Monthly Newsletter

Mexican Dress

If you're a fan of folk clothing, chances are, you've admired that lovely, traditional garment from south of the border - the Mexican embroidered peasant dress, sometimes also called a Boho Dress. If you're handy with a needle, you can sew your own Mexican dress with the easy instruction booklet available at And, of course, coming across vintage Mexican dresses in good shape is always a thrill! Many of these gowns are still available from the 1960's and 1970's when they first became so popular in the U.S. There is certainly good reason for their continuing popularity. Stylishness, grace and unbeatable comfort make Mexican-style dresses a perfect choice both for summer and party wear. Any wardrobe can benefit from the addition of this dress with its natural look and winsome flair!

Though the Boho/Mexican dress has been a trusted fashion for earthy ladies for the past 4 decades, the origins of the garment date back to 17th century Mexico. The basic construction consists of a long sheath with puff sleeves and a yoke top. A jewel neckline is customary, but some Mexican dresses feature a square one, which can be pretty. The gown is pleated where the fall meets the yoke and this gives shape to it, but overall, one is dealing with an extremely simple T-shirt like form. The fit is quite loose, like a float or tent dress, and this makes it flattering to all shapes and sizes.

Pure cotton is the fabric of choice, though I've also come across cotton/poly blends. Many vintage Mexican dresses are plain white, but things get really exciting when vintage Mexican dresses show up in radiant colors. Sky blue with gold embroidery, lemon yellow with scarlet embroidery, black with white, orange with lime, or blue with a rainbow of fabulous hand-rendered needlework. It's really the embroidery that transforms these simple sundresses into something special, and most of the vintage Boho dresses we see were ornamented completely by hand. Machine embroidery appears on some of the newer gowns, and you may also be lucky enough to come across a vintage Mexican dress worked in cross stitch. You can be sure of making a unique fashion statement when you go stepping out in any Mexican-style dress.

Over the years, designers have taken cues from Mexican folk clothing like this basic dress and also from the folkloric costumes that Mexican dancers wear. These inspirations have led to stunning creations that resemble the peasant dress up top, but then splash out in tiered layers of gorgeous, frilly fabrics below. Again, the choice of hues can be amazingly eye catching, and we recently came across a really neat art photo at Flickr taken of such a dress. It can be hard to date something like the dress in this photo I'm referencing, but the length and skirt style call to mind the 1950's. Apparently the talented photographer also altered the dress, but you can certainly read the influence of Mexican folk wear in it.

What kind of a vintage clothing fan are you? Do you wear your treasures daily, or only bring them out for special festive occasions? I think you'll find that this particular dress meets the needs of both kinds of vintage buffs. It's basic enough to work and play in, and pretty enough for a party. Check back often to see if we've located anything new in the Mexican dress department!