Post # 1
Hello ladies. Finally got my pics on the computer and to you, the awesome readers of weddingbee. I picked this ivory, alencon beauty up at my local vintage store for…$20. There are no zeroes missing from that number. There are a few discolorations but nothing that could be seen in natural light without staring really hard. I snipped off the long sleeves (I have…large arms) and saved the lace on them for any cover-ups or repairs I’m sure I’ll make. I will snip off the remaining netting on the sleeves and leave the lace you see over my shoulders for a cap sleeve effect. The last pic is the neckline I am thinking of doing instead of the current one.
Now stylish bees, I need some advice:
1. Neckline should be as is, or like the white dress in the other photo? Or even like my sister wants-an open scoop neck front and back which would eliminate the collar completely?
2. Gather in the hip area to create more of a trumpet shape?
3. Over or under bustle?
4. Is that head piece fab or too dated?
5. Buttons down the back?
Too many ideas and not many people I can bounce them off of. Thanks for your opinions!!
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Post # 3
love your dress, love your choice, and — oh my lawrd, wow, that fabulous neckline! that is a parisian karl lagerfeld-loves-antique-lace neckline! it’s what makes this dress more than just your garden-variety same-old dress. it’s very chic! (the keyhole back is also very now: monique lhuillier, of course, brought those back a couple of years ago, and it still looks very fresh.)
so my first vote is: keep the collar.
but, what’s more important is: are you comfortable with the neckline? if yes, keep it keep it keep it! but if it makes you feel a bit too-too much, you could remove the collar but retain the graceful swoop shape of the back and front bodice beneath. i would NOT toy with the shape of the underlying bodice. it’s too chic. and it’s, again, what makes this not-your-generic-blah “today” dress.
if you are still feeling the whole thing is a bit too strong a statement for you, or you’re uncomfortable with the cap-style veil, i’d consider transforming the veil/cap into a more current style. you could re-purpose that lace and use it on a mantilla style veil gathered to a comb, for instance…? or just go for a simple illusion veil, without any lace at all (might be the most modern solution). or a simple illusion veil with just the pearls off the old headpiece/cap? (i don’t think this is a fascinator-birdcage opportunity, because i don’t think that would be right w/your cool gown).
i wouldn’t make this into a mermaid-y shape. the shape is very graceful, and flattering, on you!
(yeah, can you tell — i work in fashion.)
Post # 4
thank you for the advice, you are spot on I was not going to go near the sheath lining, I love the shape and the neckline on it, and it seems pretty modern for (what I think is) a 60’s dress. I love the lace neckline, but it’s too high up the chest, so I was thinking of keeping the neck area the same but taking the chest down to the under sheath and following it’s line. I like your idea about re-purposing the head piece…hmmm now I’m getting more ideas…
Post # 5
Well I definitely don’t work in fashion…but just wanted to tell you how wonderful your gown is AND FOR $20!!!!!!! I can’t believe it! My future sister in laws were just trying on my future mother in law’s wedding gown and it reminds me a lot of your gown. She wore hers in the late 70s I think.
I really like the look of the collar and love the back of the dress! I wouldn’t add buttons down the back, I’m not sure it would suit the style of the dress and go with the lace.
I think an overbustle would look great because you could get the lace at the bottom to line up and it would really complete the dress 🙂 As for the head piece…not so sure….my first thought is that it is pretty dated, but then again, I’m not fashion forward 🙂
Post # 6
Wow! The dress is beautiful. Can’t believe you got it for $20! You could take the extra lace and make a sort of loose shrug. i saw this on a Pettibone dress the other day. I think an over bustle would show off the lace best.
Post # 7
Looks like over-bustle is winning. I like the idea to make a shrug, we’ll see how much lace I have left.
Post # 8
LEAVE THE NECKLINE AND COLLAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And make it a trumpet. I think that you have a nice shape and emphasizing it will make the dress more flattering. Cover the ragged sleeve edges with lace and that’s it! That is an amazing find.
Post # 9
I love the back, so the collar MUST stay (well, in my opinion, which doesn’t matter, cuase it is what YOU like that matters) but I agree that maybe taking the front down to the lining would make it more feminine (and maybe a little sexier, while still being demure and classic). Seriously, other than that (and obviously finishing up the sleeves) I say leave it as is. It is GORGEOUS!
and for the veil, I think we need a pic of it on to make an informed determination (that is really just my way to ask for a pic of it on, cause it looks fabulous!)
Post # 10
Keep the collar! Please keep the collar – I love it so much and am having serious dress envy right now. As for the headpiece, I don’t know. What does it look like on you? Buttons would be nice and maybe add to the elegant vintage vibe? I don’t think they’re strictly necessary though. I’d keep the silhouette instead of making it a trumpet. The proportions of the dress are just so gorgeous as they stand now. Over or under bustle? I’d go either way. I think the dress is really versatile and you’ve got lots of options.
Post # 11
Gorgeous dress! I did something similar, removing the sleeves from a vintage dress.
I guess I’m in the minority here, but I think the collar is just a little too high. I love the neckline detail and the back keyhole, but I personally would trim the collar just a little bit so it didn’t hit quite so high on the neck. (I get a weird Fonzy thing from it. But, of course that’s just me.) Since it is all lace, I think you could easily trim it however you liked following the lace pattern and then hand stitch the edge. On the other hand, I don’t know how easy it would be to give the dress a mermaid shape, but then I’m not a real seamstress.
Love the headdress, too! I would definitely use it somehow! If you don’t like it as is, I think a headband could be a very modern chic way to go!
Good luck and have fun with it!
Post # 12
WOW – That dress is amazing! I do think it would look nice if you brought the lace in the front and the back down to the sheath. Either way, it’s fabulous! I can’t wait to see what it when you’re done!
Post # 13
That is so gorgeous, you look so glamorous! What a great find, the only vintage weddding dresses I ever stumble across are bad 80s!
Post # 14
Thank you all so much for the compliments!! I will try to take a pic of myself with the headpiece on for your viewing and critiquing pleasure!
Post # 15
I wouldn’t change a thing! Beautiful dress!
Post # 16
Wow! What an awesome find!
1. Neckline should be as is, or like the white dress in the other photo? Or even like my sister wants-an open scoop neck front and back which would eliminate the collar completely? I love the neckline like that! Its so elegant!
2. Gather in the hip area to create more of a trumpet shape? I can’t tell from the pictures. You need to pin it into a trumpet shape and work out how the lace will hang. It looks beautiful as it is though.
3. Over or under bustle? I am too early in my dress shopping to know the [email protected]
4. Is that head piece fab or too dated? I can’t tell. I think it might look cool as it is like a mantilla. If you don’t like mantillas, then don’t wear it.
5. Buttons down the back? Heck yeah! I love buttons. But only if you can do buttons that would hide the zip.