An Evolution of Vintage Dresses Throughout the 20th Century

Vintage dresses today are as beautiful as they were in the eras from which they originated, but now they stand out even more! A vintage dress is your very own piece of history and personality, with styles that can suit anyone-elegant, flirty, feminine, wild, colorful, refined, and much more. Many modern fashion designers are borrowing from older styles in their creations, and while these are considered retro styles or retro inspired, a true vintage piece was made in the era it represents, not by a manufacturer today. Styles of dress throughout the 1900s had an evolution all their own, with each decade presenting incredible and unmistakable flare.

The 1900s marked the beginning of the slimming and lengthening of the feminine silhouette. Long skirts brushing the ground, small waists, and broad hats were exemplary of this period, including the corset that we see in many costume dramas american flag swimsuits.

The 1910s were a sort of preparation for the dazzling styles of the 1920s flappers. In the 1910s, skirts got a little shorter, rising from the floor to above the ankle. The bob was a popular hairstyle for women. Oriental influence graced many dresses for a rich and elegant appearance, and a tunic over an underskirt became a popular look.

The 1920s are a very romanticized decade still today, and it’s no wonder why with all the jazz, prosperity, and changes in women’s status. The roaring twenties unveiled much more skin than previous decades had seen, with flappers revolutionizing America’s concept of proper behavior and proper dress.

The Great Depression and World War II influenced a more reserved dress style, yet many elegant fashions still came from these times. Shoulders became more squared and dresses lengthened to a more traditional look.

We all know the 50s look well that accompanied ads for TV dinners. This fun, feminine look was marked by petticoats, full skirts, and emphasis on the hourglass figure.

The 1960s was full of revolutions, revolutionaries, and dreamers-which of course meant that fashion was to change again! Bikinis, short box-shaped dresses, go-go boots, bell bottoms, and hippie styles like tie die were all the rage.

The 1970s continued many hippie fashions and made the androgynous look more mainstream. Think “That 70s Show” and it’s clear why we are still so endeared by the 1970s.

The 1980s fashions were wild, and one of those eras of style that people love to either love or hate. Big hair, bold prints, wild colors, spandex, leg warmers, and mini skirts were just some of the fun styles women donned. Outrageous singers like Madonna influenced fashion with their bold styles.

Authentic vintage clothing is harder to come by as the years pass and clothing ages and wears out, but with the resurgence of do-it-yourself culture and eco-friendly chic, there are opportunities to find repaired vintage dresses with fine tailoring, unique style, and very high quality that we often don’t see on clothes made for sale today. A search for an authentic vintage dress that suits your personality can be a lot of fun. There’s something unique for every woman who wants to carry a bit of history in her style.

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