Today I’m continuing my mission to share all of my original vintage dresses on here. Continuing from last week when I shared one of my original 1950s dresses. Today I’m featuring another of my very favourite dresses, this time its a Swirl. I talked about Swirl wrap dresses in a post a few years ago, when I wore my black and white one. They are one of my favourite brands to collect and this particular dress is the highlight of my collection.

I spotted this dress at Twinwood Festival back in August and it was love at first sight. I had absolutely zero shopping budget while I was there. I kept coming back to it though. I absolutely love anything with a fruit print and being a big fan of Swirl dresses I knew I couldn’t let it get away.

The stallholders kindly offered to bring it to the Mid Century Market in London the following month and had it waiting for me when I got there. I’m so glad I got to make it mine! I bought it from Shazam, who are best known for their incredible vintage style hair flowers. They also sell original vintage pieces at fair and festivals. It wasn’t cheap at around £80, but this dress is one that I plan to keep forever. Although most of my clothes are bargains, I will invest in special pieces for my collection if I know I will love and wear them for a long time.

I’ve worn the dress with my yellow Miss L Fire shoes, which I can’t stop wearing at the moment. They are such summery shoes, that I pair them up with everything at this time of year. I’ve also added a hair flower and a stack of bakelite – my go to accessories for nearly every outfit! Beppe the cat also wanted to be included, this is his OOTD debut and he I think he poses like a pro.

One of the things I love about Swirl dresses is their distinctive cut and style. They fasten with a button at the neck and wrap around the back, with ties at the front. The basic design of all Swirls is the same, but the finishes and patterns vary immensely. I particularly like the 50s versions which their big patch pockets.

This fabulous advert from the 50s shows how a Swirl is worn. Image from The Vintage Traveller (used with permission)

First produced in America in 1944 and manufactured well into the 70s, the design changed very little. This makes them a great type of dress to collect. Being wrap dresses the sizing can be a little tricky and I have been caught out before buying them a bit too small, so its always worth double checking the measurements.

You can find out a lot more about the company on The Vintage Fashion Guild website and The Vintage Traveller has some really informative posts on Swirls. I decided not to write too much about the history of the brand, as these two sources have done it so much better than me.

Image from The Vintage Traveller (used with permission)

Swirl dresses are very popular and collectible today. They are more common in the States than they are over here, but they do pop up on Ebay and Etsy from time to time. They aren’t usually ridiculously priced and if I see something I really like I’ll often get it from abroad. I find Swirls are generally in pretty good condition, as they were well made from good quality cotton and were designed to be worn and washed frequently. They have definitely stood the test of time and are still a handy and comfortable addition to a wardrobe.I am completely in love with this novelty print Swirl dress on Etsy at the moment, and just wish it was my size so I could buy it!

Heyday is the only reproduction company who do a style similar to a Swirl. Their Fleur dress is inspired by Swirls and comes in a lovely selection of prints. I’m wearing one in this post from a few years ago.

This patchwork print dress from Heyday pays tribute to the Swirl wrap dresses of the past. 

This lovely duck print dress from Heyday shows how both the Swirls and Fleur dresses fasten at the back.

 Writing this post had made me want to dig out my other Swirls and get some pictures, so watch this space and I’ll be showing them very soon as well.

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I get very excited at this time of year. Saying goodbye to my boring winter wardrobe and hello to sandals and summer dresses, is just the best thing. Its also a time where I endanger the safety of my bank balance, by coveting just about everything on my favourite websites. I made the fatal error of having a good look through all the new dresses on the Collectif website today and I have to confess that I fell in love several times! Seriously though the new collection is definitely their best so far. Choosing my favourite pieces was hard, but here goes…

  1. Scenic Mountain Swing Dress – One of my favourite things about true vintage, is all the gorgeous novelty prints. The real things are so mind boggling expensive right now, that I’m more than happy to see the rise of repro novelty prints recently. The latest addition from Collectif is so pretty!
  2. Chloe Candy Gingham Swing Dress – This adorable dress, has the prettiest colours. I can’t resist gingham and the pretty combination of pink green and lilac is perfect for hot sunny days.
  3. Jade Plain Swing Dress – I absolutely love the shape of this pretty dress and the colour would look lovely in the summer. This is a great one for dressing up or down and I like the idea of wearing it with a contrasting vintage belt to create a slightly different look.
  4. Simona Flamingo Swing Dress – I know there are a LOT of flamingo prints out there at the moment. Everything gone a bit flamingo crazy, however I really do love this pretty swing dress and the print is quite subtle compared to some of the other ones out there, and therefor I love it!
  5. Jade Watermelon Swing Dress – I absolutely adore this fun and fruity dress. This is definitely one of those dresses which will invite a lot of compliments. Its so fun and absolutely adorable!
  6. Fairy Bird of Paradise Doll Dress – Every vintage girls wardrobes needs a bit of tiki in it. This pretty tropical print dress, is an absolutely lovely colour. I have a few dresses in this shape from previous collections, you can see my wearing one of them here.7. Marina Tropical Bamboo Sarong Dress  and  8. Fairy Tropical Bamboo Doll Dress

I absolutely adore fruit prints and so this gorgeous new fabric really caught my eye. It reminds me a little of my original vintage fruit print Swirl dress which you can see in this post. The design has a very authentic mid century feel to it and it’s nice to see slightly less girly colours on a repro dress.

This is by far my favourite collection from Collectif so far and there are lots of other things on the website that I want to share, but I’ll save them for another day. What’s your favourite dress from the ones I’ve included above?

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