It is quite exciting to bring you the first review for 2016…something a little different from our customary era of the 1950’s. Lately I have been heavily influenced by my best friend Amber’s love of 1940’s fashion and finding myself gravitating towards dresses of this timeless period. Designs were heavily impacted by the material restrictions in the production of clothing imposed by the government; hemlines rose, less fabric meant lean styles, with narrow hip lines and slim all over appearance. Although we are not faced with the same struggles in this generation, we can truly appreciate the men and women who created a new age in fashion trends by the hardships they endured. More and more we are seeing vintage reproduction designers like Heart of Haute embracing diverse decades and bringing us fabulous yet functional designs like the Manhattan Dress.
Available in sizes XS-3X in burgundy, navy & black ~ MSRP $120
With Heart of Haute sizing, you can generally follow the size chart to find the proper fit. If you are like me and in between sizes, it is best to decide by how fitted you prefer your clothing to be; in my case I prefer mine to be snug all over therefore I go with a size Small since my bust measurement 36″ is only slightly larger than the max 35″. To my surprise, the waist is quite roomy but thankfully the Manhattan Dress has built in back ties to nip in the waist seamlessly. The Manhattan Dress features elegant pleated collar than transitions into an empire waistline with matching front button detail, puffed cap sleeves, and flared skirt. The material is one of my favorite fabrics often used by HOH, it drapes beautifully and accentuates the body flawlessly. Since the material is 100% polyester, it doesn’t crease nearly as much as cotton and easy to freshen up with a quick pass of a steamer. At 5′-4″ tall, the skirt falls just below the knees.
When I first tried the Manhattan Dress, I wasn’t quite sure if this style was right for me. We all know Doris Mayday can rock any dress like nobody’s business but I didn’t feel the same excitement about it on me since this style was much different than what I normally wear. Sometimes it is best to put the item aside and go back to it later with an open mind. This is exactly what I did with the Manhattan Dress and all those doubts quickly dissipated. Normally I shy away from styles with puffed cap sleeves as they seem to overwhelm my petite frame but the intricate pleated collar really pulls everything together. The back ties are great to adjust how much to nip in the waste yet not constricting like a belt. I do love the functional button front detail, sometimes we just want to get away from bulky zippers and benefit from a seamless look in the back as well.
There is definitely something about the Manhattan Dress that makes it stand alone therefore I wouldn’t accessorize very much or at all for that matter. A simple bracelet or small vintage earrings would pair nicely for a more formal classic look. By pure coincidence, I had the perfect pair of matching shoes in my closet…the Pompeii from Miss L Fire. Although I am very guilty of wearing my hair up on a daily basis, I found that a vintage hairstyle with waves was necessary to create a polished look.
The Manhattan Dress is a graceful fusion of two classic eras of fashion and perfect for the modern day pinup. Going out of your comfort zone might not always be a smooth process initially but I can honestly say that you won’t regret expanding your wardrobe to include a little versatility. With a new year before us, I hope to bring you more exciting styles, eras, brands and more!