Once upon a time black dresses just didn’t call to me. I wanted colour, prints, everything paired with red! All bold all the time, this bitch is underlined! Fast forward a few years to present day Amy and my tastes have changed several times over, these days favouring darker, rich tones, and definitely, finally, appreciative of a good black dress. And this Scarlette? Oh, she’s a good black dress.
Dress: Black Scarlette dress gifted by Dolly & Dotty
Tights: Janet Fishnets by Snag Tights
Gloves: Wet Look elbow gloves from LoveHoney
Hat: Black Straw Headband Disc Hat previously gifted by Unique Vintage [A/L]
Stole: Old Faux fur stole from eBay
Bag: Black Gemma bag by Banned Retro
I love chic, flattering sleeved swing dresses. The first two adjectives in that description speak for themselves, but for me sleeved swing dresses are special. It’s not like they’re not used in modern fashion, you can certainly find them on the high street (…I say, with slightly wavering confidence, as someone who hasn’t shopped on the high street in several years. Sleeved dresses exist, right? Just…few and far between?) There’s just something about the way longer sleeves add balance and polish to the silhouette of a vintage inspired dress shape that gets me, right there, in the fashion feels. It gives me the glamour goosebumps.
Now, add cuffs to the sleeves of that dress and I am not merely won over but likely overcome, a little bit fizzy in my tummy like a delicate regency era heroine who’s come over a little faint because her intended has returned unexpectedly from war. Cuffs, for me? On a sleeved, full-skirted dress that I thought fashion had left for dead? My goodness, I almost do not know what to say—I thought my life was to proceed, achingly, without you, and yet here you stand before me, so very perfect and just as I have been holding you in my heart and my mind, all this time.
(Yes, I absolutely have been on a huge historical fiction romance binge to cope with the drudging awfulness of this pandemic, can you tell? 10/10 would recommend it as a coping strategy, be tee dubs.)
So, this dress has sleeves. They are lovely. As is the neckline, a subtle sweetheart which displays the décolletage in such a way that I am struggling not to describe as loving, now that my brain is in such a fanciful romantic language mode from my diversions above. The waist is emphasised by a fitted banded panel, before the wide sweep of the skirt blooms out to create that gorgeous vintage shape we all love. Plus, THERE ARE POCKETS. Honestly, that alone is better than a suddenly-alive and returned betrothed, is it not?
This dress is made from a soft Ponte Di Roma fabric which has a wonderful reassuring weight to it as well as a comfortable amount of stretch. The thickness feels sturdy and skimming, something that’s comforting on lumps and bumps. The skirt can take a medium-full petticoat to pump up the volume for that true vintage shape (I’m wearing it here with one of Dolly & Dotty’s own fluffy petticoats,) but worn alone this dress is so timeless in its simplicity that it will read simply as chic to the modern eye. In black, this dress can serve for almost any occasion, a classic and understated option for event wear that you can fancy up with all manner of vintage accessories, should you wish, but can also be worn casually layered for winter (hello boots, tights, a cropped biker jacket!) It can even be styled with modesty in mind by adding a layer underneath, like a short sleeved pussybow blouse or a bralette/vest top with a wide lace panel across the bust. Just because a dress can be glamorous, doesn’t mean it has to be.
I suspected an 18 would fit due to the fabric type–it would have–but since my bust sits in the size 20 on the size chart I opted to size up so that the fit wasn’t automatically super boobilicious. The ample stretch means the bust flat measures 45.5 inches with stretch to 50, while the waist flat measures 37 with stretch to 43. There’s also ample room through the sleeves, always a joy when found in sleeved dresses as not all brands grade up the sleeves appropriately through their plus sizes. To be specific, the circumference around the bicep measures 15.5 inches with stretch to 19. The skirt is 31 inches long. This dress is machine washable and closes with a hidden back zip. The pockets are more sizable than those found on the average dress, with room for my iPhone 7 Plus to sit fully without risk of falling out as I move about or bend over, with more room still for other bits and pieces.
The Scarlette dress is available in U.K. sizes 8-26, in 16 different colour ways, including several solid colour versions as well as a variety of fun patterns and prints.
Disclaimer: The dress featured in this review was gifted to me by Dolly & Dotty in exchange for an honest review. The hat was previously gifted 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 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, practising responsible social distancing to help limit the spread of Covid-19.