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.

Ways to follow Vintage Frills

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Youtube – Bloglovin’



I keep saying that I should share more of my original vintage dresses on here as well as all my lovely repro pieces, and now I am finally getting round to it! I have been collecting vintage dresses for a few years now and I’m hoping to get pictures of all of them. I’m quite good at clearing out my wardrobe and will often sell or donate my dresses after a few wears, otherwise I would run out of room pretty quickly! So even when things leave my possession it’s nice to have photographs and visual records of them.

Today’s dress has actually been with me for some time. The main reason is because I managed to damage it the very first time I wore it, so its been at the bottom of my repair pile for ages. Last week I gave it some much needed tlc and now I can wear and enjoy it through the summer.

The dress is made from lovely light cotton, making it perfect for the summer. I bought this one on eBay for about £35 I think. If you’re building a vintage wardrobe yourself, cotton 50s dresses are a great place to start. Larger sizes can be harder to come by, but if you persevere they are out there.

I’ve worn my dress with a flower garland, which I picked up from New Look a couple of years ago. I’ve teamed it up with my yellow Miss L Fire shoes, which I adore. My bangles are all vintage bakelite, I’ve been slowly building up my bakelite collection over some time. I love mixing and matching them to go with different outfits.

It’s been lovely to have a bit of sunshine over the last few weeks and to be able to finally wear some of my prettiest dresses!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been adding lots of new stock to my Etsy store, including loads of lovely summer dresses. Everything dates from the 50s to 70s and there’s a selection of sizes. I’ll be adding new stuff every week so watch this space for updates.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of the vintage treasures from my wardrobe over the next few weeks, as well as tips on building your own vintage wardrobe. If you have any vintage related questions please let me know.

Ways to follow Vintage Frills

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Youtube – Bloglovin’

As promised, today I have another of my favourite true vintage dresses to show you. This one is quite a recent acquisition so I’ve only worn it a couple of times so far. I picked up this lovely bargain dress for just £25 when I visited The Clothes Show last year. It was one of two from Urban Village Vintage. I don’t wear wiggle style dresses very often, as I prefer fuller dresses which flatter my figure a bit better. But I couldn’t resist the rich orange hues in this fabulous early 60s print.

Orange Vintage Wiggle Dress
The dress is made from a gorgeous heavy cotton and I love the beautiful cut and pleats. I wish I’d had the chance to wear this in the Autumn as the colours capture every shade of the season so well. I’m really happy with the fit although my plan is to have the hem let down a little as I’d prefer it to sit slightly lower on the knee.

Orange 1960s Wiggle Dress
I would love more dresses in this shape, which I prefer to the more fitted modern reproduction wiggles. They don’t cut them quite how they used to! If you’re unsure about wearing a wiggle dress for the first time, I’d always recommend trying an original one first rather than a reproduction, stretchy fabric isn’t always best.

Enid Collins Chicken Box Bag
I wore the dress with a pair of original vintage heels, which as far as I can remember were a charity shop find. My bag is yet another vintage Enid Collins, I’m completely addicted to all the cute designs. I now have 7 of them! I usually buy them on eBay and have them shipped over from the US. Despite the postage and occasional customs charge, I still find it cheaper than buying them over here.

Enid Collins Box Bag Interior
I love the little mirror inside and it looks like someone used it to store pencils at some point!

Outfit Details:

Vintage Wiggle Dress – Urban Village Vintage at The Clothes Show

Bracelet and Bangles – Car Boot Sale Finds

Vintage Shoes – Charity Shop Find

Handbag – Vintage Enid Collins via eBay

Ways to follow Vintage Frills

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Google Plus – Youtube

Today I wore my pink version of the 1960 Butterick dress. I’m so happy with how this dress came out and I know it’s going to be one I wear loads this summer. I made it with some fabric I bought on Ebay and trimmed it with pale pink bias binding.

My favourite pattern, next time I’d like to try the version with the cut out neckline.

Today I also bought some vintage pillowcases from a charity shop which I’m hoping to use to make some tops. They’re currently in the wash so I’ll add some pics tomorrow.