Whenever sleeves are the topic de jour, there’s always at least one person who suggests that vintage wedding gowns are the way to go. Buying vintage isn’t always easy, however. I’ve yet to find a gorgeous dress from yesteryear that fits my modern contours. Shopping outside of the world of vanity sizing, one discovers that size 12 was once more like a size 4 in terms of relative measurements.
The luckiest vintage obsessed brides-to-be are those with 24″-26″ waists and small everything else, being as those are the sorts of numbers you’ll run across often when exploring the selection of wedding gowns from the first half of the twentieth century. That’s not to say that the rest of us can’t take a nice long look at the vintage gowns that are up for sale on various web sites, which is precisely what I spent my entire morning doing.
Here are some of the gems I found:
From the description: “The designer of this exquisite [1910-ish] wedding gown combines straight-edged tape lace with the rounded shapes of princess lace in a highly textured statement. The torso and sleeves of the gown are completely fashioned from hand-assembled écru cotton lace. The matching cotton tulle skirt is hand appliquéd with scattered lace motifs. The gown is lined with an écru satin slip and closes in back with small hooks.”
From the description: “This [satin and lace] gown exemplifies the beginnings of this fashion revolution. Many 1930 designs featured the “lingerie” detail of pintucking. This technique is used to great effect in this gown, actually providing its shaping.”
From the description: “The heaviest, richest glowing satin ever in this fabulous gown from the post-war 40’s. What a beauty! Shown with a hoop petticoat that is a little shorter than the gown, a more bell shape could be accomplished with a hoops that go all the way to the edge of the dress. Made for the tall slim girl.”
And, natch, a description: “Total fairytale, a beautiful sparkly [1950s] wedding dress with voluminous ballerina length skirt which comes complete with original matching coronet.”
I’m quite besotted with the last one, though I’m surprisingly keen on the 1930s gown. I don’t usually care AT ALL for the gowns that came out of that decade. What’s your favorite wedding gown era?