Friday, August 26, 2016

Refashioned 1980's Vintage Dresses into 1940's Style Outfits.

It's August here on the east coast of the U.S. and today was an exceptionally beautiful day. I knew it was the perfect time to snap some photos of two dresses I picked up in early Summer and finally got around to restyling.

These vintage dresses are from the 1980's and possibly early 1990's. Back in the1980's there was the 1980's does 1940's styling rage. I really didn't pay much attention at the time at why the clothing styles were the way they were. I was an 80's kid, I knew I loved the my pastel high top sneakers and any thing fluorescent yellow and of course my rubik's  cube.

Shoulder pads found in women's clothing were a style of the 1940's and brought back by clothing designers of the 1980's.

I picked up these two particular dresses at a thrift store of course. They have classic 1940's shirt waist dress styling. As a housewife I prefer a one piece frock as it's easier to throw on and your outfit is done. I like to keep things simple, especially when I have a lot to do in the upcoming day. The fall and winter season are a little different as I wear wool skirts and have to match them with tops and sweaters. I will be doing a fall outfit blog post in the upcoming few weeks.

These two dresses were both about 6 inches too long and hung to my mid calf. I am 5' 5" so these were quite long. I am not a professional seamstress or even claim to be a fantastic sewer but I did manage to hem these two dresses nicely.  I also added elastic to the brown dress sleeves to create a ruching effect. The sleeves were much to floppy for my taste. I also took the sides of the polka dot shirt dress in as it was a bit too wide for my waist and made it more form fitting.

I shortened these dresses to match the 1940's hemline styles. As the war went on the hem lines became shorter to about just below the knee in the 1940's. Fabric was rationed like everything during World War II, so the hem lines went up.

1980's does 1940's vintage dresses are more plentiful that actual 1940's era dresses themselves. 

Many 1940's vintage dresses have not stood the test of time or are very expensive to purchase. I prefer to wear women's fashion styles of the late 1940's to mid-1950's.

One of the advantages to wearing a 1980's restyled to 1940's vintage dress is that we can machine wash them and not worry about ruining them while doing housework. I would feel much less anxious about staining an 80's vintage dress than a true 1940's dress. These 80's dresses are hanging in most thrift stores in abundance.

I haven't done a photo set in quite a while. I guess I still hate having my photo taken and it's been a source of anxiety for me for many years, and I'm still working on it. I'm an introvert at heart. PS; The polka dot dress is the actual outfit I wore today. I did feel a little out of place at my sons football practice tonight.  All the other moms were wearing spandex or jeans. Sigh.

The dresses I am wearing below are light, flowy fabrics much like the rayon of 1940's dresses. These are polyester blends and perfect for late hot late Summer days.

This is a photo of shirt dresses featured in a 1943 Catalog. 

Outfit Details

Thrifted Vintage Shirt Dress : Talbots Petites
True Vintage 1950's - Cream Patent Leather Box Purse - Estate Sale
Thrifted Shoes - Vintage Styling Cork Wedge Strappy Sandals - Softspots
Earrings - Modern Basic Faux Pearl Stud Earrings
New Modern Barrett/Bow Snood - Ebay 

Outfit Details

Thrifted: Navy Blue with Baby Blue Polka Dot 1980's Upcycled to 1940's Summer Dress by White Stag.
Estate Sale - Vintage Wicker & Leather Purse 
Cork Wedge Shoes By Soft Spot 
Rhinestone Crane Brooch - New from Ebay

Rhinestone Crane Brooch found here on Ebay.

Barrett Bow Snood found here on Ebay.

Thank For Reading!
Happy Housewifing!


  1. Gorgeous! You did an outstanding job! I have been looking for those types of bow/snoods. You look wonderful and I bet you were the most beautiful mom there! So glad to see a post from you today.

  2. You did really well, the sleeve detail is so effective!

  3. All vintage vintage outfits are wonderful,this black outfit with white dots is really adorable.Really love this vintage vibe

  4. Adorable outfits, love the dots!

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