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Thrifty Thursday: Vintage Formal Gown

Thrifty Thursday: Vintage Formal Gown

Another Thrifty Thursday is here, and today I’m throwing it back to last week when I was floating on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico. I found this gown a few months ago and have been salivating over it ever since. I don’t get a chance to rock formal wear very often, so I knew formal night on my upcoming cruise was my shot. To say I was excited is most certainly an understatement: I made a tearaway calendar to help me count down the days. I took it out of the closet from time to time, just to pet it and make sure it was actually as awesome as I remembered.

It was.

The dress is by a designer named Jill Richards. Via the power of Google I now know that she was an actress-turned fashion designer famous for her gorgeous and often ruffled gowns. She was even dubbed ‘Ruffles Richards,’ which is both the coolest nickname ever, and what I’ll be answering to from now on.

I always like to google vintage designers I find at Goodwill for eduational and sentimental purposes to mentally calculate how great of an investment I just scored with my nothing but my street smarts and frugal bad-assery. This time I almost fell out of my chair:


This is hands-down the best bargain I’ve ever found. I didn’t see another one like this online, so I have no idea what it’s worth, but I’ll probably still be talking about this well into my 80’s. I mean, it is in perfect shape and even still has the matching belt.

One final note: I had visions of Titanic-esque photos on the stern of the cruise ship, wind whipping through my hair (but, you know- beautifully), sun setting in the distance, dress billowing glamorously, onlookers gazing. But in real life, dinner took so long that the sun set, my kids wanted ice cream, and the only place I could catch both a breeze and adequate lighting was in the elevator bank between the pool and the all-you-can-eat buffet. So please do me a favor and envision these photos, but with the background described above. And go ahead and throw Leonardo DiCaprio somewhere in the mix if you’re feeling generous.

Many thanks.

Vintage Jill Richards Gown Dress

The Outfit:

  • Brand: Jill Richards

  • Cost: $8.35

  • Vintage: 1970s

  • Time: I sent this through the washing machine before I realized it was worth more than my car… luckily, it turned out just fine!

  • Accessories:

    • Shoes: Old Navy glitter heels

    • Earrings: Kendra Scott

  • Backdrop: automatic doors outside the all-you-can-eat buffet. Personally, I think the miniature sailboat over my left shoulder really adds something.

Toodles, tlo

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