1949 Documented Pierre Balmain Haute Couture Grey Bar Jacket Suit

Fine and rare Pierre Balmain haute couture grey bar jacket and skirt suit attributed to the autumn / winter 1949 collection. The jacket is tailored in a beautiful pinstripe wool with five iridescent buttons running down the middle front of the jacket, with matching buttons at each cuff. One pocket can be found on each side of the front of the suit jacket. The matching skirt has four darts on the front and the back with a zipper closure on the middle back. Skirt hems were longer in this decade and always below the knee to mid-calf depending on the wearer's height. The entire suit set in lined in perhaps what would have been a darker grey satin finish fabric which has gently faded to lilac-grey with the passing of time. The suit is in what we consider to be archival vintage condition with excellent levels of preservation. There is no visible damage or stains.

Founded in post-war Paris, Pierre Balmain’s eponymous house was central to revolutionizing French style. Balmain’s debut show in October 1945 preceded Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ by two years and welcomed curve-enhancing silhouettes into the mix, such as bell-shaped skirts nipped in at the waist. A near identical suit in navy is held by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and we attach a 1949 advertisement for a similar design which retailed in a New England department store. Our final photo is a model wearing the same design on a promotional trip to London for the Fall 1949 collection - Balmain himself is just off the shot to the left of the group.

Waist - 27in. (68.5 cm)
Hip - 43 in. (109 cm)
Length - 31 in. (78.8cm)

Bust - 36 in. (91.5 cm)
Waist - 31 in. (78.8 cm)
Hip - 38 in. (96.5 cm)
Length - 26.5in. (67 cm)
Shoulders - 17in. (43.5 cm)

Pickup available at CIRCA VINTAGE

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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