It was inevitable. At some point, my wishlist posts would stop being a budget-friendly replacement for buying new things, and start inspiring actual purchases. In my very first Wishlist Wednesday post, I waxed poetic over the Hell Bunny Sonia dress. As it turns out, my willpower was no match for the call of a long-sleeved, black-and-white crepe dress. A few weeks ago, I folded like a cheap suit and bought one.
Super happy and blinded by the sun.
This was a very good decision on my part, since this dress was obviously designed in some secret lab deep inside a volcano specifically to be the perfect Emily dress. The crepe drapes beautifully with or without a petticoat (though I love the extra poof!), the fit is perfect, it's quite well made, and it's machine-washable to boot! It's one of those rare dresses with a well-functioning zipper that glides easily over the seam at the waist. Also, check out the collar detail!
I feel like I should be working for Pan Am in the 1960s, but in the best possible way.
I've found that Hell Bunny dresses typically run quite large, especially when the fabric has some stretch, as this dress does. I'm wearing this dress in a medium, which is one size below my normal size in Pinup Girl Clothing, Unique Vintage's house brand, and Bernie Dexter. That being said, I'm quite pleased with how this fits my 5'2" frame: the waist hits me in exactly the right spot, the bracelet-length sleeves are the right length on my not-quite-T-Rex-y arms, and the shoulders fit perfectly as well. It's a supremely comfortable dress, and I wouldn't hesitate to wear it out for an enormous dinner (a.k.a. the only kind of dinner I seem to go out for!)
When you have so much fluff on that you can lift your skirt to waist-high without flashing the neighborhood, you have enough fluff.
"Where are my toes?!?"
"Oh, there they are. Whew!"
I think it's a very flattering length as well, though it's a bit short to wear with my tea-length Malco Modes Jennifer petticoat, as you can see. When I wore this before, I solved that problem by hiking the waistband of the petticoat up under the inset waistband of the dress, which isn't a perfect solution because it 1) adds bulk where I would prefer the opposite of that, and 2) looks sort of lumpy. I suppose I could add a belt, or just wear a shorter petticoat. But for the purposes of this photo shoot, I wanted to match my ruby slippers! While I was taking these photos, two women walked by and asked if I was Dorothy. Note to self: buy a blue gingham dress.
I've actually already washed this dress, since its first outing involved a very long, very cold walk home, tripping over the tiny hill right in front of my building and falling in the dirt, and then laying down on the sidewalk to cry about it. I washed it on the regular permanent-press setting, with cold water, and laid it flat to dry, and it came out good as new, with no fading at all. This crepe is very hard to wrinkle.
Side by side comparison: poof, de-poofed.
This dress is a bit more work-friendly without a petticoat, but still very flattering. I had a devil of a time getting the no-petticoat photos, since the wind kept attacking at the precise instant that the self-timer went off, but you get the idea.
Who needs wind machines? Just do your photo shoots in Chicago!
Dress: Hell Bunny Sonia, available at Unique Vintage
Petticoat: Malco Modes Samantha in Ruby Red
Shoes: B.A.I.T. Footwear
Hair flower: Daisy Jean Floral Designs
Overall, I'm quite pleased with my inaugural wishlist purchase! It's a versatile, well-made, flattering, fun dress that's easy to clean. In my book, that's a recipe for success.
Happy March, everyone! Are you Team Petticoat, or Team No Petticoat?