Vintage 1940s Cole of California Designer Sundress- New!

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$490.00 AUD
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$490.00 AUD
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SKU #5215


Size: Extra Small - Medium

Bust at rest: 30 inches + 76 cm

Bust stretched:  38 inches +  96.5 cm 

Waist at rest: 22 inches +  56 cm

Waist stretched: 28 inches + 71 cm

Hips: Free

Bodice Length From Outside Shoulder: 16 -17  inches +  41- 43 cm (adjustable straps)

Total Length: 48 inches +  122 cm 



* Late 1940s - early 1950s documented white & aquamarine waffle weave cotton dress

* Eye-catching block and checkered print in aquamarine and ivory white

* Classic silhouette with cinched waist and full skirt

* Sleeveless bodice with sweetheart neckline

* Bodice features contrasting panels to form a heart shape

* Lastex shirring surrounds heart front and extends to back

* Gathered skirt with contrasting colour block print on top of skirt

* Slips over head and adjustable straps with a choice of two button closure positions

* Designed by Margit Felligi this label's leading designer

* Label reads "Cole of California"

Cole of California

Cole of California started as a swimwear division of the West Coast Manchester Knitting Mills. West Coast was a maker of men’s long knit underwear, owned by the Cole family. In 1925 son Fred Cole, who had been working as an actor, was convinced to join the family business. He did not find making underwear very interesting, so he decided to make bathing suits that had a glamorous, Hollywood edge.

From 1936 through 1972, the company’s head designer was former theatrical designer, Margit Felligi. Felligi was responsible for many innovations in the swimwear and sundress industry - such as the use of Lastex fabric, nylon and spandex. She was known for her creative use of fabrics. 

The company is still producing swimwear, and there is a sister company, Anne Cole, which is designed by Anne, Fred Cole’s daughter. (courtesy of the Vintage Fashion Guild)



Cole of California dresses are highly sought and rarely pop up for sale. This rare, documented (1948) novelty print dress is in excellent vintage condition for its age with no notable flaws that I can see - perhaps a minor break in the shirring and pin dot specks but nothing really that stands out. The attached press ad highlights the dress and design details. Cleaned and ready to wear. Please drop us a line if your require additional information about this listing.


Shop Policies

This item is within our selling stock. In the unlikely event that two buyers purchase this item concurrently, payment will be immediately refunded to the latter purchaser. We apologise in advance should this rare circumstance arise.

We make every effort to post your item within 1-3 days of payment. Should a circumstance arise where we are unable to post within this timeframe (eg we are away at a fair) we will contact you immediately. Please note that our postage charges are based on standard international and domestic air packages - all with tracking. If you want to upgrade to express postage or require insurance, please contact us prior to checkout and we will adjust the rates accordingly.

Yes we do offer flexible layby/layaway options and are open to negotiation as to the time period. Obviously, the more expensive the item the longer the time you will have to finalise payment. Contact us to see how accommodating we can be :)

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If you are looking for something that you don't currently find in our shop - let us know we may be able to help you with a special listing!

Our photos are taken with a mix of studio and ambient lighting. Whilst we take care with the colour balance of our photos, individual computer monitors register colours differently depending on their calibration. If you want the exact colour shade drop us a line and we will give you the Universal Pantone colours that match the item.