Most pinups find that they often gravitate towards a certain cut of dress. I tend towards strappy swing dresses with a lower neckline because they allow me to stay cool in summer with the option to add layers for warmth in colder months. In winter, though, I do really love a sleeved dress–when I can find one that works for me.
I repeatedly torture myself by seeking out my perfect sleeved specimen; it has to be just the right shape, in the right colour or print, with a skirt that will actually hit me below the knee, and most importantly (and often not the case) with sleeves that will comfortably fit my large upper arms without making me want to cut them off after a couple hours of strained movement or painful digging and pinching. With all that to be considered, sometimes even if I love a sleeved dress I just won’t order it. I’ll feel sure that it won’t live up to my needs, or I’ll be cognizant that at this time of year there’s only so much wear I can get out of a sleeved style before it either A) is so warm it becomes impossible to wear through spring/summer even in England, or B) it looks so wintery in style that it would look silly wearing it in June, even if it is pouring with rain.
Well, finally I’ve found a dress that ticks all my boxes: it’s the right length, there’s no arm abuse involved in wear, it cinches the waist, has pockets, and it’s in a gorgeous vibrant print that will look good literally all year round. Ladies, I give you Darcy.
This dress clearly looks good in the snow, just as it would do in the height of summer at a garden party, or going out to dinner with friends. The high rounded neckline and half sleeves make it a modest piece, while the cinched waist and full skirt makes it a flattering cut for any body type. As it’s part of Hell Bunny’s spring/summer line it’s made of a quality lightweight cotton, so it won’t leave you overheated as we head out of the snow and into (fingers crossed) milder spring months, but in winter it would be easy to add layers to continue wearing it comfortably.
It features a lovely V shaped back that, thankfully, isn’t so low that it requires you to make complicated replacements of your usual bra to avoid the band showing, and it closes with a centre back zip. The skirt is full but not technically a full circle so it sits slightly slimmer on the hips before flaring out beautifully, able to take a medium volume petticoat.
I’m wearing this dress in a size 16/XL and it’s very true to Hell Bunny’s usual sizing, flat measuring 34 inches in the waist with stretch to 37 inches, and the bust flat measures 42 inches with stretch to 45 inches. The skirt is 27 inches long and the armholes flat measure 22 inches, with the upper arms flat measuring 16 inches in circumference with an inch of give. Ladies who share my struggle to find sleeved dresses that don’t punish our chubby uppers will hopefully find as much success with this dress as I have! Plus, who doesn’t love a rose print?
The Darcy 50s dress comes in sizes XS-4XL and can be purchased for 20% off using the discount code AMYMAY20!% at hellbunny.com. This same print is also available in the same size range on the Darcy 50s swing skirt or on the Eden Rose chiffon dress or blouse. My discount code works on all Hellbunny.com orders and they ship internationally, in addition to having stockists all over the world.