A vintage and repro autumn!

Since the weather’s finally turned, it’s time to share some autumnable vintage and vintage-inspired dresses and separates!

Collectif Simone Doll
Collectif Simone Doll Dress in grey houndstooth.

First up is Collectif’s Simone Doll dress in grey houndstooth, a late 1940s/early 1950s-style day dress with a princess-style skirt. First introduced last fall, it’s available in four fall-appropriate colors.

Since Collectif’s measurements are all over the map and their website provides virtually no guidance in this regard, it’s best to ask around to see how a particular style or fabricway fits! On the advice of friends, I chose the UK size 16 and wasn’t disappointed. At 42-32-48″, I had no major fit issues. There is a bit of extra room in the shoulders and the drape of the fabric makes it a good idea to wear Spanx underneath to avoid lines, but nothing to make me run screaming.

Kristina Dress
Kristina Dress in black velveteen.

For a poly blend, the fabric is downright cozy. I was expecting something thin and scratchy, but this one’s substantial and soft, like flannel. The shoulder pleating, self-fabric slide belt, and functional buttons (there is a zipper down the back, too) help create a professional look. The Simone is a perfect cool-season work dress!

Another fall favorite is the versatile Kristina Dress from Laura Byrnes and Pinup GIrl Clothing. Based on the black dress modelled by Audrey Hepburn as Jo in Funny Face, this late-1950s number used to be available in black, deep blue, and pink stretch velveteen (it’s currently out of stock and may not be back).

I’ve worn this to work, but it’s probably best-suited to Thanksgiving dinner! I love it with pearls and flats for any cool-weather occasion, really. The bodice is lined, creating structure and adding warmth.

Audrey Hepburn as Jo Stockton in Funny Face
Audrey Hepburn as Jo Stockton in Funny Face.

Also from Pinup Girl Clothing are the Deadly Dames Kinky Box (pleat) skirt in vintage leopard print and Voodoo Vixen top in black. While they have flashy, themey names, they’re more sedate than they sound.

Deadly Dames Voodoo Vixen top and Kinky Box skirt
Deadly Dames Voodoo Vixen top and Kinky Box skirt.

The skirt is fabulously versatile, with good fit and fall. I wore it with my black Pinup Couture Doris top to the Depeche Mode concert on Thursday and got a ton of compliments! The neutral leopard print works well for autumn and the box pleating adds fullness without a lot of bulk at the hip and waist. The waistband is very wide, which works great on me. Others have noted, however, that the top of the waistband interfered with their ribs. Lengthwise, it comes to just below the knee on me. I’m 5’8″ and got the XL. For those who are interested, the skirt is also available in several other colorful novelty prints.

The Voodoo Vixen top is designed to fit like Deadly Dames’ famous Vamp top, but there are significant differences. As Voodoo Vixen is lined, the fit is a bit closer than that of the Vamp. This caused bunching at the hip on me, as my hips are wide. The cross-front strap styling is striking, but makes this top very bra-unfriendly. The closeness of fit may negate your need for a bra, but it’s still a teense too big on the top for that. Additionally, the straps are craaaaazy long. I had them cinched all the way in, and I could still use another 2″ of heft. For reference, I’m wearing the XL.

Vintage silk dress
Vintage silk dress with elephant motif.

Rounding out the field is this vintage 1950s silk dress I purchased at La Rosa Vintage in San Francisco. Its colors aren’t the best for me, but I liked the elephant-motif silk fabric and the midcentury style. I’m wearing it here with a Deadly Dames velvet belt.

Vintage silk dress
Vintage silk dress.
Silk elephant print
Silk elephant print.

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