It’s September and the weather seems to have settled for long enough that I think we can finally call it; it’s Autumn! And while for many that means getting overexcited about Halloween, something I could not care less about, for me it means joyously waiting for the leaves to start changing colours (my absolutely favourite part of the season,) beginning to layer up, and the chance to dig out all my tartans from the back of my wardrobe. Tartans and plaids are my favourite part of autumn and winter dressing, hands down, so I was thrilled to see Hell Bunny offering us more new tartan lovelies this season. Oh Hell Bunny, I can always count on you to make me happy. Today, it’s with Irvine.
In my attitudinal warming towards leopard print in the last year or so I’ve noticed that most of the spotty little items I’ve acquired have felt largely sassy and not at that casual as far as clothing goes. The 50s styles I prefer, admittedly, are simply more dressy, and I don’t lean into the more relaxed rockabilly styles that do read as more laid-back to the styled eye.
Because of that, it was nice to come across this Hell Bunny Panthera dress, as it’s a gorgeous example of leopard print conducted in a truly casual way. That makes it a perfect piece for ladies who find sporting spots a bit too intimidating and who just want a dress that’s easy to wear which doesn’t require them to sport an attitude to go along with it–although the attitude is optional, should you want to partake in it.
There are some specific features that make up a good leopard print, in my opinion. Famously leopard print can either look incredibly expensive or incredibly cheap, and putting aside the impact styling choices can make on a leopard print item, I think the print itself needs to have two things to read as the former; a variation in its depth of background colour, showcasing darker brown and near black patches mixed in with the lighter gold swathes, and a variation in size, shape and openness of the spots.
These things, when done correctly, will make the print look more realistic, and thus, expensive. What irony, then, that one of the best leopard prints I’ve found in our vintage-inspired realm comes from one of our most budget-friendly brands: Hell Bunny. Their Panthera leopard print is luxe and rich, and is available on a range of items that covers everything from capri pants to dresses. So whether your leopard style icon veers more Peggy Bundy or more Jackie O, Hell Bunny is bound to have options to fulfill your heart’s purring desires.
Wicker handbags are one of my favourite things. Every summer I find myself buying more, then going to add it to my collection on my shelf and realising, oh, I have much more of these than I thought, I probably shouldn’t have bought another one…
And then I do it all over again. Considering that wicker bags are kind of delicate as far as handbags go, unable to handle an accidental bash against a wall or bump by a stranger without the risk of a snapped weave, that makes my compulsion all the worse. You’d think, then, that I would feel guilty about the subject of this post, but on the contrary, that delicate natural of my favourite arm candy is the exact reason I do not. Because sometimes with reproduction items, you miss out a bit on the magic of what the originals offered in the eras gone by, but sometimes reproduction fixes a problem that modern life only highlights, and these Hell Bunny bags do just that; say hello to wicker style handbags that don’t need babying!
I know, I know; English readers will be thinking but we only just had our second bout of snow! But you know what? I don’t care. I’m bored of winter. I am ready for florals and frills and wicker bags and wedges! England might yet to be convinced that it is spring, but I am, and thanks to Hell Bunny I am refusing to back down!
Most pinups find that they often gravitate towards a certain cut of dress. I tend towards strappy swing dresses with a lower neckline because they allow me to stay cool in summer with the option to add layers for warmth in colder months. In winter, though, I do really love a sleeved dress–when I can find one that works for me.
I repeatedly torture myself by seeking out my perfect sleeved specimen; it has to be just the right shape, in the right colour or print, with a skirt that will actually hit me below the knee, and most importantly (and often not the case) with sleeves that will comfortably fit my large upper arms without making me want to cut them off after a couple hours of strained movement or painful digging and pinching. With all that to be considered, sometimes even if I love a sleeved dress I just won’t order it. I’ll feel sure that it won’t live up to my needs, or I’ll be cognizant that at this time of year there’s only so much wear I can get out of a sleeved style before it either A) is so warm it becomes impossible to wear through spring/summer even in England, or B) it looks so wintery in style that it would look silly wearing it in June, even if it is pouring with rain.
Well, finally I’ve found a dress that ticks all my boxes: it’s the right length, there’s no arm abuse involved in wear, it cinches the waist, has pockets, and it’s in a gorgeous vibrant print that will look good literally all year round. Ladies, I give you Darcy.
Spring isn’t even here but the first SS18 pieces are, so you know what that means? Time for the first nautical outfit of the summer that is still an age away!
It’s the first week of December, so that means it’s time; time for abandoning your shame when you find yourself humming All I Want For Christmas in the middle of the workday; time for saying ‘it’s Christmas, it’s fine’ when you make several awful food choices in a row in a single day even if it is waaay too early in the month to be getting that lax with your nutrition; time for climbing into the attic to get down the decorations and for gift buying (or wrapping already, if you’re super organised); and time, finally, for unapologetically Christmassy outfits, like this Holly Berry 50s dress from Hell Bunny.
I think we all do it, buy multiple items of clothing that are similar to items we already own. Without realising it you end up with 5 plain red swing dresses, or 3 red based tartan circle skirts. It’s easy to do because when we love a particular colour or dress cut or pattern or print style all we know when we see a new example of it is that we love it, maybe forgetting that that’s why we already have 4 similar items already hanging in our closet. While I absolutely suffer this, I also do the opposite: sometimes I forget that I’ve grown to love something I didn’t used to.
For me, one such thing is mid-toned blues. It’s not a shade range I’m naturally drawn to for my own wardrobe, but I find people react with ardent appreciation when I wear blues. My best friend Giselle loves me in blues and always praises when I wear them, so much so that I think overtime she unwittingly trained me into loving them as well. Sometimes I forget that I now equally appreciate all blues, not just navy, to the point that when I first saw this Hell Bunny Montana print I almost passed it by, my inactive brain sure that it wasn’t ‘me.’ But wait, a small niggle suggested, quiet there at the back, as if waking up from a sleep. Look at that blue though, it said, reminding me that I now appreciate that tone, and the dashes of yellow and brown that mix together almost like gold. The green of mint peas, the navy and the white and the black. The cross-hatching and smudged quality that makes it feel like midnight. It’s beautiful.
So I looked at it again, and again, and again. I kept coming to the conclusion that deer dashing across a beshrubbed plain just wasn’t my typical Miss Amy May style of print.
Some might say if you can’t decide on something then you probably don’t really want it. Not me. I say if in some way you can think of reasons why you shouldn’t or wouldn’t like it, yet it keeps drawing you in, you should go for it. Sometimes the heart wants what it wants, and so does your closet.
If this dress looks familiar that’s because it is. The Aberdeen dress was first released for AW15, I remember vividly because the first iteration in the green and navy Dublin tartan so enamoured me I ordered it as soon as I first clapped eyes on it online. It came with me to the USA for my October trip to attend a friend’s wedding in Virginia and visit another friend in Texas, and though I massively overpacked for that trip and ordered at least 6 other dresses to greet my arrival at my friend’s house I wore it twice on that 17 day trip. Because that’s the thing about a good dress, one good wear deserves another. And if you’ve got one good dress in a great print or colour, I’m a firm believer that it deserves to be produced in yet another, just so that crazy dress addicts like me can enjoy the same wonderful dress in a second (or third, or fourth!) colour. A colour for every occasion and for every season!
Hell Bunny have humoured me, and every other Aberdeen lover out there, with a new ice blue tartan for our coming winter, so just in case the green/blue Dublin or the white/red Stewart tartans didn’t grab you, this frozen frock can.