In case you haven’t heard of Louella DeVille, I’m here to do you a favour by telling you: y’all, you need to know about Louella DeVille. It might spark your sense of recognition if I tell you that this clothing line is designed by and sold through what was once Your One Stop Pinup Shop, an Australian pinup boutique that has in the past included brick-and-mortar stores, pinup pamper photography session packages and, a while back, the original beginnings of this clothing line, before owner Bek’s lovely daughter began to walk and Bek put the line on hold.
Over the following years as her little girl grew, Bek grew her business with those Australian stores, as well as photographing hundreds of ladies in their pinup finest in her studio. Last year Bek moved the store entirely online, becoming Louella DeVille Boutique, and recently, finally, the time came for her to bring her ideas of her own vintage inspired clothing line back out to play.
First came skirts in fun and varied prints. Through social media, I followed along, curious as to where the line would go. There’s now tops, too, as well as dresses, but it’s these dresses, oh these dresses, that have really caught my attention.
The Polly was the first style, darling and sweet, one of my favourite vintage sundress shapes offered in some lovely prints. I’m supposed to be saving, but I knew that if it came in a print I couldn’t resist then I’d eventually have to make a purchase. So far, I had been managing to sensibly resist. Buuuut…then a few weeks back Bek posted teasers of the 2 new shapes and multiple new prints coming soon to the dress line and that was it, I was sold. On which one, I dithered for a short while, but with spring due soon and the print reminding me of that first clean, fresh smell that announces its happy arrival, it had to be the Iris print Frenchie dress. I put it in my cart–then paid my bills, checked my account balance, and sadly removed it from my cart again. Sigh. Adulthood.
…And then I sold a couple dresses I don’t wear anymore and immediately bought the dress anyway, because that counts as adulting, right? Okay whatever, you’ll understand when you see it. Because look:
Dress: Iris Frenchie dress by Louella DeVille Clothing
Cardigan: Ice Blue Tootsie Cropped Cardigan from Doll Me Up
Bag: Erin Wicker style handbag by Dancing Days
Shoes: Old New Look
Bangles: Woven bamboo bangles by Splendette / bamboo bangles / thrifted gold bangle
I know a dress is special when my friends and family comment on it when I wear it. They’re used to seeing me all dolled up and often in new clothes, but I think my wardrobe sometimes blurs together to them, with my mum frequently asking me ‘Is that new?’ on the second or third time she’s seen me in the same dress. This Frenchie dress, though, captured everyone. I can’t pretend it didn’t floor me, too, because I found it hard not to repeatedly state ‘I love this dress so much’ multiple times while wearing it, as if I had just begun dating a new beau and was struggling not to gush about him at every given opening in the conversation.
I figured that, given it’s February and given I live in England, my blog pictures in this dress would probably have to be taken on a chilly overcast day, as most blog pictures are. But I woke up last Saturday morning with plans to take Frenchie and my camera to the park to do the best we could with the weather, only to find that said weather was just…perfect. Sunny, airy, not hot but not cold, it really did feel like spring was here. I drove with my windows down. I had to take my sunglasses with me in my pocket. I didn’t need to wear tights. And somehow, somehow, as crazy as it sounds, part of me whispered that it must be the magic of this dress. I already admitted it sounded crazy, okay? Don’t judge me for it. But seriously…*whispers* I think it might be a magic dress.
To explain why, let me lay it out for you fully. The beauty of this Iris print aside, there’s almost every design feature I love most in a vintage style dress: tie shoulder straps, a straight neckline, a full gathered skirt that lays beautifully both with and without a petticoat, and forever all caps POCKETS. To top it all off, there’s a wonderful unexpected stretch in this fabric that makes it joyously comfortable to wear. Once again, I question if this dress is magic, because it fit me equally as well when my waist was cinched down a few inches with my favourite basque bra as it did shapewear free and a bit bloated. Literally, on one day when I wore this dress I did so over my cincher for a couple hours before removing said shapewear to be more comfortable for the long sit of going to see a movie, and the dress just went ‘sure, no problem, lemme expand here for ya, even though I didn’t look baggy a few seconds ago when your waist was much smaller.’ *Whispers* magic.
Regarding fit, I definitely require a UK 16-18 in most dresses these days, so I was a bit wary of the size chart on this dress stating a 14 would fit me. Still, I decided to trust it and ordered the 14 I was advised to. It’s perfect. The size chart for the size 14 states it flat measures 34 inches and stretches to 36. Mine measures 35 and stretches to 37 inches, admittedly after wear so that could be a bit broken in, but generally it’s very accurate to the chart with just a little bit more give. I recommend you take your measurements if you don’t already know them and follow the chart to select your correct size. The skirt length measures 27.5 inches long and it’s happy to accommodate your floaty medium volume petticoats.
The Iris print Frenchie dress comes in sizes 8-22 and costs $129AUD, with other prints available in this same Frenchie dress style. This print is close to selling out, so if you’ve got your heart set on it I recommend you act quickly. Louella DeVille Boutique stocks their Louella DeVille line exclusively, shipping worldwide and offering a weekly promotional deal to save you money, including the 20% off promotion I took advantage of to order this dress. If you want to keep up to date with those weekly deals, you can follow Louella DeVille Boutique on their social media (Facebook and Instagram) or sign up to their newsletter on their website.