Yellow Gemma [Joanie Clothing]

I have a lot of items in my wardrobe, in all colours and fabrics. There is one fabric style, though, of which I have none, and of which I have been lately wanting to add to said wardrobe; broiderie anglaise. You’ll more likely hear it referred to as eyelet lace, and you’ll even more likely recognise it as a fabric that screams summer to you. White eyelet lace dresses, whether on small girls or grown women, fit beautifully with sunny days and happy smiles. I’d be delighted to add one to my ever-growing collection of pretties, but today I welcome not the expected crisp white of summer to my closet, but something even more exciting–for me, anyway.

Bring on the mustard!

Joanie Clothing Yellow Eyelet lace Gemma sun dress gifted fit sizing plus size review pinup Miss Amy May

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Violetta Darling [Hell Bunny]

I am not often drawn to any shade of purple, nor to mid-blues. This dress, though–my, my, has it won me over. Ensnared me! Mesmerized me in earnest.

…I really like it basically, okay? So much so that while I’ve been enjoying this winter for the opportunity to dress seasonally in dark and rich colours, to rock winter-only prints like tartans, the one spring dress hanging in my wardrobe that I’ve been dying to wear, even though I’m kind of not really ready for spring yet on the whole, is this Violetta. She has been calling to me for weeks and finally, thankfully, it’s time to let her do her thing.

Hell Bunny Violetta 50s floral dress size fit review plus size pinup Miss Amy May

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Harriet in the Country [Joanie Clothing]

Here’s the thing; my favourite thing about the vintage silhouette of which I’m most enamored is definitely the full, swishy skirt flowing down from a cinched waist, but sometimes in summer the dedication and discomfort it takes to stay committed to that silhouette is just too much. Sometimes you just need an easy, breezy summer dress that reminds you of your favourite vintage features without all the layers and cinching and sweating. Sometimes you just gotta relax. Enter, Harriet.

Harriet bardot stripe sun dress blue Joanie Clothing plus size Miss Amy May

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Sweet Sunday [Joanie Clothing]

I am a yellow lover through and through but it’s a wildly under-utilised colour in fashion in general. Occasionally in the vintage inspired realm you’ll get a plain yellow dress on offer or maybe a print or two, but it’s definitely under represented on the whole. Imagine my excitement, then, when I saw this multi-yellow toned striped cutie available from Joanie Clothing. If this dress were a person, it would have been an ‘our eyes locked across a crowded room’  love story. The reality of that is that I felt the jolt of an immediate ‘Add to cart’ impulse as soon as I saw the product photo pop up on Joanie Clothing’s New In page, but let’s not dampen the romance of a new found love with reality, shall we?

Joanie Clothing Sunday Stripe Floral dress plus size

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Wall of Roses [Hearts and Found]

Give me tie shoulder straps or give me death.

Okay, maybe I’m not quite dramatic about my sundresses, but still, I like a bow feature, which this Kelly dress by Hearts and Found offers. Generally speaking, I like everything from Hearts and Found, because come on; customisable dresses in cute prints, perfect cuts and always of pockets? What isn’t there to like about this wonderful woman-owned business? If there are any the Kelly dress isn’t one of them.

Rosewall Kelly dress Hearts and Found custom made

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Glorious Gilda [Hearts and Found]

I’ll tell you what–there are many ways we Brits are poorly adapted to dealing with hot weather, but for me one of the things I struggle with most is how uncomfortable I find tight seams and waistbands during hot weather. That might sound weird, but just picture it; you throw on one of your favourite dresses in the comfort of your cooled bedroom in the morning, then go out into the sweltering day only to realise a few hours later as you sit sweating at your desk, or on the bus, or waiting for your friend to turn up to your lunch date, that it was a mistake. Because in that moment, while you’re feeling hot and sticky and fed up, you realise that this dress–which was always a bit on the tight side because you were technically between sizes from this brand and you opted for the smaller size because it looked better on, even though you have to wear particular underwear with it–is actually fresh hell.

The waistband, which normally feels like it’s flattering your waist by cinching it in by sheer force of the fabric, is digging in to the clammy skin of your waist, and the bust feels like it’s squeezing your poor boobs, and the whole thing is just too tight and uncomfortable for humidity and summer and oh god why did you do this to yourself, this is not the kind of weather for sucking in and posing and remembering in every moment to be poised. You should have picked out one of your dresses that’s a bit looser, airier, one of those ones you normally have to add a belt to in order to feel it fits properly.

Or, you know, you should have worn one of your dresses that was literally made for you, custom measured in every aspect to fit your body. That, my friends, is what I’ve been doing a lot during our little British heatwave, and thanks to Hearts and Found I’ve been so much more comfortable for it.

Hearts and Found custom made Gilda dress

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Peckish Parakeet [Emily and Fin]

Somewhat shy of novelty prints as I am, I do appreciate a print with novelty features that doesn’t shout them out at you at first glance. This is much easier to achieve in a repetitive all over print than, say, a border print skirt. Still, if it’s a choice between a print featuring a mid-action blaring circus scene or a muted leaf print featuring some sneaky birds, I’m going to opt for the latter. And what do you know, the Tropical Parakeet dress from Emily and Fin features just that.

Emily and Fin Tropical Parakeets Claudia dress

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Pom-poms, Ruffles & Stripes, Oh My! [Voodoo Vixen]

Voodoo Vixen Adelyn striped dress

One of the best things about being a style blogger is that you get to see some of your favourite brands’ upcoming lines early, allowing you to plan out your buys and picks for that impending season. It’s also probably one of the worst things, because in the bitter middle of winter you will see and fall in love with a dozen fabulous summer dresses that not only make you fed up of the cold you’re weeks and weeks away from escaping, but you also have to wait months yet for those dresses to be released, knowing they are coming and that you are a terribly impatient person who struggles to wait.

 

When I say ‘you’ of course, I mean me, the impatient, deeply flawed clothes addict who is both blessed and cursed every 6 months to be able to go to London Edge and see what beautiful things we will all be cooing over for the upcoming season. One such beautiful thing I saw at the last LE in February is this Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen, a dress that would immediately have become my favourite pick of the season had Voodoo Vixen not offered such a strong SS17 line that I think my 3 favourites will forever be equally tied and adored. My other two picks, of course, are the Violet and Deliliah dresses, both strappy, flower trimmed little numbers made of lightness and springtime happiness and wonder. Adelyn is similar in the same respects of being a strappy, happy little number, but this baby has some sass and hotness on offer to boot.

Voodoo Vixen Adelyn striped dressVoodoo Vixen Adelyn striped dress

Voodoo Vixen Adelyn striped dress

Voodoo Vixen Adelyn striped dressVoodoo Vixen Adelyn striped dress Voodoo Vixen Adelyn striped dressVoodoo Vixen Adelyn striped dressVoodoo Vixen Adelyn striped dress

Dress: Adelyn dress C/O Voodoo Vixen
Shoes: Old F&F Tesco

This dress is beyond perfect for summer. Apart from the fact that it’s obviously so vibrant and fun, with its stripes and cute ruffly pom-pommed sweetness, it’s probably the most comfortable dress I’ve tried from any brand this season. Like the Deliliah dress, this is because the entire back of the dress’s bodice is made from elasticated smocking, giving the dress tons of stretch and room for movement. The double spaghetti straps aren’t adjustable, something I had got used to from my VV summer dresses, but luckily for me they’re the perfect length as they are. Both the ruffle feature of the neckline and the hem of the skirt are trimmed with black pom pom edging, beyond cute, and the full flared skirt has pockets deep enough to securely hold my phone in its bulky battery case. This dress closes with an invisible side zip, although I was very happy to find that unlike most side zips this one didn’t get stubbornly stuck trying to zip up over the bump of the waistband.

I have this dress in my usual Voodoo Vixen XL and thanks to the smocking it’s generously sized compared to the size chart. VV pieces do tend to run a little larger than their charts state as a rule, but for comparison an XL is listed for 40 inch busts and 33 inch waists, but this dress flat measures at 40-46 in the bust and 32-37 in the waist. Voodoo Vixen had to scale down their Curve line this season due to a stockist change, so sadly there was very little on offer from this line for their plus customers (they do have plans to expand the Curve line again moving forward, thankfully.) The generous stretch in this dress, though, does mean that 1X girls at least might be able to pick up this dress style in this XL and find that it works for them.

This dress arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday last week and since then I’ve already worn it twice; if that doesn’t tell you just how comfortable and lovely this dress is to wear, then I don’t know what will. There’s also the fact that everyone who saw me in it told me how much they loved it, something that, for me, an almost constant wearer of new clothes, is often the mark of a stand-out piece. You know, just in case you had any doubts.

The Adelyn dress comes in sizes S-XL for £55, although discount code vintage20 will get you 20% off your order. Voodoo Vixen ship internationally.

Abstractly Fabulous [Collectif]

Sometimes you see a dress and just immediately know it’s a ‘you’ piece. Back in February when I was flicking through Collectif’s previewed SS17 line the Nora Abstract swing dress jumped right out at me in just such a way.

Featuring a bold print made up of red, green and yellow framed on a white background, it’s the kind of colourful print I’m never afraid of and always delighted by. The colour combination makes me think of chilies and dell peppers, and I think that’s kind of brilliantly fun.

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Morrocan Days [Emily and Fin]

Emily and Fin Moroccan Riviera Claudia Cotton dress

Well, well, well, what have we here? A summer heat wave, in May? Oh England, you’ve outdone yourself.

Or so I might think, if I believed it would continue this way until August, which it most certainly will not, because #England. Currently, though, the country is aflush with excitement that our temperatures have broken the 20c mark, and simultaneously aflush with the clammy pink faces that prove just how bad we are at coping with the heat. ‘It’s so sunny, it’s amazing!’ people proclaim to each other with joy, before parroting at one another ‘Oh God, it’s too hot’ just hours later, looking tired and red and a bit like they can’t go on like this. Continue reading