22 September 2011

Seeking advice re a "flapper dress"

I've recently been busy helping my mother move from a condo unit in Minnesota to an apartment near our home.  In the process we weeded through a 20+ year accumulation of clothes, books, memorabilia, and other odds and ends. 

One item that came to light during this process is a sheath-style evening dress in what I would term a "flapper" style from the 1920s, because it's covered with bangles -
and tassels -
My mother in the 1920s was the antithesis of the flapper girl; during that decade she was working on a farm driving a team of horses to cultivate corn.  So the dress must have been acquired many years later, presumably from an estate sale of DPT*.

This will probably be donated to a charity, but we're wondering whether this is an original dress, or a more modern reproduction.  Here's the label, which didn't generate any useful hits for me on a web search (not could I find any exact copies of the dress itself.)  However, over the years I've realized that the readers of this blog have an immensely wide range of expertise, so I'll throw the photos out and see if anyone can offer an informed opinion re this fashion item.

*"dead people's things"


  1. What a lovely dress!

    I am not an expert, I just love vintage clothes (particularly mid 20th century).

    I don't think this is from the 1920s. The waist was more 'dropped' in that era. To my eye this waist is more post war.

    This has more of a late 1950s (wiggle dress) or early 1960s feel to it. I could surely imagine Joan on Mad Men wowing the men in this.

    Without seeing the dress in person I can't say more. Really knowledgeable people can tell a great deal based on the materials used.

    You might bring it to a vintage store in your area. They would be able to tell you more and may offer to buy it.

  2. It looks later to me too - the mass-produced sequins (that particular shape is machine-made) and the shape would lead me to guess late 60's, or possibly early 80's?

    I would also suggest posting the measurements (straight across) of the bust, waist, and hips, as well as the labelled size. This will help us narrow down the time period (sizing has changed a lot) and may even get you a buyer straight from the blog - so you can donate the cash to charity!

  3. Like the others, I too highly doubt this is 20s.

    The waist is very wrong. Much higher than 20s. The neckline and general construction is also off.

    Those sequins date it closer to the 80s, in my estimation, trying to give the idea of a vague 20s feel.

  4. http://sammydvintage.com/2011/03/vintage-fashion-shopping/

    This link discusses clothing labels and what they mean. Are there any other tags inside the dress?

    It is a beautiful dress- it hints at glamorous evenings out.

  5. I've sent this via Twitter to @nicole_jenkins, an Australian woman who wrote "Love Vintage", and runs a vintage clothing store. Here's her blog:


    Best of luck!

  6. Your dress is a hand beaded dress, made in Hong Kong during the mid 1960s. It's beautiful and probably quite heavy from all the beads!

  7. One of the other items you could look at- where is the zipper? Is it metal on the side (older) or on the back? plastic (more recent)?
    I agree that the dress is not '20 but a beaded dress of a recent vintage (the expert above is a neat find). It is still a lovely party dress.

  8. My mom and dad are involved in a 1930 Model A club. Dad takes care of the car, Mom dresses up in authentic 1930's clothes and is judged at contests. (She's very, very serious about keeping the clothes authentic and I got to learn more than I wanted to last Christmas while going over her wardrobe). If you don't mind, I'll drop her an email with a link to TYWKIWDBI and ask her about it? Give me some time they're on vacation (no not Model A trip this time).

  9. Thanks to everyone for the insights.

    The zipper is metal, in the center of the back, and has the name "Arrow" on the zipper-pull.


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