If you know anything about me at all it’s probably that I love nautical style clothes. Navy, white, red, they just go together so beautifully, and there’s something timeless and fun about nautical themed pieces, whether they’re simple colourblock styles or nautical themed prints.
When I was a little girl, I had a pale blue nautical style sailor-girl dress that I loved. Since it was the 80s, our family had three of these dresses in different sizes, so that me and my two elder sisters could match. Maybe that’s where my nautical love all began, who knows. What I do know is that my love has never waned, if anything intensifying over the years, so when I spotted the nautical offerings from Hell Bunny’s SS16 range, I was sold.
I already reviewed the Marin dress from Hell Bunny earlier this season, a seaside themed printed dress which I love and constantly wear, so I figured now it was time to review one of their simpler, navy pieces.
It’s time to take a countryside amble in the Ambleside dress.
This dress is a more 40s reminiscent silhouette than my usual fully-flared 50s style, but I love that the skirt still has plenty of volume and flow. It takes a medium volume petticoat with ease, as I’ve worn in the pictures above, but it also looks lovely worn sans-petticoat, which is really saying something coming from me as I am loathe to go without a petticoat no matter how practical it would be to ditch the puff power.
It’s a lovely modest length and–a big bonus for a nautical themed dress that begs to be worn to the seaside–it’s not the kind of skirt that will easily test your modesty and quick reflexes if there’s a sudden gust of wind. The collared neckline features contrasting white trim and a secure faux-tie detail. The contrasting trim is continued on the cuffs and hem, and the dress closes with a back zip. It’s machine washable, though it shouldn’t be tumble dried.
These days I wear either 14/L or 16/XL in Hell Bunny depending on the cut and style of the piece. With the white-stripe trim restricting the stretch of the sleeves, I opted for the 16 in this dress, which was a smart choice because the sleeves on the 14 certainly would have been too tight for me. The sleeves on this XL measure 13.5 inches around, a tight fit for my 15 inch arms, so if you have pudgy arms like I do you might have to consider that. That small factor aside, though, this dress is actually made out of a super stretchy and comfortable material that hugs and skims wonderfully, so it’s a pleasure to wear for long periods of time without feeling restricted or pinched. The waist flat measures 36 inches and has an additional 2 inches of stretch, so you might be able to size down as long as your arms and bust will allow it. The skirt is approximately 25 inches long.
I feel like this dress will easily become one of my go-to comfy dresses that I wear when I want to look put together but can’t afford to take any risks of developing discomfort, such as when I’m travelling. The nautical theme keeps it fun while the overall cut of the dress is ladylike and modest, making it a versatile piece that’s appropriate to wear anywhere.
The Ambleside dress is available in sizes XS-4XL, equivalent to UK sizes 8-22. If you love the nautical style of this dress but it’s not your favourite silhouette, Hell Bunny are offering a range of different shaped pieces in this same style, all pictured below and available in plus sizes. Hell Bunny are wholesalers so you can’t buy direct from them, but they’re massively popular and stocked all over the globe, both in-store and online from your favourite vintage style or alternative boutiques, so it’s easy to find your nearest/easiest accessible stockist with a quick online search.