Browsing Tag

retro

skirtfeatured
Retro / Vintage, Sewing & Craft

That Time I Made a Skirt From a Duvet Cover

This month I made a skirt out of a bedspread. I know exactly what you’re thinking…

The Sound of Music

But let me start by saying The Sound of Music is one of my favourite films of all times, so I’m more than happy to take inspiration from the inimitable Maria Von Trapp. There is no shame in home furnishings-turned-outfits.

So to the story behind the skirt. A couple of seasons ago Asda’s George Home started producing affordable bedding sets with pin-up girl prints on. There have been a few iterations, the most popular being a sailor print with stripes and anchors. They look nice enough on a bed (though you may struggle to persuade a boyfriend or husband of that) but a few clever sewists worked out that they’re also perfect for dresses and skirts, and buying these bedspreads for under £15 worked out much cheaper than buying similar fabrics from the likes of Alexander Henry. Thus #ThatsSewGeorge was created!

George bedding and handmade skirt

Recently, George has been challenging bloggers to make clothes, accessories and other exciting things out of their cute and affordable bedding sets. I’m already the proud owner of a palm tree printed duvet cover (see here!) which I think would make a killer maxi dress, but when George offered to send me some more bedding to work my sewing magic on, I had to go with those pin-up girls. I picked a print with a polka dot lining, threw one straight on my bed, then used the other to whip up a modified circle skirt.

Pin Up Skirt and Gingham Shirt

I thought a dress might be tricky with the large print so decided to do a skirt first. The pattern was a bit of a mish-mash. I used the skirt panels from the Gertie for Butterick dress I made a couple of years ago, as I didn’t want to lose all the detail in a gathered or pleated skirt. This did mean I had some tricky pattern matching to take into account: in the end I only worried about this on the front of the skirt so it’s not perfect, but it did mean I could easily get the whole thing out of one duvet cover. I made my own wide waistband from the polka dot fabric used on the underside of the duvet, and put in a hand-picked zip at the back. I still love a hand-picked zip, not just because it’s much easier to keep tidy, but also because I like to sew in front of the TV so the less I have to use the machine, the better.

Hand Made Pinup Skirt and Gingham Blouse

The skirt is a little see-through and could do with lining, but other than that, I’m really happy how it turned out. Since I’m an old lady I own a beige slip so I just popped that underneath for a bit of coverage. The gingham blouse is from Mango, and the very old sequinned shoes are from Kurt Geiger. I hope you like my finished look, now if only it would stop raining so I can take it outside!

Disclosure: The bedspreads were a gift from George to allow me to get creative.

Curvy Kate Bikini
Swimwear, Tried & Tested

The Other Reason I Went On Holiday Was to Review This Bikini

It will come as no surprise to you that I have too many bikinis. But despite the fact I have more two-pieces than I do days a year to wear them, I’ve never actually shared a photo myself wearing one before. I’ve talked in great detail about my struggles to accept my less-than-perfect body, but I worked hard before my wedding to really get to a good place. And when Bras and Honey offered me the opportunity to review a style from one of my favourite brands, I decided it was now or never.

I own a couple of Curvy Kate bikinis already, and they’re some of my most comfortable and supportive styles, so I was excited to try one of their newer styles. Bras and Honey picked out the Luau Love style for me, in hot fuchsia pink. I tried the bandeau top which has detachable straps, and the skirted bottoms. There are three tops and three bottoms to choose from in the range, so there’s something for everyone.

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As expected of Curvy Kate, the top is super supportive and well made. I can’t fault the construction. I think the strapless top is cut using the same (or a very similar) pattern to their famous Luxe strapless bra. As such, it gives a very rounded, forward-facing shape and is quite narrow across the front in comparison to some of the brand’s other bras and bikini tops. I tried the top in a 32E and I think I would have actually done better in a 34DD, as my bust is quite wide-set and I could have done with an extra inch across the front of the band. Getting into this top took a lot of “swooping”, but once I was in the support was incredible, with or without the detachable straps.

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Now onto the bottoms. A lot of swimwear guides push bigger briefs and shorts for curvier body shapes, I guess the idea being that if you’re larger, you will want to cover up more. But it took me a long time to realise that sometimes, less is more. For my body at least, I feel like a fuller bottom actually just accentuates my widest part (my hips). As the years have gone by I’ve tended towards slightly skimpier bottoms which accentuate my waist, or something low-cut with a little frill.

So despite suiting my retro taste, this skirted brief was actually a bit of a departure for me. Luckily, the style is much more flattering than boy shorts (which I hate – camel toe ahoy!) and once I’d worked out where to position them on the hips, I grew to really like having the extra coverage around the bum and hips. The ties are adjustable and there’s a lot of fabric to play with; I preferred them pulled up relatively high on the legs, but if needed you can loosen them right down to an almost knee-length skirt if you prefer. I’m wearing the size 14 / L here. I’d say they run a little on the small side, as with most swimwear, but the shape is fairly forgiving so there’s some wiggle room (literally).

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The good news if you love this set? It’s in the sale! The bandeau top is £29.75 and the skirted briefs are £21.25.

Disclosure: Product sample provided free of charge for review purposes.

kini
Retro / Vintage, Swimwear

This Year’s Retro Swimwear Rundown

My passion for vintage-inspired swimwear has been well documented. When I started sharing my favourite retro styles each year, it was difficult to find more than a handful. Now everyone is embracing high waists, polka dots, vintage florals and halter straps. Obviously this is good news for fans of the look, and since this is still something that people come to this site for frequently, I felt it was time for a 2015 update. Hopefully there’s something here to suit every wannabe pin-up girl, no matter your budget. So let’s just get right into the good stuff, shall we?

lobster-esther

Esther Williams Rock Lobster swimsuit £65 at For Luna

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when I discovered that the Esther Williams brand has embraced my love for lobster prints. This literally combines two of my favourite things. These swimsuits are brilliant, and worth the cash if you can afford to splash out. They’re cut to proper vintage patterns and the fabrics are good quality and long-lasting. Be careful with sizing as they can be tricky to wriggle into, if you’re unsure, size up.

ginghambikini

Hollywood gingham bikini top £28 and high-waisted frilled bottoms £20 at Boux Avenue

The red gingham is the most traditional version of this great retro-inspired bikini from Boux Avenue, but they also make a pink gingham version and two different florals. So if this is a shape that you love (and I’m betting with the cute frilled bottoms that it is) you can snap it up in various different colours. The moulded top is available up to a F cup.

nlbikini

Yellow lemon print longline bikini top £16.99 and high waisted bottoms £16.99 at New Look

I love the combo of retro and modern in this bikini, with the strappy cutouts on the high waisted briefs that give it a bit of modern sexiness to go with the full-coverage vintage shape. The strappy detail is a lot more flattering than you think, but only if you buy the right size. Bikini briefs always come up small, and there is nothing worse than a woman in a bikini that’s a bit too tight!

ginghamtoppers

Contrast gingham swimsuit with black bottom £36 at Topshop

Three cheers for Toppers for combining one of the season’s best retro trends (gingham) with a really wearable shape. I’m basically recommending this swimsuit (or New Look’s £26 chevron version) to anyone, but particularly those who say they won’t wear a bikini because they’re conscious of their tummy. Who said a classic swimsuit had to be boring?

floozie

Floozie Green flamingos underwired top £26.50 and skirted bottoms £20 at Debenhams

The Floozie by FrostFrench brand at Debenhams is an absolute goldmine of gorgeous retro bikinis, and picking just one to feature was tricky…but it had to be the flamingos. As a bonus, this range comes in cup sizes, and while that range only goes from 32A to 38E, it’s a lot better than being forced to buy a ‘one cup fits all’ top by dress size. Debenhams cups always run big, so F cup ladies shouldn’t overlook this range either. You might get lucky!

boden

Navy polka dot vintage boyleg swimsuit £53 at Boden

They don’t come much more classic than Boden’s polka dot vintage boyleg swimsuit. It’s the simple approach to retro swimwear, with none of the frills, ruching, or skirting that you see on some of the more dramatic looks, but the classic shape and print make for a tried-and-tested winner. If the idea of putting a swimsuit on fills you with dread, invest in one of these. Boden doesn’t scrimp on quality, meaning you’ll get plenty of wear out of it before it begins to sag or go thin, provided it’s rinsed and dried properly between wears.

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Retro high waisted bikini, from around £3 at AliExpress

If you’re willing to order from China and wait a while for delivery, this baby (which a lot of retro retailers also stock) is floating around both AliExpress and eBay at the moment from a whole host of sellers. I took a punt to see what it was like, and I was pleasantly surprised. The top is not the greatest fit and probably works better for someone with a wider back and smaller bust, but the briefs are a really nice fit and will go with plenty of my other bikini tops. If you’re new to this style and want to test it out without spending a fortune, here’s your naughty bargain!

asosmarilyn

Fuller bust Marilyn Caribbean floral print bikini £34 at ASOS

I’ve become a huge fan of ASOS’s brilliant trend-led swimwear, and surprised by the quality and fit of their fuller bust range. This is one of the best retro-inspired styles for this year; if nothing else I love the name! I love the extended band under the bust that gives it a longline appearance, and the classic high waisted briefs are full on 1050s. That said, if you prefer a lower-cut brief (which can actually look a lot better on someone who’s pear-shaped like me) there are options for that in the same range too.

playsuit

Resort diamante belt playsuit swimsuit £29 at Very

This style works really well on athletic body types or those with straight torsos, as it instantly adds (or enhances) curves. Full coverage shorts are often recommended for pear shapes, but I actually find they look worse (at least on me) than a higher cut style because the straight line across the bottom stops at the widest part, emphasising it. That said, this is a look that deserves a try by everyone, if only so you can dance around your bedroom pretending you’re in a Beyonce music video!

shelfbusttop
Sewing & Craft

Sewing Butterick Retro shelf bust 50s style dress

My recent holiday in Antigua gave me the perfect opportunity for some slightly more glamorous outfit shots than usual – the Caribbean backdrop definitely makes the most of my latest sewing project, Butterick B5882, a 1950s inspired shelf bust dress pattern by amazing retro sewing blogger Gertie. This is my favourite sewing project so far because it’s so ‘me’. The moment I saw this pattern I knew I had to make it, and I decided to go all out in leopard print fabric with a black trim for the full-on retro reproduction vibe. The pattern is gorgeous – a lined and boned top with a ‘bra’ shelf section, and a huge full skirt which hangs beautifully. Here’s the full-length photo…

Shelf bust dress in leopard and black - Butterick 5882 pattern by Gertie

I made a few small pattern adjustments – I made a quick toile because the bodice pattern pieces seemed very big and found that while the front section of the size 14 fit me well, with the side seams sitting just about in the right place (in hindsight, I’d take them in a bit more) I had to cut down the back panels (thus the skirt) by a good few inches for a good fit there – I’m definitely front-heavy! The straps are made from one big bias strip that runs right under the pleated bra detail, and since I’m cheap and fabric is expensive, I ended up putting a centre seam in this piece rather than cutting it on one, to save on fabric. I also decided to remove the skirt lining, because my leopard fabric was quite heavy. I’d just put a slip under it (or a net underskirt) if I wore it at home.

Here’s a close-up of the bodice and the pleated bust panel. It’s not as neat and tidy as it looks in Butterick pictures and I think I pleated and folded it a bit messily, but I was happy to see that Gertie’s own version of the dress seems to be similar, in that the pleats puff up a little bit. That said, hers is a much better fit – mine sticks out in places, possibly because I needed to pull in the sides a bit more.

Shelf bust dress close up of bodice - Butterick B5882 pattern by Gertie

You can wear the dress two ways, so to speak. The band can be worn folded downwards, as in the above pictures, or flipped upwards which makes the whole bust panel smaller. Here’s how that looks on me – I prefer it down I think, having studied the photos. For some reason in this shot, the bra bits look a bit pointy at the top – possibly due to those Caribbean winds moving the light cotton about!

Shelf bust dress - Butterick B5882 pattern by Gertie

I think I’d like to try this dress again with a few adjustments to the bodice for a better fit on the bust – the black cotton I used was quite light, I’d use a heavier fabric for the bra panel so it doesn’t move about and puff up so easily. I’d also play with the side seams to make sure they’re absolutely straight. I am proud of the finishing on this dress though, much of which I did by hand. As well as stitching in the bodice lining, I hand-picked the zip which made it much neater than my machined zips which always go wrong, and I also sewed the rolled hem by hand. It took me about 4 hours to do the hem alone – there’s a lot of fabric in that skirt – but it was worth it to avoid any visible stitching on the outside of the skirt.

I really loved this pattern – it was a bit of a challenge, but worth it for the results. I’ve bought some of Gertie’s other patterns and I hope they turn out as well as this one.

Also, some of you probably picked up on the dramatic new haircut. It’s not looking its best in the holiday humidity, but I can’t tell you how much I loved saving all that drying time!

ps. The shoes were a gift, more on those in a post coming shortly.

dollydaggerfeat
Clothing, Dresses, Events & Launches, Retro / Vintage

VIP vintage style fashion at Dollydagger in Brighton

dollydagger_1

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to the gorgeous Dollydagger boutique in Brighton for a taste of their VIP shopping experience. I’ve been a fan of the brand for years so I was very excited for an excuse to head down to the seaside for the evening. The event is all about the full-on retro experience. Think vintage-inspired shopping with a personal touch – small groups (hen dos, birthday parties etc) can book in with the store for a night of bubbly, pampering (hair and makeup to complete your retro look) and plenty of retro fashion fun, with a goodie bag at the end of the night. The shop specialises in 1950s dresses (own brand and hard-to-find labels like Bettie Page Clothing), rockabilly style and quirky gift ideas, so it’s perfect for a retro fan like me!

I was invited along with a few fellow bloggers, and we had an amazing time working our way through all the frocks on offer and getting some makeup tips from amazing makeup artist Alessia Mancini. Here I am modelling just a few of my favourite frocks…which you can save 10% on until next Thursday (4th April) with the code WELOVEGEMMA (awwww).

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In the Midnight Rose Scarlet DressThis one is in the sale at the moment at £89, so grab it quickly! I’m wearing the Large which runs smaller than other larges in the Dolly Dagger range. It’s listed as a 12 – 14 and that’s pretty bang on – it only just fit me!

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The Dita dress (£149) was probably my favourite – this baby looked amazing on everyone who tried it. There’s really clever gathering and seaming around the hips and waist to shape it to the body, and the sweetheart neckline is really pretty and a favourite of mine. The red was definitely my favourite, but I’m holding out for green before I invest. A little birdie told me that might be a possibility in the future, but in the meantime there’s another amazing green dress coming to Dolly Dagger – more on that soon!

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I tried the Greta dress (£159) in two colours, but the fit just wasn’t quite right on me. I adore the leopard collar and 3/4 sleeves, but the shape just isn’t as nice on me as the Dita. This dress is made for Caroline, though! It’s really amazing for those with bigger busts.

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And finally, a bit of Bettie Page. I’ve got a few Bettie Page dresses already that I bought from the store in Vegas, but they can be hard to find in the UK so knowing Dollydagger is a stockist is great. Unfortunately, the Rita (£89.99) is not my perfect Bettie Page partner. I love the colour and the huge collar, but it doesn’t do anything for my upper half – making me look quite straight-up-and-down and pushing my boobs downwards (not to mention the tight sleeves). This is less of a curve-enhancer for size 14s like me, and is perhaps better as a curve creator on slimmer figures!

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Thanks so much to Dollydagger for inviting me to play with all the gorgeous dresses and take a look at the beautiful shop. As I mentioned above, as a special treat, they’re offering all you lovely lot 10% off a purchase at Dollydagger for the next week. Place your order now using the code WELOVEGEMMA to take advantage of the deal. And don’t forget to comment and let me know what you chose!

orlakiely
Clothing, Dresses

I think I’m in love with Orla Kiely

I never really got the obsession with Orla Kiely. The prints that she’s most famous for, and the oilcloth bags and laptop sleeves emblazoned with graphic tulips in sludge green and burnt orange…they just never really did it for me. I love a bit of 70s retro, I’m always a fan of an Autumnal palette, but if I were to put Orla’s bags on my Handbag Of Dreams list, they’d be down there with multicoloured monogram Louis Vuitton. Just not me.

Then I discovered the dresses. Not the prim little things you may have seen on The Duchess formerly known as Kate Middleton. No, the amazing 1960s inspired two-colour party dresses, and the insane pre-Spring boat-emblazoned 50s dresses that look like something Sally Draper would wear (or indeed the never-really-off-duty Kiernan Shipka, who at 13 already has a better wardrobe than I will ever own). I mean, look at this…

blueblackkielydress

It’s like the party dress you always wanted when you were six, but made to fit your grown-up lady lumps! I also have it on good authority (well, I think I wrote it once at work) that black and blue is no longer the fashion ‘no’ it once was. Now it’s chic and modern and whatever else. And it’s reduced – originally £335, it’s now £167.50. Still out of the realms of possibility for most of us, but it won’t stop me looking at it on a daily basis and bemoaning how much important dress-buying money gets sucked up by bills each month.

tweeboatdress

Then we come onto this. The ‘Around The World’ print dress. A dress so staggeringly twee it caused me, possibly for the first time in my life, to wonder ‘am I too old for this’. The answer is probably yes – I’m not Zooey Deschanel – but I’m still pondering whether I could make this work without looking like a crazed Blue Peter fan who never grew up. This one’s £358, so Zooey Deschanel is probably the only person who can afford it. It’s from the new pre-Spring collection. If you’re preggers, there’s a high-waisted, voluminous number with an amazing 60s silhouette in the same print that would be amazing with a baby bump.

Now for the piece de resistance…

kielyblackwhitedress

Anyone who’s picked up a fashion magazine recently will know that black and white is *the* trend for Spring / Summer 2012 (thanks, Marc Jacobs). And this dress has the double whammy appeal of being both black and white AND in the sale. By this point the sales are usually full of nothing but tatty coats with missing buttons and one-shoulder party dresses in cheap faux satin, so to find a little gem like this that’s still available is pretty great. What’s not pretty great is that it’s still well over a hundred quid, even in the sale. £162.50 to be precise.

Elsewhere on the site there are fox print knitted dresses, boxy boy detail bags and fabulous full winter skirts. I’m also a sucker for the homewear, especially the retro teapot. If only I drank tea!

bikinis
Retro / Vintage, Swimwear

More retro swimsuits: because the Summer’s not over yet

We may be coming to end of the Summer, but with temperatures set to hit 32° in London today, and with my ‘Summer’ holiday not taking place until the end of September, I’m very much still in a sunshine mood and still obsessing over all the retro inspired bikinis and swimsuits I can’t have.

My love affair with vintage style swimwear began, almost accidentally, when I was about 12 years old. I saw a denim-look one-piece with shorts style bottoms and a halter neck in a copy of Clothes Show Magazine, and promptly hunted it down in my local C&A (yeah, remember C&A). It probably looked terrible on me (even then I was a size 14, but I was more tummy and less waist than I am now) but I loved the style and ever since that moment I’ve been all about the skirted bottoms, high-waisted styles, polka dots and vintage touches. I already have my new bikini for the season (hello, Freya Venetian) but that doesn’t stop me swooning over these amazing offerings…

Fraulein Annie ‘Ahoy Sailor’ bikini shorts £49 and Balcony bikini top £79 at Hepburn and Leigh – Ever since I discovered this bikini I’ve been dreaming about it. I simply can’t justify over £100 for a bikini I know I would ruin with SPF cream and salt water within a year or two, but I can at least enjoy it from afar. It’s reversible (the other side is blue and white slim stripes) so you’re really getting two bikinis for your money, but it’s still a bit investment. I just can’t get over that amazing cut and gorgeous print though. Oh, for a bigger budget!

Hibiscus print 1950s swimsuit £35 at ASOS – Oh, the one that got away! I’m gutted that this bargain swimsuit is sold out in my size or it would definitely be travelling to Vegas with me. I love the hawaiian inspired print, the cute buttons, the black trim and the low-cut shorts which would hide any stretchmarks! Sadly this is now only available in small sizes (8 – 10) but I’m crossing my fingers ASOS may restock the 14 – 18s so more of us can get our hands on the gorgeous cossie.

Seafolly La Vita skirted bikini £79 Beach Cafe – Seafolly does a brilliant line in retro styles, and though they’re expensive, they still often come in a bit cheaper than the pricey US imports. Right now I’m loving the classic black polka dot La Vita bikini, with its lovely skirted bottoms with cute buttons. This is available all over the place, so if Beach Cafe doesn’t have your size, try Cocobay or Simply Beach.

Fables by Barrie ‘Perfecting My Formalwear’ swimsuit $86.99 ModCloth – Fables by Barrie was one of the first retro swimwear brands I discovered, and its Etsy shop has featured on my much-loved retro shopping guide for years. The brand is also available at ModCloth, where I fell in love with this tuxedo-style retro swimsuit. I think this would look just as amazing tucked into a high-waisted pencil skirt as it would do poolside!

Beach to Beach chevron bikini top £18 and briefs £12 at Simply Yours – I’m amazed this is available in any sizes now after it made waves when Gabi wore it on holiday and it them became the inspiration for the much talked-about xojane ‘fatkini’ gallery. But there are a few sizes available and there’s no denying this is a seriously gorgeous bikini that says ‘screw you’ to traditional ‘rules’ about swimwear for plus sizes and looks bloody brilliant as a result.

Tropical kitten bikini top £42 and bottoms £42 at Kiss Me Deadly – this is the first year Kiss Me Deadly has done swimwear, and they’ve definitely hit the market with a bang, offering up a small collection based on customer requests, beautifully modelled, pirate-style, by long term Kiss Me Deadly model Morgana, and former Britain’s Next Top Model contestant Jessica Etonye. My favourite is the high-waisted tropical bikini, which just needs tiki shoes and a hibiscus in the hair to top it off!

Resort shapewear minimiser bikini top £18 and August 19, 2012 by

retro1
Dresses, Retro / Vintage

Ten more 1950s style dresses (you know you love ’em)

Oh, you predictable bunch! It comes as no surprise to me that my posts on 1950s style dresses are, by far, the most popular pieces on this blog. And who am I to complain that one of my favourite looks is also one of yours? As far as I’m concerned, any excuse to spend a few hours hunting down yet more fabulous frocks with those trademark nipped-in waists, full skirts and fabulous prints is good enough. Though I am going to bankrupt myself soon enough if I keep buying things as I do ‘research’. This round-up of another ten great Summer dresses includes a few old faithful brands, a couple of new ones, and hopefully some styles to suit all budgets and bodies. I hope you enjoy!

Scene and Believed dress by Bernie Dexter $139 Modcloth – Vintage rockabilly model Bernie Dexter’s range of dresses has some amazing bold prints, and this one is my favourite. The cherry blossoms are really distinctive, and you can see from Modcloth’s customer reviews how well the dress works on a variety of body shapes.

Yellow floral vintage rose dress £45 (was £85) Oasis – I loved the ‘floral frocks’ range from Oasis this season, but the prices were pretty crazy – upwards of £80 for a cotton frock? Luckily, they’re all now being put into the sale, so those of us on a budget can possibly afford to splash out. This yellow would look amazing with dark hair.

Silver grey and pink floral swing dress £40 Lady Vintage – My favourite discovery of 2012, Lady Vintage, has just released a range of Summer prints, including this lovely pink and silver floral. Remember these swing dresses come up big – I easily fit into a 12 in Lady Vintage styles.

Kelly Brook bardot scenic print dress £39.99 New Look – Retro 50s fan Kelly Brook has extended her collaboration with New Look to clothing this season, and there are lots of Summery florals and polka dots on offer. This off-the-shoulder dress is my fave, but there are plenty of others on offer. Amanda has done a great in-depth review of the whole range if you want more info.

So Fabulous printed prom dress £45 Very.co.uk – Going up into plus sizes, this 50s floral frock has a bit more coverage across the bust than some of the sweetheart neckline designs, plus the dark print will last into Autumn with tights or seamed stockings.

Blue tapework prom dress with sheer top £90 Warehouse – I love this pretty pastel shade, the dress reminds me of something that one of the hideous but very well-dress Junior League girls in The Help might wear. I’d wear it with silver accessories and a beehive hairdo.

TS Wonderful royal style dress $69.99 Light in The Box – I bought this dress when Light in the Box was having a sale (this happens a lot) and was pleasantly surprised with how quickly it arrived and how nice it was. It’s a bit heavy for Summer but I’ll be stashing it away for Autumn / Winter when no doubt I’ll get plenty of wear out of it. The TS brand sold through the site specialises in vintage-inspired pieces, so keep an eye out for bargains.

Black Red Herring cherry print full-skirted day dress £30 Debenhams – Red Herring’s 1950s style sundresses are really good value and I have a couple of them now. They cut quite small on the waist which works for my figure, but the skirts aren’t stupidly short, which is a problem I find with a lot of high street dresses inspired by the 50s.

Taupe spot fit and flare dress £40 Wallis – I love the combo of taupe and cream in polka dot, partly because, like so many girls, I love the dress in the polo scene of Pretty Woman, but also because it’s such a brilliant colour combo for just about every skintone going. This dress would be fab for work or weddings, or just about anything in between.

Coral spot dress with short sleeves £40 Simply Be – Naomi makes this dress look fab, and I’m sure plenty of my readers would too. Coral’s a fab shade for Summer and the simple shape of this dress is a bit more comfy than the super-fitted, structured bodices of some 50s inspired styles. Also, I know a lot of people don’t like dresses without sleeves, and the fluted shape of these is really fab.