I’m one of those people who’s pretty bad for encouraging others to buy the extravagant evening dress even when they don’t have a special event on the horizon. The way I see it, life is too short not to do the things that make you happy, and if one of those things occasionally is buying a fancy dress that actually made you gasp or groan or swoon a little bit when you saw it, that can’t really be a bad thing. Putting on a special dress that is too fancy for every day life has a certain kind of feeling that comes with it, a grandness, a fizz of excitement, a bubbling of childlike wondrous joy that you get to wear something so wonderful and look great in it.
Even if, like me, you own far too many dresses, there’s still something extra special about putting on an evening dress that makes you feel like a princess, a lady, or an old Hollywood screen siren. The latter is the realm of fancy we’re entering into today, with a floor length velvet gown from Dolly & Dotty that makes me feel like laying atop a piano and pouting my way through a breathy solo number.
Everyone should be able to wear whatever they want, without judgement or comment. Saying that, there are certain things I won’t go near personally because I just don’t feel they work for my body and the way I most like to highlight its features. Maxi dresses don’t show off my waist enough with that large expanse of skirt flowing straight down beneath it, and capped sleeves aren’t kind to my chubby upper arms. I store weight on my lower stomach and have wide hips, as well as considerable butt (awww yeaaah,) but those things mean when it comes to trousers and shorts, I just steer clear most of the time for simplicity’s sake, since I can’t be bothered searching for the perfect fit. Playsuits and jumpsuits, therefore, are clothing pieces I rule out, because when trying some on in the past I’ve found they don’t fit my lower body well and make me feel self-conscious about my squidgy tummy. No one really wants that.
However, I’ve been seeing some bodacious babes rocking some amazing retro jumpsuits lately and it made me feel some things. Miss Victory Violet, Simone of Atypical Girl Clothing and Kerry of Audrey Star’s Boutique are all working their jumpsuits like it’s nobody’s business, and it got me wondering.
L to R: Atypical Girl’s Simone. Audrey Star’s Boutique’s Kerry, and Miss Victory Violet
Unique Vintage is one of my favourite websites for vintage clothing. I own several glamorous evening dresses by UV and the final dress in our party dress series here. the Dovima, is of that same ilk. There’s no two ways about it. The Dovima dress is pure, unadultered Old hollywood glamour. When it first launched in it’s original black and champagne colourways a couple months back I complained to more than one friend about how beautiful it was and how much that pained me. I had no good reason to buy a stunningly elegant evening dress that couldn’t be dressed down for daytime, and so Dovima and I couldn’t meet and love one another as I knew we should. Plus, in all honesty, I was a little bit worried that my upper hip area might look a bit prominent in a dress so sleekly draped of skirt, so I tried my best to put her out of my head, thinking we were not meant to be.
But it’s Christmas time. That is the party dress season. And Dovima is now available in rich red and emerald green, two of my absolute favourite colours. If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. Dovima and I are obviously meant to be after all. And what better way to finish off this party dress review series than with the love that has blossomed between this beauty and myself.
Vivien of Holloway, UK based and made-in-Britain vintage style clothing brand, know a thing or two about occasion wear. They offer a small selection of classic styles in dozens of colours and prints, and each cut is elegant and timeless. Their Grace dress is a prime example of this, a swing dress with a modest draped crossover bust, a nipped in waist, and a full circle skirt. It would make for the perfect chic party dress for this upcoming festive season, so it’s the first dress in my series of party dresses I’ll be reviewing for you over the next couple weeks. Christmas is coming, so it’s time to trim the tree and fetch the presents in this pretty!
Earlier this AW season Collectif released their Juliette dress, a gorgeous black pencil dress with faux fur trim on the neckline, cuffs and hemline. I swooned and coveted. It was so classic and chic. Warm too, I suspected. And of course it sold out quickly. So I was thrilled to see they were bringing out a matching skirt too. Sporting the same luxiourius faux fur hemline trim, the Andrea skirt has all the glamour of the Juliette dress with the additional versatility of a skirt.
If you’ve read my past tutorial on using the Sculpture Pincurl Tool to wetset your hair then you’ll know it produces incredible waves as the curls are so tight, but for that reason on those of us with short or mid length hair our set can bounce up pretty high. It produces a beautiful set, but on me personally I like my hair to fall a little longer even when set, and for that reason a few months back I bought myself a couple sets of clip in hair extensions.
The easiest way to guide you through how to set your hair using clip in extensions is to show you, so I’ve filmed the process, including all the information on how to choose what hair pieces you want, and the brush out. Since the hot to video explaining and showing the process is so in depth and lengthy I’ve set the brush out process as a separate video, as I figured ladies who are confident with their vintage hair sets might not be as interested in viewing that part of the process. Continue reading →
It’s time for another pretty dress from Chi Chi Clothing! Last weekend I attended the wedding of a dear friend in America, flying over from England to attend after a year’s wait for the happy event. That year long of knowing I would be coming meant I was constantly on the look out for what dress I would wear on the big day. I changed my mind several times, of course, but after I discovered Chi Chi Clothing a couple months back I just sort of knew at the back of my mind I would end up choosing something Chi Chi in the end. I even ordered a dress custom made by another company and was excited to wear that for the wedding, and yet as soon as I saw the Cassandra dress a couple weeks later I knew I had found the winning dress.
With a full pleated skirt that features netting and requires no petticoat, thin spaghetti straps, and a high neckline that is modest but still displays some collarbone delicacy, I fell for the simplicity and understated glamour of this dress.
I wanted to be glamorous and vintage for the wedding, but didn’t want to be too bold or step on any toes, my usual aim for being a pinup at someone else’s wedding, so I decided to pair this with a large faux fur white stole to keep with the glamorous feel and provide a little warmth. I added clear crystal bracelets and a crystal brooch for some pops of glitter, and, because it’s me, I chose my red bedazzled heels and matching bedazzled box clutch.
I’ve developed a bit of a thing lately for Chi Chi Clothing. After getting the Rosa dress, I’ve fallen for their more vintage inspired pieces, all of which tend to be tea length and sport stiffer fabrics and expert pleating that create a full vintage skirt look without the need for a petticoat. It means they’re great pieces for summer when a petticoat can be unwanted extra warmth, and they’re also beautiful evening wear pieces that look classic and stylish year round. I’ve begun stalking their New In section recently to make sure I don’t miss out on anything good, which is when I came across this gorgeous Deanna dress.
A grey-black dress with red, white, pale gold and olive green floral embroidery, this dress immediately makes me thing of Christmas and winter and glamorous dark evenings. The embroidery was designed with Spanish inspirations in mind, and I can see that too, but it’s the winter Christmas feels I most love. I was a bit uncertain when I first tried it on whether I should keep it, as I was splashing out on another one of their dresses for sure and my American trip (and it’s expenses) is right around the corner. But I asked my Instagram followers whether I should get this dress too and their Insta-shouted at me that OMG OF COURSE YOU KEEP IT IT IS GORGEOUS WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT WHY WOULD YOU SEND IT BACK HOW DARE YOU SHUT UP AND BUY IT. And they were totally right. I had a mild lapse in closet-judgement due to focusing on finances. It was silly of me. It won’t happen again. Because lookit!
There’s a few different magazines around aimed at the different facets of vintage style and culture, one of which is In Retrospect. Launched at the end of last year, I attended the launch party in January with most of my British Belles lovelies, where we had a fabulous night watching a screening of a vintage style short film, meeting some new pinup lovelies, and getting our hands on a copy of the new In Retrospect issue. The next day all the Belles seemed to be reading through their issues as they each travelled home on their respective trains, sending messages to one another about how impressed they were with the quality of the content in the magazine.
Fast forward a few months and I was super excited in Spring to be asked by owner Mat Keller to be a part of their Autumn/Winter issue cover shoot. The theme was murder mystery/film noir so it took me all of maybe 5 seconds to agree to take part.
The shoot took place in July at two vintage themed railways stations in Tunbridge Wells, (for international readers, that’s a medium-sized town in the south of England.) There were four of us modelling for the shoot, pairing up to make two couples; Danielle and Ernie playing the innocents, and Tom and I the murderous duo. The clothing was provided by Chester Cordite and Revival Retro, and it was beyond gorgeous. Hair was styled beautifully by Natasha of Pretty Me Vintage, whom managed to give me incredible finger-wave style pronounced waves from the tight pincurl set I had turned up in. Consequently, I have since decided this is another style I need to learn to master. Continue reading →
The Niagara dress by Pinup Girl Clothing is a ruched wiggle dress heavily inspired by the pink dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the movie Niagara. The original dress from the movie, designed by 3-time Oscar winning costume designer Dorothy Jeakins, was such a hit after fans saw the movie that copies were made and sold in 1950s department stores. Dorothy originally made and screen tested the dress in red, as seen below, before it was decided that the hot pink version that appeared in the movie was the winning colour. Pinup Girl Clothing tip their hat to the design of this dress by making it in both the hot pink and red colours Dorothy designed, as well as black and a tiffany blue. In the past other colourways, such as navy and bronze taffeta, have also been made.
Like the dress worn by Marilyn in the movie, the PUG Niagara dress features an underbust cut-out, ruching on the stomach, and a wide collar-bone bearing neckline. The PUG version, while incredibly similar, has a front slit, more pronounced ruching, and a smaller keyhole. Continue reading →