If you’re headed to a retro ’70s party, or it’s ’60s day at school, here’s the perfect place to begin your search for some of these vintage fashions: our video lookbook!
We will show you more than fifty authentic — and once super-trendy — vintage mini dresses and old-school miniskirts that millions of fashionable teens and women used to wear. You can see a few dozen of these outfits below, but check out the video to see all 50.
Along with the pictures of the once-stylish retro womenswear and details of the trends, we also found some articles reporting on the mini dress trend after the big Paris fashion shows. Check those out a little further down the page.
Everything’s mini this fall: Vintage mini dresses & more from 1967
Mini, mini, mini! That’s the fashion forecast for gals returning to school this fall.
By Pearl Barbone
From mini handbags and chunky shoes with mini heels to mini cardigans and pull-overs… everything will be short and sassy.
At a glance, we find that the whole look for fall ‘67 is held together by accessories. The basics for the accessories are beautiful bright colors mixed together with lots of texture in all fabrics.
Hemlines this season will be a carry-over from spring and summer. And, of course, the rule is “skimpy and short.” Mini hemlines will be seen in many versions: kilts, pant dresses, culottes, shirt dresses, sweater dresses. and the classic swinging A-line style.
Because hems are so teeny, sweater manufacturers have had to “pull up their socks,” so to speak, and shorten their products. And, what has evolved is a whole new line of mini pullovers and cardigans, accented with breast pockets and low-slung belts.
The look is ‘cheeky’ and so right for the shorter skirts. Textures are different too, with reversed stitching and fisherman knits taking the spotlight.
But, never fear, those luxurious long bulky sweaters are still on the scene — this time as a dress, with just a few more inches added to the bottoms.
Shirts are “in”
Blouses are “out” this season, and shirts, borrowed from the boys, are “in.” Beautifully detailed, they flirt with stripes plaids and mad designs.
Men’s polo knit shirts also have been borrowed by the girls and are featured in a whole range of exciting colors and textures.
Before going on, let’s backtrack and take a look at what the texture and color scene will be for those traffic-stopping little mini skirts.
Generally, tartan plaids will dominate. Other than plaids. every color combination is being used. Solid fall colors. such as rust and olive green. will have the added feature of interesting textures — perfect for mixing with a kinky multi-colored sweater or shirt.
The rule this season will be never to match-up two solids. The days of the green skirt and matching green sweater, both in a similar knit, are gone.
Santa Rosa coeds will be playing the pants game this season with mad plaid culottes, fake and real suede pant skirts, and corduroy pant dresses. Perfect for those chilly evenings spent in the football grandstand.
Perhaps the most exciting news to hit the fashion world just in time for the new fall gear is the “hardware look”…clink, clank, clunk. It has taken dull old accessories and charged them with electricity — like POW! The hardware look is high-voltage.
Fashionable hardware to go with vintage mini dresses & retro miniskirts: Chains
It all started with those nifty little chain-yourself-in belts and without warning set off a shock wave that rocked the accessory business with an electrical storm of ideas,
There are grippers and clips locking-up jumpers and coats. And, nailheads that stud jackets skirts and pants. Huge, obvious zippers are in everything including gloves, hats and shoes. Those little chains that started it all are being teamed with shoes, handbags and even used by the score in the jewelry department.
Mini handbags are about all you can buy this season, leaving those huge clumsy carry-alls way in the outfield. The clink-clank-clunk of hardware can be heard in this area also. Chains are used everywhere, in every way, with handbags, plus more of those little locks, zippers and grippers.
Chunky shoes, all lopped off at the toe for the square look, are being shown in earthy colors like ‘mushroom’ and ‘goldenrod.’ Hardware gets its biggest play here.
Antiqued and waxy leathers are the basic shoe gear with the show-stoppers being the “brights”… green, yellow and navy, oranges and reds… all in suedes and smooth leathers. There’s a footnote to this little story: patent leathers, in all colors and shapes, will be sharing the spotlight this year.
One accessory that is a must with all fashion is tights or over-the-knee stockings. They are featured in every color under the sun and in all textures including meshes, fishnets and windowpanes.
The opaques, or pastel colors, in hosiery can be teamed with all fall garments. Off-white and white with just a hint of pink are high on the list of popular colors.
Without some kind of hosiery added to the new mini hemlines, the whole young swinging look falls completely apart and borders on the not-so-nice “toughie” look.
Covering all these kicky fall ’67 fashions will be the cutest little coats this side of London.
There are corduroy coats with huge zippers up the front and cute plaids that mix with mind dresses. Trench coats are in hot, in opaque and rich fall colors. Belted, and with the right touch of hardware, they are perfect for that early morning Santa Rosa fog! And, no wonder — they have been borrowed from our English cousins who are always battling their own island mist.
That’s it, girls. As you can see, it’s all clear weather for fall ‘67 (not counting the fog, that is). And, the only dark clouds on the horizon are those French midi skirts, but they’re not on the Santa Rosa scene … at least not this season!
From The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, California) August 23, 1967
The mini dress holds on (1972)
By Alison Lerrick, AP Fashion Writer
“Look, look, oh, look,” exclaimed the audience. “It’s a mini dress.”
On the closing day of the French fall ready-to-wear shows, there were to designers with the courage — or the common sense — to bring back the mini, and the barest minimum at that.
Jacqueline Jacobson and Chantal Thomas, the twin shrines of the young set, know that a pleated skirt at knee length is hardly the thing for promenades on the Boulevard Saint Germain.
At Dorothee Bis, the boutique of designer Jacqueline, the day mini dress is in big purple and black checks. It has a wide black belt and gathered shirt sleeves that use as much fabric apiece as the straight skirt.
A tall 26-year-old with the skinniest legs in Paris, Chantal does dozens of flowing empire mini dresses for her boutique Ter et Bantine. They come in everything from pink mohair to tangerine fake fur with two pom-poms dangling from the neck.
The Raggedy Ann dress is in red plaid with a crinkled waist like a bathing suit’s, and a minuscule flounce for a skater’s skirt. On the legs, she puts red opaque tights.
For nightlife only, the mini is skin-tight. Dorothee Bis shows black knit — for halters and bra-dresses, speckled with sequins and nailheads, and with backs as bare as the legs.
At Ter et Bantine, it’s lurex in gold and baby blue, with a minimal flounced skirt.
To balance the top-heavy line, there are the clunkiest shoes a foot can stand, in colors from sea-green to lavender to silver lame.
Four models fell on the runway. But Donna Jordan, star of Andy Warhol’s underground films, managed to keep her balance on the Dorothee Bishigh form wedges.
The new pants from both boutiques are short enough to show a glimpse of trim ankle between the hem and the stilts below. In black corduroy that fits like a first skin, they go with enormous ribbed turtlenecks… the kind girls used to steal from their fathers in the Elvis Presley days.
Dorothee Bis also shows very long and tight sweaters with a striped V-neck that often plunges farther than decency should permit.
They come in black with red, kelly green or fuchsia, all in big dots, pyramids and jagged sawtooth patterns. The waist is cinched with a wide suede belt for a silhouette that’s hourglass or an inverted triangle, depending on the wearer’s dimensions.
The black and white outfit that brought down the house was a long knit cardigan blazer with immobile lapels knitted on. It comes with a tablecloth check shirt and houndstooth checkered pants with nailhead suspenders. The finishing touch: a different color of nail polish on each finger.
As for all the other collections, just buy a pair of plaid pants, a tweed skirt, a few sweaters in mohair and angora and a blousy windbreaker with ribbing everywhere. You’ll look as Parisian as they come.
– From the News-Press (Fort Myers, Florida) April 24, 1972
Paris fashions for 1971, when the vintage mini dress was becoming fashionable again
Like termites, the mini dress is gradually eating its way back into fashion.
Like many women, Emanuel Ungaro, who showed this morning, wasn’t quite at ease with the long length. So he hiked up a lot of his hemlines to a generous six inches above the knee and added shorts.
Prints, prints and more prints, designed as always by Sonia Knapp, color the Ungaro mood for summer.
Daisies, bubbles, stripes and polka dots — and combinations thereof — come in red, black and white, navy and white, not to mention lavender, turquoise, mustard and green.
These are mixed carefully to give an at-random feeling. Different ones go on double-breasted blazers and coats, skirts, shorts and scarfs all piled on top of each other. On the legs are black and orange opaque stockings — patterned, of course.
And the more leg that sticks out of his soft-printed silk dresses, the better. Whether very short, at the knee or ending at mid-calf for evening, the silhouette grazes the hip and changes to a flurry of pleats at the dropped waist. The longer the dress, the lower the waist.
Along with many designers, Guy Laroche, who also showed this morning, has settled on shorts plus a semi-return to the ’40s.
There are the popular all-in-one shorts and top-cuffed Bermudas under a long belted jacket and skirts slit to expose the shorts below.
Hubert de Givenchy descended from his Olympian heights for his spring collection and reveled in a riot of color, sheer paisley and patchwork floral prints giving daring — though never offbeat — treatments.
– From The Manhattan Mercury (Manhattan, Kansas) January 28, 1971
A quick description of vintage mini dresses from spring 1971
“Washable, fluid fabrics in gutsy, spunky, color-bright prints. Snap them up NOW for a dynamite lifestyle ’71.” – Levy Brothers, New Jersey