You’d be forgiven for not being fully in the know about the set up of Banned/Dancing Days, because they’re a wholesale only brand and have only recently split up their company by styles with a name change, but don’t worry, I’m here to help you get to grips with it. Banned Apparel is an alternative style retailer that’s been around for years, functioning as a wholesale-only brand which means they don’t sell any of their clothing straight to their customers themselves, selling only to in-store and online stockists who pick and choose which pieces they want to offer to their own individual customer base. Since Banned has always produced vintage inspired lines as well as more alternative lines, they decided to make the distinction in those styles clearer by moving their vintage inspired items into their own brand, Dancing Days by Banned.
For this reason, it can take a bit of searching sometimes to track down where you can find their items for sale, because sometimes a stockist might list the item as branded Dancing Days and others still insist on listing it as Banned. There are a ton of Dancing Days stockists, though, and my favourite ones I’ve found that carry a lovely selection of their pieces are Top Vintage, Unique Vintage, Audrey Star’s Boutique, Tiger Milly, Starlet Vintage and Blue Banana.
Right, now that we’ve got all the information out of the way, let’s look at the pretty things!
Top: She Who Dares top in Black
Skirt: Daytrip Skirt
Shoes: Black April Love heels
Bag: Kara handbag
All C/O Banned Apparel/Dancing Days
I love a good staple piece, and as far as I’m concerned this top and bag count as staples big time for vintage lovers. I adore wicker bags but I’m always concerned about damaging vintage wicker bags as I can be quite hard on my purses, so more often than not I tend to opt for modern reproductions so I don’t have to feel guilty about destroying a piece of history if I eventually do some accidental damage. This bag is a perfect answer to that conundrum, a cute square box bag featuring red handles and red and white gingham lining inside. What more could you want? As for the top, anything made in a comfortable fabric with an interesting design detail that’s still simple enough to be paired with all manner of bottoms is a winner for me, and this She Who Dares top hits all of those notes. The medium weight stretchy fabric means it’s comfortable without being sheer or clingy like thin stretchy jerseys often are, and the twist front bust detail is flattering no matter how blessed you are in the bust department.
The Daytrip skirt is a 3-quarter circle skirt, able to take a slim to medium volume petticoat. The front pockets are a sweet touch, and the skirt closes with a hidden side zip. Before these items were delivered I’d actually seen the Daytrip print dresses being sold through various Banned stockists’ websites and hadn’t realised from any of those pictures quite how bright the print was. The pink and orange of the fruits looks almost neon next to the gorgeous teal and greens of the leaves forming the backdrop. The larger flowers are a soft buttercup yellow and some smaller flowers are the same bright orange as the fruits, so overall it’s a fun, bright print perfect for ladies who love something bold and tropical for summer.
Finally, that brings us to the April Love shoes, my new obsession. I’m used to wearing simple shoes, whether heels or flats, mostly in a solid colour to tie together feature tones in my outfits to complete a colour-matching scheme. Occasionally, though, I’m drawn to statement shoes, and the first time I saw these April Love heels I was sold on them. It’s not even that I don’t often like statement shoes, more realistically I just flounder a bit on how to style them because they require me to think outside the box, but with these I was more than willing, I was eager. The green and red embroidered flowers are beautiful, with little green leaf appliques echoed on the straps at the back of the shoe. They’re a very-easy-to-walk-in, sensible heel height at just 3 inches/8cm tall, which makes them great for ladies who love to dance or who aren’t used to walking in heels. For everyone else, they’re a comfortable reprieve from more torturous heels and they look good in the bargain as well, a double win. I wear a UK size 7 and found these perfectly true to size.
The size charts for Dancing Days pieces vary in sizing per item type, with different measurements listed for an XL fitted dress compared to those listed for an XL top or skirts, etc, so I wasn’t sure at first which size to opt for. My other Dancing Days pieces are stretchy tops or cardigans in an XL, but the size chart I was sent (which I’ve placed at the bottom of this post for your own reference) had me in anything from an XL to a 4XL depending upon the clothing type. In the end, I decided choosing a 2XL in the top and skirt would be the safest option. The top is a perfect fit, measuring 43 inches flat in the bust with stretch to 47 inches. In the waist it’s 36 inches flat to 41 inches stretched. The skirt in the 2XL was big on me but I took it in at the back easily to make it a bit more snug. Before adjustments, it flat measured 37.5 inches with stretch to 38.5 inches.
The She Who Dares top is available in multiple colours, the best selection of which I found at Top Vintage. The Daytrip print is available in a flared dress, halterneck swing dress, pencil skirt, bikini, and a top as well as the flared skirt featured here, most of which can be found on Altskate. The Kara bag comes in one colour and is stocked by many stockists across the globe, so a quick online search should give you the best options for you. Finally, the April love heels come in black or red, available from multiple stockists, though I know Unique Vintage carry both colours.
(Click here to see Banned’s full size chart, and double click the image to zoom in to read the measurements easier.)