Reworking Vintage Dresses

Dress: Vintage (purchased from Sleepy Poet), Shoes: Coach, Bracelets: J.Crew, Ralph Lauren (belt worn as bracelet), Odette

Vintage shopping has always treated me well. Dresses and skirts from the 50’s through the 80’s fit pearshape bodies much better than modern clothing. Women of the time were seen as more desirable with fuller, hourglass figures so the clothing is roomier and narrower in the areas to fit the pearshaped woman.

This dress was an amazing find from one of my favorite new vintage shops in Charlotte, the Sleepy Poet. I was rummaging through the racks and saw this vibrant pattern and knew something could be done. Off the rack this dress was a¬†sheath (a style that never fits me in today’s modern clothing), though it fit my hips perfectly. Unfortunately I forgot to take a before picture but just imagine the fabric going straight down my sides rather than nipping in at the waist. Some quick, cheap alterations resulted in this fun Summer dress.

Along with slimming the sides I took the hem up a few inches to make it even more contemporary, and to balance out the length of the sleeves. I knew this was too flashy to wear to work so I decided to have some fun with it. I heavily debated chopping off the sleeves entirely, and even removing the collar to make it more modern but I’m happy I decided to keep them and retain its true vintage vibe.

For a total of $24 including alterations, I couldn’t be happier with this piece. I picked up another dress during this haul and can’t wait to review that one soon.

Do you shop for vintage clothing? Do you find that it fits you better?

My Mom’s Wardrobe

Top: Mom’s, Belt: Mom’s, Jeans: Banana Republic (old), Wedges: Dolce Vita (old), Ring: Karla Deras x Roman Luxe, Sunglasses: Tory Burch

The moment my mom saw this outfit she immediately said she wore exactly the same thing: bell bottoms, this belt and top, thirty years prior. Luckily she and I are similar in size (and shape!) and her old clothing looks great modernized with some big sunnies and funky jewelry.

Shareen Vintage – Restructured Florals

Dress + Shoes: Shareen Vintage, Sunglasses: Vintage, Shoes: JCrew

I am always on the hunt for a great summer dress. My parameters have always included a flowy/airy style, mid-thigh length, and breezy material. This piece from one of my new favorite vintage stores, Shareen Vintage, fit the bill.

As a pearshaped woman, clingy fabrics like jersey knit or lightweight cotton tend to cling to problem areas. I tend to gravitate towards silks, heavyweight cottons, or even wools to satisfy my dress needs. This dress is 100% silk, with an elasticated mid section and faux wrap style. I dressed it up with a vintage belt also found at Shareen’s and some classic gold JCrew flats.

Originally the dress had a very 70’s style, with padded shoulders and long sleeves. What is so great about Shareen’s is that they have seamstresses on staff to make easy, quick alterations for a nominal price. For $8 on top of the price of the dress (a reasonable $50 for 100% silk) I was able to have the sleeves professionally removed (and I got to keep the fabric for future DIYs!), and the shoulder pads taken out and sewed down. It instantly updated the look and feel of the dress while keeping the original shape and fun vibe.

One more thing to note about this dress: As a pearshaped woman, my bottom half is fuller than my middle and even my top half. I don’t have a large stomach area and so I worry about dresses or skirts with pleating in the front as it has the potential to create unnecessary volume. I didn’t see that as a problem with this dress, but as a rule I tend to shy away from pleated skirts and dresses. A future post to come about that issue.

Readers – thoughts on this vintage find?

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