Party Dress: The Chic Claus [Dolly & Dotty]

We’ve had plenty of sparkles and sass so far in this year’s party dress series. We’ve had some understated tartan, an irrepressible LBD, and some shimmering metallics. So it’s time, with our last party dress, to reach for something truly classic and monochromatic. Ladies who like to keep it simple and chic, who don’t like frills, glitter, bows or prints. The ladies who feel Audrey got it right the most of any woman throughout history, this dress is for you.

(…And for any ladies who like things simple but also don’t mind a touch of adorable Christmas fun, I’ve thrown in a red cape too, because it’s the holidays and I cannot be stopped.)

But seriously, this is the classic, understated elegance dress of the series, and best yet? It’s a total bargain.

Dolly & dotty Black White Stripe Anna Dress Red Sabrina Cape Dolly & dotty Black White Stripe Anna Dress Dolly & dotty Black White Stripe Anna DressDolly & dotty Black White Stripe Anna Dress Red Sabrina CapeDolly & dotty Black White Stripe Anna Dolly & dotty Black White Stripe Anna Dress Red Sabrina Cape Dolly & dotty Black White Stripe Anna Dress Dolly & dotty Black White Stripe Anna Dress

Dress: Black & White Striped Anna Dress C/O Dolly & Dotty
Cape: Red Sabrina Cape C/O Dolly & Dotty
Hair Flower: Made by me
Belt: Old eBay find
Shoes: Made by me (Bedazzling tutorial here)

I’ve been meaning to pick up this black and white Anna dress for, I kid you not, almost a year, but every time I went back to buy it it was out of stock in my size. That’s how undeniably timeless this dress is, that Dolly & Dotty have to constantly restock it.

I knew I loved this dress from the website pictures alone but somehow putting it on in person I loved it even more. The skirt was fuller than I expected, laying so perfectly with a simple medium volume petticoat that it’s now become my skirt-goals. It closes with a side zipper. The classic audrey style neckline makes this a simple, comfortable dress option for anyone who doesn’t like a lot of fuss in their dress.

And then there’s the cape. I already have the Sabrina cape in black and love it, so having the red for the holiday season was just too good to pass up. I have no shame in admitting I plan to think up a cute Mrs Claus outfit to welcome the season in properly and this cape will be taking pride of place in the ensemble. I’m not sorry about that and I am very excited. Capes for the win! Joy for all!

In terms of fit, both of these two pieces fit pretty true and thankfully are easy to size. I have a Dolly & Dotty dress in a size 16 that’s very tight in the bust on me now so I decided it was safest to size up into the 18 on the Anna dress. The D&D size chart for a size 18 is 43-45 bust and 37-38 waist, but the bust flat measures 42 flat to 46 inches and the waist is 38 inches flat stretched to 41 inches, so there’s enough stretch in this piece that you can choose whether you’d prefer to follow the size chart or size down for a snug fit. I would have fit the 16 just fine, I’m sure, but I’m glad to know I can eat plenty for Christmas in this piece without it growing uncomfortable as the day wear’s on. In terms of the Sabrina cape, as it only rests on your shoulders and doesn’t fasten anywhere other than the neck, you can easily choose your true size or even go up or down a size. I have this red Sabrina in the 16 but own the black in a 14 and both lay nicely, so it’s not a piece you have to fret about with sizing.

The best thing about this outfit is that both the dress and the cape are super budget-friendly, like all of Dolly & Dotty’s offerings, so if your pennies are stretched thin this party season then Dolly & Dotty are likely going to be the saving grace for your festive outfit plans. Personally, I will definitely be deciding on a second Anna colourway to snap up because this beauty is too lovely to own in just one colour.

The Anna dress costs £29.99 and comes in UK sizes 8-24, in 8 striped colour combinations. The Sabrina cape comes in 4 solid colours in UK sizes 6-24 and costs £24.99. Dolly & Dotty offer a 10% discount code to anyone who signs up for their newsletter and will ship internationally. If you want to get your party dress ready in time for your festivities, then please remember you’ll need to order soon to avoid disappointment from possible postal delays during the Christmas mailing rush.

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And that’s it, my little darlings. That’s my picks for this year, my frocks for the season. It’s been glittery and fluffy and fun, and I hope I’ve been able to help you some in deciding what you want to wear over the holidays. If you’ve got any questions or want to gush about the dress you have picked out, please do drop me a comment. But for now, I think it’s time to relax with some hard-earned chocolate.

Dolly & Dotty Black and White Striped Anna Dress

Party Dress: Touch of Tartan [Miss Candyfloss]

We’ve done 3 dresses that are shimmering and shiny in different ways, so let’s look now at one that is the very epitome of Christmas, in an understated, classy way, of course. We’re chic vintage ladies, after all. No brash white-fur lined red velvets here (she says, blatantly lying, because she loves that kind of thing too.)

The Ella-Gia dress from Miss Candyfloss features three of my favourite colours for this time of year, rich emerald green, moody lush burgundy, and gorgeous burnt mustard. Put all that together with an eye-catching tartan panels feature and you’ve got yourself a winner, especially for this time of year.

Miss Candyfloss Ella-Gia Tartan dress Miss Victory VioletMiss Candyfloss Ella-Gia Tartan dress Miss Victory VioletMiss Candyfloss Ella-Gia Tartan dress Miss Victory VioletMiss Candyfloss Ella-Gia Tartan dress Miss Victory VioletMiss Candyfloss Ella-Gia Tartan dress Miss Victory Violet Miss Candyfloss Ella-Gia Tartan dress Miss Victory VioletMiss Candyfloss Ella-Gia Tartan dress Miss Victory VioletMiss Candyfloss Ella-Gia Tartan dress Miss Victory VioletMiss Candyfloss Ella-Gia Tartan dress Miss Victory Violet

Dress: Ella-Gia dress by Miss Candyfloss
Cardigan: Elle green by Voodoo Vixen
Bag: Primark
Shoes: Old Everything5pounds.com

In case you haven’t heard and the name didn’t tip you off, this dress was actually collaboratively designed by powerhouse vintage-blogger and pinup-model Miss Victory Violet (real name Ella.) Ella used a vintage pattern as the inspiration for this dress and I feel that really shows, creating a beautiful, eye-catching piece that looks authentic and timeless.

The Ella-Gia dress closes with a concealed side zip and features decorative fabric covered buttons framing the tartan insert of the bodice. That tartan insert is then reflected through the full length of the swing skirt. It’s not a full circle but will take a medium volume petticoat beautifully, and measures 27.5 inches long. There’s sheering over the shoulders and the dress comes with a matching tartan belt.

I saw this dress at London Edge in September and was told at the time that the tartan fabric used for the panels had no stretch, meaning some ladies might have to size up to accommodate for that lack of give in the bust. Heeding this advice, I sized up from my usual Miss Candyfloss XL to a XXL. Consequently at 38 inches flat in the waist and able to stretch to 40.5 inches, it’s too big for me in the waistline, but it’s a perfect fit in the bust. For reference, the Miss Candyfloss size charts state the XXL size is for 37.4inch waists and 43.3 inch busts. The bust flat measures 41 inches and flat stretches to 43, so the size chart is accurate. I do find generally that Miss Candyfloss pieces are sized smaller in the bust compared to the usual bust-to-waist ratio that a lot of repro or vintage-inspired companies offer, so if you’re a large busted lady you may have to bear that in mind.

I love that the colours of this tartan are different to the usual prevalent red and blackwatch varieties you see around most often. The mustard and maroon tones allow for some gorgeous colour-matching options that will look beautiful all autumn and winter long, but that rich green does make this a lovely piece for those who want a festive Christmas dress they can re-wear more often than during one month of the year. Ladies who don’t like sleeveless dresses can easily add a cardigan or shrug to cover their arms and gain a little extra warmth.

The Ella-Gia dress is currently only available in limited sizes but don’t panic! I’ve been assured by Miss Candyfloss that their second stock run is due by next Friday, so you’ll be able to snap it up in time for your holiday festivities. Once fully available again, it will come in sizes XS-3XL costing €112.50. Miss Candyfloss ship internationally at a flat rate of €5.