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A Closer Look at Antique Wedding Dresses - Shopping - Fashion Style

A Closer Look at Antique Wedding Dresses   by Brian Garvin & Jeff West

in Shopping / Fashion Style    (submitted 2009-10-21)

The timeless, classic appeal of antique wedding dresses is unrivaled despite the endless number of different types and styles of bridal gowns available today. Women of all ages and from all walks of life appreciate the uniqueness and sheer beauty of a genuine old wedding dress, and especially one that has been passed down from one generation to the next.

The fine craftsmanship and incredible details of most all antique wedding dresses is simply amazing with many modern designers now mimicking the vintage style of days gone by. However, to get the same quality of a true antique wedding dress you will more than likely pay handsomely for the privilege.

Finding the Perfect Antique Wedding Dress

When buying something like a wedding dress, and one that's been previously worn, there are several factors to first consider, mainly the overall condition of the gown itself. Fabric deterioration should be your primary concern as many types of fabrics including silk will weaken over the years, and intricate beading, embroidery, and lacework may all suffer from the ravages of time, even more so if the dress is not stored and cared for properly.

Besides inheriting one from your mother, grandmother, or future mother-in-law, there are several other places to find the perfect old wedding dress. Antique shops, thrift stores, consignment shops, and second-hand clothing stores often have a number of buried treasures unadvertised and hidden behind their walls.

Antique wedding gowns can also often be found for reasonable prices at online auction sites or through online retailers of vintage clothing. Remember the sizes of old wedding dresses will vary greatly, not unlike those that are made and sold today, and will usually run small. Know your exact measurements and the full details of the garment before purchasing to avoid the need for costly returns, especially if you're shopping online as not all merchants offer free shipping for returning items.

When buying used, old wedding dresses, brides-to-be should keep in mind the additional costs of any necessary alterations or repairs in order to stay within their budgets. The cost for cleaning and preserving an older wedding dress may also be higher due to the delicateness of the aged fabric.

If authentic, antique wedding dresses simply aren't a part of your budget, consider a vintage inspired gown of a favored time period such as the Renaissance or the early 1900s.

Cleaning and Preserving Your Antique Wedding Gown

True old wedding dresses will require a certain amount of special care when it comes to the important matters of cleaning and preserving. The cleaning process involved will depend upon the type of fabric used and how old the dress actually is. Fabric should be treated to prevent yellowing and the gown should be wrapped and protected with either museum-quality muslin or PH-balanced, acid-free tissue paper before being stored correctly.

To keep vintage wedding ensembles looking their absolute best, keep boxes flat in an area with no sunlight and moderate humidity and temperature levels, which means away from the attic, basement, or the bathroom closet.

To be sure an old wedding dress doesn't lose its elegant appearance or quality it's highly recommended to check the dress once each year just to see if everything is as it should be, giving you many more years of beauty.