Vintage Shirtwaist Dresses

Why To Wear: The look is neat and tidy, the prints can be fascinating, and a shirtwaist dress is a fresh yet classic look.  Perfect for casual daytime, and a good choice for any body type but especially pear shapes.

Alternatives: If you don't like the look or feel of a billowy full skirt, go with a shirt-dress (in a straight silhouette) instead for a more fitted, modern effect.

What To Look For: Check seams, especially under the arms and at waist seam.  Most common stains on vintage shirtwaist dresses are under the arms or random spots/age spots on the skirt.  These dresses were usually worn as casual daytime wear, so they're a bit harder to find in pristine condition.

Favorite Finds: Summer ginghams, cuffable sleeves and classic shirtwaists with big buckle-front belts.  Novelty printed shirtwaist dresses are special collector's items.

Classic Labels: Common finds in vintage shirtwaists are Serbin, Shirtwaist Classic, and McMullen.  Not many couture designers focused on shirtwaists as they were a ready-to-wear look from their inception.

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