It’s that time of year again, babycakes! Time to make lists, begin hoarding chocolate and, most importantly of all, pick your party frock. Whether you’re looking for something festive but still comfortable for Christmas day, something chic for your office holiday party, or something glitzy for New Year’s Eve, I’ve got you covered with 5 of my top picks from some of the leading reproduction and vintage inspired brands, across a variety of budgets. There’ll be some sequins, a little tartan, a few metallics, some slinky LBD action, and a heavy dose of timeless vintage glamour.
So let’s kick it off with a dress that has immediately become one of my all time favourites, the Heart of Haute Monte Carlo dress in the Flourish Smoke print. Ladies, get ready to swoon.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: this print is stunning. Gold metallic flourishes line looping grey leaves atop a matte charcoal grey background, making me think of fireworks, luxe laurel leaf crowns and New Year’s even celebrations all at once. This print would make for the most glamorous wallpaper ever, in the best possible way.
My love for the print aside, it’s the cut of this dress that won me over the moment I slipped it on. The full circle skirt is a dream for twirling, able to take a full volume petticoat with ease or falling beautifully if you’re a no-puff-please kind of gal. The three quarter sleeves make it a perfect choice for this time of year, as well as being a flattering sleeve length for all women and a welcome help for ladies who like to cover their upper arms. The collar is dainty and slim, laying nicely at all times, even for those who have an unwelcome, unintentional habit of upending collars regularly (guilty.)
It closes with matching fabric covered buttons that travel down the centre of the full length of the dress, the waist cinched by a matching fabric belt ready to be tied into a bow. The back features box pleats and there’s gathers in the shoulders to allow the bust to accommodate ladies truly gifted in that area (See what I did there? ‘Gifted.’ On a holiday dress post. Yeah, you’re welcome.)
Basically, this dress is flattering in all the ways and I’m still trying to decide which other colour to buy it in next, because I’ll certainly be buying more. In the meantime, this Flourish smoke beauty will definitely be playing a vital role in my Christmas glam festivities.
Now, for fit. I opted to get this dress in a 1X, which is a perfect fit. In sleeved dresses I often have to size up for a comfortable fit in my shoulders, arms and bust, and this dress is made of 100% cotton so this sizing was definitely needed for me personally. The HoH size chart lists 43-45 inches in the bust and 34-36 inches in the waist for their 1X and this dress has a little extra built into those measurements, presumably to account for the lack of stretch the cotton fabric provides, as there is no more than an inch. The waist flat measures 37 inches and the bust flat measures 46 inches. The armhole measures 20 inches, the upper arm 16 inches circumference, and the sleeve cuffs 12 inches around. To ensure a correct and comfortable fit, please bear in mind the lack of stretch this fabric gives. The skirt is 27 inches long.
This gorgeous fabric is available in two other dress cuts, so if the Monte Carlo isn’t quite what you’re looking for but you’re dying to wear this print then the Marseilles or the Milan dress might be of interest to you. Alternately, if you love the Monte Carlo dress but find the flourish smoke print isn’t for you then you’ll be pleased to learn it comes in 5 other colours, 3 solid plain colours and two other glamorous prints.
The Flourish Smoke Monte Carlo dress costs $162 and is available in sizes XS-2X. Heart of Haute ship internationally, which takes 6-10 business days via USPS priority mail, so be sure to place your order in time if you want it before the holidays. Return customers get 10% off with discount code haute10.