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1970s Vintage Dresses

April 9, 2015

Out of all the 1970s vintage dresses out there that take my fancy, Ossie Clark is my favourite. And definitely his collaborations with Celia Birtwell.

I love maxi 70s dresses, although short in height, they’re so relaxing and easy to wear. Clarke’s designs are made from such quality, the cut, the design, the colours and the fabrics he used stand out from the rest made during that period.

Fancy some 70s magic this summer for some bang on trend looks? Then read on…..

Vintage womens 1970s dresses


Ossie Clark 1970s vintage Dresses

However, so popular are his designs to this day, that even years after his death, a 1970s dress by Clarke could set you back £1000 and that’s cheap. It’s an expensive wish to have one of his 1970s Vintage Dresses. And one that could set you back a few thousand pounds.

It doesn’t have to be Ossie Clark to be a fantastic 70s vintage dress

Question is, if Ossie Clark is a little out of your budget, can you still buy a 70s maxi dress that’s of the same quality and design for a fraction of the price? The answer is yes, but involves a lot of trawling the rails of vintage stores across London. I say London, because naturally, much of the best vintage clothes are likely to be in the capital.


Atypical 1970s vintage dresses, especially a maxi one, will be colourful and specifically cut a certain way. Therefore, key things to look for are – colour, pattern, shape and fabric.

The 70s way

A 70s dress will normally have a high bodice – usually higher up under the bust. Colours will be loud, proud and patterned. 1970s Vintage dresses will stand out, but you can minimise the shock effect by matching with more discreet accessories if you’re worried about the shock impact on those around you.


You can choose footwear, bags etc that are from the same period. You may however, want to match with more contemporary pieces that fit in with today’s vibe, a very modern 70s feel. Yes, the 70s are having a comeback, as they do every other decade. And that, in a nutshell, is the beauty of vintage, it’s always there to revisit when the time is right. Or when the gods of fashion deem it so.


So with 1970s Vintage dresses we’re looking at high bodices, potential sleeves or sleeveless and some patterns. Sometimes they come with a square neck, others with high ones. There are some exquisite maxi dresses for weddings if you really want to go the whole hog, or if you fancy a vintage dress for your impending nuptials.

Colours and patterns

Pink is a particularly vibrant colour in the 70s and there isn’t much in any decade after it that managed to recreate that vivid pinkish hue that the 70s did with such style.


If you can’t bear the colour, the beauty of 1970s Vintage Dresses means that there’s a rich and varied palette out there. Square, round or high necks, elbow length, long, short or sleeveless – the maxi dress was such a trend in the 70s there’s a surplus of them left for us to enjoy at our leisure.

70s Dresses, They don't make 'em like they used to....

They don’t make ’em like they used to….


The detailing stands out, the long sleeves with buttoned cuffs and buttoned bodice in a lemon yellow. The voluptuous black with red piping.


No matter if you can’t afford Ossie Clark, you can find 1970s vintage dresses that’ll knock spots off any retro copy. Don’t bother with copies, get the real thing and float on into summer – 70s style.



Maxi dress – 70s style

Ethnic 1970s dress, all the colour, shape and vibrancy you can handle

vintage 1970s dress by Ossie Clark

Vintage Ossie Clark – as worn beautifully by Emma Watson