Saturday, 2 May 2015

Lost in Florals - Kay Dress in Savannah Print by Bernie Dexter Clothing

Bernie Dexter is one of the many beautiful brands I have indulged in since having my daughter last year. I used to dress in darker colors (and don't get me wrong, I still love my black leather and lace) but since having my Selene I love to match with her when I can, and she looks best in bright, pretty colors. Bernie Dexter's line is full of beautiful, colorful florals and landscape prints, and they are all stunning.

I am a firm believer that florals should be worn at any time of year, with appropriate layers applied. Melbourne's weather is all over the place, with four seasons in one day and completely inconsistent weather. I am wearing long sleeves today but may be in a tank top tomorrow. Because of this especially, I can't stand the idea of putting away half of my summery wardrobe when I could need it at any minute; let alone the fact that I love my florals too much to hide them away half the year.

Here I am wearing the Perfect Bolero in White by Pinup Girl Clothing and the Kay Dress in Savannah Print. It's only fall now, but in winter I would layer my white swing coat over it to ensure I stay nice and toasty!

Bernie has several different dress styles, so this is just one of many. This one comes with boning in the bodice and sweet, ultra thin spaghetti straps, The skirt is full, and though it is only a semi-circle skirt there is plenty of room for 1, 2, even 3 petticoats if need be. Price-wise, they range from $156 to $200 USD and they have lipstick pockets

Now then - onto fit. I find it very rare that I need to order up or down from my usual size small in any brand, and this is no exception. I ordered a size small, the measurements for which are 34-26-36. My measurements are 36-25-36. The bust, due to the boning, could afford to be the slightest bit looser, but I'm accustomed to that and it is in no way uncomfortable. The waist has the tiniest bit of wiggle room, and is a very good fit - especially if I plan to have a big lunch (ahem ahem). Bernie's dresses are generally 100% cotton with no stretch, so if you are between sizes - size up!

Now for the cons; one complaint I have with this dress is the straps, Spaghetti straps are ultra feminine and allow for maximum collarbone and shoulder exposure, but these are so thin I find they tend to bite into the skin by the end of the day. Having said that, it's not something I even notice throughout the day, and is not one of those cons that would ever force me to stop wearing this dress (I mean hello, look at it). I just find it relieving when I take it off at the end of the day.

Another downer is the quality of the dress. I would expect a dress of this price to be lined. The fabric is sturdy, but it doesn't have that beautiful weighty feel that many vintage reproduction companies have nowadays. It's still very good quality and I see no signs of wear and tear after a year of constant wear, but I would still expect more for the price.

Bernie Dexter used to make plus sizes, however she sadly discontinued these in 2013. I sincerely hope she brings them back one day, as these dresses are stunning and should be enjoyed by everyone!!

In conclusion, if you want absolutely stunning retro dresses with unique, watercolor prints, Bernie Dexter should be your go to!

Do you own any Bernie Dexter dresses? Have a favorite? Heard about what she's said and have an opinion? xo, Miss Betty Doll


1 comment

  1. I do not own any Bernie Dexter dresses, but I do think she has beautiful prints and pretty styles, but like you, I am probably unlikely to buy one of her dresses at full price, mostly for the quality it is a lacking. I do not know the full details as to what she said about plus sized gals, but I can see why many ladies are upset about what she said, as what she said was printed on Facebook and that can often be misconstrued. Either way, like you, I would agree that there are other places to shop, where they support women, of all kinds. Now, she has the very right to choose what target group of customers she wants to sell to. (Per her size charts, I would need 2XL, which I feel is considered plus size but still within her range.) It is all in how she brooches the issue. I can understand from the business owner's perspective that the plus sized ladies weren't clamoring to snap up all her plus sized goodies at the time so she was losing money on dresses that weren't selling, but the market is primed now especially due to the influx of fashion forward plus sized bloggers and models. Ladies in that size group are stepping forward, no longer hiding behind frumpy, ill-fitting things. Now we demand high style fashions that fit and flatter a larger body. No brand needs to cater to everyone, but I feel women were more offended in how she said it rather than just saying, "Sorry, we don't have any plans to extend our size options at this point" or something similar. She implied we are too cheap to spend. NO. Not true.

    You mentioned that while the dresses looked pretty, it is lacking in some aspects that other brands offered like lining, adjustable straps and pockets, etc. I am willing to spend if the quality meets my expectations of something in that price range. There is a store near me that stocks many repro and vintage inspired brands. There is a wide range of price points so I've had the opportunity to see for myself the quality of several brands. As long as I feel something is worth the price, and I love it, I will buy.


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