Pencil dresses are great if you’re happy to wiggle. But what about those days when you wake up yearning to skip, prance and do the splits? When I want to be able to use my legs as two separate body parts, I reach for a 1950s circle dress. Comfortable and feminine, this style is flattering to most shapes so you can get involved whether you’re an apple, a pear or a dodecahedron.
There are some stunning originals out there, sadly many of them in tiny sizes. Ladies used to be slimmer. And gorgeous but miniscule vintage dresses rub that in our fatter faces. Here are a few I’ve found, in various sizes, that made me swoon.
The Best Repro Vintage Sundresses
If you can’t find your summer soulmate on the vintage racks then try a reproduction frock instead.
For a flattering fit – Vivien of Holloway
I love these halterneck dresses, which come in a dizzying array of colours and patterns. They are supremely flattering because the wide straps hide any armpit-boob-overspill and balance out bigger arms (unlike spaghetti straps which actively encourage armpit tits and make chunky arms look gargantuan). If you still feel like your bingo wings are flapping about drawing attention to themselves, invest in a matching bolero or a cute little cardi to ensure your lack of muscle tone stays a stylishly kept secret. For the ultimate hourglass look you need to nip your waist in. If you feel it could be nipped further, just add a cinch belt in a complimentary colour.
For talking point prints – Bernie Dexter
Bernie Dexter, equally fond of 1950s circle dresses and sticking her elbow in the air, is a pin-up model who designs fabulous vintage-inspired dresses. Bernie’s range includes frocks adorned with Eiffel Towers, ice-cream sundaes and pampered poodles. They look like the kind of rare vintage finds that get you giddy. The bonus is that these treasures come in a range of sizes.
For bargains – the online high street
All of these babies are under £40. I like having a few high street fifties-style dresses in my wardrobe for comfy, flip-flop days (yes, I have those). As someone who normally wears vintage or pricylicious reproduction frocks, the fact that they’re not antiques and they don’t cost a fortune is quite liberating. Perfect for some spontaneous acrobatics in the sunshine. Just make sure you’re wearing massive pants.