Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hell Bunny Sonia Review

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!
No petticoat, no feet, no problem!

I am so into my new hair flowers!
Dress: Hell Bunny Sonia, available at Unique Vintage
Petticoat: Malco Modes Samantha in Ruby Red

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?


  1. Oh. My. GERD! I want, I need...I must have this beauty!!!
    I mean...seriously, look at it! AND it's machine washable...be-still my beating heart.
    First of all...as a fellow shorty (4'11 1/2...never forget the half!) I love that it doesn't seem to consume you. Second, I ALWAYS have to make alterations to my dresses in the shoulder area. SO SO happy to hear that this dress was successful for you in that area. Third....the shoes! Enough said.

    Finally...I'm team petti AND team no petti....it gets so hot here in Vegas that summers are just a silly time to wear added fluff....oof...not so smart.

    Love the dress and love the review! You crack me up....trip, fall and they lay there to pout! LOL Sorry that happened to you, but at the same time I can see it happening and I giggle because that's something I would do!

    Cheers <3

    1. This dress instantly became one of my favorite items of clothing, and you're right -- it's actually a good length for petites, which is so hard to find! Honestly, I think the irritation of having to get things hemmed is part of why I stopped wearing pants. The shoes shocked me: they're actually ridiculously comfortable, and I'm a real baby about heels, so that's saying something!

      Summers in Vegas are crazy! We went there on vacation in June 2014 and June 2015, and the first trip was also the first time my fiancé ever wore shorts in the entire time I've known him.

      Hehe, if I didn't know how to laugh at myself, I don't think I'd survive too long. Things like that happen all the time in my life. I think we'd get along just great :)!

  2. I tend to have to get EVERYTHING altered. It's super annoying. When we lived in LA I had a friend get me in touch w/ a seamstress...she never charged more that $20....it was great.

    Yeah...we've had a few days reach the 80s already...gonna be a scorcher his summer...but I love it!

    Right?! Laughing is the best medicine and I'm so glad we are the type of people that can laugh at ourselves :) Oh...and we already do get along great!! Wooo hoooo