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be inspired: vintage weddings

Resolving Wedding Dress Dilemmas

Wondering what will suit you, what is a reasonable amount to spend on a dress, how you will know when you have found ‘the one’, what happens if you don’t find something immediately, how far in advance of the wedding do you start looking. These are questions every bride struggles with, so it is normal that you ask them. After all, it is a big day and all eyes are upon you. It is normal that you want to look your very best.

 
Here are some of our top tips to put your mind at ease:
 
Plan Ahead
Always allow for plenty of time when it comes to wedding dress shopping. It is not something you want to rush. Hitting the panic button because you fear you wont find what you want in time, is not much fun. It is not just finding the dress that takes time either. Remember to always factor in order and delivery time, dress fitting sessions and alterations, the search for shoes and other complements to bring the whole wedding ensemble together.
 
Keep an Open Mind
Let go of that ‘dream’ dress. While that might sound like madness, it will make sense it you keep reading! What may look great on the page of a glossy bridal magazine, may not look good on you, not matter what you do. Now we know how much this realization may disappoint but you need to feel fabulous when you wear your wedding dress and you might need to accept, that the best fit, might come from the most unexpected design. Your ‘dream’ dress is the one that will suit your height, frame, weight, and even your personality. Keeping an open mind and trying on styles that you have never before considered, will open you up to finding the dress with that ‘wow’ factor. Let the dress fit you, rather than you try to fit the dress….if you get what we mean.
 
Ordering Online
Don’t be afraid to order online. There are some great dresses to be had at amazing prices and nearly half than off-the-shelf ones. Don’t let anyone kid you either that it takes the fun out of wedding dress shopping – sit down with your besties and surf away. I mean, where else in the world can you open up some wine and order in pizza while embarking on the wedding dress hunt! We do advise however, that you always check out terms and conditions, returns and reviews. It is also worth ensuring that you can get on the phone and talk through your choices with someone. Bridal dress assistants are great dress vs body shape judges and will be able to guide you through your selection. Remember that matching the dress to the bride is their living, so it is worth taking advantage of this experience. Be also sure to yourself properly measured so you can find the perfect fit.
 
Alterations
Bar re-designing the dress, there are always ways you can personalize it. Adding a little touch of something here or there, adding in or taking out the straps, adorning with gloves, bolero jackets, jewellery and hair pieces can go a long way in making a big difference.
 
Style
Whether you plan to order online for that bargain buy or not, there is nothing to say you can’t try on a variety of different style wedding dresses at your local bridal to find the shape that best suits you. As we mentioned, until you try, you never know. Always be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and try on some recommendations. I mean, if nothing else, just have some fun!

 


 
Budget
Money is never an easy subject but if you don’t have it, you can’t magic it. We strongly advise against loans or spending well above what you can afford. Don’t allow society, friends or family to guilt trip you into spending more than you are comfortable with. Just because you buy on a budget, doesn’t mean it is any less of a dress or won’t be that ‘dream come true’. It is the shape and style of dress that counts, not how much it costs.
 
Sales
Look out for sales, discounted items, second hand racks and vintage pieces that often come at a lower cost that off-the-peg designer items. There are some one-of-a-kind gems out there that will not cost you the earth, you just have to be patient and not be afraid to look off the beaten track!
 
The ‘One’
You may not know exactly what you are looking for until you find it but when you do, you just know. Be prepared to end up with quite the opposite of what you had in mind but if it makes you feel like a million dollars and the price tag hasn’t given you a heart attack – then it has your name on it. Never feel pressured into buying something because you feel you are running out of time or if it hasn’t completely won you over, no matter what anyone else says. It is OK to keep looking. As we said, you will know when you have found it!
 
Where to Start
Wedding dress hunting is overwhelming. With so many wedding designers, bridal shops, magazines and wedding fairs, it easy to understand why it would seem that the entire world has an opinion. It is no wonder that brides often end up feeling lost among the myriad of choices. So why not start with the style you want your wedding to take? Have you always dreamed of a vintage inspired affair, a rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza, a great Gatsby theme or would you prefer to keep things simple but elegant - a classic, timeless set-up of white and gold? Even if you need to work backwards and start with what you definitely don’t want, it will help you focus on what you do and might give you some idea of the style of dress you envision yourself in.
 
Wedding dress hunting is a careful process of elimination. You might not like the overall shape of one dress but ask yourself if there are elements of it that you do like and what these are. Check out different lengths, discover what aspects of your figure you would like to highlight or hide, what shape suits you best and what you feel comfortable in; whether it is a low waist or a high neck. There is something out there for everyone.

Why Vintage Fashion is More Fun than Frightening

It may seem strange to people who already love to wear vintage, but newbies can find the idea of wearing vintage fashion quite intimidating. It's easy to see why when we see Hollywood stars looking picture-perfect in their vintage Chanel gowns, or immaculate 40s-style pin up girls who seem to have been born with glamorous red pin curls and an impressive cleavage. To the rest of us however dipping our toes into the vintage scene can seem a little frightening! But fear not, I'm here to gently encourage you and give you all the confidence you need to start wearing vintage! After all, what you wear should be fun, not something to feel anxious about!

Playing Dress Up

A major concern for people wanting to start wearing vintage is that they won't get it 'right'.  Will you look look like you're on your way to a fancy dress party, or maybe like you've been rummaging around in a thrift store? Luckily, one of the great things about wearing vintage is that there is no right and wrong. That's what makes it all such fun! You could go for a full-on authentic 1940s look, complete with Victory Rolls, perfect makeup and authentic vintage from top to toe, or just throw on a 1970s sweater with a pair of your usual jeans. Either way you'll look fabulous! Vintage outfit Above: One example of mixing vintage with modern. This amazing vintage 1960s-does 1920s dress, would look great with a cashmere sweater and some cute flat shoes. I'll let you into a little secret: there won't be an underground network of vintage fashionistas looking at you and whispering behind their hands: 'look at her, she's wearing a 1950s sweater with 1970s jeans!, Can you believe it?' That just doesn't happen! There's a lot to be said for being comfortable in what you're wearing, but at the same time it's good to push the boundaries a little too. If you don't feel like wearing head-to-toe vintage, try just adding a vintage handbag or earrings to your normal outfit, or wearing a vintage dress with modern accessories. Just try it as an experiment!  The compliments will start, and with each compliment you'll feel a little braver and ready to start dressing in clothes which really inspire you. Oh, and don't worry about looking 'dated'. You won't look old fashioned unless you want to. Your favorite stores are full of styles which are reminiscent of vintage fashions - you'll see cheap knockoffs of 1920s flapper dresses, 50s prom dresses and 1960s minidresses everywhere, so why not wear the real thing. You'll look terrific!

Your Chance to Really Be Unique

Something I love about wearing vintage is that nobody will be wearing the same outfit as you! Fashion stores make thousands of each style of dress every season, but in the past fashions were generally produced in much smaller quantities, and even handmade. So you can be pretty confident you'll be the only person wearing your fabulous 1960s dress! It's true that this uniqueness can make shopping for that perfect vintage party dress a little more difficult, (after all if everything is unique, you need to look harder to find that perfect dress in your size), but that can be part of the fun. There's an absolute cornucopia of styles available in vintage stores, it's like having the biggest box of candy in the world to choose from! And buying it couldn't be more simple: if you're buying a vintage dress, get your measurements to hand before you start, then your computer and you're ready to go vintage shopping. Because dress sizes in the past varied enormously to now, all good vintage stores list the measurements of each outfit clearly. Take this amazing 1960s dress for example: Vintage 1960s dress Lovely isn't it? The bust measures 32", the waist 26", hips 44" and the length is 43", and if you're not sure how to take those measurements there are clear instructions how to measure yourself too - see? Easy as pie! Team it with some shimmering gold shoes and a gorgeous gold wristlet (which is like a mini clutch bag but with a handy wrist strap) for some real party glamour.

Oh The Fabrics!

Fast fashion simply didn't exist pre-1980s, and garments tended to be much better made than the equivalents today. The quality of vintage speaks for itself: after all, will a dress bought in a supermarket today still be around in 70 years time? It probably isn't biodegradable so I'm sure it will still be around in some form, but I doubt it will be in any kind of shape to still be a desirable item of clothing! Compare that to this vintage 1950s dress (below), which is absolutely exquisite. As beautiful today as the day it was bought, the fabric is gorgeous and the embroidery and sequins were probably sewn by hand. You'd have to buy high-end designer clothes to get that kind of quality today, unless you're smart and go for the vintage option!

Vintage 1950s dress

So, what's not to love? Vintage is versatile, stylish (after all, a classic outfit never goes out of fashion!) and great fun to wear, so why not take the plunge and start wearing vintage today?