Outfit: capsule wardrobe – classic polka dot dress

What better for an instant dressy retro look than a simple, but well cut, polka dot dress? I always feel polka dots are somewhat of a staple of the modern day pin-up’s wardrobe – especially loved by brands like Collectif and Vivien of Holloway. So it was about time I got myself one (that fit, I’ve had two that I ‘grew out of’, eh-hem).
In fact, I didn’t get myself this one, as it was one of my birthday presents from B this year. He – some might say very bravely – ordered this dress from US online store Modcloth and then had to pray it fit. But by some small miracle – as I am not an easy person to fit a dress on, particularly with buttons – it did! So off we went to nearby pretty Ely, so I could twirl about in it near some roses.
Ollie & Nic Corinne bag in blue


Modcloth polka dot shirt dress black


Black and white dresses are fun because you can pretty much accessorise in any colour you like. My blue choice was largely down to the fact my new bag is blue and I’ve got new toy syndrome and want to take it everywhere… I have no more favourite reasonably-priced handbag designer than Ollie & Nic. I’ve never seen a bag in quite this colour until now and I just adore the barrel shape. It’s perfect for lugging a DSLR around, too, which is pretty useful!
Pin-up style polka dot shirt dress
Totally matched my belt to my backdrop…
Even though this is a shirt dress and my bust will have a go at popping/gapping most buttons, it wasn’t that much of an issue with this style. It did pop them a couple of times when I had my bag strap bumping against them, but the main thing is they’re not gapping and the empire line, for once, is in the right place! I think this is all due to the fact the dress has some degree of stretch in it.
Hepcat dress Modcloth review
Belt: Miss Selfridge (old)
Shoes: Marks & Spencer (available in black and nude)
Bag: Ollie & Nic (‘Corinne’ – on sale at Surfdome)
Cardigan (below): Hell Bunny
And as this is the UK even though it’s technically the height of summer, when I took these photos it was actually quite chilly. As usual, I had a cardigan in tow – and it was about time this lovely Hell Bunny cardi got a second mention, as I’m wearing it to death at the moment. Such a beautiful colour and I can’t get over the embroidery.
Hell Bunny 50's Hummingbird Cardigan


Hell Bunny 50's Hummingbird Cardigan


Half up-do beehive

I would quite like this lamppost with hanging baskets in my garden please.



  1. July 20, 2014 / 8:57 am

    Gorgeous outfit!!!!! I love a good shirtwaist dress and have had my eye on the Modcloth ones for a while, this one looks so beautiful on you 🙂 That Hell Bunny cardie is also brilliant, I need to get myself one of the cardigans from their latest collection.

    • July 21, 2014 / 12:08 pm

      I was just so amazed it fit this well! And the Hell Bunny cardigan is one of my favourite things I've bought this year – comes highly recommended 🙂 x

  2. July 20, 2014 / 11:30 am

    Ohhh what an adorable cardigan!! I love your styling tips – black and white as the basic and add a color that pops! Love your bag too!

    • July 21, 2014 / 12:09 pm

      I don't think I'm breaking new ground with said tip, but it's nice to put these things to the test isn't it 😉 x

  3. July 20, 2014 / 9:22 pm

    I absolutely love that cardigan. Beautiful color, and the embroidery just makes it even prettier. I really like the hairstyle as well, it's got a lovely, Victorian feel to it, like a Gibson girl or something.

    • July 21, 2014 / 12:10 pm

      Mint green is my favourite colour for clothes this year – it's amazing how much it goes with! And comments on my hair are much appreciated any day of the week – especially when it's driving me mad, like it is at the moment!! x

  4. July 21, 2014 / 3:56 am

    This dress is perfection! I'm so glad it fit, I can't even imagine how difficult sending something back internationally would be. I absolutely love your hair as well. You certainly look like a modern pinup!

    • July 21, 2014 / 12:18 pm

      Ugh, I know! I actually knew he'd bought me a dress from Modcloth long before my birthday because B's mum rumbled him and I spent weeks panicking about the idea of having to send it back. So relief all round! x

  5. July 21, 2014 / 6:00 am

    Such an adorable retro look! He picked such a great dress for you–it fits perfectly. And wow, I'm so jealous of your hair skills! ^_^

    • July 21, 2014 / 12:21 pm

      It all worked out so happily in the end… but could have gone so wrong!! And thanks 🙂 although don't be too jealous, my skills basically amount to backcombing to death and then pinning into the shape I want… I'm not remotely skilled at anything else that's useful e.g. curls! x

  6. July 21, 2014 / 9:15 pm

    I too am marvelling at that hairdo! As well as the cute dress and pretty cardi. What a lovely overall look, and such a pretty setting. I did chuckle though, as in South Wales the only 'Ely' I know is a council estate of Cardiff, which definitely doesn't have flowers that nice.

    That's great that the dress fit, it's such a gamble with trans-Atlantic purchases isn't it?


    • July 22, 2014 / 12:12 pm

      I'm very pleased, considering it's pretty much a typical weekend hairdo that doesn't take too much effort! I'm not sure if Ely is the kind of place to have council estates… it's one of those!

      And yep, I was getting very anxious about it when I worked out in advance he'd not only bought me a dress, but from Modcloth! But luck was smiling on me for once (at least, it doesn't usually for clothes, unless they have copious stretch!) x

  7. July 22, 2014 / 11:50 pm

    What an adorable dress! Mod Cloth sells such cute stuff! I love your hair by the way, I wish I could pull that look off as well as you! 😉


    • July 23, 2014 / 12:07 pm

      If only they had a UK distributor 🙁 it's their biggest – but fatal – flaw! And thank you; I just find it much easier to wear 'down' if half of it's up… the irony… but it gets so darn messy! x

  8. July 24, 2014 / 4:44 am

    You and your outfit are both gorgeous! That dress silhouette is perfect on you and I am a little obsessed with your bag. 🙂

    • July 24, 2014 / 12:05 pm

      Thank you! And I'm a little bit obsessed with it too 😉

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