1940s Black Jersey Dress with Novelty Umbrella Appliqué Studs


This late 1930s or early 1940s black and gold rayon crepe dress has delicate gold-toned studs across the bodice in the shape of tiny umbrellas. We have never seen this on another vintage piece and this novelty design is perhaps a nod to the surrealist themes of the era. The dress is single-layered with a high, sculpted and pleated neckline. The ruched, cropped sleeves are finished with thin gold leather trim. There is a classic drop-waist silhouette and the skirt is finished with a gently flared, triple-layered ruffle hem. The back is closed with an exposed gold-tone zip which is original to the dress. Zips had not long been invented at this point and the height of fashion was to display these innovative new fashion accessories.

The dress is labelled by the Fashion Originators Guild of America (FOGA) which was an influential members-only trade group of designers and retailers. The collective designs were modelled to trade buyers in show rooms in New York City and sold at high-end department stores across the USA throughout the 1930s-1940s.

In overall very good vintage condition - no flaws of note for a dress approaching 85 years of age. We have spotted a few tiny well executed repairs which are only noted on close inspection and there is possibly an umbrella stud or two missing. It is true black and not faded as the label shots suggest. Due to its age, this piece doesn't have a composition or size label so please check the measurements below closely. We estimate a best fit for sizes up to UK 10 or US 6.


Bust - 37 in. (94 cm)

Waist - 30 in. (76 cm)

Hip - 38 in. (97 cm)

Length - 38.5 in. (98 cm)

Pickup available at CIRCA VINTAGE

Usually ready in 24 hours


Will you set anything aside for me before I come?

We are happy to find anything you may be interested in from our website - please let us know a week in advance. 

We also have an extensive offline collection. If you let us know your size, style, favourite colour to wear and perhaps your budget, we can browse through our archive in advance of your appointment. 

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Clients may wish to bring modern shapewear when trying on garments from certain eras, especially the 1950s. Vintage clothing was often worn with undergarments that shaped the waist and as such is tailored for them.

We have a huge variety of slip dresses and petticoats to complete your look; many of which are also for sale.

You may also wish to bring your favourite footwear. We often find a classic pair of nude shoes work well when trying on, or a pair in gold or silver.

Do you have a price range?

Many of our lower-priced pieces (under £150) are not available to buy online. Our prices range from £80 - £600 for separates. Dresses start at around £150 and go up to £2,500 for the very best antique pieces and designer vintage. Our bridalwear ranges from £300 - £3,000.

Can I bring anyone with me?

Yes but please do let us know the size of your party in advance.

Where can I get alterations?

We offer some alterations in house. Should you need alterations we cannot provide, we can refer you to one of our tried and trusted tailors.

Do you have an after-care service?

We will advise you on the best way to clean and preserve your vintage pieces and can also recommend trusted local dry cleaners.

Can I cancel my appointment?

You are free to cancel but please do give us as much notice as possible. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment, you will be invoiced a late cancellation fee of £25.

Where's the showroom?

Our address is Circa Vintage, 87A Lansdowne Way London SW8 2PB

Upon arrival, buzz the 87A button on the gate or call us 020 7736 5038 to let you in.

Do you have parking?

We offer free, secure, off-street parking but it is a tight squeeze – so do let us know in advance if you will be needing this and we can make sure that there is space available.

How do I get there by public transport?


Stockwell (7 min walk) - Northern and Victoria Lines

Nine Elms (9 min walk) – Northern Line


Wandsworth Road (13 min walk) – Westbound to Clapham Junction / Eastbound to Dalston Junction

What payment methods do you accept?

Cash, credit/debit card, bank transfer, contactless, Paypal