Vintage Dresses

If you read Johanna’s tips on how to incorporate conscious dressing for your wedding day, you know shopping vintage, thrifting or shopping small can all be good ways to ensure your wedding day attire is ethically made. This being said, if you are trying to go this route, it might help to consider mismatching your bridesmaid’s dresses. In an effort to not drive yourself insane looking for identical vintage gowns, which we all know will never happen, and in the spirit of creating a beautifully curated collection, here are a few of our tips on doing just that:

004544-R1-003Image: Steve Steinhardt // Design: Beth Helmstetter

LENGTH // Keeping gowns the same length not only communicate the level of formality the wedding may be (Long gowns often = black tie/black tie optional/night time affair // Shorter dresses often = cocktail attire/casual but special/afternoon nuptials), but also create a polished look when the girls are standing together. Be it tea length, a gown that drapes to the floor or even a short little number, the hem is important in ensuring cohesion in the look.

000802-R1-E001Image: Steve Steinhardt // Design: Beth Helmstetter

COLOR // When varying colors of gowns, consider narrowing it down to a color story that works well together and if you have the vision, consider including 3 to 5 shades. I recommend starting with a full wedding design in mind prior to selecting the palette, but once you do, give a lot of direction and parameters for the girls. For instance, telling them jewel tones is perfect, but provide them a swatch and pantone colors of how you are defining jewel tones. It’s great to mix and match colors and even patterns, but allow them to be privy to the overall look of the day to ensure you all understand the end vision.

largeImage: Jonas Peterson // Design: Beth Helmstetter

VARYING DETAILS // It’s great to do mismatched patterned dresses, but if you’re going to do so, perhaps ensure all of the dresses are made of the same textile. Or, again, you can consider different soft textures like lace, chiffon or tulle together, but ensure they are all the same length. Try to ensure only a couple of details vary in each gown. It will make all the difference in looking cohesive and being a mishmash.

009562_r1_e009$!x900Image: Steve Steinhardt // Design: Beth Helmstetter

STAY INVOLVED // No matter what, retain veto power throughout the dress shopping experience. My suggestion is actually to narrow the gowns down for them, preparing a quick lookbook of acceptable gowns in the preferred color palette or pattern types and allowing them to send you what they find during their excursions. If you provide vision, examples and then ultimately the power to reject the gown, everyone can be successful in finding a dress that not only reflects your day but one your ladies will feel beautiful in as well.




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