‘It’s one of my favourite colours!’ I feel like I say to people a lot, but not just about one colour. Once upon a time I claimed purple as my favourite (when I was 10,) and then lime green (13.Yikes!) Over time it became navy blue, then red. For the past few years though, it has been very clear–very clear that I have 3 favourites, that is, and I can’t be asked to choose between them. Burgundy, mustard (every tone of it,) and green, practically every shade of green. Olive, khaki, emerald, grass, they all make me happy, and without tooting my own horn, they all look good on me. But really I think they look good on everyone; green is an equal opportunity colour. Which is why today this review is going on hard on the colour green, right down to my toes.
Dress: Arista-Gia C/O Miss Candyfloss
Shoes: Dark Green Toscana shoes by Charlie Stone Shoes
Bag: Vintage inspired bag previously gifted by Lola Von Rose
Shawl: Black tulle netting (2 yards)
Miss Candyfloss stand alone in the vintage inspired community as being the only brand to design each season’s collection with a theme in mind. Previous seasons that have been favourites for me have been their Librarian collection and their Femme Fatale line. For 2019’s Spring/Summer Fairytales line, they took their inspiration from 4 Disney princesses they admired in their youth; Aurora, Belle, Cinderella and Snow White. Some items in that line are immediately recognisable as reincarnations of dresses the princesses wore in pivotal scenes in their respective movies, for example the pink and white bow adorned dress Cinderella intended to wear to the ball before her evil step sisters ripped it to pieces. If you grew up watching these movies and wishing for your own version of these princesses’ most famous dresses, chances are this season Miss Candyfloss will be offering you a more wearable, adult version of those dresses for your very own.
For those of you who feel immediate concern in hearing the line takes such heavy influence from those beloved children’s films, as I did, I admit–don’t worry! Included in the range is their Sunday Funday line, a collection of more functional day dresses that feel more like the Miss Candyfloss we know and love. These pieces can certainly be worn for a day jaunt to any of the Disney parks, but they’re not recognisably Disney-inspired, and like this Arista dress, they’ll feel right at home beside your other adored Miss Candyfloss pieces that exude class and timeless sophistication year-round.
The Arista dress is plain in colour but certainly not in style. Sleeveless and featuring a collared boat neck that dips into a deep V back framed with a small bow, it’s a simple and modest design that won’t fail to flatter. The fact that it’s sleeveless means you can easily add layers to it on slightly chillier days without creating any unsightly bumps of sleeves bunching up under cardigans or jackets, but worn alone it works beautifully as both a day dress or a charming evening number. The full swing skirt covers the knees with ease and it comes with a matching fabric notched belt.
I’m wearing this dress in my usual Miss Candyfloss size 2XL and it’s a wonderful fit. The waist measures 36 inches flat with stretch to 38 inches, while the bust measures 43 inches flat with stretch to about 47 inches. The dress closes with a concealed side zip. The skirt is 27.75 inches long.
And now, onto this delightful pair of Charlie Stone Shoes! I’m sure if you have an Instagram account you will have spotted many (if not all) of your favourite pinups rocking Charlie Stone Shoes over the past year. Exclusively producing only flat shoes, their pieces are designed to be as stylish as they are comfortable, so that one does not have to choose between elegance and practically when finishing off an outfit.
They have a small collection of styles on offer, all featuring T-bar straps and their signature 20mm internal heel elevation, which helps keep your foot at a healthy and comfortable angle. All the shoes are handmade and either made from genuine leather or from their new vegan materials line.The dark green Toscana flats I am wearing here, in particular, are additionally made featuring a faux suede toe cap which flows into the T-bar and the ankle strap. The front of the shoe sports small cut-out details, which I just love.
Each pair of Charlie Stone shoes comes in a white dustbag, ready to be tied shut with the luxe-look rose gold ribbon to keep your shoes safe and clean when stored.
As the company is based in Australia and I was a first time buyer, I put extra effort into deciding whether to simply order the equivalent of my usual UK size 7, eager to avoid potentially paying return shipping to Australia if I made the wrong size decision. Their shoes are all standard width, with no wide fit options. While I don’t typically wear wide fit shoes, I have found since experiencing the swelling from my Plantar Fasciitis last year that in some shoe styles that extra touch of room is beneficial to prevent rubbing on the sides or pinching at the toes, particularly in more pointed-toe styles.
The sizing advice on the product page for the Toscanas in particular says they run slightly large and to size down if you’re an EU half size. I um‘d and ah‘d for a while as to whether it was safest to order up into the 41 and risk them coming up too large overall, or whether to opt for my usual size 7, even if that meant I couldn’t wear them while my left foot still had some swelling. I measured my left foot (that’s my slightly larger one, regardless of swelling,) and compared it to their general size chart. It confirmed I should fit the 40 (UK 7,) Considering that the Toscanas should also be a touch larger than a standard 40, I felt considered in ordering the 40. That was back in November, when I was still in daily pain from my PF, but in the New Year once my swelling had subsided I found they made for a perfect fit. There’s no excess room, nor would they have fit comfortably had they been even a tiny bit smaller, so the 40 was definitely the best choice.
When my daily pain was at it’s worse, I often had to forego dressing as I wanted because I could only physically stand to wear certain items of footwear, resulting in me needing to dress to match my shoes and not the other way around. During that period I had to find new flat shoes that were not only comfortable but, more importantly, supportive, because regularly wearing unsupportive, cheap footwear was probably a contributing factor to the injury I suffered. Finding shoes that fulfilled both of those requirements but also matched my vintage wardrobe wasn’t easy, resulting in me socially wearing the same one or two pairs on repeat because they felt like my only options. It’s been lovely to add this Charlie Stone Shoes pair to my collection, not merely because they look so beautiful but also because it makes me feel better knowing they’re a good quality pair of shoes, unlikely to cause me pain in future. They’re not cheap to buy, but considered as an investment in my foot health as well as in my wardrobe, they’re absolutely worth it, and I hope to be able to buy more in future.
The Arista dress is available in the above pictured green, as well as teal and raspberry. Miss Candyfloss have stockists around the globe, both in brick-and-mortar stores and online, but they do ship worldwide from their own webshop. The Toscana shoes are available in Dark Green and Blood Red, in EU sizes 35-42. Charlie Stone Shoes have select stockists in Australia, the USA and the UK at present, growing constantly, but they also ship worldwide from their own webshop.
[Disclaimer: The dress featured in this post was sent to me for free, with no obligation to review it. The bag was previously gifted to me by Lola Von Rose in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any brands, companies or individuals.]