WHAT IS A FAIR EVALUATION?
Buying on the Internet based upon photos means a merchant has the responsibility to be truthful to the buyer. Please note that in describing the defects in vintage, we are being very descriptive. We try to find even the smallest fault in each item and describe it so you’ll know exactly what you’re buying.
In most cases, the defects are small and not noticeable unless closely examined. Most people would normally overlook these defects (fuzziness on appliqué, pecking, a pull in chiffon, etc.) or not see them at all. Therefore, please don’t be nervous about our sometimes extensive list of faults in an item, we are just trying to be fair and truthful and treat buyers the same way we’d like to be treated ourselves- with honesty as the best policy. As always, if anything bothers you in a description, just give us a shout and we’ll walk you through it so everyone is on the same page and all worries are put to rest.
Remember that most of our items are antiques or vintage pieces, so some wear should be expected for the age of the item. If we do state that an item isn’t in very good condition, we will state this without any attempt to make the garment appear better than it actually is.
Conditions of vintage items are based on a sliding scale from 1 to 10.
To some vintage sellers, excellent condition means that the item is like new — while to others it means that the item shows rips, stains or a tiny hole. How confusing! We try to find even the smallest fault in each item so you know exactly what you are buying. We would never call an item “MINT” if it even has one tiny defect. Because of this, we have a sliding scale from one to ten that is very truthful.
VINTAGE FAIR–Scale from 1-3 These items need tender loving care. They may have a age spots, excessive wear, openings in an underarm seam or a tear in the tulle. Some of these items are still so beauitful that they can be used as fixers or as pattern pieces. They may be still worthy of consideration if you know a good seamstress or can do it yourself.
“Vintage Fair” gowns are still beautiful, they just need care. They are perfect for photographic or theatrical purposes or worn for wedding after restoration. Rarely do we place these gowns on the website, but just in case…we’ll let you know the skinny on them when we do.
VINTAGE GOOD–Scale from 4-6 A “Vintage good” gown will be wearable for a wedding but may have a minor flaw, which we will fully describe. This could mean that the gown has been previously patched, or that it has impossible to remove soil marks on the train, pale to light underarm discoloration, or hem tears (from high heels) that may preclude a seamstress hemming up the garment. Laces may be fragile, nylons may be grey, chiffons may have a pull and World War II satins may have scarring… Please check each gown’s description page for specifics.
You may decide if the dress is suitable, and we will strive to answer all questions honestly. If you are willing to accept that the passage of time may have left its mark on a gown without diminishing its distinction, a vintage good dress can be a superb value. Often times these gowns are most affordable. Most of the gowns on our website fall into this category.
Said Oliver Goldsmith in 1754, “I…chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown. Not for a fine glossy surface, but for such qualities as would wear well. We sometimes had those little rubs which providence sends to enhance the value of its favors. Handsome is that handsome does.”
“Vintage good” beaded bags may be missing a few beads which does not detract from the overall statement of the bag. Headpieces such as orange blossoms made from wax may have slight damage, such as age spots or missing petals, but are still beautiful and wearable for your wedding. These should be considered priceless pieces of history as they are not made anymore. Vintage Veils that are listed as good may have a hole or tear that is not readily noticeable, but bears mention. Please check each item’s description page for specifics.
VINTAGE VERY GOOD–Scale from 7-8 A “vintage very good” gown will be in great condition for its age but may have one or two exceptions to keep it from being listed as excellent condition. All “vintage very good” gowns are wearable for a ceremony, but may have areas of age that need to be mentioned. There may be marks that are barely noticeable and do not detract from the gown’s beauty but bear mention. Each dress will be fully described in its page description.
A “vintage very good” gown may have never been worn or worn once for a ceremony and heirloomed. These gowns have a charming look that is obviously vint- “aged.” Gowns that have been cleaned with an archival process will be noted in their description. “Vintage very good” gloves, headpieces and beaded bags are usually in very good condition with normal wear that is unnoticeable to the outside view. Please check each item’s listing carefully for specifics.
MINT to NEAR MINT CONDITION, NEVER WORN–Scale 9-10 MINT — To be MINT condition, the item has to be perfect. No exceptions. To find an older vintage item in mint condition is nearly impossible. Most vintage items have flaws, and even the most minor flaws make an item less than MINT.
NEAR MINT — The flaw has to be looked for to be found. Even when considering a brand new item, its condition is often below Near Mint because of the way it has been handled or packaged. “Mint or Near Mint condition” gowns are most likely found on our contemporary page, with the exceptions being a vintage “deadstock” gown or headpiece that may have the original tags on it and has been found in near perfect condition. Most of these items have never been worn for a wedding, and the condition will be like new, but due to age the item may have encountered slight handling.
Please be aware that most of our near mint condition gowns may need a quick once-over for loose threads or sequins after delivery. We recommend have a seamstress go over the gown during your fitting. Most likely a “mint condition” gown will be absolutely brand new and perfect, save for an unnoticeable blemish or mark that could be from the manufacturer. Any surface blemishes that we find will be noted in the gown’s page description.
A Bride who chooses to purchase a mint or near mint gown is asked to handle it with extreme care so that should she decide to return her gown, we can then offer it to the next prospective bride with the same unblemished rating.
Contemporary or new gloves, headpieces and beaded bags may be given a mint condition rating and sold as a vintage “look” item. These items will be listed on their page descriptions as new so there will be no confusion as to their age.
VINTAGE RESTORED–Scale from 4 to 10 Oh, How we love a vintage restored gown! These gowns have been restored to wearable condition, archivally cleaned and further enhanced by added combinations of Svarowski crystals, new laces, hakelgimpe, metallic trim or freshwater pearls.
A “Vintage Restored” gown will be vintage with contemporary and possibly authentic vintage embellishment. Ceremony ready and in good to excellent condition, these are gowns with unusual, designer flair. Each Vintage Restored gown will be described accurately and fully in it’s page description.
Vintage restored items such as beaded bags, veils and headpieces will be duly noted in their respective page descriptions alongside the designer’s bio, if any. Please ask us for clarification on any rating. We’ve named each gown to make it easier for reference! Please use the name of the gown in your email subject header.