A Retro Dress by Carnegie of London…Personalised

This admittedly fairly old lady looking dress by Carnegie of London was in the AgeUK charity shop in Solihull last week. I figured I could do a bit with it. If not, it was hardly going to be a waste of money at only £3.50.
Carnegie (I think) is a 1960’s & 1970’s clothing label. There’s a lot for sale on eBay and it features on quite a few vintage clothing websites. With this one I liked the concertina white panels built into the front of the dress – it gave it a bit of a twist. The navy buttons were very boring but with a bit of work like a new belt, it could look quite retro and most definitely charity chic…. So I headed into John Lewis across the road and bought five white square plastic buttons for 70p and went home less than 100% sure it was going to be worth it.


When I got it home the first thing I did was give it a wash to brighten it up. I then tried it on – Ozzy (my other half) was far from convinced but I persisted.

I removed all the buttons and replaced them with the new ones I had bought. I already had a white belt so chucked the original dowdy one which didn’t do much for the dress or the wearer for that matter. This took about 20 minutes while watching MOTD which I was forced to witness.

The result is the below.


The red bag (a new buy from H&M) adds a definite splash of colour and the white patent heels are an old pair I had lurking at the back of the closet. I have got to admit, it’s still missing something but the buttons and belt have made a huge difference. I think it would work beautifully with a wide brimmed white hat so it will be added to my ginormous wardrobe and saved it for a posh day out. It may be that I wear it once and then sell it on eBay – if you’re interested in buying a Carnegie of London 1970’s dress, let me know so I can tell you when it goes on sale. I donate all proceeds from things that I sell on ebay to The Primrose Hospice in Bromsgrove.