Choose the perfect vintage wedding dress to suit your shape!

 In Advice, Dress

Choose the perfect vintage wedding dress to suit your shape!Choose the perfect vintage wedding dress to suit your shape!

By Zoe Lem – The Vintage Shape Mistress


1. Find the perfect era to suit your body shape, not all shapes suits all bodies, you might love the 20’s but unless you are straight up and down figure, it’s not great for you. There is no such thing as the wrong dress, just the right dress on the wrong body.  In over 15 years as a stylist I have never dressed two bodies the same and each body suits a different dress. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 2. If you are more curvy shape the 30’s are often a missed era, the real Hollywood perfume bottle silhouette is very glamorous and sophisticated. You need a curve with the bias cut dresses as they stretch and mould to the body, just gorgeous on an hour glass figure.  Many people think that you need to be a very skinny model shape to pull of the bias cut dresses but actually, if you have no hips there is nothing for the dress to hang on. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 3.  The 40’s are great as they had a lot of high waisted shapes.  Under the bust is where most women are the smallest, so it’s a really flattering place to nip your wedding dress in and not as full as the 50’s so the shapes don’t add as much volume.  Ankle length was quite a common length which can work really well as long as your skirt length cuts off at a narrow part of your leg if not full length. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 4. The 50’s are always so popular but you need to be careful of how you create the full circle shape, if you go for gathered at the waist it can add volume to the hips, great on a straight up and down figure, for curvy girls though go for flat pleats or more of an A-line. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 5. Many of the era’s look back for inspiration from other era’s. The 60’s took a lot of influences from 20’s, so be careful if you are busty or hippy, stick to the fitted silhouettes. Empire lines were very popular nipping just under the bust which can be quite flattering.  You don’t see where the legs begin and the torso ends so the shapes can lengthen and make you look taller.  The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 6. The 70’s took a lot of inspiration from the 30’s with many long lengths and diamond panelling which is very flattering over the waist and hips.  Don’t be afraid, it is not just for the slinky hips. In fact with the natural stretch of the fabric it’s better on an hour glass shape, as there’s something for the fabric to glide around. 7. If you love an era but the silhouette doesn’t suit you find a great shape that suits your body and use the styling of the era you love.  A lot of the detail, pattern and sparkle can come through the vintage accessories you choose.  Many of the era’s cross over the late 20’s and the early 30’s and the late 40’s early 50’s and so on so you can go more softly with an era to best suit you. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 8. There are many colours that come through from the various era’s as it wasn’t always white or ivory. The light colours don’t suit everyone’s skin tone, a warmer colour can work really well a blush, champagne or even stronger. Many of the 30’s, 60’s and 70’s dresses were in beautiful colours other than white. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 9. It is all about balance with shape, colour and accessories so look at your silhouette from top to toe to make sure you create the perfect look. If in doubt, keep it simple and beautiful.  It is much more important to get the right silhouette to suit your body and then style the look from there creating the perfect picture from top to toe. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 10. Don’t go taking lots of risks with your look that you wouldn’t normally go for, you want to look like you on a really good day rather than someone else. You want to enjoy your day and feel relaxed and beautiful. You will feel uncomfortable in a completely new look and it will show. You want to look like you but even more fabulous. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 11. Mix it up! You may be wearing a beautiful vintage dress but it doesn’t mean that you have to style it vintage.  Unless you are a vintage purist you can mix old and new, modern accessories really give a simple vintage silhouette an edge. Perspex, bold, missing materials and textures can work really well. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 12. If you have a simple neckline you can add a statement necklace to lift your look.  Keep the balance, you don’t need to have details everywhere. A key statement will lift your look and create a focal point. Put the statement piece where you want to draw the eye. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 13. Colour me beautiful! If you choose a light coloured vintage dress throw some colour in there, you don’t need to stick with tradition. Bright coloured accessories can really lift a look and brighten the face. Choose a colour that brings out your eyes and works with you hair and skin tone. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 14. If you have very pale skin, ivory and white are not always the most flattering colours to wear and let’s face it you want to look your best on your wedding day. It is only in the last 100 years that white has become a part of the wedding tradition and in the early part of century there were lots of other tones of colour.  Champagnes and blushes can be more flattering, even going for a bright colour that you know really suits you can work and flatter you. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! 15. Balance is so important with both colour and shape but also accessories.  Don’t create too many details, colours and shapes.  If you add colour bring the balance head to toe, a coloured shawl, lip, bag.  If you are bringing in modern textures, fabrics and shapes, balance it out. Think of your look as a painting from top to toe rather than focusing on the little details, people see it all in one go, so every detail is important. The perfect vintage wedding dress for your shape! This is such a fantastic piece of advice from celebrity vintage stylist Zoe Lem. Not only does she offer great advice on which era you should choose to flatter your shape, but great advice too on how to accessorise your wedding day look! Would you like the chance to meet Zoe Lem and benefit from her styling expertise? Well, you can! Zoe will be at The Old Sessions House, Clerkenwell on the 28th October, 2012. There she will go into even more detail on how to choose the perfect vintage wedding dress to suit your shape. Keep an eye out on the blog my loves as you’re also going to get the chance to win tickets to Zoe Lem’s Vintage Wedding Fair. Last year saw such a fabulous turn out of vintage wedding suppliers and this year, it’s going to be even BIGGER and even BETTER. Plus little ole’ me is gonna be there. YAY!!

If you can’t wait for the competition to win tickets, purchase them now from here… Zoe Lem’s Vintage Wedding Fair.

PS if you recognise some of the images that’s because they’ve been blogged before in the gorgeous Frida Kahlo styled shoot!

And click here for the perfect bridal shapewear

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Showing 2 comments
  • debs ivelja

    this is such a great piece… really wish I had known this when I was choosing… but its also good advice for everyday dress choices too.

  • Makenna

    Vintage designs are always liked by the bride as it gives a unique and traditional look. Such style always enhance the beauty and one should definitely look forward to it.

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