With spring in the air and the sun shining, I’ve got florals on my mind and there’s one brand that does florals right and that is Laura Ashley. Laura Ashley is a British fashion brand known for its vintage-inspired prints, romantic designs, and use of natural fabrics. Founded in the 1950s, the brand became popular in the 1970s and 1980s for its feminine dresses, which were often worn with lace-up boots and denim jackets. As you know, Laura Ashley dresses remain a favorite among vintage fashion collectors and fortunately they’re still easy to find at thrift stores and estate sales. I have an inkling they’ll surpass Gunne Sax’s popularity in the next couple of years, so if you’ve been thinking about buying a dress or two, now is the time!
I’m ready to style my Laura Ashley dresses for spring, here are five tips to keep in mind to give them a modern update:
- Play with Accessories: Vintage Laura Ashley dresses are often characterized by their flowy, romantic silhouette. To give them a modern edge, try pairing them with chunky boots or sneakers and a leather jacket or denim jacket. You can also accessorize with statement jewelry, like oversized earrings or a bold necklace, to add a touch of modernity. I love adding a bold leather belt with studs – think Michael Morrison or Carrie’s iconic stud belt.
- Mix and Match Decades: Don’t be afraid to mix and match vintage Laura Ashley dresses with contemporary pieces. Layer a sheer or lace vintage Laura Ashley dress over a simple tank top or t-shirt, or pair a floral Laura Ashley dress with a leather skirt or shorts.
- Go for Bold Prints & Colors: While vintage Laura Ashley dresses are known for their delicate floral prints and muted tones, you can also look for bold and abstract prints for a more contemporary feel. Look for dresses with graphic floral patterns, stripes, and bold colors to give your vintage Laura Ashley dress a modern twist. Both of my Laura Ashley dresses feature punchy color!
- Experiment with Layers: Layering is key to giving vintage Laura Ashley dresses a modern update. Try layering a vintage Laura Ashley dress over a turtleneck or a button-down shirt, or opt for my signature look and wear a sweatshirt over a vintage Laura Ashley dress for a casual, glam look. I styled my halter dress here for winter with booties and fringe cardigan!
- Play with Silhouettes: Laura Ashley dresses run the gamut of turn of the century school teacher and party girl. I opt for dresses that are strapless, sleeveless or feature puff sleeves. I also prefer a ruffled and layered skirt and a sweetheart neckline. These silhouettes tend to skew more modern giving a fresh look to the English countryside feel of the brand.
My curated finds:
- Vintage 1980s Laura Ashley Tiered Maxi Floral Dress Size S/M (Vintage Size UK 12, $80
- Vintage Laura Ashley Spaghetti Strap Black Floral ruched boning dress size 8, $50
- vintage 80s laura ashley dress pink floral cotton full skirt dress m, $120
- Laura Ashley Dress & Bolero Jacket Size 10 Floral Pink 100% Cotton Vintage, $87
- Laura Ashley Strapless Cotton Dress Floral Tiered Blue Vintage 10, $65
- Laura Ashley (80’s) Vintage Strapless Cotton Floral Gown Dress – UK 16 (~33″), $124
- Red Laura Ashley 1980 dress with puff sleves cottagecore romantic prairie dress floral english roses english Garden size xl UK 16, $148
- Vintage Laura Ashley Black Floral Sweetheart Tea Dress Full Sweep Size XS / S, $119
- Laura Ashley 90s Vintage Floral Print Rayon Cottagecore Prairie Maxi Dress UK 14, $43
- 1980’s Laura Ashley || Cotton Floral Print Dress || Size: Small, $68
- Vintage 70s Laura Ashley made in UK floral cottage core garden dress US size S, $199
- Burgundy Laura Ashley 80’s dress Princess cottagecore puff sleeve wine color glamour, $170