This July, I was bridesmaid for my little sister. She was having a vintage style wedding complete with campervan, ice cream trolley, outdoor games and a ceilidh.
Her wedding dress was an original 1950s dress from Elizabeth Avey in London, which she had altered, and she wanted her bridesmaids to have 1950s style dresses also.
My sister’s dress was a stunning white silk with a silver flowing floral pattern all over that caught the light beautifully. She felt that a classic colour for the bridesmaids would better complement her dress and decided on navy as the colour to go for. The other consideration was finding a dress that suited all 4 of us bridesmaids. With my niece being one of the bridesmaids, the age ranges were from 13 to 44 so it couldn’t be anything too grown up for her or so girlie that the rest of us looked ridiculous!
After a lot of comparing and trying on of different vintage styles we decided on the Darlene Plain Doll dress by Collectif. This beautiful dress has a sweetheart neckline which flattered the shape of us older bridesmaids without being too revealing for my niece. It was also a very light dress to wear which meant it wouldn’t feel too hot for a July wedding. We had tried on others with built in layers but they felt a bit too cumbersome and heavy to wear. It had sold out on the Collectif site but we were lucky to find all the sizes we needed on the Tiger Milly website.
My sister was having a four tiered petticoat made to go under her dress and wanted us to have petticoats also (but not as full as hers was going to be, obviously!). Trying to find the perfect length petticoat was a bit of a challenge. The Darlene is a lot shorter than some of the other Collectif dress styles and neither their short, (20”), nor standard, (26”), petticoats were the right length. We tried some other vintage style shops around Covent Garden but the shortest petticoat we could find there (25”) was also too long. An online search that evening led us to Lucy London where we found a 23” petticoat by Banned Apparel. We decided to order a white one that I could try under the dress and if the right size would then get for the other bridesmaids.
The petticoat arrived within a couple of days and was absolutely the perfect length for the dress. It gave great volume to the skirt and allowed a little of the white to show under the navy to give a great contrast.
I had a few different petticoats already, but after trying on the one from Banned I have become a convert and they are now my preferred petticoat brand by far. The petticoats are so soft, not at all scratchy and are also the fullest and most flouncy of all that I own. They also have a delightful ruffle at the bottom that adds to the look and also prevents catching / fraying, which I have suffered from with some other brands. I now want to replace all my petticoats with Banned ones!
With the dress and petticoat sorted all I needed to worry about was the shoes. My sister was not worried about us all having the same as long as we all went with neutral tones. In the end I went with the gorgeous cream Robbie shoes from American brand B.A.I.T. I am normally a UK 5 and was unsure what US size to go for. If they turned out to be too small they would be no use but too big I figured I could always add an insole. In the end I went for the US 8. In the end they were too big, a half insole and heel grips made them OK for the day and I will wear them again when not too much walking is required, but in hindsight I should have gone for a US 7.
It was a fantastic day and we had a lot of fun when the photographer asked us all to twirl for the photos. The dresses were just perfect for that and the ceilidh dancing afterwards!