Wishlist (0)
You have no items in your shopping bag.

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.

Sort by

GIANNI VERSACE Bodycon dress

VERSACE Bodycon dress

Murray Arbeid 1980s Red Flocked Velvet Vintage Gown

Murray Arbeid Red and Black Flocked Velvet and Taffeta Evening Dress, 1980s

Yves Saint Laurent 1980s Multicoloured Vintage Puffball Dress

Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Vintage Multicolored Pouf Bustle Dress, 1980s

Jean Varon 1970s Bohemian Vintage Maxi Dress

Jean Varon Vintage 1970s Brown Floral Cotton Balloon Sleeve Voile Dress

JC de Castelbajac 1990s Op Art Dollar Print Vintage Dress

JC de Castelbajac Iconic Vintage Dollar Money Print White Jersey Sun Dress, 1990s

Bob Mackie 1980s Beaded Vintage Little Black Dress

Bob Mackie Vintage Black Jersey Shift Dress with Trompe Loeil Beaded Dagger

Vicky Tiel 1980s Metallic Silver Vintage Party Dress

An incredibly sexy and elegant vintage Vicky Tiel dress from the 1980s in a silver lame fabric.

Vintage 1970s Boho Kimono Cotton Dress

Capriccio Vintage Cotton Kimono Sleeve Vibrant Multicoloured Dress, 1970s

Louis Feraud 1980s Tiered Skirt Vintage Ruffle Dress

Louis Féraud Documented Vintage 1980s Strapless Satin Cocktail Party Dress

Sophie Sitbon 1990s Mesh Cut Out Vintage Little Black Dress

Sophie Sitbon Black Crepe Off the Shoulder Cage Sleeve Little Black Dress, 1990s

Arnold Scaasi 1980s Nude Strapless Vintage Dress

Arnold Scaasi Vintage 1990s Nude & Black Floral Lace Mini Cocktail Party Dress

Mignon 1980s Black Asymmetrical Vintage Party Dress

Mignon Vintage Black Sequin Silk Asymmetrical Origami One Shoulder Cocktail Party Dress, 1980s

Filter by:

Clear All