I don’t like altering vintage. I tend to figure, if a thing made it 70 years to get to me, why should I change it if it doesn’t fit my body? Surely there’s someone else out there who it will fit.

Vintage red and black wheat novelty print peplum top with a red 1940s skirt and vintage feathered tilt hat

However, some pieces are beyond the “someone else can wear it” point. Some are terribly damaged, stained, torn, or otherwise unwearable. This dress was in good and sturdy shape but one skirt piece was cut off the grain, rendering it comically lopsided. After weighing my options (and wearing it as a top) I decided that the best way to save this dress was by removing the skirt entirely, recutting it as a peplum, and reattaching it to the top half of the dress.

The final creation is still a bit short in the torso but so much more wearable than the original lopsided dress. For its first outing, I paired it with the original red belt and a red skirt to match, but I suspect I’ll be able to combine it with other pieces as well.

Vintage red and black wheat novelty print peplum top with a red 1940s skirt and vintage feathered tilt hat

Since this was a church ensemble, I finished everything off with my trusty black pumps and a totally absurd red feathered hat. One must keep up one’s reputation for wearing large hats.

1940s tilt hat covered in red feathers, featuring two faux wings and a large pom-pom of black feathers

Vintage red and black wheat novelty print peplum top with a red 1940s skirt and vintage feathered tilt hat

  • Feather-covered black and red 1940s tilt hat: Solanah
  • Bakelite screwback earrings: Antiques shop somewhere
  • 1940s wheat print peplum top with belt: Etsy
  • Red six-gore 1940s skirt: Solanah
  • 1940s style black leather pumps: Marilyns from Royal Vintage Shoes

  • I purchased these shoes at a discount in exchange for images and a review