Vintage Style Dresses: 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s


Nowadays, it is very popular to have theme parties? Especially theme parties dedicated to retro fashion. Even today with modern clothes it is still possible to recreate dresses from popular fashion decades.

The fashion of the 1930s could be described with three words modest, feminine, and unique collars. A common dress in the 1930s had a belted waist, puff sleeves, and extraordinary collars such as bow ties, button-ups, etc. In the 1930s the boyish look of the 1920s was completely gone. The dresses were made in solid colors, as well as flower patterns, polka dot, abstract patterns were a very popular choice for the 1930s. The length of the dresses in the 1930s was strictly below the knee and slightly above the ankle. Midi-dresses of the 1930s were usually made of silk or silk and cotton, the dresses almost always come with matching belts and accessories. The occasional evening gowns were a maxi length, backless or with loose top and mermaid bottom. Also, the popular choice of the material for the evening dresses in the 1930s used to be sheer.

If you are going for the 1930s theme party, do not worry it is easy to recreate a vintage 1930s dress even nowadays. To recreate a 1930s dress it is best to choose a mid-length solid color dress, with a ribbon collar and fitted waist, the look will be completed with appropriate jewelry and shoes on a small heel.

The fashion of the 1940s was strongly influenced by World War Two. The majority of dresses were made in a minimal and economical way, inspired by patriotic colors blue, red, white, green. The dresses were made in pencil shape and most likely were knee-length. Also, silk was still used to make dresses, but cotton and light wool started to be used more often than before. In the 1940s dresses show not even a hint of cleavage and the sleeves usually a cap sleeves, straight sleeve finishing just above an elbow or long sleeve usually worn only during winter. As well as, shoulder pads that visually extended shoulders giving a more masculine look were quite popular in the 1940s. The classic button-down dresses were quite popular in 1940, button-down dresses usually were made in solid colors and as all dresses in the 1940s came with a belt and were fitted to the waist. In the late 1940s, the buttons in button-down dresses were not just straight from the centers but in an asymmetrical way usually made on the left side or completely on the side of the dress.

However, one of the most popular dresses of today inspired by the 1940s is the pinafore dress or jumper dresses. Pinafore dresses were the dresses that usually look liked an apron from the front and had straps over the shoulders which were usually crossed in the back. Pinafore dresses are one of the most popular looks right now if you want to look retro and vintage. The pinafore dress in the 1940s could be worn sleeveless and over a blouse.

Finally, the 1940s dress that inspired thousands of Halloween women costumes, pin-up dresses. The pin-up dresses of the 1940s were the sexiest look during that time; compared to different dresses it was tighter, with the low bust line and short sleeves. The bottom of the pin-up dress was usually tight, however, the wiggle light skirt with a tight top part was also quite a popular choice for pin-up dresses.

In the 1950s, the fashion of dresses was not much different from the 1940s. However, the new prints, new colors, and new necklines were in trend. In the 1950s dresses did not lose their modest length, however with padded and low bust cuts which emphasized the natural waistline of women’s body.

The evening dresses in the 1950s were made out of expensive material such as silk, velvet, lace, etc. As well as, black color was one of the trendiest outfits of that time. Dress skirts were full and dress tops were tight with V collar. One of the most popular prints of the 1950s was polka dots, and smaller prints checks, plaid, etc.

The dresses for attending a fancy party or a ball, women prefer to wear maxi length dresses made of rich fabric such as silk, net, damask, organdy, etc. The majority of the fancy dresses were on thin spaghetti sleeves or no sleeves at all. More often the party dresses were solid colors and with a full dress skirt or a mermaid skirt; and of course, all the dresses were complete with appropriate jewelry and gloves that match with a bag.  To recreate the vintage look of the 1950s, you will have to choose a dress with a modest cleavage, and maxi or midi length, no sleeves or short sleeves are preferable and polka dot, flower, small prints are advised.

In the 1960s the fashion of the dresses became completely different, bold, short, colorful, and shapeless. Shapeless and short dresses were one of the most popular choices of the dress in the 1960s. As well as, skim dresses and drop-waist dresses were popular in the 1960s. These dresses meant not to emphasize the waistline of women’s bodies and just skim over the body. Also, in the 1960s a mini-skirts were popular any dresses over the knee line were counted as one. Short dresses represented women’s sexuality and confidence, and only the ones brave enough could wear it. The new prints such as psychedelic swirl a bright color with unique prints were a new fashion look of the 1960s.

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