While it doesn’t happen often, we take pride in the fact that we sometimes see a trend coming before it hits the mainstream. There are hints all around the shopping universe if you keep an eye out. At the vintage store, items that were once undesirable and cheap start to creep up in price. A certain show with a strong wardrobe design department starts to get very popular. A certain aesthetic starts to emerge in accessories before it hits clothing.
Over the last few years, experienced stylists have been showing off their pattern mixing skills while aspiring fashionistas pat themselves on the back for attempting it. Wearing more than one pattern used to be kitsch, and suddenly it’s the height of decadent excess, a skill to be lauded and celebrated.
While we’ve learned a lot by collecting and liking all kinds of pattern mixing looks, we thought: Why not take the guesswork out of the whole affair and trust the designer to do it for you? And why not have it all happen in a single piece? As pattern mixing grew more popular, we saw a patchwork trend growing closer on the horizon. When Devon found this 90s vintage dress crumpled up on the racks at the Salvation Army, she couldn’t wait to get it home to wash and iron it.
The 90s were the last time patchwork had a major fashion moment, and to be honest, when we think back on the patchwork looks from that era, the vibe we get is “cat lady” or the kind of shapeless vest that Blossom Russo would have worn. And while this dress is genuine vintage, it has a few qualities that keep it away from corny. All the floral patches have a black background and predominantly pink flowers. The patches with stripes and polka dots are fairly even in scale, with similar proportions of black and white on each patch. A tiered skirt adds depth and movement. There isn’t a place for the eye to rest, but it doesn’t get overwhelmed either. This dress is the perfect transition piece to move from winter layers into spring florals.
Floral & Stripe 90s Vintage Maxi Dress
$7 from Salvation Army Family Store in San Rafael