Once you’ve been in the vintage-inspired modern-made clothing realm for long enough you’re often able to recognise which brand made an item of clothing at first glance. Some brands are quirkier with their prints, others have certain signature design details they repeat over and over. For me, I’m usually able to recognise a The Pretty Dress Company item from the timeless simplicity of its design. Typically sleek, understated and endlessly chic, they’re a perfect mixture of 1950s silhouettes meeting the modern world, wearable for vintage lovers and current-fashion lovers alike. Today’s Myla dress is another perfect example of TPDC’s refined elegance.
I’ve never really been one to suffer from FOMO, except when it comes to clothes. So when The Pretty Dress Company released their signature Tilly prom dress in multiple velvet colourways for the 2021 festive season and my social feeds filled up with dozens of gorgeous pinups twirling in their Tillys in the run up to Christmas, yes, I’ll admit, I was jealous. The Tilly is a slight reimagining of their Thea swing dress from a few years back, the same flattering overall shape but with statement bows added to the off-the-shoulder sleeves. I owned the Thea in a cobalt blue and it was one of my favourite dresses to wear, until I gained weight and sized out of it. I still have it, packed away carefully in storage in case I fit it again someday. So for the Tilly dress to offer that same level of glamour and style as Thea did, but in lush, sumptuous velvets…oh, my heart ached. It wasn’t in my winter budget to treat myself to a Tilly, so I felt certain that we would never be–or at least, not this season.
But then one day, not too long ago, I read those magic, magic words: end of season sale, up to 50% off.
Dreams really do come true!
I love getting to try new-to-me brands here on the blog, especially when they’re small businesses, so I’m thrilled today to introduce Weekend Doll to my little corner of the internet. Weekend Doll have been on the scene for almost a decade as a stockist of independent vintage-inspired brands, but this year they launched their own line! I adore when small businesses take the leap into producing their own pieces but even more so when they are dedicated to producing it at home here in the U.K., as Weekend Doll is. That decision is a result of not only wanting to support the British manufacturing industry but also as a conscious effort to reduce their environmental impact by limiting the travel their wares must undertake in order to be ready for sale. With all of those things in mind, I was certainly very excited to try my first Weekend Doll outfit.
It’s been pretty dreary here in the UK for what feels like an age. It’s been rain, showers, and more rain, but in a shocking twist of fate this Bank Holiday weekend has heralded the return of sunshine. So it was wonderful timing that this glorious The Pretty Dress Company piece turned up this week just in time to enjoy said sunshine in true summer fashion–in gingham!
I’ll tell you what, there is perhaps no other brand as aptly named as The Pretty Dress Company. No muss, no fuss, just pretty dresses all around. Today’s post is plenty evidence enough, I think. Let’s look at Leyla.
One item of clothing I absolutely love but don’t wear that often is a peplum top. Why the disparity between my feelings and my actions? Because as a plus sized woman who carries a lot of weight on her tummy I generally feel self-conscious in clothing that displays it, and the average peplum top you find online or on the high street isn’t long enough to get the full tummy coverage that will leave me feeling my most confident. This peplum though? Oh, this bad Betty was deliberately made at the right length to soothe those of us with a little bit of belly bashfulness, and not only does it come in 6 colours, but it comes with a matching wiggle skirt too!
There are many ways it’s hard to be a small business. Having limited resources, the financial pressure of making it work so you can meet your bills or pay for your kid’s after school clubs, the gamble of stocking a new product you believe in that customers might not ‘get’ at first, trying to build up your return customer base as well as your brand recognition so you can reach new potential customers. And if you’re a small business owner who has bigger dreams, who wants not just to stock and sell but to design, to manufacture, to create, it’s harder still to build up and spend out the cost of fulfilling that dream. To create something that is yours and yours alone to offer your customers, something you made with love and passion and great hope. I’m not sure that kind of vision and bravery is something I would ever find in myself, but the beautiful thing about having my own tiny corner of the internet is that I can share the lovely things made by braver, more imaginative people than I, and today I do just that. Today we’re looking at the first dress made for Cerys’ Closet’s own brand, and it’s a made in UK beauty!
It’s news to no one that I love the Claudia dress by Alexandra King for Deadly is the Female since I already own 5 of them–4 of the bishop sleeve dresses and 1 of the bishop sleeve gowns, in the super luxe and impossibly glamorous navy velvet version. I don’t, however, own any of the flutter sleeves, purely because I could never quite decide which colour would make the most sense for me to purchase, on a practical level. Well, Deadly and Alexandra made that decision real easy for me recently by releasing their first ever printed Claudia dress–this navy polka dot flutter sleeve beauty, made to sway and swish in the way of all your most buttery chiffon dreams.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times: I love border prints. I’ve gushed about landscape border prints here on the blog before numerous times, but I come across stand-out floral border prints less often, though I love them no less. Therefore, when I saw this rose border print Sweet Pea dress by Miss Fortune, I had all the love for it. I did my usual of talking myself out of the purchase because I’m saving, but then, a ha, I had to return something more expensive to a different store, so hello Sweet Pea! Welcome to your new garden. Or, rather, corn field.
I’m gonna get this out of my way right at the start: I am not normally a leopard print fan. I once heard someone say that (paraphrased) it is a print that is abundantly used in the fashion industry by the very cheap and the very expensive, and I think that perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the print on the whole. When done well, it’s sexy and chic and luxurious. Done badly, it looks…well, cheap. And while there’s nothing wrong with building a wardrobe in a thrifty manner, I think we all tend to hope our £3 bargain we were excited to snag doesn’t actually scream ‘THIS COST £3!’ We just want to be able to say that in an enthusiastic half-bragging fashion when someone cooes over how gorgeous it is. There’s a difference.
So with leopard print, I feel it’s a fine line. For that reason, I’ve stayed clear of it in the past, overlooking it in favour of prints or patterns that are less difficult to ‘get right.’ In recent months, however, I’ve found myself drawn to the print. Perhaps being in the pinup community means I’ve simply been exposed to a lot of brands who have got it right by leaning on their vintage inspirations to nail the sexy, stylish essence of the print. No matter the reason, lately I’ve been searching around for a leopard print top I can pair with a black pencil skirt and a sassy attitude to feel as slinky as the jungle cat it mimics. Thanks to Miss Fortune, I’ve found that top: the Leopard Polly Blouse.