How to Shop for a Vintage Wedding Dress

jeanish
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Consider a vintage wedding dress for your big day! You might be surprised how affordable it can be and you'll feel special wearing such a unique dress. We recently took a visit to Xtabay Vintage, located in Portland, Oregon. We were shocked to see dresses in such great condition and at such affordable prices. Owner Elizabeth Gross says, "Most of the dresses made back in the 40's, 50s and 60's would be sold for at least three times the price today. The fabrics just aren't made now and the craftsmanship is superb."



Here are Elizabeth's five tips for finding your dream dress on the racks of your local vintage shop.


1. Bring undergarments! Old dresses were made when women still wore corset-like undergarments. Bring your spanx to see how the dresses will really fit!


2. Be open minded. A lot of times, brides are set on strapless, or tea length and rule out all other possibilities before trying anything on. You just never know until you try it and every dress looks different on a hanger than on your body!


3. Be creative! Use your imagination when trying dresses on. You'd be surprised what you can do with a vintage dress: remove sleeves, add panels to create a roomier fit, shorten, dye the fabric, cinch the waist. The possibilities are endless!


4. Watch for damage and fakes. Armpit stains are nearly impossible to fix. Pay attention to the quality of the fabric and make sure the labels are original.


5. Remember it has been worn before! Watch for red flags, yes. But, a tiny pinhole in a pleat or a small spot inside the dress shouldn't be a deal breaker. Your dress has a story. Embrace it!



Check out vintage accessories too! We found reasonably priced jewelry and adorable hats that just might be the finishing touch to a bride's or bridesmaid's ensemble. Bring a few friends (but, not too many opinions!) and make a day of shopping. Have fun!


All dresses featured are available at Xtabay Vintage, 2525 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR. 503-230-2899. Prices of dresses featured range from $125 - $395.


Model: Amber Johnstun


Images Courtesy: Chelsea Fuss

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Last Updated: January 12, 2010 at 5:28 am
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