Friday, 29 April 2016

Hell Bunny Orlando Dress Review

I realise this review is pretty out of date, given how long ago this dress came out. However, it's one of my favourite dresses and has served me so well the past few summers, I had to give it a shout out.

The Orlando Dress by Hell Bunny is guaranteed to make you feel like a cupcake. But a sexy cupcake. It's a thing, I promise.

After I had my first daughter, I found myself reaching for this pretty little dress time and time again in the early days when I was so sleep deprived, anything but minimal hair and makeup was achievable. This dress made me feel genuinely pretty, even at a time when I was too enraptured with my child to care much about beauty.

White broidarie anglaise trim lines the hem, bust, straps, and bow detail of the dress. A sweet bow adds the right amount of detail to make it a stand out item, but the shorter hemline and light stretch cotton fabric make it a grab it and go kind of dress.

 The back is smocked, so whilst there is a side zipper, it is super comfortable once on.

There is light padding in the bust, which, by the way, is accessible via little pockets behind the bust of the dress. This means that if you accidentally dry it and the padded cups go a little askew, you can reach in there and smooth them out. This is a lifesaver if you are like me and forever accidentally drying things that need not be dried.

As you can see, it does wrinkle a little after a day's wear. Given that it's a dress I always throw on for errands etc, it doesn't bother me.

With regards to quality, as aforementioned, this dress has lasted me several summers now with no signs of wear or tear. For such an inexpensive brand, I've always been impressed with Hell Bunny's quality. On super hot summer days, I find myself reaching for the light and airy dresses like this anyway, as more expensive brands tend to use heavier fabrics.

For size reference, my measurements are currently 37-27-37 (baby weight is not budging yet) and I am wearing a size small. Normally I am 35-25-35 and the small fit perfectly then with a tiny bit of room to spare. Now it is a little snug, but still comfortable. 

This dress is a little hard to find now as it is from a few seasons ago. After a quick Ebay browse I was able to find it from a few sellers, and there is a striped blue version available in all sizes at Jack of London (which I really want for next summer!). 

Thanks for reading! Until next time.. xo, Miss Betty Doll.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Coming Up Roses with Voodoo Vixen

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with sleeved retro dresses. Unless they are made of complete stretch material, I am always nervous they will be uncomfortable in the arms. I do lots of lifting during the day with a newborn and a toddler in tow, so comfort in dresses is a priority for me.

I present to you: The Rosie Dress by Voodoo Vixen.

This, surprisingly, is my first Voodoo Vixen purchase, and suffice it to say it won't be my last.

The second I saw the print, I knew I had to have it. I am a sucker for florals, so much so that I sometimes wear my summer dresses with layers during winter months. I just can't live without them. This dress was especially favorable to me as the sleeves make it wearable for winter, and like a dress intended for cooler months, without adding my own layers to it (having said that, I do daydream about wearing it with my faux-fur lined coat).

The fabric offers the tiniest bit of stretch - just enough to make it feel breathable. I ordered a size small, and would say it runs a little big. My normal size is small, and this dress is a little loose on me even with 5 extra kilos of baby weight to lose. My current measurements are 37-27-37 and I fill out the bust well with about an inch or two of wiggle room in the waist. I will probably wear a belt with it when I lose the weight accentuate my waist more

Mamas - it is not what I would call breastfeeding friendly. As I have said on several pinup facebook forums - I am a boob smuggler. If there is a way to get a breast out of a dress, I will do it. (to myself, unless I've had one too many and we are close enough. ha). So whilst I do wear this whilst out and about breastfeeding, it is a bit if a struggle to do so. Just bear that in mind when purchasing!

The fabric itself is of a medium weight, making it perfect for transitional months - springtime especially! As I said above, I believe it will keep me warm enough in Melbourne winters with a coat thrown over top.

The pleating in the bust and self covered buttons give me major 40's vibes that I love.

I wore this one to the nail salon so I skipped a petticoat, but you could fit a thinner petticoat underneath without a problem. Fluffier petticoats may be a struggle, but I don;t think the silhouette warrants one anyway.


Overall, I love this dress. As many women do, I have been struggling with body image since I had Aurora a month ago, and this is the first dress I've put on that made me feel beautiful, without me picking on a single body flaw. If it can do that for me then I guarantee you it can do that for anyone :)

I cannot find this exact dress on the official Voodoo website at the moment, but I did find it here (Australia) and here (US) . You can however find the Judy on the Voodoo Vixen website, which is the same dress in a different colored pattern.

Happy Shopping!

How do you transition your florals for winter? What dress gives you body confidence like no other? xo, Miss Betty Doll

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

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Unique Vintage Jumpsuit - For Work and Play

I haven't worn pants in over 6 months due to my pregnancy with my second little princess. I find pants super uncomfortable with a baby bump, not to mention I don't find them very flattering on me with a balooning belly.

Pregnancy behind me, I was so excited when I placed my order for the  1970's Jumpsuit by Unique Vintage. With both comfort and style in mind, I knew this was the perfect outfit to break me back into the pant-wearing game.

I was not disappointed when it arrived. Made of the softest knit fabric, it really does feel like wearing pjs. It's something I would be wearing around the house all the time if it weren't for Melbourne's chilly weather being well and truly upon us.

Pj feels aside, this is also a beautifully stylish outfit. It has power suit vibes due to the wide legs, and billows beautifully with movement. The pretty tie belt gives the illusion of a perfectly nipped in waist. You can wear shape-wear to smooth out any lumps or bumps, but I feel like the shape is so well thought out and forgiving that there really isn't any need for it. Whilst the fabric is completely unstructured, it flows and clings in the right places.

The fabric is quite thin and airy, so it is definitely more suited for mild weather. I will have to pack mine away for the upcoming winter, but I can't wait to rock this when the weather warms up here in Australia.

I am 5'6" and find the length quite long. As you can see, if I were to wear this with flats the pant hems would drag on the ground. I love this suit with heels as I feel it adds an air of elegance, but if you purchase it for all around comfort and want to sport it with flats, just bear in mind you may need to hem it up an inch or two depending on your height.

I am wearing my standard size small. If your size is sold out at any stage, you could easily size down due to the extreme stretch in the fabric. But I find my normal size to be very comfortable and flattering.

I'm wearing black, but this gorgeous outfit is also available in navy. For those of you on the opposite side of the hemisphere, you can pair that one with a white, wide brim hat for some gorgeous spring and summer vibes!

What kinds of pants to you like wearing for your vintage style? xo, Miss Betty Doll
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