Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Perfect Plaid: Vivien of Holloway Review

I have an almost-unhealty obsession with red and green. You may not realize this, since I usually rein it in fairly effectively, but the truth is, I would dress like it's Christmas all year round if I could. I've been on the hunt for the perfect red and green tartan skirt for ages, preferably one in wool or flannel to keep out the cold, and I'm happy to say that I finally found it!
There's nothing quite like a full circle skirt!
I first came across Vivien of Holloway last December, when I read Retro Chick's 2009 post about her birthday dress. (Yes, I like to start over at the very beginning when I discover a blog I like.) I fell in love with her dress in the palm print, but exercised some self-control for once and didn't buy it. Then I discovered the tartan circle skirts. I needed the bottle green colorway! It was sold out in my size for what felt like forever, but was really more like a month. And then one day, I discovered it was restocked! To hell with self-restraint. I ordered it, along with a pair of ivory satin gloves, that afternoon, and settled in to wait for my first-ever package from jolly old England to arrive.

All in all, it didn't take very long to get here, and shipping wasn't especially expensive considering it was coming all the way from the UK. Vivien of Holloway offers free international delivery on all orders over £150 as well. It arrived in just over a week and I tore RIGHT into that package as soon as it arrived.

The skirt was perfect, and runs true to size. For reference, I'm 5'2", and it hits me a few inches below the knee. It's made of a lovely heavy fabric that drapes absolutely perfectly with or without a petticoat, and it's long enough to completely hide my tea-length Samantha petticoat from Malco Modes.

…Unless I choose to reveal the perfectly-matched fluff hidden by the majestic tartan!

Because it's a full circle, it's also perfect for twirling, even on a terribly windy Chicago day!

The wind may defeat my hair, but the skirt shall endure.

The fabric is thick but soft and keeps the wind out, so it's a great skirt for a windy winter day. I'm especially pleased that this skirt is made in the UK, since I've been trying to buy from companies that support domestic manufacturers. It seems quite well-made to me, and I like the button waist. The pattern is matched almost perfectly along the back seam, although it's somewhat less perfectly aligned at the sides. This isn't really noticeable unless you're actively peering at the seams to assess the alignment, as you would if, for instance, you were writing a blog review.

L to R: left side seam, back seam, right side seam

All in all, I'm delighted with this skirt, so much so that when I saw the red tartan up for sale on Miss Amy May's Instagram last week, I snatched it right up! I'm a big believer in buying every color of items I love. This may explain why my closets are always bursting at the seams. I've also got my eye on the plum and green version, as well as the leopard-print, but those will have to wait until no-buy February comes to an end.

Apparently, Chicago's winds are strong enough to flatten out the windward side of my skirt/petticoat.

Styling: I chose to pair this with my red cropped cardigan over a simple black shirt, my old lousy-weather boots (because the weather was lousy!) and my ruby red petticoat. It would also look cute with a yellow top, to pick up the yellow in the tartan, a basic black or dark green top, or a crisp white oxford shirt. I'm also tempted to wear it with the Legend of Zelda top I wore in this post, perhaps with a black cardigan. For its first outing, though, I just couldn't resist the double dose of red. I'm all about being festive. I accessorized with a grey stretchy belt and my red rocket and sunburst set from Atomic Lucite, as well as the matching earrings.

Shirt: Gap, from high school (!!!)
Petticoat: Malco Modes Samantha in Ruby Red
Cardigan: Modcloth, also available at Doll Me Up and Le Bomb Shop
Sweater clips: Atomic Lucite

Final verdict: two thumbs up!

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  1. That looks SO GOOD with that red underskirt! Love it!

    1. Thank you! That red petticoat is definitely this winter's MVP, but it's exciting to be able to match it exactly.