Getting back to clothing reviews, this week I bring you the 1940s “Shirt Waister” dress from House of Foxy.
House of Foxy (HoF) is a British vintage reproduction brand that offers a range of 1930s and 1940s styles. HoF pays close attention to detail, using buttons and fabrics that look and feel authentic, yet with modern additions such as zippers and contemporary fabrics.
When I first saw this orange-y red vintage postcard print, I knew I needed it in my life! But I have been on a tight budget over the last couple years, so I didn’t buy it right away, especially since I had never tried the brand before. But when this dress turned up on sale, and then there was a coupon on top of that, I finally took the plunge.
I purchased my usual UK 12 (US 8). According to the size chart, that should fit up to 37” bust and 30” waist. I measure 38” bust (and 29.5” waist, bra size UK 30G), so there was a chance it would be too tight. But I thought this style looked to be full bust-friendly due to the pleats and gathers above the bust and at the waist, in both front and back. And I was right! There is no gaping or pulling at the buttons whatsoever. I think this style could possibly even go up to a 40” bust comfortably (maybe more?).
Here are some closeup shots to show the structure. As you can see, there is gathering along the yoke in both front and back. Then at the waist, you have a voluminous tuck on each side. An invisible side zipper makes it easy to get on and off (though I have to pull it on over my head rather than stepping into it—even with the zipper, the waist doesn’t open far enough to pull up over my hips). The result is a slightly blousy look that suits a range of bust sizes.
The fabric is super lightweight. I’m not actually sure what it’s made of because it’s listed as “100% rayon (viscose)” and also “100% viscose” on the HoF site. But rayon and viscose are not the same fabric. You can read about the difference HERE, but in short, rayon is made of wood pulp while viscose is made of plant fibers. The process of making rayon is less taxing on the environment, but the fabric also is less durable.
Either way, the fabric here is not at all sheer, but feels cool to the touch and is extremely light and comfy on hot days. The only problem is that the fabric is too lightweight for pockets (of which there are none). And unfortunately, some of the seams are already showing stress even though the dress skims over my body without being “tight.” So I’m a little disappointed by the fabric quality and am unsure how many years the this garment will last.
That being said, if there was a print or color that I absolutely loved, I would probably purchase this dress style again if the price is right.