There were a lot of ways that the eras of the past were more glamorous than our modern world. People dressed up for dinner. The women set their hair and painted on their best faces for even days spent at home. Men wore pocket watches and cufflinks and all manner of dapper details that trump today’s Niké trainers and iWatches. And come bedtime, the women didn’t don their favourite novelty print pyjamas trousers and an oversized t-shirt, but instead nightie and robe sets, frills and lace and ribbons abound.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all about the novelty pj pants. If I’m not dolled up in one my favourite swing dresses I am most likely in yoga pants or a pair of polka dot bed trousers. I own many hoodies and a plethora of t-shirts, a large portion of which are Harry Potter themed. There’s nothing comfier for lounging in, there just isn’t. That being said, you don’t always want to look as comfortable as you feel. Sometimes you want to look glamorous and stylish and feminine even when you are comfortable. Which brings us back to those bed sets of times gone by.
I’ve been meaning to buy a nightie set for well over a year now but just never got around to it. I knew Glamour Bunny offered a small selection of bed sets and they shot to the top of my wishlist for my ‘If I ever get the chance to do a retro bedroom scene shoot, I’m getting one of these’ daydream. The dream photoshoot didn’t present itself, but the Glamour Bunny nightie sets went on sale, so, you know. What did you expect me to do?
I’ve reviewed a couple of petticoats on the blog before, the Malco Modes Jennifer and Lindy Bop petticoats. There were pros and cons to both, and for that reason I’ve been thinking lately I need to keep an eye out for other brands to review to give you more information on a wider selection of available pettis. In that light, today I’m reviewing the Froo Froo petticoat by Voodoo Vixen.
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
I have a thing for winter appropriate prints, checks, tweeds and weighted fabrics. They never go out of style, which means when you buy a piece in that kind of fabric you know you can wear it year after year regardless of the passing current trends. This holds even more true when the pieces are vintage inspired, so I was pleased to see that Voodoo Vixen made several pieces in their AW15 line that fit this outline.
The Pia pencil skirt is the one that most caught my eye from the VV workwear appropriate new pieces. It’s a lightweight highwaisted grey pencil skirt sporting a tweed inspired print with kick pleats in the back. From the same AW line I picked up the Sophie top, a black three quarter sleeved top with plenty of stretch for comfort and a great button detail staired neckline.
It always surprises me how few repro clothing companies offer a variety of sleeved dresses for their AW lines each year. For people in warmer climates I know a sleeved dress has limited or no wear value for them, but personally I get a bit sick of having to layer a cardigan over most of my dresses in autumn and winter, even if the dress itself is very AW in print but simply lacks sleeves. And it’s not that I have a problem with cardigans, just that sometimes I want a dress that comes wearable this time of year as is, complete and polished and seasonally appropriate in wear. Collectif have come through on that with their Trixie doll dress.
Made of bengaline, it’s a super comfortable stretchy swing dress with half sleeves, a cross over style bust and a full skirt, with a gathered detail on the front of the shoulders.
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.
I’ve featured Heart of Haute before reviewing their Milan dress and Diva skirt suit. The Beverly dress is one of their classic designs they often release in new prints, totaling up to 15 available colourways at my last count. Their new colourways have been quick to sell out this season, with their red matrix flying out the doors, so I was lucky to get my hands on their Metro Silver to review as part of this party dress series.
The Beverly dress is a more conservative option for ladies concerned with bust lines but that doesn’t detract from its glamour or prettiness. The neckline is wide and scooped, displaying the delicacy of the collarbone offset with a bow detail on the left-hand side. It’s fitted through the waist with princess seams leading into a full skirt, which is approximately 25 inches long and ends just below the knee on me, at my height of 5 ft 7. It closes with a back zipper and is 100% cotton.
The Brenda dress by Queen of Heartz is one of their staple dresses they’ve made in multiple colourways over the seasons. Their Ivory sateen colourway immediately struck me as a beautifully simple and classic option for a vintage style wedding dress, particularly for ladies who are on a budget. It would also be a lovely White Christmas option for a party dress, and it was with that in mind that I shot this dress as part of this party dress series, sticking with the white and only adding silver in my accessories like this outfit was all frost and snow.
Zoe Vine is a London based brand committed to recreating the style and glamour of eras past for modern women. You might have seen some of their beautiful summer pieces on some of your favourite pinups last season, so I was excited to see what their AW line would be offering in the way of party pieces for the upcoming festive period. Zoe introduced me to Ava, her slinky and sleek pencil dress featuring a boat neckline, three-quarter length sleeves and the most gorgeous green velvet pattern. This is exactly the kind of dress that would make me feel like the most glamorous of dinner party hostesses, so on Ava went and out came the canapés ready to celebrate.
I love me some autumn and winter appropriate fabrics. Anything tweed, check, plaid, it all makes me really like this time of year when the dreary British weather can make it so much easier to dislike it. Finding swing dresses, rather than wiggles, in those fabrics can be harder, which is why I was excited when I came across the Tiger-Lilly dress by Voodoo Vixen.
Featuring a flared swing skirt, half sleeves, matching fabric belt, pockets, and a wide collar and button combination detail, this dress is a great piece for cooler weather.