Tag Archives: vintage reproduction clothing

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.  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.

Full-Bust Pinup Fashion Haul

21 Dec

I love fashion. Sometimes, as you may have heard me say it, fashion does not love me. I am in a constant struggle to find clothes that actually fit me. And I am not talking about t-shirts and jeans. You know, I am not a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl! Even if there are a few brands out there that make full-bust appropriate fashion, I have to say not many of them explore some more structured styles as they are a bit trickier to make. Don’t get me wrong – I love simple stretchy dresses as well since they are great for days when you just want to be comfy, but I do like to wear some pretty extravagant tailored pieces as well.

Along the way I have tried many clothing styles – I was one of those weird kids who wanted to be all at once and I do have quite a few style regrets as well. I mean, who thought it was a great idea to put on a tiny doll hat on your head? Apparently, I did. Even though I did have some phases of ridiculous clothing choices, I became infatuated with vintage styling years and years ago. I think I was probably 14 when I told my mom I wanted to look like Dita Von Teese and I still remember what she replied: “Darling, it’s only a crap loads of slap and hair dye.” Which is kind of true, I guess (hehe).

I finally became dedicated to the pinup / vintage style about a year ago – actually when I first started my Instagram (which is btw a great source for some awesome pinup inspiration)! I started to order more clothes online where I could actually see the measurements in a size chart to determine if something would even remotely fit me. Rule of thumb is that if the size chart says 34″ in the bust section, then it most likely will not fit (hehe)! A girl can dream though… However, I have stumbled across some brands that cater for fuller busts as well, so here’s a little clothing haul for you gals that struggle to find nice fitted clothes for you boobies!

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Pinup Girl Clothing: Bella Donna Dress in Italian Landscape (+ Forever 21 cardigan + Face Stockholm glasses + Sophisticated Lady hair flowers)

To warn you right off the bat, most of these dresses are Pinup Girl Clothing aka PUG. Why? Because their sizing just usually works for me and I don’t have to worry if I can zip these dresses past my boobs. The first dress I ordered from PUG was their Evelyn (which I could perhaps review later?) and then came the long-sleeved Heidi. However, it’s been a while since I got them so I wanted to introduce you to my latest purchases.

I decided to buy the Bella Donna dress (now sold-out in this print) in Medium with some gift money I had and as it was in the PUG final sale section, I knew I had to get it for my upcoming bday in November. The dress finally came, about a month before my big party and to my shock horror, it was too small. I was devastated and had a horrible tantrum over it as I had checked the measurements before clicking the dress into my cart. After I had tried it on, I knew I had to measure it to make sure – and surprisingly enough, the dress DID come up too small for the size chart. It measured about 13″ flat at the waist, meaning it was probably sized like a normal PUG Small. Well, I ain’t Small in their size chart, so no wonder it didn’t fit.

However, when you engage in the pinup community, you usually learn all sorts of tips and tricks, so I had heard that some of the PUG dresses could be ironed through and stretched, so the fabric would stretch to meet the size chart measurements. I did this to my Bella Donna and after that it fitted VERY SNUGLY but fitted anyway, so I could finally zip it up (and I also went on a more healty diet but didn’t lose an inch lol). The boob department is boned with this particular dress and it’s great for girls who are a bit more well-endowed. I am a 30H so quite busty and it fits me but does quad-boob a bit, so not the most modest of dresses on me at least. However, I can wear it with no bra on which is great and liberating!

What I really like about this dress is that its straps are fully-adjustable so you can make it fit your body a bit better than most dresses with regular spaghetti straps. I have loosened them up a bit as I am long-torsoed and this dress is made for short-torsoed girls especially. I find that the waistline of the dress still comes up a bit high for me, but I am not super fussy about it as I think it looks great anyway!

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Pinup Girl Clothing: Jenny Dress in White Harlequin Print (+H&M cardigan + home-made swan brooch +  a vintage scarf)

The Jenny dress is the original version of the PUG Bella Donna and it features a lower waist line, thinner straps and a more simplistic styling without the ruffles. It comes in so many prints and colours and is regarded as the basic pinup girl wardrobe staple every PUG lover should own. I got this dress as a birthday present from my boyfriend and even though he cringed a bit at the print first, he did love it when he saw it on me.

The Jenny dress also features the same boning as the Bella Donna and thus I can easily wear it without a bra. This dress was advertised to me as specifically bust-friendly but with this print, I have to disagree. I mean, if you would be like, say 30FF, I would be quite fine but 30H is another thing. Also, the size Medium is very small with this style as well – so I would advise to size up with Jenny’s if you are not interested to iron and stretch them! Mine measured again 13-13,5″ at the waist, laid flat, so I had to stretch it a bit to match my 28″ waist. Not horribly inconvenient but a bit of a hassle anyway. As I live in Finland, exchanges are not really possible for me so I need to make everything work as they are. (I have to say though that my Evelyn and Heidi fit more true-to-size and no need to stretch them at all!)

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Pinup Girl Clothing: Jenny Dress in Orange Border Print (+ Bolero Beachwear bolero + Sophisticated Lady hair flowers)

I know it’s a bit boring to review two of the same dresses in the same post but let me tell you, there is a difference between two of these! I got this Orange Border Jenny from Retro Glam (a Canadian pinup retailer) at the Black Friday sale and even though it did add up a bit with the taxes and custom fees, I am super glad I got this dress as I have been drooling over it for months.

The Orange Border Jenny was almost as tight as the Harlequin one so I did stretch it a bit but not as much as the Harlequin. The waist zipped up even before stretching but I did some work on the torso to make it more comfortable and now it fits really well! The bust department of this particular Jenny is much better though than with the Harlequin one, as it seems a lot higher and thus can contain a lot more boob. I am not sure why this is, but no clothing brand is completely consistent with their sizing. I also like the orange belt that came with the dress as it makes the ensemble a bit more unique than most other Jenny dresses.

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Lady Vintage London: Swing Dress in Red Lips Print (+ Poinsettia hair flowers from Sophisticated Lady)

I had been wanting to order from Lady V London for a while and when about two months back they had one of my favourite prints (this gorgeous Red Lips one!) on sale + free shipping, I could not resist the temptation. Usually Lady V dresses are around £45-55 which is not a very high price, but as I need to pay for international shipping and the Euro/Pound conversion rate is crap at the moment, it really adds up and I didn’t want to pay that much for a dress I did not know would even fit me. When the price of the dress went as low £19 I was ready to take the plunge and ordered this beautiful dress in their swing style.

What I was really afraid of, was the sizing of the dress. I had heard Lady V dresses were quite bust-friendly, but when their size chart stated that UK size 10 had bust room for 34″ boobies, I almost lost my hope. However, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best as I did not want my waist to be swimming in the dress – and it worked! This dress is amazing for my boobs – my only gripe with the fit is that the waist line is a bit too high for my body/taste but then again, I am a long-torsoed gal. The material is lovely stretch cotton and the zipper is good quality, meaning no broken zippers for trying to yank the the zipper past my boobs. If I would have to say one bad thing about the quality of this dress, it would be that unfortunately the colours run a bit in the wash and you might end up having red-ish spots on your dress unless you wash it with a colour catcher.

This would be my autumn/winter haul and I will get back to any new bust-friendly dresses as I get to buy some more! Which one of these was your personal favourite? Let me know in the comments below! Lots of kisses and happy holidays to everyone! xx

October Wishlist – Vintage Reproduction Clothing

20 Oct

Hi everyone! I need to start off the post saying I did not get the job I applied for but was left to silver podium this time. I know I’m not the only one with bad luck when applying for a job but this particular one would have meant the world to me. Not just because it was something to do with lingerie but because I happen to be broke and would have loved to get back living without a care for what I’m going to eat next week. Also I had so many vintage repro dresses and other goodies on my wishlist and now I can only dream of having something new to wear! I have recently found so many new brands I am dying to try so I must let you know guys what I’m lusting after. So here you go!

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Sea Nymph Dress by Great British Retro – This is a brand I just found today via Fuller Figure Fuller Bust’s Facebook page. I took a look at their online shop and the clothing is absolutely fantastic with a pretty affordable price tag as well with this particular dress costing a rather reasonable £64. What I loved most about Great British Retro were their lovely quirky prints that absolutely melted my heart!

I took a look at their sizing chart and they would put me in a size 12 accommodating my 28″ waist (yay, got rid of the last half an inch!) and 36″ bust. My bust is actually closer to a 39″ but I have tested out so many brands and come to a conclusion that a 36″ bust room is actually quite enough for me. This can be due to my muscly back which makes my bust measurement a bit (a lot!) bigger than it actually is! I also find that repro brands usually run small as I am now a solid size 10 on high-street. I would love to try GBR sometime in the future and if I get that chance, I will review something for you to determine their fit for curvy figure!

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Sally Denim Capris By Collectif – I have been looking for a suitable 50’s style cigarette or denim pants and now I have finally found a great option. I am not a great wearer of trousers but the temperature is getting pretty damn cold here in Finland. And believe me, dresses and stockings do not equal proper winter-wear! There’s already -2 C out there so I def need something pratical that fits my style and the Sally jeans would probably do a pretty good job. With my 28″ and 38″ hips I would probably do great with a size 10 as I find that Collectif runs more true to size than other repro brands. I have reviewed their Phyllis dress here if you want to know more about their fit!

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Monte Carlo by Heart of Haute – I originally found this brand and dress through Twitter. I had heard of Heart of Haute before but as it’s a US brand I had not dared to even dream about it. Also, it’s a bit out of my price range with its $145 price tag but a girl can dream right? Besides, if I ever get a chance to try this brand, it’s also sold on a UK online shop called Tatyanna which also sells a few other lovely repro brands including Tatyana Boutique. According to HOH size chart I would be a size Medium so again this brand runs a bit on the smaller side in my opinion.

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Sarong Geisha Dress in Pink Bloom by Vivien of Holloway – I have heard a lot of things about Vivien of Holloway but still not had a chance to try them for myself. This particular dress caught my eye on Diablo Rose’s blog as she reviews the dress and looks fantastic in it! I don’t know what size she is wearing but the size chart puts me into a whopping 14. Not a size I would gladly wear as it seems so “off” but VOH seems to be going for the original vintage clothing sizing which is a lot smaller than with today’s high-street brands. I am now super intrigued to try something from them as the brand is definitely something different! This pink Geisha dress would look stunning with my hair and I would be interested to see how it looks on an hourglass figure like mine.

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Tara Black Swing Dress by Lindy Bop – The reason I want this dress is really sad and excuse me for including it on my lust list. Though it’s a beautiful dress on its own and would be great stable for my wardrobe I really need this dress for an upcoming funeral. My dear grandpa has been battling cancer for years now and it seems he’s finally making his way to where angels live. I am so sad about this and I’m crying while writing this but I have been preparing for this to happen for so many years that seems he’s only suffering while being here. His state just got worse a few days ago and we have been told not to keep our hopes up.

The Tara dress seems like appropriate choice for a busty girl when attending a funeral. The neckline is modest, the shoulders are covered and the hem reaches below your knees. It’s also a bargain for its £34,99 price tag so if you need a LBD asap for small budget, this is definitely your dress. The one Lindy Bop dress I have tried runs true-to-size so I would most likely be a 10 with Tara as well.

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Poppy Floral Dress by Hell Bunny – Last but not least is the brand I have been dying to try for a couple of months now – Hell Bunny! I have known this brand for years but didn’t realize how lovely their vintage repro dresses are until now. To me Hell Bunny has always been brand associated with gothic style more than vintage but now that I have seen more of their designs, I am absolutely smitten. Looking at their size chart I would probably be a 10 with Hell Bunny but as I have not tried them yet, I cannot be 100% sure. Hell Bunny does not have their own online store meaning they only do wholesale and their clothes can be found on various other online shops. I found this particular dress on Tiger Milly and they seem to have a good stock of Hell Bunny so do check them out!

What do you think of the brands listed here? Any positive or negative experiences? Let me know! Also, if you have other favourite vintage reproduction brands, please share them in the comment box! xx

Full-Bust Friendly Clothing – Collectif “Phyllis” Dress Review

22 Sep

 When it comes to bust-friendly clothing I always struggle to find something that fits both my bodytype and budget, and I tell you, we’re not even talking about style and fashion aspects yet. I am very picky about what I wear – it has to fit nicely over my bust and waist and the waist must be at the right height to look the most flattering. Recently, I have been leaning towards a more vintage-kinda style as it usually tends to flatter my figure – and the most important thing, I feel smashing in those old-Hollywood style dresses.

When I was UK last time, ie. August, I popped into a Collectif store in London Holborn area. I was exhausted with blisters on my feet for walking miles in the London heat, wearing nothing more breathable than my dark leather Doc Martens. I was probably the funniest thing those sales assistants had seen in weeks as I stumbled through the Collectif door with my Docs in my hand, barefooted and carrying a suitcase. Not the kind of graceful pinup goddess they must have shopping in their store all the time, huh? Well, I couldn’t give a flying fuck about my appearance at that point so I just tossed my luggage at the till and started browsing their very convenient flash sale.

To my happiness, I was lucky enough to get my hands on of their Phyllis dresses, even though I first had the classic Dolores Doll in mind. The Phyllis was a lovely cream colour with a rose-shade applique adorning the shoulder and with the £17,50 price tag, I just couldn’t resist it.
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I snatched up the Ivory Phyllis in size 10/ Small and since then, it has definitely become one of my wardrobe staples. It’s such a classic shape – a 1940’s style a-line dress with a swift-like top part and classic colourways to choose from. As the summer has now come to its end, I decided to buy another Phyllis to accommodate my autumn wardrobe. This one shown in the pics is the Navy colourway and I think it’s actually a great option for those who don’t look that good in black (including almost everyone actually). The navy blue flatters my fair skin and doesn’t wipe the colour off my face like black does and still manages to look elegant and appropriate for both day and night.

I would say the size UK 10 fits me pretty spot on, even though I wouldn’t wear that size with every single Collectif dress. I tried several other pieces of clothing while visiting their shop but found some of the materials and cuts making the dresses too small for me in size 10. To be honest, I’m trying to lose a bit of weight at the moment (which seems to be impossible as I was just hit by a terrible flu) as I want drop down to the size 8-10 territory again and not slip any further. But as it goes, the Phyllis is a rather stretchy fabric and can accommodate some size fluctuation, in my opinion. The top part is nice and stretchy but wouldn’t allow a bigger bust than mine, as it doesn’t fit perfectly even now with my 30GG’s. The neckline requires a rather low-cut bra (def not this Lepel “Iris” which I wear in the pics) so I have been wearing it mostly with t-shirt plunges such as my Kris Line “Marilou Deco” or my unpadded balconette Gossard “Phoebe”.
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The waist sits perfectly on my 30″ waist, even though the size chart points me towards the size 12. I would say that this is because of the fabric and I do prefer a rather tight fit on my waist. Also, I don’t want to buy too baggy dresses as they don’t flatter my figure, especially if my weight shifts downwards. The bottom part of the dress looks super nice and rather flowy, but not too much as it doesn’t lift up in a windy weather. The length of the hem is flattering too – I love that it hits me just below the knee. This means it will maintain the vintage look but doesn’t look too long on me – I do not want to make my legs look shorter!

I am so sorry I didn’t get to take any better pics, I still have my camera stand attaching-thingy missing so hopefully I will find it at some point. Also, it appears to be that my bf is horrible at taking pics so what can I say, NO CAN DO. Hope you enjoyed this review though and I hope to be reviewing more stuff from Collectif in the future. If you have any comments or tips about Collectif’s sizes or fit, do drop a comment below! I am planning to order some other dress styles in the future and would love the advice. Also, if you fancy a Phyllis dress of your own, it’s on sale online in the Collectif store here. There are a fair amount of sizes left in colours Navy, Ivory and Black so you have a very good chance still to get this dress for the best price!

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