Tips for Finding a Fabulous Vintage Wedding Gown

While it’s been a long tradition to wear something old, new, borrowed and blue on your wedding day, it’s suddenly become hip to have that something old be your wedding gown. With the huge trend in green weddings, the demand for vintage wedding gowns is growing rapidly. But finding the perfect vintage dressing gown can be a challenge. So here are a few tips:

1. Know your budget before you start shopping.

Buying a vintage wedding gown often means that you’ll be able to purchase higher quality for a lower price, but it doesn’t mean cheap. Today’s VPOD, for example, is almost $6,000! Set your budget before you start shopping and then stick to it, remembering to also factor in any alterations and repairs.

2. Fabric deteriorates over time so choose your dress wisely.

That 1920s flapper dress that looks so stunning on the hangar in a thrift shop could be a tattered mess by time you get down the aisle. Unless you’re a veteran vintage shopper and able to spot the tell-tale signs of fabric damage, limit your shopping to reputable vintage stores.

3. Know your measurements.

Forget about sizes when you shop. Since most wedding gowns are altered to fit the bride, the size on a tag will often have no correlation with the actual bust, waist and hip measurements. Remember, too, that if you plan to wear a girdle or corset, they’ll reduce your own measurements from what you usually use for sizing.

4. Find a good seamstress.

It’s usually better to buy a gown that’s bigger and alter it down to fit. Letting out gowns is usually more difficult and you may find that any seam allowances in vintage gowns are a different color. Also keep in mind that while minor repairs like replacing buttons are easy, more difficult repairs, like changing necklines or adding embellishments to hide tears, should only be handled by a true pro and can seriously add to your costs.

5. Embrace online shopping.

Most brides don’t dream of shopping for their wedding gown in cyberspace but that’s where most vintage wedding gowns are available. Be sure you know the exchange policy and call to have all of your questions answered before ordering.

Your wedding gown is often one of the most expensive clothing purchases of your life. And whether you spend $300, $3,000 or $30,000, you just want to look and feel fabulous. So why not feel fabulous in vintage on your wedding day? Mother Earth will send her thanks.

Mary Kincaid has been buying, wearing, and collecting vintage clothing for over a decade. Visit her website at Zuburbia to shop in her online vintage clothing boutique and join the Vintage Crusaders, an online community of vintage clothing lovers

Copyright 2005-2009, Mary Kincaid. May be reprinted in its entirety with full credit given to Mary Kincaid and a link to

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© Mary Kincaid 2006-2009