April 28, 2014

Ten mid-spring perfect vintage fashions from Better Dresses Vintage

So long as you don't mind a few rain showers and the occasional storm, both of which can be quite endearing unto themselves (especially if you're not caught outside without the proper gear on during them), mid-spring is rather fantastic time. In fact, I'd argue that it's many people's favourite time of the year, whether they're aware of it or not. Most of us dislike, understandably, extreme hot or bone chilling cold (or both), and are prone to remarking that we wish it could be somewhere around a balmy 20C/70F or so all year round.

Sadly, there's just about no place on earth where such is possible, but most of us, even if this period is exceedingly short-lived, do get to experience this nirvana like middle ground of temperates between mid-April and early June. These are days when a cardigan is still optional, but rarely an absolute necessity. Where gardens are powerfully alive and beautiful, not yet having been baked like a potato during the sweltering weeks of late June, July and August. We seek grassy fields to picnic in, take our first tentative dips (if only with our little toe!) into lakes, rivers and oceans, stock up on a slew of fresh produce, and are often in a generally upbeat and revitalized mood.

For most (in the Northern Hemisphere), the heavy tweeds, woolens, corduroys, and velvets of winter have packaged away, sometimes with a smirk of glee on one's face as we do so. For at long (long!) last, spring has not just returned, but we've hit its sweet, magnificent middle ground, that - much to Goldilocks’ delight - is neither too warm, nor too cold.

A similar window, sometimes briefer still, will appear again come fall, but that's the better part of half a year away and often it isn't quite as glowingly toasty as mid-spring, which is racing head first towards sizzling hot days, not leaving them behind in its wake.

One has a vast array of options at their disposal on the fashion front at the moment and for the next few weeks. We can often still slip on (not-too-heavy) tights, if desired, but by the same token, are shining up our sandals and dusting off our straw hats. It's a marvelous time of the year for vintage fashionistas from coast to coast, who are reconnecting with their beloved sundresses, lightweight circle skirts, bathing suits, gauzy blouses, playsuits, crop/bralette tops, capris, and shorts, most (if not all) of which have been in hibernation for several months now.

Often we find, as we take stock of our mid-spring wardrobe, that we're lacking in a few pieces. They may have bit the dust last year, been absent for some time now, be a need that has arisen lately, or simply a garment or accessory we didn't previously feel pulled towards, but now adore. Whatever the case, it's immensely fun to go shopping for mid and late spring (right on into summer) pieces and to perk up our closets with some snazzy threads the way that Mother Nature is hard at work reviving the world outside at the moment.

To that end, I thought that today, the last Monday in April, would be an ideal time to share ten mid-spring perfect vintage fashions with all of you from one of Chronically Vintage's latest blog sponsors, US based online vintage clothing and accessories shop Better Dresses Vintage.

With a name that takes its inspiration from the "better dresses" section that many leading departments stores once had, where the very cream of the crop was displayed for customers to swoon over and try on, Better Dresses Vintage follows suite by providing their customers with a terrific array of yesteryear fashions that have all been handpicked, well described, and put up for sale online by the shop's founder and owner, Liza.

Like a lot of the best vintage sellers out there, Liza launched her online after many years of wearing and collecting vintage herself, which means that she has a thorough knowledge not only what she's selling, but what her customers are most likely to flock to. Interestingly, and rather wonderfully, Better Dresses Vintage also buys vintage and those who are interested in possibly selling to this site are encouraged to email Liza anytime.

Better Dresses Vintage's site is engaging, easy to navigate, well laid out and just plain fun. On top of their stellar listings, I really enjoyed checking out their customer photo gallery or buyers who are sporting items they've purchased from BDV, as well as their lovely page teaming with positive testimonials from past buyers.

It was tricky to cap my selection of mid-springtime fashions from Better Dresses Vintage at just ten, as there were so many beautiful, easy to wear pieces up there at the moment that fit that bill, but in the end I did and the selection below highlights those that caught my eye the very most and which I'm sure many of you will adore as well.

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{Gloriously sweet and lovely as a springtime field bursting with tiny wild blooms, this elegant 1950s purple floral print dress, which features a light purple hued tulle overskirt, would make for an awesome Mother's Day dress (or gift), not to mention the perfect thing to wear to a garden party, wedding, or countless other warm weather events. Fits up to a 36" bust/26" waist. $85.00 }

{Carry the spirit of a spring garden with you wherever you go when sporting this charmingly pretty vintage enamel flower basket brooch. 1 1/8" by 1" high. $30.00.}

{Though colour palette at work on this sophisticated 1930s/40s floral print rayon dress may call to mind autumn and winter more than our current season, its short sleeves, super lightweight (somewhat sheer) material, and inclusion of blue and yellow blooms helps ground it solidly in spring. Fits up a 39" bust, 34" waist. $70.00.}

{Instantly redolent of this season's bright blue skies and fresh new green grass, these sweetly fun 1950s Miriam Haskell glass bead earrings would be a cinch to partner with everything from denim peddle pushers to your favourite cool toned sundress. Earrings measure 1.25" in diameter. $42.00.}

{What would springtime be without a few rainbows? Certainly not the same in my books, which is why I often find myself drawn towards sporting clothing and accessories like this marvelous 1950s pastel rainbow dress that convey the same glorious beauty as the real deal all season long (and right on until fall starts). Fits up to a 38" bust/27" waist. $95.00.}

{Give your cold weather black, brown and navy blue footwear a well deserved breather and slip into these chic 1950s cream Caprini stiletto heels instead. Fits a vintage size 9AAA foot. $50.00 (which includes the shoebox shown here that they were found in).}

{When those grey springtime days that feel as though the rain will continue to fall for a month (and sometimes, it very nearly does just that!) strike and the temps are touch nippy once again, reach for this vibrant coral 1960s wool cable knit sweater to stay both warm and and in a chipper mood thanks to its punchy hue. Fits up to a 39" bust/32" waist. $65.00. }

{Look no further for your ideal, goes with a myriad of outfits, endlessly elegant vintage springtime topper than this beautiful 1940s/50s cream lace platter style hat, which could very easily work for a bride, mother of the bride, or wedding guest chapeau, if so desired. Inner diameter of 12" inches. $50.00.}

{Just as rainbows and spring go hand-in-hand, so too do butterflies and the second season of the year, which usually sees their return to gardens, backyards and meadows near and far alike. If, like me, you're a fan of sporting butterflies on your clothing, you'll flip for this sweetly pretty green, blue and white 1950s sundress featuring a swarm of the wee darlings. Fits up to a 33" bust/26" waist. $75.00.}

{Just because winter is behind us again, that doesn't mean you need to wave goodbye to all your suits for the next few months. Quite the contrary actually, when you opt for lighter weight versions in soft, feminine shades like the positively gorgeous lilac purple shade that this sophisticated 1940s/50s skirt suit boasts. Jacket fits up to a 38" bust/30" waist, skirt fits up to a 29" waist/38" hips. $105.00.}

♥ ♥ ♥

Don't you wish you could wave a magic wand and have all of these breezy, sweet, totally fun vintage spring fashions fall right into your closet this very moment? That might not be possible, but thankfully you can certainly buy any of these vintage treasures that your heart desires and help perk up your mid-spring right on into summer wardrobe with the help of Better Vintage Dresses.

This site also has a companion etsy shop called Bee Dee Vintage, where all listings (which are not the same ones that appear on BVD's main site) are geared towards the especially budget friendly side of the price spectrum, coming in at $100 or less.

Just as with Better Dresses Vintage itself, this etsy shop is teaming with wonderful yesteryear pieces that would be perfect for this time of the year, such as the four stop-you-in-your-tracks gems pictured below (I'm also especially smitten with this beguilingly pretty lemon and lime hued Lord and Taylor 1940s/50 strapless party dress, which I would wear in a heartbeat if only it was my size).

{From top left to bottom right: Plus size 1950s light blue short sleeved dress, 1950s light pink cotton voile and lace blouse, Peachy-pink 1950s woven handbag, 1980s does 1950s floral print short sleeved dress.}

It is a joy to be working with Better Vintage Dresses this spring and today's post is just the first of two that will shine the well deserved spotlight on this terrific online vintage seller. Keep a look out for a second in a few weeks which will feature yours truly sporting a gorgeous 1950s garment from BVD.

Likewise, it is also fantastic to share today's selection of mid-springtime fashions with all of you. I'm gleeful about the fact that I can finally don pieces like this again without risking frostbite, nor, conversely, melting faster than a crayon left on the tarmac in July. These days are warm, wonderful and so immensely lovely and without a doubt one of the best ways to celebrate them is by treating yourself to some new vintage fashions, such as the beauties highlighted here today from Better Dresses Vintage.

Happy mid-springtime wishes - and shopping - everyone!


  1. Ohh it's fantastic! I love 1st dress and this with imprinted butterfly, it's so cute! :)

  2. That floral purple dress is lovely--though I'm pretty firm in my insistence that summer is my favorite time of year. 95+--I'll admit, that's probably too hot, but I am perfectly happy with anything between 70-95, which is where Michigan weather stays during the summer! (And Malaysia stays between those temperatures nearly year-round!)

  3. Spring and Fall are always the time when I look at my clothes and can't find a thing to wear. You've found such lovely ideas to fill the void till summer returns,but I would definitely wear any of these for three seasons. My favourites were the first lilac frock and that coral cardigan....oh for that magic wand. :)

  4. They're all so beautiful. I hope someday to have at least one good vintage dress in my wardrobe. I always enjoy these round-up posts, it's totally a feast for the eyes!

  5. Aarrgh! Like I needed more tempation to spend what little money I have! *LOL* Actually, both shops look fantastic - even "favourited" the etsy shop! :) Thanks much for posting...and enjoy the Spring weather (finally!!) I admit, I'm an Autumn person myself. Love the changing colours of the leaves, the cooler, crisper weather, getting back into my beloved sweaters that hide those little lovehandles from eating far too much *lol* And, I'm biased - fewer weather-related migraines, too...

  6. The 30s/40s floral number is my favorite of the bunch, and it's even a size that I can wear! That is a rare find for me in dresses from that era. Prices are spot on, as well.
    Cheers to Better Dresses!
    L A

  7. Those dresses are just glorious, each and every one of them! And that hat! Such wonderful and perfect picks, I must say :-)

    And I finally managed to make a point and hop on a PC to comment! Heheh :-)

    Can't wait for the reveal of the top secret vintage plans, my dear!


    Veronica Vintage

  8. Hello Dear Jessica,

    So many pretty things! I love the sweet flower basket pin. My favorite in this selection is the green and white butterfly dress.

    I popped over to view the customer photo gallery form Better Dresses Vintage. That is a great idea they have going, posting customer pictures. I really enjoyed that and am so glad you added it to this post.

    Happy Monday!

  9. Such a delicious collection of clothing. I am in the process of freshening up my wardrobe but there is still a little left in the budget for more 😊

    1. How lovely that you're refreshing your wardrobe, dear gal. Spring is an ideal time for that. I always want to revamp, refresh and rekindle everything I possibly can once winter's icy shackles have finally been shaken off at long last again.

      Happy wardrobe boosting! :)

      ♥ Jessica

  10. Oh how I love that glorious butterfly dress! If I could only lose an extra inch from my waist. I think I'd have to break a couple of ribs for that though.


  11. You have chosen some beautiful items to feature. I really like the butterfly dress, and the wonderful suit in the following picture. Off to have a look at their site.

  12. these are all terrific finds!

    retro rover

  13. Great site, thank you so much for sharing! That butterfly dress... I'm trying really hard to convince myself that I don't actually need it, but I think I might be fighting a losing battle.

  14. Hi Jessica, I cannot believe the shoes come in the original box !
    WOW - i live vintage shoes but my feet are too wide for them :/

  15. Great post. So many pretty pieces. I have a very similar cardigan to the one you have here.

    1. Thank you very much, sweet dear. That cardigan is so pretty and fun! It's awesome that you have one quite similar to it. I could picture it looking fab with a 1950s Mexican tourist skirt that had some of that same coral pink in its pattern. How to you like to style yours?

      ♥ Jessica

  16. Oohh... aahh... beautiful items.

  17. Splendid choices! There's so much variety. This is why I love spring: suddenly we have options again! We don't have to stick with sweaters 24/7! The butterfly dress is my absolute favorite. I'll definitely have to check out these shops! Thanks for the tip!


  18. Oh I love the first dress and the butterfly dress! Dangit! It's moments like these I wish my waist were smaller...oh well hehe xox

  19. I wish my waist was smaller. The purple dress would be perfect for tea parties. I love it! It reminds me of my 8th grade graduation dress my mom made for me. I always loved vintage, even as a young girl. Must share the purple suit. That might be a marvelous birthday present for me. hee hee hee!

    ~ Tam Franics ~

  20. The designer of my dress responded quickly to inquiries and the dress did arrive faster than expected. For me it was a bit long, even with heels, and I'm 5'5. If you are petite, expect to have to have it fitted.

  21. very pretty selection!!!
    but would´t be boring if we had always that 20-24°C sunny weather? and from where came the water for the plants - and us? so i´m happy with the ever changing climate. like yesterday, when sun and rain made a beautiful rainbow over our lush green valley :-)

  22. Psst.... Any of Jessica's lovely readers, use code JESS10 and get 10% off your total order (no limit, use as often as you like through end of May).

    Code is good at the main site (http://www.betterdressesvintage.com) and at our little sister site on Etsy, Bee Dee Vintage (http://www.beedeevintage.etsy.com) where nothing is ever over $100!

    Thanks Jessica for the lovely write-up. It's been a pleasure getting to know you and I look forward to spending more time at "Chronically Vintage!"

    x -

    Liza (in Atlanta, GA, USA)

  23. I love that little flower brooch, there's just something about enamel flowers! And the dresses are all absolutely lovely.♥ Our mid-spring decided it wanted to give us some rain over the weekend, a taste of summer with 80 degree temps this week and some strong winds to go with it...can’t wait for it to cool down so I can wear my warmer weather clothes without roasting or the danger of my skirt flying up!

  24. Those Miriam Haskell earrings are adorable! I wonder if I should start wearing earrings? I don't wear earrings, I don't have pierced ears. But you can get clip-ons, particularly vintage ones. Hmm... Lovely picks here, I could envisage you in that multi-coloured stripe number! P x

  25. Lovely thoughts on springtime and then some rather lovely items. I liked everything you chose to show us. I would happily have any of them in my wardrobe!

  26. Beautiful spring and summer looks!

  27. Very pretty dresses for Spring! I love the selection. You always choose so well :-)

    Miss Beta

  28. That green butterfly dress has my name written all over it. Thank goodness it isn't my size or else I'd have to find a way to get it. I will be thinking of that one for a while.

  29. LOVE the butterfly dress and the rainbow plaid dress. Very cute!!


  30. Seems like a lovely shop, which I will check out very soon. I've slightly behind with your blog. I've had this week off and have been cleaning like a mad woman, now everything shines and I am damn tired. :) Have a great weekend, dear.