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Ultimate Vintage Guide to Party Season

Posted on November 05 2019

Party season is fast approaching, and what's a modern woman to do? With a growing consciousness of fashion's contribution to climate change... but also a penchant for great clothes... are you seeking out guilt-free party dressing?

Enter to the stage, the vintage dress. Vintage clothing is the ultimate solution to sustainable shopping. 

The vintage dress grants all the thrill of having something new that feels just so utterly you, without any of the guilt that comes with shopping on the high street. 

Join us, as we gift to you our ultimate vintage guide to party season. 

Decade by decade, we’re here to show you the world of possibilities that come with vintage shopping for party season.

And the best thing? You won’t be caught wearing the same thing as anyone else. 

1920s

The 1920s meant women could finally flex

Short skirts, short hair, and lots and lots of expensive jewellery!

Channel your inner flapper girl this party season with a stacked pearl necklace, available to buy in all of our locations at £29.95.

Mary Pickford, 1920s.


1930s

Silky, clinging fabrics were popular in the 1930s, often worn with a fur (we encourage faux!)

Evening dresses were always fitted in the waist, easing out mid-thigh just above the knees where they flared to create an elegant silhouette. 

Halter necks and plunging backs were a signature of 1930s evening dress, so this dress is the perfect homage. 

Embellished with a gorgeous, paisley pattern for a touch of festive elegance. 

1930s Halter Neck Dress.

Jacquard Evening Dress, £37.

1940s

If there’s one look we associate with the 1940s, it’s that of the snoods and headscarves. 

What were considered ‘old-fashioned’ head coverings came back into fashion in this decade and delivered the perfect antidote to a cold head on a cold winter's day. 

Not only could you stay warm, but you could do it in style. Scarves at the time mainly came with floral prints, and this particular scarf shown below with its red floral accents is the perfect festive accompaniment to a party dress. 

You can search our silk scarf selection online, where we offer a curated selection, or in any of our stores, with prices starting at £3.95. 

Louise Dahl-Wolfe, 1940s.

1950s

The two most popular dresses in the 1950s were the swing dress and the wiggle dress. 

Both styles had modest, snug-fitting tops with narrow high waistlines and tea-length skirts. 

When it came to hosting, the women of the 1950s would wear what was known as a hostess gown, a dress which exuded sleek Hollywood star luxuriousness. 

Whilst we’re more likely to host wine-and-cheese nights now than full-on three-course-meals, opting for a hostess gown is still a bonafide way to impress your guests. 

We’re obsessed with this red velvet hostess gown, which screams Christmas! 

Red Maxi Dress, £36.

1960s

Nothing says the 1960s like an asymmetrical button down dress.

Nothing says Christmas like the colour red.

So together, you have the perfect 1960s party season dress! Channelling the 1960s mod-style is a way to avoid this season's party cliches.

Velvet? I don’t know her …

Disclaimer: We actually love velvet. 

Gay Gibson Campaign from the 1960s.

Button Through Dress, £32. 

1970s

They say seventies disco was born on Valentine's day, in 1970. It's no wonder then, that the fashion of the decade oozes with romance. 

Going out to the disco meant putting on your Sunday best. Bold colours and silhouettes were basically mandatory

We stock a large range of authentic, 1970s vintage dresses both online and in our stores. To party like it's the age of disco this party season, shop with Beyond Retro! 

Models in a 1970s catalogue.

1980s

The 1980s were a decade of bold styles, colours and silhouettes - permed hair included.

With trends spanning from ripped tights and leather to polished oversized blazers, and style icons ranging from Joan Jett to Joan Collins, it was one of the most eclectic decades in fashion.

And the 1980s are back, and one of the biggest trends of the season. 

This 1980s velvet evening dress is perfect! It’s dark green colouring gives it just the right amount of festive flavouring, pair it with a pair of lace gloves and you’re serving Joan Collins in Dynasty on December 25th realness

Joan Collins in Dynasty.

 

1980s Velvet Evening Dress.

1990s

You can trust the 90s to turn things down a notch. If sparkles and red are not necessarily you’re thing, lean into the more relaxed, norm-core offerings of the 90s.

As exemplified no better than our favourite 90s import - F.R.I.E.N.D.S - spelled that way for effect, 90s Christmas style was basically just 90s street style.

This 90s maxi dress is almost an exact replica of the dress Rachel wore to her Christmas party all the way back in 1995. 

Friends Season 2, 1995.

 

 We don't mean to alarm you, but Christmas is just around the corner. Don't worry, we've got your back. Read our Christmas Gift Guide, and don't forget to follow us on Pinterest for lots of vintage inspiration