1950s clothes

Strictly Stripes | Vintage Fashion Inspiration

Strictly Stripes | Vintage Fashion Inspiration

Vintage designers took stripes to places they had never been before, and have rarely been since.

Once the cloth of madmen and deviants, striped fabrics have risen to fashionable heights at the hands of Renaissance dandies, Versailles Courtiers, Chanel and Gaultier. Found among the earliest examples of woven fabrics, stripe varieties are endless (pinstripes, chalk stripes, the always chic Breton stripe) and versatile. No other pattern transfers so easily from boardwalk to boardroom.

Unsurprisingly, while Heraldic stripes and Victorian summer dresses are wonderful, we’re going to look at fashions of the 1930’s to 1960’s. Designers were inventive and playful with their stripes. Horizontal, vertical or cut on the bias, stripes appeared in bold and sophisticated combinations.

Beachwear and Sundresses

Fun and flirty, daywear displays the light side of stripes. The 50’s saw vertical and horizontal stripes combined in sundresses and swimsuits to great graphic effect. Have you ever seen a swimsuit as elegant as that long sleeved, off the shoulder number in a nautical stripe?

Accessories weren’t exempt. Beach pajamas, which are excellent on their own, could be found with matching parasols, and coordinating bags accompanied dresses. ( As we discussed in Spotlight on Spots, they were’t afraid of matchy-matchy outfits back then. Which makes me happy because I love a good matchy-matchy outfit.)

Striped from Day to Night

In case you needed convincing, here’s proof that stripes really can go from boardwalk to boardroom to bar!

Here we see stripes used to perfection in hostess sets and dresses that could walk from garden party to cocktail bar without breaking a sweat. And as for that suit? Check out those diagonal pockets and carefully placed buttons for some beautifully thoughtful design details. I’d happily wear that to every cool weather event for the rest of my life.

Evening wear that Draws the Line

We have arrived at my favourite section!

A Marie Calvet gown photographed in 1935 uses stripes to create chevrons and striking diamond patterns on the sleeves. Serpentine panels wind around a 1940’s dress, while a Dior gown utilizes bold stripes in contrast with delicate flowers at the bust.

Once again striped are laid diagonally, horizontally and vertically in the same garment to accentuate or visually reshape the body.

Accessories and Outerwear 

Not quite ready for full blown stripey glory? Add a dash of drama to your outfit with striped accessories. Pussy bows and structured cravats gave a playful touch to tailored suits and dresses ( while drawing attention to the face).

Striped, gloves and geometric garment linings all added an unexpected element of quirk to sophisticated outfits – an elegant nod to the dandies of the past.


We all need more stripes in our wardrobes, so get your fashion fix over on my Pinterest board for all things linear!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete


Strictly Stripes! Inventive vintage fashion striped like you've never seen it before.
Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
My Super Cute 1950’s Halloween Outfit

My Super Cute 1950’s Halloween Outfit

I intended to have this post out before Halloween, but (obviously) that didn’t happen, so lets say it’s a nightmare before Christmas.

I bought this adorably spoopy cartoon spider print fabric at Halloween last year. I didn’t get a chance to sew up an outfit at the time, but it was on the top of my pile for this October!


Construction & Design

Halloween calls for boldness and fun, and so did the super cute spider print! I contrasted the printed cotton with vintage orange linen from my stash for vibrancy and graphic appeal.

The natural fibers of these fabrics makes them perfect for the humidly warm October days in New Zealand. (Which means they’re also perfect for summer, when I’ll be wearing this because everyday is Halloween!)

The Top

I used my trusty Simplicity 1426, with a few size adjustments and different straps. The cups don’t sit as smoothly as the version of this top I made in cotton sateen, I may add some foam cups at a later stage. I stitched in a nude bra strap hook and eye set for the back closure, which ended up almost invisible!

The Skirt

The skirt is a classic self drafted circle skirt. I decided on a contrast waistband to emphasise my waist, with a back zip and hook and eyes. After cutting out the skirt I cut the top out of the leftovers – a great way to make the most of fabric when you’re using a pattern with small pieces!


Vintage Pinup girl Velvet DeCollete talks about sewing her cute spider print halloween skirt and top set, a 1950's skirt and top using self drafted and


Outfit Details

Skirt + top | Made by me
Floral Haircomb | Made by me ( Similar styles can be found in my Etsy Boutique)
Bangles | Thrifted
Shoes | Preloved



Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments