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Womens Vintage Dresses

February 16, 2015

Although we don’t wear Womens vintage dresses as much as women in the past, preferring more practical skirts or let’s be honest, jeans most often, there’s nothing like pulling the zipper on a cute printed frock to make you feel ultra feminine, or slipping on a slinky evening gown to feel like a femme fatale.

30s tennis dress

30s tennis dress

 

1920'S LACE DRESS FROM BLUE17

1920’S LACE DRESS FROM BLUE17

Always unique

Womens vintage dresses are the bomb for this, because vintage cotton sundresses are available in abundance, and you’ll find a fun print that you’ll never see in a modern copy. And as far as evening dresses go, there are great details like ornate buttons of jet and diamante, and practical additions like ribbons to hold your bra straps in place that you don’t often get nowadays either.

DELIA WEARING 1940's SATIN DRESS

DELIA WEARING 1940’s SATIN DRESS

 

1950'S COTTON PRINT DRESS FROM BLUE17

1950’S COTTON PRINT DRESS FROM BLUE17

Collecting Womens Vintage Dresses

You may be looking for vintage women’s dresses just for a night out, or to wear yourself. You could be into a specific period or style, or just enjoy whatever catches your eye.

But some people like to collect items from a particular decade or designer, and don’t mind if they don’t quite fit because they won’t be wearing them, just keeping them as a collection or using them for inspiration. Some people also get very specific with women’s vintage dresses. For example, the might collect tennis dresses, and they don’t mind what era it’s from. In fact, it’s imperative to get one from every era, for a truly complete collection.

pretty 50s dresses

pretty 50s dresses

 

1950'S COTTON PRINT DRESS 2 FROM BLUE17

1950’S COTTON PRINT DRESS 2 FROM BLUE17

Care

If you want to collect your dresses and have them for a long time, have them professionally dry cleaned, and preferably don’t wear them or let people try them on – old fabric can rip and seams can split surprisingly easily, sequins and beading can fall off, and stains can occur. Also make sure that you store them safely – never put them in a damp basement where they can get mouldy, but equally they can deteriorate in a hot attic or anywhere where they are at risk from moths or mice.

Wearing Womens Vintage Dresses

As above, note that vintage dresses can be fragile, and if you want to wear them, don’t be too disappointed if they rip or get ruined. When you buy them, all but the most expensive will probably already come with small marks, stains, rips etc. They are usually not noticeable, but by definition vintage dresses are not brand new, so if you like your outfits pristine, they might not be the right thing for you.

Marianne Faithful in a 60s dress

Marianne Faithful in a 60s dress

Sizing

The other thing to note with vintage dresses is that sizing varies wildly, and it’s generally a lot smaller than today’s. A size 12 girl might find she has to try on an extra-large vintage dress, so ignore the labels and just go for what fits. You would also need to bear in mind that sometimes it was normal to wear underwear in a certain period to shape the form a certain way, particularly pre-1960, so you might yourself need to look at wearing a waspie to nip in your waist if you want to wear 1950s fashions, or to find a bandeau bra to flatten your boobs for a true 1920s effect.

 

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