You can cross off the "something old, something borrowed" if your grandmother's wedding dress or accessories haven't faded over time. If granny was a flop sweat type of gal, that could nix wearing her dress on the big day, too. What if she married in the 50s and your tastes lean toward Gatsby deco? If vintage is your wedding quest, these Chicago places have just your style.
Veronica Sheaffer Custom Bridal
355 N. Laflin St., Suite 102
Chicago, IL 60607
Owner/designer Veronica Sheaffer declares, "Absolutely we are one of the best, most definitely for a vintage shopper!" When a bride visits the studio/showroom, she meets directly with Sheaffer, the designer, for every consultation, fitting and pick-up. Each gown, from the line or custom, is handcrafted in Chicago using only fine fabrics. "My goal here has always been to create feminine, un-fussy, special gowns with loads of charm, and I work with brides from around the country and Canada who search everywhere for just that. Brides fly in from NY and LA for fittings," she says. The dresses and accessories from the line have a feminine, vintage feel so they are very wearable and not at all "costumey." Custom is a great option for brides who haven't found the perfect vintage dress in their exact size, and they can be in complete control of the fabrics and laces. Sheaffer warns that consultation slots go fast, so book accordingly.
Silver Moon Vintage
1721 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Silver Moon has been dressing brides for over 30 years and features the area's largest collection of premiere original vintage bridal and its own signature vintage-inspired collection. If a 1920s beaded deco gown or a 50s lace tea-length is your dream, Silver Moon is your shop. Not only specializing in one-of-a-kind gowns and accessories, Liz Meyer says the shop's unique services set it apart. "We offer perfect fit alterations, custom design and heirloom redesign, bringing new design to a family heirloom." If you can't get grandma's necklace to shine, you may find the perfect vintage piece to go with your gown. Keep an eye peeled for stuff for him, too, like a 1940s vintage tux.
1834 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
This shop's niche is vintage costume jewelry and the selection is unrivaled. In addition to the bride's jewelry, staff can help coordinate complimentary looks for the entire wedding party. Browse cases and cases of jewelry in every style and price range, much of it signed by well-known and collectible designers such as Eisenberg, Kramer, Weiss, Haskell and more. Brides can opt for Victorian, deco or 1950s lucite or plastic beads and on the rare occasion that Vintage Underground doesn't have what you're looking for, it'll hunt for it for you.
I Do Designer Bridal Consignment
6742 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60634
Celebrating its 20th year in 2014, I Do Designer Bridal Consignment is one of the city's premier bridal resale salons and its longevity is a testament to its stock and service. The vintage collection spans the last 80-plus years from original gowns from the 1930s to contemporary gowns that brides have recently brought in to recycle. Gowns are generally priced at less for half of retail, sometimes less. Owner Kelly Hamilton says, "The first sentence out of most brides mouths when they come in to sell their gown is....'I wish I knew about your store before I spent all that money on my gown' and we tell them to share our store with their friends, so they can save money, too." The shop is open every day but Monday, only by appointment, and also offers an excellent, affordable tailor, free storage and free lay-away.
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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