1950s Jacques Esterel Haute Couture Blue Linen Dress Suit


Mid 1950s French haute couture Jacques Esterel dress suit. A textured, French blue loose knit silk/linen blend with a striking, white over-stitched arrangement that highlights the neckline, arm holes on the dress, waistband and cuffs. The dress has French darting on the bodice and the skirt is slightly flared to just below the knee. The back of the dress has a lower V back and it fastens with a rear central seamed zip hidden underneath a little bow. The jacket is a cropped double-breasted design and paler blue wooden buttons for decoration. With a belted waist, wide lapels and three quarter length sleeves, both pieces are fully lined in a blue satin. The bottom hem of the dress is weighted and with a very generous allowance of over 4 1/2 in or 12 cm. As it has been only gently pressed, it could be lengthened if desired.

In very good to excellent condition for its age and displays beautifully - very Audrey Hepburn! We note on very close inspection that there is colour variation across the shoulders - this is very, very slight indeed on the jacket only. The belt buckle fabric has darkened with age, again very minor but could be recovered with matching fabric from the seam allowance if desired. The dress has a very slight colour variation towards the bottom hem on the front which is very difficult to see and only in certain lights. Some fraying to a seam on the lining which of course is not visible. Of note, it's a very petite size and we estimate that this dress is a size UK 6-8 or US 2-4 and would proportionally suit someone under 5'5". Our model is this size and height and this fit her well. 

We've been rather conservative on describing this outfit but its very wearable and a remarkable design by a couturier of great note. Under the presidency of Charles de Gaulle, Esterel was appointed designer of the presidents wife, Yvonne de Gaulle. His most prominent clients were Sophia Loren, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Mamie Eisenhower and Gloria Swanson.

Bust - 34 in. (86.4 cm)
Waist - 24 in. (61 cm)
Hip - 32 in. (81.3 cm)
Length - 40 in. (101.6 cm)
Shoulders - 14.5 in. (36.8 cm)

Bust - 36 in. (91.4 cm)
Waist - 30 in. (76.2 cm)
Hip - N/A
Length - 19 in. (48.3 cm)
Shoulders - 17 in. (43.2 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