This week, something new! A great review of a beautiful 20th Century Foxy brand dress by my friend Jasmine of Betty LeBonBon, purveyor of fine custom vintage-style skirts and much more! This dress reminds me so much of the beautiful green piece worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1959 film Suddenly Last Summer that I’m hoping to get one of my own. Thanks, Jasmine!
Broadly speaking Iâ€™m a prints lady â€“ I love my dresses with a quirky, unique print, or bold florals on unexpected base colours. You can let the print speak for your personality, and I find them quite easy to wear as the print will dictate how to accessorize and what colours to choose. Easy!
But I recently reached a point where my wardrobe was so print-saturated that I found myself longing for a few simple block colours â€“ if only so I could try out a few patterned shoes or ornate brooches. As much as I love a beautiful print, it can be hard to work a pair of printed shoes with a printed dress, or to choose a really fussy, ornate brooch as inevitably the detail will be lost against a printed dress.
I spotted the 20th Century Foxy â€˜Taylorâ€™ dress at Miskonduct Clothing. At first, the dress doesnâ€™t look like much â€“ a simple green dress with a matching belt and a full skirt. Normally I wouldnâ€™t even stop for a second look, but being a fair-skinned ginger Iâ€™d already decided I was looking for something green. And this dress was green. A good start! I was convinced it would go beautifully with simple accessories like gold or silver, perhaps even blue accents â€“ and it would play beautifully with a nice floral printed shoe (think Iron Fist or Irregular Choice), should I finally decide to invest. Sold!
Dress specs! The dress features a beautiful full circle skirt that falls 25 inches from waist to hem. Iâ€™m 5â€™6 (or 167cm), and the dress hits me just below the knee. The bodice is lined and lightly boned, largely because the straps are actually detachable â€“ you can wear the dress with or without the two shoulder straps as all of the support is in the bodice. Fair warning: as a result of all the support being in the bodice, the straps do fall down. However, as they fasten with buttons, you could probably resew the buttons to adjust the fit.
I bought the dress in the size 18UK and itâ€™s a perfect fit for my 42-33.5-42 measurements. The fabric is a flattering rayon/poly mix with a touch of stretch that hugs your curves like bengaline, but not a ridiculous amount of stretch â€“ if youâ€™re inbetween sizes you could size down, but itâ€™s not the sort of dress where Iâ€™d recommend buying a FULL size down just for a snug fit.
The dress comes with a matching grommet belt and flimsy cotton belt hoops on the left and right side â€“ the belt loops on my dress broke the first time I tried to adjust the belt, so Iâ€™ve unpicked and removed mine! The skirt is a full circle and definitely one for wearing over a big fluffy petticoat if thatâ€™s your sort of thing!
I find Iâ€™m wearing my Taylor dress with a lot of gold, just for the contrast â€“ gold belt, shoes and clutch, with layers of gold necklaces OR a gold-plated brooch with diamantes. I also wear mine with shapewear underneath â€“ the fabric clings and reveals all so youâ€™ll want to create a smooth line in the bodice!
The dress retails for 125GBP, making it a bit of a more luxe purchase, but for the quality and construction itâ€™s worth it. Available in sizes 8-18.