There is always a good time to wear a vintage dress, but hey, we would say that here at Diary of a Vintage Girl.
When it comes to a retro style, there are so many to choose from. For example, you could dip into the silhouette of the 1950s, or the carefree but feminine look of the 1920s.
If you want to visit a decade more recent, then the 1990s and 1980s have some fantastic retro pieces that you will want to try.
If you are looking for some vintage and retro style inspiration, then we have got you covered. Check out the following 16 vintage retro dresses to enhance your wardrobe.
This simple yet stunning dress would not look out of place on a beautiful summer’s morning. From before the early 2000s, this dress is made from corduroy and is light blue color that could be mistaken for denim (see also ‘What Is Corduroy?’).
The shape nips in at the waist which adds fullness to the midi length skirt. The back of the dress is just as cute too.
Team it with a summer hat, your favorite sandals and you are good to go!
If you want it to look like you have just stepped out of the 1970s, then this is the dress for you. Short in length and tight in style, this dress has everything you need to add retro vibes to your day or night.
The dress itself is made from stretchy material, and the side panels are a thinner material that highlights your curves.
Definitely not a dress for the faint hearted.
This 1950s vintage swing dress has the classic silhouette that we think of when it comes to this fashionable decade.
It has a waist panel to make it look tiny, but then the bust and the skirt flares out to give an hourglass figure. There is a zipper at the back, and the overall pattern is a beautiful floral design.
This Japanese dress from the 1980s is just as stunning as it was back then. Made for the summer due to its lightweight fabric, it includes a tie waist to create a feminine silhouette.
The length of the dress reaches just above the ankles, and the floral pattern that is placed over the whole dress gives the white background bursts of red, blue and green.
It is simple yet very beautiful.
If you have just rewatched Friends, then you might be looking to embrace your inner Phoebe, and that’s okay.
This 1990s dress is perfect for those days when you don’t want to put on a very feminine dress, but would like the comfort of one.
The pattern has a floral design to it, but it is not that obvious. Overall, it is a comfortable and charming dress.
Speaking of the 1990s, this dress couldn’t be any more different to the one above. It has neutral tones when it comes to the colors, and features a fun pussy bow that is tied around the collar bone.
The fit is quite relaxed, yet there is a stretchy waistline that adds some shape to the whole dress.
Have you ever wondered what the perfect 1980s dress would look like? Well imagine no more, because this is it! In fact, this is likely to be the kind of dress that your mom used to wear back in the day.
It has a typical 1980s style that is on the relaxed side, yet features a lower waist.
While it does not have the same effect as a 1950s dress, it is something that you can most certainly relax in all day.
This dress has different stripe directions, making it look like you are wearing a two piece.
Quickly put on some Spice Girls, we have found the perfect dress to embrace your inner Baby Spice.
This tight fitting mini dress sums up the 1990s. Not only is it short, but it is tight fitting too. There is also a tie at the back to bring in your waist.
All you need now are your platform shoes and you are ready for the dance floor.
Whether or not you have a sailor themed party coming up, this 1980s nautical themed dress is a winner.
You might have guessed by now that the 80s had some great dresses. It wasn’t always about the big puffed sleeves, but there is something about the 80s theme of ‘more is more’.
This dress is a great example of that, and we love it.
This cute dress is a 1970s classic. It features a ruffled bodice along with an elastic waistline.
While this can give you some waistline shape. The color is pretty and the dress would suit a glorious summer day hanging out with friends.
This beautiful floral dress is labeled as vintage, but it has a 1950s and 1960s feel about it due to its shape and fabric pattern.
The dress itself is long in length, reaching to halfway up your shins. The floral pattern is pretty, and has oranges, reds, greens and purples to brighten your day.
Pair this with your favorite sandals and summer hat.
Sometimes all you want is a simple, yet striking, vintage dress. If that is what you are after, then look no further.
While you could say this dress is simple, it actually isn’t when it comes to the overall design. Yes it has the one block color of a dusty pink, but it features ruffled elbow length sleeves and a full, flowing skirt.
This dress looks fabulous teamed up with heels, and we love the turtleneck too.
It is noted as being before the 2000s, so it could be the 1990s.
This 1960s polyester dress is perfect for those who want to wear something fun. It includes a zipper that goes halfway down, as well as pockets.
It is not fitted to the body, yet you can wear a waist belt to add some shape. It is quite short too, so it is up to you whether you want to wear it with tights or not.
Known as a day dress, it isn’t a going out out dress – however, who cares about rules? Not us!
This stunning blue midi dress is by the sought after dressmaker Lanz. From the 1970s, you might be mistaken thinking that it is more modern than that.
It includes a tailored waist that falls into a full and flowing skirt. The blue of the dress has flowers running through it, but not so many that the pattern becomes overcrowded.
The back of the dress shows off a lot of skin too, so you may want to cover up during the hottest parts of the day. However, this lightweight dress is perfect for those warmer months.
This love it or hate it dress was inspired by the upcoming Y2K decade. While it is quite garish with its candy covered material and pink bow at the waist, it is also really fun.
The midi length is perfect for this dress. The baby blue offsets the pale pink of the bow nicely. The bow itself adds some shape to the waist, which is a great option seeing as it has a square cut top.
If you are in need of a stunning dress for an event, then look no further. This gorgeous 1970s velvet maxi dress will do all the talking for you.
While the dress itself has no sleeves, it includes an evening gown for when you want to cover up later on when the night gets chilly.
The dress has a fitted top area that ruffles up into a high neckline. There is also a waistline to the dress which falls into a flowing skirt – perfect for any ballroom floor.
It probably is not surprising that there are so many vintage and retro dresses out there. While the retro style looks fabulous, rewearing clothes is always a great ethical decision.
From seeking out looks from decades gone past, you are bringing life back into clothes that were once worn for special events, parties, brunch with friends, or even days out doing errands.
Hopefully you have found a dress you truly love and want to wear – but if you haven’t, then we hope this article has inspired you to find one that you do love.
Who knows, it might get passed on again in the future?
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