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Lady Vintage London Part Two: The Tea Dress

The Lady Vintage London Tea Dress in the red roses print is what originally caught my eye to this brand. And I knew that I'd need to own it.

So I bought it.

Now if you recall from last week I had quite the easy time ordering from over seas. This dress, not so much. I ordered using American sizing and was sent a size UK 20, which swam on me. So then I ordered the UK 18, which I couldn't zip up. So after a couple of returns (and lots of postage) I just ordered the UK 20 and had mega alterations done.
I will say this: The dress was worth it.

It's gorgeous and sumptuous and completely divine! The colors are vibrant and the print is mesmerizing!! 

The print is a mixture of watercolor roses in every hue of red and pink with artsy black, red, and pink organic swirls thrown in for good measure. The high neckline is sweet and demure, without being stuffy. It features a back zip and ties at the waist for a fitted silhouette. The full swing skirt is a tad shorter than most vintage-repro skirts you'll find, which works perfectly for my short height. It is also available in stunning purple hue. 
The dress is comprised of a lovely cotton sateen (97% cotton, 3% elastaine). There is decent stretch to this dress, with the only exception being the waist area. So I definitely suggest ordering based off of your waist measurements if you have questions.

If I had to do it all over again I would definetly do it all over again. The print alone on this dress was more than worth the hassle!! 
Happy shopping!

Photos by: Me


Lady Vintage London Part One: Cossette

When you're active on social media, you end up seeing a variety of different things. When you're active on social media within the pinup world, you see a variety of amazing clothes. And when you see said clothes, you will inevitably want them in your closet.

This is exactly how I came upon Lady Vintage London. I kept seeing these gorgeous dresses with lush prints and did a little investigating. It turns out our vintage loving sisters across the pond produce some of the lovliest dresses I've ever seen! 

I would be a liar if I said I wasn't at all concerned about shipping costs, returns, and fit. Since I'm doing a two part series on Lady V London I'm going to address shipping costs and fit today. I will discuss more on fit, as well as returns next week. That said I would like to present to you: 

And let's just get this part out of the way: the fit is sublime!! The Cosette dress, (shown here in Japanese floral print), is part of their Lady Voluptuous line and is cut for a larger figure. I've found that many times, when a clothier sizes up for plus-size proportions, they don't take into account bigger mid sections, bigger arms, bigger busts, etc... they just seem to take things up by inches alone and the fit end up being not quite right. You know what I mean, maybe the arms are too tight, or midsection is too tight... The fit always just seems to be "off." 

This dress is cut generously, while still keeping a sexy shape. In other words it's made bigger in all the right plus-size places, without being baggy. And the craftsmanship is excellent as well. The fabric is lovely, the print is vibrant & stunning, and the construction is fantastic. There were no weirdly sewn seams or wonky zippers... everything was exactly as it should be! 
One thing I've noticed about Lady V London is that their dresses are great for tall, medium, AND short ladies. So many times I've adored a dress only to get it and realize that it's about 2 feet to long for me. I then have to make the decision: "Do I want to spend the money to return it, or do I want to spend the money to hem it?" Either way I end up spending more money than originally anticipated.

The Cossette was the first dress I've gotten in a really long time that I've not had to have altered in any way. It hit me at a perfect tea length, the sleeves weren't too long, and the waist didn't sit too high or too low. The belt felt a little thin, but doesn't look "cheap" at all when worn with the dress. 

Cossette is a mid weight dress and, long sleeves not withstanding, could be worn all year round. I honestly thought for a minute about having the sleeves shortened to turn it into a summer dress, however it's so beautiful that I'm content to wait until the fall/winter to wear it full time. 

This dress features a very full 50s style swing skirt (perfect for twirling), a deep V faux crossover bust, long (generously cut) sleeves, and a hidden side zip. It's constructed of a beautiful mid-weight cotton sateen (97% cotton & 3% elastine) which provides stretch in all the right places. The wide belt with adjustable buckle is perfect for cinching in your waist to provide a "nipped" hourglass look. The deep cobalt blue fabric features a gorgeous bouquet of creamy white & hot orange tropical flowers. The dresses are Manufactured by Lady V and made in London using limited edition prints - in other words, you're bound to be an original wearing one of their frocks over here in the states!

Now on to those pesky shipping costs. They're honestly not bad. When you compare the price of a Lady V London dress ($77 USD for the Cossette) plus shipping ($15 USD) against the price of a vintage-repo dress from the states (average $100) plus shipping (average $10), it comes out to be roughly the same (and 99% of the time it's actually less). 

Shipping times also aren't bad comparatively. A lot of vintage-repo companies I love reside out west. I reside out east. So the average shipping time for me is about a week from one of those companies. I ordered the Cossette dress with express shipping and received it the next day. Literally. I got it the very next day!! If you don't choose express shipping you can expect your package to arrive in about ten days... Again, this isn't bad considering it's across the world and regular shipping in the states can take that long.

As far as choosing the correct size just know that US sizing and UK sizing are VERY DIFFERENT. In general you want to go up two sizes. So if you are a US size 14 you would be a UK size 18. Now also please remember I said "in general." I'm a US size 14, but the UK 16 in the Cossette was a perfect for me. The best way that I have found to order and ensure you receive the correct size is as follows:  

When you log on a pop-up screen will appear telling you that everything has been converted to US dollars for you.

Because it's converted to US dollars, it also converts the sizing to US sizing. I feel that this causes a lot of confusion... At least it did for me because I was trying to order two sizes up, not realizing the sizing had converted to US sizing. So in my opinion it's best to convert everything back to the original UK sizing and place the order based on the UK size charts. 

You do this by changing the payment back to £. 

Now the pricing, as well as the sizes, converts to back to the UK standard. I feel this eliminates confusion on both ends. Because now you simply go by the size chart shown under each dress instead of wondering if you size up or down... and you'll know what you're getting. In other words you won't order a US size 16 and then be in complete shock when you receive a dress that has a tag reading "size 20." And they won't mistakenly send you a UK size 16 when you ordered a US size 16 and actually need a UK size 20. Make sense?

If you pay via Paypal (which is advised) Paypal will automatically convert the £ to $ before you press the pay button to complete your transaction, so you'll know exactly how much you're spending. It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is, but I promise it's easy peasy and the dresses are worth the extra 5 seconds it takes to convert the money/sizing from US to UK. 

All in all I would say to take the plunge and order one of these gorgeous frocks from our sisters across the pond. Their customer service is second to none, the dresses are unlike anything you'll see over here, and many times it actually costs less! 

Happy shopping!!

All photos by: Justin Lingle of 6 Romeo Studios


Pinup Girl Clothing Part Two: Jenny and The Peasant

Last week I blogged about the marvel that is the Monica dress. This week I'd like to tell you about a couple of must-have separates from Pinup Girl Clothing, namely the Jenny Skirt and the Peasant Top

I was a little scared at first to try separates just because I'm a cheapskate and have never ever spent more that 20 bucks for a separate anything. However that was before I discovered PUG. Quite frankly the whimsical prints of the Jenny skirts won me over - and after seeing the peasant top on a couple of my favorite Instagram pinups, I was completely sold on them as well!! 

I now own a few Jenny skirts (harlequin prints, orange border, queen of hearts, castle print, Mary Blair). It was difficult to decide which to showcase, but I narrowed it down to two: The Mary Blair Commuter skirt and the Pink Castle skirt

First up is the Mary Blair Commuter print. For those of you who don't know, Mary Blair was a Disney artist/illustrator in the 1950s-60s whose work you are probably very familiar with. Pinup Girl Clothing collaborated with the estate of Mary Blair to bring us an amazingly beautiful collection of skirts and dresses, featuring artwork from her private collection.
To be honest all of the skirts and dresses feature lovely works of art, but something about the Commuter skirt just called to me. The black banding around the waist, along with the black & gray artwork bordering the skirt, contrast perfectly with the soft lettuce green color of the skirt. The commuters themselves appear to be drawn in ink with splashes of soft gray watercolor highlighting their forms, giving dimension and a sense of movement... each swish of your skirt sends them on their imaginary way and entices people to stop you for a closer look at them. This is definitely a wearable piece of art, sure to garner ooohs & ahhhs whenever you wear it!

I paired it with the pink peasant top. Now I wish I could say that this idea belonged to me originally, but that's not the truth. I tend toward darker colors (aka black on black on black) and am not much of a pink person to begin with. But after seeing this sweet pink top on fellow sexy, bad-ass, dark-haired 40-something @mandy_whom and seeing how amazing it looked on her AND THEN seeing the pairing of the commuter skirt with the pink peasant top on @feministunicorn, I was sold.... hook, line, and sinker! (I highly encourage you to check both these gorgeous ladies out on Instagram for further fashion inspiration.) At any rate this pink and green pairing is the a perfect color combo for spring and summer! I thank these ladies for inspiring me to move out of my comfort zone, because I absolutely adore this outfit!! 

Next up is the Castle Jenny skirt in pink. If I'm being honest again, my original choice for this skirt wasn't this skirt at all. I wanted the black jenny skirt with dancing pink horses, but sadly it was sold out in my size. Then I thought, "well I'll just get the blue one." Once again, sold out in my size. Then I thought, "fuck it... why can't I wear pink?" So I bought it. And man am I glad I did!! 
If you've ever wanted to feel like a princess, this is the skirt to make you feel that way. The skirt is a soft, pale pink featuring a border of ink blue paths, shadowed in black and highlighted in light aquas, snaking up toward Cinderella-esque castles bathed in the same dark colors. Spindly trees branch toward the heavens, while gauzy blue clouds and stars dot the cotton candy pink sky above. Is it ominous or precious? Well, if I had to say, it's both. And once again I just love the contrast!

I was on the fence about what top to pair with this skirt and had originally been wearing it with a fitted black button up top. And then PUG introduced the peasant top in the dark royal blue. Now it's sometimes hard to discern the true color of a garment from the internet. But after seeing a few photos from other ladies, I figured it would give it a shot. The colors, though not a perfect match, are spot on enough for people to confuse the outfit for a dress when a belt is worn with it. 

As with all jenny skirts the fabric on these two skirts is thick and substantial, making the need for a petticoat or crinoline purely optional. They feature a hidden zipper in the back and yard upon yard of cotton sateen fabric with just enough stretch to make the wide waist band taught, yet comfy. Though the fabric is sturdy it's not overly warm, making it perfect for year round wear. For reference I have a 36 inch waist and order down to a size XL as I prefer to wear my skirts higher on the waist and a more "nipped-in" look the smaller waistband provides. The Jenny skirt comes in a dazzling array of colors and patterns, from solid colors to whimsical prints, for darn near every occasion.

The peasant tops are also constructed of a soft cotton sateen, providing a bit more structure than a traditional peasant top gives. The waist is fitted all the way to up under the bust, giving a clean silhouette. The bust line is gathered to accommodate a variety of bust sizes, from itty-bitty to super-busty. The peasant top can also be work on or off the shoulders while accommodating a regular bra, which I find completely amazing... No sacrificing lift or looks! I've shied away from casual peasant tops in the past simply because they lacked the fitted look that I prefer, but no more, I've found the perfect combination of casual and sexy in this top!

After owning these pieces I'm now 100% sold on Pinup Girl Clothing separates. I may even prefer them over the dresses.... But I may need a few more of each, you know, just to be sure. Ha!

Happy shopping!!

Photos by: My dear, sweet, and very patient Husband.