telephone booths and dined at a three-star Michelin restaurant in Burgundy, all while proudly sporting the gown.

“It goes everywhere,” Whitlinger exclaims. “It’s in the trunk of the car now, just in case a photo op comes up.”

In 1999, she penned a book titled “Always a Bridesmaid: 89 Ways to Recycle That Bridesmaid Dress,” which featured pictures of her playing pool and scuba diving while wearing the dress.

Rebecca Whitlinger’s original People article in 1997. PORTRAIT: ROBIN BOWMAN

Back home in Pittsburgh, Whitlinger has sported the dress at Steelers games, as well as during performances by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Symphony Orchestra. Her unique hobby has brought joy and laughter to those around her.

“It makes people laugh,” says Whitlinger, who works as an associate director for the non-profit Cancer Bridges. “It’s a hobby. Some people knit. I wear a bridesmaid’s dress.”

People are often curious about her adventures, leading to questions like “Where have you worn the dress lately?” and “How do you still fit into it?”

“I have some good fitness tips—so I always share that! People get a kick out of it,” she says. “I think if it still fits, I should wear it. I’ve certainly got my money’s worth out of it.”



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