22 July 2017

Something White, Something Blue With Dolly and Dotty

Red is clearly my favourite colour - but I have a lot of love for blues! And there's something about blue and white that really just grabs me every time. So I was so excited to be offered this Dolly And Dotty Annie Dress in Blue Floral to review!

dolly and dotty annie dress

Dolly and Dotty is a relatively new company in the vintage reproduction game that came to my attention a year or so ago. Their ethos is to create vintage inspired designs in modern fits for an affordable price. So I hope this is helpful for those of you also interested in the quality!

Dolly And Dotty have joined a lot of brands with having sizing from 6-24, which I find wonderful, personally. Their size guide put me between the 20 and 22, which is my usual sizing in most brands. However! I will suggest at least in the Annie style to size down. I was sent a 22 to review, but I'm wearing an 18 here, which is the perfect size for me.

I've mentioned a few times before that I have a small bust for my size, and I have bottom-heavy breasts. This is important to know and keep in mind because a larger or fuller bust would need a larger size than I took. Also because of the bottom-heavy breasts issue, I find a lot of these high-neck bodices gape. This is an issue on all brands, but as you can see in the above photo I've got quite a gap going on under my hand! There's no real way of rectifying the issue outside of popping in a dart or avoiding the bodice style, though - so don't take that into consideration with the overall fit.

The dress' fabric is a cotton blend with a small amount of stretch, and the print is clear and vibrant. The Annie is a summer dress and isn't lined, but there is no worry of showing off your underwear! The fabric is just thick enough to keep those undergarments hidden.

It's a real beaut of a dress, to be honest with you. I prefer pleating over gathering in skirts, since there's no extra volume on the stomach/hips. This dress is perfect for that! The waist seam comes a little lower than my natural waist, so if you're tall this is for you.

I think the only downside is there's no pockets!

Now you've heard my thoughts on this dress - and Dolly And Dotty have so many designs and patterns to choose from! We'd love you to try them out - and if you use the code SPONSOREDBYD&D you can even get a cheeky 10% off!

  • Necklace; Vintage
  • Dress; C/O Dolly and Dotty (Disclaimer)
  • Hair Flower; Handmade
  • Brooch; Luxulite
  • Bag; Vintage
  • Bangles; Splendette

15 July 2017

Can I Be A Raccoon Dog?

Let me introduce you to one of my favourite things in the world - The Tanuki. Statues of him sit outside restaurants and gardens to gather wealth. He's boss-eyed. He has a gigantic scrotum. So naturally, I have a Tanuki Print Skirt.

Tanuki make me so happy, it's hard not to laugh as soon as I think of them. I MEAN LOOK AT IT. I came across the statue when I was having a hard time in Tokyo in February. He just cheered me up to no end with his ridiculous little face!

Now, if you've been to Japan or have an interest in Japanese culture you've probably seen this guy before. However, have you seen Tanuki print fabric before? I certainly hadn't until now!

I picked this fabric up in the remnant section just outside Shinjuku's Okadaya in February. They have this great system there, where remnants are divvy-ed up into 2mt lengths and each bundle is ¥980. So thats what, roughly £7? Buying fabric per meter in Japan isn't the cheapest, so this is a great way to get some quality fabrics for a good price.

My eyes caught this cheeky little Tanuki fabric and I grabbed two bundles and ran to that till! My god, though, the quality of this fabric is to die for. It's mid-weight, and the texture is one of my favourite parts of this fabric. Japan does not do crap quality fabrics!

We've seen before that I'm a massive fan of the dirndl. Recently I've found myself more inclined towards separates to create outfits, and dirndls are an easy way to make skirts. Essentially, it's a length of fabric gathered or pleated to a waistband. That's it! Something so simple, yet makes the most striking of garments.

This skirt isn't rocket science and it won't win technical competitions. But hey, it's got everything I need in a skirt; huge patch pockets, a nice sweep, a hint of pom pom and it's red. Oh, and giant-bollocked raccoon dogs, of course.

I decided to pair this outfit with my burgundy doctor bag from Vendula London - mainly because of the frame charms. The Shabby Chic charms are pretty amazing since you can actually take the backs off to fill the frames with whatever you want. My tip? Match your bag to any outfit by using scraps of fabric in them! 

Bodysuit; Primark
Necklace; Topshop (ooold)
Bangles; Vintage 
Bag; Vendula London (Disclaimer)
Shoes; New Look (old)

8 July 2017

When No Inspiration Strikes

I've spent so long trying to write a post about this outfit. 
I've been trying to be witty, or profound or informative. But I'm uninspired.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been in this little rut. There’s a dip in my moods and depression has been riding on my back to remind me it’s there all the time. It's been a bit difficult. I'm tired, irritated, unhappy and completely uninspired.

Motivation to do everyday things has run thin, I can't bring myself to get out of bed or complete simple enough tasks. It sucks.

The good news is that I'm working on it. Accepting help has been quite terrifying for me, as though I was giving into my mental illness. But it's not that at all, it's helping me live with something that affects my daily life.

I've become so aware of myself in recent weeks that I'm torn in two ways - in one, I'm learning on how to better myself. In the other, understanding myself has meant I'm too overwhelmed to actually do anything about it. But slowly I'm changing my thought processes, challenging myself daily and finding small pockets of motivation to carry out tasks.

I'm pushing on through, trying to refocus and work out my long term goals and ambitions. Starting to take a little better care of myself and my appearance and dressing nicer. And most importantly for my state of mind - I'm managing to get my mojo back with creativity and am drawing and sewing a bit more!

Progress is progress, right?

24 June 2017

Some Southern Hospitality

The UK had a heatwave.
As we're Brits, we loooove a chat about the weather, and bloody hell guys it was HOT.

bourbon and bras

So over the weekend I managed to grow balls and sweat them off -  just in time to spend a few days with my sister-in-law and end up in a Coheed and Cambria mosh pit on the hottest day of the year. Seeing both the sister-in-law and Coheed were amazing, but the heat was a little less ideal!

melody mae

As soon as hot weather comes in, I have this mental image of me wearing white eyelet lace sundresses and frolicking in tall grass having picnics and prosecco with beautiful sun kissed friends. In reality, I'm hiding under a tree with a warm cider with food thrown down myself complaining about how much I sweat.

Mmm, what a gorgeous mental image.

bourbon and bras

But hell, I never learn anything and ended up buying this top from Primark because MY GOD isn't it cute? I'm such a sucker for a frilled bardot and the aforementioned white eyelet lace, so this was kinda a necessary purchase. (Is any Primark purchase really that necessary, though?) It fulfils my summer dreams - regardless of the fact I dropped food down it and dyed the inside pink...

bourbon and bras

My love for gingham is everlasting, though, and this top was just so perfect for my Blue Gingham Skirt, that was blogged about last year. It reminds me of a stereotypical sort of Southern-American sweetheart, bar the overplayed accent, pigtails and penchant for country music!

  • Hair Flowers; Lady Lucks Boutique
  • Necklace; Handmade
  • Top; Primark
  • Brooch; Luxulite
  • Bangles; Vintage and Splendette
  • Bag; Vintage
  • Shoes; Miss L Fire


10 June 2017

Ahoy Sailor with Yours Clothing!

So I have a theory that every child born in the 80s and 90s was dressed up as a sailor at least once in their life by their parents.

And I've kept this penchant for nautical themes and sailor dresses all the way through my adult life, clearly!

So when picking a dress from the Hell Bunny range on Yours Clothing, really, there was no other option than the Ambeleside - a navy flared dress with nautical striping details on the collar, cuffs and hem, and a sweet little sailor collar!

Originally, I ordered the 22-24 based on the bust measurements on their size guide, and I will tell you that was a real mistake! Like the last time I reviewed a Hell Bunny dress, I found this came up big - this time at least five inches too big, and could grab fistfuls of fabric either side of my waist.

Since this is a fit-and-flare dress, it looked awful being so huge. I swapped it (with ease thanks to collect+ and fantastic service) for the 18 - and this is the absolute perfect size for me! So I would suggest to go by the waist measurements on their Hell Bunny size guide instead of the bust - my 50inch bust fits in the 18 without is being tight, despite it saying an 18 is a 44inch bust.

The dress itself is so lovely, it's a dark navy, crepe-like polyester, but even in summer heat is still very breathable. The colour is just right to make sure it isn't quite so costumey, which makes it perfect for all occasions without having to go full sailor-mode - it'd look adorable with a sailor hat, though!

Obviously being from Hell Bunny it's a straight-up retro styled dress, but is slightly more on the 40's side with the way the bodice is cut - I've made a dress with a similar bustline before, and I was delightfully surprised that this dress had been altered correctly to fit modern day busts since usually the gathering sits higher than the Ambelside.

Whilst taking these photos (If you're ever in Alexandra Palace, you may encounter me and my tripod!) I had a lot of compliments on this dress, and it deserves it! It has slight stretch to give you a perfect fit, a gored flared skirt that will take bigger petticoats than I'm wearing, and it's just a bit too cute, right? I bet my mum will like this dress, thanks to the aforementioned obsession in then 80s/90s of dressing kids up in sailor stuff.

Literally the only thing I don't like? It doesn't have pockets. That's it, you can't complain when there's only one thing wrong, right?
Although I'm interested if you'd wear a sailor dress - let me know in the comments!

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