The parade of Spring vintage continues with low-backed dresses!

Margaret Koehler vintage dress.

Now that the semester is almost over, I have a bit of time to catch up on the stuff that really matters in life. CLOTHES. I have several new vintage pieces (“new vintage”…there’s an oxymoron for ya) that I’ve previewed on Instacrap but never got around to properly sharing. The two I’m showing you here have one main thing in common: they’re both fairly low-backed, which means they can be tricky to wear.

The first is an amazingly well constructed custom piece that’s perfect for a garden tea circa the early 1960s. The people from whom I purchased this pretty blue and white dress dug up the provenance. Apparently, it came from Margaret Koehler, a tony ladies’ shop in Manhattan.

Vintage chiffon cocktail dress.

Certainly, this thing is well made. French seams, pinked edges, a built-in petticoat…every construction detail is couture, and the fit is extraordinary, right down to the scooped frock back (true frocks have buttons down the back).

Vintage fit tip: I wear longline strapless bras with scooped/low back fashions. In addition to accommodating the low-backed look, these  keep your waist lump-free and won’t complicate the outfit with straps. I’m wearing the Dominique 6377 here, which is available many places, including Pinup Girl Clothing.

Margaret Koehler vintage dress.
Margaret Koehler vintage dress: scooped frock back.
Margaret Koehler vintage dress.
Margaret Koehler vintage dress: bodice construction.
Margaret Koehler vintage dress.
Margaret Koehler vintage dress.
Margaret Koehler vintage dress.

The next piece was an impulse vintage buy on Etsy, from Rachel of DustBowlDame. Rachel always nice midcentury stuff for sale, much of it in solid plus sizes. When I saw this pretty Kelly green chiffon cocktail dress, I feared the 31″ waist might be too small for me, but the color – and the gorgeous back-buckled rhinestone belt – made me buy it anyway. That’s what corsets are for, right? Anyway, the piece fits perfectly without any shapewear. Hell, it looks good without a stitch of anything on underneath it, which is pretty phenomenal in my book.

Vintage chiffon cocktail dress.

Best of all, the gorgeous belt is in perfect condition – not a single stone is missing. And once again, the snazzy V-scoop in the back is well-supported by my trusty longline strapless bras. The dress doesn’t have a label, but it does have a union tag. That means it was factory-made.

Vintage chiffon cocktail dress.
Dominique 6377 longline strapless bra sold by Pinup Girl Clothing – See more at: http://www.strangegirl.com/2013/12/14/black-friday-holiday-dresses-madeline-grace-honey-erin-and-jenny/#sthash.uMXex3It.dpuf
Dominique 6377 longline strapless bra sold by Pinup Girl Clothing – See more at: http://www.strangegirl.com/2013/12/14/black-friday-holiday-dresses-madeline-grace-honey-erin-and-jenny/#sthash.uMXex3It.dpuf
Dominique 6377 longline strapless bra sold by Pinup Girl Clothing – See more at: http://www.strangegirl.com/2013/12/14/black-friday-holiday-dresses-madeline-grace-honey-erin-and-jenny/#sthash.uMXex3It.dpuf
Vintage chiffon cocktail dress.
Vintage chiffon cocktail dress.
Vintage chiffon cocktail dress: low V back.

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