Nothing like a Spring wedding…
Not a very festive post I know… but then again I’ve always been a fan of planning ahead!
There’s no better excuse for splashing out on a new frock than a friend’s wedding. And when the wedding has a vintage theme, it’s the perfect opportunity to follow suit.
So when I was asked to point a friend of a friend in the direction of the perfect dress for such an occasion, I happily agreed to electronically dash around my favourite online vintage and retro clothing boutiques, cyber-grabbing the best ones for her to try on.
Cerian’s in Cardiff and I’m in London, but the vast array of online boutiques make such long distance personal shopping a much easier task. Nevertheless, when it comes to vintage, it can be daunting to buy online. Will it fit? Will it flatter? Will it look completely different from the photos?
Knowing your bust, waist and leg measurements is a must for this kind of shopping, so get that tape measure out! It’s also always smart to check the seller’s willingness to accept returns.
So… what to wear to a vintage-themed wedding? My eye was immediately drawn to 1950’s shapes in bold prints and pretty 1940’s style tea dresses: pretty, feminine looks from days gone by. A few bold 80’s dresses crept in as well! Attempting to keep within the £70 budget (but not always succeeding), here are my suggestions…
While the joy of vintage is that every item is the only one of its kind, it can be heart-breaking when you find the perfect dress but its simply doesn’t exist in your size. Vintage inspired, retro reproductions can therefire be slightly easier option, particularly when shopping online. You’ll still need to know your measurements as the sizing can be slightly different to modern sizing, but its happily possible to find each dress in your size! When I heard about Cerian’s quest, it was to these vintage-inspired designers that I headed to first.
Dress 1) Vivien of Holloway’s 1950s Halterneck Circle Dress (£69 – £115)
These gorgeous dresses come satin and lace as well as a variety of floral and polka dot prints. Most of them are priced at about £79 – a teeny bit above the budget but probably worth the extra ten pound! I just love the figure-flattering style. Vivien also sells the flouncy petticoats (as seen in the photograph) and a range of fab accessories. With such a strong vintage style in the dress, I reckon just some curls in your hair and a dash of red lippy and you’re ready to head to the church!
Dress 2) Collectif Regina 50s Style Floral Hibiscus Wiggle Dress (£45-£50)
This dress celebrates sexy curves, creating that sought after hourglass shape with its jutting cap sleeves, which provide balance to the lower half. I love the punchy hibiscus print: pretty without being too girly, bold without being too loud. Similar styles also available in black, beige and cherry print.
Dress 3) Vivien of Holloway Halterneck Pencil Dress (£69-£99)
I know, I know – I’m going over budget again! But at least some of these are actually under the £70 limit. If the 1950’s, full skirted Dress 1 wasn’t quite what you had in mind, this figure-hugging, pencil-skirted dress might hit the spot. Again, its available in a number of patterns and sizes. And its just sexy, isn’t it?
Dress 4) 20th Century Foxy 1950s Style Sandy Dress (£79)
This is actually only available in sizes 12 or 14 and it is a wee bit over budget, but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave it out of the list. It’s in the sale, reduced from £99, which is why the other sizes are sadly no longer available. I wanted to share it because not only is the print really unusual but the sleeveless, cross over bust and the wide red waistband create such an attractive sillouette. You just know you’d wear this one a lot, day and evening. I’m lusting after this one a lot!
Dress 5) Collectif Tammy Doll Birdcage Print Retro Swing Dress (£50)
I do love birdcages, so the print of this dress immediately appealed to me! Most of all, I love the black collar and cuffs, and the pink buttons. The V-shape created by the collar will be really flattering.
Dress 6) Style Icon’s Closet Ditsy Print Full Circle Retro Dress (£54.99)
Coming in appreciably within budget, this little number also has a pretty, 1950’s feel. Sweetly strapless and the triple ribbon around the hem reminds me of dance classes when I was little! Too sugary sweet for you? It also comes in some eye-popping bright polka dot fabrics, which are an even nicer £45.
Lovely as the above reproductions are, there’s nothing like knowing you are wearing something one of a kind and previously loved. Here are some of the prettiest vintage occasion dresses I found on trusty ASOS Marketplace, which is the best outlet I’ve come across for buying genuine vintage online… I’ve stuck to ones which will flatter a small waist and generous bust!
Dress 7) Vintage 1970’s Electric Blue Draped Maxidress (£70)
Something a bit more floor sweeping and glamourous… The bold colour, verticle shape and the cowl neckline ensure it will be flattering. I like the idea of highlighting the waist with a thin belt and adding a vintage brooch too.
Dress 8 ) 1950’s Floral Day Dress (£38)
Simple yet effective… and the pleats are bang on trend. The styling in the photos demonstrates exactly how you could glam this one up!
Dress 9) Vintage Floral Print Silk Dress (£15)
Still rocking the floral look for Spring, but with an 80’s style and a pop of colour to brighten things up. At only £15, I had to include it… wedding or no wedding, this one’s a steal.
Dress 10) Red 80s Midi Dress with Shoulder Pads (£24.99)
If all this floral is getting a bit saccharin for your tastes, this is here to create a proper contrast! Boldly brilliant, you’ll be sure to steal the show. If the shoulder pads are a bit much, you can always remove them. And like the last two, it comes in well under budget, giving you the chance to splash out on those important accessories.
And then for the finishing touches…
Unless the wedding is a steamy foreign affair, then lets face it, a pretty cardigan is a neccessity. This lovely lemon yellow one from my current collection would work a treat! Why not replace the original buttons with some interesting ones if you want to dress it up a bit? Just head to any haberdashery and browse to your hearts content.
You’ve gotta get that hair all vintaged up – I really recommend Classic Retro Glamour’s hair tutorial videos for a practice first! Its the perfect way to lose a few hours playing around in front of the mirror, surprising yourself with your ability to create classic curls, unusual up-dos and stylish victory rolls. Make sure you add some decoration, whether its a couple of fabric flower hairgrips or an interesting fascinator – I love Hatastic’s domino ones. These pretty bows from Beatrix Brown would work really well too!
Lastly, slip on some pretty heels and a waist cinching belt… Add a slick of bold red (or pink) lippy (MAC Russian Red is a personal fave) and you’re good to go!
So there you have it – online solutions to a vintage-themed dress dilemma. Hope you have a fantastic time at the wedding Cerian… do let me know what you end up wearing and send me a photo!