6 Ways to Transform Your Thrifted Wedding Dress

by Nicole in , , , Comment — Updated March 26, 2020

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My best friend spent just over $1000 on her wedding dress! Don’t get me wrong, she was absolutely stunning! However, I’d just like to say that you  you can find the dress of your dreams for under $50 at a thrift shop! With a sense of adventure, hope and a little imagination, you can go hunting for your wedding gown and get it altered (or do it yourself) for a fraction of what you’d pay to have a brand new dress! So if you’re a bride on a budget, read on to discover 6 ways you can transform your thrifted wedding dress!

1. Lose Those Poofy Sleeves!

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Source: pinterest.com

If your classic find has some amazing lace detailing, reveal it when you remove the sleeves and trim away excess fabric. Give it a new waistline and open up the back for a more delicate fit. If there’s a piece that takes away from the feminine grace of your gown, don’t be afraid to let it go or re-purpose it! Use over-sized bows to decorate the bride and groom seats at the reception!

2. Add Shoulder Jewelry!

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Source: pinterest.com

Using jewelry to adorn your shoulders in your sleeveless thrifted dress will give you a sweet bohemian look. You can attach pearls, crystals and rhinestones to your dress or wear them as a separate accessory if you’ve decided you’re not particularly interested in wearing a necklace on your special day!

3. Shorten It!

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Source: pinterest.com

If you love vintage fashion as a modern lady, you can’t go wrong by turning that floor length gown into a tea length one. Round the bottom edges, add flirty lace or a layer of tulle over the full skirt! Cutting away the fabric on the bottom reveals those lovely legs of yours and turns your walk down the isle from serious to playful!

4. Dye It!

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Source: pinterest.com

If bright white just isn’t your thing, toning it down with tea or actual fabric dye could be your solution! That vintage ivory color is so warm and flattering, and can be achieved in a bath tub. Just make sure your tub is clean (be sure to remove any lingering chemical products) and fill it halfway way with warm water. Slowly add some concentrated black tea and mix into the water until you get the shade you desire. Let it soak for 15- 30 minutes, checking it periodically to see how it’s coming along. Rinse with cold water and vinegar and set it flat to dry!

5. Change the Illusion!

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Source: pinterest.com

Illusion necklines are gorgeous, but this one was a little dated. Agreed? Re-cut the neckline and cap the sleeves for a refreshing twist on your mom’s wedding gown. You might even feel inclined to raise and taper the hem so that it has an adorable high- low effect. These slight alterations can really give your dress the character and charm that you’re looking for.

6. Halloween!


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Source: thisgrandmaisfun.com
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Source: youtube.com

So maybe you’re not getting married and have a brilliant idea of dying a wedding dress black and wearing it as a witch’s costume? Or maybe you have fairy-tale princesses in mind? When you’re out thrift shopping for the perfect costume, a wedding dress just may have that dramatic design you’re looking for!

Thrifted wedding dresses are so much more affordable than spending a bazillion dollars on a dress you’ll wear only once. That doesn’t mean that they are any less special. If anything, they’re more unique because you’ve put the time and a modest amount of money making it into a striking and original piece of art. Plus, you’ll get to cherish the memory of creating your own wedding dress from the old, but well-preserved, bones of another.

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