I love shopping vintage and thrifting! That goes for everyday clothes and special occasions. I’ve done it once before when I bought a vintage dress for my high school senior prom and I’m in the process of doing it once more!
Every year the marching band holds a band banquet at the end of the season in December, which is like band prom, except it’s 10 times more fun than regular prom. Last year, I just wore the same dress I wore at prom, but this year, I’m looking for a new dress. It’s basically just an excuse for me to splurge a little more than my usual $5 at the local Goodwill for a vintage/thrifty find.
When searching for a vintage dress, it’s difficult to find that perfect balance between something that is unique to it’s era (hello 80s!) and something that will fit in with current trends. Thankfully, vintage-inspired is very in! However, I don’t want to buy a dress that is too similar to the one I previously bought.
Banquet 2011: That’s me in the 80s sequins and bow!
So I’ve been scouring Etsy’s vintage section for the perfect dress. I’m keeping a list of favorites so far and here’s a few dresses/themes that I love:
Vintage 70s/80s Cherry Red Flapper Fringe Cocktail Party Mini Dress – $155
It fits our marching band show theme: Western! I love the fringe. This dress just screams “fun” and “I want to dance!” It’s also perfect to pay some homage to the the flappers of the 1920s who paved the way for women in America. However, at $155, this dress is way over my budget. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Vtg 50s/60s Cherry Red Stretch Diamond Rhinestone Embroidered Cocktail Dress – $175
Sigh, another dress I can’t afford. I love the playfulness of this dress. The high-low skirt makes this piece the mullet of dresses. I also like the coverage on the arms. The modesty of the cut definitely plays down the color and makes this super wearable. The rhinestones also get rid of the need for any neck jewelry. It’s simple, yet makes a statement.
Gorgeous Red 90s Bandage Mini Dress – $28
Something in my budget! The 90s had some crazy trends, and some of them I question about ever returning, however this dress is something the 90s did right. You can barely tell it was from the 90s. The cut and fit of this dress is so typical of any other party dress you’d find on a college girl on a Friday night that it kind of loses its appeal to me. It’s hard to believe that clothes from the 1990s are considered vintage because I was alive then! But still, I like the zig-zag detail on the dress and the color is unique and it’s cheap and vintage, so it’s definitely worth considering as an option.
70s Coral Lace Dress – Romantic Sheer Floral Lace Dress – $56
This dress is not only red, but it’s also lace! I love the fact that this dress has a little length. Lace is a really popular current trend in fashion. It also works for semi-formal events and can be dressed down with the right accessories. A versatile piece always lengthens your wardrobe. The price is also just about right. That’s probably as high as I’m willing to spend.
Vintage 1960s Black Sleeveless Beaded Lace Dress – $49
This black lace dress is super classy! Rather than the dress being made entirely of lace, the lace top portion makes a subtle statement. I love how the flowy skirt contrasts the fitted lace top. Black is also a much safer color to wear, although I was trying to stay away from black and white this time.
Vintage 70s Purple RUFFLE TRIMMED Mini Party Dress M – $52
I’m not sure that I’d be pull off this bold color, but I still like it. In case you haven’t noticed, I really like balancing out lengths and proportions by either having a modest top and short skirt or a more revealing top with a fuller-length skirt. This dress does it all.
Girly Gala Glam Party Dress. Vintage 1970s. Little Black Dress. Cascading Chiffon Handkerchief Ruffles. Size Extra Small. – $30
You can’t see it in this picture, but the back of this dress is a huge SURPRISE! It’s super low cut. I’ve definitely never worn something so… provocative! But again, a balance of skin and modesty. It’s all about the balance. I’m a little on the short side, however, so I’m afraid that the longer length of the skirt would only make me look more like a midget.
Black Sequin Ruffle Party Dress Small – $30
The ruffles on this dress are a little more understated but the sequins make up for it. My other dress also had a black sequined top so I’m a bit reluctant to getting one so similar. This dress definitely conveys a different feeling, though.
1980s Ruffly Skirts
Vintage 1980s Floral Colorful Gold Iridescent Prom Party Dress – $61
I have an obsession with bows and this dress is just another manifestation of it. It’s black but has a sort of gold, glowy floral pattern. It’s just the right amount of color to make the dress stand out. However, my other dress also has a bow so getting this dress is a little questionable in terms of getting something different.
Vintage 1980s Dark Blue Rose Velvet Embellished Tulle Party Dress – $63
This dress is my absolute favorite one that I’ve found so far. And it’s only slightly more than my budget so I’d definitely be willing to splurge on it. The main reason why I love it so much is that it reminds me of the Japanese Loli trend. Everything about it is just perfect! The little lace detail, the ruffly skirt, the balance between girly and edgy, the dark color. I wanted to stay away from black and a darker jewel tone is just enough. Gah, I just want it so much. If no one buys it in the upcoming weeks, this one might be the one I buy.
Now that I’ve shown you all these awesome dresses you’re not going to go and buy them all off of Etsy, right? Haha, who ever gets these finds are going to be lucky girls. I’ll probably be making my decision within a few weeks. Banquet is only a month away! Boy does the semester fly by fast.
Are you as obsessed with vintage as me? Have you worn vintage to a special occasion? Which dress do you like the best? Let me know what you think in the comments!