Rebel With a Cause


With Only A Wink Dress: Modcloth

Shoes: Chie Mihara

The first time I spotted this dress on the Bettie Page Clothing website I dismissed it outright. I liked the shape, but the cage shoulders put me in mind of those terrible mesh tank tops of the 80’s.

The next time I saw it it was being worn to devastating effect by the Rebel Wilson at the 2011 premier of “Paul”.Β Just like that the dress hit my lust list.

By the time it showed up on Tanesha Aswhati of Girl With Curves it was a full-on dress-crush, so when I finally visited the Bettie Pages Clothing store in New York it was the first thing to go into the change room with me.

It’s made of the familiar stretch bengaline that a lot of the “vintage” dresses from both Bettie Page and Stop Staring use. A mid-weight, but super stretchy fabric that looks like cotton but is perfect for wiggle-dresses and super-fitted silhouettes. The fabric doesn’t crush, and it doesn’t feel too synthetic-y.

Β The skirt has the perfect amount of weight and fullness to flatter my figure without overwhelming it, and I love the little bow at the waist. The bodice is just a touch too long for my short waisted torso, which means that the bodice doesn’t sit quite a tidily as it des on Tanesha (though it looks like Rebel has a similar issue. Short-waisted Aussies represent!).

The zipper at the back just goes up as far as the mesh, and then the dress fastens the rest of the way with those bloody annoying hook-and-eye whatsits that never seem to stay fastened but catch every strand of hair that ventures near them. I’m inclined to whip them off and replace them with little buttons, but I just haven’t managed to build up the motivation yet.

The band around the arms have a bit of stretch, which is good news for the well-bicepped as they neither cut in, nor ride up.

I hate strapless bras with a burning passion, and by rights this dress needs one. When I’m wearing it for special occasions I’ll suck it up and wear one, but for every day wear I’ll just wear a nude bra and deal with the fact that my straps are showing:

DSCF4884 - Version 2

To be honest, the dress is such a showstopper that I don’t think anyone notices the fashion faux-pas of the exposed bra straps.

It retails on the Bettie Page Clothing website for $150, but if you wanted to try one of the other colours (it also comes in red, navy, a lovely mossy green, and ivory) Modcloth actually sells it under the name “With Only a Wink” for $10 less.

23 thoughts on “Rebel With a Cause

  1. Sooo beautiful!!!! This dress is a show stopper for sure!!! Glad you bought it, love the idea of the buttons in the back. I hate this awful hooks too!!!

    <3 Jules

  2. Oh my! This dress is stunning on you! That delicate basket-weave detail across the yoke is perfect against your pale skin, and balances your hips to emphasise your waist. And you have such lovely arms! The bra straps are well concealed, even in the close up. This dress was made for you!

  3. This dress looks fabulous on you. I detest strapless bras too – but I didn’t even notice the straps here until you pointed them out! Super look – classic and chic, but still interesting.

  4. You look amazing! I too love this dress, and just like you I dismiss it …..because of the mesh. Being a plus sized, very large busted woman, the open work makes me nervous about the bra situation. I may consider it still, perhaps I could line the mesh with a nude fabric? Hhhmmmm…..

  5. You look fantastic! πŸ™‚ The prefect dress on you, I must say! And I’d just do a nude bra as well… strapless bras are TORTURE!

  6. It looks gorgeous on you! I looked at this too. Want it so badly but I am hoping they will still have it in a few months when this baby is out. Lol ????.

    1. Hi Monica – I bought this dress in 2011 so if it’s still out now, I’m sure you’ll still be able to purchase it in a few months time πŸ™‚

  7. sometimes what I do with peek-a-boo necklines like this is ditch the nude bra, and go with a bright patterned brastrap. Kind of, “Yes, I’m wearing a bra under this, what of it?” attitude.

  8. I have this dress too! When my best friend got married in 2011, she graciously allowed us to wear whatever we wanted – as long as it was black. I bought this dress & loved it. Felt the same way you did initially about the shoulders, but still had to have it. I wore it with a full petticoat for maximum full skirt effect and it was so much fun. love your blog so it’s nice to have my fashion choices validated by someone as stylish as you πŸ™‚ You look stunning x

  9. WOW! That looks stunning on you! I always look at it on ModCloth but assumed the mesh top wouldn’t work for me bc of the bra issue, but you proved me wrong. And would it be worth having a strapless bra fitted into it? I’ve wondered about that for summer dresses too, but don’t know enough about sewing to know if that even possible. But regardless, you look gorgeous!

  10. Looks amazing on you and I think you’re right – no-one’s going to notice the bra straps when the overall effect is that good πŸ™‚ Plus, strapless bras are the devil’s work!

  11. I bought this dress in green from mod cloth about a week ago for a wedding and am just waiting for it to arrive! It looks Fab on you. I only hope it looks half as good on me. Good to know the bra strap issue isn’t that big a deal as I had wondered about that.

  12. I wore this dress recently to a wedding! It also looks great with a crinoline underneath as it then makes the waist look really small….and its so much fun swishing it about! Regarding the bra (I am an F cup)… I attached clear straps to one of my bras – I actually had to cut off the old straps and sew in a kind of loop but it worked! I detest strapless bras too!

  13. Oh gosh I’m laughing at the hook and eye thing. I have several dresses with just one hook at the top and it catches my damn hair every minute, so annoying! Anyway I’ve long lusted after this dress, but wasn’t too sure how I’d wear it considering they don’t make strapless bras in my size (no kidding). I don’t suppose even black straps would ruin it too much though.

  14. I LOVE this dress. Love it. It looks fantastic on you, you wear this so well. And I don’t think anyone will notice/care about the straps showing.
    I was feeling like you do, I love this dress, and pined over it for ages, but won’t pull the trigger on buying because of the bra issue. I hate strapless bras, am very uncomfortable in them so I don’t want to buy a beautiful dress and hate wearing it.
    I think I will do the same as you, though-thanks for inspiring me one step closer to getting this!

  15. It’s also on if you want an aussie stockist for $150 with free shipping. she regularly does discounts if you keep an eye on the facebook page πŸ™‚

  16. I was eyeing off this dress too a l while ago but the strapless bra bit turned me off, as I hate them too. Even if I got the best one on earth, I would struggle! I think you’re right when you say the dress is a show stopper enough to override the visible bra straps, which, by the way, I wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t pointed them out πŸ˜€

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