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Over the past few seasons, prairie dresses have taken the fashion world by storm. Dresses that inspire dreams of Victorians, Little House on the Prairie, and hippie communes, have taken up residence on runways all over the world.
This elevation to the world of high fashion has increased the price tag for the good quality dresses and has inspired endless cheap knockoffs in the world of fast fashion.
In the face of the prairie price-tag, modern prairie gals are realizing that the vintage dresses look very similar to, and are often prettier than the new dresses. The price tags are much more manageable than those on the runway and the quality is often just as good
There is much more demand for these original beauties now, so they are getting to be more difficult to find. Luckily, there are shops specializing in Prairie and Victorian Revival dresses – and, they are at your fingertips.
Here are my favorite online sources for fashionable prairie confections:
The Pansy Garden
Kiki’s Got Vintage
Teal Moon Vintage
The Grantchester Collection
Tips for Online Vintage Shopping
As a sewist and prior vintage shop owner, I’ve compiled a few online vintage shopping tips to ensure a good fit:
✦ Remember that the measurements provided by the seller are usually for the dress itself, and not the body that is meant to fit inside the dress. If the bust measurement is 36″, the body that will fit inside the dress might have to be smaller if the wearer wants to expand her chest to breathe.
✦ Most vintage prairie dresses are made of cotton. Woven fabrics such as cotton often don’t have any stretch to them. Keep this in mind when looking at dress measurements. To complicate matters further, the 1960s and 70s saw fashion become inundated with stretchy knit fabrics. If you are unsure what type of fabric a vintage dress is made of, ask the seller. It will make a huge difference in fit.
✦ Different eras of Prairie and Victorian Revival dresses saw different types of waistlines. Vintage dresses can have waistlines ranging from high, empire waistlines to the lower waistlines of the 1980s. Be sure to notice what kind of a waistline a dress has so you will know where to measure your own waist for a proper fit.
Do you have a favorite prairie dress shop? Let me know in the comments below!
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