Look modern in Vintage Wedding Dress : 3 Options
The term vintage wedding dress is generally understood to mean three things:
1- Inherited wedding dress or wedding dress from a past fashion era
these dresses have a special charm, because they are usually unique and stand out from the current bridal fashion. Besides, the emotional value is enormous if the dress was already worn by your own grandmother or mother for the wedding.
If the wedding dress comes from a vintage store or flea market, it is usually chosen because a certain aura is associated with the style from that particular fashion decade. For example, the playful, cheeky petticoats from the fifties, the simple elegance of the silhouettes of the early sixties or even the erotic, casual looks from the golden twenties (of the last century).
If you want to get married in a dress like this, you face the challenge of not looking costumey. The fabric may be aged or brittle, or the proportions sometimes give a slight hint that they are old patterns.
Style transformation through upcycling or upgrading
But; how do you achieve a contemporary look? You can create wonderful patchwork areas by replacing certain parts with new fabrics, e.g. lace. Very nice results are also obtained by incorporating only one element from the old dress in a new basic cut; this can be the sleeves or embroidery or the entire skirt part or the top in each case.
If you don’t like to unravel the good old piece, you have the option to reinterpret the look with complementary accessories. These should not come from the same vintage era – attention costume!*
Of course, it always depends a bit on the condition and quality of the historical garment, what you can still conjure up from it. The British designer Charlie Brear, for example, was very successful at the beginning of the last decade with her Vintage Wedding Dress Company, very old and precious wedding dresses exactly tailored and sold to contemporary brides.
A matter of taste
I personally love the delicate look of wedding dresses from days gone by and find it especially fascinating when you get the chance to explore some of the history of the bride and the wedding to go with it.
* Of course, for those who maintain a consistent vintage lifestyle, the costume argument doesn’t apply – you guys are super cool! In this article I focus on “modern” bridal looks with vintage dresses.
2- Second Hand Wedding Dress
Second hand wedding dresses are definitely an affordable and sustainable alternative. However, the term vintage is used misleadingly here. Most bridal stores that specialize in second hand dresses do not accept dresses older than four years!
So if you want to sell your wedding dress after the wedding, you should be quick – the bridal fashion is meanwhile changing much faster than a few years ago, especially through social media.
If you want to buy a second hand wedding dress for your wedding, you need to know the following: The dresses are not available in different sizes but also as mentioned above, unique pieces. In addition, in most cases they also need to be fitted, because they do not come in ready-made sizes, but are already tailored to the figure of the previous bride.
All this is no reason to surrender: If the dress has been cleaned well and is of high quality, it can easily go through another wedding.
Obviously, you can style and modify these dresses just like you would a new wedding dress.
3- Vintage style Wedding Dress
many designers and boutiques are responding to the popularity of vintage bridal fashion by designing and selling dresses that are reminiscent in style of earlier decades.
Particularly popular in recent years is the boho style, which picks up a bit of flower power feeling and yet today appears much more body-conscious than the self-crocheted flower dresses from the Seventies often were. But even the perennial bridal style from the twenties or the late sixties – Hello Yoko – never completely disappear from the scene. Even the volumninous sleeves from the thirties are celebrating a comeback right now.
Dresses in vintage style can be well combined with accessories that are oriented to the same time as the dress or those that are currently in trend. This makes the look look harmonious. It is less advisable to mix different styles that are supposedly retro. This will look rather thoughtless and disrupt the overall impression.
Something borrowed, something blue? My Wedding Dress Story:
The Tuscan brides of yesterday and the day before yesterday
In the summer of 2011, in a mountain village in Tuscany, I discovered a charming and lovingly curated exhibition of wedding dresses worn by Giustagnana brides over the past seven decades.
Since then I have been fascinated by all forms and facets of wedding dresses. I am not only interested in the design and fabrication but also in the questions of how trends in bridal fashion are formed, how slowly or quickly they change and what symbolic meaning the choice of dress has in each case for the era and for the bride.
My Vintage-Wedding Dress Collection
Today I call a small collection of wedding dress unique pieces my own. Some of these have already made a grand entrance and have made their way to me in different ways. These dresses serve as inspiration for new wedding dress designs and as an aesthetic reminder that even our grandmothers and mothers connected with their wedding dress a very personal story.
Meanwhile, as a Personal Wedding Stylist, I help today’s brides tell their own story with their wedding dress and find the right wedding attire.