Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Bridesmaid of the '80s -- Bridesmaid Series

Way back in April I wrote a post about bridesmaid dresses, and how they are, most often, just never worn again. As I am semi-between my own current sewing projects, I thought it might be fun to go back to the dark ages reminisce about the bridesmaid dresses that I wore.

Besides my own wedding, I was in 4 other weddings. My cousin's, a sorority sister's, my own sister's, and my best friend from high school. Let's start with my own wedding because each of these dear women were also in my wedding, and you can see what they wore.

Susan, Cindy, Roland, Beth and Carrie

The date: October 29, 1983 (yes, our 30th anniversary is coming up). The place: Southern Methodist University's Perkins Chapel in Dallas, TX. The lovely maids are wearing burgundy moire taffeta dirndl style skirts with a blouse made using Vogue 2805, an Oscar de la Renta designer pattern. I did wear my sister's dress to a wedding in Italy the next year. No word on if anybody else wore the outfit again.

Before I go any further, let me add that until very recently, I actually still had all of these dresses. And no, I am not a hoarder... just maybe sentimental. Or something.

Backing up a few years, I was first in my cousin Carrie's wedding in 1977 when we were really but babes.

The peasant style top has a Sakowitz label, but I seem to remember that these were also made by my mom (or someone). There is also a Liberty print short overskirt that buttoned in the front that I plan to refashion into something else. It's just as full, so there is plenty of fabric. For a long time I also still had the 3 ribbons that we tied around our waists, but those are either squirreled away, or just gone. I may have worn the top again, but I don't really think I did. This one outlasted the marriage. All that lovely blue eyelet will make an adorable dress for a future granddaughter, don't you think?

For my sorority sister, Beth's wedding, we were in peach polyester taffeta.
This dress was floor length, and has since been sold in a vintage section of one of my Etsy shops. But it has been hemmed. Why, you ask? (Beth, if you happen to read this... I know we looked lovely on the day, but, well, it was just perfect for something else, too. Apologies in advance.)

Little Bo Peep and her little lost sheep, now found. Yes, Halloween.

Cindy was married in 1985 (I think) in January, which explains the burgundy velvet.

It doesn't really dip that low in the neckline... the elastic that goes over the shoulders, strap-like to hold up those great, puffy sleeves, is just shot. I wore this to a performance of the Nutcracker Suite in the late 80s, and I think that was it. I do still have it, thinking I might make some kind of holiday pencil skirt. May be time to just let this one go.

Finally, my sister, Susan's wedding. May, 1987. Again in Dallas, this time at Highland Park Presbyterian Church. Laura Ashley was very popular then, and that's what we wore. And I was 6 months pregnant. Can you tell?

I refused to let the photographer get a side shot of me. This time, I bought the dress 2-3 sizes too big, and had a friend help me make it a bit more pregnancy friendly around the middle. I never wore this dress again, and it was also sold from my Etsy shop.

Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane! That was definitely the 80s for you... big sleeves, full skirts, bows, and that unflattering "tea" length.

Until the next bridesmaid/wedding post...


  1. Replies
    1. Yes! Don't know why I didn't remember when I was writing the post. I've edited it now, thanks!

    2. Was there for a wedding a year or so ago. I thought I recognized part of the background of the photo. Dallas is home; I lived there most of my life and now within about 35 miles.

  2. What an interesting look at the past. It's funny, how those styles are now much maligned, though at the time, they looked wonderful. Thanks for sharing!



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