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Iron Orchid Vintage: Wedding Dresses for Erica

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wedding Dresses for Erica

This post is inspired by my friend Erica, who is currently on the hunt for a wedding dress for her late summer nuptials. If you spend enough time doing vintage and Etsy hunts online, you will inevitably find a handful of beautiful, period-piece wedding dresses, so when she mentioned that she was back to square one on her dress hunt, I had to jump at the chance to imaginarily dress her! This may be a second dress for her, as her original dress was mis-altered, so I am trying to search for dresses that have a spark of originality, at $700 or under.

Erica is what I'd describe as an urban-renaissance girl, so I like the idea of dressing her in handmade, too. She's punk rock (I mean, the real, conscious, ethical punk - not the kind that looks 'punk') and she drives a truck, and is super ladylike (I mean sews her own curtains and bakes you up a big plate of sweets and a dinner to boot). As you can imagine, it's hard for me to envision her in anything off the rack, so naturally I've given more thought to vintage/handmade shops than new retail bridal stores (also I'm just not terribly familiar with those stores). Ah, and I forgot to mention, there is an additional challenge to the search. The venue will be an outdoor wedding, in the hot/humid east coast summer, so I'm trying to be mindful of dress weight, volume, and possibly how well the dress translates with flats.

I'm not typically a fan of wedding dresses that are overly puffy, or cupcake-like, but doesn't this dress just look sweet, light, and most of all romantic? It wasn't steamed yet in this photo, but hey, it was $5, (not to add insult to injury, 'cause dresses are expensive!). Great find, and though I am not sure how practical this type of treasure hunt would be for the standard bride, I like the dress and think that something similar would show off Erica's svelte figure without being too full in the skirt.

Then there is this one that I found on Etsy. It is by englishdept, and what I like about it is that it isn't quite empire-waist, it is longer and more tailored in the torso, therefore less likely to look like a maternity-friendly wedding gown. My only wish for this dress is that it were floor length and not tea length. There is a similar one on her website, but I like where the waist is nipped better on this one.

About Erica's personality, she's very sociable, and I'd imagine that once she's got that dress on she'll want to be able to make rounds and visit with family without having to think about her dress again. The strapless option would have to be a near perfect fit to keep from slipping (double-sided tape business aside), and being outdoors, in humidity, I started thinking about straps, and gauzy and boho.

Here's one by Elizabeth Dye, also the same designer as the one above.

This silk collar dress is off the rack, and at around $500, seems like it could be a very comfortable fit for the venue.

Thurley Silk Collar Gown

Then there is this 50's dress, which she has the waist and hips to pull off! I think the detachable train adds a delightful little touch of tradition.

And, of course, I had to end my search with two dresses from one of my favorite Etsy shops, TimelessVixenVintage.

By now Erica is probably laughing at what I've 'made her try on.' Good luck dress shopping, see you soon!

Ok, enough white for this post, I promise the next one will be more colorful!


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