Understated Beauty

Often times we see a particular item and we instantly all gravitate towards it’s beauty but what about those with an understated beauty? Maybe it’s simply due to the fact of being created by a lesser known brand or lack of marketing that lets these diamonds in the rough slip by unnoticed. The buyers at JBR Clothing seems to have a knack to finding these hidden beauties and allow us the chance to be the first to give these gems the recognition they deserve. So far H & R London has not disappointed and I couldn’t be more smitten with the Vintage Navy Floral 50’s Swing Dress.

Available in sizes XS to XXL ~ MSRP $46USD

IMG_0411The one small downfall with the H & R London dresses, sizing seems to be inconsistent and varies with each style. Thankfully I always have the lovely Rachel at JBR Clothing to give helpful advice and she has never steered me wrong. Upon her recommendation, I ordered the Vintage Navy Floral Dress in a size Large as it seemed to run small in the bust. As soon as it arrived I fell head over heels for the breathtaking floral print and it’s classic feel. The size Large fit well throughout with enough room in the waist for comfort. The design features a soft sweetheart neckline that gathers to the bust with cap sleeves and flared swing skirt. The cap sleeves allow for ample arm movement and do not restrict or cut into your underarms. In my humble opinion, I find the built in bottom hemmed tulle underskirt cheapens the design and choose to remove them from all my H & R London dresses. Don’t let the price point fool you, the Vintage Navy Floral Dress is made from a thick soft cotton material with a slight stretch. As mentioned earlier, the bust runs small and would recommend sizing up based on the size charts. For those of you who do not fancy side zippers, this is the only feature I dislike on this particular design. It appears the bust does pull very slightly to one side and believe it is due to the side zipper. Regardless, it’s quite minor and a quick tug puts everything back into place perfectly.

IMG_0403Quite often I find dresses with sleeves to be too long in the torso and require alterations every time. To my surprise, the Vintage Navy Floral Dress fit perfectly off the rack and so happy to avoid those pesky costs associated with custom fitting garments. I have to admit, this is one dress I’ve worn a lot to work as it’s so comfortable and suitable for both summer and winter due to the contrasting navy background with bold floral print.  If you choose to keep the tulle underskirt trim be weary that it is quite irritating on the skin when sitting if you’re not wearing any tights or stockings. Since I work at a desk job during the day, this was the main reason why it had to be removed.

IMG_0408The Vintage Navy Floral Dress is missing only one thing, a thin white belt to cinch the waist. Luckily I snagged one in my closet from another dress that works wonderfully. The classic feel to the dress pairs perfectly with a single strand pearl necklace. Often times I wear it with white flats for work and my high heel Mary-Janes for more festive occasions. Less is more with this style and wouldn’t suggest too bold of accessories to not take away from the lovely floral print. For a little added volume, a light petticoat or crinoline will do the trick but it’s definitely not necessary.

IMG_0406Marketing can be a great tool for many brands but more importantly are the retailers with a keen buying staff to know what their customers will love. I give big kudos to JBR Clothing for seeking out these new brands and giving their customers something they will truly enjoy. The extra bonus is the fact H & R London is affordable for almost any budget.

A Field Of Mesmerizing Poppies

Often times it is pure luck when you find a particular dress you have been lusting after on sale at an incredible price. When Bernie Dexter released sneak peaks of her upcoming designs featuring a vibrant orange poppy print, I was mesmerized. By pure chance, I came across the Frenchie Halter Dress in Orange Poppy Print on clearance at Modcloth for an incredible steal of $45.99! Some of you may recall, I posted the sale on Facebook for all to snag one as well.

Available in sizes XS-2X in a variety of prints ~ MSRP $156USD

BDFrenchie4With only one other Bernie Dexter in my closet, I decided to follow the size chart and order a size Large since my measurements at the time were 36-29-42. The moment the Frenchie Dress arrived, I was absolutely infatuated with the stunning bold poppy print and orange is my favorite colours of all time. Being in between sizes on the chart, I found the Frenchie to fit a bit loose in the bust and waist. The gathered shelf bust provides modest coverage and suitable for a average to smaller bust sizes The Frenchie features a less full skirt, falling just below the knee. With my waist now down to 28″, I had to get bust and waist taken in considerably but it was so worth it! Nothing feels better than a dress that fits you like a glove.

BDFrenchieWhat makes Bernie’s designs so unique is her use of bold patterns and colours different from anything else on the market. Although I tend to shy away from bold prints, hers are always classic and not overpowering. The swing dresses are often made from 100% cotton and so comfortable for every day wear. They are highly sought after and eventually become a sort of collectors item once they are discontinued. Bernie herself sells a lot of her designs on Ebay once they no longer available in retailers.

BDFrenchie3The Frenchie is wonderful for just about any outing: I pair mine with a black cardigan or shrug for work and black patent leather round toe pumps. It can be dressed up or down depending on the look you choose. Since the orange is perfect for fall, now will be a ideal time to get the most wear before the cold winter months roll in. I received many compliments on this beauty while on our wedding trip in the Bahamas this past May.

BDFrenchie2Although the Frenchie Dress in Orange Poppy is now discontinued, you can find them on clearance at various online retailers. If you love the cut, make sure to check out Bernie’s new releases as the Frenchie is one of her design staples.