Some curator on a reality show I was watching addressed the issue of what it was like to be the first time owner of one of those lovely dresses from the 40s-50s era. "I didn't know it was going to be so scratchy on the inside . . ." she confessed. My rebuttal to this was, well, maybe that's why you see women in 50s movies stripping down to either full slips or some form of rubberized basque underneath it all. No way could they stand some of these gems next to their skin. Most vintage dresses like the one above, (I own it), leaves much to be desired inside. Let me say the outside work is impeccable, the waist bows and piping are perfectly applied as is the skirt. Inside however, someone forgot to line it using pellon to stabilize the bodice, leaving raw seams and a waist gathered with scratchy crinoline. Of course the first thing I did to restore this gem was line the bodice in silk and tape the waistline.
If you really love vintage and want to wear something authentic either on your wedding day or to some important event, be aware manufacturing techniques back then were different. The invisible zipper that simulates a flawless seam just didn't exist back then. In some dresses circa 30s-50s you'll find seams pinked (simply cut with pinking shears) or zig-zaged rather than lock-stitched. If you're a purest or plan on wearing your vintage find more than once, find an expert in restoration. Ideally, one who loves vintage will relish working on authentic pieces and share your vision.
Photos 1 and 2: JohnTPhotography
Photo 3: Greystar Pictures
I am sorry if these two amazingly beautiful gowns were uncomfortable to wear. They are both just SO beautiful to look at.
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