We may be having a late burst of summer here in the UK but I am officially ready for Autumn. Bring me tartans and plaids, bring me windfall apples and slightly cool mornings that allow me to wear one of my many fabulous coats that have hung unworn aback my bedroom door for the last 6 months. And bring me Hell Bunny’s AW17 line, because damn y’all, there are some cute-arse stuff in it that have got me feeling all the fall feels.
I’ve been desperate to buy this Peebles 50s dress for weeks now, after first seeing it previewed in a London Edge promotional email. I may or may not have bugged Hell Bunny’s designer and PR manager Sarah one too many times about its potential release date in my eagerness ever since–sorry Sarah! But finally it’s here, the dress that has literally everything I ask for from my favourite cold weather styles–flattering three quarter length sleeves, a fitted bodice that emphasises the waist, a full swing skirt, a gorgeous green tartan print and, finally, beloved pockets. I can’t think of a single thing I would add to this dress to improve it because it is all my winter dreams come true.
There’s plenty more I can and will say about this wonderful dress, but first let’s state the obvious: I’m sure you noticed the incredible bag in these pictures too. You would be forgiven for thinking I’m merely showing off a pristine condition vintage find I’m proud of but in reality this beauty is a limited edition reproduction number that more than passes for the real thing. True vintage lucite bags of this style are rare to find in good condition these days, particularly without an eye-watering price tag attached, so I was thrilled to stumble across this gorgeous reproduction on Instagram. The great thing about this style of bag is that if you won’t want all your goodies to be on display you can easily use a little pouch or a scarf in a colour that coordinates with your outfit to place all your items in. That lends a level of versatility to this handbag that a standard coloured bag doesn’t have, as you can use scarves of every colour to potentially match with any outfit. My scarf was gifted to me by KookieDeLou as a thank you for being the first person to order the bag online, and I opted for gold so I could finish off my autumn/winter outfits especially with a touch of luxe. KookiDeLou only produced 100 of these bags and the stock is going fast, so if you’re interested in picking one up for yourself you need to act fast.
Now, back to the dress. Ah, dreamy sigh; have you realised I’m in love with it yet? From the single preview shot alone that I glimpsed in the aforementioned London Edge email I knew this was a dress I was going to adore, but I wasn’t prepared for it to exceed my expectations once I got my hands on it in person. The green was a richer, darker more beautiful green that I’d anticipated–I think often tartans are even more lovely in person than they seem in pictures, because you’re better able to study and appreciate how the different colours interact together in the fabric. This is exactly the tartan I would choose if someone told me I could custom design my own dream tartan dress, and honestly that carries through to the entire design of the dress itself. It even has a backzip rather than a dreaded fiddly side zip, as well as a slight V plunge to the back which is my preferred finish at the back of the dress, as I find it feels less restrictive and claustrophobic than a dress that zips right up to the base of my neck.
So I’m sure you get it by now, right? Amy is going to marry this dress and have its babies, or, you know, something like that. Apart from the fact that I heartily and genuinely recommend this dress based on its own merits, I also selfishly need all of you to go buy it so that the odds are increased that next autumn/winter season Hell Bunny release it in a new colour or print, because this cut is HEART EYES EMOJI. I need it in half a dozen solid colours, some tweeds and more tartans! I also wouldn’t turn down a lumberjack style plaid and maybe something twinkly for dinner wear. Not that I’m greedy or anything.
In terms of sizing and fit this dress is made from a fabric with minimal stretch but it does run true to Hell Bunny’s usual sizing so there’s no complicated size calculations needed if you’ve bought from Hell Bunny before. As a rule I advise people that Hell Bunny sizes run large by half a size, meaning the 14 is more a 14/16, the 16 more a 16/18, etc. This dress in particular in a size 16 flat measures 35 inches with stretch to almost 37 inches in the waist. In the bust it’s 41 inches flat to 46 inches stretched. As I have not-insubstantially chubby upper arms my only concern with ordering the 16 was whether my arms might be too large for a comfortable fit but they’re fine, with the armholes measuring 21 inches and the sleeves stretching to 16 inches circumference in the upper arm. The full swing skirt is 27 inches long, so petite ladies who find that length overwhelming might be better suited to the pinafore dress made in this same fabric. (There’s also a pair of cigarette pants for trousers lovers.)
The Peebles 50s dress comes in sizes XS-4XL for £60.99-£64.99 and discount code AMYMAY20!% will get you 20% off any orders at Hellbunny.com. This dress may also be available from your favourite Hell Bunny stockist, which they have all over the world. The KookiDelou lucite reproduction handbag costs £95, sold directly from KookiDelou over her Instagram page or from her only stockist, Tiki-Lou Hawaii on Etsy who also have their own storefront in London as Crews Hill Vintage Emporium. Quick, count your pennies and employ your grabby hands!