Finding My Style with a Vintage-Inspired Dress

Date Mon, September 21 2015

My style has changed a lot in the last 10+ years. It has been marked by periods with distinctive characteristics, at least in my mind. A lack of money and no inherited fashion sense led to many awkward years. I bounced to the other fashion extreme, adorning myself in fishnet, velvet and lace — all in black, of course! Corsets and boots were often seen during this time.

As I gained a little weight, I felt as though the fashion I liked wasn’t appropriate. This internalized body shame meant that I moved to t-shirts layered over long-sleeve fishnets or under open button-down shirts and, eventually, just t-shirts and jeans. I would add a few corset-inspired tops, but my daily “uniform” was set and maybe not altogether flattering.

As I’ve become comfortable with myself, my weight and my shape, I had to find my style again. Even were I at my thinnest now, I wouldn’t want to go back to my all-black wardrobe. But because I didn’t have good fashion role models and so rarely wore colors, I had to experiment. It has been trial and error to find prints and colors and styles that I like, and sometimes I’ve had to use advice about body types and fashion. Others, I had to completely ignore it.  I am especially known for baring my cleavage and horizontal stripes, which they say you shouldn’t wear if you’re not thin. But I love them!

Over the past few years, I’ve adopted a generally more mature style. Although I am wearing a t-shirt now, it’s probably the only second time in a month. Perhaps the first. I so rarely wear t-shirts, instead opting for camis with cardigans or tanks alone on hot days, dresses and skirts, leggings with long tops, sweaters during the colder months and belts, which I’ve never worn before. I now own more than just combat boots or skater shoes. I have pumps and heels and winter boots, too.

I added shorts to my wardrobe for the first time, and wear them almost constantly during the summer. This has been a blessing since I run so warm. Being able to ditch the heavy and dark fabrics alongside my entire body is a breath of fresh air. The same goes for casual skirts and dresses. Sometimes, clothing maybe doesn’t look as good as it feels. But things that look good tend to feel good regardless.

My style has continued to evolve as I try new things, adding one or two new elements a year. Casual dresses is the thing of 2015. But I’m not quite sure I have a cohesive style. Is there a way to sum it all up? How would people describe me, other than stripe loving? And how can my style still reflect some of my darkness? My equal love for things creep and cute?

I think that’s what attracted me to pinup style. In it’s modern state, pinup style has many alternative nods. Tattoos and piercings, of which I have, are accepted. There’s a lot of elements that I like — bats, cats and spiders galore. I follow a few pinup pages and retailers on Facebook, but haven’t dipped my toe in, which is mostly because of price. But I personally could see this being something I could do comfortably and with confidence.

In fact, there’s a great video from Buzzfeed Australia where women average women are dressed up in pinup styles. All of them have their own personal style in addition to hangups about their bodies, like we all do! But all of them came away feeling confident and looking fantastic. Which is probably one of the reasons I love pinup: it emphasizes all your positive attributes and makes you feel good.

So who wouldn’t want to see themselves as a pinup? When I got the opportunity to review ACEVOG’s Rockabilly 50s vintage dress in blue polka dots, I was excited. I actually got to review two other dresses from the brand, but they’re both different styles.

This bright blue dress has a halter tie, a slimming band around the waist, a ruched sweetheart neckline and a skirt that falls to about tea-length on my frame. I can’t imagine it being much higher than your knee, even if you’re a tall woman.

It’s important to realize that the dress comes in Asian sizes, which tend to be smaller. I ordered mine in an XL and wear a 38 or 40 bra band. This dress fits, but only because the back is elastic. In fact, it would stay up just because it’s snug, even if I didn’t tie the halter. If you’re more than a D cup and an XL, you’ll want to go up a size for sure. With that said, this fits, but less stretchy dresses from the brand didn’t.

It’s really comfortable to wear; although, the thick cotton isn’t super smooth. You could absolutely wear this without any layers underneath and it wouldn’t show through. However, I bought a midi petticoat to wear beneath it, with the edges peeking out. It made it quite puffy. In turn, my waist looked even thinner!

The ruching of the bust is actually done in a second layer of fabric, which makes it stand up. Though, my strapless bra isn’t very thick. The bottom-most layer is still pretty straight, which is why I recommend sizing up when you’re bigger busted. The second layer doesn’t have equal pleats, so it’s something I just have to get used to. I don’t typically wore halters, and did feel like this one liked to slip down my back a bit more than I would have preferred, but it wasn’t so much that it was unmanageable.

The halter secures with pretty thick straps made of the same cotton. I wound up tying it in a small knot without a bow because of my short neck and where my hair sits. I let it hang down my back, but a bow would look great. I also considered going with a hair flower but didn’t have time in the end. It could also be paired with a cardigan. I’m thinking scoopneck, red or white.

I got a lot of compliments on my dress, which I paired with red heels, and the petticoat. One person in particular noticed the vintage look that I was going for. It was fun to wear such a flouncy dress, and the style is one I definitely want to experiment with.

You might be surprised to hear it costs less than $20 with free shipping! That’s probably because cotton is inexpensive, but I bet it will hold up in the wash, and you don’t have to worry about special treatment. It’s also easy to hem if you want the dress shorter.

I recommend you try out a different style with this dress if you’d like!

Leave a Reply

Domain Name Registration from Namecheap