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50s Style Dresses

  • Monroe, Dior, prom dresses and more: 1950s fashion and today’s eveningwear

    Only a fool who knew nothing of women’s fashion would claim that vintage and retro weren’t in and it’s only about the high-street – vintage and retro are absolutely in and from no decade more so than the 1950s. Not least when it comes to the more formal end of the fashion spectrum. But why? Why are women of all ages turning to that era’s looks – and why have the ’50s always been a touchstone for eveningwear to hark back to…?

    1950s style dresses

    The context

    In many ways, the ’50s were about reconstruction; the West was putting itself back together in the aftermath of the Second World War. In the UK, this meant an age of austerity – sound familiar? – but in the US, by contrast, it saw booming industrial and economic development, more cash in people’s wallets (especially the young) and a desire for colour, style and self-expression after the previous decade’s restrictive war years.

    Indeed, fashion designers became genuine household names across the planet (the likes of Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy); they resurrected haute couture and rebelled against the austerity-influenced styles of the 1940s by producing clothes that thoroughly celebrated femininity and the female form. For that reason alone, 1950s eveningwear – with its elegance and oh-so easy-on-the-eye appearance – has remained a constant standard against which much of the eveningwear that’s followed has been measured, as well as influencing so much of what’s come in the decades since.

    The fashion

    Specifically, 1950s dresses suitable for a night out on the town were all about figure-hugging shape at the waist and above but blossoming out with lots of fabric beneath. It’s a timeless look, all right, and understandably popular for women’s eveningwear today – for everything from formal events to school, college and university proms. Colour too was in; as bold and vivid as you like, or more delicate with vibrant floral prints. The emphasis then was on the silhouette (as so often with women’s fashion, of course), but in this decade it was firmly on celebrating the natural female hourglass figure. That said; a mini-revolution occurred with Dior turning his attention to slim-figure-favouring A-line dresses and the take-up once again of the notorious little black dress (LBD).

    The influencers

    Technically speaking, the multi-media age pre-dated World War Two, but it really kicked into gear in the 1950s, as the West recovered from that conflict’s widespread and deep destruction. Like never before then, the very biggest celebrities were fully-fledged multi-media stars; if they weren’t on the big screen, they were being interviewed on TV or being featured in several-page-long spreads in glossy, colourful, hugely popular and influential fashion magazines. Most of the time, of course, they were appearing in all three at once.

    To this end then, the female icons of the age were bigger fashion icons – and walking advertisements for the fashion industry – than ever before (and in a way we relate to greatly nowadays). Indeed, such icons are still revered today; perhaps more than anything else for how they dressed – so to say that fact didn’t inspire what became fashionable (and remains timelessly fashionable still) would be a big understatement.

    1950s style dresses

    But who were they? Well, we’re talking the likes of Grace Kelly (the Hollywood princess who became a real princess) and Marilyn Monroe (the sex symbol who wasn’t afraid to hide her vulnerable soul), both unforgettable in those voluminous dresses of the era; then there were the European glamour pusses that were Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren (both with their hourglass figures and on-trend fashion to match) and, conversely, the slim-lined gamine appeal of the adorable Audrey Hepburn (whom effectively served as Givenchy’s muse). These are unforgettable names today, the mere mention of which summon up visions of unforgettable images – and 1950s style dresses, of course.

    Thanks to all these factors then, it’s no surprise that stylish, elegant women’s fashion from the 1950s not only continues to influence the very best of today, but is turned to by women throughout the world when dressing themselves up to the nines whatever the special occasion. In short, you can’t beat the ’50s look – it’s a timeless era of fantastic formal fashion that’ll always be a touchstone, always be relevant and always be wearable.

  • From boutiques to websites: the dos and don’ts of vintage shopping

    It’s a familiar tale for lovers of vintage fashion everywhere – whether they’re shopping in a physical store or online – waiting for that ‘eureka!’ moment. The sensation of coming across that one item you know, instinctively and for sure, is absolutely for you. But how can you encourage that moment? Is there any way you can help bring it about, beyond scouring vintage outlets and websites?

    Is it a case that mastering the old when it comes to fashion requires some sort of ancient know-how or is it best just to rely on dumb luck and a magpie’s eye for what you like? Well, the truth is there’s no real formula you can deploy, but there are one or two tips and tricks out there you might want to try out to, yes, tip your vintage shopping scales in your favour…

    Where should you go for vintage shopping?

    There’s no hard-and-fast rule here, nor should there be. After all, vintage shopping should be about fun. Finding an outlet that catches your eye; rummaging through the rails and coming across something that brings a smile to your face. More specifically, though, shops and markets tend to be great sources for vintage clobber, while the online option is obviously terrific too; especially if you know the sort of thing you’re looking for to start with – like, say, 1950s style dresses.

    1950s style dresses

    When is it worth spending money on an item?

    The essential, fundamental question. Approach it by asking yourself four further questions: what’s the quality like? How’s it going to fit? Can you really afford it? And did you feel a surge of excitement when you came across it? If all these questions get an up-tick, then the answer’s probably yes.

    How best is it browse in a vintage store?

    Again, there’s no rule-of-thumb here; your best bet is to go about it in the way that feels most natural – maybe just stepping inside and heading for the nearest section or to start with what catches your eye. Having said that, if it’s a store with a particularly large number of offerings, then a good habit may be to push everything back on each rail so you can flick through each item quickly and individually.

    Plus, as noted, if you’re searching for vintage clothing online, then your best bet may be to seek out what you’re specifically after in first; as much because it’s likely the website will be set up to facilitate you doing this. After that, though, why not check out what other treasures and bargains they contain!

    What should make you buy an item?

    That should be entirely up to you! And, frankly, will be dependent on what you’re looking for – whether you’re searching for something in particular and find it or whether you’re browsing at ease and come across something that takes your fancy. It also may depend on what sort of fabrics you like – are you a stickler for silk? Or a lover of linen? Or a died-in-the-wool fan of wool? Remember that good fabrics always suggest good quality and should last.

    What shouldn’t make you buy an item?

    Conversely, be on the look-out for any items that are damaged or obviously stained. There are bargains to be had out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on quality.

    Finally, what about fit? Should you buy something that will need tailoring afterwards?

    Some vintage shoppers don’t mind buying something that isn’t exactly their size – and, of course, depending on style; some items can be worn looser than others – yet others swear by going by size every time. You’d be well advised to do the latter when shopping online for vintage because, in that scenario, you can’t try on an item until you’ve received it at home, of course. Yet, if it’s an item you really want, there’s no real reason why shouldn’t be open to the idea of tailoring either.

  • The Vintage Comeback: Mid-calf Hemline

    Vintage fashion styles are constantly making comebacks and it’s all thanks to their immense popularity. Whether its 1950’s Style Dresses or outfits that were worn in the 40’s, they have all made their rounds in the current fashion circuit- and it’s amazing to see! Vintage styles are timeless, appearing to never go out of fashion, and women all around the world seem to love the various shapes, cuts and silhouettes the retro style can offer. The last couple of years have seen the return of gingham, distressed denim, logo sweaters and much more. The fashion industry waited patiently to see what the next trend would be, and how quickly the catwalks would pick up on it. Would the trend be a throwback from the 40’s, 60’s or maybe even the 90’s? And will people want to wear it-flaunt it in true vintage fashion? In this article, we will look at the vintage trend taking the fashion world by storm in 2017 and look at why this vintage style is adored by women and fashion designers everywhere. The Return of A Famous Vintage Silhouette This year the fashion world is going crazy for the vintage inspired silhouette made famous in the 50’s by world famous fashion label Dior. The mid-calf hemline may sound modest enough, but it was a style that demanded attention, even back then! The 1950’s were a time when teenagers and young women yearned for more independence and freedom and one of the ways in which they could achieve this independence was through their fashion. The 50’s was full of women in fun, bold outfits- mainly dresses- and it is that attitude, spark and beauty that has carried this trend forward to where we are now in 2017. Every woman had a dress on in the 1950’s as they were the main staple in a women’s wardrobe. In other words, women wore dresses in the 50’s the same way we wear jeans and a t-shirt today! The skirt portion of the dress is where the difference was between the two types of dresses worn back then. One skirt was full and flared and fell at mid-calf length, and this one has been the most popular style ever since. This is the dress style that inspired Dior’s New Look full-skirted dresses.

    50s-dress

    The dresses by Dior were absolutely showstoppers when they were first introduced to the catwalk. The dresses featured a bodice which was fitted, accentuating the tiny waist and there was a gathered skirt which ballooned out from the waistline. The fullness of the skirt was made using lots of gathered or pleated lightweight fabric. They could be styled with a petticoat underneath which further added to the fullness of the skirt. These dresses are called swing dresses.

    Fashion Designers Adopt The New Hemline In 2017, fashion designers have wasted no time in replicating this beautifully feminine dress and using them on their catwalks. This season Valentino and Balenciaga decided they would use the vintage dress style, as well as high street chain store Forever New, and online retailers Fame and Partners. The vintage prom style dresses have been incredibly popular since they were introduced, and it’s no wonder why! This dress style may not be daring or overtly attention grabbing, but it has huge appeal for many vintage loving women and retro hipster girls. One of the reasons for this is that waist cinching dresses have always been popular and attractive. Women want to wear clothing that makes them feel and look good, and having a feminine small waist on an adorable dress offers the perfect look. This dress will not be going anywhere anytime soon and neither will the mid-calf hemline. Since swing dresses can be worn during the winter with some cosy tights, we might just be seeing this dress again much later on in the year.

  • Fashion Trends Of The 1940’s and 1950’s

    The 1940’s and 50’s were a big time for fashion and it’s no wonder why! The hourglass shape was in fashion and so the clothing of that time was made to accentuate the small waist. It really was all about creating a specific silhouette. Clothing was made with wide padded shoulders and tops would usually be nipped in at the waist, with Aline skirts falling at the knee. This was the shape seen every day on women in the 1940’s and women who didn’t have an hourglass shape, wore clothes that would give the illusion of one.

    If we go forward 10 years in time we are brought to the 1950’s, and the fashion was very different considering only 10 years had passed. This era was all about the hipster fashion with the emphasis was on wiggle dresses, swing dresses, and lots of funky retro prints. In this article we will look at the kinds of clothing worn by women in these two eras. 1950’s Dresses and the styles worn during this period turned out to be quite different from those worn in the 40’s. It’s interesting to see how the fashion evolved, especially since the transition happened over a relatively short period of time. When you look at Vintage Clothing Online you will find that many of these styles are still immensely popular today and look as fabulous today as they did more than 70 years ago! The great thing about vintage clothing from these periods is that they are truly timeless and of course very feminine.

    1940’s Women’s Fashion When compared with the fashion of the 1930’s, the 1940’s style were really very different. Dresses which were worn longer in the 30’s became shorter and were worn at knee length. 1940’s Vintage Dresses were very popular and came in various styles, colours and prints. Most dresses, blouses and jackets were fitted with shoulder pads and this gave the top half a boxy, squared shape. The neckline in the 1940’s came in various cut outs. These didn’t generally show any cleavage and featured necklines such as the sweetheart, keyhole, round, V neck and square. Tea dresses were very popular during this period, being very flattering on many different body shapes.

    1940-s-women-fashion

    Wrap dresses were also popular choices for women in the 1940’s and these featured box pleats around the waist and a flattering V shaped neckline. Tea dresses which came with a boxy top half were also seen a lot in the 1940’s. The 1940’s green shirt tea dress at Maggie Ann Vintage is a great example of this style of dress. Featuring a classical 40’s silhouette with a nipped in waist, short sleeves, and a slightly flared skirt, this dress is practical and demure and can easily see you through day to night.

    1950’s Women’s Fashion 1950’s Dresses were glamorous, mature and ultra-feminine. There were two main dress shapes in the 1950’s which were very popular back then and remain so today. The style that is most popular today is the full skirt tea length dress which falls at shin length and features a narrow, high waist line. The other dress style was the sheath dress which was and still is a great fashion choice for women with curves. The pin-up look which is very popular today is inspired by the 1950’s sheath dress style. This look features a tight fitting pencil skirt which serves to hug your figure in all the right places.

    1950-dress-red

    You can find great vintage options for this style of dress at Maggie Ann Vintage in some great colours. The pretty wiggle dress is a fantastic option as it is suitable for day and night and many different occasions. This versatile dress clings to your curves and features a high boat neckline with no sleeves, and a flattering V shaped cut-out at the back.

  • Are You Dressing Correctly For Your Shape?

    The great thing about fashion is its lots of fun especially for women who enjoy dressing up and looking their very best. All fashion types can be played around with but this is particularly true for Vintage Clothing. This style is very diverse and is worn by women all around the world. Whether it’s the 1950’s Style Dresses or some other era of retro fashion, this style is truly beautiful and classy. Vintage fashion is timeless and can be worn all year around seeing you through the chilly months, into the blazing heat of an August summers day. There are no strict rights or wrongs when it comes to wearing clothing, no matter what style or type. The main thing is that you feel good because then your confidence will shine through! The many differences women have means that there are certain things you can do to play up your best features and assets and so choosing the right clothing for your specific body type is rather important. There are women from all walks of life who enjoy wearing vintage clothing and so it’s great if this is also reflected in the clothes you choose to wear. In this article we will look at which vintage clothing styles look the best for your body type and look at how you can look and feel fantastic in vintage clothing.

    Determine Your Body Shape

    Determining your body shape is important when thinking about what would suit you and make you look and ultimately feel fabulous! There are generally four body shape categories and most women tend to fall into one of these groups. We will now go through these body types and look at the styles of vintage clothing that would best suit that shape. There is lots of Vintage Clothing Online that will suit all the different body types so it’s just a case of figuring out which one you are and dressing up your best features!

    The Hourglass Shape

    If you have an hourglass shape then your waist will be well defined and your shoulder and hips will be the same size. You’ll likely have a large bust and wide hips, but they are in proportion. To dress the best for this shape you should wear clothing that emphasises your small waist. If you are looking for vintage clothing that suits your shape try going for a pencil skirt and a fitted blouse, or a flowy waist clinching tea dress like many of the 1940’s Style Dresses. You should avoid loose oversized tops and avoid accessorizing with big belts, as this will swallow up your small waist and cause it to disappear.

    skirt

    The Pear Shape

    If your body is pear shaped then you have generous hips and thighs that are wider than the shoulders and a smaller bust. If you want to wear vintage clothing and are a pear shape you should try wearing 1960’s style Aline dresses, but you should make sure you don’t wear fabrics which are too heavy. Lengths and fabrics that fall between the calf and knee will shorten your legs and will exaggerate the bottom half of your body. Longer skirts worn with fitted tops look adorable on a pear shape.

    1960s-style-dresses

    The Rectangle Shape

    If you have a rectangle body shape then this means your shape is pretty much up and down. Your hips and bust are the same size and you have little to no waist definition. To dress the best for your rectangle shape you should add dimension to your silhouette by breaking up your shape and creating looks which add curves. 1920’s/30’s flapper style dresses look great on this shape as well as the kinds of dresses famous rectangle- shaped model Twiggy wore. Vintage Aline dresses also look wonderful if you have a rectangle shape.

    The Apple Shape

    If you are shaped like an apple then you will have a generous bust and well-shaped legs. You should aim to only show one of these off at a time to look your very best!  The best styles of dress for apple shapes are ones which don’t emphasis the waist. Vintage dresses such as 1940’s wrap dresses look fabulous on apple shapes as well as retro dresses with empire waist lines.

  • Goodwill Revival- Festival of Speed 2017: Here Are Some Superb Outfit Ideas

    This summer will mark another year of the annual Goodwill Revival event and the Festival of Speed! This is the time of year when racing car and motorcycle enthusiasts come together from all over the world, and celebrate the glamour and rustic beauty from the 40’s 50’s and 60’s golden era of motor racing. The festival of Speed will mark the coming together of fans of motor racing who will get the opportunity to meet the champions, and get close to the action. This is great opportunity to get together with family or friends and make plans to head up to either of the events, which are both located in sunny, rural Chichester.

    In this article we will look at four outfits that you can wear to either one of these rip-roaring events. They will contain the fun, feminine vintage times of an era gone by and in particular have elements from 1940’s vintage clothing and also the dress style from the 1950’s. Here are four retro fabulous outfit ideas, which are super wearable and suitable for sunny outdoor events. Whether you attend the Goodwood Revival or the Festival of Speed, you will be perfectly dressed and looking your absolute best!

    1. The Floaty Feminine Day Look

    This first outfit is floaty, fun and super girly and is a look which is suitable for everyone. Vintage 1940’s style tea dresses look fabulous for days out ad this is the perfect opportunity to get yours out and throw it on. Many 40’s tea style dresses come with adorable floral prints on which look great in the spring and summer.

    1940-teadress-bluefloral

    Try going for colours such as lavender, blue, or even a yellow as these are very flattering hues. You could wear yours with a pair of espadrilles or some nude ballet flat for a comfortable retro look.

    1. The Casual Chic Look

    If you’re not in the mood to get super feminine and want an outfit that screams laid back chic then this is the perfect outfit option for you. High-waisted capri pants and a Bardot top are great combinations for the ultimate casual chic day-time look. Wear your capri pants in a light wash denim and make sure they are made of a stretchy material for a comfortable day out. For the Bardot top opt for one with ¾ length sleeves and a Bardot neckline for a truly flattering style. This casual outfit doesn’t need flashy shoes: A simple pair of black or white Mary Jane shoes or brogues finish this look of perfectly. 

    1. The Swinging Skirt Look 

    You might not be swinging and jiving at either of the upcoming retro motorcycle festivals but these skirts and still winners for their stylish flair. Swinging skirts are so much fun to wear and can really jazz up your mood and spirit. A great outfit would be to wear a swing skirt which features a geometric print in some summery hues and pair that with a casual jersey top with a boat neckline and keyhole detail. Finish this look off with a metallic ballet pump and you have a look which screams rockability and vintage sass!

    swinging-skirt
    1. The Swing Dress Look 

    Retro dresses from the 1950’s are fab because of their versatility and the varying styles and lengths available. For this last outfit, try wearing a midi swing dress in a bright blue and black polka dot style! Midi dresses are great because they can be pared with tights if the weather takes a turn for the worse and can be worn when the weather is nice and bright, without being too heavy or hot. Pair this dress with some funky, high wedges if you dare or a pair of Mary Jane court shoes if you fancy something a little more casual.

    50s-dress-blue-polka-dot-style
  • The Dress Season Is Officially Here!

    The sun is shining; the days are long, bright and warm. It’s the perfect time to bring out your summers dresses and enjoy the sunny days. It’s the perfect time of the year to flaunt your maxi’s, short dresses, flowy skirts, dresses in summer prints, florals and solids with trendy summer sandals and accessories. Plus, with the retro fashion making a major comeback, having a vintage dress has become an absolute must have. The retro style dresses are back and how. The dresses are great for a garden party, a luncheon or afternoon tea or any casual outing this season. Some retro style dresses also make a great option for a night out or a formal outing.

    To indulge in the most irresistible collection of vintage styled dresses in UK, visit Maggie Ann Vintage. They have a splendid collection of vintage dresses in colours, styles and prints that will please one and all. The dresses are available in a wide range of sizes. So indulge in this classic-retro range of 1950s style dresses and make your warm weather outings as fashionable as they can be. These dresses will make heads turn, so get ready to be showered with compliments.

    Here’s a list of trend-setting vintage style clothing, bags, accessories and wedding dresses you can adorn and look simply fabulous.

    Maxis

    Maxis are the most fashionable kind of outfit that is complete outfit for a special occasion. The flowy style accentuates your body and makes you feel comfortable yet dressy. The perfect outfit for the spring to summer, you can wear this for a casual or a formal outing.  You can choose maxis in trendy prints, solids and block colours and in a variety of floral prints. You can enhance the look of your maxi with a thick belt, platform heels and chunky jewellery.

    You can indulge in polka dotted maxis, floral maxis or solid coloured maxis that forever stay in fashion.

    Style tip: Compliment your maxi with a retro style hair bun and accessorise it with vintage bow style hairband.

    Prints

    The most beautiful thing about vintage style dresses are the prints. Dresses are available in classic prints such as big and small polka dots, bold flowery print to small flowers all over, there are dresses in palm spring style, and dresses are also available in fruity patterns in cherry and strawberry prints. These dresses are available in a variety of figure enhancing styles and necklines. You can choose from halter necks, strappy dresses, cap sleeves, V-necks with soft collars, with belts, front buttons, puffed sleeves and more styles to suit every body type.

    Style tip: Team your dress with a vintage style and you will be making head turns in a garden party or any other occasion.

    Wedding or occasion wear

    The classic vintage wedding dresses have made a huge comeback for weddings and other formal occasions. Brace your special occasion in pretty floral dresses in chiffons and other flowy materials. Ideal for both night and day occasions, you can choose pastel and soft prints for a day wedding and dark coloured dresses for night. Whether it’s your wedding, a special occasion or a wedding you are attending, in this gorgeous vintage dresses you will be the centre of attraction.

    Style tip: Accessorise your look with a vintage brooch and nice formal handbag to make your look dressy for the special occasion.

    Summer colours

    The vintage dresses are always a hit in the season of spring and summer because of the variety of colours they come in. The dresses are available in white with prints, bright reds, breezy blues, gorgeous greens, and may pastel shades that complement the weather and enhance your look.

    Style tip: Add a vintage looking belt that will complement your figure or a soft scarf with dress and you will be making a trend-setting statement in this summer season.

  • Ooh Er Missus: Women’s Bottoms of the 1950s

    Oh, well the phrasing might be a bit off in the title because we’re not here to compliment, or criticise women’s posteriors. Nope, this fashion article focuses on the type of clothes women wore in the ‘50s, Continue reading

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