Did you know that Dents used to produce clothing? Our museum records show that manufacturing started c.1874, and ceased in 1971. On top of gloves and accessories, we previously sold shirts, ties, pyjamas, blouses, coats and jackets. Fun fact: leather clothing production began 1925, and took place in several locations such as Watford and Plymouth. Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
We delved into the museum archives to uncover these fascinating 1960s images of Dents’ suede coat and jacket designs (above). They proved to be popular items during this era; not only were they stylish, but comfy and warm, too!
So what prompted this trip into the past? The recent generous donations of this vintage suede dress, skirt and waistcoat, which are now homed in our museum…
After re-acquainting with these clothes, we got into the spirit of all things vintage and retro by recreating shots from the era. And what better time to do this than when 1970s festival vibes are coming back into fashion?
Among the newly found garments was this 40 year old pale green suede pinafore dress, which definitely has a retro vibe to it. Of course, we couldn’t resist including a pair of vintage gloves from our museum in the shot! These soft tan coloured leather gloves – with a lovely check patterned cuff – were uncovered from our vast collection, and teamed up perfectly with the dress.
Getting closer to the details, you can see the label states ‘Real leather, styled by Dents. Made in England’. The exquisitely textured buttons are a useful, yet decorative feature that run down the front of the dress in true 70s fashion.
Manufactured c.1970s, this authentic 3/4 length green suede skirt is minimal in design. The panels mean that the skirt is almost shaped straight up and down – excellent for bringing in your figure at the waist, and elongating the legs. Luckily our model had her own pair of vintage-style long heeled boots to fit the look!
Onto our final garment: the red waistcoat, dating back to around 1970-1980, as seen layered over the suede dress to create a whole new dimension to the outfit. This garment would have been a highly versatile addition to anyone’s wardrobe!
Again we can see that this garment was ‘styled by Dents’. The circular silver-coloured buckle is the most noticeable feature of the waistcoat, and it adds an attractive finish to this truly retro design.
We can certainly see why elements of 70s fashion are making their way back into clothing lines with a bang! This decade was a treasure trove of extravagant ensembles; the cuts of clothes were sharp and simple, yet brightened up with chunky platform shoes, flares, big hair, and bold patterns.
After this touch of nostalgia, we wonder if you have examples of vintage Dents garments to share? Show us your pics – we’d love to see!