The American Biba Dolly Look of 1972

Style: Five Easy Pieces

In the early 1970s, there was a brief period of time when the so-called Dolly look was the trend in the USA. Based on the Biba look that was all the rage in England, it never quite took the hold that it held across the pond. It was a really stunning vintage ’30s/’40s look, but probably more suited to the Brits than it was to us Yanks.

This is a great fashion editorial from the October 1971 issue of Ingenue magazine. What’s interesting is that they are forecasting the look for Fall of ’72. No specific brands or labels are listed, just merely style suggestions. They even suggest shopping at thrift stores to find the look (so 2018)!

The five pieces are: 1.) A long and lean blazer with wide lapels, worn with the tiniest pleated skirt and ankle-strap platforms. 2.) A soft fluid easy dress with a little print and big puffed sleeves. Worn with platform heels and colorful stockings. 3.) The upturned hat is the head shape. Pure ’40s nostalgia. Add delightful ditties like cherries or velvet ribbon the the brim. 4.) The warm, snug, tailored wrap coat. In camel with wide shoulders, huge collar and hip pockets – it’s Garbo! Absolutely dashing with long scarf trailing! 5.) The Chubby. Flamboyant as its name! Elegant over a long dress, super stylish even with your jeans. (Thrift stores were where you were supposed to find chubbies in 1971.)

What’s interesting is if you find any of these vintage ’70s styles at the thrifts now, they could be mistaken for ’30s or ’40s fashions. A quick look at the label or fabric tag will give you a clue as to what era it actually is from.


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