While I love all checks, plaids and tartans pretty indiscriminately, it’s generally true that within the vintage-inspired world they’re often employed in clothing styles that, by our standards, veer more towards the casual. I do have pieces that can be worn more formally and they are all made by Miss Candyfloss, so it’s no wonder that they’re my go-to favourite brand for autumn and winter styles. What I love about this Norina-Lou dress is that they’ve taken their skill at producing elegant checks and mixed it with the utilisation of another classic winter print which, in my opinion, repro brands don’t use enough–houndstooth.
Behold, a dress that is both check and dogstooth, and both casual and possible to dress up. A winter unicorn!
Dress: Norina-Lou dress gifted by Miss Candyfloss
Cape: Green hooded cape previously gifted by Unique Vintage (A/L)
Gloves: Wet Look Elbow Gloves by LoveHoney [Referral link for £15 off]
Belt: PU belt by Collectif
Seriously, how genius is this print? The application of red-shadowed houndstooth criss-crossing the standard black and white is how the checkered effect is achieved. It all has such an air of subtly to it, resulting in elegance that isn’t lost by the addition of flat winter boots and a thick cardigan for a casual, cozy look, nor overshadowed by an up-styling of elbow length gloves, sparkling brooches or delicate high heels. It is a dress that can do a great many things, and with ease.
The dress style itself is a modification of one of Miss Candyfloss’s signature styles, the Vedette dress. The shape of the cups and the ample pleats within them remain the same, as does the cut of the skirt, but the collar is removed in favour of a simple V-neckline. There are pockets in the skirt, a wonderful addition, although I do wish the pocket openings were an inch or two larger and set a couple inches lower from the waistband as I find the pockets difficult to locate and fit my hands into during wear, despite the fact that the pockets themselves are deep enough to comfortably fit my hands or my iPhone 7 plus.
Rather than having standard short or long sleeves as the Vedette dresses do, this Norina dress (and it’s plain-coloured twins) features dolman sleeves. They’re more elegant than a dramatic bat-wing sleeve, so the shape of the bust and the cinch of the waist isn’t lost in the flow of the fabric, instead creating an effortless yet polished appearance. The dress comes with a red fabric grommit belt, which emphasizes the red lines in the print. As with all Miss Candyfloss pieces, this dress is made in Europe and is excellent quality.
I’m wearing this dress in my usual Miss C 2XL. The bust flat measures roughly 46 inches (I find it hard to be exact with the pleats in the cups) while the waist flat measures 37 inches. There isn’t any stretch to this fabric, just a touch of give, but the pleats in the bust do work well for allowing extra room for ladies with larger bosoms. The skirt is 28 inches long and the dress closes with a back zip.
The Norina-Lou dress and it’s plain twins, the Athena-Gia and Athena-Kat, come in sizes XS-4XL. Miss Candyfloss have stockists around the globe but their pieces sell out fast, especially on their own website, so it’s always best to check for new releases regularly if you have your heart set on anything from the lookbook.
Disclaimer: The dress featured in this review was gifted to me by Miss Candyfloss with no obligations. The cape was previously gifted to me by Unique Vintage for a past review. All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any of the companies listed or any other individuals. Items marked with (A/L) are Affiliate Links.