I’ve never been one for wearing a lot of black, but over the last six months or so I’ve found myself becoming increasingly more drawn to wearing black clothing. Even now, the idea of a solid black dress doesn’t really interest me, not unless it’s a wiggle dress, as the sexy screen siren feel of that silhouette overpowers my desire for there to be an aspect of true interest punctuating the black.
With swing dresses, though, I need there to be an element of interest to break up the expanse of black to keep my interest, a layering of different or unusual textures, a contrasting fabric panel or trim. This Vivianne-Lou dress from Miss Candyfloss delivers on that specification with glamorous exactitude, the simple and generally modest cut of the plain black dress elevated by the velvet-touch leopard print in the collar and matching belt, adding a sexy and exotic feel.
I’m typically a wearer of 50s fashion and nothing more. Where the silhouettes of the 50s blend into the beginning of the 60s, with day dresses and such the like, you could say I claim partial style use of that decade too, but that’s about it. The 40s had beautiful tea dresses that don’t tempt me with my cinched-waist, full-skirt aesthetic love, and going back even further beyond that era tempts me less. Recently, however, I’ve been finding myself searching for fringed dresses, curious as to what I might look like in one, wondering if my curves would get lost completely beneath the tiers of tassles. It was in my search that I came across Littleblackdress.co.uk.
As you might expect, the team at Little Black Dress are all about providing a selection of LBDs and dresses for special occasions. They offer prom dresses, wedding guest dresses, evening gowns and party dresses, as well as, I was delighted to see, a full range of vintage inspired flapper dresses. They have a beautiful selection of beaded and fringed frocks that would look right at home on any dame attending one of Gatsby’s wildest parties, and what impresses me most is that their selection offers dresses in a full size range, from UK 6 up to a UK 30. They sell the head dresses and boleros necessary too for adopting the style fully from head to toe, for the purist, but for me it was great to be able to choose a dress I could style in a more personal or modern fashion should I want to, without feeling it was necessary to go the full 20s mile.
The Erin dress by PUG has been a wiggle dress staple offered by the company for a long time now. Available in many colours, it’s made of stretch bengaline and features a wrap-over bust detail. Recently redesigned, it’s now available in extra colours as well as two more cuts, one a wiggle with sleeves and the other a three-quarter sleeved swing dress.
I hardly wear wiggles, so while I loved the wiggle version with the capped sleeves I knew it would be an unnecessary addition to my wardrobe. The swing, though, tempted me. Yet I had pause. I love a full swing skirt, requiring a full circle skirt or then some, and very rarely do skirts with less than a full circle feel right on me. This skirt looked like it wouldn’t hold the petticoat I require and that it might cling to my fabulous love handles, so I overlooked it for several weeks.
Once it was released and customers began buying it up, I started seeing pictures of ladies looking fabulous in it splashed across my social media. Eventually I decided to give it a try.
Last week I featured the gorgeous Lauren wiggle dress from Goldie’s Clothing, classic Spanish repro clothing company. That means this week it’s time to take a look at one of their swing dresses.
Behold the Maria dress, a flared swing dress with a flared full circle skirt and, like the Lauren dress, a superbly flattering sweetheart neckline. It’s sleeveless, has a small gather at the bust, closes with a back zipper, and is designed in such a way that it is seamless at the waist, creating a smooth, elegant transition from bodice to skirt with no waistband to speak of.
Maria comes in several colourways, but in this post I’m wearing the lovely rice dot sheer overlay version to go for a frolic in the golden summer fields–where I made some unexpected new friends you’ll get to see later on in the post.
I review a lot of mid-price point pinup dresses, so I’ve been making an effort lately to dig out some of the more budget-friendly items in my closet to review for ladies who are working with fewer spendable bucks leftover at the end of their paychecks. Today that budget pick is the Verona dress from Lindybop.
A black swing dress with a flared box pleat skirt, a lace overlay bust and a cut out detail on the back, this is a modest but pretty design that would work great as a little black dress of an evening.
I mentioned last week that I recently bought the Black Evening dress from Doll Me Up Darling in the same order in which I bought two of their Vixen Vondetta tops. I was torn between buying the black version of this dress or the red, as I want both, really, but I took the totally practical route of ordering this one because it was currently in stock. It’s a very simple dress and that’s a great thing, because it can be styled in whichever way takes your fancy. I like it so much that the red is definitely going on my wishlist now.
Queen of Heartz is a retro clothing brand established in 2001 by owner and designer, Letty Tennant, a lover of fine textiles and classic prints that harken back to the authentic silhouettes and stylings of bygone eras as clothes used to be made. All their clothes are handmade in LA and Orange county, offering quality American-made products crafted with care, and the company even offers a custom made atelier section on their site, Letty’s own favourite part of her business.
For a while I owned a Queen of Heartz piece without even realising I did, as I had bought the navy polka dot QoH Olivia dress through Unique Vintage over a year ago, not paying attention at first to which brand made it. This dress is one of my favourites, not merely because the nautical combination of navy and white is one of my favourite colour themes, but because it just fits so well. Every time I wear it people tell me it looks like it was made for me, and I feel so good in it I begin to believe it myself. The entire dress fits me flatteringly on every conceivable body contour and the skirt perfectly encompasses my infamous double petticoats with ease and grace, something which is sure to win me over fast.
Given that I am so smitten with this full skirted QoH piece, I wanted to give one of their gorgeous wiggle dresses a try. Enter, the Vamp dress! This dress is gothic, chic, sexy and classy all at once. Considering that special dark and sultry vibe this dress oozes, I layered on the black lace and tulle to take some vampish shots especially for this post.
Valentine’s day is still a of couple weeks away, which might seem too soon to some of you to buy your special date outfit already (whether for your partner or a night spent with friends,) but being that we pinups often order our clothes internationally I wanted to get my favourite Valentine’s outfit picks up in time for ladies to get them ordered and delivered internationally. I’ve not only covered both American and English brands, but both ‘spend’ and ‘splurge’ budgets. For the sake of making the budget categorisations easiest I set £45 as the budget option price limit, and the splurge option as £45+. I’ve picked red dresses, pink dresses, and dresses in other colourways or prints (‘I Ain’t No Cliché’) for ladies who want to step out of the usual love colour schemes for the holiday. There’s wiggle and swing dresses covered, plain colours as well as prints and patterns. Continue reading →
Fear not! I haven’t forgotten about this Pinup in Sleeves series. One of the dresses I wanted to add to this list that I’ve been lusting over for a couple months now is the Lindybop Ramona dress, but for a long time it was out of stock in my size. I placed it on my Christmas list a few months back thinking if it happened to come back into stock before Christmas maybe one of my family members could get it for me, but otherwise it would just sit on my list as a reminder to snap it up when it did come back into stock.
Mid-December Ramona reappeared and I not-so-subtly asked my mum whether it would be best for me to buy it then for myself in case no one noticed it being restocked and I missed the buying window. My mumma told me to send her a link to the dress and we both pretended I didn’t know what I would be getting for Christmas. The day came! My present was opened. Hello Ramona, you darling! Which means I’m able to add her to this sleeved dress series for you lovely ladies who are, like me, searching for warmer pieces to add to your pinup wardrobe during winter.
The Ramona dress is the most affordable dress in the series of dresses I’ll be reviewing, though other Lindybop dresses at a similar price point will appear on the final wishlist I’ll be sharing at the end of the series showcasing other dresses I like but don’t own in order to give a full review. As it’s currently out of stock I can’t find the price listed anywhere and because it was a gift I don’t have an invoice I can check, but I know it would have been between £27.99-£34.99. Lindybop ships at a flat shipping rate of £1.99 in the UK, no matter how many dresses you order, which is kind of incredible. It regularly goes out of stock on the Lindybop site as well as many others that carry it, so if you decide it’s a must own for you you might have to sign up to some stock notifications to wait it out.
When I was but a newbie pinup–when I was tentatively attempting to craft a retro look out of cheap dancewear circle skirts and still scared of red lipstick–there were 3 dresses I saw in my online wanderings that made me swoon and sigh with want and desire: the Pinup Girl Clothing Monica dress, their Sailor Swing dress, and the Tatyana (then Bettie Page) Alika dress. The Alika dress runs for $150 in the US and in the UK around £120, sadly out of my typical budget, so at the time I yearned and gurned and craved, stored it in the not-so-little part of my brain that houses my dream ‘one day’ wardrobe, and moved on with my life.
Until this summer, when I happened to have an upcoming wedding to attend, and the Alika dress was marked down to $120 in a sale. Our time had come! This would be the perfect opportunity to treat myself to this dress. The Alika, that black elegant goddess of glamour and style, was going to be my lady.
Now that we’re together I am so glad our time finally did come, because we were meant to be. Alika and I went for a little stroll together in the woods to share with you our love.