1970s Outfit Ideas, 1980s Outfit Ideas, Victorian Outfit Ideas

Gunne Sax Dresses From The 70s And 80S: 5 Gunne Sax Prairie Style Ideas



Gunne sax dresses are formal and informal wear founded by Jessica McClintock. The label was originally co-founded by Eleanor Bailey and Carol Miler in 1967 before joining a partnership for a five thousand dollar investment with McClintock.

Gunne Sax Dresses

The name Gunne sax was associated with the label’s prairie; Edwardian and Victorian styled designs which drew on many elements popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The enterprise was named after the gunny sack or burlap trim used on some of the earlier dresses. It was a sophisticated play on the gunny sacks that were recycled into dresses during the Great Depression.

From the 1980s and beyond, Gunne saxes followed modern prom dresses style. They were tight, had strapless bodies and full skirts, and used satin, taffeta, and tulle.

The one dress on their top list for teens and young women in the 70s was the Gunne sax. The emphasis was on romantic, whimsical, prairie-styled dresses.

The Gunne sax dress was feminine; the dress was all about embracing a woman’s feminine features, a contrast to the dominating theme of the 70s fashion scene that sought to picture women’s fashion as indistinguishable from men especially work clothes. Florals, frills, lace, satin ribbons, and ruffles were all part of the dresses.

Gunne sax dresses were all about the bodice. A signature look on any Gunne sax dress was the detailing of the bodice. Some dresses had multiple fabrics and patterns in front. Others had seams trimmed in lace or ribbons.

Most of the dresses had fitted bodices that accentuated the wearer’s figure. Although the necklines varied depending on the design, most of them still featured laced-up corset-like bodices.


Another hallmark of the Gunne sax dress was the length. Many of the dresses had hemlines that reached the floor. The skirt length was similar to dress lengths from the 1800s. The skirts were also full and gathered to add to the romantic and carefree feel.

As stated earlier, elements of Victorian and Edwardian styles were incorporated into the design of the dress. Leg O’mutton was one of these features, while others include empire waistlines, middle packets, shift style dresses, and faux petticoats.


A maxi prairie Gunne sax dress is one of the numerous styles of Gunne sax dress that exists. It features a smocked chest area, poet-style sleeves, a tiered skirt with crochet trims, and beautiful lace accents on the busts. It could be worn as an off the shoulders also.

Buttoned front Denim, Prairie Gunne sax dress, is a style that features trimmed laces, buttons in front, long sleeves, and a tie on the back. It was made with Denim material and could be worn casually.

Another lovely Gunne sax dress style is the Gunne sax prairie sundress. It is usually made from cotton or velvet material. The dress featured no sleeves, buttons on the front, and thin shoulder straps and was meant to be worn in warm weather.

A Gunne sax prairie evening dress, meant to be worn for formal occasions, is another style of Gunne sax dress. It was made with shimmering satin materials and featured a ruffled front, sequined straps, elastic bands, and a zip in the back.

Puff Sleeved, Corset Bodice Gunne sax dress, like the name implies, this Gunne sax dress style features Gorgeous puff sleeves with buttoned cuffs, linings, and back zips.

Today, Gunne sax dress patterns can be obtained online from simple patterns or downloaded as ebooks from the Internet, vintage magazines, or YouTube video tutorials.

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