How to Choose the Perfect Vintage Dress

by Karen

Vintage dresses are popular for many reasons, not the least of which is their uniqueness. Vintage dresses are also made of high quality materials and their style has survived the test of time. It is fair to say therefore that certain styles are truly timeless classics. For these reasons vintage evening gowns are chosen by many glamorous Hollywood stars and fashion icons. Original vintage dresses from famous fashion brands are quite expensive. However, vintage inspired dresses of lesser-known designers are more reasonable in price without sacrificing quality. Vintage cloth has traditionally been considered as cloth that was sewn several decades ago, from the twenties through eighties. The golden era of glamour and retro within this period is separated into three sub-periods; the romantic 1920's, feminine 1930's and sexy 1940’s. Simply speaking, vintage style wear is anything that copies the style, pattern, fabric and cut of the wear of bygone days. The vintage style wear is popular right now because of its famous fans: Julia Roberts, Kate Moss and Chloe Sevigny. Penelope Cruz for example, appeared at the Oscars ceremony in a vintage dress by Balmain. It was made 8 years ago and was kept for strictly for special occasions such as this. In addition to the popularity of the vintage style, secured by numerous Hollywood divines, vintage dresses could say a lot about their owners, reflecting their individual tastes. Satin, lace, ruffles, feminine neckline - vintage dress can be true works of art. Vintage dresses are perfect for any occasion - from formal ceremonies to everyday life. When choosing a vintage dress you should draw attention to several aspects… 

Choosing a vintage evening dress:

Preparing the list

As usual, a vintage dress by a famous fashion designer is expensive and you better take great care when preparing to buy it. Make a list of the most attractive vintage dresses and the designers who created them. Pay attention to the details of the style of the desired era or period. Visit several antique shops and vintage clothing shops. Watch old movies as this can be a great to in learning about various vintage styles, the cuts and color options not to mention helping you to choose the best fit. For example the "Titanic" movie with incredibly beautiful dresses inspired Nataya fashion designer for creating an entire fashion line of romantic prom and wedding dresses.


When choosing your vintage style dress you should clearly understand the purpose of your new outfit. Vintage style clothes could differ depending on their intended use. For example, is it a dress for a special occasion or for regular daily wear? Some things to also watch out for with a real vintage dress are surprises such as stains, holes, worn out places, smells and necessity for repairs. For purposes of self-preservation it may be more prudent at times to buy a brand new dress that was made in vintage style. In this case the risk is minimal, and you can even purchase it online as there are many purveyors of such fashions. One more aspect worthy of your attention is your size. Dress sizing standards have significantly changed over the years, furthermore sizing may vary significantly depending on the manufacturer. It’s very hard to find a real vintage dress in good condition that is also suitable in style, size and free of defects. We also have to keep in mind the fact that women's bodies have changed over time. The average height and weight of a modern women is different than it was in the past, not to mention that every era in fashion has a unique cut. For example, dress cuts in fifties were primarily intended to emphasize the classic silhouette of the hourglass body type with an elaborated waist. To achieve the desired results, tailors used corsets. Today however, wearing a corset for the modern woman can be a real challenge.


Before you go and look for your perfect vintage dress, determine the boundaries of the price. By setting a clear price limit you can save yourself time by not focusing on the more expensive vintage dresses. This can help you avoid the temptations of impulsive shopping and the hangovers associated with those buys. Additionally, before buying a vintage dress you better know its true value! Some stores out there have no shame in overpricing certain vintage styles. Internet, catalogs, magazines and books will help you obtain the necessary knowledge.


One thing you may not know is the search for your vintage dress doesn’t have to be limited to specialty shops. In fact, the perfect vintage dress can be found without spending money at all. Moms’ or grandmas’ vintage dress, stitched cut to fit the figure of its new owner could be good alternative to an expensive purchase. In addition, some stores sell replicas of vintage dresses from the twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and sixties. These vintage style dresses are made of modern fabrics, they are brand new and generally cost much less. Good luck and have fun shopping!

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