Recently I was contacted by the lovely Marie from Vivien of Holloway asking if I would like to review an item from their signature polkadot collection, and of course I jumped at the chance! After a careful look through all the gorgeous skirts and dresses (so many colours, so many styles!) I settled on the Grace Dress in navy and white polkadots.
The first thing I noticed about the Grace dress when it arrived was the quality of the fabric. It is made of a mid-weight crisp cotton sateen, so while it’s a great dress for summer I can tell it could easily transition into winter with the addition of a cardigan, tights and a coat. I also picked the navy because I knew it would be a great day-to-evening dress, being able to match it with colourful accessories for work and then swapping to a gold belt and heels for an evening out. So many possibilities!
The sizing for the Grace (and many styles made by Vivien of Holloway) is different to the standard sizing of 6, 8, 10, etc, and is instead based on your measurement in inches for your bust, waist, and hips. Luckily the last navy dress available was in my size; based on my measurements my size was a 32-24-36. This fit perfectly apart from being a little roomy in the bust/shoulder area, but this was easily fixed simply by sewing the shoulders up by about 3/4 of an inch as pictured below – please excuse my terrible hand sewing but I wanted to show how easy it is! When all else fails though I recommend checking their size guide and/or contacting their friendly staff for advice.
The Grace dress features a wrap top and a full circle skirt which is perfect for twirling. Usually V-necks don’t work for me as I have a small bust (so no cleavage to flaunt!), however the neckline on the Grace dress actually comes up fairly high, especially once I tailored it. The top also has subtle pleating details which are great for all shapes and sizes.
Because of the material you can probably get away with wearing the Grace without a petticoat, however I wore mine with a Vivien of Holloway 26″ petticoat (which I was lucky enough to purchase in person on my trip to London last year), and added a second Hell Bunny 26″ petticoat for maximum poofiness! The skirt measures 28″ in length so there’s no risk of flashing petticoat. I am 5’4″ and the skirt fell a few inches below my knees, which was perfect for me as a prefer full knee coverage. However if you are a petite gal and don’t like your dresses to be too long then you may need to tailor the Grace up an inch or two.
The Grace dress retails for £110 and can be purchased through their website or instore. It comes in the beautiful navy that I have as well as a wide range of other colours. You also might have seen a number of pieces from their polkadot range in the most recent season of Doctor Who. I can’t wait to match it with all sorts of different coloured accessories, and see how it transitions into winter!
A big thank you to @cmjsnz for these wonderful photos and for braving the heat with me at the Parnell Rose Gardens!
Miss Hero Holliday