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Vintage Midi Dresses

Of all the skirted items in our wardrobes, a midi dress is probably the most worn and enjoyed.  It is a great choice for night and day, work and play and its length makes it the most versatile of all gowns as designers throughout the 20th century have proved.  In shape, fabric, colour and style the choices to be found in vintage midi dresses is boundless.  We defy any woman to find a dress in the shops today without seeing the ghost of its vintage dress grandmother still present. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, as skirts lifted off the ground, women realised what they’d been missing. During the First World War, while the men were away, women entered roles never previously considered, and this new workforce needed their everyday clothes to become practical to suit their new working lives.  Today, this remains too true with midi dresses often worn as a great option for work when you want to wear one.  Once the skirts had lifted, there was really no bringing them back down to the ground, unless to a ball, and the 1920's and designers such as Coco Chanel and Jean Patou created a new athletic aesthetic of young athletic bodies in columnar simple dresses.  The below the knee and mid-calf length dresses of the 1920’s and the following 1930’s and 1940’s demonstrated how truly elegant this length of dress can be with shift dresses, layered dresses, tea dresses, coat dresses and shirt dresses in beautiful fabrics from sheer layered chiffons to shining lamé and printed cottons to shimmering satins.

In contrast, midi dresses of the 1950’s offer an entirely different aesthetic.  Christian Dior and his ‘New Look’ of 1947 took full effect in the 1950’s with expanding skirts and nipped in waists. Dior had wanted to emulate the femininity of the 1930’s before War put practicality first.  Now, ration books went out the window as yards of fabric were cut to create this new fabulous silhouette.  Yet, as the decade progressed and moved into the 1960’s femininity could be expressed in an entirely opposing way with skirts with hemlines narrower than the hips, creating the iconic ‘wiggle’ effect on curvaceous figure like Marilyn Monroe as they walked.  For those without the prefect hip to bottom ratio, the 1970’s offered a new and refreshing alternative with Diane von Furstenburg’s wrap dresses in bold simple prints. Introduced in 1974, this is a style of dress which has proved such a hit that its popularity is really yet to fade.  Whatever your favourite midi dress shape or style, find a perfect example from every decade on the Open for Vintage rails.

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1950s Horrocks Dress and Jacket

Red and White Dress and Jacket by Horrockses Fashions
€251.03

1990s Gucci by Tom Ford Sequined black Vintage Midid dress

1990s Gucci by Tom Ford sequined dress with cross body sequined sashes
€6710.84

A.J. Bari 1980s Drop-Waist Pink Vintage Dress

A.J. Bari 1980s drop-waist dress with satin piping & pink lace detail
€433.59

Adrienne Vittadini 1980s Sequinned Party Multicoloured Vintage dress

Disco bright sequinned box pattern party dress
€439.30

Akris 1980s Cowl Neck Blue & Black Vintage Midi Dress

A 1980s midi dress by Akris of Switzerland with a cowl neck design
€228.21

Alaia Paris Navy Blue Sculptural Party Dress

Alaia Navy Blue Sculptural Godet Stretch Cotton Front Zip Dress
€627.57

Alberta Ferretti Transparent floral glitter vintage dress

Nude tone Alberta Ferretti dress with floral detail in glitter
€176.86

Alberta Ferretti Wool ribbed detail black vintage dress

An Alberta Ferretti Wool ribbed detail black vintage dress
€165.45

Alexander Mcqueen A/W 2001 Rare Black vintage Jersey Dress

A rare Alexander McQueen dress from the Fall 2001 'What a Merry Go Round' collection
€775.90

Alexander McQueen Black Vintage dress

A classic LBD by McQueen in viscose
€176.86

Andre Courreges 1970s wool mod style mint green vintage midi dress

Iconic early 1970's mod dress with matching belt by André Courrèges
€775.90

Andrea Odicini 1970s Pink and Black Abstract Houndstooth Print Top and Skirt Vintage Ensemble

Andrea Odicini pink and black silk drop waist ensemble with pleated skirt and batwing sleeves
€228.32

Andrea Odicini 1980s Drop Waist Shift Dress

Andrea Odicini Cream & Brown Silk Drop Waist Shift Dress with Pussy Bow, 1980s
€228.21

Anne Valore 1960s Black Floral Embroidery Dress

A 1960s black sleeveless couture dress
€182.57

Ascot Model 1950s White Cotton Abstract Print Vintage Dress

A stunning 1950s dress with a drop waist and full skirt by Ascot Model
€182.57

Azure 1960s Cashmere Wool Blue Vintage Dress

Cir-Mhor label cashmere dress
€393.66

Balenciaga 1980's Silk Flutter Sleeve Grey & Pink Vintage Dress

An exquisite vintage silk Balenciaga dress with a blousy, free flowing top and incredible flutter sleeves, 1980's
€456.41

Bellville Sassoon 1980s Crepe Necklace Dress

Bellville Sassoon Lorcan Mullany Vintage Wool Crepe Necklace Detail Dress, 1980s
€182.57

Bill Blass 1970s Silk Polka Dot Black and Orange Vintage Dress

Bill Blass 1970s polka dot dress with fitted gathered bodice, tie hip waist and long sleeves
€439.30

Bob Mackie 1980s Beaded & Sequinned Evening Dress

Bob Mackie Glam Vintage Long Sleeve Beaded Silk Evening Gown, 1980s
€456.41

Bonwit Teller 1960s silk black cocktail dress

1960s black silk cocktail dress by Bonwit Teller
€222.50

Carlye 1970s Classic Shirt Style Multicoloured Vintage Dress

A beautifully crafted early 1970s shirt dress
€353.72

Carven Paris 1960s Shocking Pink Silk Vintage Dress

Carven Paris Shocking Pink Silk Shantung Sleeveless Shirt Dress, 1960s
€205.39

Celine 1970s Silk Floral Print Red Vintage Dress

Céline 1970s red floral dress with round neck, long sleeves and tie waist belt
€627.57

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