I am all about yellow. I remember growing up that when my eldest sister said her favourite colour was yellow and I thought ‘Yellow?! No one likes yellow that much.’ Back then it was the colour of smiley face stickers, highlighter pens, and ice lollies. As I got older, particularly in the last few years, I’ve grown to love the colour in a new way. Now it’s sunshine and daffodils, pineapple and baby chicks. It’s bright but also soft, happy as well as sweet.
Despite all the ways I’ve grown to love yellow, I’ve still found it to be an under-appreciated colour on the whole. Every time I wear it, though, I find it seems to open another person’s eyes to the joys and the potential in the colour that they hadn’t considered before, and that makes me even happier still to wear it and champion it all the more. And in the yellow Hostess dress by Pretty Retro, it’s very easy to help people see just what a beautiful offering of a colour that yellow is.
Dress: Yellow 40s Style Hostess dress C/O Pretty Retro
Shoes: Old Everything5pounds.com
This dress is one of those simple, classic designs that is so beautiful and chic it will never go out of style. The wing collar is a feature that is both dramatic and understated, the buttoned front delicate and sweet. There are pleats above the bust and on the shoulders to emphasize your best assets, and it closes with a hidden side zipper. The flared 3-quarter swing skirt is made for twirling, making this a great dress for cocktail parties and dancing, although it will look just as lovely at a picnic or afternoon tea, to name only a few occasions. Honestly, to me it’s a perfect occasion dress because the vibrant yellow makes it stand out despite the simple design, but I could happily wear it anywhere and everywhere. Also, it’s machine washable, which is always a joy to hear in our repro community of dry-clean-only prevalent designs.
In terms of sizing, I gave Pretty Retro my measurements and they suggested the size 16, as I’m between sizes on their chart. The 16 was a perfect fit everywhere but in the turned up cuffs on the sleeves, because my large upper arms do love to spoil things sometimes. Since the cuffs were so tight on me that they created a less-than-pretty bulge, I exchanged the 16 for the 18 instead. Consequently, the 18 is looser on me in the waist and the shoulders than it should be because it’s sized for larger measurements than mine, but I can add a belt to cinch in the waist or have it taken in to get a perfect fit all over. My arms though, thankfully, are comfortable, which was essential for me.
Specifically, the size 18 flat measures 48 inches in the bust with an inch of stretch, and the waist flat measures 38 inches with another inch of stretch. Those measurements do mean the dress sizes a little larger than the size chart, which quotes 46 inches for the bust and 37 inches for the waist, so do bear that in mind when ordering. For those like me who have large upper arms, the sleeve cuffs measure 15 inches flat, with only just enough give to push almost to 16 inches.
Now let’s talk about this glorious colour. I know it’s not for everyone, but I think part of what turns people off from yellow is that they feel it’s hard to style. Adding a more yellow seems like overkill, yet mixing it with other colours can easily lead to clashing and an overwhelming result. But don’t worry, my friends, I’m here to tell you there are options, and they are beautiful. First off: red. No, hear me out!
Red kind of goes with almost everything in the way people claim black does. If you were to pair black heels with this dress it would remind you of wasps and bees, but red shoes make you think of fairy tale princesses and crisp red apples. And if that doesn’t work for you, you can reach for white, gold or silver, the trio of colours that I consider the Chic Neutrals. Know that if you like the idea of yellow but you aren’t used to it, there are definitely styling options. And okay, fine, if you really don’t feel yellow is the tone for you, this gorgeous dress comes in a deep navy, a rich red and emerald green as well, a beautiful jewel tone available for everyone. Just don’t say I didn’t give you plenty of ideas for the yellow, alright? Good 😉
The 40s Style Hostess dress comes in 4 colours in UK sizes 8-18 for £62. Pretty Retro ship internationally and have a number of stockists.