I have a thing for sarong style dresses. They’re such a classic, flattering piece of vintage inspired clothing that it’s a travesty they’re not still commonplace in all women’s summer wardrobes–well, they’re not for modern, ‘normal’ ladies, that is. We pinups know about and appreciate the goodness of a sarong set, though, and few do that better than Vivien of Holloway.
Their sarong dresses are truly built to enhance and display your curves. Designed with a waterfall sash flowing from the waistband down the skirt, a thick halterneck to flatter the upper arm and chest, and a boned bodice made to cinch and lift, this is the kind of dress that does all the hard work for you. It puts an immediate sashay in your walk, a swerve, a wiggle, and the matching bolero adds class and sass abound. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look.
Dress: Black Golden Leaves Sarong Set C/O Vivien of Holloway
Earrings: Put On The Ritz
Hair Flower: Ivory Blossoms Falls by Alternate Normality
Bangles: Dark Woven Bamboo Bangles by Splendette
Wedges: Old season Very.co.uk
Parasol: White Scalloped Parasol from Pinup Girl Clothing
This set is just incredible, the second I put it on I was in love and knew I’d be adding more VoH sarong sets to my wardrobe. It’s so flattering and well designed, every little detail adding to the grace of the piece. The thickness of the halter straps helps hide that little above-the-bra, beside-the-arm area that is soft and a bit unflattering for most of us. The boning, 4 bones placed around the circumference of the bodice, nip in your waist to really accentuate the moment it meets your hips in the flowing grace of the sarong skirt with that lovely waterfall of fabric. The bolero gives reassuring upper arm coverage while avoiding encroaching upon the curve of your waist, not to mention giving additional polish and class to the look on the whole.
It’s an example of quality design well executed and constructed, and the result is that I feel womanly and timeless. Plus, this gorgeous oriental inspired print easily makes it a special occasion and evening dress, but the design is so faultless that I could happily wear it during the day with the right accessories to dress it down a little.
Vivien of Holloway uses vintage sizing so it can be confusing to ladies who are new to the brand to figure out what size to order. I’m wearing this set in their size 18 which is made for 40 inch busts, 32 inch waists, and 44 inch hips. I do have a 40 inch bust but I actually have a 34 inch waist, so I flat measured this dress and found it measures 34 inches, which explains why it fits my waist perfectly. This dress is also non-stretch as it’s made from 100% cotton, so bear that and the flat measurement in mind when you take your measurements and match it against the size chart.
Additionally, my hip measurement is 47 inches, 3 inches over the size 18 I’m wearing, so the dress fits comfortably but it does sometimes gape open a little at my knees, as you may be able to see in some pictures. That doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t always do it, only during certain movements, but be aware that if your hip measurement is several inches larger than the measurements for your size then you might find it lays that way on you too. This sarong dress is meant to be worn tight to cinch you in for the right effect, so don’t be alarmed if you need an extra pair of hands or two to zip you into it.
Now that I’ve totally fallen in love with this set, I need blue Anchors Aweigh colourway, nautical theme lover than I am, and I desperately want to try one of their halterneck circle dresses too, since they feature the same boned bodice atop a full circle skirt. Maybe I need the Anchors Aweigh colour of that as well. And the red sateen…Oh and–Okay, you get the picture.
This Black Golden Leaves sarong set costs £130 and is available in sizes that cover 24-34 inch waists. It’s part of Vivien of Holloway’s new Spring line of Oriental Sarong & Bolero sets, inspired by 1940s starlet Dorothy Lamour. Vivien of Holloway make all their pieces in London, ship internationally and pssst, you can get 10% off your order with discount code VIVETTE10.