Over the past year, vintage and second-hand wedding dresses have become more popular. Even Princess Beatrice is getting in on the trend as she wore a reworked vintage gown on her wedding day that was originally worn by her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II at the 1962 film premiere of Lawrence of Arabia. The Princess choose to modernize the dress by refitting it to her body and adding sheer puff sleeves and removing the underskirts and the bubble hem and replacing it with a silk trim.
Searches for vintage, second-hand, and preowned wedding dresses have increased over the past year, and if you’re looking to get in on this more sustainable option, here’s what you should keep in mind when shopping.
Put in the Research
Start by figuring out what style and silhouette you’re looking for. Dresses from the 1950s and 1960s are having a moment and more relaxed styles from the 1970s and 1990s have become popular during the pandemic.
Set Your Budget
A good place to start is by setting a budget. Not only will this narrow your research, but it will let you know what kinds of dresses to expect in your budget. In general, major designer labels like Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, and Azzedine Alaïa, will cost you more.
Find a Tailor
Most vintage dresses will need to be altered to get the perfect fit and you may want to customize it to make it the dress of your dreams.
Pay Attention to the Fabric
When you shop in person, you can feel and see the fabric, but when shopping online, try and get as much information as possible about the dress. Some dresses that say that they’re organza or chiffon end up being polyester.