Look, I know it sounds a bit like a broken record to once again say that I’m in love with a new release from the Alexandra King for Deadly is the Female line…but I am, once again, in love with one of their new releases. And to be honest I don’t even think anyone would have a right to roll their eyes, should they wish to, because JUST LOOK AT THIS BADASS BEAUTY. SERIOUSLY, LOOK AT IT! There is no way you can tell me that you don’t think this dress is amazing because it so very, very clearly is. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, shall we enjoy some swooning over it together, yes? Yes, good. Let’s hold hands digitally while we do so.
Dress: Leopard print Scarlett dress by Alexandra King for Deadly is the Female
Jacket: Lana PU Biker jacket by Collectif*
Cardigan: Black cropped cardigan by MAK Sweater (Affiliate code Amy-yemak-015 for 40% off in June)
Bangles: Mixed black bangles by Splendette and Bow & Crossbones
Shoes: Old Primark
Several items from Alexandra’s Deadly line have a limited availability and this happens to be one of them, so I’m putting that right up front now in case you’ve already decided you’re gonna buy yourself one of these babies but you were going to be very sweet and have a nice gentle read about it before you made the purchase. Nope, there’s no time! Metaphorically run, SPRINT to snap it up because I don’t think it will be around for very long and I would hate to see you disappointed.
For those of you who are undecided or simply here for a bit of lighthearted distraction, let’s continue our social-distancing holding of hands (no, don’t let go) to take a proper look at the beauty that is Scarlett. Named after Deadly is the Female’s store manager and long-term model Scarlett Luxe, this dress is a sexy, sassy, sweetie, just like its namesake. Featuring a sweetheart neckline and sleeves that can be worn both on or off the shoulders, it offers ample opportunity to display your decolletage, widely considered one of the most sensual and flattering parts of every woman, while the full circle skirt gives incredible volume to balance out and best display your cinched waist. Said skirt, which can take a full-volume petticoat with laughable ease and swirls as eagerly as a delighted 4-year-old, also boasts pockets–and I really do mean boast, because pockets in a dress like this? POWER MOVE IF I EVER DID SEE ONE.
The print is, of course, sublime. I love that it’s a leopard print that isn’t quite such an obvious leopard print. The fact that it’s simply two toned–black and a delicious warm coffee brown–rather than reaching for a realistic leopard print depiction means that at a distance the spots can read as polka dots or a fun abstract pattern, and it’s only close up that it’s clearly leopard. That lends it an air of versatility that not all leopard print pieces exhibit, and I tried to give you a glimpse of that just by swapping my outer layer from faux leather jacket to cropped cardigan. The former gives this dress a fun dose of edginess, while the latter softens it and optimises it’s casual possibilities, while the dress itself worn alone can still by styled up for evening wear or all the way down for the most relaxed day wear simply by choice of accessories.
Day wear? Simple flats, optional bangles, cats eye sunglasses when weather appropriate. Evening? Vintage half hat or fascinator, a killer pair of heeled mules, seamed stockings, even elbow length gloves if you want to slay on sight. Hell, let’s even get seasonal with it; casual summer wear? Cats eye sunglasses, of course, and a pair of espadrille wedges or strappy flat sandals. No faff, yet all style. Winter though? Thick tights, your favourite boots, and your cosiest arm layer of choice; you can even add faux fur if you want to get really snuggly. And all that is without even mentioning colour matches! You can, of course, lean into black for accessorising as I did here, for simplicity’s sakes, but you can also mix in all manner of browns or have fun with red, pink, green (god yes!) or purple. I’m so excited to get creating a dozen outfit choices myself, and if this dress is for you then I’m sure right now you’re buzzing with the same anticipation.
In regards to sizing, this one is a bit of a surprise, but wonderfully so! I’m typically a UK 18 or 20 in most things, so in the vintage inspired clothing world that tends to mean I wear lettered sizes of 1X or 2XL depending on the brand. Something I haven’t mentioned yet about this dress is that it’s made from a glorious fabric that magically feels both substantial and sturdy but also has a ton of stretch, not only making it mind-blowingly comfortable to wear (seriously, omg, I could gush about this) but also meaning that I’m wearing the 14-16. What, how? Well, lemme tell you. The waist flat measures 34 inches, but it has stretch to almost 40. The bust, meanwhile, flat measures 40 inches but has stretch to 47 inches, making it a perfect fit for my bust. You might be thinking ‘okay, sure, but I bet the arms are too tight though.’ NOPE, THEY’RE PERFECT. Genuinely perfect. I could weep! While they’re made to be able to be worn off the shoulders they are, essentially, cap sleeves, so not only do they not dig in to my significantly chunky upper arms (I usually need a 17 inch circumference across the biceps for sleeves to be comfortable) but the stretch also means they there’s additional room to be gained even beyond the generous cut. I can wear them both on or off my shoulders in complete comfort, which is actually shocking because it’s been several years since I’ve worn an off-the-shoulder dress in which the sleeves didn’t serve as a pinching torture device for me. The final details of interest is that the skirt is 27 inches long and it comes with a thin black faux-leather grommet belt.
As an Alexandra King for Deadly is the Female piece, this dress is hand-made in England by a small team local to Deadly’s Frome boutique, and is crafted to the highest level of quality with passion and great care. Both AK’s and Deadly’s teams are incredibly small, made up of a handful of passionate, lovely women between them, dedicated to making people feel and look fabulous. The lockdown we’re currently in here in the UK has meant that Deadly has had to close their shop to in-person customers, but they’re still fulfilling your online orders safely and with grateful handwritten notes included. The lockdown has also understandably effected Alex’s team, and part of her response is that she has begun producing face masks (which ship free in the UK!) as well as providing a free pattern for them that you can find on her website. I bought a cute red gingham mask from her a couple weeks back and I wear it every time I go on one of my government-allowed walks.
All these women are so dedicated to their work that it breaks my heart a little bit to know how difficult and uncertain this time must be for their businesses, so if you can afford to support them right now please consider doing so. I know that I will personally be making the Deadly is the Female site my number 1 stop on my digital birthday-money shop[ping spree in May, when I’ll have to make the super difficult decision of which AK for Deadly dress will be next to add to my collection. Hmm…a Maxi Claudia perhaps, or one of the jersey flutter sleeve Claudias to join my beloved polka dot darling? It’s a very tough call indeed.
The Leopard Print Scarlett dress comes in UK sizes 8-16, but as mentioned above, the fabric in the stretch will cover additional plus sizes. If you’re more of a wiggle lover than a swing dress girl, you’ll be thrilled to know it also comes in a pencil dress version, the Kitty Kat dress. Both dresses have free UK shipping, and all Deadly is the Female orders earn you reward points that can be claimed for money off future purchases.
Disclaimer: The use of my MAK Sweater affiliate code will generate me a small commission from your order. I bought the jacket by Collectif but they’ve gifted me other items for review. All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any of the companies listed or any other individuals.
COVID-19 NOTE: These pictures were taken in the safety of my garden, thus abiding by the strict social distancing rules currently in place to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. Please stay home, and when necessary to leave the house for work or necessities remember to keep at least 6 ft away from any persons you may encounter.