Vintage dresses

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.
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Rokje
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by Rokje »

I also look in thrift stores for dresses that are way out of fashion.

I recently bought two skirts for $6
Be proud to wear a skirt or dress, they are just clothes. Yes , they are for men too
I'm Marica, a 56 year old girl.

8)
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Pdxfashionpioneer
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

As I've said a number of times, I have way more dresses than any sane person, male or female, would acquire and darned few cost over $40 (without shipping). My happy hunting grounds are: off-price stores, the stores like TJ Maxx, Ross Dress for Less and Marshalls, that buy up manufacturers' overruns or out of season items, in the crazy world of fashion that often means clothes you can wear right now; online consignment or resale "stores" such as ThredUp, Poshmark and the RealReal, you can easily get designer clothes at 1/10th of their original price, often new with the original tags; and local thrift stores, but more likely consignment shops.

It's an occasion for celebration when I show up at my favorite consignment shop. As well it should. I almost always walk out with something, of good quality no less because that's all they carry, when I only dropped in to say, "Hello."

If you can show some restraint, those venues can make you look stylish and like a million bucks on a budget.

So quit whining and go shopping.

Oh wait, this thread wasn't about shopping, Moonshadow's question was about vintage wear. I feel some of my chicest dresses are my retro look dresses. I'd gladly exceed my usual price point for a dress if I could find an old Gunne Sax dress that would fit me. They're full length dresses that were quite popular in the 80's. They look like costumes from "Little House on the Prairie." A friend who worked in womenswear in one of the better department stores at the time told me they worked especially well for the less endowed ladies so, they should work especially well for us unendowed male types.

To take a less idiosyncratic view, the best of the current styles date back to the 1920's and '30's. So, yes!, real vintage or retro-look clothes can look really smashing!

You just have to wear it with panache!
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Re: Vintage dresses

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Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 12:09 pm
I'd gladly exceed my usual price point for a dress if I could find an old Gunne Sax dress that would fit me. They're full length dresses that were quite popular in the 80's. They look like costumes from "Little House on the Prairie."
Oh, man, there's a name I haven't heard in a very long time indeed, and thanks for kicking it awake. My then-girlfriend wore a light blue one to her junior prom (when I was a senior) and it was spectacular.
To take a less idiosyncratic view, the best of the current styles date back to the 1920's and '30's. So, yes!, real vintage or retro-look clothes can look really smashing!
I find that the '30s were the height of glamour and fashion, with the 'early '40s coming in a very close second. I've go no use for the '20s, but going farther back through the Edwardian period and the late Victorian era there were some absolutely stunning designs and styles.
You just have to wear it with panache!
That's good guidance. One does not have to wear the latest Fashion, one actually does better by cultivating style -- and quite a few styles are truly timeless.
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by Jim »

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 12:09 pm
I'd gladly exceed my usual price point for a dress if I could find an old Gunne Sax dress that would fit me. They're full length dresses that were quite popular in the 80's. They look like costumes from "Little House on the Prairie."
I'm not familiar with Gunne Sax so I looked at what was offered on Ebay. Lots of offerings, but most are for small sizes.
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by Ralph »

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 12:09 pm
I'd gladly exceed my usual price point for a dress if I could find an old Gunne Sax dress that would fit me. They're full length dresses that were quite popular in the 80's. They look like costumes from "Little House on the Prairie." A friend who worked in womenswear in one of the better department stores at the time told me they worked especially well for the less endowed ladies so, they should work especially well for us unendowed male types.
Oh heavens yes, a thousand times yes! I unfortunately did not discover Gunne Sax until they were out of business and I had exceeded their largest size. If I had but known of them back when I first started exploring clothes from the other side of the aisle... at that time they were still going strong and I had the figure to wear them. Once in a while I see one on ebay that's just a few inches too small for me, and I toy with the idea of buying it anyway and either working harder on my diet or altering it to fit. Then I look at the past ten years of struggles just to go down a single dress size, and the pile of unfinished projects in my sewing room, and I realise I would just be throwing my money away (again).

I have written on my own blog about how a huge influence in my early years was "Little House on the Prairie". I looked at the dresses those girls wore and wished more than anything I could wear them. Again, though, the two decades and fourteen stone between inspiration and opportunity to make it happen left me with fewer choices.
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by Uncle Al »

At one time, in the old west, the Mom's of the family would buy their flower in large
bags. These bags, which began coming in flowered designs, were converted into
children's dresses. Originally they were white but the flour companies found out
what the old west families were doing with the empty flour sacks and made the
sacks out of print material instead of plain white.

Just $0.02 worth of trivia :D

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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by moonshadow »

Regarding Gunne Sax,

I too had never heard of them, upon a Google search, there are two things that don't work for me, those being:

1) The price.. :shock: I simply can't lay down hundreds of dollars for a dress that is almost guaranteed to not fit right, especially in the chest area.

2) I don't think the "empire waist" look that many of these dresses seem to employ would compliment my shape. My body requires the more "sundress" look, where I can define my waist where I think it needs to be.

Dresses are difficult for me. I refuse to adopt fake breast to make them work (I'm not trying to pass as a woman, just embrace my own feminine side as a man). So any dresses I wear have to be for flat chested women, or otherwise I'd have to have them modified.

As dresses tend to be formal, or semi-formal, most are fitted with larger bust lines in mind.

They are beautiful dresses, no doubt, and here's to the women (and few men) who can pull them off. But I'm afraid I'd just look downright unbalanced in one....

I do love me some hippy boho looks... but I'm afraid with my midaged male "apple" shape... it's gonna be skirts for me, for the most part...
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by crfriend »

moonshadow wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:12 pm
As dresses tend to be formal, or semi-formal, most are fitted with larger bust lines in mind.
That may not be the case any longer as the waif look displaces realistic female shapes. Recall that the "Peloton Princess" looks very much like a teenage boy in shape and form.
They are beautiful dresses, no doubt, and here's to the women (and few men) who can pull them off. But I'm afraid I'd just look downright unbalanced in one....
I love the things, but that's (1) nostalgia in action and (2) I like women to actually look feminine. However, the general look is way over the top too feminine to work on something in my class.
I do love me some hippy boho looks... but I'm afraid with my midaged male "apple" shape... it's gonna be skirts for me, for the most part...
Here's where separate skirts and tops are a big win -- for lots of folks, gals and guys included. Also, separates allow for more mixing/matching that's impossible with a one-piece garment.

Don't get me wrong, I really like the dresses I have, but they're all fairly simple affairs and I have cognitive problems with how to deploy "accessories" with them as I'm not a big one for jewellery save for my collection of pocket-watches.
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by STEVIE »

Hi Moon and Al
This chimes in with your posts, for Gunne Sax read Gunny Sacks
"A burlap sack or gunny sack, also known as a gunny shoe or tow sack, is an inexpensive bag, traditionally made of hessian fabric (burlap) formed from jute, hemp, or other natural fibers. Modern day versions of these sacks are often made from man-made (synthetic) fabrics such as polypropylene."
I'd guess what Al is describing is thrift borne of necessity and abject poverty in some cases. We'd call it recycling today.
In fashion terms these looks are just a bit too recent for me to consider "vintage", maybe retro?
I still like the looks from the original illustration with modifications to suit me but not my purse. Champagne taste with beer money sums it up.
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by crfriend »

STEVIE wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:58 pm
Hi Moon and Al
This chimes in with your posts, for Gunne Sax read Gunny Sacks
The brand-name was a always a play on words and everybody at the time knew it -- but it didn't matter.
I still like the looks from the original illustration with modifications to suit me but not my purse. Champagne taste with beer money sums it up.
The sums in play for those now are insane! Yikes!
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Re: Vintage dresses

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Image


Omg, horrible flashbacks to my youth and my sister controling the TV on a Sunday morning!!!!!!
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by Epiceneguy »

Sticking with the vintage dress thing but a little away from the original idea, does anyone on here show any interest in Victorian era dresses with the bustles and layers etc.... Just curious?
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by Sinned »

I think Carl has an interest in one or more of the fashions in that era. I do too but can't stand a chance in getting them past MOH.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.
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Re: Vintage dresses

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Epiceneguy wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:54 pm
Sticking with the vintage dress thing but a little away from the original idea, does anyone on here show any interest in Victorian era dresses with the bustles and layers etc.... Just curious?
{raises hand}

Both the Victorian era and the Edwardian era produced some truly stunning looks. I have several Victorian-style "walking skirts" that are wonderful in the winter, and which do require petticoats to tame them as they can be rather unruly without. Most of the VIctorian era pieces are actually "two-piece dresses" in that the skirt an bodice are separate such that one skirt could serve two purposes ("day" or "evening") depending on the bodice ("top") employed. I have quite a bit of fondness for the log full looks of that time-frame, but don't particularly care for the "extreme" versions of the bustle where one could set a tea setting on.

The "two-piece" seems to have morphed into what we know as a modern "dress" in the Edwardian period, possibly as an outgrowth of "tea gowns".

For other "extreme" looks see the thread of "Tales From the Brotherhood of the Hoop" for some fun on that topic.
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Re: Vintage dresses

Post by trainspotter48 »

Regarding the use of flour sacks to make dresses, my wife, who was born during WW2 has told me of her grandmother making dresses for her out of the flour sacks. Apparently the fabric the sack was made from had a blue 'gingham' pattern and wasn't as rough as one would think, so many girls were similarly attired during the rationing of the war.
It may explain why it is still a popular pattern for girl's dresses now.
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