Autumn is definitely on its way now, which means it’s time for me to start accessorising everything with every shade of brown possible. It’s dying leaves time, snitches!
Dress: Green Penelope dress gifted by Dolly & Dotty
Coat: (Old) Leopard Scarlett trench by Collectif*
Cardigan: Camel Cropped cardigan by MAK (Affiliate code yemak-amymay for 40% off)
Belt: Old Primark
Brooch: Log lady brooch by Luxulite
Tights: Spice Melange wool tights by Snag Tights
Boots: Tatiana Brown Boots previously gifted by Collectif/Lulu Hun
Bangles: Assorted Splendette
When it comes to vintage style basics you can’t really beat a shirtdress. The silhouette is a wardrobe staple, appropriate for most daily-wear scenarios as well as being great for casual social occasions, while still maintaining that special feeling that vintage style dresses give me. The fact that this dress is a solid colour makes it incredibly versatile and easy to style, and this green in particular will work year round. For me, leaning into all tones of brown (including leopard print and tortoiseshell,) mustard, burgundy, black and darker greens will carry me easily through all sorts of autumn and winter styling combos, and pairing with lighter greens, lilac, white, and beige will work beautifully for spring and summer if I want to brighten up my colour stories.
The bodice is fitted but not snug, the collar adds a touch of structure, and the flared skirt has ample room for a medium-full petticoat should you wish to get puffy with it. I love that the buttons are covered in matching fabric, as that always feels like a more luxurious touch than plastic buttons. The edge of the sleeve cuffs, the collar and the button placket all have a rounded finish reminiscent of piping, which I find super cute. It’s made from a stretch cotton, so it’s comfortable for wearing all day long, certainly a welcome aspect for me personally, the queen fidget of all fidgets. It comes with a matching thin grommet belt, something I always appreciate in a dress, though in this instance I decided to lean into adding more texture and another shade of brown with this faux leather belt instead.
I usually opt for a size 18 in Dolly & Dotty when there’s stretch in the fabric and a size 20 when there’s not, but I decided to go for a 20 in this dress despite the stretch noted in the product description because it closes with functioning buttons and the threat of gaping between buttons is one of my least favourite things. It turns out this dress is very generously sized even without the stretchiness, so an 18 likely would have been a perfectly fine fit for me everywhere except on the sleeve cuffs.
To give you an idea of the generosity, the waist on this 20 measures 43 inches flat, with stretch to almost 46 inches. The bust is 48 inches flat, with stretch to 52 inches. Crucially, the cuffs on sleeves are 16 inches in circumference with no stretch, which is the minimum circumference I need on my biceps before things start to pinch, so sizing down probably would have caused me some discomfort in that area. Cinching the waist in with a belt and adding a few tucks here and there will reduce some of the roominess for me, but on the whole I do prefer something fit me a little large rather than snugly because I’m a massive seam-fidget, and, let’s face it, many of us are still in the sitting-down-a-lot stage of the pandemic. Extra room is fine by me. The skirt is 25 inches long and the dress is machine washable.
The Penelope dress comes in UK sizes 8-26, in 9 different colourways and patterns. There’s 20% off Dolly & Dotty’s entire site this weekend, including sale and new in, with code ‘flash20’ at checkout. They ship worldwide.
Disclaimer: The dress featured in this review was gifted to me by Dolly & Dotty in exchange for an honest review. The boots were previously gifted by Lulu Hun for a past review. Items marked with an asterix* are items I bought myself from companies that have previously 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. The use of my MAK affiliate code will generate me a small commission from your order.
COVID-19 NOTE: These pictures were taken alone and safely in a secluded outdoors area with no other individuals present or passing, thus practising strict social distancing measures in an effort to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.