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Womens Vintage Evening Wear

February 4, 2015

Collecting or wearing womens vintage evening wear must be one of the most fun aspects of enjoying vintage clothes. You can enjoy running your hands over old silk, satins, velvets and fake furs, and take in beading, sequins, glitter and embellishments. Try on clouds of chiffon from the Fifties and feel like a prom queen, or disco boob tubes from the Seventies.

30s to 70s Womens Vintage Evening Wear

For a real feeling of drama, fall in love with a full length ball gown from any era. Climbing into long, swishing skirts and fastening yourself into a tight bodice is like playing at being a princess, or the beautiful stranger at a masked ball. Who cares if you don’t have a ball to go to, masked or otherwise? If you’re lucky and find a real silk one (the Fifties and Eighties are key times for this) just the glow of the fabric and the vividness of the colour are enough to set you daydreaming.

Jean Harlow, 1930s

Jean Harlow, 1930s

Bias cut

Bias cut satin gowns from the 30s are also incredibly feminine and flattering, without being quite so full on as a corset and petticoat ensemble. They often come in paste shades, or ivory and cream. If you want to update them, you could dye them a contemporary bright colour. Look for special dyes for silks and delicate items online.

Easy to Wear Womens Vintage Evening Wear

Of course, womens vintage evening wear can be casual and easy to wear, too. If we’re talking a night down the pub or heading out to a club, a little sparkly top can be a great addition to jeans and trainers. There’s no need to go all out and wear vintage everything, unless you want to, of course. Good casual evening tops are readily available from sixties onwards – exaggerated patterns in bri-nylon are fun, as are threads of Seventies Lurex, or perhaps an Eighties batwing sweater in primary colours.

Womens Vintage Evening Wear-Zillah looking glamorous

Zillah looking glamorous

Colorful Prints

Or try a t shirt with a cool print, or man’s colourful nylon shirt. Something you can just throw on without looking too much like you’re going to a retro party is good.

Womens Vintage Evening Wear-70s shirts

70s shirts

70s shirts

A Party With Just Womens Vintage Evening Wear

Although, having said that, a retro party is massive fun and gives you the chance to dress in styles from the pass you can’t really casually pull off without an excuse.
If you have an era you really love, throw a party and tell the guests it’s Twenties night, or Eighties or time for high Victoriana.

Victorian oriental style Fan

Victorian oriental style Fan


Victorian jet necklace from

Victorian jet necklace from

Womens Vintage Evening Wear – Dress code

If you think they may be a little unsure about the dress code, write guidelines on the invite like: 20’s – think the “Great Gatsby” and “Bugsy Malone”! Wear beaded dresses, headbands, Ostrich feather plumes and long pearl necklaces.


70’s – watch “Starsky and Hutch” or “Hustle”. Wear double denim, satin shirts or playsuits. If you think that they may be very unsure, why not provide a dressing up box? This makes proceedings even more fun, and ensures that the person who turns up out of costume can quickly be accessorised to your satisfaction.


Vintage ball gown

jean-harlow wearing bias-cut-dress