The World's Finest Boutiques. 1 Website.
You have no items in your shopping bag.

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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


Sort by

YSL Yves Saint Laurent 1978 silk taffeta olive green vintage two-piece dress

A 1978 vintage Yves Saint Laurent olive green silk taffeta blouse and skirt evening ensemble with flounces

CHRISTIAN DIOR by John Galliano c. 1999 Evening Dress Size L-XL

A rare and fabulous bias cut evening dress with a spectacular collar by John Galliano for Christian Dior.

PIERRE BALMAIN 1960s Vintage Maxi Evening Dress Size S

A fabulous Pierre Balmain evening dress from the late 1960s, entirely made of a sparkling red and gold lurex knit jersey featuring a bold graphic pattern.

Angelo Tarlazzi 1980s Halter Neck Evening Dress

Angelo Tarlazzi Tiered Silk Chiffon & Black Jersey Halter Evening Dress, 1980s

Gianfranco Ferre Satin Velvet Detail Black Vintage Evening Dress Gown

Vintage Gianfranco Ferre satin gown style dress in black with a velvet detail at the top.

Catherine Walker 1980s Navy Blue Ribbonwork Evening Dress

Catherine Walker Navy Blue Silk Ribbonwork & Crepe Couture Evening Dress, 1980s

Gianni Versace 1990s Asymmetrical Evening Gown

A 1990s Gianni Versace Black Double Layered Rayon Jersey Knit Dress

Victor Costa 1970s Red Brocade Evening Dress

Victor Costa Romantica Red, Purple & Green Metallic Brocade Evening Dress, 1970s

Gianfranco Ferre 1990s Blue Shoulder Train Dress

Gianfranco Ferre Vintage Navy Blue Crepe & Satin Shoulder Train Dress, 1990s

Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garcons 2014 Deconstructed Dress

This incredible example of Watanabe's work was featured as the penultimate piece in the 2014 runway show.

Bruce Oldfield Couture 1990s Silk & Organza Black Gown

Bruce Oldfield Couture trompe l'oeil embroidered silk & organza strapless gown

Kenzo Draped Silk Chiffon Floral Maxi Dress

A Kenzo Black & White Draped Floral Polka Dot Silk Chiffon Maxi Dress

Curiel Couture 1970s Black & Grey Printed Velvet Evening Gown

A Curiel Couture vintage black & grey printed velvet & chiffon evening gown, 1970s

Yves Saint Laurent 1970s Green Velvet Evening 3 Piece Set

An incredible and very rare Yves Saint Laurent evening set from the late 1970s, c. Russian Collection era.

Valentino 1990s Silk Velvet Black Cocktail Dress

Valentino 1990s black velvet cocktail dress with transparent silk sleeves

Balenciaga 1980s Black Silk Gazar Buble Cocktail Dress

Important vintage Balenciaga black gazar cocktail dress

Chanel Draped and Pleated Silk Chiffon Midnight Blue Dress

Vintage Chanel midnight blue silk chiffon dress from circa 2000 Spring / Summer Collection

Emilio Pucci circa 1980 Swarovski Crystals Embellished Evening Dress

A spectacular Emilio Pucci couture evening dress, made from a printed silk organza and most opulently embroidered with sparkling Swarovski crystals and sequins.

Yves Saint Laurent 1960s to 1970s Floral Silk Black Evening Coat or Dress

An outstanding, rare and very, very special Yves Saint Laurent evening coat.

Vintage 1960s Black Lace Cocktail Dress

1960's cocktail dress with long sleeves with flared cuffs

Vivienne Westwood Gold Label Black Satin Black Corset Evening Dress


Yves Saint Laurent 1970s Silk Metallic Lame Evening Ensemble

A spectacular Yves Saint Laurent metallic silk lamé evening set consisting of a blouse and its matching pleated maxi skirt.

Leonard c. 1973 Documented Brown Silk Evening Dress

An amazing documented Leonard evening dress from c. 1973, made from a fine printed silk chiffon and a dark brown first-class quality jersey with substantial weight and perfect drape.

Givenchy 1960s Couture Belted Apple Green Evening

A truly amazing Givenchy couture evening dress from the 1960s - entirely done by hand and constructed exquisitely.

Filter by:

Clear All