Five fashionable options at auction to get the look from the 1800s to the modern day

Don’t be a fashion victim – take control instead and start your own collection. One way to do this is to scour the many opportunities to buy vintage and more recent styles on

Tennants 1800s.jpg

Three c1840s dresses estimated at £200-300 at Tennants on February 8.

Tennants of Leyburn in North Yorkshire is one of the auction houses offering dedicated sales. The one on February 8 is titled Costume, Accessories & Textiles and includes designs from 1800 onwards.

Dress to impress 1840s style

These three dresses shown top with a touch of the Jane Austen costume drama about them date from the c.1840s. The lot comprises a wool dress, printed with large pink floral sprigs, capped sleeves with three tiers of gathered trims edged with green silk, fitted panelled bodice, gathered trim to the skirt; another similar dated wool dress, printed in an unusual pattern, with pleated capped sleeves with lace trim, purple velvet trim to the hem (later), V-shaped bodice to the front; and a similar later wool dress, in cream wool printed with flowers.

You can view and bid for the three dresses c.1840s at Tennants, which are estimated together at £200-300, via

Age of elegance

Tennants 1850-1900 silk.jpg

Two Edwardian dresses on offer at Tennants on February 8 estimated at £150-250.

A highly elegant buy dating from the decade after the turn of the century is a lot made up of two Edwardian dresses: a cream silk evening dress, bearing a dress maker’s label 'E M Clapham, Court Dress maker, Hull'; and a cream silk wedding dress.

Estimated together at £150-250, you can view and bid for the Edwardian dresses at Tennants on

In a flap

Tennants 1920s.jpg

The 1920s Flapper dress estimated at £150-250 at Tennants on February 8.

Into the age of the ‘Flapper’: the 1920s. A classic black silk Flapper dress, with pink silk appliqué roundels, the skirt of panelled strips decorated overall with silver beads, is estimated at £150-250.

To bid for the 1920s Flapper dress at Tennants visit

Clean getaway

Tennants 30-40aprons.jpg

Eighteen assorted aprons and housecoats c1930s-50s estimated at £100-200 at Tennants.

Looking for something a bit different? Estimated at £100-200, eighteen assorted c.1930s-50s printed cotton aprons and housecoats, including a Conquestor glazed cotton lilac ground top with short sleeves, patch pockets and original label; a Hawkins of Preston yellow and red flower head printed apron; a bark cloth example printed with still lives; a Lido black cotton housecoat printed with pink roses etc. Ideal for an eye-catching display.

These 18 c.1930s-50s printed cotton aprons and housecoats at Tennants can be viewed via

Eighties classic

TEnnnats Zandra Rhodes 1980s.jpg

Zandra Rhodes c1980s estimated at £70-100 at Tennants on February 8.

Now we’re in the 1980s, the decade of Thatcher, loadsamoney greed is good, electric synthesizers and New Romantics. And this Zandra Rhodes smock dress with soft leather mount to the bodice with punched and painted decoration, cut work leather trims to cuffs and pockets, pink and grey wool checked sleeves.

The Zandra Rhodes dress is estimated at £70-100 at Tennants and can be viewed on

Send feedback on this article