While I love all kinds of vintage, my all time favorite fashion era is the 1940’s. To me, 1940’s clothing design radiates strength. As the war raged on, designers were faced with creating eye-catching designs with less fabric: they replaced yards of fabric with beautiful pleats, dramatic shoulders and gorgeous beading and prints. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 1940’s cocktail dress, as you can see from these great examples. While it’s harder to find plus size gowns from this era, it’s not impossible. All of these come from Etsy sellers and are perfect for your next formal evening out or a holiday party this winter.
1940’s Cranberry Colored Dress with Satin Accents by SallySweetLove:
This dress is a great example of beautiful detailing combined with a simple and functional shape. This would be perfect for a holiday party and look great with either a cardigan or some flashy jewelry.
Golden Girl Full Length Gown via VintageCurve:
Wide waistbands are great for full busted ladies, but the real star of the show is the unusual yellow color of this dress. It’s a stunning choice for someone who wants to really stand out in a crowd.
1940’s Black Crepe Rayon Peplum Dress via Fab Gabs Vintage:
You can’t go wrong with classic black, especially when it has beading like this. This dress is the perfect glittery addition to your next party or event.
1940’s Blue Beaded Evening Dress via SallySweetLove:
I love the colors in this dress, although it isn’t in perfect shape like some of the others. Luckily, I think it would still look perfect in a low light situation. I’m a sucker for this color of blue!
Burgundy Cocktail Dress with Rhinestone Clips via SpiderBabyVintage:
This dress has the original rhinestone clips attached to it, and the burgundy colored fabric and the cut are incredibly flattering. The hint of sparkle takes this from plain to spectacular.
1940’s Maroon Cocktail Dress via StutterinMama:
The color of this dress and the beading are just perfect. All you need is some jewelry and black accessories and you have the ideal all purpose cocktail outfit.
1940’s Blue Cocktail Dress via Vintagephilsophy:
The embroidery on this dress is amazing, as is the beautifully done neckline. This is a basic sheath dress with serious drama potential.
1940’s Madame Renauld Evening Dress via salvagehouse:
I love the cut and beading on this dress! It’s from a French design house and seems to be in really good shape. I also love that it still has the built in broach that came with it originally.
1940’s Brown Chiffon Dress via Archetypevintage:
I know several people who are lusting after this dress – and with good reason. All of the details are immaculate and perfectly done. Check out that beautiful drape on the front!