Hippie Wedding Dresses for a Casual Bohemian Chic Second Marriage
By Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
If you use your good taste, you can have a cheap and easy, laid-back, elegant wedding that all your guests will love. Call it whatever you want: boho-chic, eco-friendly, neo-hippie…it’s all good. And, your great wedding can be done on a shoestring, in a fabulous, meaningful way, because you will choose things that you really love...not things that magazines want you to love.
Life is so expensive. Don't throw away your money on tacky wedding junk.
You’re Paying for Everything
If you’re a Baby Boomer Chick, this is probably not your first wedding, so you and your beau will most likely be paying for everything.
Well, even if mumsy and da want to throw you a bash, I still like the idea of an indie, hippie wedding.
I think people have much more fun when everything is open-ended and informal…although I still encourage the wearing of hats and fascinators to all weddings, even informal ones.
Hey, I encourage the wearing of hats to the grocery store, the PTA, and the mall, as well.
You Can Have a Cheap Wedding
One of the best things about a retro, boho wedding is that it’s really easy to keep the costs down.
If you have a “true” hippie wedding, it should cost almost nothing, but I have a feeling that most of you are not rebellious enough (or broke enough) to do a truly-retro, dirt-cheap, living-on-a-commune style of wedding like my friends did in the 60s and 70s.
However, I think you can come up with something between a barefoot and pregnant wedding and an over-the-top, impress-the-neighbors formal gala. This wedding is for you, not them.
Bohemian Vintage Wedding Dresses
In the 60s, a true hippie-chic wedding dress (the UK word is hippy) would have been made of cotton, silk, modal, or some other natural fiber. If you look around you can find dresses in good, vintage-style fabrics.
However, if you find a dress you love in a manmade fiber, like polyester, it's fine to wear that. I just wouldn't get a gown that's too shiny. It will feel phony.
Polyester products were the antithesis of natural, anti-corporate sensibilities.
Ideally, a perfect neo-hippie gown would be made out of some eco-friendly fabric, with a fabulous drape, such as:
- Organic Cotton
- Flax Linen
- Ramie Cotton
- Very lightweight Wool (if outdoors in a cool climate)
You could even wear a patchwork dress paired with a big floppy hat or a circlet of real flowers; you could not get more authentically "hippie" than that.
A Recycled, Vintage Wedding Dress?
Hippies were those crazy people who started Earth Day, so it just seems like a boho-chic wedding should reflect an environmentally friendly style. To really go green, wear a recycled, vintage wedding dress from a thrift store or an antique's store.
Just look for a white, off-white, or pastel colored dress or gown from the 60s or 70s, or a vintage dress (from any decade) that is long and somewhat unstructured.
Should I Tie-Dye an Old Wedding Dress?
No. Do not tie-dye a wedding dress, even though some articles suggest that you try tie-dyeing. Chances are your dress would end up looking tacky and totally ruined. For a mellow look, tea dyeing might disguise shopworn fabric on an old dress, but practice on some other garment first.
Don't Tie Dye Your Dress
If you want to dye your upcycled wedding dress in a cool blue, peach, pink or lavender, that would be beautiful. However, I still suggest you try dyeing a similar piece of fabric before you get all creative with your retro dress.
Small stains can be covered with embroidery, cotton flower appliqués or recycled appliqués made from sections of old sequined or beaded party gowns.
The most important thing is self-expression. If you upcycle an old dress using your imagination, you are getting to the very essence of hippie counter-culture style.
Vintage Wedding Dresses
When shopping for a vintage dress, making your own dress, or buying a new dress in a vintage style, look for details like these:
- A simple, casual style (no ball-gowns or anything remotely debutante)
- A long, flowing dress (tea-length, ankle-length or floor-length).
- Empire waist with a square neckline or a v-line drop-waist bodice, like a medieval Guinevere-style dress.
- Sleeves should be long, puffed, medieval, off the shoulder in the peasant style, or sleeveless. Short sleeves would usually look wrong.
- Simple lace is reminiscent of a sophisticated 30s or 40s styles, and hippies wore beautiful things from former decades because inexpensive old dresses could be found in Goodwill and other thrift shops.
A white, embroidered, Mexican-style peasant top or an ethnic caftan paired with a long white skirt or wide, cotton drawstring pants would be perfect.
Another idea is to make a Talitha-style dress (long A-line, sleeveless, square-neck, empire bodice) or a beautiful Prairie Dress (no bonnet) in a flattering color.
Or pick an ethnic style that you love: an elegant goddess dress, a colorful sari, or an Eastern European gypsy style covered with embroidery. Beautiful. It’s impossible for you to look anything but gorgeous if you follow your instincts. Choose what you love, and everything else will follow.
More Groovy Articles for Baby Boomer Women:
Photo Credits: prshots.com.
- Main Photo: Monsoon.
- Boho Hippie Wedding Dress Plus Size: Chesca. (This is not super cheap, but you'll be able to wear it forever.)
- Tropical Floral, Patchwork, Kurta Hippie Wedding Dresses: Monsoon and Accessorize 2013.
- Hippie Boho Wedding Dresses Like the 60s & 70s: Little Mistress at Asos, Asos, Asos Premium Midi with Embroidery, Free People.
- Plus Size Hippie Wedding Dresses: Chesc a (2), Little Mistress.
- Caftan: Fifty Plus.
- If you don't see a dress that's supposed to be on this article, it's because I lost some images when we updated the site. The updated images are from fall - winter 2014 - 2015.
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