Vintage Dress Styles Explained

We know you love all the Vintage style Dresses available at Little Wings almost as much as we do – but do you know what era they are influenced by and why the style came about? Get ready ladies, it’s time for a history lesson….but an interesting fashion history lesson of course! Here is Little Wings Factory’s guide to vintage dress styles:

Swing Dress

The Swing Dress is a knee-length dress, which is fitted at the waist and then flares out into a full skirt. It began life in the dance halls of the 1940s & 1950s, and was popular as the skirt style means it swings out with the dancer as they move. The 1940s styles weren’t as full-skirted as we have them today, mainly due to fabric rationing in the war, but in the 1950s skirts got bigger and better to reflect the fit and flare fashions.

The Swing dress is super flattering – as it is cut to flatter your figure and usually made from material which is really comfortable to move in. They can be worn with or without a petticoat for a completely different look – adding a petticoat really enhances the flare of the circle skirt. For a true 1940s look you should pair your swing dress with some seamed stockings and medium heeled shoes, whilst to get the 1950s look just add some bobby socks and flat shoes – and then get ready to dance the night away!

   Red Rose Cosette Dress  

Red Rose Cosette Dress-£50                              Lavonne Dress-£32                  Turquoise Ophelia dress-£38

Wiggle Dress

The opposite end of the spectrum to the Swing Dress, the Wiggle dress is all about form-fitting shape. First popular in the 1950s and 1960s, the Wiggle dress is a very form-fitting sheath dress with a defined waist and it should taper from the hipline to the knee. The style first came into popularity after the Second World War, when fabric was short in supply and women wanted a change from the existing fashions.

The aim of the Wiggle dress is to accentuate your womanly form, and give you a “wiggle” when you walk! The body-hugging design and tapered hem will accentuate your hourglass curves, so you’d better be ready for the attention you will receive when you wear it!


                      Vanessa Red Polka Dress £35                                           Tiffany Wiggle Dress £30

So, are you a sassy swing dress girl, or a wicked wiggle woman – or both? Show us you’re Swing or Wiggle style - we love seeing pictures of you ladies in our lovely dresses! Share them to our Facebook Page or Twitter! xx

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