Being a pinup is a lot of things: glamorous, fun, sassy, exciting, joyous, lipstick-smudged. But come winter it can also be cold. Ask any pinup and she will have a favourite clothing piece she can only wear in summer because there’s just no way of warming it up for winter wear. The average dress can be adapted by the addition of a cardigan, some seamed stockings, better weather-suited shoes and perhaps the occasional vintage accessory such as gloves and a fabulous hat. But for me, personally, it just doesn’t quite…feel the same. I like the dress to be able to do most of the talking, and many dresses I own have prints or details that are shrouded by the addition of even a cropped cardigan.
Which means something must be done. Dresses must be found that are warmer than the usual fair, dresses that–dare I say it? Are, gasp, full of sleeve! Such dresses exist, certainly. It can be surprisingly hard to find real stand out sleeved dresses though. So once winter again I took it upon myself to launch a search that spread far and wide across both continents and budgets to come up with some besleeved pinup options for myself and you other dolls. Number one find on my list was the three quarter sleeve Birdie dress by Pinup Girl Clothing.
This dress comes in 8 currently available colourways (and one or two more discontinued colours if you’re good with eBay and patient.) Four of these colourways are plain colours, the newly released sharkskin taffeta versions in Deep Red, Gold and Teal, and the classic Black Sateen version. There’s also 4 floral bold print colourways available in Mustard, Lilac, Pink and Baby Blue. The bold floral prints were released early this year and were an immediate success, but I, of course, in typical fashion, didn’t decide I had to have the mustard print until it went out of stock in my size, not just on PUG’s own site but from every PUG stockist I could contact and query. It was a desperate search. I posted about my search on Instagram, the PUG Swap & Sell Facebook group, then again on the Pinupgirlstyle.com’s Swap & Sell forum. And then it happened. A beautiful fellow PUG fan, Christina, saw the dress posted on the FB and alerted the seller to my burning yearn for this dress while she shot me a message on the PUG site letting me know it was available. ‘IT’S ME, I’M THE ONE WHO WANTS THIS DRESS’ I caps locked all over the FB post. Within a week it was in my hands, and my god, it was worth the wait.
I saved it’s first wear for my weekend away with my best friends last week, able to wear it comfortably for the entire 7 hour drive. It popped in all my pictures and it looked damn good with my vintage vanity case.
I love this dress. I own the Birdie dress in the short sleeve version in it’s blue rose colourway, and it is stunning. I hoped this version with no distinguishable differences except the longer sleeves would hold the same gorgeous fit and it does!
With PUG I always advise women to take their measurements, check the PUG size charts on the specific item they want to order (for each dress is sized slightly differently by measurements) and read the reviews to check if an item may possibly run small or large. I ordered this dress in an L, just like all my other PUG items, and just as with all my other PUG items it fits snugly but comfortably everywhere, not feeling tight on my less-than-skinny upper arms and hitting my waist at the most flattering point.
If you’re a busty lady make sure to check the measurements on this dress particularly closely because the Birdie can accommodate your ladies but it can sit quite low cut in front, so if that’s a problem for you you might have to put in a modesty stitch on the bustline. Also if your bust measurements are too big for your waist measurement in this dress’s measurement proportions you may need to size up and either get cinching on that belt or have it possibly taken in. On the flip size if you’re a little-chested lady compared to your waist measurements then be aware that the V in this dress runs low and PUG does tend to cut for extra room for the twins in their pieces. A pushup bra and some chicken fillets can help pad out the bust area here if that’s a problem for you, or failing that you can simply wear a pretty lace camisole underneath that covers the gape if it’s too big for you. I’m almost in the boobs-too-small-for-my-waist category so I’ll own up to having to use some extra oompf in the bra department to get the most flattering fill in this dress, but I’m cool with that because I basically feel like an autumn goddess in this dress and it’s perfect.
The Birdie comes with a matching fabric belt, which I always like. It accommodates a super full petticoat, which is a huge plus for me, and sits below the knee, which is also my favourite skirt length.
The sleeved Birdie costs $142 from Pinupgirlclothing.com, but they regularly do discount codes and sales so subscribe to their email newsletter or follow their Instagram account @pinupgirlclothing to be the first in the know when you can save some cash.
Once again Miss Amy, you look stunning in that dress. If you haven’t given it a try already, i think you would love the 3/4 sleeve secretary dress from Tatyana. Has almost the exact same features as the birdie (heavy material, 3/4 sleeve, flowing circle skirt and a wide belt) its just in black and has the same collar as the captain dress as well as the 4 buttons. Its such a flattering drrss
Thanks for such an informative post! I have located a second hand Birdie dress in the same colour (my fav colourway!) but before I buy I am wanting to find out whether the front crossover area fastens with buttons, is already sewn together with a side zip, or is completely open from bust to waist. I hope this question makes sense. The bust area is the only thing holding me back from writing SOLD on the online ad. Hope you can help!
Sorry for the delay in my reply! The dress closes with a side zip and the front cross over section is totally fixed in that the cross over section is sewn into the waist and there’s no buttons to open it up further. It can be quite a deep V in the cleavage, however, so I know lots of ladies add a safety pin or a stitch to make the cross over begin a little higher for more bust coverage.