Falling In Love Again, But The Names Have Changed

Long floral rayon dresses were a mainstay in my closet in the 90’s. That was post-corporate uniform years, and I was going to grad school/working in a casual office. I loved the flow of them, the dark florals and non-corporate vibe as well. The prices were reasonable. My husband called them “missionary dresses,” but I didn’t mind.

After school, I let most of them go to the donation pile and switched to wearing mainly separates. I own at least five pencil skirts and several full ones, and you’ll see that most of my archived outfits consist of skirt-and-knit top/blouse. I have a small, beloved collection of Karina dresses, too.

Then just a few weeks ago, I bought this fine frock at Bella’s Etsy shop. It rang my bells, with the feminine neckline, subdued floral print, and graceful length. You’ll see it in a post soon:

Bella does the swingy dress proud.

This nostalgic dress re-ignited my love of the floral midi/maxi and I’ve started to hunt them down. It took several searches before I found the updated words for my dresses: grunge, revival, festival, and granny. So I am a grunge, festive granny, and proud of it.

I found this adorable dress on Etsy too (using the new magic search terms):

The brand is All That Jazz, one that I shopped a lot in the 90’s.

At the Humane Society Thrift I picked up an 80’s floral frock, sleeveless and just to the knee. It was $5, less than the glass of Merlot I celebrated with just after (including tip). Thrifting is good.

These dresses will be a fun element of my summer uniform, for both work and play. Washable, cool, feminine and a welcome change from my de rigueur black tee.

Have you re-fallen in love with any old favorites?

Have a festive Saturday, and stay fabulous,

Visible Monday is on its “off” week this week, so we can recharge, refresh, and laugh out loud. ☺  We’ll be back on Monday, April 21st (actually, the Sunday evening

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  1. And just why we should have to look sexy all the time or any time is the first question I would ask. But having said that, I think most women would like to think their partner finds them sexy. So, the dream partner is one who thinks you are sexy in whatever you like wearing!

  2. yeah, I've heard the same thing. They "don't find them sexy" and "you look like an old granny wearing that – not attractive".

  3. What I loved about these was the ease of wear…slip them on, you're covered, you're comfortable and you're done. I'd love to find some for summer.

  4. I have a thousand of these lurking in my closet from my teen years. I was very "Clarissa Knows it All" and Elaine from Seinfeld. Looking back I looked very Sister Wife, especially with my long blonde hair and sensible shoes. LOL. I can't go back there but from time to time I try them on for sentiment's sake. 🙂

  5. I have a long rayon tiny floral print dress that I bought in a mad dash to TJMaxx about 2 hours before a friend's wedding back in the 80s. Have kept it all these years. That marriage didn't last but the dress has and it is just the perfect flowy thing to throw on. Dresses up with heels, perfect also with sandals. Gone in and out of style many times since I bought it- guess it is on its way back in. Again.

  6. Yes, I wore dresses like these in the Nineties too. And ones with thin straps over t-shirts, if I remember rightly. And yes, they did shrink! It's clearly true that everything comes back around, just with a different name; I'm looking forward to seeing you in your new dresses, Patti! xxx

  7. Funny how things work — I just bought one of these dresses at Goodwill (April Cornell and reversible to boot!), came home, and read your article. I too used to wear these, and wish I hadn't got rid of them all! Looking forward to warmer weather so I can wear it 🙂

  8. I've fallen head over heels with these floral dresses and I'm with you, I love the old ones much better than any new ones I've seen in the stores. Guess I better visit some etsy shops, that is a perfect idea. Can't wait to see the post with the florals.

  9. Oh my goodness, I remember those dresses! I had the most brilliant one in the 90s – in a small floral print on black, crushed polyester. I was fairly expensive (I got it on sale) and was a really flattering cut. It had a high-low hem then when that went out of fashion I hemmed it to kneelength all round. I wore it for years!

    If I could find a similar one that didn't actually make me look like a granny, I'd leap at the chance.

  10. Oh yes this brings back good memories of the 90's. Look forward seeing you wear this! Bella looks great in hers.

    blue hue wonderland

  11. Oh, Patti…love these dresses! I was working in a 'suit only' corporate office in the nineties, but was able to wear 'casual' in the summer, Fridays only. And these dresses were my choice. So pretty and feminine.

  12. I never thought I would say this but I am loving the eighties revival! Great dresses xx

  13. If got one of these feminin Mille Fleur dresses. White with small blue flowers on it. Bought in the 90's too. Have a good time. Sunny

  14. I love dresses like these but men sure don't seem to like them. LOL The two you've just bought are beautiful! I am so scared to shop online for fear of the problems if the clothes don't fit.

  15. Yes! Particularly 90s pieces, all of which I gave away too! I love this style dress (some UK bloggers call it a ditzy dress too). Why, why did we give them all up? Such a pretty, feminine look, yet infinitely wearable and versatile (boots, sandals, jean jacket, blazer, etc!). Looking forward to seeing you model your frocks.
    P.s. Just read Sheila's comment. I too worked in a shop in the 90s and we sold heaps of these frocks. The rayon did shrink like hell, but I've had ok luck with vintage pieces – maybe because they've already been washed and shrunk?

  16. I've seen those dresses a lot while thrifting but the fact that They need hemming to fit my figure nicely always put me off ….until now. Next time I see one I like I will take it home with me to shorten it.

  17. I love both those dresses, they look easy to wear and very feminine

  18. Oh, gosh, I used to sell those in dress and skirt form when I worked in a mall store in the mid-90s. They always washed very poorly (that shrinky rayon), so beware, Patti! I have a short version, but the overall patterns don't ring my bell like they used to.

  19. Yes, I have been hunting down patterns for these dresses Patti, and like you, I find them so feminine and comfortable :0) Good searching! mari

  20. I love the one you got from Bella–can't wait to see you in it!

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