A Garden Tea Party

It is hard to believe that summer is nearly over and we are only weeks away from cooler autumn days. Although I adore the beautiful colours that fall brings, I always wish summer stuck around a while longer in order to have more days to wear all my floral dresses. There is definitely no shortage of delightful bright floral prints in my wardrobe and I am always finding an excuse to add another. During the Viva car show this past spring, I stumbled upon a booth that had a rack of 50% off dresses and I immediately spotted some gorgeous floral prints from Retrospec’d. Before the hubby could walk past, I disappeared in an instant to check it out. Instinctively I am able to spot the gorgeous vintage inspired prints reproduced by Retrospec’d and it was about time I finally purchased my very first dress from them at half price! Sadly the blue poppies print dress I had seen from afar was not my size but what I did find was just as fabulous…the Elizabeth Dress in Empress White.

Available in sizes 6-18 (Australian) ~ MSRP $195AUD

The sole reason I have never purchased Retrospec’d in the past was due to their unique sizing standards. My measurements (bust 36″, waist 27″) were considerably out of line with their size charts and I wasn’t prepared to gamble on sizing down one or two sizes not knowing what to expect. Based on the charts, my bust would be an 12AU but my waist is an 8AU. Now that finally I had the the opportunity to see the dress in person, I took out my handy tape measure (I was in no mood to try anything outside at the car show) and flat measured the size 8AU Elizabeth Dress. To my surprise, the bust and waist appeared to be the right in line with my measurements afterall. At $65USD, I couldn’t pass this beauty up even if by chance it did not fit. When the moment of truth came, I was elated to see that it fit like a glove! The Elizabeth Dress features a feminine crossover sweetheart neckline with 1″ wide straps, fitted bodice, a very full pleated skirt and back zipper closure. Of course what makes this dress truly exquisite is the bold red roses with green accent, inspired by an authentic vintage border print from the 1950’s. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls a few inches below the knees.

For those of you unfamiliar with Retrospec’d, they are an Australian based company that reproduces vintage prints available on a variety of their in house staple designs. Started by two sisters with a love of authentic vintage, they sought to reproduce high quality designs that would make women feel fabulous and fit amazingly as well. As I mentioned earlier, I have been lusting after their pieces for ages and can say without a hesitation that I wish I had bought from them a LONG TIME AGO! The Elizabeth dress is truly mesmerizing and feels like you are wearing authentic vintage. The fit and craftsmanship is phenomenal and the fabric is top notch quality as well. To my surprise, the sweetheart crossover bust design was quite conservative and not revealing in any regard even though my bust measurement far exceeded the suggested 33.5″. The Elizabeth Dress is super figure flattering and makes me feel truly fabulous. Needless to say, I receive ample compliments wherever I go wearing the Elizabeth Dress in Empress White.

The rich reds and greens in the bold Empress rose print is super fun and easy to accessorize. My go to staple is a mix of vintage Bakelite bangles in red, green and brown with my brown Malaga wedges by Remix. To finish off the ensemble, I could not resist pairing the Elizabeth Dress in Empress White with my vintage navy wicker rose handbag that matched perfectly. With the fullness of the pleated skirt, you can easily add a petticoat for additional volume.

Retrospec’d is rapidly gaining a large customer following worldwide which is no surprise with their unique mix of reproducing long lost vintage prints on fabulous designs for the modern day vintage fashionista. The Elizabeth Dress is one of their beautiful design staples that I have only heard positive feedback from ladies of various shapes and sizes. If you are not keen to shop online from Retrospec’d in Australia, select styles are now available at a handful of North American shops like Unique Vintage, ShopVDM, Pinup Girl Clothing, and more!


Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress by Roy H. Bjorkman

One thing that I know for certain, my adoration for all things floral came at a very early age. My mom dubbed me a natural green thumb as she always knew where to find me when I was a kid…out in her gardens planting and watering the flowers. Every year I would find new species that I would fall in love with, they are all so beautiful in their own special way. The memory that I will never forget is the anticipation her only rose bush to be in full bloom; it had the most beautiful rich deep pink roses I have ever seen. It should come as no surprise that my love of floral prints has only grown over the last few decades and can easily be seen in my vintage wardrobe collection.

  • Dress – Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress by Roy H. Bjorkman
  • Shoes – B.A.I.T Tessa Wedges in Cornflower Blue
  • Jewelry – Vintage rhinestone bangles

The greatest thing about collecting vintage floral prints, is that there are endless possibilities out there to discover. It is no surprise that the classic rose was very common in the 1950’s. Fashion designers captured their beauty by making them center stage in their designs. Often we will see the same prints being used by different designers, each one utilizing their creativity to make theirs unique.

In recent years, I have come across the Vintage Long Stem Roses print in red and yellow in a variety of styles but they always eluded me as they were much too small in size or WAY over my budget. This past May, I stumbled upon an IG sneak preview photo from Swanee Grace of the most elegant Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress but this time in purple, blue and yellow roses! I was even more excited when I saw the size was my exact measurements but expected a very hefty price tag. Luckily the shop owner posted the exact time it would be listed on Etsy so I was refreshing every 10 seconds in anticipation. Needles to say, I didn’t hesitate when I saw it was withing my budget and sped through the checkout process like a madwoman.

Never before had I seen this stunning colourway and I truly adore it more than the red/yellow version. The Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress by Roy H. Bjorkman is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I didn’t even realize the background colour is a soft powder blue, usually you only see it in white. This definitely made the dress even more unique and extra special. The bodice features gorgeous diamond rhinestones scattered throughout. Miraculously, the dress is in pristine condition…barely worn over the past 6 decades.

When it comes to collecting vintage, the best piece of advice that I can pass along is to be patient. Vintage can be an incredibly frustrating passion at the best of times but those who are patient, often find the most amazing treasures when they least expect it. Do not lose hope…those special treasures will find you when the time is right.