1940s · Reviews · vintage fashion

Review: Pretty Retro shirt dress

I’ve written about my love of The House of Foxy on the blog before (you can read about it here and here), so I was pretty darn excited when sister company Pretty Retro started popping up on my social media feeds, focusing as it does on affordable wardrobe staples inspired by the 40s and 50s.

One of the first pieces I really fell in love with was a 1940s-style shirt dress. I’ve had my eye on it for an absolute age, particularly after the lovely Catherine from Vintage Frills reviewed it. I kept meaning to buy it, but never quite got around to clicking ‘purchase’. Then, at Festival of Vintage a couple of weeks ago, I saw the dress ‘in person’, as it were, and decided to get it. Then I walked away. Then, I spent five days thinking about it, and decided to just get the hell on and buy it.

I know, it’s not like me to be so indecisive, especially when it comes to dresses. But I’d say this one was worth the wait. It arrived just after we got back from holiday, and I couldn’t wait to try it on (hence some of the crease marks in these photos…this is the dress straight out of the bag. I really must be more patient!)

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The dress is made of quite heavy material (poly/viscose/spandex blend), so it hangs nicely;  I’m currently between sizes so decided to take a punt on the smaller size. It fits fine, but the larger size might have given me a bit more movement, particularly on the arms.

Speaking of which, I really like the dress’ sleeve length – I usually wear a cardigan when a dress has short sleeves, but the slightly longer length means I don’t need to worry about finding one in a colour that goes with the rest of this outfit!

The colour of the dress is better than these photos show – it’s a real emerald green and gives a classic 40s silhouette, so that inspired me when it came to choose what accessories to pair with it.

I decided to go for a quintessential 1940s look. Having been to see Their Finest the night before these photos were taken, I was heavily inspired by Gemma Arterton’s character in both the hair and shoe department. The brogues are  from Blink (they’re falling apart now, mind, but I just can’t bear to get rid of them).

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The hat is vintage, bought from Black Sheep Antiques at the Festival of Vintage, as is the bag, bought in a Norfolk charity shop last year.

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The hat really ties the outfit together, and even came with its original hat pins. I haven’t removed them, as I would probably lose or break them within about 30 seconds, but it’s lovely to know they’re there!

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So, to conclude, I think this dress is a tiptop, ace and fab addition to my expanding wardrobe. It’s currently stuffed with 1950s styles, and I’m keen to start adding a few 1940s staples and this dress is going to be one of them. Do you think it would be reasonable to buy it in red too?

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