I’m usually pretty “ho – hum” on 1980’s does 1940’s dresses, but this one is a stand-out. Made by the Lady Carol brand, which produced ladies’ fashions from the 1950’s through 2000 or the late 1990’s. I have one 1950’s knit dress by this maker and have seen a few of their 1980’s versions but never liked them as much as this. Here’s why:

For one thing, the print is probably the most authentic-looking Forties-type design. I’ve seen one or two florals that were pretty good imitations, but this is much more interesting. I also like the monochrome blue. Seems like a lot of the prints from the ’80’s on dresses like these were a dog’s breakfast of colors, shapes and ugly patterns. Not even New Wave and looked more like some of the icky bargain-priced ones from the 1970’s.

The styling and tailoring are very good. Although the nemesis of a missing belt is going on here, there is enough length to use a strip of fabric from the hem to make another, if I’d like. The original was obviously a buckle belt type because a small loop at the waist indicates good tailoring to anchor the belt in front. Since there are also larger belt loops at each side, I could make a sash tie instead, which was also used in the 1940’s but usually on more casual styles. A plain navy or bone color belt would work fine, too. The buttons are classic but boring, so maybe I’ll replace them from my stock of true vintage notions.

Given where I was shopping today, I hadn’t expected either of these discoveries. Just goes to show, that you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . ..