Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Pinup Girl Clothing “Jenny” Dress

This week, I’m writing a long overdue review of the Pinup Girl Clothing Jenny dress. I bought this beauty a year ago and only wore it a couple times for some reason. I’ve been hankering to wear it again for ages now, but the cold weather kept me from doing so. But then I picked up a perfectly coordinating bolero, and finally made it comfortable enough for the unusually cold spring we’ve been having in New York City. I completely forgot how much I loved it, and it seems to fit even better now, after sitting in my closet for several months, than it did when it was new!

Though I usually buy PUG in size medium, this time I went with a large. My measurements are 37”-29”-41” and height 5’6”.

When the dress first arrived, I posted a photo and described its fit in one of my Facebook pinup groups, and I managed to dig the picture back up to compare fit when it was new to fit now:

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Here’s what I wrote at the time:

“I got a large. I’m normally a medium in PUG. My waist is just over 29” and my bust is 37″. The waist is slightly snug and the bust is perfect. Since the size chart says large is supposed to fit waist 29.5”-30.5” and bust 38”-40”, I’d say the size chart is running small, at least for this size. I think a 30.5” waist would be rather uncomfortable and a 40” bust would be squashed. Works well for me, though! My only complaint is it makes me look smaller-busted than I am since it doesn’t really curve under my boobs. But maybe it will flex closer to my shape as I wear it more.”

The founder of Pinup Girl Clothing, Laura Byrnes, later commented on the post: “Take into account that the sateen is similar to jeans fabric in that it loosens up considerably with wear. So you should expect snugness at first zip, if you wish your fit to be “comfortably form fitting.’”

I still tend to agree with my initial assessment that it runs on the small side. I measured the waist tonight, and it’s 14.5” flat—so 29” total. That’s perfect for me, since I like a slightly snug fit at the waist, but I still have a hard time believing a 30.5” waist would feel comfortable in it. While the sateen may have give, it’s fully lined in a satiny fabric, so there’s not substantial stretch by any means.

As for the bust, I was also correct in assuming the boning would conform to my shape after a few wears. The couple of times I wore it last year were weekdays, so I was sitting at my desk at work all day, and the boning really did conform to my curves. And even after being squished in my closet for 6 months, the curve is still present. Let’s get to some photos, and then I’ll give more details and fit advice below.

Here’s how I styled it on a cool day—Trashy Diva “Bonnie” bolero in magenta stretch satin (purchased on eBay for only $18!), belt, and a pair of low boots.

Here’s how I styled it on a cool day—Trashy Diva “Bonnie” bolero in magenta stretch satin (purchased on eBay for only $18!), belt, and a pair of ankle boots.

Here’s how it looks on its own.

Here’s how it looks on its own.

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Compared to the first photo, I think my boobs are substantially more visible here, with none of the sports bra flatness of the first look. Additionally, whereas I was initially skeptical that a 40” bust would fit well in this dress, now that it’s got a permanent curve, I think it looks like there’s plenty of room to spare. Moreover, I expect the boning to curve deeper under my bust the more I wear it.

Many women remove the boning from these dresses, but I would definitely recommend against doing that, at least until you give the boning a chance to meld to your shape.

So let’s talk about some of the other great features. First up, there are fabulously generous pockets in this dress. I can confidently carry my iPhone around without worrying that it’ll slip out. Even better, the pockets are slightly toward the front of the skirt instead of exactly at the sides of my hips, making them much easier to find within all that gathered fabric.

And speaking of the gathered skirt, it looks pretty limp in these shots since it was crushed between other garments in my closet for so long. But if you hang it upside down and fold the skirt over, it poofs back up. Or you can wear a petticoat, which this skirt is just made for. I was actually a little relieved to see it had lost so much volume, since a giant poofy skirt is a bit much for work.

Another great thing about this dress is that the straps are fully adjustable. This was excellent news for me, because I have rather high-set boobs, and most strappy tops and dresses need to have the straps shortened in order to fully cover my side-bra and not have indecent levels of cleavage.

Even better, the strap placement amost perfectly lines up with bra straps! In these photos, I’m wearing a Cleo Lily bra in 30FF. The straps of the dress are the exact width of the bra straps. Ordinarily I would have worn this dress with a strapless bra, but I skipped it this time because I knew I’d be wearing the bolero all day. But seeing as the Cleo Lily matches so closely, and the straps are a coordinating shade of pink, I may skip the strapless altogether!

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All in all, I would say that the Jenny dress is a surprise big-boob option. The waist runs smaller than the size chart would suggest and the bust runs accurate.

 

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Comments

  1. Laurie W says:

    I just tried to leave a comment, and it seems to have disappears, so my apologies if this is a duplicate.

    Can you give me some sizing advice for this line? My bust, waist and hips are 47/36/44. I am looking at the Sandra dress in the dragon print, and in a 2X I would be at the high end of the stated bust size range and the low end of the waist range. I fear that going up to a 3X would make the waist way too baggy, but I am always nervous about the bust being too tight. Also, I am 5’9″, so I have the usual length concerns. I am not too picky about exact skirt lengths, except that I like for them to cover my knees, but I cannot stand it when waist seams ride up onto my ribcage.

    • Hi Laurie. I own a really old version of the Sandra dress. It’s quite long on me, well past my knees. So I don’t think you need to worry about that. Unfortunately, I can’t really advise you on fit since the one I have is from a time when the PUG sizing ran quite a big smaller (2011-2012 or so). But I will that say that the construction seems pretty boob-friendly, it’s just that I could use a size up all over.

      Since you’re ALL the way at the bottom of the 2X measurements in the waist, I would go with that. Plus, you can always exchange it for another size. Or you can order both sizes and send back the one that doesn’t work out. Don’t forget to use their permanent 10% off coupon code, cc10thanks.