Vintage Two-Piece Dresses

Why To Wear: A two-piece vintage dress eliminates the trouble of fitting your waist just so, which means they're great for both long-waisted and short-waisted figures.  Separate pieces on top and bottom allow for just the right fit through the torso.  Another bonus is that both pieces can mix and match with other separates.

Alternatives: If you love a one-piece dress but it's too long-waisted, you could have it made into two pieces by a good seamstress.  A really clever seamstress may also be able to add a waist panel (and perhaps a peplum) to a short-waisted one-piece too.  Likewise, if you enjoy your two-piece set but want it as one piece, that can be done as well.

What To Look For: Two-piece dresses are usually a blouse and skirt combination, but they may also have original belts and even cardigans or capes to match.  When shopping a vintage store, keep your eye out for companion pieces in case they're elsewhere on the racks.  Additionally, if you happen across a great two-piece set, but it seems one button was replaced with an oddball, that may not be true.  Vintage button-front shirts often had a different button intentionally sewn at the shirt's waist, always very flat and sometimes in clear plastic, so that it would lie flat and unobtrusive under the waistband.

Favorite Finds:
Solid blouses or sweaters with a special appliqued accent that matches the print of its accompanying skirt.  These sets say 'vintage' in a charming way, and they're becoming harder and harder to find in good condition.  In the 1970s, bare-shoulder dresses were sometimes created with companion one-shoulder jackets to match - a stellar collector's find.

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