Today we have the lovely Siobhan from Cambridge Vintage Bridal here to share her top tips for looking for a vintage dress, and why you should consider one! With a move to unique, sustainable choices, shopping vintage might be the perfect place for your dress!
Brides to be (myself included six years ago!) often have quite firm ideas about wedding dress styles they like, what shapes will suit them and styles they simply will not try on. However, the best way to choose a wedding dress of any kind is to open your mind and try on as many different styles as you can - it is important that you can cast aside the styles you don’t like having actually tried them on! And the same goes for choosing a vintage wedding dress.
Brides often come for appointments at Cambridge Vintage Bridal, hell bent on a certain decade, colour or silhouette - which is great. 50% of customers don’t deviate from that but the other 50% will fall in love with something very different and are genuinely surprised by what they have fallen for. That is what I call, ‘the vintage effect’.
“…50% will fall in love with something very different and are genuinely surprised by what they have fallen for. That is what I call, ‘the vintage effect’.”
With so many silhouettes, fabrics and one of a kind pieces on the rails, a good starting point is to create a shortlist of anything that is a YES and anything that makes you feel curious - it is the ones that make you feel curious that brides often walk away with.
Do however think about when you are getting married, that is really important when looking at vintage wedding dresses. Heavier fabrics are better for the winter, floaty ones better for the summer - but do stay curious, because often a heavy looking vintage wedding dress may have detachable sleeves, which can make it more suitable for sunnier nuptials.
There is also a bit of a panic about vintage wedding dress sizes when brides get in touch - yes some vintage wedding dresses are very small, but likewise, I also stock dresses which measure up to a standard day size 14 and 16. The largest authentic vintage wedding dress I have had in my possession was a size 18 and I’m always keen to take on larger gowns whenever I can BUT size isn’t everything...
Another great thing about a vintage wedding dress is that you can totally customise them; taking them in or out and making them fit YOU as well as coming up with inventive ways to modernise them. I work with a handful of talented seamstresses and they can advise on the best way to find fabric in the dress, how the dress could have an open back and how to create a wrap, or bridesmaid sashes from a dress skirt once it has been shortened from floor length or tea dress length, for example. So, if you are creative and want a unique look then going vintage and finding an awesome seamstress could be a great way to achieve this.
“…if you are creative and want a unique look then going vintage and finding an awesome seamstress could be a great way to achieve this.”
Vintage wedding dresses are also an affordable option for brides looking to spend conservatively on a wedding dress. The Cambridge Vintage Bridal collection ranges from £100 to about £900 currently. Rare dresses or those which I have had to have repaired carry a higher price tag.
A vintage wedding dress is more than often a one of a kind piece of fashion. It will have been worn for just one day and has often been stored in a drawer or box for 70 years. How amazing to be able to give that dress another day out and some new love?
Going vintage is also good for the planet too - there is no environmental impact in buying a vintage gown - no chemicals, water usage or factory required for example. In fact, apart from the postage (or the petrol if you come to the Cambridge Vintage Bridal studio), your dress is very eco-friendly.
So there we have it, go vintage, embrace the choice, get creative, spend less and save the planet!
Thank you Siobhan for your great insight and tips! I’m sure you will agree that these dresses certainly are beautiful and unique.
Stop by and see Siobhan at Cambridge Vintage Bridal to see what she has in stock for your big day!
Where did you get your dress from? Did you consider a vintage dress, let us know in the comments!