There is no shortage of inspiration in today’s vintage reproduction fashion from a time where being housewife required comfort and functionality while not sacrificing beauty. This is indicative of why there is an abundance of fabulous designs known as “shirt dresses”; due to their collared, button down blouse design in either A-line or circle skirt. The overall design is simplistic but that does not deter from its splendor in any regard. When Heart of Haute (formerly known as Heartbreaker Fashion) released their new Haute Collection, I instantly fell in love with the Monte Carlo Dress; inspired from the fabulous qualities of the infamous “1950’s shirt dresses”. When spring came around, new colorways were released and I fell over heals for the Monte Carlo Dress in Celery Sateen. Since JBR Clothing is always so quick to bring in the latest fashions, I purchased mine as soon as they arrived.
Available in sizes XS to 2X in a variety of colors ~ MSRP $148USD
Now that Heart of Haute has two separate collections, I find the sizing varies slightly between the regular line and the Teresa Marie line. After purchasing the Milan and Marleen, I found the sizing was cut more generous than the size chart. In both cases, I could have easily sized down therefore I decided to order the Monte Carlo in a Small. It appears my experience served me well as the Small fit like a glove and even more incredible in person. The Monte Carlo features ¾ length sleeves with a lovely cuff detail, functional covered buttons along with a size zipper, matching slide belt and a fabulous full swing skirt. Often times I find shirt dresses are too wide in the shoulders or too long in the torso and make for a very poor fit overall without costly alterations. Having a petite frame frequently works against me with particular styles but sizing down in the Monte Carlo really worked in my favor to eliminate those concerns. The full swing skirt drapes beautifully and falls a few inches below the knee at 5’-4” tall.
Where do I begin? I absolutely adore everything about the Monte Carlo and could not be more thrilled about the perfect fit right off the rack. This dress is incredibly comfortable and can be worn as an everyday dress just like those worn by the 1950’s housewives. The Celery Sateen is such a breathtaking shade and the fabric is such great quality, one that will last you for years to come. My only displeasure is with the matching slide belt; unfortunately it never stays closed and I constantly have to cinch it back into place. To my surprise, the other colorways have a matching grommet style belt but strangely the celery is the only exception. It may have something to do with the sateen fabric but I guess that will remain a mystery for now.
With the simplistic design of the shirt style dresses, there is no shortage of options when it comes to accessorizing. As I often wear the Monte Carlo to work, I pair it with a single strand pearl necklace and my favorite round toe pumps. Comfort is positively key and I personally find less is more with the Monte Carlo. For those who desire a little added volume with the circle skirt, adding a light petticoat will work best. If you prefer a narrow style belt, pair it with a contrasting patent leather for a touch of added flair.
With my ever growing Heart of Haute collection, their designs never fail to blow me away with each new addition. They are one of the few vintage reproduction companies that fit right off the rack and never require any alterations whatsoever. I often find myself wearing their dresses more often than any others, since they are ideal for work or simply going out and about on every day errands.