4 Clever Ideas for Restyling Vintage Party Dresses


Shopping vintage is so much fun! It’s a surefire way to find unique pieces you know nobody else will have. Vintage shops also make it easier to shop for different body types, since clothes from different eras fit different shapes. For instance, tall, slim girls look great in 20s wear, while 1940s clothing fits women with curves really well. The sturdier structure of vintage clothing also makes alterations less of a pain. But what happens when you find a great vintage piece but there’s something just not quite you about it? Check out the list below for four smart and easy ways to restyle vintage dresses to fit your unique personal style.

1. Mix It Up!
Wearing clothing all from one era can make it look like you’re headed to a costume party. To avoid this, try making an outfit with pieces from different decades for a truly unique look. This will give your look a fun yet timeless feeling with a mixture of silhouettes, colors, patterns, and fabrics.

To make your vintage pieces go even further, style them with articles of clothing from today. This will make you look effortlessly cool. This tactic works especially well by pairing a fancy dress with a leather jacket or zip-up hoodie. Mixing new and old makes your look both accessible and unique.

2. Choose Modern Accessories and Beauty
Pairing vintage clothing with makeup and accessories from that time can make you look either like you’re in a period piece film or like you’re trying too hard. Wearing your vintage pieces with your everyday hairstyle and makeup will make it look like they really fit into your wardrobe, which is what you want. Simpler beauty looks are better because they really let your outfit shine. If you really can’t resist an era-appropriate beauty look, try doing a modern take on them, like loose waves with 40s pieces or pink lips with 50s pieces.

According to Alteration Specialists, modern accessories also add a punch to vintage clothing. Wearing a backpack with a flapper dress or gladiator sandals with a swingy mod 60s dress can ground your look in today and make it less costume-y. Choose a color in the vintage piece and coordinate your accessories around it to easily modernize your look.

3. Make Alterations
This is obviously very important if you want the new-to-you pieces to fit you well. In the past, sizing was different, cuts were different, and many pieces were hand-made to fit one specific woman so chances are, your vintage finds won’t fit perfectly right off the rack. Alter them to your body to ensure the clothes don’t look frumpy or dated.

You can also make alterations to pieces just to change their look. Chop off a long skirt, add straps to a vintage prom dress, or change the neckline. These changes will keep the original feel of the piece while making it unique to your style aesthetic.

4. Don’t Try to Be Something You’re Not
This restyling tip is more about your attitude when wearing your dress than actually adding or subtracting anything. Vintage pieces are automatically restyled based on the personality of the wearer. For some ladies, the sleek, geometric shapes of the 20s look like they were made for them. For others, it seems they were born to wear red lips and right skirts like a pin-up girl. But if that’s not you, don’t force it. This is especially true for occasions where you’ll be heavily photographed, like your wedding. You don’t want to be unrecognizable! When you’re browsing the vintage shop, keep your usual aesthetic in mind and shop as if you were in any other store. If a frilly gown or sultry pencil dress aren’t something you’d normally go for, don’t try to reinvent yourself now.