Whether it’s mom’s hand-me-down gown or you’re just a vintage gal at heart, you may have already have chosen a wedding dress (or had one picked for you) that has been treasured for years. Now, you are ready to cherish it just the same. Even so, your wedding gown does not have to resemble treasure. You don’t have to walk down the aisle in a dress that looks exactly the way it did when you dug it out from whatever chest it’s been in for the last few decades.
The beautiful thing about vintage items and clothing is that you can alter or restore them while persevering their value. By modifying your vintage wedding gown, you can honor its legacy while also honoring your style, and here are a few ways to achieve this.
Adjust the length
You will find wedding dress trains extending anywhere from 12 to 22 inches or longer among the older dresses. While the look of these elaborate trains can be lovely and elegant, you may have more exciting plans for your bridesmaids on your wedding day than for them to play keep-away with your dress before it sweeps up everything in its path. Adjusting the length of your wedding gown is especially something you want to consider if you are holding your event outside.
You may decide to go from a cathedral to a chapel length. In this case, the only thing you will lose is the gown’s extra weight, not elegance. Or, you can adjust the gown to a sweep or brush train, which is more practical and versatile for any ceremony setting. Finally, summer weddings are especially great for a tea-length dress or high-low skirt, reminiscent of the shorter hemlines of the ‘60s.
Add a petticoat or pop of color (or both!)
If you are looking for a way to make your unique vintage gown better resemble your unique personality, adding a petticoat is a great option. You might even choose one that is a different color than your dress, adding a pop of color at the bottom of it.
We won’t even mention anything about poofy sleeves here because the chances are that’s the first thing on your list of what to shed. That said, a petticoat is a perfect way to bring some of that poof back to more desirable and stylish places, and you can decide just how much “poof”. Petticoats will make your dress appear fuller without adding bulk that could weigh your gown down, as it would be a separate piece from your dress.
Lose the frills
Your wedding day will be like a fresh start – a new beginning with the one you love. Well, your dress deserves to have a fresh start too, and that may entail losing any lace, beading, or mesh. Some of these things may add too much noise for your taste, and it’s okay if you want to keep your wedding day (and dress) simple and stress-free.
A reliable seamstress can help you achieve this, at least as far as the dress goes. Note that it may be easier for them to remove it all first, even if you want to add something back. In that case, consider adding a belt or a shawl, or go more minimalistic. As you prepare to turn the page to a new chapter in your life, remember that it’s okay to give your wedding gown a second life too!