The Pinup Girl Clothing Ella dress was first released last year, named after super PUG customer and gorgeous blogger Miss Victory Violet. It originally came in three colourways, pink, yellow, and blue. Neither colour really spoke to me, so I wrote it off as a pretty dress that wasn’t for me…Until my darling friend Sarah Forshaw got it and I saw these amazing pictures of her in it.
I mean, apart from taking the time to be stunned by how goddamn gorgeous my friend is, it was a wake up call that a dark red lip and dark hair looks beautiful paired with the vibrant blue of this dress, and hello, I have dark hair and love a rich red lip! And while Sarah is more olive of skin than my pale self is, I knew it would work with my skintone too. It was official: it was being placed upon my wishlist. I put this dress into my basket twice on PUG orders after making that Must Have It decision, then wussed out and removed it from my basket both times when my total purchase value ran too high. After that second time of bottling out I realised I had deep No Purchase regrets and I resolved that it would be a dress that I bought in May as a birthday gift. It stayed in my basket for several weeks until March when I decided I would buy it asap anyway, damn waiting for my birthday! The day after deciding this I went to place my next PUG order…and it was gone. Out of stock.
Total wardrobe devastation. My friend Giselle inquired on the PUG Facebook page whether this dress would be restocked soon, only for Team PUG member Ali to inform her that this style and colourway wasn’t due to be restocked into Spring 2016. I messaged my friends repeatedly about how sad I was about this for the next couple days. Literally. Luckily as huge PUG fans themselves they understood my obnoxiously fixated devastation and put up with me (thanks Sarah and Giselle, you babes get me!)
This has forever taught me not to leave a dress you love to be purchased until a more ‘sensible’ time, so if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this post, it’s that (Enabler you say, me? Never.) Secondly, though, the Ella dresses are being released this spring in several new prints. Brand new to the Ella selection are two just released dresses featuring Mary Blair artwork in the Lips and Roses prints in both Lavender and Pink, as well as the Wonderland print featuring artwork by Stephanie Buscema.
But, wait, Amy, if this dress was out of stock how did you find it in order to review it? Apart from posting requests for help on the PUG Style Pinups FB page and website, as well as in the Looking for on the PUG Swap/Sell FB page, I also scoured eBay and all online stockists I could find, which, actually, wasn’t that many, because as anyone who’s ever googled a PUG item will know is that you end up with a lot of Pinterest search results and an infuriatingly small number of shop pages. I found it on Retroglam in the next size up, thinking I would have it taken in, and was thrilled it was available 15% off, but a few days later I received an email saying they had oversold and it wasn’t available. In the end a member of the PUG Style Pinups FB page posted about German website LuckyLola.de, mentioning that it had a lot of hard to get hold of PUG styles in stock, including some on sale. I had a quick look mostly to see how many were included in this sale that was mentioned, only to find my Blue Ella available in L. Using Google Chrome’s translate feature I was able to purchase my dress and had it in my little hands a few days later. So, behold, proof that dreams come true and that this dress is beautiful!
First of all, you should know this dress has pockets. That’s always one of my favourite features in a dress, rare to find though it is. Secondly, the skirt is amazing. It’s fuller than a normal circle skirt but not as gathered as the Jenny dresses/skirts, so it’s a gorgeous, full middleground for you ladies who find the Jennies too much volume on your hips. In this picture set I layered two petticoats underneath, but I could have easily worn fuller petticoats and/or also added a third, so ample is this skirt.
The bust on this dress features a pretty grosgrain bow ribbon detail and a gathered peasant bust neckline, which is flattering on all bust sizes. It also has, as with pretty much all Pinup Girl Clothing strapped dresses, adjustable straps, allowing you to customise your fit to suit your body. I also love that this particular print has something reminiscent of peacock feathers about the design of the floral print, as I feel it looks really unique and pretty.
I’m wearing a size L, which by the size charts is suited for 30-31 inch waists. PUG L sizes run to 31 waists but the XL sizes typically begins at 33, which is always awkward for us size 32 inch waist girls like myself as it begins a guessing game. Do I size up, do I size down? My rule for PUG, personally, has been that any swing styles that have some stretch can be sized down to L. Any styles that fit my hips (pants, wiggle dresses) require I size up to an XL, as I carry my weight lower on my stomach and swing dresses can skim over this but pants and wiggles need to accommodate that it-was-delicious cake chub.
The fabric of this dress has give and the top back of the bodice has elastic to allow for an easier zippering and fit, so even though my waist is nearer 33 inches right now I still fit into the L size and didn’t feel discomfort from it. If you have a smaller bust like I do and know you fit into stretchier fabrics when sizing down slightly, you can go for the L on this dress. If you have a more generous bust and carry your weight all the way up your torso without much of a defined waist, more like a ‘trunk’ style torso even with my same waist measurements, I would suspect you might need to size into the XL.
I’m hoping this has helped any Ella newbies who have questions about this style. In case you have any further doubts, you should know this dress may possibly have cat luring powers, as shown below. If that doesn’t convince you, nothing else will.
Have you ever been heartbroken by missing out on a dress you fell in love with? Were you able to eventually find it somewhere?