Modernizing Vintage Clothing
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How to modernize a vintage dress.

Dress: Inherited (Mimi’s Closet); Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Earrings: Banana Republic; Bracelets: Stella¨ Watch: Michele

Well, well, well. I have done it again. Raided my Mimi’s closet.

So the deets: this beauty is straight from the late 80’s (minus the shoulder pads), last worn to a Tyler, Texas Rose Festival. When I asked my beautiful grandmother (aka Mimi – you can see more of her closet here, here and here) if she had a dress that I could wear to a December wedding, she happily took me upstairs and we raided one of her closets. My eyes were immediately drawn to this piece. The fabric is so luxurious – with the gold and teal print fluctuating with the light – that I just knew it was perfect and so did she.

How to modernize a vintage dress.

How to modernize a vintage dress.

We took the dress to Mimi’s favorite tailor in Fort Worth, and he did an amazing job.

So what did he do:

  • Removed the shoulder pads
  • Nipped the waist in.
  • Added two darts in the front to enable a fitted bodice.

How to modernize a vintage dress.

Mimi was so tickled that I wanted to wear this dress. I think she said, “oh I never thought this dress would get the opportunity to see another party!” Wearing vintage, especially vintage with a personal history, is something that is near and dear to my heart. I love owning heirloom pieces, whether it is jewelry (one day I will have to show you my mom’s beautiful high school graduation ring that she engraved for me to wear as my own), clothing or furniture. I am so hesitant to own things, but things with a story, I can get behind that.

-Chelsea

LocationLOCATION: Boise, Idaho


  1. Your grandmother has amazing taste. This dress is stunning. I love the back of the dress and the length. Also I looked back at the other posts. The pink coat is fantastic.

  2. What a gorgeous dress and I love how you made it more modern, but kept its vintage “soul”. Also, the fact that you said ONE of Mimi’s closets… well I hope you show off more pieces of hers that you style!

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