A LBD is widely thought of as its owner’s good ol’ reliable; the multi-purpose black dress that will always leave you feeling comfortable and confident. For several years the concept seemed somewhat strange to me as I always gravitated towards colour and almost never found myself reaching for the black I included in my wardrobe for purely practical reasons. Now, though, I love a black dress, and have more than one LBD in my wardrobe that feel like glamorous comfort blankets. But this Prairie dress by Unique Vintage–oh, she could never be a comfort blanket, never mind a glamorous one. She’s left me feeling inspired!
Dress: Black Prairie Swing dress gifted by Unique Vintage (A/L)
Hat: Black 1950s Cartwheel Sun hat gifted by Unique Vintage (A/L)
Blouse: Luiza blouse by Collectif
Bag: Previously gifted Lola Von Rose boxbag
Heels: Old – Similar
This look is totally different for me but I love it. I almost never wear separates, so when it comes to layering I mostly own a few staple tops and dozens of cardigans because those are the items that work well, and very sensibly, for my life in general. But sometimes I’ll see a dress and think ‘oh wow, a sheer puff sleeve top would look amazing under that’ or ‘whoa, adding a pussybow blouse under that would open up so many looks’. But inevitably I never actually own the item in question that has sparked my creative styling juices, so I stick to the same old same old because buying a top simply to wear under one dress seems a bit extravagant, even for me. When I saw this Prairie dress for the first time I loved its chic simplicity and its flattering shape, but I was also immediately struck with inspiration for how many ways it could be styled and layered with fun pieces to totally change and elevate the look. I couldn’t resist–and I already owned at least one blouse I was sure would fit my vision.
The Prairie dress, as you can see, is exactly what I’ve said it is; simple, chic, flattering, The off the shoulder straps are self-tie, so there’s a useful touch of adjustability offered in addition to that stylish feature. The seaming in the bodice gently evokes the glamour of the kind of stunning well structured gowns we’re used to seeing on the red carpet, while the underbust boning and wide matching grommet belt give you a lovely cinch (I’ve used a different belt in these pictures.) The flared swing skirt flows beautifully, able to take a medium volume petticoat, but offers something even more important–yes, pockets. The final aspect that makes this dress an undisputed winner is the stretch woven blend fabric it’s made out of, adding so much give to this dress that it’s almost indecent how comfortable it is to wear on top of being so beautiful. Like, how dare she have it all??
You surely didn’t miss the killer hat that’s part of this outfit, and indeed when I first saw it I came alight with glamorous inspiration just as I did upon seeing this dress. How serendipitous that the two look so good together! The black cartwheel sun hat is a wide curved brim braided design, ready to offer you sun protection as well as style. It has a flat top crown and a bow accent at the back. The wide brim isn’t fully stiff nor floppy, so it has a subtle downturned lilt. I’ll admit to having more than a few large sun hats in my accessories collection (*cough* a dozen *cough*,) but this one will take its place with elegant pride.
In regards to sizing the sun hat is one size fits all, while I asked for the Prairie swing in my usual UV 2X/18. There’s so much stretch in the fabric that I knew I could probably have sized down but I decided to go with my usual size anyway, and that instinct proved true; yes, I could have sized down, but I’m perfectly happy wearing the 2X as I no longer love a super snug fit. The waist flat measures 37.5 inches with stretch to 46, while the bust flat measures 45 inches with stretch to 51. The skirt is 26.5 inches long.
The tie detail on the shoulder straps mean you can loosen the tie if you need the extra room around your upper arms to feel comfortable (which I suppose could be necessary if you size down,) but at their default smallest tie the straps felt totally comfortable on my large upper arms. The inner bustline and straps (up to where they tie) are lined with a non-slip grip trim, the kind you often find on strapless bras or the inner hems of shapewear. It is, overall, a gorgeous dress, and certainly a classic staple that will serve faithfully in my wardrobe.
The Prairie Swing dress comes in sizes XS-X5 in 3 colourways; plain black, green polka dot and navy polka dot. The Black 1950s Cartwheel Sun hat is one size. Unique Vintage ship worldwide and offer a Rewards Program that earns you money off future purchases.
Disclaimer: The dress featured in this review was gifted to me by Unique Vintage in exchange for an honest 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 that would earn me a small commission from your order if used.
COVID-19 NOTE: These pictures were taken alone and safely in a secluded outdoors area with no other individuals present or passing, thus abiding by the strict social distancing rules currently in place to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.