Sumptuous Sophia: The story behind our latest lovely design

Retro 1940s and 50s Style Black and White Check Shirt Dress

The name Sophia means intelligence and wisdom, but our new Sophia dress is more than that: stylish, practical and forever.

The Sophia is inspired by the 40s and 50s: a turning point in fashion as utilitarian styles gave way to the New Look and feminine silhouettes of the fifties. The shirt dress, also known as the housecoat, was an incredibly popular casual style of dress during the 40s, worn at home during the day for comfort, ease and practicality

1950s dress with full skirt

The beautiful styles of the 1950s  

Its popularity continued through into the fifties, maintaining the powerful shoulders and statement buttons of its utilitarian roots but developing a fuller skirt and longer hem in line with the trending styles of more formal dresses. Women were always perfectly turned out, and the shirt dress was no exception to this. 


Our shirt dress takes inspiration from these styles, with an A-line skirt and perfectly nipped-in waist, guaranteed to flatter any figure. The statement collar adds further vintage-inspired glamour and the skirt is reminiscent of the iconic Poodle skirt that debuted in.


1940s Shirt Dress

The 1940s shirt dress was just as versatile as our Sophia 

At Weekend Doll, we understand the importance of pockets (perfect for your lippy or phone for quick selfies), so the Sophia has beautiful statement pockets for added practicality and a centre front inverted pleat to create movement, comfort and above all, style.  

Designed for the autumn and winter, the design process focused on warmth and style. Our first sample was made in a heavy crepe fabric to create a gorgeous tucked skirt. However, the weight of this made the waistline drop, obscuring the beautifully cinched waist and caused our machinist to break seven needles in the sampling process!

Retro 1950s Shirt Dress design process

We attempted to modify this by removing the tucks in the skirt, however, this caused similar problems. We were also thwarted in our attempts to find a more suitable fabric sourced in the UK. 

After weeks of searching, we found a beautiful medium-weight viscose mix, in a classic black-and-white check print that harks back to the ever-popular houndstooth of the 50s. The resulting dress is elegant and chic but doesn’t compromise on warmth and practicality. 

Vintage 1940s and 50s Inspired Shirt Dress

Also available in a Viscose mix crepe in deep green or cranberry red that will be perfect for the festivities of December, the Sophia is a timeless piece. It can so easily be dressed up or down with the right accessories. The construction of the fabulous pleat skirt will let you dance the night away whilst the neutral tones are perfect to pair with a pop of colour bag and vintage heels. Or it can be dressed down for an autumnal walk in the park with some dainty flats and a cardigan. 

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Available in sizes 8 to 20