Off the Rack ~ Trashy Diva Streetcar Dress in Cherries Reviewed

Here comes another Trashy Diva review! This is actually my first full-price item from the vintage reproduction brand. All the other garments I’ve purchased have been with a coupon, a sale, or a great eBay deal. It’s the Streetcar dress in the new cherry print. Since this print is expected to sell out rather quickly, I decided to jump on it right away before my size was gone, even though it meant paying full price, because I love the print sooooo much.

This cherries pattern is a reissue of a rare 2010 print. Normally I shy away from cherries even though I like novelty prints in general, and fruit prints in particular (I own more banana items than any human has a right to). But I find that most cherry prints from pinup-y brands are cartoon-style and seem . . . too obvious, I guess?

Pinup Girl Clothing’s Daisy dress in black cherries print.

Pinup Girl Clothing’s Daisy dress in black cherries print.

Heart of Haute’s Sweetie dress in classic cherry.

Heart of Haute’s Sweetie dress in classic cherry.

Meanwhile, this Trashy Diva cherry print is more subdued, in a painterly style reminiscent of watercolors, with heavy emphasis on white, and red used almost as an accent.

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Some details: The dress is 100% rayon and comes with a matching belt and fat length of fabric to use as a bow around the neck. It has a full gathered skirt with pockets, and closes with an invisible zipper on the left side. I took a size 8 (my usual TD size). My measurements are 37”-29”-41”.

So here I am in the dress. It has a mandarin collar with a hook and eye at the top. The optional neck bow just ties around your neck with no hooks or other closures. There are several ways to wear the neckline, but I like it unbuttoned with no bow the best. I’m wearing it with a red belt instead of the fabric belt it came with.

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A closeup of the bust.

A closeup of the bust.

Wearing it buttoned with no bow.

Wearing it buttoned with no bow.

Wearing it buttoned with the bow and the belt.

Wearing it buttoned with the bow and the belt.

Full view of the bow and belt. As you can see, in such dark fabric they both basically disappear into the dress.

Full view of the bow and belt. As you can see, in such dark fabric they both basically disappear into the dress.

Wearing it with the collar folded out.

Wearing it with the collar folded out.

Like the Annette dress, the Streetcar is not quite the most bust-friendly option of the TD offerings. Once again it has enough room for boobs, but does not curve under them despite a pair of darts under the bust. It also tends to pull toward my bigger boob (lefty) and sit crookedly.

You can’t wear a conventional bra with the Streetcar because the straps stick out. I’m wearing a strapless Deco in 30FF with the straps attached in the crossback position. I think you could get away with a regular bra if you used a Rixie Clip or similar device to pull the straps together in the back.

One other little complaint is that the belt is too big. I don’t think TD uses a different belt length for each dress size because even the smallest setting on this belt is bigger than the dress’s waist measurement by about an inch. Additionally, I actually ordered an 8 and a 10 to assess fit, and the belt with the size 10 was the exact same length as the 8.

As for comparing the 8 and 10, I had read that this particular dress runs small. In fact, it is a little bit smaller on the size chart. Streetcar’s size 8 says up to 29” in the waist and 37” in the bust, while most other non-stretch 8’s are up to 29.5” and 38”. I did slightly prefer the size 10’s bust, and thought its waist might be preferable in the long term in case I gain weight or have a bloaty day, but the armholes and the fabric above and below the bust were far too loose. The size chart is definitely accurate, so pick the one that closest matches your measurements. If you’re between sizes, go up because there is no stretch.

Even though the bust is a little wonky on me, I am once again very happy with this dress. The skirt is super full and feminine, but the weight keeps it from blowing up in the wind. I love all the different options for wearing the collar. And even though the bow seems a little superfluous, it can be worn other ways too, as a belt or headband or a neck bow on a different dress where it’ll stand out more. I think wearing the belt and bow on a solid black, white, or red dress would look really cute!

I also have to repeat how much I love the pattern. Plus, if you’re not crazy about the Streetcar style, the cherries print is available on four other dresses. I had a really hard time choosing between the Streetcar and the Doris Middy, as I own another Doris dress in solid red and loooooooove it. It is so flattering on a big bust. I ended up choosing the Streetcar because I wanted a different style than what I already own.

Best Breasts Forward ~ Happy Anniversary to Me…the Wedding Gown Edition

August 24, 2002

August 24, 2002

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It will be my 12 year wedding anniversary on the 24th, and I just realized that I never talked about my wedding dress adventures as a big-busted woman. One thing I must admit is that having a seamstress as a grandma left me with a $100,000 taste and a $2000 budget. Being that I was planning a Michigan wedding all the way from NYC, I ended up doing most of my purchasing online.

My now husband is a bit of a fashionisto (yeah, I just made that word up!), so I knew for him to be happy with my wedding gown I’d have to have his input. I was too old fashioned to have him actually shop for a dress with me, so I bought a bazillion wedding magazines. He loved one dress the most. A Reem Acra with a bust that was completely UNflattering to my large bust. The strange thing was that, besides the bust, it was my dream gown.

(I spent the last week scouring the internet for the original photo of my gown from the bridal magazines, but I couldn’t find one.)

I had to have that dress–or at least the parts of it we loved the most. The gown was a gorgeous, rich satin, dropped waist, a sheer back embellished with beading that reminded me of Middle Eastern royalty and the back of the A line skirt flowed into layer after layer of bustling.  I searched for weeks for a gown that was similar in fabric and shape to the gown we’d fallen in love with, but it was so unique at that time that I was having no luck. I happened upon a small website that sold sample gowns and would check it from time to time. One morning, I looked up and there it was! The Reem Acra gown was on the sample site, in my size, like new condition for $1500!!!!!! I snatched it up and it was in my hands a week later.

I knew when I bought the gown the things I needed to change and thankfully my grandma is a miracle seamstress because she made my dream dress a reality. Being large-busted, the high neckline made my neck look shorter and squished my girls in a strange way. I wanted solid straps in the front with the sheer, beaded overlay removed. Of course I didn’t stop there. Who could NOT make use of such stunning beading? I wanted the beading moved to the bust of the gown so that the front of the dress wouldn’t be completely plain.

This is the way my gown looked from the front when I got it except mine had a beaded tank underneath.  Look at that luscious fabric!

This is the way my gown looked from the front when I got it except mine had a beaded tank underneath. Look at that luscious fabric!

This is the exact shape and neckline of my gown prior to my grandmothers alterations.  Sheer with beading and satin piping along the armholes and neckline.

This is the exact shape and neckline of my gown prior to my grandmother’s alterations. Sheer with beading and satin piping along the armholes and neckline.

I wanted my straps to be similar to this Reem Acra gown

I wanted my straps to be similar to this Reem Acra gown

Oh, and did I mention this conversation took place a week before my wedding and that she hadn’t even seen a photo of the gown?

Looking back, I am quite sure that most seamstresses would have rolled their eyes at me and said “keep dreaming sister,” but not my grandma. As her first granddaughter to get married, she was going to give me what I wanted even if it meant hours of painstakingly cutting out beadwork.

I ordered a longline strapless bra to wear with my petticoat.  Of course, the bra did not fit properly.  I was still wearing the wrong size at the time and if my memory is correct ordered a 34DDD.  Looking back on it, I was probably a 32G.

It takes a village to put on a wedding gown.

It takes a village to put on a wedding gown.

Leaning forward and falling out of that bra!

Leaning forward and falling out of that bra!

The bra did not cover my boobs properly or sit up as high as in the front as I would’ve liked but because my dress fit so well, it wasn’t that much of a problem. Once I put on my gown I didn’t think about my breasts falling out.  My grandmother, in her wisdom, had also added a sheer poof of fabric to serve as a modesty panel of sorts just in case the girls tried to steal the show with an impromptu appearance.

you can barely see the bra at the very bottom of the sheer panel

You can barely see the bra at the very bottom of the sheer panel.  This is almost identical to what the front of the gown looked like before alterations.

The bra couldn't be seen as my Father walked me down the isle

The bra couldn’t be seen as my Father walked me down the isle

My dad didn't have to worry about his little girl showing the goods to the guests thanks to grandmas "modesty panel"

My dad didn’t have to worry about his little girl showing the goods to the guests thanks to grandma’s “modesty panel”

I know how lucky I was when it came to my wedding gown.  I wanted a gown that was a show stopper from the back, A line, stunning fabric, at least an inch wide straps that would show off my bustling without being offensive.  I was lucky to find a dress I knew my husband would love.  I was lucky to find it on line for less than half price.  I was lucky to have my grandma, who gave me the gown of my dreams and then some!

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Happy Bride! This is the best photo I have of the beading that was taken off the chest and neck area and then added to the front of the gown.

Perfect Cami Giveaway!

So only a lucky few of you could participate in our clothing swap raffle, but guess what? Ann Victor has made one more Perfect Cami prize available to Hourglassy readers far and wide. The winner can choose any cami she likes from the collection. I happen to own the navy one below, which you know I love.

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For one entry into the raffle, answer one of the questions below. For two entries, answer both.

1. Besides black, what color camis would you like to have for the fall/winter?

2. What is your biggest complaint about camisoles?

For those of you who wonder about the Perfect Cami sizing chart, here’s some good news: Ann is experimenting with attaching bigger fronts to smaller backs. I love how responsive she is to customer needs. This means that your answers to the two questions above will really make a difference.

You can also help make a difference to Hourglassy. After our writer’s brunch before the swap on August 2, we are brimming with ideas for future events, one being, what if we were to organize something in YOUR area of the country? To do so, we  need to know the geographic pockets of the United States where our readers live, so for a third entry into the raffle, please answer question #3:

3. What major city is closest to your home, and how far away is it? (Feel free to expound if you live in different parts of the country for different periods of the year!)

Send your answers to giveaway [at] hourglassy [dot] com, and put “Perfect Cami” in the subject line. We’ll draw the winner via a random number generator after 11:59 PM EDT next Tuesday, August 26, and we’ll send an email to the winner.

Corporate Curves Report: Animal print bottom half – first day back at work

I felt a little adventurous on my last days on holiday and tried on patterned, loose fitting trousers. I had thought for some reason that they’d look awful on a bigger, curvier woman. The animal print was just up my alley and surprisingly size M seemed big enough for me so I thought why not, might as well give them a go!

Lindex trousers, Campbell & Kate shirt, Clarks pumps, Brooklyn Industries bag and a Nine West watch.

Lindex trousers, Campbell & Kate shirt, Clarks pumps, Brooklyn Industries bag and a Nine West watch.

Loved them, they are relaxed without looking too relaxed and most definitely draw the attention  to the bottom half of the body instead of the top which suits my busty identity perfectly.

I had initial doubts that these trousers would look a little too fashionable to be worn at work as too fashion forward is a no for my line of work but can be worked around. In my mind I could see a classic white shirt working with the busy bottom half. Especially a white shirt as it gives a crisp, clear classic twist to the outfit unlike a black shirt would. That would also create a neat, classic look but not as clear as a white shirt.

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The trousers have an elasticated band and no zipper so they are extremely comfortable to wear, especially in hot weather. For some reason I just really wanted to wear this outfit on my first day back at work. I do sometimes get those moments when I’ve bough a new wardrobe item that I just have to immediately find a way to wear them somewhere. Like my jumpsuit which I bought from NYC a few weeks ago.

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Animal print was also chosen as my casual wear for an afternoon of reading Jonas Jonassons The Illiterate Who Could Count (smart and hilarious as well as his other book I read the previous weekend, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared). It was rather chilly so even though I don’t often wear my turtlenecks anymore, it was a perfect choice for the weather.