Right now, my life is full of: Ella Fitzgerald's crooning, half moon manicures, Melmac dining sets, 1940's makeup tutorials, steam set curlers (thanks Kelly Ann!), Count Basie's Orchestra and vintage dress experimentation.
I've been completely and totally seduced by 1940's (and 1950's, to be honest) style and I think it's it's about time I shared some of it with YOU... starting with dresses!
I've been trying dozens of vintage style dresses on Amazon in hopes of finding some affordable options for all us fat babes. (Hat tip to the Amazon Return Department for taking care of all the dresses that didn't fit... there were many.) Luckily, I've found some that do work and they (+ fitting tips) are below!
Shop this outfit:
1950's Cocktail Party dress in XXL ($28-38. See below for fit details)
Lip paint (I'm a drugstore die hard)
After trying on 25 dresses and returning 19, this is what I've learned:
Most vintage style dresses/brands run a couple sizes too small. If you're a size 18 or smaller, you will likely be able to fit into any plus dress you like! Yay for you! I, however, am not a size 18. More like a 22/24 (depending on the brand) but a determined 22/24 and so while I stuffed all those tiny dresses back into their envelopes I promised myself I'd keep looking until I found something that fit.
GownTown is gorgeous. Gorgeous and the best option I've found so far (I wore this dress of theirs for the holidays) because it provides the most important thing when it comes to fatshion: STRETCH.
Four tips for shopping their line:
- The 92% Polyester, 8% Spandex blend is your best friend. These are super stretchy and offer a lot of wiggle room. Check the dress description for this!
- Note but don't obsess about the measurements. Their XXL can fit a 22/24 and some may even fit a 26, depending on the cut and stitching. Make sure to note #1 and #4 if you're looking to fit larger bodies!
If you're 26/28+ I highly recommend Eshakti's custom retro dress section; they are to die for.
- The bust area runs small on all of these dresses. If you're a plus size babe with a small chest THIS IS YOUR LUCKIEST DAY! LIVE IT UP!
Those with larger busts- just look for styles that have more room up top and utilize those free returns when needed! I had 50/50 luck with this area as a 42DD.
- If you have extra large upper arms- sleeves that don't have extra reinforcements (Ex: this dress doesn't whereas this dress does) are likelier to fit and fit comfortably. If you're concerned, go for those! Note: this short sleeve dress and this sleeveless dress are my favs.
Note: Nina's and Wellwits also tend to run larger like GownTown compared to other brands. The above applies to them as well!
These shoes are everything I've ever dreamed of after writing this Peggy post months ago. They're slingback platforms with the perfect 1940's silhouette... and they're really comfortable which makes it that much more of a win.
This look isn't necessarily authentic to a decade (I've mixed a 50's dress, 40's shoes and a modern orange lip because: my life my rules, right?) but I love it just the same. There are a few eShakti dresses in the mail which means perhaps there will be a genuine vintage look headed your way soon!
Until then, lets both go binge watch Season 1 and 2 of Agent Carter, shall we?
P.S. Where do you find your favorite vintage dresses? I'd love to know.