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 £.
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!
All photos by: Justin Lingle of 6 Romeo Studios