How to Rock a glam vintage gown as a Wedding Guest in 2016: top 5 tips for styling a vintage dress

Some things never seem to go out of fashion and a gorgeous, unique vintage frock seems to be one of them! Donning a vintage dress is an excellent way to ensure that you won’t be wearing the same ensemble as another guest, no matter how big an event the wedding is going to be. Unless you’re a full-time enthusiast or a seasoned collector, styling a vintage dress can be a bit of a challenge. If you’ve never rocked a vintage piece at a big event before, we’ve got 5 top tips to help you out!

1. Get a one of a kind fit

Photo: David de Biasi
Photo: David de Biasi

Have your dress tailored. It will seem expensive as it won’t be cheap but I promise you it will be worth it. No matter what their height and weight, very few women fit into prêt à porter sizing perfectly. Having your ready-to-wear vintage let-out or taken-in to hug your curves just right will make a world of difference on how it hangs on your figure. The dress will look like it was custom made for you even if you scored it at a Charity shop ages ago for £14.

2. Think about getting it professionally cleaned

Photo: Norma Grau
Photo: Norma Grau

Even if the care tags claim it’s a ‘wash and wear’ piece, take it to be professionally cleaned and pressed at least once before the Big Day. For the price of a Pizza Express takeaway, this simple process can breathe new life into limp seams and ensure everything drapes the way it should. Taking care of these little details takes little time and can make a huge impact on your final  look.

3. Make sure you wear the dress, don’t let the dress wear you

Photo: Kane Skennar
Photo: Kane Skennar

If you’re a full-time vintage enthusiast then absolutely, feel free to go full-on with all the period details of an era-appropriate bag, shoes, hairstyle and accessories! However, if this is not your full-time aesthetic style and you want to avoid looking like you’ve come for a fancy dress party, pair your glam vintage gown with classic and contemporary accessories, shoes and hair-styling.

4. Scale your hair, shoes and accessories to your silhouette.

Photo: Sandra Hygonnenc
Photo: Sandra Hygonnenc

That said, make sure your hair, shoes and accessories balance the shape of your dress. Start by exploring styles from the same era as your dress, and then move onto researching modern interpretations of these trends. If you plan to wear a chic 1960s Givenchy-inspired sheath, then perhaps an elegant chignon with a bit of volume would echo rather than mimic the timeless style of icons like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O.

5. Feature modern makeup in vintage color palettes.

Photo: Azaustre
Photo: Azaustre

A classic red lip is always in fashion and a fabulous finish and there’s a shade to match every decade. Using era-appropriate color cosmetics is a fun and clever way to reference ‘yesteryear’s style.’ However, don’t feel pressured to redraw your lip, brow or eyelid in a period-appropriate shape if it doesn’t flatter your face.

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