Vintage Style Kimono Dresses

Most of us know what kimonos are, but if you are in doubt, or maybe you just heard this name for the first time, a kimono is a traditional Japanese outfit with a characteristic T – shape. It is noted for its straight cut lines that fall to the ankles like a soft flowing robe.

Kimono sleeves are wide and long, and the outfit comes with a wide collar. The classic and vintage kimono is one that was wrapped round the body, right side tucked under the left side, and held in place with a wide sash wrapped around the waist and tied securely at the back.

Dress styles inspired by the classic kimono may not be like robes you have to tuck in and tie, but they still have the similar T-shape, typical wide kimono sleeves, with wide waist bands, but not necessarily tied at the back.

Fuchsia Long Sleeves Floral Kimono Sexy Dress

The outfit looks great with flat footwear, preferably those that are sandal-like. Heeled shoes don’t compliment the shape of the outfit, unless in cases where the dress is long, and falls all the way to the ankles. In this case, you can wear heeled shoes, as long as they are slip-on (heeled slippers) footwear.


Intimate Wear Of the 19th Century Woman

The phrase intimate wear includes underwear and lingerie for women that’s personal to her physical body and unlike outerwear, inner wear consists of items that are worn specifically for specific parts of the female body – the upper and lower parts. 

There wasn’t much of a variety of intimate lingerie for both parts of the body for the nineteenth century woman. The most important item to the fashionable woman was the all-important constricting corsets made with whale or steel bones.   

This singular item was basically meant to give a woman an hour-glass shape, popularly referred to as a figure 8. This was the mark of beauty!

Wearing a corset all day long was torturous, and it could never have been worn without a helping hand, or two! But it was an important piece of intimate wear to have. 

Luckily towards the late 1880s, a women’s movement campaigning against the damage the corset of the time did to ribs and a woman’s internal organs caused by tight lacing, invented what was called the "health corset" that was specifically made to help her muscles.

By the early 1900s, the corset finally gave way to the liberty bodice, “a simple shape sleeveless bodice, often made of warm, fleecy fabric that came with attached garters”. 

The bodices had no boning, unlike corsets, although some had firm cloth strapping which was meant to encourage good posture. It liberated the women folk from those rib-crushing intimate wears.

And for the lower body, as the skirts became shorter, women wore what we call pantaloons (underwear that covers each leg separately from the waist to the ankle), that were strictly meant to conceal a woman’s legs.

Other intimate wear of the 19th century include the union suit, stiff crinolines, hoop skirts, bustle, and drawers which everyone wore not only for modesty, but also for warmth.

Vintage Fashion – Hip Huggers

Hip huggers first made their debut in 1957 when Irene Kasmer designed the first pair out of denim. They had a unique cut for a fifties fashion item - `a snug fit around the hips and thighs with the waist placed at the hips, rather than the waistline, and a flare out to wide bottoms.

Hip Huggers - 60s
With many similarities to today’s low rise boot cut style jeans, hip-huggers became quite fashionable and thus popular from the mid-60s, becoming a wardrobe item popularised by the mods. They remained in style for about a decade with a downward trend around the early 70s.

By the end of the decade, hip-huggers re-appeared in the nightclub scene and were mainly worn by club goers that fell within the psychedelic group.

Their legs were quite long and will sometimes sweep the floor as you walk, sometimes resulting in frayed and dirty hems.

Also associated with the hippie lifestyle, the trend was in some way inspired by urban living, rock bands, and icons of music; people like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Sonny and Cher, Mick Jagger . . . all wore hip huggers, and it soon became a basic wear, not only for the psychedelic group, but for pop musicians and the disco fanatics.

Hip huggers have re-appeared as low-rise pants with moderate flares. But they are no more exclusively pants or trousers. They come made in a variety of designs ranging from lingerie to bum shorts, loose pants to smart pants, bell-bottoms, and straight cut legs.

The wonderful thing about hip huggers trousers is that today, they can be worn casual, or semi-formal while maintaining a relaxed but stylish look.

The Gatsby Style

Today's Gatsby inspired fashion can be aptly described as "cool and swanky" with an “extravagant look” that's reminiscent of the 1920's vintage fashion and style.

From the swinging dresses and fantastic accessories, to the dazzling jewels and pert hairdos, the 20's era depicts style and swagger that today's fashion enthusiast loves.
Gatsby Style

And though many associate this period with jazz music and the flapper dress culture, style was not only about the flapper dress, drop-waist clothes, embellished apparel, and fringe dresses.

Check out these stylish designs that equally typifies the 1920's vintage fashion and find ways you can bring that glorious era back to the 21st century with very feminine dresses, costume jewellery such as Vintage Bracelets, and clutch bags with beautiful embellishments.

Vintage Inspired Fashion - Empire Dress

The Empire style dress is an old classic. It’s a style that evolved around the late 1700’s, one that was influenced by the loose, white tunics type clothing, belted under the bosom and worn by Greek and Roman women. 

The Empire dress design is vintage inspired at its best! The dress has a fitted bodice with it being either short sleeved, one sleeved, or sleeveless, which ends just below the bust.

This is what gives the style its characteristic high waist. From below the bodice, the dress falls to the floor in a soft body-skimming (not body-hugging!) but loosely fitting way.  Fabric must be soft, light, and almost airy.

Revived in the sixties and now back in fashion, this beautiful style is good to conceal your waist line and de-emphasize your wide hips if you have one. On the other hand, it will emphasise your bust-line and give your body a slimming, longer silhouette. 

Sheath/ Column One Shoulder Empire Floor-length Chiffon Bridesmaid DressWear with a short or cropped classic wig or hairstyle, and if you want a softer look, go with short curls.

If you have long hair, there is no need to chop off your locks.

All you have to do is wear it up high, off your face and piled up your head; ensure you leave loose wisps of hair around the head. 

For a really classic vintage look as a bridesmaid, or at an evening event, if you are bold enough, accessorize with elbow length gloves and ballet style shoes or dainty strap sandals.

The empire style dress is also great as a mother-of-the-bride-or-groom dress.