Vintage Week: How To Style Vintage Part Three | 1940s Geometric Patterned Dress

Vintage 1940s wrap dress with wide belt
Day Three of Vintage Week! This time I’m featuring the oldest piece I’ve borrowed from Scarlet Vintage in my vintage style challenge – a 1940s geometric patterned dress. Isn’t the pattern just to-die-for?! However… you may be interested to see what it looks like normally (below) – I did some serious styling on this dress. It’s debatable as to whether it’s a dress or actually a robe, but if it were mine I wouldn’t hesitate to have it shortened.

(If you’re interested in buying it, email enquiries(at) or tweet @scarletvintage and mention Not Dressed As Lamb)

Vintage 1940s wrap dress with wide belt
Vintage 1940s wrap dress with wide belt
Vintage 1940s robe
You don’t have to be precious about vintage clothing: unless it’s a Christian Dior or an Ossie Clark, I don’t see anything wrong in altering vintage clothes (even drastically) to fit or suit you. As I read somewhere once: it’s not a museum piece, so change it to suit you and fit you. So for the purposes of the post, I tucked the lapels under so it just looked like a plain wrap, rolled up the sleeves and did some major tucking-in of the length under the super-wide belt (which also conveniently hid the belt attached to the dress). I have a few vintage dresses to which I’ve either refashioned the necklines and/or shortened drastically. Nothing taxing: the necklines can be sorted simply by tucking them under, pinning them and sewing them with a light tacking stitch. No cutting involved, though this does have to be attempted to shorten a dress of course!

As far as the rest of the styling goes, I’m afraid it’s the white Asos skinnies again. But they’re so perfect for spring, and they make a nice change to leggings under a tunic or short dress. A messy up-do, black scraper heels and black and gold choker (to echo the gold of the belt) finish the look off. Again – it doesn’t look 1940s costumey at all if you add modern pieces and avoid other styles reminiscent of the same era. 

So that’s my three styled looks for Vintage Week – there’ll be a fabulous post on Sunday with tips and tricks for buying and styling vintage, including an interview with the owner of Scarlet Vintage! Don’t miss it – her advice is priceless.

Have you styled any vintage pieces lately, or what vintage pieces do you own that you love? Let me know in the comments!

Catherine x
I’ve selected some wrap and print dresses available to buy online you might like that have a little bit of a 1940s/vintage vibe about them:

Shop the rest of my look!

Dress: on loan from Scarlet Vintage, Jeans: Asos, Heels: Aldo, Belt: Unknown (old), Necklace: Debenhams

P.S. Thank you to my stylist for this shoot – my niece Rosie. She made sure I stayed “tucked in” all the time…!


  1. 19 May 2013 / 2:15 pm

    Gosh you are good. Love what you have done with the dress. Love the white skinnies, the shoes and especially the belt and necklace. 10 out of 10 for this one.

  2. 19 May 2013 / 12:13 pm

    Wrap dresses are my favourite type of dresses anyway and this is gorgeous!
    It needs to be shorter, I agree.

    Lady of Style
    follow me on Facebook

  3. 18 May 2013 / 10:47 pm

    The pattern is lovely and given your styling, I would never have known it was vintage if you hadn't told us!

  4. 18 May 2013 / 12:52 am

    Brilliant re-fashioning, Catherine. It's a gorgeous dress/robe and you've made it so fresh and modern. xoxoxo

  5. 17 May 2013 / 10:05 pm

    From one shoe obsessed unnatural redhead to another, I love your blog. You've given me some great ideas on how to perk up some of my favorite vintage pieces. I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll post next!
    Wendy Lane Bailey

  6. 17 May 2013 / 8:58 pm

    you look stunning my dear and wear fab pieces!!

  7. 17 May 2013 / 8:31 pm

    I visit your blog since some months & I'm totally impressed by your sense of style.
    This outfit is so perfect – I just can't find other word. You've found soul of this dress! 🙂

    p.s. Sorry for my English, I'm from Poland 😉

  8. 17 May 2013 / 7:52 pm

    Oh, how fun. This is a great look – that belt is amazing. And I don't usually like white leggings, but this makes me think I need some!

  9. 17 May 2013 / 4:43 pm

    Ever so chic-love this look on you! xx, Heather

  10. 17 May 2013 / 2:42 pm

    Very cute!
    I love this outfit!

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