Thursday, 24 November 2016

Pinup Girl Clothing Eva Pants Review

I have a serious dislike for most kinds of pants. I love the look of them, but the comfort level is normally so low, I can't even bring myself to wear them. This is one of the reasons I laugh when friends ask me "But don't you ever feel like just being comfortable in jeans?". What? No!

Enter the Eva Pants by Pinup Girl Clothing, and their shorter Funny Face Pants. The company claims that they will replace your yoga pants, so extreme is their comfort factor.

They are definitely right.

It feels like slipping into pyjamas. When going to my parents-in-law's house and looking for something easy to wear, I have actually put on a comfortable pair of yoga pants and then changed out of them and into the Eva Pants.

First off, let's start with sizing - I am 37-27-37 and am wearing a size small. There is a zipper up the back but I never actually unzip it, because the pants have more than enough stretch in them to just pull up over my hips. So I would order your standard size, but if it's sold out feel free to size down.

Now, there are a couple of hang-ups I have with these pants. First of all, my yoga pants (and every other pair of pants I own) actually flatter my figure more than the Eva Pants. There isn't any elastic in the waistband, which is great for your comfort, but not so great for the appearance of your waistline. These pants actually add lumps and bumps to my figure that I don't have when I'm not wearing anything, which I found odd. I think this is because they are made of a decently thick and high quality fabric, but the huuuuge amount of stretch means that they add bulk without actually tucking you in anywhere! It's fortunate that I took these photos this morning when it was late afternoon and I hadn't actually managed to eat anything yet, because after even a small meal, these pants really don't show off my figure the way I'd like it to be shown!
Don't get my wrong, these pants are still fantastic and have their uses. If you want a pair of pants to throw on with a cute retro t-shirt, get these pants! The seam down the front of the leg adds a tailored look that you won't get with any other pair of relaxed pants.

Also, take it from someone who used to work long hours in the city with an hour long commute each way and hours spent sitting in a desk chair - normal pants can feel very annoying by the end of the day. I look forward to returning to the workforce and having these babies on my bum - I know I will feel comfortable by the end of the day. Which brings me to my next point - I would definitely wear these with peplum tops. Pinup Girl Clothing has several for sale at the moment, including the Essential Peplum Top and the Selina Top . Wearing the Eva Pants with Peplum Tops will help disguise the love handles and tummy that they can accentuate, while still keeping you comfortable in the office.

The third option is to wear them with sweaters that are worn over the pants rather than tucked in - again to hide the bits that pants may accentuate that you don't want attention drawn to.

Now I tend to wear shapewear half the time with pants, so one could say I am self-conscious about how I look in pants to begin with (and btw, the reason I don't recommend shapewear with these is because their sole purpose is to be comfy!). But I suppose it just comes down to what is important to you. To me, wearing things that flatter you is important and can help you to feel confident in your outfit. To others, maybe you feel like body-confidence should trump all, and who cares if these pants show off your love handles?! To me, either school of thought is valid and you should choose your clothing based on what is important to you as an individual.

So, the verdict - while these pants may be unflattering to some when worn with form fitting tops, they are fantastic with peplums, sweaters and t-shirts and are definitely, beyond a reasonable doubt, the comfiest pants you will ever own. So weather they work for you is entirely up to you, and in the mean time I'll be enjoying them for the fashionable, easy-to-wear piece that they are.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

Yes, of all the swimsuits I could have chosen from Red Dolly Swim, I chose the one that would allow me to use lyrics in the blog post title. Sue me!

I discovered Red Dolly Swimwear through an automated Instagram suggestion not long after I had Selene. Melbourne weather being as sporadic as it is, I didn't place an order until two years later as I already had a few swimsuits for Selene and I, and that's all we needed. Seriously, you never know how much sunshine you will get in Melbourne, even in summer.

Red Dolly Swimwear is owned and operated by fellow retro mama Heather, who has the cutest instagram feed and fantastic customer service skills. I have found her to be prompt with responses and quick with shipping and updates. 

I have been wearing one pieces since having Aurora, as a bikini, even high waisted, is daunting to me. Looking at the photos I feel mostly happy with my body since having two children, but body confidence has always, rather openly, been a struggle for me. Many women choose high waisted bikinis because it covers more, but I actually find it more nerve-wracking to wear than a standard, modern bikini. This is because the way a high waisted bikini sits can cause a bit of a pooch, as it takes any fluff you have around the middle and encases it rather than flattens it. This is true of every single high waisted bikini I have tried!

Even with this bit of self-consciousness, looking at these photos I love the bikini! It is actually quite flattering, and even though the photos here are semi-posed because I am obviously aware there is a camera on me, there are a few candid shots in which I am still happy with how my middle looks.

You won me over, Heather ;)

The quality of the swimsuit is good, with high quality print and support in both the top and bottom. I will say that if you are top heavy this may not work for you, the bikini top more comfortable than structured. I ordered a size small in both and found the fit to be perfect for me.

Selene and Aurora's bikinis are the cutest thing ever. I have actually been against baby bikinis in the past, but these changed my mind. I now recommend two pieces for young children - especially babies - as it's easier to get on and off for diaper changes and just easier to put on in general!

Selene is wearing a size 2 and Aurora is wearing a size 2-9 months. Both are a perfect fit, and I wish I had purchased the adorable matching headwraps to go with their swimsuits. It would have been adorable.

The adult yellow polka dot bikini (on sale!) is available here.  There is an option for adding padding to the bust like I did, which I recommend as the swimsuit material is on the thin side and, ya know, cold water, thin fabric... yeah. The baby bikini and toddler bikini are also on sale! There a ton of fabric options to suit your taste if yellow isn't your thing.

Most people aren't obsessed with matching outfits with their littles like I am, but I think anyone can see how cute it is to match swimsuits with the special tiny people in your life. I can't wait to go to the beach with the girls in these :)

Thanks so much for reading!
xo Miss Betty Doll

Monday, 14 November 2016

Ains and Elke StyleHaus - Trixie Skirt and Matching Littles Skirts Review

I discovered Ains and Elke StyleHaus through Pinup Persuasion over a year ago now. Excited over their fabric choices and willingness to make a matching skirt for Selene (as she was then my only child), I placed an order within a week.

Alixis, the shop owner and maker of Ains and Elke StyleHaus items, was customer service perfection. She replied promptly, asked for thorough measurements and, as a mother of two, was quick to agree to make a matching skirt for Selene.

I went with the standard full skirt for myself, and agreed to have Selene's made with a simple elastic gathered waist. Unfortunately, Alixis (if my memory serves me right) went away shortly after I placed the order, and with her 3-4 week turnaround time combined with the delay of her being away, the skirts didn't arrive for two months. This wasn't a problem, of course, because Alixis is lovely and communicated the time frame before I even placed the order!

Herein lies a story: By the time the skirts arrived, I was pregnant with Aurora! I had actually been pregnant and not known it when I placed the order, so when the package arrived at my doorstep, I was already sporting a tiny little bump and couldn't even zip my skirt up. I'd also made a mistake with the length measurements I gave for Selene's skirt, and it turned out to be even longer than her little legs.This was my fault, of course, and I blame the pregnancy hormones.

The mistake with Selene's skirt length and timing turned out perfectly, however, as my mother in law ended up helping me trim the excess fabric from Selene's skirt to make a tiny skirt for baby Aurora. So, over a year after receiving them, here is my review of the Trixie skirt and matching custom toddler (and baby!) skirts.

 (some behind the scenes cheek for you!)

I ordered according to what my waist measurement was at the time -25". This was one of my first ever custom orders, and I've learned a lot about custom skirts since then. First of all, I can almost always order a standard size small from regular retailers and have it fit. The waist measurements for these are normally 25-26". This, however, is different than placing a custom order and simply going by your waist measurement that you probably took first thing in the morning when your waist is smaller. So whilst my waist may be 25" (it's actually more like 26" now, hehe), this measurement changes as the day wears on and meals are consumed, and also doesn't allow for how your waist changes when you sit and move. 

Alixis was nice and clear about how waist measurements work, and did say to me "so 25" exactly?". It was me and my vanity sizing that gave the go ahead when I should have asked for an inch or two of breathing room -which is what I do now.

In any case, I just had the buttons of my skirt moved over a tad and the skirt fits now regardless :)

 The skirt is of medium fullness and you can fit a medium sized petticoat underneath, which is what I did here. It's a gathered skirt, not a circle skirt, so it's nice and light and won't weigh you down with fabric as some circle skirts can do. The fabric (which I believe is sold out, but there are sooo many other cute prints available!) is lightweight and breezy. It also has pockets!

Packages from Ains and Elke StyleHaus come wrapped with care and are obviously made with love. Knowing that these were made by a mother who who would be balancing the needs of her children with the needs (yes, needs, people!) of our wardrobes makes these pretty skirts all the more precious.

Trixie skirts retail for $65 USD, and the custom skirt I ordered for Selene sells for $30.

Thanks for reading!
xo, Miss Betty Doll


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Norma Jean Dress Review by Retrospec'd

There is absolutely no reason to attempt outstanding photos of anything from Retrospec'd, as they have the gorgeous Brook Orchad Photography as their photographer. I mean, you can't beat it! But, I did snap some photos of the Norma Jean to review, just to give you an idea of how it sits from different angles :)

The Norma Jean design from Retrospec'd is seriously gorgeous. It's a completely classic 1950's design, with a gathered bust, flattering wide straps and tons of gorgeous patterns to choose from. My personal favourite is the Texas Rose, aside from the one I am wearing of course (which is now sold out!).

You can feel the quality when you hold it. It's heavy in a luxurious way, made from a high quality cotton sateen fabric. It really holds you in and accentuates your waist, and the gathered bust holds up the girls even without a bra. The skirt is nice and wide, and the gathers are placed in such a way that it won't add bulk to your sillouette.

My only hang up was the underarm area, which was a little too tight. It almost feels like the bust area comes too far up under the arms. It's a little irritating when stretching and lifting, but that's coming from a mother who does that all day long in big fluffy dresses. I've poured through several reviews and haven't found any similar complaints, so I'm going to chalk it up to my figure type and leave it at that. I am currently 36-26-36 (for those of you following me throughout my pregnancy and post partum journey, yes that means the weight is pretty much off and my clothing reviews should reflect those measurements moving forward).

I originally ordered a size 8 and couldn't even zip it up. This was a month or so after having Aurora, so a combination of shedding a few kilos and trading my size 8 for a size 10 made for a much better fit. Be sure to read the size charts, as they all vary according to the dress. For reference I am normally a size 8 AU, size 4 US in every brand, so I couldn't just go by my normal size here. Check those measurements!

With regards to breastfeeding - if you are wearing this without a cardigan, slipping down the shoulder strap is easy enough to gain access. If you are wearing this in chilly weather with a jacket, however, I wouldn't recommend it for breastfeeding as you need to slip the shoulder strap down in order to do it. 

I know most of my readers are American, so shipping rates would be important here. They offer decent flat rate shipping both in Australia and overseas, and delivery is generally within a week or two internationally! The Norma Jean retails at $190AU full price, but they often have sales. Plus, if you are buying with a US dollar, it would cost you more like $145USD currently.

In conclusion, Retrospec'd continues to delivery high quality dresses at matching prices, with good sales and great shipping rates. If you haven't snagged one yet: do it!

Thanks for reading!
xo, Miss Betty Doll
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