Unlike a good cocktail dress, which is designed to be a workhorse in a woman’s wardrobe, a white or cream-colored wedding dress need only dazzle its audience once. Unless, of course, it's a used wedding dress, either passed down from a beloved relative or picked up at auction or from a favorite vintage shop.
The trend for white wedding dresses started in 1840, with the union of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Prior to Victoria's wedding, most brides wore whatever fashionable hue they wanted, since they were likely to wear the dress on other occasions. Breaking with tradition, Victoria selected an elaborate white dress featuring a long train, a bridal veil, and a crown of white blossoms. Victoria's choice of white was viewed as quite conservative since it was historically the color for mourning (decades later, Victoria would make black the defacto mourning color when her beloved Albert died). However, mass-media coverage of her wedding made her style an instant sensation, influencing brides to this day.
At the beginning of the 20th century, with the Belle Epoque in full swing, Edwardian brides were synched into tight corsets, which were covered with wedding dresses made out of chiffon, lace, and taffeta. But by World War I, the practice of squeezing women into hourglass shapes was giving way to more natural looks. After the war, wedding dress hemlines had crept far enough off the ground to reveal a bride’s ankle.
Hemlines continued to rise throughout the 1920s, producing wedding dresses that were relatively revealing in the front with a flowing train in the back. Dresses got long again in the ’30s, were generally straight, and for the first time were equipped with a detachable train, which allowed a bride to take her solemn walk down the aisle but then cut a rug on the dance floor after.
The 1940s was a schizophrenic decade when it came to fashion, and wedding dresses were no exception. During the war years, wedding gowns followed the overall trend of boxy, broad shouldered, military silhouettes. By the late ’40s, though, all bets were off as miles of previously rationed fabrics were lavished on wedding dresses and gowns. In some cases, wedding dresses were even made from silk salvaged from surplus parachutes.
Wedding dresses returned to full femininity again in the 1950s, with tight waists and full skirts below. Sleeve styles ranged from full length to almost none at all, while necks could be left open or collared. These varied looks remained consistent into the next decade, except for those adventurous brides who chose to be married in short numbers that ended well above their knees. By the 1970s, some women dispensed with the wedding dress altogether, trading tradition for the sophisticated look of an Yves Saint Laurent white tuxedo-jacket suit.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Fashion Columbia Study Collection
1960s Fashion and Textiles
Vintage Fashion Guild
The Antique Corset Gallery
Clubs & Associations
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Wedding Dresses
Source: Google News
VINTAGE STYLE: Ring the changes with something special on big dayLancashire Telegraph, September 10th
If you've considered all this and still want to go ahead then, yes, vintage wedding dresses can be the perfect choice. A one-off vintage piece can be an attractive option for many reasons; an obvious one is that it's an original, there won't be anyone...Read more
20 Classy Ideas for Fall Wedding Decorations + Details [Infographic]Huffington Post, September 9th
I love the idea of vintage wedding dress and using a colored sash to add a pop of color." In addition to using rich hues to offset the fall foliage, Nahid recommends using a wood slice as a wedding guest book as a unique option to the traditional guest...Read more
Vintage Wedding Fair at The DaffodilSoGlos.com, September 8th
With The Daffodil being one of the most glamorous places to dine in town, there's no better place for the Bristol Vintage Wedding Fair to make its Gloucestershire debut on Sunday 21 September 2014. Four years since launching, the south west's original ...Read more
Old World Wisconsin Wedding to Capture 19th Century BeautyWUWM, September 5th
Anne Danko and Karl Kaphengst are having a vintage wedding. But they won't dress up in 1960s mod clothing. Instead, their look will be 1870s Pomeranian. Danko is a historic interpreter at Old World Wisconsin and Kaphengst is the museum's food and ...Read more
Beautiful Vintage Wedding Dresses Online at EhomeDressDigitalJournal.com, September 3rd
The president of the company is proud to release their new designs of beautiful vintage wedding dresses. He says that these new items are specially designed for ladies who are eager to be gorgeous at their important days. All their dresses are...Read more
Charming White Vintage Wedding Dresses for 2014 Announced by EhomeDressDigitalJournal.com, August 27th
What's more, the company's new vintage wedding dresses vary in styles. They share several characteristics: breathable fabrics, elegant looks, individuality and so on. More importantly, some of them can be worn at many formal events like weddings, award ...Read more
Wedding crashers! Vintage limousine severely damaged and driver taken to ...Daily Mail, August 23rd
The driver of a vintage wedding car had to be taken to hospital and his prized Jaguar was badly damaged when it was involved in a six-car pile up in on Saturday afternoon. The white prestige limousine, still displaying wedding ribbons, had to be towed...Read more
Where will our "A Suit That Fits" wedding stand be this Autumn?A Suit That Fits, August 15th
It's almost that time of year again. The Spectacular Vintage Wedding Fair is just around the corner. A Suit That Fits is ready to hit the road and meet all you amazing brides and grooms and we're excited to be part of the Wedding Fair with a difference...Read more