Black Friday holiday dresses: Madeline, Grace, Honey, Erin, and Jenny

Laura Byrnes Madeline dress with matching bolero.

Now that I’m back from the barfs, it’s time to share some of my Black Friday purchases from Pinup Girl Clothing and Trashy Diva!

My favorite of the lot is the Laura Byrnes Madeline dress in plaid taffeta, a dress I desperately wanted last fall but never got around to ordering. Since the piece didn’t drop until after the holidays, I didn’t have an immediate reason to buy it when it first came out. Another big reason for the delay is the cost. MSRP for this number is $200, and that’s not factoring in the additional $76 for the matching bolero (which is kind of necessary to complete the look). Throw in the fact that several of the gals who first purchased the dress back in January mentioned the odd fit provided by the elasticized side panels on the bodice and I was skeptical.

Laura Byrnes Madeline dress with matching bolero and Remix Rita platform peeptoe pumps.

This is where Black Friday comes in. Given the hefty discounts Pinup Girl Clothing usually offers on the day after Thanksgiving, it’s a perfect opportunity to try your “on the fence” list. And while the Madeline dress does sometimes create weird phantom rolls on the elasticized bodice side panels (around the obliques), it was definitely worth revisiting.

I chose my usual XL size and the fit is great (my measurements are 42-32/33-48″). I’m wearing it above with the matching bolero, which creates a less formal feel than the taffeta might otherwise create – perfect for Christmas Eve with the family. The structured bodice creates a nice, period “nipped” look above the A-line skirt (which needs no crinoline).

Laura Byrnes Madeline dress.

The pleated ruffle along the sweetheart neckline is precious, but it makes the bodice hard to wear without the right strapless longline bra. I’ve found success with the Dominique 6377 longline strapless bra sold by Pinup Girl Clothing (and many others). This bra has a plunging back and more rounded cups than my very period-looking GD689 longline strapless by Goddess, which tends to create a less-bulletty boob shape and a touch of cleavage. The price isn’t bad (around $34), but cup sizes are limited. I usually wear 36E bras, but had to settle for a 38D in the Dominique 6377. Overall, I’d say it works just fine. Best of all, it helps minimize the extra poof that randomly appears on those elasticized panels on the bodice.

Laura Byrnes Madeline dress in plaid taffeta.

Another Laura Byrnes piece I purchased on Black Friday is the very pretty Grace dress in Baton Rouge floral on cinder satin. Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Basically, this is a nice gray satin dress with fuchsia accents. The fabric features pretty carnations or Dianthus that match the pink poplin inserts on the very-1950s shelf bust.

Grace dress in cinder satin.
Grace dress in cinder satin.

I’d been mulling this one over since it came out last spring. I knew it would fit nicely as I have and adore the original red flocked Grace from the 2011 holiday line, but I couldn’t justify another one at full price. Enter Black Friday, and my dilemma’s solved!

I’m wearing it here (usual size XL) with a crinoline petticoat to lend shape. It fancies up really well with more formal jewelry.

Grace dress in cinder satin. I love the carnation print fabric!

Another good vintage shelf-bust style dress I picked up on Black Friday is Trashy Diva’s Honey. I already have the Honey in a nice magenta color, but it’s gotten much too big for me. I decided to pick up my current size – 14 – in the cobalt satin colorway and wasn’t disappointed.

Trashy Diva Honey dress in cobalt satin.

While the cobalt satin is more navy than it seems on the Trashy Diva website, it’s still a rich, gorgeous color. I wore it here with a red Malco Modes petticoat. It’s hard to see just how pretty the colors work together in these photos, so you’ll just have to trust me!

Trashy Diva Honey dress in cobalt satin.

Another fabulous royal/cobalt dress I got over Thanksgiving weekend is the beautiful Pinup Couture Erin dress. I’d already had an Erin in the berry colorway, but it quickly got too big for me to wear. When Pinup Girl Clothing announced a new Erin in royal blue, I fell on it. Finally, an opportunity to size down in a great new color!

Erin dress in royal blue.
Erin dress in royal blue.
Erin dress in royal blue.

This one’s made of very soft, very stretchy bengaline fabric. In fact, I probably could’ve sized down to a large. That said, the XL looks good and fits really comfortably, so I’m not about to press my luck. This Erin is a great cocktail dress for people who want the form-fit of a wiggle but can’t stand tight, structured clothes. Got an event that involves a lot of movement and/or eating? Erin’s your girl.

I’m wearing Erin with a Spanx “Skinny Britches” bodysuit, which seems to work pretty well on my crazy hip poofs without causing constriction or discomfort.

My last ensemble is more casual: the Pinup Couture striped boatneck top and Italian Landscape Jenny skirt.  Yes, I’m playing gondolier in my Venetian print skirt and striped top. Sue me. 😛

Venetian Jenny skirt and Striped boatneck top. Yes, I’m playing gondolier!
Beautiful Venetian Jenny skirt.
Venetian Jenny skirt and Striped toatneck top.

The boatneck top is a classy, comfortable casual staple piece. It’s easy to wear, yet it incorporates some nice fit details that you won’t find in cheaper tops. The darted bust creates shape, for example.

The Jenny skirt is a gorgeous deep red with a midcentury Venetian scene wet-printed in teal, white, and black inks. The wet-printing technique makes the skirt look hand painted! The colors are so, so, so pretty together, and the fullness and length of the skirt are just perfect. Like the turquoise and purple rose Jenny skirt, this one is a bit shorter than the other Jenny styles. From my experience, the Jennys with border prints or landscapes run a bit shorter and poofier, which makes them great for shorter gals or for folks (like me) who don’t always want to have to wear a petticoat under my skirts.

I ordered this Jenny in my usual XL size and it fits fine, but it does run a bit snugger than the other Jenny skirts. I’m wearing it here with my trusty patent-look Pinup Girl Clothing belt and Kate Spade Tock flats.

Leave a Reply