Remember how I teased of things to come a few weeks back on my blog? Well here we are! 1950s Glam does it again! I’m excited to bring to my blog a gorgeous, custom-fitted, floral chiffon party gown from the amazing company that sent me the gorgeous Salmon Polka-Dot Swing Dress you might have caught on my blog not too long ago. It’s extremely rare to find a full-scale company that provides both ready-to-wear styles (like said polka-dot dress) as well as customizable options (like the gown I’m featuring today), and as someone whose measurements only fit into garments perfectly if a garment happens to have stretch in the right places (or simply doesn’t fit true to the size chart), having the option of customizing a dress is an absolute treat.
When perusing the site to choose a gown that caught my eye, my heart immediately fell on the Marianne. With it’s stunning floral pattern, fitted waist, and soft chiffon skirt, I knew this would be an item I would love to wear that would fit right into my wardrobe. When discussing the customizations of the skirt, I was asked the following three measurements: bust, waist, hips, hollow to hem, waist to hem, and height, and was assured that the hemline could easily be dropped down to give me a more mid-century length. Since the dress was strapless, I also expressed worry about the dress staying up without squeezing me given my bust-to-waist ratio, and the lovely Isabella suggested we switch the zipper to a tie back to make it even more customizable. As I haven’t had the fortune to receive many custom-fitted clothes (and oft-times the fit was off on these garments despite my careful measurements), I was much more nervous to receive this dress than its fellow ready-made piece.
The two dresses came to me separately (since customizing a dress extends arrival time for obvious reasons), and I can honestly say that I was thrilled when I pulled this dress out of its package.
I immediately noticed that, even lying flat on the floor, the silhouette would be absolutely perfect for my measurements/body type. The soft chiffon of the skirt felt like a soft breeze beneath my fingers and was layered over a smooth satin slip while the bodice felt nice and sturdy with solid boning and padding in the bust to give the body the proper support without needing any sort of bra. As discussed, my dress had the tie in the back instead of a zipper, and a solid amount of extra fabric was stitched inside so that if the ties couldn’t be closed completely in the back, more dress would be exposed instead of skin.
The tie provided was obviously cut from the same bolt of fabric as the gown, so it didn’t feel terribly sturdy, but since the gown was still cut to my measurements, I wasn’t worried about having to strain the ties to try to cinch myself in. The little tabs attached from the top of the back of the bodice to about a third of the way down the back felt very sturdily sewn on and served as a nice, thick foundation.
When I went to slip the gown on, I immediately had to undo the ribbon I’d prematurely laced up as there is no stretch to this gown (something I appreciate in a custom gown), and I couldn’t fit the waist over my shoulders or my hips. So I undid all but the top and slid it on and then proceeded to lace it up again from the front before turning it around. When laced up fully, I ended up having so much excess ribbon (since I easily closed the gown completely), that I had to weave it back up half-way and then tied it in the middle. This is useful if your size fluctuates as it means you will always have enough fabric to lace yourself up, but since I always stay at a relatively steady weight, I plan to cut it so that I can let the ribbon fall flat and smoothly to add to the softness of the skirt instead of having a bow at the waist.
As had seemed when I first held up and laid the dress out, the cut and shape of the bodice was absolutely perfect for my shape. While I wouldn’t do bridges or extreme backbends in the dress, I was able to shift around and lean back a bit without having my breasts pop out and exposing themselves to the world. The cup shape was just the perfect size and shape to cover me and give me support. The flare of the slip was more of an A-line flare than a full circle skirt, but the patterned chiffon layer was cut with a wider circumference so that my hands caught the light material with every sway and made it float around me in a pleasant way. The gown fit beautifully without a petticoat, but I opted for one anyway (my trusted Cosette from Malco Modes
) since I felt it gave it the SLIGHTEST bit more of a 1950s feel.
With the beautiful pattern, I knew I had to find the rare green area in Tucson, so walked around campus a bit to find a place that would do this dress justice. My original plan was shot since the sun interfered, but I found this gorgeous corner behind one of our libraries covered in vines, and knew it would be the perfect place to take photos.
You can see what I mean about the bow at the waist in that last image. I personally think it’s much more flattering to have it softly fall straight down without the loops disrupting the overall look.
The construction of the bust is honestly to die for. It fit my 32DD size perfectly without any need for support since the top essentially served as a very comfortable bra – and all without squeezing me! Plus, it has a slight cone shape instead of being perfectly rounded, something I quite obviously appreciate.
While I know this gown is technically listed as a “party gown,” the moment I put it on and styled it, I knew that I would feel zero qualms wearing this as normal day-wear. After all, people already think I dress up, so why not really take the plunge? The soft floral pattern renders the design quite easy to dress up or down, and the sheen of the slip that shines through when coupled with the chiffon skirt just adds to the versatility of the gown. Plus, turns out I have the perfect shoes for this dress! Who knew these shoes would serve as anything but a neutral for me?
I’m terribly happy with this dress and more than ecstatic to FINALLY have a strapless gown in my rotation (a god-send in the desert climate) that I don’t have to spend all day tugging up to keep it in place. It’s comfortable, chic, and perfectly mid-century.
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And to get 20% off everything in the store except for custom made to measure dresses up until August 31st, you can type in “misslarkbahar” at check-out!
Miss Lark Bahar