If every decade can be defined by a silhouette, then the bodycon dress certainly sums up a particular point in time. If you bought High Street fashion in the late 1980s/early 1990s then you would no doubt have owned clothes made from Lycra, that stretchy fabric that promised dresses, skirts and tights would cling, move and (crucially) retain its shape wear after wear. You might have appreciated the smooth line of the all-in-one body or that classic combo, the black miniskirt and opaque tights. You would not have been alone. These clingy, stretch styles were a ubiquitous part of the 1990s wardrobe, easy to wear and suggesting a confident yet self-conscious awareness of the figure, literally body conscious (hence the term, bodycon which was first coined in 1990).
So what did we wear in the years before we sobbed our way through Ghost, wearing Thierry Mugler’s Angel and Wolford opaques? Tight, fitted bodycon dresses existed before way before Britpop, you can see examples of the bodycon aesthetic dating back to ancient Egypt – where did you think Hervé Leger found his inspiration for the iconic bandage dress? The bustles and corsets of the Belle Époque were no less risqué than Jane Russell’s cleavage in The Outlaw (1943) or miniskirts on Carnaby Street in the swinging sixties – it would appear that we’ve been showing off our figures since the dawn of time!
Here at British Retro we have our own selection of bodycon beauties, our fitted pencil dresses have the fantastic stretch and fit you only get with high quality modern fabrics, but without losing the elegance and voluptuous appeal of the classic 1950s vintage silhouette. One of most popular styles, Rhonda’s Revenge, is available in a selection of brand new limited edition prints. Gentle florals and sensual tropical prints, the bodycon pencil dress never looked so fresh and frisky. Check out our Tropical Orchid and Red Poppy 50s style pencil dresses for a vintage bodycon vibe with extra wiggle. Need a little retro number for a summer full of weddings, parties or balmy evenings in a quaint pub garden? Cherry Blossom and Wedgewood Blue Floral are the sweetest 50s style bodycon dresses in our collection. Beautifully-made retro style pencil dresses, made here in Blighty and only available to buy online from British Retro. Just the best bodycon, no con trick!