Add a vintage touch to your wardrobe with retro style dresses. From 40s exaggerated shoulder pad dresses to 90s slip dress, check out the 11 vintage trends that are back and have become must-haves in every woman’s closet.
When I wear high waist pants and peter pan collar blouses, my grandmom often tells me that this fashion and style is a comeback from her age. Indeed! With tiny variations and the way they are paired, the retro style dresses get a modern and sophisticated look every year.
We’ve seen polka dot dresses in Spring Summer 2019 Dolce & Gabbana collection, high waist jeans in Versace, Dior Fall 2018 collections and slip dresses in Roland Mouret Spring 2018 collection. If you are a vintage fashion lover, then check out the 11 retro style dresses here, which we recommend every girl should have in her closet.
11 Essential Retro Style Dresses
1. Polka Dot Dress
The 1950s polka dot dress is back with a bang! Earlier, the polka dot dress was known as house or garden dress. It was mostly worn to picnics. But now we’re seeing this dress as a casual wear or more preferably, as a relaxed summer outfit. It can be worn to beach parties too! From low neckline to halter neck to collared, a polka dot dress with any neckline looks amazing and gives one a retro feel.
2. Slip Dress
From celebrities to supermodels, slip dresses ruled the 90s. Besides that, they are easy to pull off and instantly give a stylish look. You don’t really need to accessorize much when wearing it. Just a pendant necklace looks good. You can pair both sneakers and heels with a slip dress.
3. Halter Neck Swing Dress
The halter neck dress reminds us of the iconic Marilyn Monroe. The actress wore a white halter neck dress in the film Seven Year Itch in 1955 and that’s where it gained popularity.
Low necklines were also fashionable in the medieval period. Halter neck gowns and robes were trendy. But in the later period, we saw halter neck dresses and blouses. Dresses with low neckline look flattering and perfect for dates and brunches. You can wear a long halter neck dress to wedding receptions. They look classy and chic.
4. Dress with String Cords
The string cord corsets and dresses were a must for women in the Renaissance and early 30s. However, the ones that were worn in that era were tight-fitted and women found difficulty breathing with the corsets. Later the style was evolved and they were designed in such a way that they looked fashionable, trendy and comfortable at the same time.
String cord dresses have corset-like strings at the waist that helps to accentuate the waistline and help in getting a curvy shape. Pair this dress with knee-length boots to get the perfect vintage look.
5. Peter Pan Collar Dress
Peter pan collar entered mainstream fashion in the 21st century. Audrey Hepburn was the one who rocked the peter pan collar dress style in the 60s. This type of dress gives a polished, almost preppy look! Even Princess Diana rocked the peter pans in the 90s. Pair it with a long chain pearl necklace. This type of dress works best for formal occasions.
6. Baby Doll Dress
The 90s baby doll dress is one of the best retro style dresses. A baby doll dress is a loosely fitted swing dress. Swing dress is cinched at the waist but the baby doll dress has a boxy silhouette. And nothing can beat a relaxed fit dress that can be worn casually. Hence, get this 90s inspired dress for a cool vintage look.
7. Wrap Dress
This is a 70s inspired dress that Diane Von Furstenberg made famous. Wrap dress has never gone out of fashion and this makes it be a must-have vintage dress. Rest assured if you are building up your wardrobe with retro style dresses then wrap dress is something you can’t afford to miss.
In Michael Kors 2017 collection, Bella Hadid rocked the metallic wrap dress look. Pair it with oversized hoops and you are good to go!
Plaid was super popular as a part of 90s grunge fashion. From plaid skirts to tops to dresses, it was very trendy. Even Jennifer Aniston was seen wearing a plaid skirt in Friends TV show. And now this retro style is back. Not only dresses but we’re also seeing gingham handbags and accessories too. Hence, plaid dresses are perfect for the street-style look and can be layered with a leather jacket in fall.
9. New Look
Christian Dior made cinched waistline and exaggerated hip silhouettes in the 1940s with his first collection. This silhouette is very feminine and looks elegant. The New Look style is back in 2018 as other design houses began including this style in their dresses. Dresses that have poufy ruffles or peplum at the hips and a tiny waist. Wear to dates and parties with pumps.
10. Shoulder Pads & Full Sleeves
From the past few seasons, we’re seeing shoulder pads in almost every designer collection. And their inspiration comes from the 40s. Because in the 40s, shoulder pads, full sleeves and uniquely draped dresses were very popular. And all of these are back and perfect to get the vintage look.
Finally, slightly off the shoulder was a 90s thing and we’re seeing this trend making a comeback. But now we are seeing it just slightly, but more off the shoulder and strapless dresses. Most importantly, whatever variations we see, we’ll always remember it as 90s fashion.
Pair an off the shoulder dress with a velvet or thin choker and complete the look. The chokers were also one of the best 90s fashion jewelry and in this was you can get a complete vintage look.
So, these are the 11 retro style dresses that need to be in your closet to get the vintage look. Which one are you looking forward to try? Do let us know by commenting below or by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja.
Anusha Jain is a Staff Writer & SlubShop Manager at ShilpaAhuja.com. She has a diploma in Fashion Design from iNIFD and is originally from Andhra Pradesh. Before entering into the field of fashion, she got a Masters in Analytical Chemistry. Her love in fashion design, a passion in staying updated with the latest trends and zeal to do something creative paved her way to a career in fashion. Here, at Shilpaahuja.com, she works on bringing the latest in shopping ideas, fashion tips and beauty advice to SlubShop, the world’s first purely trend-based affiliate store. Accessories are her expertise. Her work on SlubShop involves bringing the latest runway trends to the masses, and designing the UI/UX to make it look innovative and fresh. She is also a fitness and dieting aficionado, writing about bringing the latest in the world of wellness and health. When she’s not writing she loves to travel, watch movies and also she is interested in photography, using herself as a muse. For feedback and questions, email [email protected] or connect with her on Twitter @Anushajain14.