A Fusion of Two Eras

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

IMG_6857With 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.

IMG_6870 IMG_6861When 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.

IMG_6862There 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.

IMG_6866 IMG_6878The 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!signature2


Put A Little More Fire In Your Step

With countless reviews on clothing, shapewear, and beauty, it seems that I overlooked one very fundamental subject….SHOES!!! How could this be? Well, I must admit that until recently my personal collection was rather bleak and nothing to brag about. It must be quite dreadful when your significant other declares you really need to start investing in all new shoes and to dispose of the rest. Yes, I am guilty as charged but it is not solely my own doing as there are several factors that contributed to this hardship. First, finding retro inspired designs locally is next to impossible. Second, the entire populace cannot wear sky high heels; why do shoe designers make all cute footwear with 4 inch+ heels? Lastly, finding quality and comfort all in one is like discovering a diamond in the rough. In a sea of vintage inspired footwear, there are a few gems that stand out above the rest. Miss L Fire has become a household name with their fabulous designs, quality and comfort.

IMG_2396Miss L Fire launched in 2005, by the founder and designer Lynsey Hand. Their origins began in the UK and with their burning success, their fabulous footwear can now be acquired around the globe. With each season, Miss L Fire creates unique designs reminiscent of the Golden Era of glamour but with a modern twist. They also make delightful handbags very remindful of the 1950-60s, an era full of lucite treasures that we now covet. When the opportunity arose to review one of their designs from the Autumn/Winter ’13 collection, I instantly became smitten with the Pompeii in red.

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 12.57.09 PMWhen it came to sizing, I was at a total loss since our shoes are in US metric and I usually waiver between a 7 down to 6.5 due to my narrow feet. Miss L Fire run in European metric, from sizes 36-41. Based on the conversion size chart, I fell in between a 37 and 38. Considering the Pompeii are a closed toe style, it was risky to size down as then it would be impossible to wear if they were too small. We all know ordering shoes online is always a bit of a gamble, this is why reviews are incredibly helpful before taking the plunge. When the Pompeii arrived, I was quickly taken by their incredible quality and allure of the 1950s. To my surprise, the 38 was quite generous and could have surely sized down to a 37. Thankfully the t-bar strap allows me to wear them comfortably with an added insole insert. The Pompeii are made with a high quality leather with suede and snake skin accents. The rubber sole bottoms provide excellent grip on slippery surfaces, something that is commonly overlooked in footwear these days.

MissLFireEarlier I mentioned there is a dire need for more options with fashionable low heel footwear since not all of us can wear sky high styles. Unfortunately I was cursed with flat feet (no arch) and cannot wear pretty high heels for any length of time, which is really frustrating. The maximum heel height I can sustain is 3 inches and the Pompeii fit perfectly in line. A huge bonus is the 1 inch diameter wide heel as it provides much greater stability. Miss L Fire did not sacrifice comfort and practicality in the name of beauty, the Pompeii is the complete package. It is rare that I find shoes to be so pleasant from the beginning and do not require much of a breaking in period. Their attention to detail in the construction is something to note; every stitch is in the right place and the fabulous colorful insole is padded for extra comfort.

MissLFire2The Pompeii are ideal to accessorize every vintage wardrobe, they are sure to become a fundamental staple. Their design will lend wonderfully to pair with genuine vintage and vintage reproduction; a great versatility to get the most out of your investment. Miss L Fire has just released their fabulous Spring/Summer 2014 Collection and they are now hitting their online store as we speak. You can also find the entire Miss L Fire collection at their Hollywood Boutique, along with some well known vintage reproduction brands like Trashy Diva, Freddies of Pinewood, Besame Cosmetics and so much more!