How to Make an Ill-Fitting Dress Fit in All The Right Places Without Alterations

Updated on November 4, 2016

I'm sure you've heard the expression before, "A little goes a long way". This wise old adage holds true with vintage clothing as well. If you happen to find yourself falling madly in love with a vintage garment but sadly it's too big for you or it's not "hugging" you in all the right places, chin up my dearies! Don't pass up a fabulous dress just because you think it won't fit or that you'll have to spend too much money on tailoring. The answer may just be something you already have at home. Here are some examples of how to make a dress fit in all the right ways.

Add a Belt to Flatter Curves and Give the Illusion of an Hourglass Figure

Create shape and the illusion of an hourglass figure by cinching in your waist with a belt
Create shape and the illusion of an hourglass figure by cinching in your waist with a belt | Source

Above is an adorable shirt dress from the 1950s to early 60's by Mode O' Day. It's a size medium to large, so if you're petite the dress on it's own would be too overpowering on your figure. Even if it is the right size for you, the dress is cut more or less straight, which might not be that flattering on most figures.

A quick and easy solution is to add a belt. A skinny one would suit this dress better. If you don't already have a skinny belt, we suggest investing in one. It can be used with so many outfits! This one was only around $5 from Forever 21, so it's not like you have to break the bank to own one!

Use Safety Pins to Make a Chic Wrap Dress

Vintage 1950's-60's shirt dress Mode O' Day.
Vintage 1950's-60's shirt dress Mode O' Day. | Source

Safety pins? Yup, that's right. You may already have collected a few safety pins from your previous purchases, in which case this won't cost you a penny.

This works great with shirts, dresses, or light jackets that are just too big and baggy. Transform an ill fitting garment into a cool and chic statement piece. Simply wrap it around your curves and pin it in place with safety pins.

The pins we've used are small and discreet enough to go unnoticed, but why not be creative and work your inner crafting cleverness and show it off. Use colored safety pins or large gold safety pins a la Elizabeth Hurley's Versace gown and get ready to turn some heads!

Pinning may lead to puckering of the fabric in the back. If it doesn't look as flattering in the back as the front, loosely gather the back into pleats and pin those together. You may need a friend to help you on this one.

Safety pin the back also to fix unsightly puckering.
Safety pin the back also to fix unsightly puckering.

Use Ribbon to Create an Empire Waist Line

Take a tip from Edwardian fashion and tie a ribbon just under the bust to create an empire waist line.
Take a tip from Edwardian fashion and tie a ribbon just under the bust to create an empire waist line.

A large maxi dress, like this one above, can make you feel like a sack of potatoes. Take a tip from Edwardian fashion and add a ribbon just under the bust to create an empire waist line. It's uber-flattering and covers any lumps and bumps around the tummy area, which I think most of us can agree we can do without!

Vintage 1970's maxi dress handmade piece. From CutandChicVintage shop on Etsy
Vintage 1970's maxi dress handmade piece. From CutandChicVintage shop on Etsy

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Esmer 5 years ago

        These are clever and practical ideas worth recommending.

      • CutandChicVintage profile image
        Author

        CutandChicVintage 5 years ago from New York City

        Thank you very much! I'm very honored to have my hub considered and to be amongst such really great company!

      • ripplemaker profile image

        Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        I admire women who know how to add the "something" to make it look good! I wish I could that more... hehe

        Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. This way please to read and vote https://hubpages.com/community/A-HubNugget-Hunt-fo... Enjoy!

      • CutandChicVintage profile image
        Author

        CutandChicVintage 5 years ago from New York City

        Hello Julie! Thank you! :)

      • Julie DeNeen profile image

        Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

        This is a cool idea. Thanks for the tips!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, bellatory.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://bellatory.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)