1950s Carlye Cream Cotton Knife Pleat Dress


A classic example of good quality American day wear. We love this label - Carlye pieces just ooze refinment. This creamy beige cotton knife pleat dress has an elegent scoop neck augmented with 2 pearlescent buttons. These fasten on the shoulders and are purely decorative. There is an additional ochre coloured over-stitched ziz-zag pattern on the neckline. The dress has an interesting and continuous arrangement of knife pleats both on the bodice and the skirt. The knife pleats on the bodice are formed on an additional panel which you can pass your hand through. The panel is attached at the waist and the neckline and this feature was to ensure that the pleats align closely with that of the skirt when wearing.

The bodice is lined in the same fine cotton fabric whilst the skirt is unlined. There is a side pocket just below the original metal zip at the side. The condition is excellent - we have noticed one small brown faded mark very close to the waistband; barely noticeable and we inspected a few times before seeing this. This would also be covered by any belt. Best fit for UK size 8-10, US size 4-6 and of smaller stature as Carlye was a petite range brand. Our model is a UK 6-8 and 5ft 4in. (163cm) and this dress was slightly roomy on her. 

The Carlye Dress Corporation was formed in 1938 in St. Louis, Missouri. Owned by Corinne Fuller Glaser, Carlye went on to become one of the great dress houses in St. Louis, a city renowned for its 'junior wear' or in more modern terms - petite sizes fashion. Clothing manufacturing giant Leslie Fay bought the Carlye line around 1967.

BUST - 36 in. (91.4 cm)
WAIST - 28 in. (71.1 cm)
HIP - 38 in. (96.5 cm)
LENGTH - 39 in. (99.1 cm)
SHOULDERS - 14 in. (35.6 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