Vintage Wedding Dresses

Written by    Last updated: March 13, 2014

Vintage wedding dresses are so in vogue. Great Gatsby style Flapper girl dresses with swishy fringe detailing are back with dramatic headbands, feathers and fun. Think you’re not the right shape to wear Vintage? Think again. Here’s how to wear a Vintage wedding dress whatever your style and shape.

Elegant 1930s style gown ideal vintage wedding dress

Elegant 1930s style gown with cowl neck, bias cut skirt and panel as seen at the National Wedding Show

Vintage describes several styles, from the demure Jane Austen Empire line gowns of the Regency era to the elegant corseted Victorian and Edwardian dresses with their voluptuous full skirts and tiny waists. Fun and flirty shorter styles of the roaring 20s and long, sleek cinema siren gowns of the 1930s are also seen as Vintage while anything post WW2 tends to be described as Retro. As a nation we love Vintage style weddings, from the dress to the invitations right down to the table decor. Vintage weddings are as contemporary as it gets, even though that’s like a contradiction in terms…

Here’s our pick of the very latest Vintage inspired wedding dresses and a note on which styles will suit you best:

Empire line: All shapes

The beauty of the Empire line gown is that it skims the body and falls to the floor with just a hint of curve at your bust, leaving the rest to the imagination. It’s the ideal wedding dress for anyone who does not want a dress that clings to their hips and prefers to show off their top half. This style of dress is great for pear shapes as the long, square neckline gives the illusion of a figure in perfect proportion.

Empire line vintage inspired wedding dress

Empire line inspired wedding dress with under-bust line and loose skirt as seen at the National Wedding Show

Victorian: All shapes, especially curvy

Victorian dresses, with their corseted bodice and full skirt are by far the easiest to wear of all vintage styles as they will hold in your waist and tummy while disguising hips and hiding thighs. More bosomy brides should choose a lower, V-neckline, while higher, off the shoulder or strapless bodices look best on smaller busted and narrower shouldered brides.

Victorian inspired gallgown wedding dress

Victorian inspired dress with unusual lace sleeves as seen at the National Wedding Show

1920s: Great legs and boyish figures

20s styles are most often simple shift-dress shapes with no defined waist, higher necklines and shorter skirts. This style of dress is looser and ideal for the less voluptuous and more ‘boyish’ figures though the dropped waist is not the most flattering style. If you have great legs you want to show off, go for a short modern 20s-style inspired gown.

1920s inspired fringe detail wedding dress

Unusual 1920s inspired style with fringe detailing as seen at the National Wedding Show

1930s: Slim, small busted

This is a style that leaves nothing to the imagination so it’s not for anyone with lumps and bumps they would rather not show. If you know you’ll have a visible ‘food baby’ straight after eating your wedding breakfast (and would rather not have it show) then you might prefer to avoid a clinging gown. For anyone with a slender body in good proportion who is not afraid to wear a slinky gown or to show off a plunging neckline or low back, the 30s gown is a truly stunning look. Its simplicity lets your beauty speak for itself.

Elegant 1930s inspired wedding gown with delicate fluted lace sleeves

Elegant 1930s inspired gown with delicate fluted lace sleeves as seen at the National Wedding Show

There really is a Vintage wedding dress for everyone and a wedding theme that can be carried from the dress to the car to the venue décor.

Find everything you need to complete your look with a wide selection of vintage wedding products and if you don’t yet have that special dress why not visit our bridalwear suppliers in the directory.

This article was written by

Kate Thompson
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.

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