Tag Archives: ethically made

Getting Ready for that Honeymoon: Bolero “Margarita” Dress Review

8 May

Hi everyone! Only 1,5 weeks until the “big” wedding! I am so excited, needless to say. I am sure you understand that is why I have been a bit absent lately πŸ˜‰ It takes a superwoman to plan a wedding, finish your uni essays in time, plan a burlesque event AND go to work everyday, so I have been too busy and exhausted to blog recently. However, I managed to fit in a photoshoot with my trusty friend and photographer Perttu Luomala, to create this review for you guys!

I received my latest Bolero Beachwear dress months ago, but sadly it was too cold already in Finland to wear it over the autumn and winter. You may not believe it, but we still actually have a bit of snow here and it’s almost mid-May! Our temperatures here in Oulu climbed above 0 C only a few weeks ago. Now it’s full-on spring and we are enjoying our generous +10 C almost everyday πŸ˜‰ I am so happy, as I couldn’t wait to wear my new Bolero beauty – the Margarita dress – that had been sitting in my closet for months with no wear!

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Thank you also to our wonderful photo location Mango Discobar for letting us have our shoot there! Great place to take some tropical shots of a tropical dress πŸ˜‰

The Margarita dress is a flowy summery little number with a knee-length hem and some versatile “puff”-sleeves. I personally like the sleeves off my shoulders as it shows off the cleavage area nicely. All in all, I am happy that the dress even has sleeves, as many summer dresses are designed to bare the arms – which is not something I prefer with my body personally. Don’t get me wrong – I love my strong arms! But I do find my figure more balanced when they are covered even just a little bit.

The dress consists of a black peasant-style top and a flowy, circle-skirt like printed bottom which meet at my natural waist with an off-the-centre black sash that is attached to the dress. I like this detail as it accentuates my waist but also is practical being attached to the dress and not falling down or rolling around my waist while moving! The skirt part of the dress is not a full circle nor does it need to be – I think your could wear it with a short petticoat but I actually like the relaxed look without one! However, the choice is yours depending on your style. I have had many compliments about this dress already and I’ve only worn it for a few times because of the weather! The colour combo is fresh yet stylish – I like my clothes colourful but classic, so they fit many occasions.

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This dress is a size Small and it fits my roughly 40-29-40″ measurements well. Bolero sizes are very forgiving, as their garments are made of stretchy yet high-quality materials that can take a bit of size fluctuation. This is a rare combination in my opinion, as most regular high-street brands do offer stretchy clothing but their clothes also become a bit shapeless after some wear. This does not happen with Bolero dresses – my Bolero “Erica” dress is still my go-to dress for almost any occasion except for formal events. It is my most worn dress for teaching burlesque workshops – I have literally rolled on the floor wearing it, and it is still perfect with no signs of wear on the fabric.

The Margerita dress is made from a similar fabric to my Erica dress, which is why I have high hopes for its durability as well. Can’t wait to wear this in my future workshops! It’s pretty but still practical which is the combo I need while teaching. The top half of the dress is double-lined as with all Bolero dresses and it fits my 32GG bust in it easily. I would imagine this dress could fit even a couple of cup sizes more if needed! My suggestion for the bra to wear with this would be the Curvy Kate “Luxe”, which you can read a review of HERE.

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Once again, I am trying to come up with some constructive critisim on the Margarita dress, but I really have nothing to complain about. The usual little issues I have – too little bust room and a too-high waist seam – shine with their absence! Once again, the Margarita dress is designed truly with curves in mind. Even the sleeves fit well for someone as muscular as me and have plenty of stretch to accommodate movement.

As regular readers know, I am also a big fan of companies that manufacture their products where they design them. This allows for a more transparent manufacturing process and both the designer and the customer know that these clothes are ethically made. Personally, I only buy vintage and ethically-made (read: no child-labour, stolen designs or dangerous chemicals involved!) vintage-style clothes these days. I want to support small businesses, so we can build a better fufure for our planet and economy. If you want to do the same thing, check out the Margarita dress (sizes XS-1X) here for $140 at the moment.

Easy-Going Pinup Perfection: Bolero Beachwear “Lola” Dress Review

15 Jan

*Disclosure: This item was provided to me by Bolero Beachwear free of charge. Opinions are my own!*

I don’t know if I have told you this before – I may have not, to be honest – but I study and work two jobs at the same time, which makes doing my makeup hair and putting an immaculate true-vintage outfit together sometimes impossible. On days when I have to rush from one work place to another, I rather put my hair up neatly, do some basic mascara and a lippie and put on a stretchy comfortable dress that can take the rush.

A few months ago, my pal Patricia from Bolero Beachwear sent me a couple of dresses to brighten up my autumn days and I was happy to discover once again that her designs are an absolute must to my wardrobe. The first dress that I have actually worn a lot during these months is called Lola and she is a lovely autumnal version of my beloved Bolero halter retro dress.

Lola features a classic circle skirt (not full though, if you are a vintage-enthusiast, you know what I mean) attached to a fitted bodice and some 3/4 length sleeves. It can be dressed up or down and here I have styled it with a smart casual twist.

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Pics by Perttu Luomala Photography

The Lola dress features a Ponte di Roma material which is quite warm and thick to combat those winter winds. The winter in Finland has been rather mild this year (and ever-so-dark, thus the difficulties to take blog pictures…) so I have basically lived through it just wearing my usual dresses and fleece stockings (Pretty Polly makes some great ones, click here!). The Lola dress also has 3/4 length sleeves, which is always a plus when it comes to winter-appropriate dresses.

When it comes to sizing, Bolero Beachwear dresses are rather generous and great for size fluctuation or bloating. I don’t really go on a scale but sometimes use a measuring tape and my waist size fluctuates around 28-29 inches and has done so during the past few years. These dresses don’t have rigid waistbands that start to dig in after a lovely restaurant meal and they can easily just be slipped over your head while dressing. I am wearing a size Small in the emerald green Lola, which fits me well, even a bit generous.

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The proportions of the dress are pretty much spot on for me: the waist is not too short for my torso, there is plenty of room at the bust to accommodate my 32GG’s and the dress hits me right at the knee, which is a very flattering length (and appropriate one for a vintage gal like myself) for someone like me with a 5’6 frame. The quality is again topnotch: there are deep pockets to carry everything from your phone to your credit card and the top part of the dress is fully lined.

What I love most about Bolero is the passion and care Patricia puts into the designs: all of her clothes are easy to wear, care and to travel with and she is one of the ethical producers or modern-day clothing staples. All of her designs are made in the USA, which is always a definite upside for a person who is concerned about unethical consumerism in today’s world. These clothes last and the materials can be washed time and time again without them wearing out easily.

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If you are interested in the Bolero Beachwear offering, take a look at their webshop here.Β Β The Lola dress costs $150 and will definitely be a staple in any pinup girl’s wardrobe. My Bolero dresses always gain compliments when I take them out and I love that I can look stylish and feel comfortable at the same time!

If you want to see more Bolero, stay tuned! Another more summer-y review coming soon πŸ˜‰

Beach-side Basics – Review of Bolero Beachwear Halter Retro Dress

6 Sep

I have to say starting work at a new company and a completely new branch of childcare (special needs kids) has had me facing a problem with work attire – I need to have something quite easy-going that can be washed with no problem, even several times a week. So you can imagine that stretchy jersey dresses have been a great option for me, especially as I work right next to a beach where we play with the kids on a daily-basis! When Bolero Beachwear came out with their halter dress a few months ago, I immediately knew this was the perfect work dress for the hottest days of summer, but also great for hanging around at a summer cabin and going for a girls night out on Fridays. Lucky me, the lovely Patricia who is the CEO of Bolero, decided to send me a dress to try for a blog review! Here are my thoughts on this Marilyn-esque little number… (Psst! Thank you miss T for taking the pics, I really appreciate it and love you forever <3)

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It’s pretty obvious that the Halter Retro dress got its inspiration from Da Queen, that is Marilyn Monroe. You know the iconic flashing scene with the white dress? I think you do! Instead of going for the classic white only, Patricia has come up with a few different colours and prints that the Halter Retro dress can be made in and obviously, as a big fan of classic styles and colours, I decided to go for my favourite colour, red. Β The dress is made from a very stretchy and quite thin material, so it is perfect for the more active summer days when you don’t want to stress about being restricted by your clothes.

I received my dress in size Medium, but Bolero Beachwear is overall on the generous side of sizing, so I could have probably gone down to Small, which I wear with my Erica and Carmen dresses comfortably. The bodice is lined to make it more sturdy and the cuts of the top accommodate a large bust very well. The neckline of the dress is quite open but I still find it work appropriate in laid-back work environments, especially if you throw on a cardi like I did in the pics (this one is from Collectif). Bolero also make lovely little shrugs in basic colours so make sure to add some to your cart! As the dress must be worn with a strapless (mine is the Curvy Kate Luxe in 30H), there is not much cleavage and I quite like it that way. The top part of the dress covers my bra completely which is a huge upside when talking about a halter dress for big busts.

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One of the biggest selling points for Bolero Beachwear is the wearability and easiness of the clothes – they are easy to travel with, don’t require ironing and can be washed several times without losing colour. I simply cannot wear a lot of “Dry-clean only” clothes at work, as when I wash them in the machine, they don’t really like it that much. Also I can get pooped, pissed or puked on at work (yes, we work with babies too!) so I need to have something that I can clean with ease immediately. This is the reason I love Bolero for: there is no hassle if I drop something on my dress or a child gets messy – my Bolero dresses simply don’t get ruined (unless it’s foundation or something equally tricky that stains all clothes!).

In addition to being easy, I have found some great wardrobe staples from Bolero – my Erica and Carmen dresses get a lot of wear as they can be dressed up and down and worn through the year with some tights and cardis to make them more versatile in cold weather. This is why I usually choose the most classic colours and prints when it comes to basic dresses such as the Halter dress – so that they could be easily adapted to my pinup style and will look good after years and years of use.

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I am all for team Wear-Whatever-the-Fuck-You-Want (as my dear friend Jessica put it), but if you are wondering who this dress would be for, I would say it suits very well someone who is either an hourglass shape or top heavy, as the top part of the dress is clearly designed for a fuller bust but also for a wider back. I found myself pulling the back up a few times when wearing the dress, as the Medium might be a tad too large for me. If you have a wide back and a big boobs though, this is the dress for you! I usually find every other dress too snug for me in that area, which is why I was amazed how roomy the dress is for a quarter-back built girl like me, haha.

To be honest, I don’t really have anything bad to say about this dress – it is comfy, looks great and has pockets! What more can a girl hope for?! I think it pretty much tells it all that I didn’t have time to photograph this dress before yesterday, as I wore it through the whole summer (it was probably my most worn dress for three months) and it was in the wash all the freaking time (oops, so sorry, Pat…)! The Halter Retro dress costs $120 which is a bit up there, but personally I feel it is worth the splurge. These garments are made locally in USA and thus cost a lot more to make than your average China dress. They are also made with love to achieve the highest quality and fit a fuller bust like a dream. What’s not to like! If you want to shop Bolero, take a look at their online store, here.

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