Have you heard of Dolly And Dotty? They have a website bursting full of affordable, retro, rockabilly dresses, skirts, tops and accessories. I can't see anything over £40 and they cater for a broad range of sizes, 6-24. They very kindly sent me a lovely package; a dress and headband to review (the latter I stupidly forgot to photograph)! I was spoilt for choice on the website actually, there's swing dresses, wiggle styles and in the prints you'd expect from vintage-esque, pin-up clothing; polka dots, cherries, florals and stripes, all in a plethora of colours. If you fall in love with either a shape of dress or print, then you'll find it in many other colours/prints or styles.
The Hazel swing dress I tried for example, comes in 6 colours and prints. I chose the black and red cherry print, which comes in 10 other pieces. The cherries are big and cheerful with shading to make them look glossy and realistic stalks and leaves, it's a really lovely pattern. What struck me right away was the fantastic quality of the dress. Hard to believe it's just £34.99. It's made from a soft stretch cotton (95% cotton, 5% elastane) so feels very comfortable.
I'm usually an 18-20, but picked the size 20 because I feel like my shape has changed lately and I've sent back countless items that don't fit, so thought I was safer to go with the bigger size. I was wrong, Dolly And Dotty are generously sized and of course there's a little stretch to this dress too. The 18 would've fitted better, so I'd recommend buying the lower size if you're between. There's an invisible zip in the side, but I neither needed to use it to put the dress on or take it off. There's also a keyhole button fastening at the back of the collar.
The skirt is full with box pleats and the waist is fitted (please ignore the fact I need to iron the dress). This is the area I most notice where I could've sized down. Even with the belt the dress comes with (it's skinny and a little flimsy, so I'd likely use a more substantial one), I have extra room at the waist and the skirt swamps my hips. The bodice is usually where I require the extra room, but even there I have some leeway and there's no stretching or pulling across the bust at all. This is highly unusual for me, there's always squishing, flattening (!) or tension across my bust. The armholes don't gape, though again would be a neater fit in the size down. All things I'll remember for next time.
There's a band of plain black fabric around the hem and the dress reaches below my knees (5ft 5.5") but not quite mid-calf. I'd feel comfortable wearing this with or without tights, it's a good length on me. The collar detail is really pretty, I hadn't observed the pleats in the collar when looking at it online. It's a unique, pleasant touch.
A petticoat can of course be worn under this dress to make the most of that full skirt. I tried to photograph just how full it is, but it's quite difficult for you to appreciate with me just using the one hand! The matching headscarf is again extremely well made. The same good quality cotton, fully lined and long enough to tie into a double knot or maybe even a small bow. Overall, I'm super impressed with the quality, price and styles available and I'm sure next time I'm looking for a 50's style dress or pencil skirt, Dolly And Dotty will be top of my list. I'd of course bear in mind that the sizing is generous and likely buy the 18 instead. What do you think, do you like this dress, have you bought from Dolly And Dotty before?