Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tiki Tuesday #1 Review: Retrospec'd Hawaiian Dream

Does anyone else feel like Australia must be a wonderland of retro-styled joy? Case in point: I've been after one of Aussie company Retrospec'd's gorgeous creations ever since the lovely Miss Amy May reviewed the sweetest floral sundress on her blog. However, my dread of international shipping fees and total lack of patience has, until recently, kept this dream from becoming a reality. However, a handful of American shops now stock a limited range of Retrospec'd dresses, and after a blogger friend of mine sent me a photo of the Hawaiian Dream Sundress, I knew I had to have it!
retrospec'd hawaiian dress
I ordered it that very night from Catnip Reproductions, out of a semi-irrational fear that it would sell out. This is the first time I've ever ordered from them. I was quite happy with the shipping speed, and the dress arrived neatly packaged and didn't need ironing (which is lucky, since I never iron.)

This dress is a copy of an authentic Shaheen dress from the 1950s, I believe, and it reminds me of the Hawaiian Hideaway dresses from Deadly Dames that have become quite sought-after in the secondhand dress market. I tend to gravitate toward warm colors, so this dress was an obvious choice for me. There's no other way to say it: the colors are absolutely perfect.

In addition to being a gorgeous dress, this dress is made in Australia, like all Retrospec'd garments, so purchasing it caused me no ethical qualms. Even better: Retrospec'd is a woman-owned company!

Seeing as Retrospec'd is an Australian company, their clothing comes in Australian sizes, which seem to run two sizes larger relative to American sizes (e.g. a US 6 is an AUS 10). I had never ordered from Retrospec'd before, but after reading a few other blog reviews and consulting my friend Bristol, I decided to go with a size 12 (e.g. a US 8), so it would be nice and fitted in the bodice. This dress has stretchy panels on the back and adjustable straps, which make it extremely comfortable to wear, good for a variety of heights and bust-to-waist ratios, and perfect for a day of major eating. I was also quite pleased with the quality: the skirt is full with lovely subtle box pleats, and the bodice is fully lined. The only downside to this dress is the lack of pockets, but if you have a cute wicker purse, you can go full-throttle tiki and you'll hardly miss the pockets.

"Full-throttle tiki," incidentally, is an accurate description of how I styled this dress. In keeping with the Australian theme, I'm wearing my favorite orange Daisy Jean hair flower, and in keeping with my tiki aspirations, I threw on an armful of bamboo bangles. They rattled around like marimbas on my arm all day, which I suppose gave people ample warning that I was around.
retrospec'd hawaiian dream sundress
Trying out new poses or practicing flag-less semaphore? You be the judge!
Retrospecd hawaiian dream sundress
No petticoat necessary!

I'm quite happy with this dress, and will definitely buy the next Retrospec'd dress that catches my eye!

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  1. Yes, yes and more YES! This dress is absolutely beautiful and instantly one of my favorites! My buying ban only launched me into over spending and I have to draw it back a bit now...but I can see this beauty in my feature <3

    1. I think it would look amazing on you, especially with your hair color! It apparently also comes in a sarong now, too.

      That post-shopping-ban spree is fun, but can also be super dangerous for your bank account!

  2. Yay, it looks great on you! I knew you'd love it, too! ;) It's just the best color combo. I wear mine A LOT! Tiki purrfection

    1. Thank you for helping me with sizing and everything! I adore this dress -- I wish I lived closer to the tiki bar out here!