Saturday, 16 April 2016

Retrospec'd Elizabeth Dress

I've had my eye on Retrospec'd for years now. I kept seeing their dresses pop up on social media but at that stage I didn't have the budget to take the plunge. I feel like the more you delve into the pinup culture and fashion, the more you learn about quality and you find yourself willing to spend more than you would have before. That's where I'm at now. I know for a fact that the quality and ethical standards of gorgeous brands like Retrospec'd make it worth the spend!

Originally I was to get the Elizabeth Dress in another print which sold out. I immediately received a call from the shop and was asked if I would like any other print instead. The Gay Pari print struck my fancy, so I grabbed that one instead. The rich colors and print were unlike anything I have seen before.

As Retrospec'd is an Australian brand, the package arrived, beautifully wrapped, just a few days later. This is exciting for anyone in Australia, as many of the best retro brands tend to be located overseas and therefore take weeks to arrive.

I was pleasantly surprised by the colors of the dress, which are closer to the pink hues showcased in this photo by Brooke Orchard Photography than they are to the stock photo.

Since I already had a trip to Werribee Mansion's Rose Garden planned, I took my little camera and had my lovely sister-in-law snap some photos for me there. Mind you, I felt silly doing it when there are already beautiful, professional photos like the one above taken by Brooke Orchard, who never ceases to amaze me with her retro photography. There is no way I can do the dress justice like she can, but I digress.

Little Miss Selene ran amok whilst we hastily grabbed a few photos. I can't blame her - the gardens at Werribee Mansion are big and beautiful, and I did my fair share of running around with her.

Right, onto sizing! This dress has no stretch to it, and the size chart for the size 8 that I got lists a maximum of 35 inches for the bust and 27 inches for the waist. It is definitely true to size. The bust was fairly tight on me as I am currently breastfeeding and, well, lets just say I am pretty sure the girls' are a little bigger than 35 inches at the moment. The waist fit just right. Normally I have a 25 inch waist, but having had my second daughter a month ago, my waist is still figuring itself out. I do wish there was just a tiny big of stretch to the fabric as it was a little uncomfortable around the underarm area, but this probably has to do more with the fact that my bust doesn't quite fit into the dress at the moment.

For reference for my fellow Americans, an Aussie size 8 is like a US size 4, a size 10 is like a size 6, and so forth.

The quality is perfect. The construction of the dress is flattering, from the perfectly full pleats to the well thought out ruched bust that accommodates a range of bust sizes. As I said above - worth the money.

My favourite part of the dress is the faux wrap/sweetheart neckline. The way the straps curve reminds me of the perfect retro silhouette and is definitely something you don't see often in modern clothing. I also love all of the vibrant colors in the print. Whilst this is a perfect summer dress, it works so well for Autumn and the range of colors give it several options for accessories.

As you can see here, I am wearing a petticoat with the dress. Some pleated skirts and dresses don't fit a petticoat well, but this one does without a problem! I'm wearing a rather flat one from Leg Avenue that offers just a little poof, but you could definitely fit a fuller petticoat if that's your preference.

I also purchased one of the Norma Jean dresses, which unfortunately has yet to fit due to the waist measuring 25 inches (hint, ladies - the size charts for the dresses vary, so read each one carefully!). I have been visualising that dress as I do Pilates and try to get my body back in shape. It is one of the last articles of clothing that has yet to fit after baby, and I've already come to love Retrospec'd so much that if I'm going to lose the baby weight for any dress, it's gonna be the Norma Jean. So here's to salad dinners and breaking a sweat!

Speaking of, I've had a few ladies ask about my weight after having my darling Aurora. Basically, I gained 12 kilos all up with my pregnancy this time (the same as with Selene). I lost 6 kilos within a week of her birth, but the scale has barely moved since. I found this very disheartening, as I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within a month after I had Selene. I did a little research and had a chat with my midwife and found that I had been eating so little since having Aurora (ain't no time to eat with two kiddos, I tell you!) that, in combination with burning 600 calories a day breastfeeding, my body was actually in starvation mode and holding onto fat for dear life. This was why I wasn't losing any weight. So I've been forcing myself to finish my meals where possible, and already my metabolism has kicked into higher gear and I've lost half a kilo after seeing absolutely no progress for 3 weeks. Hopefully this trend continues and I can get back to my normal weight of 58 kilos soon!

Which clothing brand convinced you to save your pennies and take the plunge? Have you ever had a dress you used as a goal post for weight loss? xo, Miss Betty Doll


  1. Breathtakingly gorgeous!!! Retrospectd is a brand I've been coveting for ages now. I'm thinking I'll have to either tuck away my pennies or use some holiday money one year to finally treat myself to one of their, quite frankly, magnificent looking creations.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. They always have things in the sale section! I bought the Norma Jean on sale from them. It's beautiful!

  2. Hi Miss Betty, long time lurker first time commenter lol! This dress is so gorgeous... I was just reading this old post to get an idea on sizing but wanted to comment and say how much I enjoy your posts. I have two little kidlets as well and my youngest is now 2, eldest 5... Things haven't really gotten any quieter but I do love hearing the gumt things they say to each other now that they are able to communicate!! Enjoy this time with them. Keep up the fab pictures and reviews. And well done on losing the baby weight. I feel your pain; I've only recently returned to pre-baby weight. Five years later... Who's counting though? I bought a treadmill at Xmas time and that has been amazing. You don't have anything to lose though you are TINY!

    1. Hi lovely!

      I absolutely love getting comments like this. Sometimes when you blog it feels like no one is reading, so putting a name and background to a reader is always exciting ♡♡

      Having two kiddos means no downtime at all, doesn't it? :) it's being overwhelmed by love and ridiculously exhausted.

      Hehe if I keep baking brownies and cakes, I'll never finish losing the weight! Congratulations to you for losing all of it. That's amazing ♡♡


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