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Designer & Vintage Dress Suits

The vintage dress suit is the ultimate in adaptable outfits.  Day to evening, wedding service to reception, outside to inside, it is the perfect two outfits in one solution.  Though not always officially referred to as a ‘Dress Suit’ the perfect dress and jacket or coat combination can be the failsafe friend in your wardrobe.  For many designers over the 20th century, the extra element to simple dresses has allowed them to add a new dimension with flaring sleeves, high collar, belts and pockets.  Equally, contrasting trims and fabrics have created opposing piece which marry into the perfect ensemble.

Unlike their trouser and skirt suit counterparts, dress suits or dress ensembles are allowed a freedom of colour and pattern rarely seen in the others.  Diagonally set tartans, plain coats trimmed with pockets and edges of a the floral print of the dress beneath.  These are outfits often worn to happy, bright occasions whether it be mother-of-the-bride, or seasonal outdoor events.  They save us from the dreadful dilemma of finding the perfect dress which, try as you might, is impossible to match with any other part of your existing wardrobe.  And, going for contrast, why not have two which complement one another and can be worn as intended or interchanged!

When choosing a great designer dress suit, vintage dress suits have a lot to teach us.  They perfectly illustrate the balance between the future dress styles with still a need for practicality and a covering what the dresses might reveal.  In the 1960s, the sleeveless shift dress, though it had existed in various forms before, offered a fresh shape and style which was quickly one of the most popular styles of the decade.  Its modernity is proved by how contemporary these dress still are and how popular they remain.  Round necks, sometimes beaded, A line shapes, minimalist shaping and block colours.  Pierre Cardin created almost robotic mini shift dresses and then paired them with futuristically designed jackets and coats with raised quilted collars and circular patch pockets.  For those with a more classic taste, the 1950s also offered neat dress suits of empire line dresses, perfectly set collars and bow belted waists.  Equally desirable are the, ‘cover all’ coats wihch allow you to go completely from one to the other.  A beautiful dress coat or trapeze can conceal almost anything beneath and make you feel like you’re totally refreshed when you remove the outer layer to party into the night.

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Oscar De La Renta Pre-Fall 2011 Cashmere Vintage Beige Jacket and Dress Suit Set

Vintage Oscar De La Renta dress suit set from Pre-Fall 2011 comprising of a beige and grey jacket and dress.

Dolce & Gabbana Slip and Wrap Dress and Overcoat Black Vintage 3 Piece Set

Vintage Dolce & Gabbana 3 piece set comprising of a brown lace trimmed slip dress, a black wrap dress, and a black buttoned overcoat.

Givenchy 1980s Monochrome Quilted Two Piece

A 1980s Quilted Dress & Boxy Jacket Vintage Set

Dellwood Model 1960s Floral Silk Two Piece Set

Dellwood Model Green Floral Silk Two Piece Dress & Jacket Set, c. 1960s

Frederick Starke 1960s Brocade Evening Dress & Jacket

A 1960s Frederick Starke Gold Lamé Dress Set

Versace AW08 Wool Blend Dress and Coat Purple Vintage Dress Suit Set

Vintage Versace dress suit set comprising of a wool blend dress and coat in purple.

Versace AW08 Silk Floral Pattern Multicolour Vintage Coat and Dress Suit Set

Vintage Versace dress suit set from AW08 comprising of a short sleeve dress and a coat in multicoloured floral pattern silk.

Versace 2007 collection Wool turquoise blue vintage Bustier Dress & coat set

Versace Turquoise Wool Bustier Dress & Coat Set Suit 2007 Fall Collection

Egon Von Furstenberg 1980s Ivory Lace Embellished Dress Set

Vintage Egon Von Furstenberg dress and jacket wit lace detail

Gianni Versace 1980s Red Tartan Dress Suit

Gianni Versace 1980s dress suit in red tartan patterned cotton.

Louis Feraud 1960s Blue Silk Dress & Blouse Set

A gorgeous little Louis Féraud silk dress with matching blouse or bolero jacket from the 1960s.

Balmain 1960s Diagonal Check Orange Vintage Dress Suit

Balmain dress and jacket ensemble in orange and ivory check with a sleeveless dress and jacket with detachable bow

Louis Feraud for Rembrandt 1960s Pleat & Swirl Pink Vintage Dress Suit

Louis Feraud for Rembrandt hot pink dress suit with pleats and swirl stitch detail.

Couture 1960s wool & mink trim cream vintage dress suit

A 1960s vintage cream wool dress & mink collar jacket by Leslie Gordon Couture

Frances Stuart 1960s Vintage Floral Two Piece Dress Suit

A 1960s vintage two piece dress and jacket ensemble by Frances Stuart

Jean Patou 1960s Houndstooth Two Piece Red & Blue Vintage Dress Suit

Jean Patou 1960s vintage two piece dress suit. Coat in red and blue houndstooth wool and dress in red wool.

Jacqueline de Ribes 1980s Strapless animal print vintage Cocktail Dress set

80's Jacqueline de Ribes animal print & velvet Bustier dress & jacket

Valentino 1970s two piece navy vintage suit

Valentino navy two piece dress suit

Yves Saint Laurent 1980s wool & muslin black vintage Dress suit

Vintage Yves Saint Laurent wool muslin dress & black wool jacket

Yves Saint Laurent 1979 silk Complete Ensemble vintage blouse skirt & belt set

Vintage Yves Saint Laurent silk blouse, skirt & belt ensemble with velvet jacket

Clare Laughton 1990s Night Sky Blue Silk Vintage Dress and Overshirt

A heavy silk sleeveless dress with a simple gathered neckline and overshirt with mandarin collar

Chanel Zip Front Boiled Wool White Vintage Dress Suit

Chanel 'Identification' label boiled wool dress suit with sleeveless dress and zip up jacket

Givenchy 1980s linen polka dot black & red vintage dress & jacket

Classically stunning daytime dress ensemble by Givenchy from the 1980s

Vintage 1960s A Line Shift Lace Cream Dress & Coat Set

Beautiful cream lace 1960's A line shift dress & matching coat

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