A date with Vivien of Holloway part 3: The ‘Peggy Lee’ day dress in green

I’m finishing up my Vivien of Holloway dress reviews today with the third and final dress. This is the Peggy Lee day dress in green (£69), a cotton number with an A-line skirt and contrasting white collar and pockets. Of the three I’ve tried, this is probably the most costumey. The other two can easily be modernised, but as far as I’m concerned, you may as well go the whole hog with this one! So I pulled out my retro glasses, put my hair in a mock-bob with some roller curls and hunted down some hair flowers so I could give this dress the 40s style look it deserves!

Of the three dresses I tried, this one is also the most generous when it comes to sizing. Like the Grace and the Jezebel, I tried it in Vivien of Holloway’s vintage size 16 (B38/W30). I think if I bought this dress in the future, I would probably try on the 14 too see if I can get away with it. You can see in the pictures that it creases up a bit around the bodice – the torso section is quite long and I could do with being more snug around my mid-section. That said, it was a good fit on the bust – if I switched to a non-padded bra I hope I could go a size down.

Because the waist wasn’t as snug as I wanted, I tried the dress with an elasticated belt to cinch it in a bit. This did mean it wrinkled and creased a bit around the waist, and looking at the pictures afterwards, I think I prefer it without the belt. If you want the smoother lines you can see in the model pictures on the website, I’d advise a good girdle underneath! Of all the Vivien of Holloway fabrics, I’d say this cotton is actually the least forgiving on fleshy bits so choose your underwear carefully! Fit is vital too so definitely try on at the Holloway Road store if you can. The zip runs up the back (but the collar is fixed so it doesn’t zip all the way up). It is one of those annoyingly flimsy concealed zips I hate, but because it’s up the back, not the side, it’s not so temperamental and worked fine for me without snagging or getting stuck.

I absolutely adore the colour of this dress, if only because it gave me an excuse to wear my green suede shoes (now reduced to £20 at Chockers) and pose in front of some nearby green doors. The pockets are also a big bonus too – these ones are huge, almost like the big pockets on an apron! Of all the Vivien of Holloway dresses I’ve tried it’s probably the most practical despite the bold design details. If you’re a vintage / reproduction fan and want something a bit different to the usual tea dresses and wiggle dresses, this is a total winner. However, dressing it down for a more modern look is more difficult.

The ‘Peggy Lee’ dress is available in various colours and prints for £69 at Vivien of Holloway

Disclosure: The dress was borrowed from Vivien of Holloway. All thoughts are my own and I was not paid to publish them.

  • http://www.foreveramber.co.uk/ Amber

    I’ve loved these reviews, Gemma – you’ve looked amazing in all of these (and I really want to seal those shoes from you too…)! So handy to actually get to see the dresses being worn, too: I actually think they look even better on you than on the product shots from the website :)

  • http://www.gemmacartwright.com Gemma

    Aww thank you! I’m really impressed with how much VoH take pride in customer photos, blogger reviews and so on as a way of getting word out about the way their dresses fit and how well they work for a variety of body sizes. Always tricky to tell someone “you’re going to need to go one or two dress sizes up in this…” but it’s absolutely worth it for the amazing fit of dresses like the Grace. I’m now saving up for more…

  • http://www.emmacossey.co.uk Emma Cossey

    Oh this is my favourite of all of them! I may have to get those shoes first though, just lovely.

  • http://www.coffeetoastandlondon.com/ Laura

    wonderful outfit – so green and so bold! Plus the shoes are v.e.r.y cool!

    x

  • http://twitter.com/TheSuperAmanda Super Amanda

    Thanks so much for introducing me to Vivien of Holloway! I’m not that far away but had yet to hear about this wondrous place!  Cheers!

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    Aww thank you! I’m really impressed with how much VoH take pride in customer photos, blogger reviews and so on as a way of getting word out about the way their dresses fit and how well they work for a variety of body sizes. Always tricky to tell someone “you’re going to need to go one or two dress sizes up in this…” but it’s absolutely worth it for the amazing fit of dresses like the Grace. I’m now saving up for more…www.celinebag.net 

  • Kim Knup

    I love this dress on you! I originally bought the black version but it was a size too big, and then when I washed it the white went grey … ALWAYS use a colour catcher I tell you! So I did the following with mine http://punkmik.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/adjusting-the-voh-peggy-lee-dress/ . As they are so well made it was really easy to adjust it!