Comfort, Functionality & Beauty All in One

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

IMG_1825Now 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.

IMG_1827Where 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.

IMG_1821With 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.

IMG_1820With 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.

Evolving Into a New Decade of Fashion

Recently several vintage reproduction brands have moved into a new decade and started recreating the fabulous fashions from the 1960’s. Although you may instantly think go-go boots and psychedelic flower prints, you couldn’t be more wrong. Women’s fashion from the early 1960’s slowly evolved into shorter hemlines and classic curve hugging silhouettes. When Heartbreaker Fashion released the Marleen in their Haute Collection, I knew it was perfect for the office and without hesitation scooped one up from JBR Clothing.

Available in sizes XS to 2X in Black, Red & Blue ~ MSRP $116USD (Sale @ $69)

IMG_0419Often times I mention when a brand is known to be consistent in sizing as this definitely helps us to find the right fit. In my experience, Heartbreaker is one to stay true to their size charts for the most part. Originally when I purchased the Marleen my measurements were 36-29-42 and I ordered a size Medium. Since the dress is made from a high quality double knit, there is a generous amount a stretch and forms beautifully to your curves. The fabric is so very soft and hugs you in all the right places but thick enough to conceal the trouble areas. Now that I am a bit smaller (36-28-40), I could easily fit in a size Small but much prefer it being a bit loose in order to avoid wearing any shapewear. The Marleen features a round Peter Pan collar in contrasting white knit with a matching belt to cinch the waist. The 1960’s straight pencil skirt bottom falls just above the knee but still modest for those like me who don’t like to show off too much leg. The wide round neckline poses a small issue with slipping off my petite shoulders but not unmanageably so.

IMG_0416For the first time last week, I wore the Marleen to work now that the cooler fall temperatures are here. The double knit fabric is quite warm and would pair well with fun colored tights. The Marleen is so comfortable and doesn’t lose it’s shape after hours of sitting behind the desk. With 1960’s fashion featuring shorter hemlines, it took some time to get comfortable with the skirt falling above the knees. All my other dresses show much less leg and I have become rather accustomed to that as part of my comfort zone. As I mentioned earlier, there was no need to wear shapewear even with the form fitting silhouette. Even a simple pair of tights would nip you in wonderfully and give you a break from the hardcore undergarments. Lately I have been trying to stay away from wiggle dresses simply because I don’t want to be required to wear shapewear 24/7 to feel confident in my clothes.

IMG_0418The simple clean lines of the design pairs beautifully with many accessories, the choices are a plenty. I love to wear the Marleen with my black patent leather round toe pumps and my favorite black & white cameo necklace. If your like me, tie you’re hair back in a high ponytail and you’re ready to go! 1960’s fashion is about simplicity and women on the move. A word of caution, the knit fabric must be hand washed in cold water and lie flat to dry in order to keep its shape. Beware – keep it away from the dryer unless you want it to shrink dramatically.

IMG_0417It’s quite exciting to see the recent trend of 1960’s fashions hitting the scene as I am very keen on the new styles being redesigned for the modern day pin up. The Marleen is fabulous for everyday and a great staple to add to your wardrobe as a grab and go type of outfit.