Through extensive practical research I’ve discovered that they cannot be beaten if you want to feel sassy, sexy and showstopping. Which I do, at all times. In this guide I’ll tell you where to find these beautiful dresses, whether you’re looking for authentic vintage, custom-made or reproduction.
To start with, here are some gorgeous but affordable frocks to make your tiki fantasies come true.
Top Tips For Hawaiian Vintage Dresses
- Pattern is key. It should be exotic and tropical so look for big splashy florals, palm trees and postcard prints.
- The colour should also be bold and bright. Make sure you find a dress that really suits your individual colouring for a knockout look.
- If you want maximum va-va-voom, go for for a wiggle fit. If you prefer to feel the breeze between your thighs, choose a dress with a circle skirt.
Now, back to drooling over dresses…
This Bali-based design studio create breathtaking frocks using stunning local fabrics and traditional construction techniques. It’s no wonder Whirling Turban is a popular choice for vintage brides. These dresses are seriously special and when I look at them my heart beats faster.
Vivien of Holloway
One of my favourite vintage repro companies, Vivien of Holloway, makes their sarong dress in a fabulous array of colours and prints. If you’re a bombshell with bingo wings you can invest in a matching bolero.
Miss Bamboo is a one-stop online shop for exotic mid-century glamour. As well as the adorable selection of dresses, they sell themed accessories including bamboo bags, bangles and oriental fans to stop you sweating all over your lovely new dress. For UK shoppers, there’s the added bonus that you can enjoy US brands like Trashy Diva and Bernie Dexter without worrying about surprise import taxes and expensive returns.
And if you dream of an authentic Hawaiian vintage dress…
An original vintage Hawaiian dress is a brilliant addition to your wardrobe. Here are some tips to help you on your treasure hunt.
- For added authenticity, search for labels that say, “Made in Hawaii”.
- Fancy owning a piece of fashion history? Then treat yourself to an Alfred Shaheen. This designer/demigod made the Hawaiian shirt a sensation and the sarong dress a holiday staple. Etsy and The Hana Shirt Co have a great selection of his dresses.
For a final bit of inspiration, here’s Dorothy Lamour, the old school movie star equally fond of fabulous sarongs and her fabulous co-star, Gogo the chimp.