You know when you really like a thing but you aren’t really aware you especially like that thing until someone points it out to you? Like, you’ve been collecting clothing of a similar style without even realising they’re similar? Yeah, that’s me and black mesh overlay items of clothing, or so I only realised when I sent a picture of this dress to my friend Hope and she said that as soon as she saw it she thought of me. Because apparently I like dresses or accessories with black mesh overlays, which I did not even fully realise until she listed the clothing I had that fell in that category, all of which I had forgotten about.
So, as it turns out I love a sheer black design detail in my vintage inspired clothing, and I also love capelets, so this dress and cape set were, really, basically destined to mine. Still, I held off purchasing it for quite a while because I kept trying to tell myself I need to be an adult. But then, as has happened in the past, I realised Deadly is the Female were stocking this piece, so my resolve dissolved somewhat once the 6000 miles of a Unique Vintage order evaporated as a sensible hurdle. Eh, who needs savings anyway, right? Sure, houses keep you safe and warm and dry, but do they make you look super fabulous for cocktail evenings and dinner party? No, no they do not. The dress won. Meet Luna.
The genius of this set is the level of versatility it offers. It’s not just that you can wear the cape and the dress separately, which you certainly can, but also that the cape itself can be worn either with the button-fastening side facing forward, creating the standard front opening look you would expect in a cape, or worn with that side twisted to the back, showing a solid sheer side that has no openings but still has a collared neckline to give a polished finish. And then, of course, there’s the fact that the dress beneath is made from a brushed black cotton fabric that can be dressed down in other ensembles, whether day or night. Aaaand, it has the added benefit of having pockets, so this is pretty much a dream set that I was downright Hulk-levels of strong to resist for as long as I did. (It was like a month, okay? That deserves at least some credit.)
Now we’ve covered the versatility of this set, let’s just wax a little bit poetic about how elegant it is, shall we? I mean, this dress and cape set wouldn’t have looked out of place in any of your favourite Old Hollywood movies, so beautiful, timeless and glamorous it is. It’s made to be worn somewhere fabulous–a cocktail bar, a holiday party, your anniversary date, your best friend’s birthday party, when you accidentally bump into your ex at an event and remind them that you absolutely do remember who they are but who they are doesn’t really have any impact or standing in your day to day life anymore, so busy and gorgeous and stylish are you. I mean, come on.
The dress itself has adjustable double straps, allowing for some customisation of fit, closes with a back zip, and has a full gathered skirt. While it will be rocked for New Year or Christmas for sure, I’ll definitely be wearing it sans cape with cardigans in the less festive parts of winter, and with wedges and sunglasses when summer eventually does roll back around again next year. It’s a dress that can be worn a hundred different ways, which makes it a perfect wardrobe staple.
I found the sizing of this dress much more generous than my last few Unique Vintage dresses. I buy their 2X now mostly to accommodate my bust and even then in their boned, structured prom dresses that makes for a squeeze–no surprise, as technically my 45 inch bust should size into their 3X. But for this piece, though, the dress fit me with wiggle room to spare both in the bust and in the waist, so ideally I should be swapping my longline bustiers for a push up bra and a cinching belt to balance out the fit a little. That looseness does mean this an excellent candidate for my Christmas day dress, as having an item with some extra breathing room also means having an item that offers extra eating room, booyah!
In specific terms, the bust flat measures 42 inches with stretch to 47, while the waist flat measures 39 inches and stretches to 41. The skirt is 27.5 inches long and can take a medium-full volume petticoat easily.
The Luna cape and dress set comes in sizes XS-4X and costs £115 at Deadly is the Female, where select sizes are still available, and $118 at Unique Vintage where the full size run is in stock, as well as a burgundy version.