I tend to discover new brands and shops through my favorite bloggers and my can’t-keep-away-from-it favorite social media app, Instagram. One that was continually piquing my interest, appearing in the closets of forever favorites Miss Amy May and Cici and Marie, was Dolly and Dotty, a UK-based brand that specializes in 1950’s silhouettes aimed at women who aren’t afraid to be celebrate themselves.
Imagine how excited I was when Dolly and Dotty contacted me and offered me the chance to give their dresses a whirl for myself! They design all of their dresses in Brighton, and offer a range of vintage-inspired pieces for the rockabellas, the daring divas, and those who love the dreamy florals. Naturally, I zeroed in immediately on the most feminine pieces and the fullest skirts.
I opted to try the Grace swing dress, which comes in a range of colors (including polka dots!). In the end, I loved the delicate floral print and contrasting bust of the pink floral Grace. I rated this dress below in terms of my thoughts on fit, fabric, and features. To really stretch her wings, Willie and I set off for the park…
The Fabric & Features
This particular dress has everything I love – a nipped waist, full circle skirt, and lots of color. She is made of 95% cotton, 5% elastane, so the dress has a bit of stretch without losing it’s shape. I’m traveling at the moment and love how easy this dress was to toss into my suitcase. Because she’s cotton and lightweight, she made the perfect traveling companion. After a quick iron, she’s ready to go.
I was also really excited to find this company didn’t scrimp on features that can make all the difference in a dress – the bodice and skirt are both lined – which is a big bonus for me. Plus, the lining is a cotton voile (as opposed to a poly acetate or other ungodly fabric). What this means for us is that it’ll breath in warm temperatures. The Grace also has an invisible back zip and a hook and eye at the top (crucial when you have to zip yourself into fitted dresses!)
The Fit (& Flare)
This dress comes in sizes UK 8-24. I was really happy with the fit of the Grace dress, which fell pretty TTS. I opted for the UK10 (which is about an Aus size 8-10, US size 6). The size chart puts a UK10 at 34-35 bust and 27-28 waist. As I am a 35-36 bust and 27-28 waist, this dress fit me perfectly. The skirt fell 24.5 inches from waist to hem, and my favorite day-to-day Malco Modes petticoat gave me a bit of flare.
She was a bit short in the torso on me, measuring 15.25″ from shoulder to waist. However, because it was nicely snug around the middle, I didn’t feel it widened me noticeably. Plus, as this is a common problem for me and dresses, I have a bevy of belts to cinch me in.
My favorite feature of this dress has to be the stunning pleated bust line, in a contrasting burgundy shade. I’m on the bustier side, but I felt I fit comfortably into it. Due to the amount of cleavage I was sporting, I didn’t find this would be a work-appropriate dress for me, but is perfect for a weekend picnic or brunch with friends. I definitely recommend a strapless or balconette bra, though, as I felt I needed the extra support.
The Facts & Figures
I find Dolly and Dotty’s prices to be incredibly reasonable – which is fantastic because so many women I know who want to wear vintage and vintage inspired styles struggle with it being affordable. The Grace generally retails for £29.99 (about $44.99USD), but I noticed that they’re having their annual summer sale at the moment, with some amazing deals on a wide range of styles (including the Grace, which is now reduced to £19.99!).
There are only limited sizes left for the print I’m wearing, but this cut comes in a whole bunch of other lovely florals. Though it can sometimes be a bit intimidating to order online from overseas brands, they also offer free delivery on orders over £50. This plus the sale? Might be time to flex our shopping muscles…
Dolly and Dotty can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram if you want to follow along and get sneak peaks of what’s coming into the store! They also have an option on their homepage to sign up for their newsletter for a 10% off coupon plus future discounts and updates. If you do scoop up the Grace dress (or others), be sure to let me know in the comments section! I’d love to know how it worked out for you.
Dress: Grace swing dress in pink floral c/o Dolly and Dotty
Necklace: Modcloth (similar)
Belt: Alannah Hill (similar here)
Handbag: Xtabay Vintage (similar here & here)
Shoes: Melissa’s (similar here & here)
Lip Color: Retrofuturist