At Sixties and Sevens

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  Rebecca Dress: MichyLouDotCom

Shoes: Chie Mihara via eBay

Check out the BEEHIVE, GUYS! The higher the hair, the closer to heaven, right?

No tutorial for this splendiferous coiffure, I’m afraid. It’s well beyond my meagre skills (not to mention my abhorrence for teasing and hairspray). Both hair and makeup were the result of Sunday’s stint modelling for Bombshell Vintage‘s awesome new line Atomic Bombshell.

That afternoon’s picnic plans having been cancelled due to inclement weather (oh, Melbourne) I thought rather than waste the glamorous hard work bestowed upon me I’d don the “Rebecca” dress that the wonderful Michelle Tan, (of the floral peter-pan collar blouse) sent to me to try. That way you could get the full sixties effect of beehive and catseye while you checked out how the unusual fit-and-flare/empire-line/princess-seams combo fares on a larger body.

Pretty bloody well, I’d say.

I don’t actually have a particularly curvy figure. My bust-waist-hip measurements are more “top-heavy pear” than “hourglass”. I wasn’t sure how this fit would work on me, as it’s a combination of styles I usually steer away from.

Princess lines are often a disaster on my figure as I’m quite short waisted, so I usually wind up with a little pouf of fabric sitting like a spare tire around my midriff. And of course, we all know that big boobs plus empire-line often equals “how far along are you, dear?” (Side note: unless a woman is in labor you should NEVER ask them if they’re having a baby.)

MichyLou’s special custom-style seems to bypass these issues with a couple of cunning tweaks.

There are six darts in the front and back panels of this dress, which – and I’m not not sure how – magically eliminate the fit issues I’ve always had with princess seams. The bodice fits my midriff closely; not clinging, but making the most of my waist before flaring out at the hips. It creates a gentler, and more flattering line than a skirt where the fullness starts at the waist.

The seam of the empire line doesn’t actually start immediately below the bust, but 1.5″ above the under-bust line. I was particularly interested to see how this would look, as I have bad memories of singlet tops where the “boob pockets” (my sister’s term for them) weren’t big enough to encompass The Ladies. The result is very natural looking. It elongates the torso, and gives the illusion of higher breasts.

I’m completely sold on the fit and style of the dress, and as before Michelle’s workmanship is exceptional. The fabric’s a cotton blend, and though I thought the fabric would crush beyond all repair if I so much as looked at it sideways, there’s enough lycra in the fabric that it’s not too bad. I’ve got my eye on the Sandra now, which is the fully-lined, wool-and-sleeved version of the Rebecca. I’ve had it on my wish list for over two years now, and knowing how well the style fits it might be time to take the plunge!

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Scuba Doo

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Blouse: Princess Highway

Skirt: Asos

Shoes: Seychelles

I’ve been seeing different incarnation of this midi skirt pop-up on the blogs that I read for some months now. It looks like Asos knows that they’re onto a winner with it, and has released it in umpteen different colours, so I’ve seen it in blue and pink on LuAnne, in hot pink on Sian, in white, and red on Georgette.

It’s called the “Full Midi Skirt in Scuba with Pockets“, and I figured that since I was a fan of four out of five of those adjectives (full, midi, skirt, pockets) and totally unfamiliar with the fifth (scuba) maybe I should give it a whirl.

The skirt doesn’t fasten with a zipper – the scuba fabric is stretchy enough to allow it to pull on, and the reviews online recommended that you size down (I bought the 14, which fit my waist comfortably). I couldn’t go past the peach colour, which ended up being a more deeper coral hue than the blush I’d anticipated, but will probably be more versatile in the long run.

It turns out “scuba” is a very dense stretchy fabric…. like a scuba suit, unsurprisingly. It’s soft and vaguely rubbery to the touch, resists crushing, and stands out on its own so it’s well suited for full-skirted styles like this one. It’s not by any means a “natural” feeling fabric, but I’m a pretty tactile person and I wasn’t repulsed by the touch; it’s not crunchy or plastic feeling, just kind of… squeaky.

First the good: It fits well at the waist, and flares very satisfactorily at the hips. This is an ideal skirt for people with a high hip to waist ratio, and it’s also a good for faking an hourglass shape for those of us who are a little bit more up-and-down The pockets are deep and practical, but be aware that they do add a bit of extra volume because the fabric is so thick.

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I liked that the skirt didn’t have any zippers or fastenings, it’s a good length (even on 5’4″ me) and a really classic style for a very good price.

The only thing preventing me from giving this skirt a resounding two-thumbs-up review is that fact that, unexpectedly, scuba fabric pills like a BITCH. I’ve had this skirt for a couple of months now and I’ve discovered that on both hips where my bag bumps it has scuffed up rough patches that have become as pilly as a pair of fleece tracksuit pants. I had a bit of a go with my fabric comb, but that only seemed to exacerbate the problem, so I’m going to try and get one of those electric-razor-fabric-shaver type things and see if that helps.

It’s not a huge issue, and for the moment it’s not obvious enough to prevent me from wearing the skirt, but it’s annoying and means that I can’t wholeheartedly endorse the product without adding the disclaimer that unless you liked a friction-free life, you’d be unlikely to get much more than a few months worth of wear out of the skirt before it started looking tatty.

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Necklace: Kim Lyons Jewelry