Gunne Sax is a clothing label that marked the mid and late-20th century with its inspirational and creative dresses that served a purpose for anything from high school proms to other more sophisticated parties. Now, the brand is retired, but a lot of people like to collect these dresses for their little private exhibitions, so the popularity of the brand still lives on.
Although selling and auctioning these dresses was popular even before, it became even more popular over the last two years when the COVID pandemic began and when people started retreating from big cities to smaller family homes.
This practice kickstarted the little-popular trend of cottagecore lifestyle, aesthetic and clothing style, and vintage Gunne Sax dresses with the Victorian and Rennaisance note of time was perfect to live up to the cottagecore challenge.
Girls and older ladies alike shared their old and their parents’ old Gunne Sax dresses on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others and competed to make the best aesthetic possible. This reawakened the Gunne Sax trend which still lives on today, with thrift stores, Etsy, and eBay sporting more of those dresses than ever.
Quick Summary: Although affordable compared to many other vintage dress makers, Gunne Sax is quite valuable. The cheaper skirt-size models can be sold for $50 to $150, but more valuable dresses can go well over $1,000 if they’re in a good condition.
Whether you believe it or not, Gunne Sax dresses can be incredibly valuable, especially if they were made during some important year for the fashion industry or were designed in honor of some event or person. That being said, if you discovered a nice Gunne Sax dress in your wardrobe that was either yours or your mother’s or grandmother’s, you may get nice value out of it.
If you’re wondering how much is this type of dress worth on the market, continue reading this article to learn more. Keep in mind that Gunne Sax dresses were being made for some years and decades and their values depend on many factors. You’ll learn all about that throughout the article.
About Gunne Sax Dresses
To be able to understand Gunne Sax dresses better and sell your own, you should learn more about them. As mentioned before, Gunne Sax is a clothing label that has been out of manufacturing for some time. It was owned by Jessica McClintock Inc.
The dresses labeled to Jessica McClintock personally may have more value on the market and are more authentic to what the label was originally designed to be, which is great if your dresses are really old, from the 60s and 70s.
Jessica McClintock Inc Gunne Sax dresses were designed to look semi-formal, as well as formal, and they could be seen in a plethora of events and manifestations in the UK and USA. Originally, they were designed for younger women, but anyone could wear them.
The label was originally co-founded by Carol Miller and Eleanor Bailey in 1967 in San Francisco. The earliest dresses may be the rarest and thus most valuable on the market. After some time of independent work, the duo partnered with Jessica McClintock Inc. The company invested a start of $5,000 which was more than enough to turn this label into world-known couture.
But, what did the original designs look like? The name “Gunne Sax” represented the style and direction that the label was taking when designing its dresses. Initially, they went with Victorian-style clothing which was still sought after by young women who wanted to look fancy in formal wear. The Edwardian style was also prominent in the dresses highlighting the peak of fashion from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The vintage style didn’t only replicate the dresses from the Victorian era. Many other historical fashion trends could be seen in authentic Gunne Sax designs, starting from basic medieval designs to the renaissance and early baroque eras.
The dresses promoted designs with thin waists and plackets in the middle. To make the waistline look thinner, many dressed employed the use of corsets with lace decoration. The brand continued growing throughout the 1980s and even further. You could see young women wearing them to prom, important events, and even weddings. The Gunne Sax dresses were a true sensation and their popularity continued growing.
You could find anything from humble skirts to beautiful gala dresses with strapless bodices. The dresses were made of plenty of materials from satin and sateen, to tulle, taffeta, and additional lacey materials. In the late 1990s, taffeta was the most popular and sought-after fabric for Gunne Sax dresses, as well as matte satin.
Although Gunne Sax targeted mostly teenage and young women who visited prom manifestations, weddings, and other important events, it also had a line for children which was called Jeunes Filles. However, even though it enjoyed great popularity McClintock Gunne Sax dresses started declining in popularity in the early 2000s.
The brand was then fully retired in 2013. There was a closing in the boutiques with the company letting go of the dress culture almost in its entirety. However, the company then announced a return under the label McClintock Bridal back in 2019, but it had to withstand major challenges with the upcoming pandemic of COVID 19.
The company now focuses on making bridal dresses, as well as other formalwear, but it doesn’t have the same touch the original iconic Gunne Sax dresses had.
Are Gunne Sax Dresses Worth Anything?
In the present day, a lot of middle-aged women can look back and reminisce about iconic Gunne Sax dresses with joy and excitement. They were the peak of vintage fashion with a touch that lasted for decades and brought many centuries of fashion together.
With a spike of the cottagecore culture, many mothers, grandmothers, and aunts are happy to give their Gunne Sax dresses up to their children, nieces, and granddaughters to enjoy. The best part is that they are not ridiculously expensive like some other clothing labels from that time.
Nevertheless, depending on the dress design, and the time it came from, the value may vary in price. Some dresses are sure cheap. If you visit some thrift stores you will notice that Gunne Sax dresses are cheaper than other dresses from the same time. The same goes if you visit online sites such as Etsy and eBay.
Still, you will notice that some designs are significantly more expensive than others, for several reasons. Many collectors believe that the Gunne Sax dresses which have the original black label from before the acquisition and investments are the most valuable.
There are not so many such dresses circulating on the market, but those that do are more expensive than others. The black label was only used in 1969. There is also a “hearts label” which is also popular and sought after among collectors, and if you have that one, you may also be able to get a good value out of a dress.
Nevertheless, the value of Gunne Sax dresses depends on so many factors. Read more about that below.
Gunne Sax Dress Value
As mentioned above, the value of the Gunne Sax dress varies in price and is affected by many factors. One of the most notable factors is when the dress was made in. Some of the most popular Gunne Sax dresses were made during the late 60s and early 70s.
Nevertheless, a lot of gorgeous boho and cottagecore designs were introduced exactly during the 1980s and 1990s. Such models can be found anywhere from $45-$150, depending on the look of the dress, condition, materials, and just how much wears it withstood. If you take a look at Etsy and eBay, that’s the dress values that we’d most often see, and more often than not, they were in perfect condition.
As the dress is older, and as the condition remains mint for most of them, the price is going up. Sure, there are some cheaper dresses from the 70s. You can find a decent-looking Gunne Sax dress from the 70s for $50 to $70s, but they’re mostly just full-length skirts or midi dresses that didn’t boast creative design or expensive materials.
As mentioned earlier in the article, the vast majority of the most valuable Gunne Sax dresses were made during the late 60s and early 70s. Those dresses boasted black labels or hearts labels, and one of them is this gorgeous cottagecore dress available for $800. Some heart-labeled dresses exceeded the value of those with black labels, like this boho dress available for $1,200.
As you can see the values can vary, and it all comes down to how preserved is the dress and what was the intention behind designing it. If you want to sell your own Gunne Sax dress, but don’t know what should its value be, it’s best to consult further throughout the article.
The values are pretty random. It can cost as little as $50, and go as far up as $500. If you have more Gunne Sax dresses, it’s even better because you can squeeze even more money out of selling them.
How to Evaluate the Gunne Sax Dress?
So, instead of buying a Gunne Sax dress, you want to sell one? No problem, except that you may find yourself struggling to find the right value for the dress you’re trying to sell. There are so many factors that affect the price of those dresses, and taking your dress to the thrift store to sell can be a double-edged sword as they may trick you, and buy the dress for much less than they’d later resell.
There are a few options that you have if you want to sell your dress. One would be to take your dress to an auction on eBay and see how much people offer. Another option is to hire an appraiser or consult a forum community such as that on Reddit and compare it to other similar dresses that are put up for sale.
Below, we plan to help you evaluate the dress on your own so that you can have a price range to consider when trying to sell it. Continue reading below to learn more.
It was mentioned earlier that dresses from the Gunne Sax label began declining in the early 2000s, and in the early 2010s they completely lost their value when it comes to purchasing new dresses. The Gunne Sax Dresses from the 90s are considered somewhat valuable, but they are also close to dresses we have today in terms of style.
The more vintage the dress, the more valuable it is. That being said, even though the dress is older, as long as it is in mint condition, many collectors will consider buying it. Now, your dress may be newer, but the condition also plays an important role.
If your Gunne Sax dress is old, it’s going to have visible signs of wear and tear that not even patching and re-tailoring will help. Nevertheless, if there are no visible signs of damage that may deter the collectors, your dress will be considered to be as good as new. Condition is a very important factor for Gunne Sax dresses, so even though the dress is old, it should still look wearable, and shouldn’t fall apart once you decide to wash it, and iron it (if it’s made out of materials that allow you to iron it.)
The most valuable dresses are those that were designed with black signature labels. That label can be seen on dresses that were made in 1969. Because Gunne Sax wasn’t in mass production back then, those dresses are rarer and more authentic. Many collectors will find them to be more iconic in the process, so if you have an old Gunne Sax dress, it’ll bring you even more money.
Hearts label dresses also enjoyed great popularity in the early 70s. Some of them are very valuable, especially if they look nice and are in a good condition, without visible signs of wear and tear. Dresses that are cottagecore-like and have corset cutouts may also be more valuable on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a compilation of questions regarding the Gunne Sax dresses and their value. Make sure to check the questions and the answers.
Do Gunne Sax Dresses Still Have Value?
Of course! Many Gunne Sax dresses are being put for sale for $50 to $150, while more iconic and rarer dresses are worth even more. You may not be able to find this in regular stores, but online thrift stores as well as Etsy and eBay are full of these dresses!
Where to Buy Gunne Sax Dress?
Below are popular spots where you can buy Gunne Sax dresses!
- Flea Market – There are a whole lot of items that you can find on Flea Markets and Gunne Sax dresses are some of them. While you may not be able to find the most valuable dresses here, some nice Victorian skirts from flea market are a must-have!
- Thrift Stores – Thrift Stores are another “street” place where you can buy these dresses. You may be able to catch some rare finds here!
- Etsy – Etsy is among the most popular online place for everything DIY, among which are the cottagecore dresses. Gunne Sax is no exception so we’re sure you’ll find some valuable Gunne Sax dress there.
- eBay – This site is known for selling vintage collectibles with great values and even greater condition. If you’re looking to find a rare Gunne Sax dress with the original label, this is the right place to search. You can also stumble upon different auctions and see how to price your own dresses in case you want to sell them.
What Are Popular Subreddits for Gunne Sax?
There are many subreddits where you can discuss everything Gunne Sax. Our two most popular choices are r/depop and r/gunnesax, but many others offer relevant information, and where you can discuss the value of the dresses that you want to sell.