Credit Crunch Bride

Posts Tagged ‘wedding dress’

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lesbians and even if they weren’t they’d never wear your dress anyway because it’s stained, moth-eaten and 30 years out of date.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

Success at Oxfam Brides

In Dresses on February 10, 2009 at 8:44 pm
One Oxfam bridal gown

One Oxfam bridal gown

So, I’ve blogged about Oxfam Brides before, on Credit Crunch Weddings Dresses. However, now I can blog with the benefit of experience. Yes indeed, I am now endowed with the experience of one Leatherhead Oxfam Bridal department, just round the M25.

After a particularly filling afternoon tea on Leatherhead’s High St, my friend and I (both soon to be wed), headed off to our appointment upstairs at Oxfam. Admittedly, upstairs at a charity shop is not where most little girls imagine finding their dream dress. However, the assistant was very nice and didn’t seem to have any Cruella De Ville tendencies at all. There was a good 80 dresses, 79 of them unworn and direct from designers, and hardly any were nasty polyester.

More to the point, my friend found her dress, an raw silk, ivory, high halter neck, mermaid creation for £300. I’m sure it was by some outrageously expensive designer, but the labels had been cut off.

Leatherhead bridal shop

Leatherhead bridal shop

It’s probably time you made all your white wedding dreams come true at Oxfam Bridal.

Credit crunch wedding dresses

In Dresses on January 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Here’s how to chuck money down the drain.

a) Fold up a fiver really small. Stand in gutter. Squish said fiver through grill of drain.

b) Buy a brand new non-sale wedding dress from a bridal shop.

The beauty of used wedding dresses is that they really will have been worn just once. However, thousands insist on paying double or even triple to be the first wearer of their dress. It defies all logic, even the logic of a bride drunk on romance, to do this in our redundancy-infused times. Here’s some tips on finding the perfect bankruptcy-avoiding dress:

1.Take window shopping to a whole new level. Go to as many ghastly over-priced bridal shops as you can, and try as many wedding dresses on as they’ll let you. Lie flamboyantly about your budget so you get to try the best dresses. Make sure you take down the names/ product codes of the dresses.

2. Get serious with Ebay. Set up a search for the exact model and make of dress you like, save it and receive updates when one comes on the market.

There’s also online shops specifically for second hand wedding dresses, but they tend to be a bit more expensive.

3. Go old school. Well, vintage anyway. Camden market has a great range of vintage bridal dresses. Or if you want to go a little more upmarket, there’s The Vintage Wedding Dress Company for about a grand a pop.

The Vintage Wedding Dress Company

The Vintage Wedding Dress Company

4. Book into Oxfam Brides. They’ve got 10 bridal departments, mainly full of unworn designer dresses. Make an appointment at a branch, they’re all do-gooder charity types, so are extra helpful. Good ones are Bracknell, Leatherhead, Southhampton, Eastbourne. Expect to pay £250 a dress. At that sort of price, you could buy two. Hell, save the second one for your second wedding.

Oxfam Brides

Oxfam Brides

5. Borrow your mate’s. It’s crazy, but it just might work.

6. Never forget China. A billion tailors, all waiting for your custom. They’ll do rip offs of anything you can get clear pictures of. If you can manage to measure yourself properly (or get a friendly local seamstress to) then they can make it.

7. Don’t under-estimate the high street. Monsoon, Littlewoods and the American J Crew all do great dresses for £200-350. And if you’re a big fan of polyester, there’s always the BHS wedding outfit with shoes for £100.

J Crew Erez dress for $395

J Crew Erez dress for $395

8. Don’t wear white. Amazingly, you won’t turn into a pumpkin if you walk up the aisle in dove grey. Gold or any metallic has an element of theatricality, and red during winter rocks. Then you can get a designer dress without any Bride Tax.

9. Get a personal shopper. They’re free at Liberties, Selfridges and many department stores. They can help you get an idea of what shape suits you, or even find you a non-bridal dress which just happens to be white.

10. Go knee-length. Knee length dresses in ivory pretty much never get hit with Bride Tax.

Motasem dress

Dress from Motasem