However, although it's the first time I've dressed up for the occasion for this blog, it wasn't always this way - I have a very clear memory of going to school with multi-coloured, sparkly heart clips all over my head. But it wasn't so much the day I liked, thinking back, as the chance to play dress up. Like how my giant dangly skeleton earrings came out every Halloween even if I never did get an invite to a party. So, while I'm not a huge fan of the 'holiday' I do love dressing up for things - why turn down a chance to wear some hearts again? And when you put it like that...
Theme aside, I absolutely love this outfit and how it reminds me of early 60s Betty Draper. This is my first dress from newcomer British repro brand Dolly and Dotty and I'll be honest - I wasn't expecting it to a) fit this well or b) look this good. Repro dresses generally don't on me (without alterations), which is why I always go for separates. Anyway, the brand is on the cheaper end of the scale, with most dresses costing around the £35 mark, but for that, you get lining (I have two and both are fully lined) and a fabric belt with actual holes, grommets and a loop. I was sent a matching headscarf too and while it's not pictured here I should point out they make them for most of their prints, which for someone who loves matching like I do, can only be a good thing. It certainly all feels like pretty good value for money.
I'll be honest, when I first put it on my dismayed thought was 'ack, this is a small 8... am I still breathing?!' but somehow the cotton has now stretched the little it needed to fit me like a glove, kind of like jeans do (and my waist-shaper has helped smooth everything out). The shoulders aren't too broad, nor the sleeves too tight (but, being non-stretch cotton, it's the usual difficulties in moving your arms above your head) - and the skirt is my favourite length at just below my knee. So for fellow petites (I'm 5'1"), this dress is especially worth a look, although, warning, if your bust is bigger than the size guide, go up! Like I say, there's no stretch, other than the bit of natural give you get from cotton.
I can't wait to show you the other dress soon - it's also been an instant winner for me. I'm going to be keeping an eye on Dolly and Dotty for affordable, cute day dresses in future.
Fascinator: Alternate Normality
Earrings: c/o Chronically Vintage
Dress: 'Vanessa' c/o Dolly and Dotty
Canvas underskirt (not seen): Pinup Girl Couture
Bag: Skinnydip London (available here)
Shoes: Red or Dead via Schuh
Side note: this is a bit of a weird location and although it's where I planned, it's not in the direction I planned. Just in front of me is the River Cam, complete with punts floating along. I thought it was going to be sort of romantic to have couples punting past in the background, but the sun had other ideas and the lighting just didn't work. The neon coats of huge punts of tourists weren't ideal either, nor were the lads who wolf-whistled, making me grimace in approximately 40 photos. What you can actually see is some of Magdalene College, which is where one of my best friends studied and where I've been to shoot photos a few times now on different spots (here and here).
And now I'm off to London Edge so suss out the SS16 repro collections so you don't have to! More on that to come very soon...
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