I was absolutely over-the-moon when I discovered this. They are hardly ever seen, in my experience. Women loved the style when it came out because it’s so easy to wear, comfortable and surprisingly cute. However, this design seemed to have a fairly short life in the retail market which may explain why it’s not easy to find as a vintage piece. In this case, the dress has been home-sewn (much more economical that buying a real Mary Quant!) and has a nylon zip, unlike the other 1960’s dresses I’m showing with metal ones.
My mother had a dress made this way, but I never did so was skeptical that I would want to keep it. Big surprise when I tried it on – it looks like a tent (duh!) but is super cute and even flattering (maybe men would disagree). Although the style is meant to be worn beltless, it would also look nice with a belt and give more shape to the body.
Anyway, the big payoff for me is the rarity of this find and it’s firm place in fashion history. Score!
This frock is a home-tailored version of Mary Quant’s Tent Dress which she introduced in 1964. It was an immediate hit because it fit every body, was SOOO comfortable and easy to wear and also was a radical fashion departure from the more structured, prissy day and evening dresses up until that time. The closest women had come so far was the summer shift dress that was only acceptable in the most casual settings.
I didn’t think I’d probably keep it at first. Waist-defining styles are usually my preference but then I tried it on. Mega cute!! It’s a little bit mini on me, which makes it just perfect. Just love the aqua color, with a printed repeating pattern of interlocking flowers in pale yellow for just the right amount of contrast. The vintage nylon zip and hook and eye at the neckline are the only hardware needed. Probably won’t even require a slip.
Such a fab find. Although there were similar versions over the following years, I’ll probably never encounter another one as faithful to the original authentic style. But then, you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..