Goldrush

frocks and frou frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouDress: 17 Sundays

Cardigan: Calvin Klein Plus

Belt: secondhand via A+ Market. Similar here

Shoes: Mel by Melissa

I saw this 17 Sundays “Steal My Sunshine” dress pop up in my Facebook feed just before Christmas while the independent Australian brand was having a whopping 25% off sale. The gold foil dots, the pleated skirt and wearable jersey fabric. I was sold.

I haven’t had a lot of experience with 17 Sundays, but the sizes they had were fairly limited, so I ordered the size 16 and hoped for the best. When it arrived I was totally delighted to discover that the gold dots were as shiny, the pleats as permanent, and the jersey fabric as soft and comfortable as I could have dreamed of.

I’d been hoping that the dress would be something I could comfortably throw on and be instantly and effortlessly glamorous but sadly, the unadulterated dress didn’t play nicely with my figure:PicMonkey Collage

The shoulder straps sit too narrow on my shoulders, making my upper arms look quite beefy; and the armholes are cut too deep, exposing my bra and plenty of what I’ve discovered is called “sleevage” (that poochy little little bit of flesh in your armpit). The waist rides high (possibly the Rack of Doom taking up too much real estate) but it’s also too loose, and the whole fit is just a bit of a disaster. In a perfect world I’d swap the 16 for a dress one or two sizes larger, then bring in at the sides (the way one of my followers, Laura, told me she’d done). I tried the larger size on in Myer (where I believe it’s still available, FYI) and the longer waist made all the difference.

I REALLY loved the gold dots though, and I couldn’t quite muster the energy to alter the dress so instead I belted it with a fabulous gold glitter belt that I’d bought secondhand from Miss Kate (AKA Misty Belvedere) at the A+ Markets, and the gold(ish) cardigan/jacket that I bought years ago from Calvin Klein Plus at Macy’s.

Frocks and Frou FrouA little accessorising and my “nope” turned into a definite “yep” and this little ensemble is a new favourite go-to.

It’s not as effortless and casual-chic as I’d hoped, but the effect is a lot more elegant and grown-up (and multi-seasonal). Down the track I might end up whacking off the bodice and just wearing those gorgeous soft pleats as a skirt, but for now I’m content to just rise-and-repeat the entire outfit.

Apparently 17 Sundays is planning to release a new version of the dress with a seamed bodice (which I’m pretty excited about trying), but there’s no guarantee the dots’ll be back so if you’re loving the effect of gold on heathered grey you should probably hit up a local Myer soon before they all get snapped up.

Madame Tay

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: The Cause Melbourne

Skirt: Madame Tay

Shoes: Chie Mihara

So, I think I mentioned that I went to the A+ Market a month or so ago, and despite supposedly just going along for a looksee I managed to walk away with a couple of awesome pieces, including this fabulous wax-print pencil skirt.

Madame Tay is a hobby clothing project from four women in Vietnam, Senegal, Canada, and right here in Melbourne Australia. They produce handmade, artisan clothing from small business tailors and craftspeople in Vietnam and Senegal. They’re keen to expand their range into plus-sizes, and their stall at A+ was a first foray in what I hope will become an integral part of their business.

I made a bee-line for their stand as soon as I spotted it (Prints! Colours!) and they had a wonderful variety of skirts, tops and dresses on offer in a variety of sizes. And because they do their own tailoring each of the pieces is highly adjustable. The side seams on my skirt have a good two inches of spare fabric, meaning that it could be very easily taken out for wider hips or a bigger bottom.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe fabric’s quite muted for a wax print, with deep plums, mustards and a jewel-like blue, but the thing that made this piece the one (among many!) that I decided I HAD to have was the glittery gold elements into the geometric print.

Frocks and Frou FrouThat, and the fact that when I put it on I realised that the team at Madame Tay had even included my favourite thing: a feature back! Frocks and Frou FrouI wore it with the wool blend batwing top that I bought at The Cause Melbourne, and this dainty little necklace from Totally Jewel. The colour of the stone picks up the colours in the skirt, and the geometric casing perfectly fits with the triangular  print on the skirt.

Frocks and Frou Frou