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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Off the Rack ~ My First Miss Candyfloss Wiggle Dress, the “Sabine-Katalin”

Recently, I tried my very first wiggle-style dress from Miss Candyfloss, so it’s time for another review. Due to the wiggle shape, this time I’m assessing the fit at both the top and bottom halves of the hourglass.

The dress is called “Sabine-Katalin,” and comes in a vibrant turquoise with mint green accents with a removable mint belt. It’s made of 63% polyester, 32% viscose, and 5% elastane, resulting in a soft and moderately thick fabric that’s (yet again) machine-washable.

This dress features MCF’s signature pleated bust (and darts too! I never noticed them before), but with a mini-peplum and a folded over collar. There are darts up the back for shaping, and a pair of seams up the front and back of the skirt, plus a small slit in the back of the skirt for ease of movement.

With my measurements of 37”-29”-41”, I took a medium. At 5’6” tall, it just covers my knees.

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IMG_4988 [Read more…]

Big Bust Fashion Options from Of Mercer

I used to think of the Campbell & Kate blog as Hourglassy-lite, but as I give my business the focus it deserves, the C&K blog is becoming more interesting to write. You’ll understand what I mean if you check out last week’s post about bust-friendly finds from Of Mercer that we styled with my shirts.

Here’s the original C&K instagram post that inspired the wrap dress look. Instagram is another outlet that I didn’t realize could be so fun! If you’re on IG, would you follow @campbellandkate?

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And here are a few more pictures of Lela in the Of Mercer’s Sutton wrap dress. It was a cloudy day, so we tried to find patches of light wherever we could–none were big enough for standing poses, but you get the idea! [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Trashy Diva Roundup Part II: Winter Edition

After my last roundup of dresses from Trashy Diva, I’ve swapped a few and purchased a few more, so it’s time for another round! This time, I’m showing five winter options from the vintage reproduction brand. Really, they’re “mini” dresses, so they’re just as good for summer, but I wear them more in winter than my longer ones since they work well with tights and boots.

This time, I’m also going to list what the size chart says the measurements are, and will note if something feels smaller than the chart would suggest.

Once again, for fit assistance I’m 5’6” with a looooong torso and short legs. My figure is 37”-29”-41” and I’m between sizes for bras, at 28G/GG – 30FF/G. In the photos below, I’m wearing an Ewa Michalak PL bra in size 65G (30G).

Finally, I want to make a note about price. Trashy Diva is not cheap. These dresses are definitely an indulgence. However, I get many of mine second-hand through eBay and Facebook swap/sell groups, or wait until there’s a sale. So it is possible to be a TD fan on a budget. If the cost puts you off, I would suggest signing up for TD’s mailing list to be notified of sales, saving an eBay search for the brand, and checking sales apps often (such as Poshmark, Vinted, and Mercari). It’s common to find dresses from past years, but sometimes you can even find ones from the current season at a discount, after the original buyer removed the tags only to later decide it doesn’t fit or suit her.

1. Dolores Mini

Print name: Venice Nights
Fabric: Stretch rayon
Size: 8
Side zipper, half-length sleeves with puff shoulders, pockets
Measurements: Bust 37”, waist 29.5”

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