The Jitterbug dress brings me much joy.
It is a bundle of happiness and optimism personified in a dress. I honestly think that we were channelling this when we started creating it! A tonic to help us stay positive in a very strange year!
We wanted to create a late thirties style dress that was very wearable and would translate easily in our extended size range. Something similar to our best selling 1940s ‘Grable’ dress that emulates the desired silhouette but also meets the demands of the modern wearer. We also wanted the dress to work well as a day/office style and be easily dressed up for evening.
I particularly love the styles of the mid to late 30s – not just because the fashions were so elegant and feminine, but also because of the attention to detail. The shirring (big fans of shirring here!), gathers and pleats on sleeves and around the bust-line creates demure, enhancing and super flattering style lines. Hem lines rose a little after 1937 – which helps the shorter amongst us and the shoulders started to become stronger. So many interesting sleeve styles too!
We had so many design ideas that the first concept took a bit of time to get to – but we are very happy with the design we settled on.
The silhouette of this dress is ‘strong shoulders, bust definition and a smooth sweep in the skirt that skims the figure’. The waistline is nipped in but this is enhanced further by a blouson bodice which reinforces the bust. We spent a lot of time getting the folds and gathers of the bodice right – mindful of washing and ironing too! We love how the neckline of the dress is raised and hugs the back of the neck creating a deep but still modest plunge V neckline. The removable drop bow detail gives that added extra detail and is lined in contrasting colour. My favourite part is the sleeves – which took the longest to get right. These sleeves are extra special – covering the upper arm area and have pleats into the shoulder head and some gorgeous delicate shirring at the cuff.
We are consciously trying to produce styles that work well on different shapes and sizes. The combination of our rayon/viscose crepe on the upper with a stretch heavier crepe on the bottom gave us extra confidence for consistency of fit. The upper design lends itself to varying bust sizes whilst the stretch in the lower will accommodate and latter the waistline. We will be offering this style up to a size 24.
There’s something special about this and we hope you love it as much as we did making it!
foxylady November 25th, 2020
There is no doubt – this is my totally favourite dress at the moment. (apart from the Vivienne of course..)
It’s a timeless and elegant design – inspired by an original dress that crossed my path and begged me to own when i was searching for something akin to the designs by Dorothy O’hara.
Dorothy O’hara was known for being a prominent designer at Paramount Studios throughout the 1940s. So she was designing many costumes for films but also went on to develop her own fashion label which thrived through the late 40s and 50s. Her designs were designed to flatter the female figure with a focus on strong shoulders and a slim waist and hip – using clever draping techniques. I would love to own one of her 1940s dresses – a dream dress that would probably be a museum piece now!
I knew i wanted an elegant 1940s cocktail dress in the collection – one that used some of the draping techniques that seemed more prominent in the american styles. I turned to O’hara for inspiration – even though the majority of her dresses were full length and/or occasion wear that demanded a lot of labour. So the challenge was to create a beautiful dress with plenty od the signature details but still fitting in a specific price point.
I like asymmetry but i also try to keep the lines simple because detail can be ‘overdone’. I also appreciate well fitting garments and good fabric.
What I love about this dress…
It simply makes the most of the feminine physique and flatters whilst still being demure. There is an air of mystique about it.
It’s timeless and will suit many ages and shapes.
The asymmetrical style lines are interesting and create wonderful shapes – i love the ruching at the right side of the bust that is mirrored by the ruching and drapes at the left hip.
It’s got sleeves! (and we’ve shaped them with two darts)
It makes you feel like a million dollars!
Enjoy xx Clare
The O’hara dress in red: http://www.thehouseoffoxy.com/1940s-fashion/40s-o-hara-cocktail-dress-red
foxylady December 8th, 2017
Fancy doing the party season in 1940s style? There are plenty of options available to you at The House of Foxy. From 1940s Film Noir & Femme Fatale to wartime pinup plus some modern takes on the 1940s look – check out our ideas below:-
We love this Film Noir 40s look – an elegant look that you really won’t find on the high street.
40s Hayworth dress – from size 8 to 18 in stretch navy brocade – click here
Add some bling with this gorgeous vintage inspired brooch and some diamante stuff earrings.
Finish with some seamed stockings!
For 1940s style with a modern twist – we’ve paired our Veronica Jumpsuit with a bit of bling and a great clutch bag. You can wear any classic shoes with this style – a nice high heel we think! Plus a lovely Veronica Lake inspired hairdo is easily achievable and a nice compromise between modern and vintage.
For a classic 1940s look we love the Grable Tea Dress or Tea Dance Dress with our Americana Jacket. This is a really authentic 40s look
1940s Grable Tea Dress in Peony – available size 8 to 24 – click here
Matching peony chiffon Scarf
foxylady December 14th, 2016
Favourite Dress of the Moment – The 1960s ‘Madmen Inspired’ Manhattan Dress
Sometimes the best ideas come out of the blue and then almost magically come together in a few days! This is true of this dress which is based on another one from my own vintage collection and is my utter favourite at the moment. I tend to wear 1940s most of the time but go through periods of fixation of other eras – not that i have OCD or anything 😉 I will say that at this moment its early 1930s that I’m obsessed with but prior to that it was the early 60s again and this design came from that!
Our challenge these days is to come up with designs that have something extra ‘special’ about them – to ensure the dress and its wearer – stand out from the crowd and have that ‘Foxy Magic’. As we make here in this country, we are in a great position to literally turn around a new design within a week. Im blessed with having an amazing team who are like-minded and are happy to work that way 🙂
The ‘Manhattan’ Dress – named by a customer on a recent Social Media competition, is a late 1950s, early 60s wiggle dress with a nipped in waist and is shaped to enhance the bust and to give the wearer a real wiggle. It feels really great to wear because although its very figure hugging, it isn’t revealing as the neckline is not low, nor the hemline high. So, very typical of the early 1960s and later 1950s – it has a ‘class’ about it and that ‘Madmen’, Joan Holloway look.
To explain the shape, it has a really flattering scoop neck – not too revealing but not prim either and grown on sleeves which hug the shoulder. Many ladies prefer sleeves these days which is tricky for us designers because arm sizes vary so much. These sleeves are enough to flatter and make you feel more ‘dressed’. My favourite element in this dress is the bust tucks – these are typical of the time and were used in place of a dart. They give quite a point finish to the shape and are further enhanced by the under bust seam curving upwards towards the underarm. You start to see this shape in vintage garments from late 50s onwards. I love how styles evolve!
This dress is made in super stretchy bengalene which is also quite figure forming and forgiving of any lumps and bumps. As modern fabrics go, its very comfy but doesn’t create the other problems of bobbling or seam slippage.
The cummerbund is a ruched piece of contrast gold brocade which is around the centre of the body. It was the part of the original dress that told me it was early 60s because there are so many styles that have this styling at the the time. It’s like wearing a mini corset and really gives extra hourglass emphasis. The drop sash which is on the left side of the body is an elegant addition – not too OTT and is a rather clever way of flattering the tummy!
Ooo – we also added bra anchors – we know you love them.
For guidance on how to dress early 60s – please visit our style guide here
foxylady December 5th, 2016