How to Choose a Vintage Wedding Dress

Every woman wants to look most beautiful and unique on her wedding day. More and more often nowadays, brides consider vintage wedding dresses for the most special day of their lives. Since right now the fashion industry is in love with everything vintage, wearing a retro wedding dress will help you show your sense of style off to everybody.

Another great thing about vintage wedding dresses is that you are not confined to a single decade of style. Instead, you can go for any era which appeals to you and makes you look the most attractive. Additionally, vintage wedding dresses often have exquisite details and craftsmanship for a fraction of the price you would otherwise have to pay for a similar modern dress. But how do you choose a vintage wedding dress? And what should you pay attention to when shopping for one?

If you are definitely not going to use a dress of the rack and you want a beautiful vintage wedding dress, then, as a rule of thumb, you should avoid dresses with stains or in need of repair. You probably know how difficult it is to get rid of a stain that has been sitting for a few weeks – imagine the same for a stain which is 20 years old or more. Not to mention that vintage fabrics are hard to match with modern ones, so it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to find a patch for your damaged vintage wedding dress. If you simply fall in love with such a dress, all is not lost, but be prepared to spend some $200 or more on repairs.

Since fabrics deteriorate over time, another aspect to consider is the age of the dress. Try to avoid vintage wedding dresses made before 1900, and take a good look at the ’20s silk chiffon vintage gowns. Take your time and carefully inspect the fabric, stretch it and note any signs of weakening. Because a vintage wedding dress has been worn only a couple of times, it may be in better shape than other garments from the same period. In any case, a skilled seamstress will be able to help and stabilize the fabric, but again, you will need to meet significant costs.

Another important factor to take into consideration when buying a vintage wedding dress is its size. Since people have generally become taller and thicker over the decades, the clothing industry has also been adjusting its sizes downwards. Therefore, if you are buying a dress online, make sure you take your measurements carefully and ask the seller to provide the exact measurements of the dress as well. You will need measurements such as shoulders, waist, hips, and rise.

Since at the time many vintage wedding dresses were worn with a corset or a girdle, you should consider wearing one as well. Make sure you buy one before buying the vintage wedding dress, so that you know that it will fit properly. Last but not least, you should be aware that most vintage wedding dresses run from a modern US size 0-6, with very few going up to a 12 or a 14. If you do not fit in this range, you may want to think of other options, or be very patient.

If you’re wondering where you could find vintage wedding dresses, then you should know that vintage stores and antique stores usually carry such dresses. You may also have luck on eBay, which remains a good source for everything vintage. For most recent periods, check out thrift stores, as they may have a good stock of vintage wedding gowns from the ‘70s and ‘80s, and even older ones.

If you have spent some time looking for that special vintage wedding dress but you can’t find the one you want, then you should know that many bridal salons create wedding dresses which reference earlier eras, the ’40s and the ‘50s in particular. You can also find stores such as Isadora’s, which specialize in reproduction vintage wedding dresses. Another option is to check out vintage reproduction patterns if you are able to sew, or you may give them to a seamstress in order to get that wonderful wedding dress you have been dreaming of.

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