There’s a reason the fashion world is in love with the past. Retro style dress for ladies portray timeless style and transform the wearer from everyday 21st Century Jane to enigmatic siren from another time. Whether you have the knockout curves of Joan Holloway or the waif-like mod look of Jean Shrimpton, you can find a dress to make you look and feel like a retro goddess.
Skip down to the hop in a fresh and flirty swing dress. Halter neck, strapless or sleeved, this slice of old-school rock ‘n’ roll is great for dancing and looks amazing with patent heels. Whether you go for playful polka dots, cute patterns or sophisticated block colours, the swing dress is always a chic winner. Skating off the hips, the cut will flatter a voluptuous body without hiding it. Team with a va-va-voom full ruffled petticoat and add a fresh flower in the hair for that dream prom look.
For the vamps out there, how about a slinky Bettie Page number in cherry red? The wiggle dress is a real flashback to the 50s, elegant with a touch of bombshell. A nipped-in waist and rounded hips give a stunning silhouette. Retro Rockabilly numbers ares definitely ones for the bad girls, and much better for you than smoking behind the diner.
One of the most iconic retro dresses is the mini. Perfected in the mid-60s, this cheeky and daring style became iconic in its representation of liberty and youth. There is now ample stock of gorgeous minis, so you can get your legs out in style. Cool off in summer or accessorise with bright tights in the cold winter months. A chunky plastic bracelet and earrings to finish with and you can bring the groovy all year round.
If you prefer the flowing freedom of 70s gowns, the retro dress for you is the maxi. Romantic and flattering, this shape works wonders for all body types. At your nearest store or online, you can choose from a range of designs, whether you prefer the simple, empire line sundress, dramatic chiffon evening frock or seductive silk number. When you glide into the room, your dreamy maxi dress will be the centre of attention.
For those of you unsure about buying second-hand, a retro dress presents a great alternative to vintage. Vintage dresses, while authentic and unique, can be fragile or hard to mend, while retro dresses are fresh out of the box and can last you for years. Brand new dresses that won’t go out of fashion – what’s not to like?
Retro Style Dress For Ladies: Timeless
The great thing about vintage style is that it never goes out of fashion. Since everything becomes vintage eventually, there’s hope for the contents of every wardrobe. In a world where last season’s footwear is this season’s faux pas, a vintage fashion item remains impervious to the fickle, wagging finger of the fashion police. It’s either cool, ironic or both.
Still, vintage style is about more than just raiding your granny’s wardrobe for an old hat. Vintage fashion is big business, with shops and boutiques dedicated to selling garments and accessories from a previous era. Many vintage boutiques specialise in pieces that sell for hundreds of pounds and reflect a golden age of tailoring and craftsmanship, while the eagle-eyed can pick up cut-price vintage pieces at local charity shops, thrift stores, car boot sales or online.
Vintage fashion refers to clothes from the period between 1920 and 1990, although new eras are being added to the umbrella with every passing decade. Clothes that were designed and manufactured before 1920 are generally considered to be antique fashion. It’s only in the last few years that clothes from the 1980s have been considered vintage. Today the styles that belonged to that decade, from shoulder padded power suits and jackets to stonewashed denim, have fallen back into fashion with a bang.
High street stores have adapted the look for their latest lines. For anyone wanting that authentic 1980s look, vintage stores offer all kinds of sartorial treasures of the era. Appetites for vintage style are also shaped by television and film – the success of the American television series Mad Men caused an upsurge in demand for vintage pieces from the 1960s.
Vintage clothing is an easy and creative way to add something to an outfit to make it unique. A vintage blouse or shirt is an ideal way to spice up an otherwise ordinary trouser or skirt suit. Likewise, a vintage brooch or necklace adds a retro twist to a modern look. A vintage dress makes a great statement at a wedding or party, when it’s important to stand out from the crowd but not to be the centre of attention.
When shopping for vintage don’t be put off by the smell – a trip to the dry cleaners will soon neutralise musty odours – and always take time to search through as many items as time allows. Ask to see any new arrivals, as the best pieces will be snapped up quickly when they do make it on to the rails.
Retro Corsets & Basques
Corset are figure-flattering and elegantly sexy tops. They range in varieties of colors, styles, fabrics, and details making each and every one unique to the wearer.
One of the most well-known details of a corset is its tightening capabilities. Most corsets are made to tighten the torso and waist to create a slimming effect. The chest area is also tightened and pushed up to enhance the bosom and catch attention.
Corsets also are made in many different types of materials to achieve lots of different sexy looks. Leather is a popular choice as it is an empowering and dominant look while still being feminine. The lace and satin materials are other options and are available in gorgeous colors and patterns. Feathers, jewels, buckles, and ribbons have made appearances on corsets and continue to be desired accents.
The back of a corset is usually how the top is closed together and can be attached by a hook-and-eye system, and in other cases by lace, as in the most original styles of corsets. In other styles, they may have the closure in the front of the corset. Some also come with detachable straps at the bottom to attach panty-hose if desired to create a specific look.
Costumes that incorporate a corset are often head-turning and are easy to accessorize. Heels, jewelry, and tights/panty-hose are great additions to make you stand out from the others.
Looking and feeling sexy has never been easier to achieve than by wearing a corset. With the beautiful and unique styles available its sure to be a fun, personal and eye-catching piece to complement any wardrobe.
A basque is a sexy lingerie piece that is similar to the corset in structure and design. The basque is slightly different because it does not have the boning and lacing that is typical of a corset, so it is slightly more comfortable for women to wear. A basque extends past the hips and is fitted tightly though the waistline. It sometimes has underwire cups for the bust, but this is not the case with every style.
The basque became popular during Victorian times when it was often paired with a hoop skirt. In modern times it is worn as a beautiful piece of lingerie, during weddings, and for fun activities such as can-can and burlesque dancing. The basque has seen a revival due to the popularity of actives such as these amongst women around the world.
There are basques available in many different colors and styles. They can be sheer for a naughty effect or covered with lace for a more modest look, which is often used during weddings. Simple basques in neutral colors can be worn underneath normal clothing to provide the support of undergarments with an additional slimming effect on the waistline. The bottom of a basque often comes equipped with straps where stocking can be attached to add to the appeal of the look.
Basques often have hook and eye closures that provide support for the bodice, but do not restrict as much as corsets. This is an item of lingerie that every woman should own due to its sexiness, versatility, and ease of wear. A basque can either be underbust or overbust, which is similar to the corset in style. The basque is very much its own unique item, however, and provides the wearer with a glamorous look that is difficult to duplicate with other pieces of lingerie.
Men’s Vintage Clothing
Why isn’t there more men’s vintage clothing about? This is a very good question. It’s a self evident fact that women’s clothing gets more attention from the fashion industry. It’s just a matter of economics. Women spend more on clothes, while men tend to be more pragmatic. But, the question is specifically about men’s vintage clothes. Are we not interested? Let’s start by dispelling that myth.
Back in the 1950s, Teddy Boys wore clothes that paid tribute to the Edwardian dandy. Teddy is short for Edward. Originally, it was a mainstream fashion, which was then eclipsed by the youth subculture. In the early sixties, the Mods reacted against this. As the name suggests, Mods sought a more modern look, aspiring to the continental styles of the time. But, the Mod revival of the seventies was a paradox, and it’s a good illustration of my point.
There’s a famous image of Jimi Hendrix. He’s wearing a military dress uniform jacket. Whether or not it’s authentic, we don’t know, but the style is Napoleonic. And, a decade later, artists like Elvis Costello were drawing inspiration from American styles of the 50s. The eighties and nineties were somewhat eclectic. I bought a brand-new suit in 1992, and it wouldn’t look out-of-place in an American speakeasy. We’ve always been interested in vintage clothing, and it’s always been there.
Men who are interested in vintage clothing include many with a passion for suits, and Mod suits are my favourite. Anything with four buttons and a narrow leg will do me. It’s a timeless vintage look. And, when are we going to see a revival of the 1970s three-piece suit? This was characterised by a wide-lapelled jacket, matching waistcoat, and the iconic Oxford bags. This was the name given to high-waisted trousers that flared from the thigh. At the bottoms they were almost dress-like. When standing still, the idea was that they completely covered your platform shoes. No 70s wedding photo is complete without a line-up of three-piece suits, usually in colours like brown or purple.
Today, the most noticeable men’s vintage clothing trend is for T-shirts. I could be wrong, but it all started when David Walliams portrayed Lou, of Lou and Andy in Little Britain. He’s seen wearing an ‘I Ran the World’ T-shirt. This comes from a major charity event in the 1980s. Millions were sold to raise money for famine relief.
Today, dozens of vintage T-shirts can be sourced from online retailers. They give us a taste of distant decades we don’t remember. We’ve always been interested in men’s vintage clothes, and we always will be. Now, where am I going to find a 70s three-piece suit?