Off the Rack ~ My First Trashy Diva: The Doll Mini Dress

After years of lurking on Trashy Diva’s website and watching the brand grow from a weirdly named purveyor of brightly colored, vaguely swing-style dresses to a full-fledged reproduction vintage powerhouse, I have finally made my very first TD purchase. And I could not be more pleased!

I beheld and tried on a TD dress for the first time at the Hourglassy Big Bust Clothing Swap, when fellow blogger MissShapen brought one with her. It was a size or two too small; I couldn’t zip it all the way. But the shape was certainly something to behold.

TD is one of the rare repro vintage companies that does cut its garments for a much curvier shape, even more so than Pin Up Girl Clothing, which is already pretty boob-friendly. I would say this is the one and only time I’ve ever bought a dress “off the rack” and had it fit, literally, completely perfectly. The only other dress I own that fits this way is an actual vintage dress from the 1950s that I inherited from my grandmother.

Vintage dress! And fiancé! (Note the pearls and white gloves, but please ignore the terrible posture.)

Vintage dress! And fiancé! (Note the pearls and white gloves, but please ignore the terrible posture.)

TD sells their samples and slightly damaged dresses at slashed prices on eBay. A few weeks ago I found a Mini Doll dress there whose only flaw was a broken zipper. Since I own a sewing machine with a zipper foot, I knew I could just replace it. And since it was listed for a ridiculously low price of less than half its retail price, I jumped at it even though it was a size 6 and TD’s size chart for this dress indicates I’m an 8. I figured, what’s one size? I’ll be able to squeeze into it!

Haha no.

The Mini Doll dress is 100% rayon with no stretch and a double layer of fabric at the waist. I could not zip it even halfway. I’ll say this for TD’s size chart—trust it! Every item has its own chart, and it’s noted whether it has stretch or not. Those charts are accurate. Please listen to them.

As for that broken zipper, well it wasn’t actually broken. It was all open though the zipper pull was halfway up. But it just needed to be re-set. I pulled it all the way down to the base, held the zipper teeth in place, and zipped it right back up. I then zipped it up and down over and over, and it was fine. So I highly recommend buying from TD’s eBay store even if they claim a zipper is broken. Don’t believe it!

Anyhow, back to eBay went the dress, now for sale in my own account, my first TD foray a failure.

But then TD announced a coupon code for half off the entire sale section. And then they added more stuff to the sale section. And then more. And then more! And then, lo and behold, the Mini Doll dress appeared. The very same dress I had just bought, and now with the coupon code it would cost almost the same low price. So I bought one, this time in size 8. Oh, and I also bought a Jenny short-sleeved dress, but that’s for another review. With shipping, the two dresses came to under $130, which is less than the cost of one of some of their full-price beauties.

Oh my god. You guys. It is glorious. The dress is so awesome. It fits like a dream, it’s totally adorable, the quality is amazing, it even has pockets. Pockets!

Accessorized for 15°F weather (that’s -9.4°C).

Accessorized for 15°F weather (that’s -9.4°C).

Look at my tiny waist!

Look at my tiny waist!

Look at that full skirt!

Look at that full skirt!

Look at that flawless bodice!

Look at that flawless bodice!

I love it so much. So, so much.

Okay, let’s go top to bottom:

The puff sleeves. Adorable, yet not too princess-y or exaggerated. Arm holes big enough to move comfortably without showing any bra. Love the gathered shoulders, should allow the bust to fit a nice range of shapes and sizes.

The boobs. The boobs! Oh gosh so perfect. Tiny bit of cleavage, but still work-appropriate. Nice flat gathering. Tall enough space for my long torso so the waistband stays under them. (I’m wearing Comexim’s “Paradise” bra here, by the way.)

The waistband. Double layered with horizontal rows of stitches. Trust the size chart on this! Invisible zipper on the left side, which is rather difficult to get over the seams, but I find this to be a common occurrence with side zippers and I’ve read TD reviews for other dresses that complain of this. I guess it just comes with the territory. Makes me look sooooo tiny. Just…could not be more flattering.

The skirt. So full and has so much movement, yet it did not fly up and flash my undies when it caught a gust of wind. Can’t believe how much it poofs out without a crinoline underneath. Started out quite wrinkly, but they fell away as the day progressed, and all the gathers camouflaged the wrinkles in back that I got from sitting on my butt at a computer all day.

Length. It’s hard to see with black tights, but on my 5’6” frame, it was just short enough to not touch my knees. It’s right above them. I really like this length on me. It’s short enough to be youthful and summery, but still long enough that I feel comfortably covered up. I can sit down on the subway without my butt cheeks touching the seat.

This dress is just… I mean… It’s perfect in every way, I don’t know what else to say!

Best Breasts Forward ~ My Style Personality

Reading Darlene’s posts about her “Style Personalities” inspired me to write about the celebrity who inspires my style, Nigella Lawson. I first became aware of her by watching Nigella Bites. It was nice to finally see a female cook on television who actually ate on camera, instead of nibble, and manage to look gorgeous while doing it!

Dinner anyone?

Dinner anyone?

Over the years, what I’ve loved most about her look is that she has several style personalities. Like me, she is a busty mom who must dress for school, work and for evenings out but isn’t afraid to have a bit of fun with it.

Who doesn't love a witty tee?

Who doesn’t love a witty tee?

Nigella has often sported one of my staples, the cardigan. Cardigans are an absolute must have for DD+ ladies who need to be ready to drop by school at a moments notice. They can be paired with jeans or slacks, but my favorite way to wear them is over dresses.

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Looking at her photos is almost like peaking into my closet! We have the same wool coat, and this black dress is quite similar to my Ava dress by PUG.

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I’m a major fan of how Nigella switches up her hairstyle depending on mood and the cut of her clothing. This is the primary reason I keep my hair long. It enables me to pull it up, wear it down or go for a combination of the two.

Pulling her hair off of her shoulders adds to the drama of the severe V created by this tuxedo jacket

Pulling her hair off of her shoulders adds to the drama of the severe V created by this tuxedo jacket

Effortless cool.  Shoulder length waves is perfect with this sleek leather jacket.

Effortless cool. Shoulder length waves is perfect with this sleek leather jacket.

And last but certainly not least, I adore Ms. Lawson’s vamped up looks. Although you see photos of her casually wearing lots of black, this hot mamma also likes to wear bold colors that make a statement. Red seems to be a favorite of hers (and mine).

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It’s clear that Nigella is comfortable with her busty, curvy body and knows how to dress it for every occasion. She is certainly the celebrity I’ll be keeping my eye on.




My Multiple Style Personalities, Part 2

Since I currently have only two style personalities, it may be more accurate to title these posts, “My Split Style Personality”. At one extreme is cool Clare Underwood from House of Cards. At the other extreme is warm Randi from Lilyhammer.

henriette steenstrup 1

henriette steenstrup b

henriette steenstrup c

henriette streenstrup d

In one sense, Randi’s outfits are much easier than Clare’s–no shapewear involved! Everything is in comfortable knits. However, in another way I find her outfits far more challenging–different colors and patterns! Blending colors and patterns is so difficult for me that I usually settle for a lot of neutrals with just an accent color. Clare has it easy with all her greys and blacks.

It looks like Randi has a basic formula that works well for many busty women: a base column of color topped with cardigans and accessories. She balances the bottom with complementary tights. Randi’s boobs receive absolutely no attention–her clothing is all about reflecting her personality. (Unfortunately, her waist receives no attention either.)

Henriette Steenstrup, the comedic actress who plays Randi, belongs on our Celebrity D+ List.

henriette steenstrup d cup and up list

henriette steenstrup wrap dress

The telltale wrap dress . . . .

henriette steenstrup 2

Don’t you absolutely adore this final photo? (It’s from this post.) Although Lilyhammer‘s treatment of women has disappointed me, I’m thrilled that they used an actress with an “ordinary body” in Season 2–even if we can’t really see it under all those clothes. Actually, this photo makes me realize there may be no such thing as an ordinary body after all!



Corporate Curves Report: Busted Puffy Coats

I’ll start with a confession – I’ve been hating not having enough light in the one place in our home where it’s easy to take photos, and I’ve also been a bit of a dummy with my new camera and haven’t figured how to use the flash. Today I finally did when I took the photos of the labels – so from now on I promise better quality photos!

Winter finally made it to Northern Europe this week after it was almost officially cancelled, so I dug out my puffy coats. This post was also inspired by Mia’s review of the vibrantly colored and well fitting Columbia puffy coat.

There are two approaches to puffy coats in most of Europe:

  • the ones sold in the ladies clothing department and
  • the ones sold in the leisure- and sportswear department (ie. Columbia and Peak Performance).

Probably because of the long and extremely cold winters up in the Nordic countries we do want to have some variety in our winter coats and therefore have this separation.

This is my puffy coat for this winter. I liked that it features a bit of an a-line hem, making it a little different from the red puffy coat I bought last winter. Also the vertical stitching on the sides makes it flattering, as without it the hem would look a bit barrel like from the side.

Austrian designer

Austrian designer Erich Fend coat (I’m not pushing down the jacket from the sides in the middle pose, it’s the cut and the belt that give it the shape)


This is the red puffy coat with an annoying belt. It’s at the same level as a grocery shopping cart handrail and if I bump the buckle into it, it bounces open.


I prefer longer coats in the winter as they feel so much warmer than waist length coats. They also go well with dresses and boots. And a beanie or a hat is always a must in cold weather!


Most puffy coats that are sold in the leisure and sportswear departments are absolutely horrid for bustier women, showcasing a Nike puffy vest here. Thankfully DB can wear it so it gets some use as I sure won’t go anywhere wearing it!

Nike puffy vest, HORRIBLE fit on a bustier woman.

Nike puffy vest, HORRIBLE fit on a bustier woman.

Hope you have found your perfect puffy coat and are staying warm this winter!