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The Best Vintage Dresses – LifeSavvy

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woman in pin-up style clothes posing near black retro car.
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There’s something about a vintage-inspired dress from a bygone era that’s so much fun. Whether you go for the pin-up style or want something that resembles a cool structured 1940s tailored dress, vintage fashion will always have a place in our hearts. And if you’re considering adding a few vintage pieces to your wardrobe, we’ve got some great recommendations that won’t require a trip to your local thrift store or an estate sale. Check out these gorgeous vintage dresses.

Best Vintage Dresses Buying Guide



Vintage 1930s fashion woman standing with handbag on rural footpath.

Ysbrand Cosijn/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a vintage dress?

Some people buy vintage dresses because they’re heading to a themed event like a swing dance, and they want to look the part. And then there are people who really like to dress like they belong to a bygone era. Whichever camp you fall into, vintage dresses – or rather, vintage-inspired dresses – still have a place in modern fashion. Although you can buy authentic vintage dresses, it can be expensive depending on the quality of the materials and the current condition of the dress. Fortunately, many brands offer to recreate timeless looks from previous decades.

What should you consider when shopping for a vintage dress?

  • The era:While many people automatically imagine the 1930s to 1950s when they hear the phrase “vintage dress,” that’s not quite accurate. Although these decades qualify, technically, anything over ten years old could qualify as a vintage. So clothes that mimic popular styles from the 1970s, 1980s, and even 1990s could also fall into this category.
  • Adapt:Once you’ve decided which era you’re aiming for, clothing shopping becomes pretty standard. So think about whether you want a fitted dress, a sheath dress (very popular in the 1920s) or a fit and flare style. Think about what you plan to do while wearing the dress and try to pick an option that allows the most movement based on those goals.
  • Neck:Depending on the era and the general style you are looking to create, necklines can vary greatly. While you can opt for high-necked or low-cut dresses, popular options (depending on the era) can range from v-necks to boat necks and more.
  • Material: These days, you can find vintage-inspired clothing designed with modern goals in mind. This means you can get fitted dresses made from stretchy or more breathable materials for more comfort. However, if your budget allows, you can always opt for traditional materials that would have been used back in the day.
  • Underwear:This tends to be a problem especially if you are planning to buy dresses drawn from the late 1940s to the 1950s. In particular, if you are trying to be period accurate, swing dresses will require petticoats to recreate the fuller skirts. However, dresses can be worn without petticoats if preferred.

Are vintage dresses expensive?

If you are buying authentic vintage dresses that were made during a specific time period, they can be expensive. But it will always depend on the quality of the materials, as well as the good condition of the dress. However, you can find affordable vintage-inspired dresses made in modern times that won’t break the bank but allow you to channel a time now past.

Our picks for the best vintage dresses

Advantages:If you’re trying to focus on comfort, you can’t go wrong with a prairie dress. This modern take on the classic prairie dress features soft puff sleeves that you can shorten if you prefer, as well as a square neckline and low back. Choose from a wide range of colors and note that it is partially lined throughout the skirt for added modesty.

The inconvenients:Vintage purists will feel that it’s not accurate enough to be considered a true prairie dress. Also note that this dress is not made of stretch fabric, although it has a ruched pattern throughout the bodice.

Conclusion : If you’re just getting started in the world of vintage fashion, this is a great starting option that’s still firmly rooted in the modern era. But the lack of stretch can be a problem for some.

Best pencil dress

Advantages:If you’ve navigated the world of vintage fashion long enough, you know Grace Karin. It’s a brand that has made a name for itself with vintage-inspired clothing made from modern stretch fabrics. This 50s-inspired pencil dress is a perfect example. Available in a wide range of prints and solid options, it features a nipped-in waist, cap sleeves and a notched collar.

The inconvenients:As is common with many online retailers, don’t be surprised that you may need to size up when shopping with this brand. Although this dress is designed to be close-fitting, you’ll want to size up for comfort.

Conclusion :You can’t go wrong with Grace Karin if you’re in the mood for a vintage-inspired dress. Just be sure to size up your actual size so you can close the zipper.

best v-neck

Advantages:For those who want a dress that offers lots of movement with the elegance of a vintage dress, this classic 1950s swing dress is a solid option. Featuring a tie front design, 3/4 sleeve length, and a knee-length skirt, it’s a solid option that can easily work for swing dances, cocktail parties, and everything. rest. To really sell the look, you’ll want to get a petticoat to show off that full skirt.

The inconvenients:We noted that some buyers said the fabric was rough and heavy, which might not make it ideal for an intense night of dancing. Others mentioned that the arms could also be a little tight.

Conclusion :A full skirt and a fun v-neck front design make it a solid choice for this 1950s full-skirted dress. Just note that the scratchy fabric may make some people think twice before adding it to their cart.

Most color options

Advantages: Some terms are quite common when shopping for vintage 1950s-style dresses. And one of those words is “rockabilly.” It almost always references early ’50s style and isn’t limited to full skirt styles like this fun boat neck cap sleeve dress. With a wide selection of prints and solid colors to choose from and a cute bow at the waist, it’s a cute addition to any retro wardrobe collection.

The inconvenients: If you want the full skirt effect as shown in the product images, you will need to invest in a petticoat which is sold separately. Others have noted that the dress tends to run small, so you’ll want to size up for comfort.

Conclusion :This fun boat neck, short sleeve swing dress is a great option that comes in a wide range of colors and prints. But be aware that you will need a petticoat for this full skirt look, and you might want to go up a size.

best sleeveless

Advantages:If you’re looking for a vintage-inspired dress that can also work in everyday life, then this fun sleeveless boat neck tea dress by Grace Karin is a serious contender. It comes with a belt, and even if you choose not to invest in a petticoat, the dress still looks fantastic.

The inconvenients:If you opt for this full skirt effect, you will have to buy a petticoat. Also, it’s a good idea to go up a size, as this brand tends to run small.

Conclusion : Again, Grace Karin is a popular choice for vintage-inspired clothing, and this dress won’t disappoint. You just need to buy a petticoat if you want a full skirt effect.

Final Thoughts

Vintage looks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And our quick selection of styles is proof of that. Whether you’re passionate about the 1950s or want to explore fashion from other eras, there’s something for everyone.

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