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Vintage Evening Dresses & Ball Gowns

Equivalent to men’s semi-formal and formal wear for black tie and white tie events, vintage evening dresses is perhaps the category our OfV editors get the most excited about. From the narrow-waisted dresses of the beginning of the 19th century, evening gowns have evolved with the exciting history of women and fashion throughout the century. With simple boyish silhouettes mirroring the daring Flapper sentiments in the 1920s, to the introduction of the sheath dress, mermaid dress, A-line dress, trumpet dress and princess dress. Though fashion overall is less and less of a formal affair, the silk, chiffon, velvet, satin or organza ball gown still prevails women’s formal dress. With the wide array of silhouettes on offer today, formal or informal, below we have untangled the most significant styles.

Sheath

A sheath dress fits the body tightly and generally has a straight drape. Its simple design invites for it to be dressed up or down with ease.

Mermaid

More on the formal side, the Mermaid dress is tight-fitting on the upper body and wider by the lower leg, resembling the shape of a mermaid.

A-line

Hailing from the 1950s and 1960s, the A-line dress is a shorter number with a tight fitting upper and an A-shape skirt.

Trumpet

Not dissimilar to a mermaid dress, the trumpet also flares by the knees, but often more subtly than the dramatic mermaid shape.

Empire

Popularised by Napoleon’s Josephine, the empire dress has a high waistline starting just below the bust, with a simple, straight-hanging, floor-long skirt.

Dropped waist

Often on the bohemian or flapper-style side, the dropped waist dress has a waist dropped down to the hips and a mini or midi length skirt.

Princess

The ball gown of choice for just about every Disney princess, the princess silhouette needs little further explanation.

OfV says: A unique and oftentimes much more affordable option, vintage evening dresses are the unrivalled choice for history honouring formalwear dazzling with charm. Browse our delightful edit of vintage evening gowns and discover imaginative vintage evening dresses beyond the ball gown. A Space Age sequin-covered dress from the 1960s; a 1920s Art Deco gown in velvet and sterling silver; a velvet cocktail dress with a dramatic ruffle skirt from the 1980s; or a subtle 1990s-style slinky slip dress in luxurious silk – whether you opt for the opulent or understated, perfect your after-hours style with a unique vintage evening gown from our edit below.

 

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Vintage 1960s Navy & Silver Evening Dress

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Colour : Blue ,Gender : Female ,specification : Blue, , ,
£155.00

Vintage 1950s Black Cocktail Dress

Style Keyword : Dresses > Mini ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Mini ,Style : Cocktail ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, , ,
£135.00

Vintage 1950s Gold Tiered Cocktail Dress

Style Keyword : Dresses > Mini ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Mini ,Style : Cocktail ,Colour : Gold ,Gender : Female ,specification : Gold, , ,
£160.00

Vintage 1960s Turquoise & Silver Sequin Evening Dress

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Colour : Blue ,Gender : Female ,specification : Blue, , ,
£175.00

Valentino Silk-Blend Black Evening Dress With Buckle Detail - 2000s

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > VALENTINO,Womens > Maxi ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, , ,Size : 8 UK (marked) / 4 (US) - please refer to ,
£550.00

Lanvin Haute Couture Green Gazar and Gold Lamé Pleated Gown - Early 1960's

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > LANIVN,Womens > Maxi ,Style : Couture ,Colour : Green ,Gender : Female ,specification : Green, , ,
£2,500.00

Balenciaga Black Silk Gazar Buble Cocktail Dress - 1980's

Style Keyword : Dresses > Mini ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > Balenciaga,Womens > Mini ,Style : Cocktail ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, , ,Size : 42 ,
£850.00

Missoni Grey Cashmere and Silver Lurex Gown - 2000's

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > MISSONI,Womens > Maxi ,Colour : Grey ,Gender : Female ,specification : Grey, , ,Size : 40 (Italy) - 8 (UK) / 4 (US) ,
£900.00

50s Green Satin Column Gown with Beaded Bodice and Gathered Waist Sash

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 36 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 25 ,Length (inches) : 53 ,Colour : Green ,Gender : Female ,specification : Green, , ,
£350.00

Mr Blackwell 1960s Gold Brocade Evening Dress and Coat

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 36 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > MR. BLACKWELL,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 26 ,Length (inches) : 56 ,Colour : Gold ,Gender : Female ,specification : Gold, , ,
£1,470.00

30s Black Lace Evening Gown

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 32 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 30 ,Length (inches) : 53 ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, , ,
£620.00

50s Navy Taffeta Strapless Gown with Pink Satin Hip & Bust Bow

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 34 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 28 ,Length (inches) : 50 ,Colour : Blue ,Gender : Female ,specification : Blue, , ,
£775.00

Edwardian Black Silk Evening Gown with Silver Lamé Lace & Beading

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 32 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > Gidding Paris New York,Womens > Maxi ,Style : Edwardian ,Waist (inches) : 29 ,Length (inches) : 47 ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, , ,
£1,935.00

Gene Shelley Red and Pink Sequined Knit Evening Dress with Slit Front, 1960

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > GENE SHELLY,Womens > Maxi ,Colour : Red ,Gender : Female ,specification : Red, , ,
£695.00

60s Emerald Green Satin Gown

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 32 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 26 ,Colour : Green ,Gender : Female ,specification : Green, , ,
£1,550.00

70s Red Sequined Evening Gown

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 36 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > MR. BLACKWELL,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 30 ,Length (inches) : 56 ,Colour : Red ,Gender : Female ,specification : Red, , ,
£775.00

80s Victor Costa Saks Fifth Ave Pink Strapless Gown

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 31 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > VICTOR COSTA,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 25 ,Length (inches) : 33 ,Colour : Pink ,Gender : Female ,specification : Pink, , ,
£1,705.00

40s Strapless Black Chiffon White Bird Gown

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 34 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 26 ,Length (inches) : 55 ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, , ,
£1,085.00

80s Yellow Lace Evening Gown

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 34 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 28 ,Length (inches) : 58 ,Colour : Yellow ,Gender : Female ,specification : Yellow, , ,
£310.00

30s Green Dot Mesh Gown and Slip

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 34 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 30 ,Length (inches) : 59 ,Colour : Green ,Gender : Female ,specification : Green, , ,
£385.00

30s Yellow Mesh Gown and Slip

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Bust (inches) : 34 ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > NA,Womens > Maxi ,Waist (inches) : 28 ,Length (inches) : 60 ,Colour : Yellow ,Gender : Female ,specification : Yellow, , ,
£385.00

Yves Saint Laurent Long dress

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > Yves Saint Laurent,Womens > Maxi ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, , ,Size : M ,
£475.00

Stella Mccartney Long dress

Style Keyword : Dresses > Maxi ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses ,Womens > STELLA MCCARTNEY,Womens > Maxi ,Colour : Nude & Neutrals ,Gender : Female ,specification : Nude & Neutrals, , ,Size : S ,
£680.00

Lacroix Haute Couture Puffball Polka Dot Dress With Faux Sleeves - 1980's

Style Keyword : Dresses ,Label 1 : Womens > Dresses,Womens > Christian Lacroix ,Style : Couture ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, , ,Size : 42 (Fr) - 14 (UK) / 10 (US) ,
£2,000.00

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