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TRUE VINTAGE ~ Simply the most gorgeous vintage sailor dress in beautiful mid-blue & white spotted

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29 Jun, 2014 03:13:01 BST
£14.00 Royal Mail International Signed | See details
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Item location:
Ivybridge, United Kingdom

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Item specifics

Condition: Used : Split the cost with friends
An item that has been previously worn. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections. See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
Seller notes: TRUE VINTAGE ~ Simply the most gorgeous vintage sailor dress in beautiful mid-blue & white spotted cotton with such a flattering shape & beautiful design ~ EXCELLENT VINTAGE CONDITION by the iconic and quintessentially British designer LAURA ASHLEY ~ EXTREMELY SOUGHT AFTER and becoming rarer and rarer to find, with a 20s and 30s flapper look and also with 40s War Bride and 50s Starlet styling ...and more than a nod to the Edwardian period drama ~ this dress is versatile and elegantly adorable ...Ideal for weddings, special occasions, boating and regattas, picnics or just for looking timelessly beautiful whatever the day or the occasion!!! BEAUTIFUL, TIMELESS, FABULOUS!!!
Decade: 1920s/1930s/1940s War Bride/1950s Starlet Brand: Laura Ashley
Look: FlapperWedding/Boating/Regatta/Garden Party UK SIZING: UK 14 in label ~ please see measurements
Size: 14 US SIZING: US 12 in label ~ please see measurements
Main Colour: Blue EURO SIZING: Euro 40 in label ~ please see measurements
Vintage Type: True Vintage Exact Colour: Beautiful Mid Blue with White Polka Dots
Material: 100% Cotton This beautiful dress may fit: other sizes ~ please see measurements

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Such an EXCEPTIONALLY beautiful dress...

~ Romantic ~ Elegant ~ Adorable ~ Iconic ~ Timeless ~

Weddings ~ Croquet on the Lawn ~ English Summertime ~ Seaside & Ice Cream ~ 50s Starlet ~ 40s War Bride ~ Dance Halls ~ Cottage Garden ~ Afternoon Tea ~ Garden Parties ~ Messing about in Boats ~ Picnics  ~ 30s Tea Dance ~ Edwardian Beauty...

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in a fabulous soft lawn cotton of beautiful blue with white polka dots 
& with beautiful hour glass shaping

Evocative of 40s & 50s Styling ~ and also the 20s & 30s eras  ~ Classic & Stunning!

~ Iconic, classic British tailoring by an internationally renowned and admired designer ~

" I don't like ephemeral things, I like things that last forever....." ~ Laura Ashley


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Vintage ~ 40s War Bride ~ WWII ~ Soldier's Sweetheart ~ 30s Garden Party ~ 20s Flapper  ~ 50s Starlet ~ Dance Halls ~ Tea Dance  ~ Edwardian ~ Victorian Vamp ~ Suffragette ~ Wedding ~ Bridesmaid ~ Henley ~ Boating ~ Regatta ~ Croquet on the Lawn ~ Seaside & Ice Cream ~ English Tea ~ Cottage Gardens ~ Nautical ~ Picnics ~ Messing about in Boats ~ Country House ~ Sailing ~ Beach Walks ~ Languid Evenings ~ Summer Days ~ Day or Evening ~  Flattering ~ Elegant ~ Sexy ~ Stunning ~ Just Beautiful...

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Quintessentially English and Just Divine 

Pure Cotton True Vintage Sailor Dress ~ Tea Dress

For lovers of Laura Ashley and her vintage inspired styles ~ reminiscent of the 50s and 40s, the dance halls, summer picnics, beautiful boating lakes and the English seaside and ice cream, this is such a lovely example of her iconic sailor dress which alludes to the age of the starlet and the war bride with its tea dress nuances, tailored and subtly shaped bodice, pleated skirt and fabulous polka dots. With nods also to the Edwardian and Victorian periods and the 20s and 30s, with its classic lines in superb quality cotton, this is a timeless yet modern shape that evokes so many periods and styles but will always be on trend. Nautical but very nice!!!

Very rare to find and in a pretty maritime mid-blue with all-over white polka dots, it has the most fabulous detailing and styling: a wide  sailor collar edged in white cotton drapes from the shoulders to cross at the centre front, where the ends can be left loose for an original centrepiece ~ or tied in the classic nautical style ~ a beautiful detail ! A blue/polka dot front panel sits between the deep collar to form a lovely square neckline and the pretty, slightly puffed ¾ length sleeves fall from tucks at the shoulder and fasten at the outside cuff with a neat, self fabric button.

The nostalgic styling is reflected in the gently shaped but tailored bodice which draws in at a prettily piped waist seam, creating a gorgeous elegant hour glass shape, and then out into the loosely pleated but fabulously floaty skirt. The skirt, which also features discreet side pockets, could be mid-length or longer, depending on your height, so please check measurements ~ whichever way you wear it, you’re sure to look beautiful!

The back mirrors the front in terms of style and shaping, giving such a lovely look that echoes that traditional and timeless feel and the tea dress styling ~ an exceptional example of Laura Ashley’s eye for classic design that defined these now sought after sailor dresses. The sailor collar at back with its white cotton edging sits over the shoulders in the classic rectangular shape and conceals a centre back zip.  The dress has elegant lines and classic tailoring and shaping and is made in a soft, lightweight lawn cotton of beautiful blue with white polka dots  ~ an effortlessly flattering colour and fabric that’s indicative of the truly excellent quality and finish associated with Laura Ashley.

Such a divine vintage sailor dress/tea dress and so beautifully detailed to create a very evocative 50s/40s/ Edwardian/Victorian look ~ and more ~ this would be perfect at a spring or summer wedding and would make the most beautiful bridesmaid’s dress. Effortlessly redolent of many bygone eras (including 20s / 30s) as well as evoking the maritime theme and the nostalgia and comfort of English countryside heritage and high tea in English cottage gardens. When it comes to Laura Ashley and her love of fashion, inspired by tradition yet always contemporary, there is no-one to match her visionary style and superb quality. 

This dress is really delightful!!!


Superb vintage condition.

100% lawn cotton of exceptional quality that looks and feels wonderful ~ lightweight, soft and  a joy to wear.  In cool and stylish blue with an all-over white polka dot print and white cotton trim ~ effortlessly wearable and just beautiful!

With the famous LAURA ASHLEY white/green label featuring the iconic flower sprig inside an oval outline that reads: 'Laura Ashley. Made in Great Britain'.

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Vintage sizes can often come up a little differently to modern day sizing, so please see the measurements below to be sure of fit... xxx

Size label in garment is : UK size 14 / EURO size 40 / US size 12 but please see below for sizing suggestions and estimates. 

Going by the measurements, we estimate this dress might fit the following ~ please CHECK MEASUREMENTS BELOW: 

UK 8 - 16 ~ might fit other sizes ~ please see measurements.

EURO 36 - 44 ~ might fit other sizes ~ please see measurements.

US 4/6  - 12/14 ~ might fit other sizes ~ please see measurements.

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Measurements: All measurements are taken with the garment laid flat so please double up for all the way around where appropriate. 

All measurements are taken with the garment pulled a bit to flatten ~ and please be aware that there is inevitably a slight discrepancy in the ways different people measure ~ so all measurements are approximate and please give or take about a ¼ inch or so either way. 

Please measure against a similar garment of your own which you know fits you well.

Bust ~ armpit to armpit across front ~ approx: 18 inches.

Waist ~ approx: 15½ - 16 inches.

Hips ~ Up to approx: 20 inches.

Length ~ taken from shoulder seam where it meets neckline, and down back of garment to hem  ~ approx: 49½ inches.

Sleeve Length ~ taken from shoulder seam and along TOP of sleeve to end ~ approx: 12½ inches.

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HISTORY :  Laura Ashley ~ Classic, Beautiful, Timeless...

"I reckon that women looked their best at the turn of the century..." ~ Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley is one of the world's most recognisable British brands and has over 40 years experience in making beautiful clothing with retro styling and timeless chic, capturing the essence of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and the 20s and 30s, which makes all of its designs quintessentially English and timeless.

Laura's love of all things Victorian led to the longer length silhouette which would become the company's trademark and was right on trend at the end of the 1960s when fashion turned from the mini to the maxi ~  a trend that has since returned with force, emphasising Laura Ashley's timeless quality. In 1961 Laura Ashley and her husband Bernard moved from their Kent home, the original design and production venue, to Carno in Wales to enable them to expand the business and be inspired by the rolling Welsh countryside.

Having expanded into clothing design and manufacture in the 1960s, in 1966 Laura produced her first dresses for social rather than work attire ~ these were the first ‘true’ Laura Ashley dresses which often evoked a rural, 19th century feel, characterised by romantic designs and the use of natural fabrics ~ in plums, browns, earth-hewn tones and other natural colours that lent themselves to a colour palette which reflected quality, subtlety and nostalgia ~ the latter mirroring a trend in dressing that came with the end of the 60s.

The longer length silhouette became the company’s trademark and worked in their favour, as fashion lengths switched from mini to maxi. The dresses were made from the textiles printed by the company, often in natural fabrics, and the designs were sometimes modern interpretations of antique prints (influences included English Medieval, William Morris, Chinese and Egyptian). The 20s and 30s were also brilliantly referenced with ‘flapper’ inspired sailor dresses in the loveliest, most lightweight linens of cream and white with iconic styling ~ indeed, these dresses have become very sought after and are typical of Laura’s love of classic lines, beauty and nostalgia that evoke a very particular part of English heritage. With these modern versions of fashion from times gone by, she had hit upon a "brand new version of the past”.

A major influence on her dress designing was her 'Wren’s uniform': "The uniform was a very good quality navy gabardine and you could press it and wear it with a clean white cotton shirt and collar and tie...and with a nice, elegant little hat and black leather shoes." This styling became particularly evident in her beautifully tailored riding dresses, equestrian influenced clothes and 20s inspired outfits ~ a vintage style that continues to influence modern fashion sensibilities.

The ‘Laura Ashley look’ became synonymous with a graceful simplicity in women’s styles and the enduring popularity of long, period-inspired gowns, voluminous peasant dresses, drop-waisted sailor dresses, riding dresses and equestrian style coats with their effortlessly vintage appeal and evocations of the idyllic pastoral lifestyle and past eras.

Laura Ashley had studied 18th and 19th century prints in museum collections for her miniature floral patterns and her countryside aesthetic towards the end of the sixties saw the business boom (and bloom) with extraordinary and rapid success that proved to be built on an almost unshakeable foundation.

Having opened her first shop in Machynlleth in 1960, and her first London shop in 1968, the early vintage/heritage inspired designs of this arbiter of fashion and lifestyle became so in demand (in one week alone, the Fulham Road shop sold 4,000 dresses) that by the mid 70s, dresses from her factories in the heart of mid Wales were being sold across Europe and by the mid 1980s, there were over 200 stores across the world.

Currently, the desire to reference vintage style in fashion has returned and vintage fashion is now extremely sought after everywhere, boosting the popularity of Laura Ashley’s vintage pieces which are now being exhibited in vintage collections and coveted by collectors worldwide. Laura Ashley’s early designs are now used as inspiration by couture designers ~ and similar, nostalgically beautiful, prints are emerging all over the fashion industry. A look at the runways reveal the influence that Laura Ashley has had on modern fashion, as vintage inspired pieces and fabrics and patterns strut down the catwalk, from floral Victorian style dresses and equestrian pieces to floaty chiffon and summery, lightweight cottons and linens, causing fashion editors to reminisce on the romantic aspect of fashion’s history and on Laura Ashley’s iconically important place within it.

Laura Ashley's significant place in British fashion history was further cemented in Summer 2013 with the first major retrospective of the designer held at Bath’s fashion museum and the Bowes museum in Co Durham ~ showcasing over 70 vintage dresses and capturing Laura Ashley’s characteristic look of the 60s and 70s which inspired a generation of women.

This vintage British brand evoked a sense of permanence with its links to the past and dependence on the natural that contrasted dramatically during its emergence with the more transient and overtly manufactured styles of other designers. Its association with excellent tailoring and quality is famous worldwide ~ and it has at its heart a classic, timeless endurance which became the Laura Ashley ethos and signature look and which has become extremely sought after today.

Modern fashionistas adore Laura Ashley pieces, especially her earliest clothing which represents her vision of timeless romance in the way Laura Ashley herself truly envisioned it. Many brides worldwide now carefully select a beautiful vintage Laura Ashley dress for their wedding, whether in white, cream or for a more bohemian look, a patterned or floral design ~ and bridesmaids and maids of honour increasingly look to vintage Laura Ashley pieces, especially her 20s/30s inspired sailor dresses, for these special occasions when they want to look nostalgically beautiful.

Laura Ashley vintage pieces are now collected, worn, adored and desired! ~ and once you have seen and worn their clothing you'll know why! 

From printing headscarves in 1953 to the immutable style icon that she has become, perhaps Laura Ashley’s success can be summed up by her attitude to fashion:

“I don’t like ephemeral things; I like things that last forever...”

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20th Century Vintage & Contemporary


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Theatre of Fashion
VAT number: UK 116334441

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