This novelty print shirt waist day dress by John Henry dates to the late 1970s/early 80s with it’s deeply dropped arms eyes, wide shoulder set, elasticized waist and short collar points. There are huge patch pockets on the bodice front, and side seam pockets in both of the skirt’s side seams.
These elastic waist dresses were meant to create a blouson, kind of a loose look, rather than a tight silhouette.
This includes a matching belt with a silver toned metal keeper loop (with horse shoes design), belt tip (with curling westernized flower design) and buckle featuring a longhorn cows head with more tooled leather look flower designs (we photographed it upside down, oops).
The print features English hunting scenes rather than Western, so the design elements of the print and the belt’s hardware are mixed (and kind of confusing). There are a couple of scenes with riders wearing black English riding helmets (or equestrian helmets/hats) that are on horses and with spotted English Foxhound dogs, another with a person holding a gun and speaking with his dogs.
Buttons are silver toned and say “RAIL ROAD SIGNAL.” These may have been changed out at some time, as the silver toned metal of the buttons and the belt hardware don’t match exactly, and railroads are not typically associated with either western cowboys or English hunters.
Label: John Henry
Labeled a size 8, but measures more like a 10:
Bust: 41” (but remember, this has a deeply dropped arms eye, so this is a bit variable)
Shoulder point to shoulder point: 19.25” wide
Shoulder point to sleeve hem: 22.5” long
Cuff is 2” wide
Elasticized waist at rest: 24” and stretches up to 36” but belt holes only go up to 31.5”
Length from center back of the neck to the waist: 18”
Length from center back of the neck to the hem: 49”
Around the hem: 124” sweep of hem!!
Dropped arms eye: 12” deep
Belt: tip to tip: 36.5”
Holes at: 27.5, 28.5, 29.5, 30.5” and 31.5”
Collar point: 2”
We just realized we shot this with the collar flipped up, mostly. It looks great flipped down (the way it's supposed to be worn...), and also buttoned all the way to the top. Even worn with a little string tie, looks great, too.
Condition: slight wear along the inner neckline, this is not visible when worn. Otherwise, this does have a very slight overall vintage fade, but it’s extremely slight, and in our opinion, it adds to the attractiveness.
Sometimes called day to night dresses, this can be worn to the office, and then to dinner and the movies.
We love these longer dresses worn with boots for a fabulous casual look.
We are a member of The VFG, The Vintage Fashion Guild.
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