Clothing, Dresses, Retro / Vintage

Ten Fab 40s / 50s inspired sundresses for Summer! - (archived)

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Watching the new Mad Men tonight, I felt a little bit let down at the lack of lovely frocks. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 60s looks – Jane’s amazing maxi and Trudy’s killer swirly Pucci-esque number – but I miss the earlier episodes, with the wiggle dresses, fifties full skirts and Betty’s amazing sundresses and shades. For me, it doesn’t get better than the 40s and 50s when it comes to clothing, so I’ve put together a list of ten fab fifties-inspires Summer dresses for my fellow retro fans. So what if Sterling Cooper has moved on, it doesn’t mean I have to. I’ll be snapping up at least one of these dresses in the next few months…

Multi placement print dress £85 Oasis
– The crazy pottery style print of this dress is like something from a 1950s film. Difficult to pull off, but beautiful if you have the guts!

Spring Fairy dress in periwinkle blue £55 (was £95) Anami and Janine
– This label is a new discovery of mine, and I’m completely bowled over by their pretty, quirky prints and 1940s inspired dress cuts.

Green rose with bird print swing dress £30 Lady V London
– A massive bargain that comes in a limited run so it’s a really special find. This style comes in loads of other fabrics, too.

Louche Lachelle pleated floral dress £59 Joy
– If you can bear wearing the same frock as Holly Willoughby, this pretty pleated dress is a lovely modern take on a retro classic.

Fifties frock with full skirt in rose print £85 Tara Starlet
– Fab cabbage rose style print and full fifties skirt on this lovely day dress from retro-inspired brand Tara Starlet

Sailboat printed blue prom dress £154 Lowie
– I love the nautical touches of this sailboat printed dress. It’s pricey, yes, but it’s also very pretty!

Pink floral print dress £30 Purple at Dorothy Perkins
– A modern take on a 50s riviera look, I love the idea of teaming this with light coloured wedges and a basket bag!

Conversational print dress £45 South at Very
– The birdcage print on this baby is really gorgeous, and it goes up to a size 24. Score!

Cezanne side lace dress £74.99 Fever
– No rundown of pretty dresses is complete without a Fever dress. They just deliver every time!

Lila floral dress with off-the-shoulder detail £50 Uttam Boutique at Yumi
– If you’re a size 16, I suggest you snap this up quickly before someone else does. That’s the only size left of this cute 50s-meets-90s frock.

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  • Reply Zara March 28, 2012 at 12:06 am

    These are stunning, I should cancel on you more often. I love the conversation print dress. x

  • Reply June Brasil March 28, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Wow. what a great line up! I’d be hard pressed to pick my favorite.  

  • Reply Katieantoniou March 28, 2012 at 12:45 am

    What a great selection-Fever and Anami&Janine are new discoveries for me!Love them-thankyou!

  • Reply Kat March 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I was just eyeing up that Oasis dress recently — so pretty!

    Also, Lowie has a pop-up shop in Herne Hill at the mo; I’d not heard of them before but their designs are pretty cute.

    • Reply Gemma March 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm

       Too expensive though. When did it become ok for the high street to charge £85 for a bit of cotton?

  • Reply Kat Arney March 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Godammit Gemma you made me do a Bad Thing again! I went to the Lady V site and saw the most AMAZING poppy print swing dress which is now on its way to me.

  • Reply Danni March 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    My heart actually fluttered when I saw the green swing dress. Bought!

    • Reply Gemma March 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

       I ended up ordering it too. Couldn’t resist!

  • Reply Natalie March 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Great selection of dresses you found Gemma, just ordered the bird print dress in white from Lady V, cant wait to try it on!

  • Reply Sarah March 30, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I had to order the green bird dress as well. Came today and I have to say the quality is great and it feels really well made. It also isn’t too short which is a pet peeve of mine. Bargain – thanks for pointing out the site Gemma, hadn’t heard of it before.

  • Reply Super Amanda April 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    What fab choices!  I am going to try to pull off the pottery toile. They have a really cute Pineapple Tiki style skirt and bra halter set at Oasis too. The JOY dress is gorg as well. Tara is mostly sold out of the rose linen but I managed to get a floral black rose party dress in a rare (for them) size 18 which will run closer to a 14/16. can’t tell you how much I love this blog since discovering it this past weekend. Will link back when my Pin Up website goes up. Cheers!

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