Vintage Dress Rehab Part 2: Accessorize Your Thrift Store Find

The finished product
Accessorized and ready to roll!

In August, I posted about my vintage dress find from the Cure Thrift Shop. I dyed a dusty, stained yellow dress to a lovely light peach color. At this point, I’ve accessorized the dress with some more cool things I found and added to some of what I already had.

The final product

Here’s a few tips that I have to share about the experience of dyeing this vintage dress and accessorizing it:

Wet (left) vs. Dry (right). Huge contrast!

1.  Wait until it dries to accessorize: The dress appeared much more orange than peach when it was wet. Granted, the indoor lighting and darkness didn’t help. When it dried, it became a much lighter color; in fact it became exactly the shade I desired! I did not put it in the dryer and instead allowed it to air-dry on the curtain rod in my bedroom to avoid shrinkage.

Light peach slip – a great Etsy find!

2.  Find undergarments that work for the outfitMost vintage dresses need some kind of slip and/or undergarments underneath in order to fit and hang properly. In this case, the dress has see-through eyelet holes, and there was no question that I would need a slip for it. After much searching, I found a peach-colored slip that fit perfectly for less than $20 at Afterglow Vintage. Other possible ways I could have solved the slip dilemma: using a plain beige or white slip instead, going for a totally contrasting color, or dyeing a slip the same color as the dress (which I had not thought to do). I did a lot of searching for this slip before I found one that was the color I wanted and was also reasonably priced, but am very happy with how it looks.

Two-tone Balboa Remix Vintage Shoes in a bold yellow/brown

3.  Drop the idea that everything has to be matchy-matchy: I already had this pair of Two-Tone Balboa Remix Vintage Shoes in my closet. These are clearly brown and yellow and are definitely not peach. However, I like the idea of wearing a bold, contrasting set of colors on my feet. I am also not the kind of person who needs to have perfectly matching shoes for every outfit. The Remix brand does a wonderful job of reproducing shoe patterns from the 1920s-1950s to fit modern feet. They are worth every penny of the investment and are beautifully constructed. However, a simple pair of beige/neutral pumps or flats would also work fine with this outfit. Use what you have is my motto.

My favorite thrift store find, ever!

4.  Find unique accessories to make a statement:  The day I found the dress, I also found this little seashell shaped purse that was marked down significantly to $20. The color is a bit darker than the peach dress, and it’s not from the same era. However, I thought it was adorable and very “me” since I love anything ocean and mermaid-related. It also has a brown piping that matches my shoes. Finding something unique makes you stand out from the crowd.

Hair flower from Bovella!

5.  Hair flowers or hats are a great accompaniment to any vintage outfit:  I’m in a women’s dance performance group and one of the women in our group, Lauren Bova, makes beautiful hair accessories for us in her shop Bovella. They are very well made and best of all, stay put easily without needing tons of extra bobby pins.

I love accessorizing vintage finds, re-purposing things in my closet, and recycling things that could have been overlooked into beautiful new creations. Have you ever done this? I encourage you to try! Please share your creations with us in the comments!

About The Paper Pinup

Hello, I'm Laurel! I live in upstate Manhattan with my boyfriend Charles. I'm passionate about papercrafts, art journaling and sewing as "craft therapy" and bring a fresh and irreverent approach to my projects. I'm also a swing dancer and love vintage style from the 1920s through the 1950s.

4 thoughts on “Vintage Dress Rehab Part 2: Accessorize Your Thrift Store Find

  1. You are a creative genius, Laurel. To be honest, I am not into vintage clothing but after reading this, I feel the urge to dye some of my older pieces. LOVE the Balboa shoes!

    1. I’m so glad that this post inspired you! If you ever need any help on the dyeing part let me know I’d be happy to provide some feedback based on my experiences. Those are one of my favorite brands – the Remix shoes are perfect for vintage accessorizing.

    1. Yay! So glad you loved it. Let me know if you need any more tips. Fabric choice is important 🙂 Cotton works better than most which is one reason I tried it.

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