Vivien of Holloway, UK based and made-in-Britain vintage style clothing brand, know a thing or two about occasion wear. They offer a small selection of classic styles in dozens of colours and prints, and each cut is elegant and timeless. Their Grace dress is a prime example of this, a swing dress with a modest draped crossover bust, a nipped in waist, and a full circle skirt. It would make for the perfect chic party dress for this upcoming festive season, so it’s the first dress in my series of party dresses I’ll be reviewing for you over the next couple weeks. Christmas is coming, so it’s time to trim the tree and fetch the presents in this pretty!
Dress: Black Sateen Grace Dress C/O Vivien of Holloway
Hairflower: Handmade by me
This dress oozes glamour and style. I love that it’s simple and understated in its way, but still has plenty of oompfh because a well fit dress makes just as big of an impression as a dress that sparkles and twinkles. The full circle skirt has that party swish to it that has no problem fitting a full petticoat; this skirt can even fit two! Grace comes in lots of different colours, prints and fabrics: the sateen of this dress I’m wearing is both still formal and yet a more subtle option for occasional wear, which I think is a perfect middle ground. It’s a conservative dress in it’s way but no less lovely for that.
Vivien of Holloway pieces follow vintage sizing, so pay close attention to accurately taking your measurements and matching them against the chart when it comes to deciding your size. The team were very useful in ensuring I had the best possible fit from my dress, so if you’re concerned feel free to contact the customer service team with your inquiry. The dresses are designed to cinch and support, I was told, so expect to need help being zipped in by a spare set of hands (or even two, they said, as sometimes happens in store!) That’s the way I like to wear most of my dresses, snug and cinched, so this wasn’t intimidating to me, but bear that in mind yourself when you’re trying on so that you don’t get disheartened or tempted to give in if at first you suspect it won’t fit–it’s fine, just enlist the help of a loved one to zip you up and get ready to ogle your amazing silhouette in the mirror.
I gave my measurements and they matched them exactly to their size 18, which is made for 42 inch busts, 34 inch waists, and, though it’s not relevant for this dress, 46 inch hips. They still warned me that I might feel more comfortable sizing into their size 20 if I don’t like a tight fit, but the size 18 was a perfect fit and I was even able to zip myself in, which surprised me. My best advice on sizing is to take your measurements before ordering in case you’ve had any recent fluctuations you aren’t aware of and then to follow the size chart. If you’re between sizes and don’t mind being cinched, you can size down and expect help getting into the dress. If being squeezed into a dress is not for you then size up.
The Grace dress is £110 and available in almost 50 different colours and prints, in sizes that cater to 24 to 38 inch waists. If you love the bodice of the Grace but are a wiggle dress girl then you might like the Jezebel, a pencil dress with the same exact bust and bodice, and a small peplum feature detail on one hip, available in the same size ranges and a multitude of colours and prints.
Vivien of Holloway have a store in London but sell their full stock range online and ship internationally. Their last post date for customers to get their parcels in time for Christmas is 12th December for international buyers and 21st December for UK buyers, so if you want a VoH piece for twirling by the tree get your order in soon!