Vintage Mini Dresses
Why To Wear: They're uber-sexy and they epitomize the mid-1960s with its heady innocence. The original 60s mini dresses filled the closets of teens and twenty-somethings on the cutting edge of Mod fashion.
Alternatives: Some of the best authentic vintage mini dresses can be pricey ($60 and up, into the many hundreds) because they're rare. You can always shorten a 60s dress to mini length if you want the leggy look without the high price tag, though that lean Twiggy style only shows up in certain dresses, so not every 60s dress is a good candidate for this.
What To Look For: Length is key. A true 1960s mini dress will have a length of about 34 inches max from neck to hem. Many minis are shorter, even as skimpy as 29 inches in length if the wearer is petite. Remember too that a 1960s dress that's been shortened may look like a mini, but isn't as highly prized as a vintage mini dress truly made that short in the factory. Check for original factory stitching at the hem to be sure of its history.
Because they were fashions of the moment, they are sometimes lower quality ready-to-wear. You're more likely to see stitching lines that pull easily and cheaper fabrics that withstand only occasional use. Despite this, most mini dresses are snapped up quickly just for their terrific Mod style. For quality too, look for better labels like Saks 5th Avenue Young Dimensions, Young Edwardian, and any 60s designer names.
Favorite Finds: Novelty prints, from the psychedelic to the ultra-mod and nostalgic. We've seen mini dresses in prints that combine acid trip colors with 18th century pastoral scenes... go-go girls had no limits!