Don't you love this vintage 1950's dress with its floral print on gray? This is a classic silhouette with a wide midriff waistband topped by a band and bow. The skirt is very full, cut from many gore panels to create nearly a full circle. There a big patch pockets as well at each side, perfect for summer picnics and events.
This dress with pattern in pdf format was posted on the Victoria and Albert Museum website in 2007 for a wonderful exhibition on couture fashion: "The Golden Age of Couture, Paris and London, 1947 - 1957". At that time the dress pattern, made from measurements taken from this dress, were made available online without charge. There is a sketch of the dress details in the instruction pdf, and we can see that it is a basic dress with a wide midriff waistline, small raglan sleeves and 5 skirt gores in front.
What really makes the dress look special is the inner construction, which is not mentioned in the instructions. A skirt like this needs very stiff interfacing. I have seen pelon sewn in as a flat lining, to make this type of skirt stand out in smooth folds. That heavy interfacing would also help to keep the midriff panel from wrinkling when seated and retain that molded look that both the waist and skirt have.
This pattern is available at the V&A website where you will also find more about the original exhibition. There is a book on the "Golden Age of Couture" too, in case you fall in love with the dresses you've seen.