Autumnal 1930s Style Oxfam Dress

Autumnal 1930s style Oxfam dress

This weekend was a rare weekend where I actually had nothing planned, therefore I decided to take the opportunity to make the most of the beautiful autumnal colours in the forest that overlooks my parents’ house and take a few photos. I grew up in the shadow of this majestic forest, the only one in Britain to remain privately owned, and it has been handed down over 31 generations. During my childhood I spent many a happy summer’s day running around in the dense woods, climbing trees and having numerous family barbecues but since moving away from my hometown I just haven’t ventured back.

Oxfam Dress

It was a great excuse to take some fabulous autumn photos of my new-to-me 1930s style dress, even if I looked ridiculous walking around a forest in high heels! I picked up this beauty in Oxfam in Brighton at the beginning of September the day after I had the pleasure of meeting up with fellow blogger Jenny from Frantically Jenny Francis.

It is by Artigiano, a classic Italian style clothing retailer and cost me £14.99. It’s a little more than what I normally pay for a dress in a charity shop but this one was not getting away. It fits me absolutely perfectly and is in mint condition, I bet it’s only been worn once. I also got a ‘it looks good on you’ look from a rather hot male customer who was in the changing room before me, so I couldn’t exactly disappoint him now could I? 🙂

Autumnal 1930s Dress

1930s style Autumn dress

Oxfam dress close-up

I love the detailing on it, the very 1930s style cowl neck, the puff sleeves and the ruching at the cuffs. The skirt is a later 1930s style with a fuller look but is still cut in the gored style that was so popular during this decade. The colour actually looks a bit more vibrant in the first three photos and is much more like the one above in real life. It’s burgundy but it has an ever so slight hint of rust to it making it a really intriguing colour.

Autumn Savernake Forest

Throwing Autumn Leaves

We got rather carried away with all the fallen leaves and spent ages taking photos of me kicking them about or throwing them in the air but so many of them were complete disasters. Some had me pulling really weird faces, or the tree was covering my entire face, or my mum took the photo way too soon, before I’d even thrown them, but it was really good fun and I almost felt like I did when I was a child doing the same all those years ago!

1930s black and white shoes

I teamed it with a black wool beret I bought way back in the 1980s, a skinny black patent belt, a pair of vintage white leather gloves I picked up at the Dig for Victory Show in Lacock in the summer, my beloved 1940s Cordé handbag and a pair of Aris Allen reproduction Oxfords. I adore these shoes, they’re a perfect copy of an original 1930s pair that were sold in Paris called the Ostrich Pump.


There was also another reason I wanted to go to forest and that was to handpick a single acorn. One thing I have always wanted is a single silver acorn pendant and my mum has offered to buy me one for my Christmas present this year. The reason I wanted to choose the acorn is because the jeweller is going to make a mould from it, so my necklace is completely unique. It is an old folk tale that if you have a jeweller do this for you it can bring you certain things that are associated with the charm and the acorn represents protection and growth, two things that are very important to me. I can’t wait to see it all finished and I think it’ll go perfectly with this dress.


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. What a beauty of a dress, how unusual to find something so incredibly 1930’s in a modern day dress – I would have snapped it up too! It’s a great colour on you, and these photos in the leaves are fun. Your accessorizing is also enviable, a truly gorgeous look. xx

    • Aw, thank you! I couldn’t believe it when I spotted it and just knew it had to be mine. xx

  2. That’s such a beautiful dress, clearly worth the money. And you have styled it impeccably, right down to gloves.

    The pendant is going to be a real treasure.

    • Thank you Mim! It’s funny my mum says my hands look really big in those gloves and it was all I was focusing on when editing the pictures. She’s got me paranoid!

  3. What a great find! I never find dresses when out thrifting, around here there tends to be just a selection of denim maxi dresses from the 90’s! This dress is so beautiful, the color looks great on you! Great styling too, your hair looks so perfectly 30’s.

    • Yeah, I never normally find anything decent in charity shops around where I live but the Oxfam in Brighton is pretty special. It sells a lot of good quality and designer makes and really handpicks what it puts out on the shop floor. I actually tried on several things that had a vintage vibe to them but this was the only thing that fitted. It’s probably a good thing I don’t live nearer to it!

    • Thank you Jessica! It’s taken me a while to find my way back to the 30s but I’m really glad I finally did. I just love it! xx

  4. What a perfect acorn, your pendant will be beautiful and I didn’t know that folk tale about it. This dress is gorgeous and does look made for you! Such a good find, it has lovely detailing. I want to go and play in some leaves now!

  5. Love these pictures, you can certainly tell your having lots of fun, but you still look very demure! That dress is a gorgeous find, its so perfectly 30’s you would never guess it was modern and it suits you to a ‘T’! x

    • Thank you Wendy! Not sure I’ve ever been described as demure before 🙂 x

  6. what a lovely dress it looks so good with your shoes and very stylish for a walk in the forest

    • Thank you Katie. I did get some rather odd looks so dressed up when everyone else was in jeans and wellies!

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