Credit Crunch Bride

Archive for the ‘Dresses’ Category

What to do with your wedding dress afterwards

In Dresses on August 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm

In cost-per-wear terms your wedding dress is likely to be by far the most expensive piece of clothing you’ll ever buy. And the likelihood is, you’ll never wear it again. Unless of course, your first marriage doesn’t work out and your next fiance is both frugal and unsentimental. Or, you do one of the following:

1. Trash it. This American tradition involves putting the dress back on and getting a photographer to shoot you destroying it on camera.

Run through forests, throw yourself in a river, roll in hay - whatever it takes for the perfect picture

Run through forests, throw yourself in a river, roll in hay - whatever it takes for the perfect picture

2. Donate it. Oxfam have a number of specialist bridal departments that can make a decent amount of charity cash for your dress.

3. Sell it. Try OnceWed, PreLoved or the all time favourite, Ebay.

4. Dye it. No, not yourself, you’ll inevitably cock it up. Get professional dyers to do it. Worst case scenario is a polyester lining that’s shrunk and hasn’t taken the colour properly and has puckered the seams of your lovely lace outer, plus lace and beading that’s still its original colour.

Only silk dyes properly, anything synthetic wont really work (polyester, acetate, polyester satin). Nor will beading or lace. 2BirdStone on Etsy dyes your crinoline to order if you fancy.

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Dye your wedding dress pale pink and have it shortened. Maybe it'll look a little like this Reiss dress...

5. Shorten it.
Extra short wedding dress

5. Turn it into throw cushions. Or a baby blanket, or a quilt.

Erica Mills, in California specialises into turning your dress into a Christening outfit

Erica Mills, in California specialises into turning your dress into a Christening outfit

7.
Preserve it. Get it dry cleaned pronto, before any stains have time to become part of the fabric. Then vacuum-pack it in a sealed carrier with acid-free tissue between the folds. Plastic can discolour fabric over time, so make sure you have tissue paper around the outside of the dress as well. Add moth repellant and keep it away from light for the next 30 years… until your daughters tell you they’re lesbians and even if they weren’t they’d never wear your dress anyway because it’s stained, moth-eaten and 30 years out of date.

You can even get special boxes with plastic windows to keep you dress in.

Wow. A special boxes with plastic windows to keep you dress in.

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Recycled wedding dresses? How terribly eco.

In Dresses on July 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm
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Deconstruct old clothes and turn them into catwalk pieces

Cover off “something borrowed” by walking down the aisle in a recycled wedding dress. It will keep your carbon footprint light and fluffy and your wallet with a few pennies left in it.

For East Londoners, Junky Styling are specialists at creating something new from recycled clothing. They can either scour second hand shops and jumble sales for you to find beautiful pieces of lace to make your dream eco-dress or alter and re-fashion a piece of clothing you bring in. Run by Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager and a team of designers on Brick Lane, they’re immensely creative and admirably unpretentious. They’re not wedding specialists, but sometimes that can be a good thing. Here’s some they made earlier…

A little bit of rouging and a buttoned off-shoulder cowl neck

Recycled wedding dress by Junky Styling. Groom, bride's own.

Recycled wedding dress by Junky Styling. Groom, bride's own.

Layers of vintage lace add interest to a simple silhouette

 Vintage lace gets a make-over

Vintage lace gets a make-over

Shortening an old wedding dress gives instant modernity.

Take a wedding dress, then shorten, add ruffles, and voila. Your wedding dress = pimped.

Take a wedding dress, then shorten, add ruffles, and voila. Your wedding dress = pimped.

And if you’re really really on a budget, you can always fashion a wedding dress out of old white T-shirts…

A few T-shirts, some sewing skillz and by golly, that's your wedding dress sorted.

A few T-shirts, some sewing skillz and by golly, that's your wedding dress sorted.

Click here to see instructions

Click here to see instructions

The pain of over-priced bridal shoes

In Dresses, Shoes on April 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm
put your feet up and shoe shop online with Zappos.com

Put your feet up and shoe shop online with Zappos.com

Price Tag Shock Syndrome is frequently reported in regard to bridal shoes. The cost-per-wear is incredibly high and generally they’re icky, tasteless items. Here’s the Credit Crunch Bride’s guide to avoiding wasting vast amounts of cash on shoes you’ll never wear again:

1. Fashion first, wedding second. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t dream of wearing that style normally, don’t let your fashion suffer for your wedding.

2. Don’t do white. Pewter, red, gold, taupe or silver are infinitely more re-wearable.

3. No one will see them. If you’re wearing a full length dress, get something cheap, comfy and not too high. It’s not as if anyone will ever know if you even wear trainers. Pick up cheapos from Monsoon and save your Jimmy Choo budget for another time.

From Monsoon's bridal collection - Marlena £55

From Monsoon's bridal collection - Marlena £55

4. Highstreet can work. Coast and Dune have lots of bridalish options.

Coast shoes in beige and silver now on sale for £29 - a bargainista's wet dream

Coast shoes in beige and silver now on sale for £29 - a bargainista's wet dream

Here’s Marie Claire’s Top 10 bridal shoes.

5. Wear flip flops and bring some hippyish charm to your nuptials.

The clutch bag as bouquet

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Dresses, Flowers, Uncategorized on April 9, 2009 at 11:43 pm
Clutch from Viabella at Etsy

Clutch from Viabella at Etsy

As a bride, it is very likely your duties will include walking down an impossibly long aisle very slowly. Meanwhile a hundred or so guest will scan you up and down. You will be nervous. All eyes will be on you. Your hands will be shaking. This is where the bouquet comes in. It gives you something to do with your hands, other than fidget or flap. In that way, it makes sense.

However, bouquets can be eye-wateringly expensive. So what on earth do you hold in your shaking hands instead? Well, what you normally would, of course. A clutch.

Boden floral clutch

Boden floral clutch - comes in 4 colours

Clutch from Etsy

Clutch from Viabella at Etsy

The clutch-instead-of-bouquet option has the distinct advantage of giving you a place to hide your lipstick etc.

From L to R: The Spring Fling; Pinch Puff Clutch; Satin Wedding Clutch with Flower; Georgia Navy; Olivia Ivory; Peacock Feathers Clutch

All from Etsy: From L to R: The Spring Fling; Pinch Puff Clutch; Satin Wedding Clutch with Flower; Georgia Navy; Olivia Ivory; Peacock Feathers Clutch

This clutch with a luxurious bow is a wonderful bouquet replacement (again, Viabella at Etsy)

And if you’re going to have a clutch, why not replace the bridesmaids bouquets with clutches too. No truly fashion-loving bridesmaid would prefer a bouquet to one of these Nelle clutches.

Nelle handbags

Nelle handbags

Another recession-defying wedding theme: Alice in Wonderland

In cake, Decoration, Dresses, Readings, Themes on March 24, 2009 at 11:51 pm
Alice in Wonderland: the perfect Credit Crunch wedding theme

Alice in Wonderland: the perfect Credit Crunch wedding theme

So, here’s the secret. If your wedding isn’t being planned by The World’s Leading Wedding Planner with a diploma in Co-ordinating Colours, and is rather more of the budget variety, the Alice in Wonderland theme could be for you. It excuses all sorts of ridiculous randomness, wonky home-made cakes, mismatching decorations and strange behaviour. In fact, it encourages it.

Courtesy of Bridalcheek

Courtesy of Bridalcheek

Here’s a few requirements to keep the Cheshire cat grinning and the Mad Hatter sipping:

1. Croquet.

Croquet with flamingoes as mallets and hedgehogs as balls

Croquet with flamingoes as mallets and hedgehogs as balls

2. Wonky wedding cake. Get a friend to make one and encourage her to wonk it up.

3. Top hats. The more ridiculous and ill-fitting the better.

4. Eat me, drink me signs. These can be adapted for any situation throughout your venue. Drive me, follow me, avoid me, wee inside me etc.

5. Ornate tea cups for your very own Mad Hatter’s tea party. Indeed, add a tea party flavour to your canapes with tiny sandwiches and mini scones.

6. Whimsical nonsense such as stopped clocks.

Ushers with stripey socks: a must for all serious Lewis Carroll fans.

Ushers with stripey socks: a must for all serious Lewis Carroll fans.

7. Nonsensical readings such as:

The Bat
Lewis Carroll

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly
Like a tea-tray in the sky.

By Style Me Pretty

By Style Me Pretty

8. Hallucinogenic drugs. Then you can have all the experiences dear Alice had.

Anne Hathaway as the Alice in Wonderland brides muse

Anne Hathaway as the Alice in Wonderland bride's muse

9. Roses. No need to paint them red. That’s officially When A Theme Goes Too Far.

10. Playing Cards as favours. If you do favours, which I don’t. Though if you do, that’s fine too.

High street flower girls are go

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Dresses on March 17, 2009 at 11:40 am
Flower girls have an alarming tendency of coming in not ones or twos, but threes or even fours. All that organza can stack up if you’re not careful. Luckily, if you avoid bridal shops and hit the high street you might just find something cute, fashionable, affordable and un-hated by its wearers. Who knows, they might (and this is of course a fabulous cliche), but they really might just wear them again.
1. Get flowergirl accessories from Monsoon. Their dresses are amazing too, and start from £55.

Flower coral hairband £5, satin ruffle ballerina shoes £20 both MonsoonFlower coral hairband, £5, Monsoon. Satin Ruffle Ballerina Shoes from Monsoon, £20

Monsoon dress wit ha vintage feel going for £62
Monsoon dress with a vintage feel going for £62

2. Go for the non-bridal girls dresses. Any long white girl’s dress with a sash ribbon at Marks & Spencer, especially in its Autograph range, is miraculously twice the price of its normal girls’ dresses.

Have more relaxed flowergirls with Marks & Spencer: white dress £25

Have more relaxed flowergirls with Marks & Spencer: pink dress £18, white dress £25

3. Try online kid’s clothingLa Redoute, Littlewoods or Boden do bright unpretensious summer dresses.

Pink floaty summer dress, £24, Boden.

Pink floaty summer dress, £24, Boden.

£16- £24 at La Redoute

£16- £24 at La Redoute

4. Have no fear of patterns. They can look remarkably chic.

Flowergirl

Tea dress, £16-21, Next

5. Co-ordinating colours can work too. And if the girls are sisters, they can re-wear them more easily.

Boden gypsy dress, £22

Boden gypsy dress, £22

6. Love the High Street. Next, BHS and Debenhams are big winners. Even Tesco can look cute on really little ones.

Flower Embroidered Bridesmaid Dress £30, Signature Vintage Bridesmaid Dress £36, both from Next

Flower Embroidered Bridesmaid Dress £30, Signature Vintage Bridesmaid Dress £36, both from Next

Design your own wedding dress: copy the old Hollywood stars

In DIY, Dresses on March 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm
Dress by Adrian (Greta Garbos designer)

Dress is by Adrian (Greta Garbo's designer)

If you’re going to shell out for a beautiful dress, you might as well get the most beautifully designed one you can. And unless you’re an astoundingly talented dress designer, it’s probably worth taking some inspiration from some of the most beautiful classic long dresses known to womankind. In other words, if you’re going to steal, do it from Waitrose rather than Costcutters.

Joan Crawford:

Joan Crawford wears a streamlined dress as Letty Lynton in 1932, designed by Adrian. It demonstrates the fashion for classical drapery with its bias-cutting, draping and wrap details.

Joan Crawford wears a streamlined dress as Letty Lynton in 1932, designed by Adrian. It demonstrates the fashion for classical drapery with its bias-cutting, draping and wrap details."

Greta Garbo:

Greta Garbo

Greta Garb

Rita Hayworth:

Rita Hayworth in a pink and silver lame evening dress designed by the famed Hollywood designer Howard Greer.

Rita Hayworth in a pink and silver lame evening dress designed by the famed Hollywood designer Howard Greer.

Learn to do hair like hers here.

!930s designer, Madeleine Vionnet:

Dancer Irene Castle poses in a classical-style dress, 1922

Dancer Irene Castle poses in a classical-style dress, 1922

Then a little later, there’s Audrey Hepburn:

Audrey Hepburn in a 50s wedding dress

Audrey Hepburn in a 50's wedding dress

And for a more modern Hollywood icon, try Keira Knightley‘s amazing green dress from Atonement:

The green dress in Atonement

The green dress in Atonement

And if all this is too much and you just want a hint of vintage, try Circa Brides, London.

The Great Hunt for the cheap, slinky wedding dress

In Dresses, Uncategorized on February 20, 2009 at 11:54 am

The hunt for an affordable wedding dress is a long and arduous one. The hunt for an affordable, slinky, 1930s inspired wedding dress not made of polyester or covered in stains, is a long, arduous, grueling and time-consuming one. Here’s a load of general tips for finding a cheap wedding dress that I blogged about earlier. Here’s where the hunt has taken me so far:

1. Personal shopper at Selfridges – Great service with two assistants running around the designer floor looking for non-bridal designer dresses. I found this amazing blue Balenciaga dress. Unfortunately it was £1300. Oh.

2. Oxfam Brides – see my earlier post on this.

3. Ritva Westenius Despite being outrageously posh, they were very nice here. I found two beautiful dresses, ‘Eleanor’ and ‘Gilda’, which I’m now scouring the net for second hand versions in size 10. Anyone?

Ritva Westenius Gilda

Ritva Westenius 'Gilda'

4. Caroline Castigliano. Here I was asked by a very frightening Miss Haversham type what sort of wedding I was going to have, as she eyed me up, trying to work out how rich I was.

“A nice one?” I replied. It went downhill from there. The only slinky, non-meringue dress was by Sharon Hoey. Again, I’m now on the hunt online for a second hand one (size 10, bias cut, cowl back,no cleavage anyone?)

This lady is selling hers for £1000, which is sadly little steep

This lady is selling hers for 1000 euros, size 8

5. Etsy seller Miss Bombshell ticked my fancy with this silk charmeuse number.

Miss Bombshell's 1930s dress. Found by etsywedding.

Miss Bombshell's 1930s dress. Found by etsywedding. $500

Headpieces, crazy woman veils and things to wear in your hair

In Decoration, Dresses on February 17, 2009 at 11:00 am
To wear a veil or not to wear a veil, that is today’s question. There’s something just a little crazy about a young woman draping herself in netting. However, on one’s wedding day a small dose of crazy can a good thing. Wear a small birdcage veil on your face, and no one will notice that your dress pulls slightly under the arms; adorn your hair with a silk flower and the plainest of dresses will seem glamorous. Here’s a selection of affordable headpieces to turn you into the star of your own wedding drama:
1. The fabric flower. Elegant, and reusable as a corsage/ brooch.
Ivory organza flower £85 from Million Design

Ivory organza flower £85 from Million Design

2. A vintage wax blossom headband. Here’s a secret. I don’t actually want to tell you about this because I’d quite like one for my own wedding, and I wouldn’t want them to sell out. However, I saw some cryingly wonderful ones at Annie’s Vintage, on Camden Passage, Islington, London at the weekend. £48 a pop.

This one isn't from Annie's Vintage, but it's similar

This one isn't from Annie's Vintage, but it's similar

3. The birdcage veil – easy to DIY if you’re getting your hair put up. Also, not quite as OTT as the full scale veil

4. Crazy feathers for the crazy bride within.

Feather headband for just 35 of your American dollars on Etsy

Feather headband for just 35 of your American dollars on Etsy

5. Diamante clips. A profusion of these can make you look a million dollars.

A fiver from Accessorize

Pick these babies up for a fiver at Accessorize

Reiss to the rescue

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Dresses on February 15, 2009 at 9:31 pm

For the more relaxed bride, Reiss has some chic cream cocktail dresses on sale. There’s also some silvery satin stilettos on sale. Have a look at the three-tone cream, nude and grey stilettos in their spring range. They are sensational.

On sale in Reiss for £100
On sale in Reiss for £100
Jamie dress from Reiss

Jamie dress from Reiss

There’s also some re-wearable dresses for bridesmaids.

Coral Reiss dress

Coral Reiss dress