Stripes and Pockets Forever

by Erin on March 31, 2008


40s striped dress with pockets

Frequent link-sender to the blog Robin is making a little room in her closet by listing some dresses on eBay, including this wonderful 1940s stripey dress. Robin thinks it may have been a candy-striper's uniform … but it could certainly have a new life at work or play, no sponge baths required. Think of it with little navy wedge shoes … It's B36/W26.5.

I love these 1940s striped outfits — they're so precise! And that center-front zipper is just perfect. This is a no-nonsense, get-it-done dress, but it can still have fun.

I think Robin has the right idea, too. If you're not wearing something, you should set it loose into the world to be free and be loved by someone who will wear it. (Which reminds me, I should REALLY do a purge of my own over the next month or so. Especially of shoes!)

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

the_lazymilliner March 31, 2008 at 8:14 am

I looooove this dress. I would lose to wear it. I’m afraid it’s going to be out of my price range, so I’m going to have sew something just like it. Sigh.

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Toby Wollin March 31, 2008 at 8:14 am

ooo, too fancy for a candy striper – look at all those decorative buttons. Just a great dress – sigh, my waistline left THAT particular station about 20 years ago, so I can’t take advantage, unfortunately. But a great inspiration piece.

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nuranar March 31, 2008 at 8:22 am

Wow, that is NICE! It’s not a work dress at all; the front zipper and the length make it a variation of the house coat or hostess gown. The gathered puff sleeves, curved front yokes, extensive gathering, and even the high-waisted impression, all look straight out of the late 1930s to me. Maybe 1939. It certainly isn’t a wartime dress – way too much fabric!

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Anonymous March 31, 2008 at 8:32 am

I wish it was my size, I would buy it in a heartbeat!Linda

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Marge, Born Too Late Vintage March 31, 2008 at 8:48 am

Gorgeous dress! Now please correct me if I’m wrong but did I see purge and shoes in the same sentence! Simply make it a point to wear a different pair of shoes each day. Then there’s no need to purge the shoes! Years ago I made a bet with some co-workers that I could wear a different pair of shoes for a month. I won the bet handily and wore different shoes for 45 days in a row. My nickname henceforth was Imelda Marcos LOL.

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Eirlys March 31, 2008 at 8:59 am

What tidy pattern-matching there! I was just staring very closely at a Kaffe Fassett shirting’s quilt yesterday: lots and lots of square boxes, of three different sizes, each made up of 4 triangles of striped shirting. They were extremely sloppily matched in comparison – though the end result was still startlingly beautiful. I guess when you use hundreds of well-chosen fabrics in a glorious arrangement you can break some other rules.

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Joni March 31, 2008 at 9:27 am

Just thinking about matching those stripes together is making my head swim. I think I need to go lay down for a little while…

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lorrwill March 31, 2008 at 9:32 am

I love the miters! This dress rules.

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Nora March 31, 2008 at 9:43 am

Amazing.

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Theresa March 31, 2008 at 9:53 am

I too could not squeeze into that dress…oh but how I wish I could! It’s amazing. Purge -shoes????? What size?

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Lisa @ the Vintage Fashion Library March 31, 2008 at 9:59 am

That dress is adorable! Definitely not candy striper though, cause candy stripers usually wore jumpers with white button front shirts underneath, and the neckline on this one wouldn’t have been appropriate. It’s not utilitarian enough. But man it’s cute!

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Deb Newton March 31, 2008 at 10:08 am

THIS is STRIPE STYLE at itS VERY best!!!! Is there a link Erin?

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Anonymous March 31, 2008 at 10:11 am

Take a look at the book Decorative Dressmaking by Sue Thompson for some more wonderful ideas like this

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Cathy March 31, 2008 at 10:35 am

Deb Newton-click the picture.

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Anonymous March 31, 2008 at 10:49 am

This dress is beautiful. I have absolutely no idea how to go about matching patterns on fabric, but this is making me want to try it. Amazing, amazing details.-EClaire

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lorrwill March 31, 2008 at 11:56 am

I need to do a shoe purge too. Beat up looking shoes are a no-no. I just hate parting with a comfy pair of shoes – but some just have to go.heavy sigh.

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Eirlys March 31, 2008 at 11:57 am

If you click on the photo, Deb, the link to eBay should pop right up.

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Pamela March 31, 2008 at 12:01 pm

I just adore this dress! I would agree with other posters that it is more likely to be late 30s because of the incredible sweep of the skirt. There is nothing which speaks more to the onset of warm weather than cool, crisp, laundered stripes. This dress has details which are new to me, such as the mitered midriff continuing down the front the skirt. I also like the horizontally striped yokes combined with the horizontally striped sleeves. Such inspiration!It reminds me I need to reclaim my 70s striped and mitered Giorgio di Sant Angelo skirt from my daughter!! Why are clothes not made today with such precise attention to detail? Thanks for the eye candy!

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wundermary March 31, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Stripes with perfect miters: check. Pockets: check. Perfect little gathers: check. Set-in sleeve: check. Zipper and buttons? Check! This dress is the checklist for an A project in home ec. and if a person were to receive a spongebath from someone wearing it, they would be stunned into submission.

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anthrokeight March 31, 2008 at 1:11 pm

That’s a really lovely dress. Want, desire, want.

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Gwen March 31, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Erin,Ive been enjoying your blog for almost a year Im sorry that Ive done more lurking than commenting to let you that Im part of your regular audience. In any event, I recently got an Excellent Blog award, and an obligation to pass it on to other excellent blogs. Yours was one of the first that came to mind! If you would like to accept it, you can find it here: http://afterthedress.blogspot.com/2008/03/rated.htmlTake care,Gwen

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Sugardale March 31, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Oh man! I just love it when stripes (plaids, dots, houndstooth, . . .) match up perfectly. It’s all about taking time and paying attention to detail. Imagine if the stripes were just slightly off. Ruined I tell you, ruined!

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QueensSewer March 31, 2008 at 9:13 pm

When I was 13, I wanted to be a candy striper just for the dress. What’s not to love?

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QueensSewer March 31, 2008 at 9:13 pm

When I was 13, I wanted to be a candy striper just for the dress. What’s not to love?

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kagitsune April 1, 2008 at 12:44 am

OMG, Shoes?? 8DxD In all seriousness, what size do you wear? I always love your shoe-related posts… you have a great sense of style there. ^^ If you wear US size 9′s, I might be interested in what you “purge” from your closet. xDAbout the dress: Well, I admit that at first I didn’t like the shaping (especially near the bust/shoulders), but then you made me imagine it with those navy blue shoes, maybe a nice little hat… I can say I appreciate this dress for it’s beauty and craftsmanship, now! ^^

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Anonymous April 1, 2008 at 1:04 am

The dress, OH, the dress … the matched stripes … the gathers under the bust … the midriff… the full skirt…Oh, oh, ooooh………SWOON!CMC

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Kak Khaty April 1, 2008 at 2:57 am

…inspirational…that’s my waistline 25yrs ago. thought of making something loose.

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Robin Edgerton April 1, 2008 at 7:32 am

you know, i never somehow got past the red and white stripes to realize that of course it’s earlier than the 40s. it’s just got such a huge full skirt, too, that i was imagining it creeping out of the 30s slim silhouette into a more 40s-50s fullness. I think Nuranar is absolutely right…except for one thing that still doesn’t jibe for a hostess dress…the dress isn’t homemade, and has a stencil (just a few letters) on the inside collar facing, like it was a garment that would end up in a hospital or military laundry. that’s also what threw me. -robin

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Robin Edgerton April 1, 2008 at 7:41 am

that’s just one of about 11 vintage dresses we’re setting loose in the world this week, fyi.

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Meg April 1, 2008 at 5:10 pm

She has the figure for it! She must have some seriously great clothes if this is a cast-off.

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Nancy Bea Miller April 2, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Cute dress! I see it with red or natural straw wedge lace up shoes. And a big matching hat and bag. If you are serious about purging your closets please give us DAD readers a chance to purchase your cast-offs?

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Anonymous April 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Great dress! Red and white stripes never go out of style! Especially when they are displayed in this kind of fashion! I saw some similar dresses on http://www.monstervintage.com/This style is eternally classic!

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