I’ve always loved the fully glamorous, utterly chic side of the mid-century aesthetic more than the more casual day-to-day or rockabilly styles. I love dressing vintage but you still won’t really catch me in capri pants or high-waisted jeans because I just don’t feel comfortable in them. That means than when an occasion truly calls for a casual vibe, or when I simply don’t want to expend much effort, I end up casting a glance across my many, many dresses and wondering which of them would work for the most easy-going outfit. Obviously tons of my dresses can be dressed up as well as down, but the block tends to be more mental, owing more to my brain going ‘aww, I love that dress…but I don’t wanna wear it casually, I wanna be fancy!’ like a toddler determined to accompany you to the supermarket dressed as a princess. So, it just works better to have some options in my wardrobe that my brain automatically categorises as casual. My brain, therefore, was very happy to meet this Sonia dress, an option that is undeniably casual and cute!
A couple days ago I shared with you Dolly & Dotty’s leopard print Lily dress. I really tried to emphasise that it could be styled both up or down, but at the end of the day we all have dress cuts we gravitate towards and if Lily didn’t tick your personal box then that’s okay. Buuuut, saying that, I don’t think that necessarily means Dolly & Dotty’s leopard print isn’t for you, because it’s a delightfully understated leopard print (as far as leopard prints ever can be, really,) and they utilise it in several other clothing items. Today I wanted to show you another of the options, just because I love this li’l lep so much. Shirtwaister fans, this one’s for you–let’s look at Penelope!
Functioning on the theory that leopard print is a neutral (it’s true, don’t even try to argue,) I think it stands to reason to say it can be dressed up or down. Yes, that somewhat comes down to the cut of the clothing item in question, because, no, neutral though it may be, I still wouldn’t recommend wearing a pair of leopard print capri pants to a wedding, but lucky for us, this off the shoulder Lily dress is a lovely and suitable dress for many an occasion.
While I have become quite a leopard print devotee over the past few years, I can still understand how the print might not be the top choice for many folks. Wearing it requires confidence–and a healthy scoop of sass in some instances–but there’s plenty of ways to utilize the print for those who don’t feel totally at home rocking a full leopard print item of clothing. Instead, one could opt for a leopard print statement accessory in a headscarf, handbag. or pair of shoes. Or, simpler still, one could grab this leopard trimmed Cindy dress by Dolly & Dotty, which has the perfect splash of leopard designed for you.
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.
I’ve developed a real thing lately for flutter sleeves. They’re comfortable no matter your size, they give great upper arm coverage whilst looking delicate and feminine, and the dresses they’re apart of can often be styled both casually and for events. Saying all that, flutter sleeve dresses aren’t one of the most common shapes in the vintage reproduction world, so I was super pleased to find this leopard printed beauty from Hell Bunny. Delicate femininity and the powerful sass of leopard print? Yes please!
For a vintage-clothing loving girl, I’m actually woefully ignorant of, well, many aspects of vintage clothing. I don’t know the correct terms for most of the design features of the clothing I so greatly admire from past eras, let alone details of fabric type or authenticity when it comes to inspecting possible true vintage pieces. That means sometimes when I’m watching a period film or TV series I can spot a dress style or accessory piece I desperately covet but I can’t figure out what to search for online to even begin the process of tracking down a repro version I can purchase myself. Continue reading
One of the easiest things for a woman to wear is a wrap dress. The great thing about them is that they’re so well-loved and respected that they’ve never gone out of style, so it’s typically possible to find them on the high street and at your nearest mall as well as online. For me, they weren’t something I appreciated until I began to dress in vintage styles. Ironically, though, one of the things I love most about them is that unlike many of the swing dresses hanging in my wardrobe, I don’t feel like I have to style them up in a vintage fashion to wear them.
On days when I don’t have the motivation to get pinned up, when I need to get out of the house quickly, or when it wouldn’t be fully appropriate where I’m going to turn up in a 50s swing dress and floofy petticoat a-swingin’, a wrap dress is easy to throw on, comfortable to wear, and always makes me feel put together even when the effort sunk into that ‘putting together’ was minimal. They’re chic, they’re timeless, and thanks to this Lotta wrap dress from Joanie Clothing, they’re also totally sassy.
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.