That 70’s Frock

Dress: Thrifted via With Love & Swallow

Belt: City Chic

Shoes:  Hush Puppies


One of the reasons I love shopping vintage/thrifted clothes is for the wildly exuberant colours and prints that you find in thrift shops.

I know I’ve rabbited on about this topic in the past, and last year Jessica from Eliza Parker explained that from a manufacturer’s point of view it was really difficult to find printed fabrics. Why is that, I wonder? Are we just naturally more restrained when it comes to fashion than our mothers and grandmothers were? Is there no demand, therefore no supply? Chitra Mangma from Chitra’s Closet told me that – quelle horreur! – she’s practically had to give up on polkadots because they polarised her customers. Some loved them (moi!) but others couldn’t stand them.

Instead we get lots of neutrals, pin-stripes, block colours, and the occasional floral.

I find my statement prints at thrift shops in Melbourne or online at one of Etsy’s many vintage clothes retailers where psychadelic poppies and unlikely colour pairings are rife.

It can difficult to find in plus sizes – in Melbourne particularly, where I discovered there’s a tribe of hipsters who are in the habit of buying larger dresses in bulk and cutting them down to size, inserting elastic waistbands and bringing the hem up to crotch-skimming levels. I find dozens of the mutated poor things at shops like Retrostar which seem to cater exclusively for women with figures like eight-year old boys.

Every so often though, you’ll find a gem, so just keep looking.


16 thoughts on “That 70’s Frock

  1. Ugh. There is a shop called conflict of interest in brunswick that does that. Too short, too tight, too expensive. Arseholes.
    I love Chitra.

  2. Awww, who are these people who don’t like prints? I’m with you – I wish it were possible to find prints that aren’t just florals or stripes.

  3. My Granny used to have a dress just like that! I love it! It brings back happy memories of my beloved Granny. I am yet to find any great thrifting finds. I look and look and nada! Just yucky polyester monstrosities you couldn’t even attempt to brand as retro/cool!

    Ooh well, back on with the search!

  4. Ohh I couldn’t agree more!!! I loathe it when I find ‘vintage’ shops with ‘vintage’ dresses which have been shortened and had an elastic waist added. It ruins the whole point of the dress!!! It’s hard to find longer, ladylike hemlines these days! xxx

  5. Sorry about the hipsters. I live in the US, but I do that occasionally too. I don’t have a lot of money, and even fabric is expensive now, so I do the best with what I can afford. If a vintage dress fit nicely I sure wouldn’t chop it up though! Good luck on finding/saving more dresses!

    1. Oh! I’m definitely not against people doing it for themselves! Fabric IS ridiculously expensive, and as you can probably tell I love a good vintage dress pattern. I just don’t love it when people buy the larger sizes up in bulk, then cannibalise them for on-selling. I get all “It’s not faaaaaaaaiir!” about it because the people who are buying the cropped, elastic-waisted, remade dresses can fit into the REST of the vintage stuff as well (because let’s be honest – most vintage/thrift clothing is TINY) and if someone’s buying up the larger sizes to make into dresses for the smaller girls it leaves nothing for anyone else who’s bigger than a size 10.

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