I first discovered the Thea dress by The Pretty Dress Company last September when I donned the red pencil version to model for Deadly Is The Female’s Christmas campaign for Vintage Life magazine. It was love at first slinky wiggle, but as I don’t wear a lot of pencil dresses I spent half the shoot in that dress cooing over the draping of the neckline and half lamenting that I would kill to have it in a swing style instead.
Fast forward a few months and my Thea swing daydreams became a reality. The Thea prom dress features the same gorgeous draped off-the-shoulder neckline and stretch twill fabric as the pencil version, but with a full swing skirt perfect for twirling. All of The Pretty Dress Company’s pieces are designed and made in the UK, so to celebrate that I decided to take my new Thea in this stunning patriotic cobalt blue out for a spot of strawberry picking, as it’s such a great British tradition at this time of year.
Dress: Cobalt Blue Thea Prom Dress C/O The Pretty Dress Company
Bangles: Bamboo Bangles 6 pk from Pinup Girl Clothing
Belt: Red Patent belt
Bag: White Wicker Purse by Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: White Laser Cut Wedges by F&F at Tesco
TPDC describe the Thea as the perfect occasion dress, which is certainly is, but I wanted to show in this post that this dress is too wonderful to be limited to only special occasion wear. It’s entirely possible to style it for more casual wear, as I’ve done in the photos above, and I think it works beautifully in that capacity. The swing skirt is lined and features a soft under-layer of netting, which means it has lovely shape and movement all on its own. However, it’s still easy to layer up with an additional petticoat underneath should you want to achieve the next level of oomfph in the skirt.
The lined bodice features 4 bones to create one of the most flattering fits I’ve ever experienced. As the dress is made from a high quality stretch twill, that fit doesn’t come at the expense of comfort, a huge plus for me. The combination of that fabric choice and the ample elastication in the off-the-shoulder arms makes for one of the most comfortable dresses I’ve ever worn. The draped neckline can be worn in a more slouchy, straight-across fashion, as pictured in TPDC’s own stock photos, but I love to gently pull the fold of the neckline down further over the bustline to create a more exaggerated draped effect, as I think it’s sexy, elegant and playful.
TPDC use UK dress sizes but typically run a little smaller than the general British high street sizes, so it’s always best to check their size chart before ordering. I got this dress in a size 16. The waist flat measures 32 inches and stretches to 36 inches, so the stretch in this twill fabric allows much more room than the 32.75 inches listed as the size 16 on their size chart. The bust flat measures 39 inches and flat stretches to 43 inches happily, so there’s extra give there too. I would recommend that you size true for optimum comfort and guaranteed fit, but you could potentially size down if you want a truly cinched waistline.
Considering all that, as if this dress couldn’t be any more perfect, you should know that there’s also pockets. I know. My mind is struggling to comprehend how amazing this dress is, but it truly is. It’s so nice to acquire a dress after so many months of ardently wishing for it and finding that it manages to exceed your expectations, but I’m thrilled that it has. With just one wear it’s already become one of my favourite dresses and I cannot wait to style it formally for evening wear when I next don it.
The Thea prom dress comes available in Cobalt Blue, Red or Black for £195. It’s also available in pencil dress form in those same colours as well as white and apple green for £129. The Pretty Dress Company offer 20% off discount codes regularly (almost every month) to their newsletter subscribers, so I thoroughly suggest you sign up for it, as well as following them on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. TPDC ship internationally.