Monthly Archives: April 2016

Indulge…With No Regrets!

It is no secret that we all adore wearing pretty dresses and skirts as much as possible, finding any and every excuse to show off our unique style on the daily. Most people would consider our distinctive fashion sense as being “dressed up” but to us, it is our lifestyle. In our minds “dressed up” usually entails show stopping classic elegance meant for extra special occasions. Whenever I come across one of those knock out dresses, I instantly start racking my brain to justify such a extravagant purchase. This is exactly what I did when The Pretty Dress Company released their Spring/Summer 2016 collection and laid eyes on the Riviera Cream Embroidered Rose Pencil Dress. With no upcoming summer weddings to attend, I knew this beauty would be picture-perfect for our 3 year wedding anniversary next month!

Available in sizes 8-18UK ~ MSRP £145.00

IMG_7837The Pretty Dress Company is very consistent with their garment sizing in comparison to the size charts. With a lot of their fabrics being stretchy, you can easily size down when in between two sizes. The Riviera Cream Rose design is an exception to the rule since the bodice has no stretch, therefore I decided to stick with my usual size 10UK (measurements: bust 36”, waist 27”, hip 39-40”). Being the frugal shopper that I am, I waited for a 20% off newsletter coupon from TPDC and had my order sent to a friend in the UK to save a few dollars on the International Shipping. Sometimes a little extra wait is worth the added savings for being patient. If you think this dress is gorgeous in photos, wait to you see it in person…SENSATIONAL! The overall fit was quite excellent; the waist needs to be taken in slightly since it is designed to fit 28″. The stretchy pencil skirt hugs my curves seamlessly and required no foundation undergarments. The open back design will requires a low back/ backless bustier or specialty bra, which I luckily already owned. The Rivera Cream Rose Dress features the most delicate red embroidered roses set on a tulle cream background accented by a ruby red satin waistband with back bow, backless cut out detail, a stretch pencil skirt, and is fully lined with hidden side zipper closure. At 5’-4” tall, the pencil skirt falls a few inches below the knees.

IMG_7841One thing I can say without a shadow of a doubt, The Pretty Dress Company never disappoints! Although I do not shop there on a regular basis simply due to the weak Canadian dollar, I am always thrilled with their designs even when I purchase them second hand. From the moment I first saw the Rivera Cream Rose Dress, I hustled to scrape together my pennies seeing as it was a limited edition release and I wasn’t about to let this beauty get away. The superior quality and fit speaks volumes about TPDC brand. No details were missed; the Rivera design is super comfortable due to the very stretchy pencil skirt fabric and the interior lining will help create the illusion of a seamless silhouette. The embroidered roses are truly stunning and exquisitely well done. Let’s be honest, we all know how much I adore rose prints and the Rivera Cream Rose Dress is the epitome of classic 60’s glamour and is also available in a swing skirt. If I had more lavish occasions to attend, I would be all over TPDC Fatale Roses Collection…they are all simply drop dead gorgeous!!! Make sure to check it out, you can thank me later. 😉

IMG_7839With the bold embroidered roses and striking red satin belt, it seemed there was little reason to add accessories. I find staple patent round toe pumps compliment pencil skirts impeccably and luckily my cherry red Madden Girl pumps matched perfectly. For summery occasions, strappy sandals or wedges would look just as lovely. With the pencil skirt being fully lined, you can easily pair it with the Rago 1294 girdle and no one will be the wiser.

IMG_7852 IMG_7849Sometimes we have to find occasions to really treat ourselves to more indulgent dresses from our everyday attire. The Pretty Dress Company has really delivered with their classic embroidered red rose designs among the variety of styles in each seasons’ collections. The Riviera Dress is also available in solid colours and prints in both wiggle and swing, a staple design in TPDC line up!

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The Professional Fashionista

For as long as I have been wearing vintage inspired clothing, I have been on a tireless search for the perfect pencil skirt designed to accommodate an extreme waist to hip ratio. Countless brands that we all love with a multitude of styles have all failed to deliver and bear the necessity of costly alterations. As one can appreciate, a classic pencil skirt is an essential for all professional fashionistas as they exude confidence, sophistication and command respect. Determined and/or a little stubborn, I was not about to give up hope…there HAD to be one out there yet to discover. It had been ages since I shopped from Miss Candyfloss and I quickly fell in love with their wide array of pencil skirts. From the moment I saw the Agneta-Phyllis Pencil Skirt with matching Emily-Sandy Top, all bets were off!

Available in sizes XS-3X in various colourways ~ MSRP Skirt/Top €52.50

IMG_7947Based on my past experiences with Miss Candyfloss, their sizing is quite consistent with the size charts. They also provide the models measurements and garment size which is extremely helpful when you may be in between two sizes. Since both the skirt and top were made from very stretchy materials, I ordered down to a Small despite my measurements (bust 36” waist 27” hips 39-40”) being a little larger in the bust and hips. Yes, a part of me was a bit worried that the waist would still gape since the chart indicates 28” but I was hopeful. Maybe it was complete and utter disbelief, but the Agneta-Phyllis Pencil Skirt fit like a dream right out of the packaging. The waist band fit perfectly snug and did not gap whatsoever, with the stretchy fabric more than accommodating my large hips. Finally, a pencil skirt that worked for my extreme waist to hip ratio of 13”+!!! The Emily-Sandy Top fit like a glove as well, snug all over yet not too revealing. Since the cuffs are not stretchy like the rest, make sure to unfasten the buttons as your hands might not fit through otherwise. The Agneta-Phyllis skirt features faux buttons detail, curve enhancing seams, a fabulous kick pleat, and made from a soft stretch fabric with back zipper closure. The Emily-Sandy Top features a classic sweetheart neckline with a gorgeous double collar and button detail, accented by matching cuffed long sleeves, and made from a very stretchy soft black fabric with front pleating to enhance your curves. At 5’-4” tall, the skirt length falls a few inches below the knees.

IMG_7948 IMG_7959 It is safe to say, I want ALL the pencil skirts now from Miss Candyfloss!!! The Agneta-Phyllis Skirt and Emily-Sandy Top are truly a power house to be reckoned with when worn together. Not only do I look like I mean business in this ensemble but it truly gives me that inner confidence to take on the professional world. Both are great versatile separates that will pair wonderfully with other pieces in your wardrobe as well. Miss Candyfloss uses incredible quality materials that accentuate your body and help flatter those trouble areas. To my surprise and awe, the Agneta-Phyllis Skirt required no shapewear and truly creates the illusion of a flawless hourglass silhouette. Normally such form fitting clothes could make one feel constricted or uncomfortable, but this duo is the farthest thing from that. After a 12 hour work day driving 3 hours each way for a meeting, I was surprisingly super comfortable and not itching to change at the end of the long day. It is no secret that the market is flooded with boring pencil skirt styles; which is why I really appreciate how Miss Candyfloss has found unique ways add a little flair with figure enhancing seaming combined with little detail elements.

IMG_7954When it comes to professional work attire like the pairing of the Emily-Sandy Top and Agneta-Phyllis Skirt, there is no real need to “accessorize”. Most of us have our go to basic pumps for such ensembles, in my case it is my trusted round toe leather pumps that go with everything. For those of you needing a little help with good foundations, the Rago 1294 Open Bottom Girdle would work wonderfully with high waist pencil skirts.

IMG_7953 IMG_7949Believe it or not, my search for the perfect pencil skirt took a very long 6 years with more failed attempts than I can count but the Miss Candyfloss Agneta-Phyllis finally delivered! And when you finally find something so incredible, buy it in all colours…right!?! I will most definitely be adding more separates from Miss Candyfloss in the future, they are truly amazing and worth every penny.

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The Eternal Rose ~ Part Deux

With the excitement of the 19th Viva Rockabilly Weekender in Las Vegas well underway…I wanted to mention that we are taking a little break this year but definitely planning to attend the 20th Anniversary in 2017. Fret not; I have enlisted the help of my best friend Amber who will recap the highlights of this year’s event for all of us that could not attend. In the meantime, let the rest of us continue shopping until our hearts content! Last week I introduced to you a fabulous Etsy designer, Hearts and Found. Seeing as one can never have too many rose prints in their wardrobe, I could not resist ordering a dress in each striking colorway. From the moment I saw the Penelope Dress, I knew it would look stunning in “Tea Time in the Rose Garden” in Buttercream border print.

Available in sizes XS-4X ~ MSRP $78.00 – 82.00USD

IMG_7380Before placing my order, Marjorie was kind enough to send me a digital rendering of the Penelope Dress in the Tea Time in the Rose Garden border print fabric to give me a clear visualization of the final design. It is needless to say, seeing the real dress in person was much more incredible of course! As mentioned in my first review, Hearts and Found offers off the rack sizing in addition to customized to your exact measurements. Seeing as my measurements (bust 36”, waist 26-27”) fell between two sizes, I opted to get the Penelope Dress made to measure. One word of caution, if your waist size tends to fluctuate like mine…it is always best to go with the larger measurement for comfort. The fit was quite snug in the waist since I mistakenly went with my smaller waist measurement of 26” (my own fault) but still comfortable regardless and motivation to lose those few pounds of winter weight. It is always a relief when dress straps are adjustable to accommodate all torso length; mine being quite short, I had to tighten them to the smallest point. The Penelope Dress features a classic scoop neckline with adjustable spaghetti straps, a boldly low plunging back, a full gathered skirt, fully lined with hidden pockets and back zipper closure. At 5’-4” tall, I ordered the skirt length as Knee L (Tall) 26” to fall a couple inches below the knees.

IMG_7398 IMG_7395Hearts and Found recreates the most classic designs from the 1950’s whilst improving them to be versatile for the modern day fashionistas. With prices of vintage novelty prints and border prints skyrocketing, it is a blessing to find gorgeous alternatives that won’t break your wallet. The quality and construction of the Penelope Dress is impeccable for the price. I might add that it is wonderful to see that no corners are being cut with important elements like a fully lined interior on a light cream coloured dress. With such a classic design, it is easy to make the Penelope Dress transform from a casual outing like running errands to a very chic summer wedding. There is no doubt in my mind, I’ll be wearing the Penelope Dress to work and just about anywhere all summer long since I adore rose prints so much.

IMG_7406The possibilities to embellish the lovely rose print are endless; pearls, jewelry in just about any shade of pink, greens, etc. My favorite accessory to make summer dresses suitable for work are the super versatile MAK cropped cardigans as they come in all shades of the colour spectrum. Seeing as the Penelope features a very full gathered skirt, you can add a petticoat for extra fullness or go without depending on the look you wish to achieve.

IMG_7379 IMG_7376Taking a chance on new brands and online shops can definitely feel like a gamble at times. I was not hesitant at all when placing my first order with Hearts and Found, thanks to their remarkable online customer reviews on Etsy. Customer’s feedback speaks louder than any pictures or price tag when your hard earned money is on the line. The stellar customer service from Marjorie made the whole experience wonderful from start to finish which instantly made another loyal customer out of me.

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The Eternal Rose

One of my favorite places to shop for Vintage Clothing is on Etsy; a vast network of independent shops from around the world where I have acquire some of the very best treasures that are now part my collection. While browsing for vintage novelty skirts, I came across a really amazing shop by the name of Hearts and Found that was based in Vietnam making incredible vintage reproduction clothing at very affordable prices. I had heard the name before and quickly realized that I actually followed them on Instagram since they post some of the most incredible old photos from the 1940-50’s of what we often refer to as vintage fashion porn. Seeing as the reason I discovered Hearts and Found was while searching for gorgeous rose border print skirts, I quickly messaged to inquire about custom ordering dresses using those very same fabrics. This lovely dress doesn’t have an official name as it was one that Marjorie fully customized to my vision but today we shall call her the Jessica Dress “Tea Time in the Rose Garden” in a Black Rose Floral Border Print.

Available XS-4X ~ MSRP $72.00 – $82.00USD

IMG_7479 The wonderful thing about Hearts and Roses clothing being all made to order, you can choose from their standard sizing or have it customized to your exact measurements in addition to selecting the length of the skirt. Seeing as my measurements (bust 36″ waist 26-27″) fell in between two sizes, I knew that custom sizing was the best option for me. If you decide to select custom sizing, contact Marjorie before placing your order and she’ll send you detailed instructions on how to properly measure. Incredibly, my order was ready in lightning fast 4 days from start to finish! Shipping took approximately two weeks to arrive, and is very reasonably priced at $20USD for two dresses ($15 for one). It is not too often that I tear into a package like a child, but I could not contain my curiosity and excitement to see my custom designed dress become reality. The Jessica Dress fit wonderfully, the tie straps are perfect to make adjustments for varying torso lengths. I might have my seamstress take in the underbust at the sides a very small amount simply because I have a very narrow rib cage compared to most. The Jessica Dress is designed based on a vintage 1950’s silhouette with high straight across neckline, tie shoulder straps, pleated swing skirt, is fully lined and has a back zipper closure. Seeing as I prefer my skirts longer in length, I chose the option of Knee L (Tall) 26″ to fall a few inches below the knees.

IMG_7454 IMG_7461Let me begin by saying that Marjorie made the whole custom order process absolutely wonderful from start to finish and she is truly a delight providing the best possible customer service experience. The Jessica Dress was based off one of Hearts and Found custom designs with slight modification to the neckline and request to have the border rose print incorporated into the bodice. I could not be more pleased with how my custom design turned out better than I had envisioned. The quality and craftsmanship is impeccable, the attention to detail can be seen throughout the construction and stitching. With the dress being fully lined, the extra layer in the skirt creates more fullness and drapes beautifully. The magnificent pink roses border print make a bold statement against the crisp black background; very reminiscent to the vintage border prints from the 1950’s. With such a classic high neckline front and back, the Jessica Dress is perfect to wear to for any occasion.

IMG_7478There is nothing more elegant than classic vintage inspired roses to brighten any ensemble. Letting these beauties have all the limelight, I kept my accessories simple and classic to compliment the Jessica Dress. I simply chose a black beaded bracelet, black thin belt (I really need to get one in pink for a pop of colour) and my Chelsea Crew T-Strap heels. For those of you who like the look of more fullness in the skirt, you can easily add a petticoat but it is not necessary.

IMG_7482 IMG_7462Who says you can’t look fabulous on a budget? Hearts and Found makes their customer’s dreams a reality by offering customized Mid Century designs at affordable prices. If there is a vintage design you wish to replicate, they will happily work with you to make it a reality. Stay tuned to hear all about my second dress from Hearts and Found…coming very soon!

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