A Vintage Summer

Summer is upon us, and with it comes a rush of nostalgia for seasons past. Although the summers I have lived through wouldn’t quite qualify as “vintage”, the idealization of what had happened – rather than happening – incites a sense of longing and romanticism for what may have been an ultimately mundane three months. However, lack of first hand experience doesn’t mean we can’t dress as though it is the height of the 1950s and Frank Sinatra is on repetition on our car radio.


This first one is more of a modern take on a vintage style. Stripes on its own has been modernized, but certain colour combinations, particularly striking ones, emanate a vintage-y beach-y vibe. Red and white, Blue and white, or multi-coloured retro garb, you can visualize it with little direction. The red and white stripes always remind me of barbershops, or those giant lollipops in vintage photoshoots, how do they not have a mouthful of cavities?


This next one is not quite 1950s, but still gives off the vintage aesthetic with its ruffles and pattern blocking. This one would be closer correlated even younger years, a modern twist on early 1920’s straight and longline frilly dresses. More working class, than flapper, with a more flattering silhouette.  This is likely going to be your picnic-in-the-tall-grass outfit.


Are you tired of seeing gingham? Well that’s too bad, because we sure aren’t. Gingham was popular in the 1960s with the emergence of the mods sub-culture. Whence popular celebrities at the time began to adopt it, the fabric blew up (figuratively) and sold out across France. Gingham in the 21st century still resonates the same boom in popular culture today with an emphasis on its historical origins.


Back at it with the stripes, we are all about the patterns here, but what we are focusing on with this dress is its baby doll shape.  This dress, with its cinched waist and flared skirt is a staple silhouette in the 1950s. Although it hangs a little looser on me, you get the idea. This shape offers femininity to the dress while the wide stripes, which can be similarly correlated to pinstripes, plays a balancing act with its covert masculinity.


Although on me this is more reminiscent of a Japanese kimono, this silky robe-style dress reminds of something you’d see on a television’s rendition of sleepover in any old film. I can’t quite place a decade on this one, since it’s been around for quite some time, but I hope you can complete the picture with me and visualize the vintage vibes that attribute long silk robes. The asymmetry and frilled hem takes it a step beyond sleepwear, making it wearable for elaborate occasions, though I just wear it casually as well.

Hopefully you enjoyed taking a step back into the past with me and maybe you learned something about your favourite print you hadn’t considered! Fashion always comes back around, perhaps with a modern twist, or in the same form of its origin. Anyone who knows me know the 1950s is my era of choice (aesthetically, at least), from the music to the fashion, and I think it’s important to be able to feel confident in whichever style best represents your personality. Wear whatever takes you to the place you admire, whether that be an era, a country, or anything in between!

Written by Gabby, Sales Associate, Hunnis Coquitlam

Photos by Miranda Anderson

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