I recently discovered the Vivien of Holloway brand of vintage style clothing which is all made in London using actual vintage patterns (and sizing). The items are lovely, good quality material and very well made. They have a limited number of styles, but each style comes in a large variety of colors, patterns and materials. The prices are on the high side, and they had a 50% off sale on some of their items recently. I decided to try a circle skirt and matching bolero in Victory Rose peach pattern, with a white halterneck top. Peach is a not a color I wear often and I am not sure it suits me, but in a pattern I thought it would be fine. I got the skirt in a size 20 (34 inch waist) as the material has no give and I was worried the 18 (32 inch waist) might be slightly tight as sometimes when I measure my waist I get 33. There is a little bit of room in the 20. The halter top has boning in it which gives it a lot of structure and a bra is not necessary. It was quite difficult to reach behind me and zip it up so I lay on my bed to do it. I put a white petticoat under the skirt as the skirt is extremely voluminous (no, it is not a very practical skirt to wear in a wheelchair and I would not push around on a dirty street in it). The halter top is a size 18 (40 inch bust) which fits well on me (39 inch bust). The white color will be good to go with most of my other skirts. I like the matching bolero as it disguises my upper arms, which are a little larger than I’d like (and appear even more so in photos). The skirt is so voluminous I don’t think I will get a lot of this style, but it does look nice with a petticoat. I would like a peach hair flower to match this better than the coral one I am wearing. I got the belt from VOH as well. I think it makes me look like I have a smaller waist. I have some others in different colors. I also bought a sarong dress set in frangipani pink and I just love it. I think it’s very flattering and the skirt is narrow so no problem with the chair. It has a little waterfall effect on one hip. The top is boned and fits like the halter, and I also had to lie down to zip this up. Once on, it’s tight but not too tight, and I can bend over and nothing falls out. It is a size 18 and fits just right in the waist. I am wearing it here with the matching bolero, and also with a yellow cardigan from Doll Me Up which picks up the yellow in the floral pattern. I love the tropical look of this dress and look forward to wearing it this summer. My hair is an attempt to achieve a period look, and I had it in foam curlers for more than 15 hours – maybe it’s a little curlier than I really wanted. It also has a bit of a frizz problem. I did not manage to get any photos that I liked showing the whole skirt and feet. I need practice with that. I took these photos with a tripod for my cell phone, some with a selfie stick, some propping up the phone and some holding it. It is difficult to get flattering angles. I have more items to review from VOH, coming up – most of which I bought in the 50% off sale.
The Super Spy dress in black was my first purchase from Heart of Haute. I was kind of afraid to get it because it’s close fitting on the whole body and stomach bulge could be a problem. I am wearing it here with shaping undergarment for the thighs and stomach. I deleted the photos that showed a bulge that was exaggerated by the angle of the camera. I did not have anyone to take photos today so I tried my best to get as much of the dress in the photo as possible. The dress is stretchy so I got a medium instead the large or XL that I usually get from HoH. It’s a very comfortable dress and you can accessorize it with many hats, hair stuff, jackets, belts, etc. I have washed it once and if it shrank, it still fits. Today I got this jacket, Marianne jacket from Collectif, which I ordered from Modcloth. I absolutely love it. I think it’s so elegant. It is a short, fitted jacket. I got it on sale from 39.99. I got an XL, which Modcloth’s size chart says fits 40-42 bust and 32-34 waist. My measurements, which I find somewhat difficult to take accurately, are about 39 bust, 33 waist, 42 hip. I can just about button this jacket at the waist and there is some room in the bust/shoulder area. I can’t usually find things that fit my measurements exactly in both the bust and waist, so I go with whichever i think is more important to fit the closest. I also got this gray hat, Cinema Style hat in stone, from Modcloth, on sale for 14.99. There are my Lindy Bop red gloves with the faux fur trim again, and this animal print headband…bought recently but don’t remember from where. Turquoise headband is from Lindy Bop. The silver sweater, I have had a long time, bought at the Express store probably sometime between 2000 and 2005. Just for fun, I put on this New Look wig in red just to see how I look.
I bought this red and black polka dot dress, the Cassy Dress, from Lindy Bop in 2016 but had never worn it anywhere. For a New Year’s Eve party I wore it with a red petticoat also from Lindy Bop. It’s a 30 inch petticoat and really too long for this dress but that is okay. I got the black flower with net hair ornament and the black gloves from Unique Vintage. There is my son in the photo, he hates posing for pictures. I was certainly the only one at the party to wear anything like this, which is fun. I got several compliments on the dress. It is a UK size 14. It’s not a stretchy material. It is machine washable. The facing from the collar tends to peep out but I could fix that with some sewing. It’s not a particularly warm dress for winter and it was about 0 degrees out last night and even inside I could feel the cold air coming from the lobby doors. My son thinks the black hair ornament looks like something for a funeral lol. This dress is loose fitting under the bust which is good if you have a tummy that is less than flat.
I bought this Voodoo Vixen Lola tartan flare dress with a detachable fur collar to wear on Christmas Eve. I did a lot of thinking about what size to get, L or XL, because I am different sizes in the waist and bust. I decided to go with the large and I’m glad because it’s plenty big enough. It’s a warm and comfortable dress. I don’t have a lot of green in my closet and decided I needed some as I already have a lot of red! I got a pair of black gloves and a black hair flower from Unique Vintage. I set my hair with pin curlers for a few hours. Usually I use sponge rollers; this is my first time with pin curlers.
I bought an Elsa blouse (size XL) from Heart of Haute in this nice red plaid as I thought it would look great for the holiday season. In these photos I am wearing it with a Diva suit in blue also from Heart of Haute (size XL) and also with a Collectif Clothing 50s Fiona pencil skirt in forest green (size XL, UK 16) and Collectif clothing 50s Jean Knitted Bolero in dark green (size M/L). I bought the Collectif items from Top Vintage. I was able to get all these items on sale during the Thanksgiving sale period. To go with the green outfit, I am wearing Pin Up Couture Women’s Dark Green Faux Leather Mary Jane heels (not on sale, could not resist them). With the blue suit I am wearing some ankle boots I bought from Amazon for 19.99. Beston E189 Women’s Side Zipper Platform Stacked Chunky Heel Ankle Booties. I am very pleased with all of these items. The Elsa blouse is fitted around the waist so although I could wear a size L for the bust I was afraid I might have trouble buttoning it around the waist if I didn’t get the XL. The Diva Suit not only looks elegant it is also the most comfortable suit I have ever worn. The material is quite stretchy and the waist band of the skirt does not dig in anywhere. I wore it all day on a trip to New York City and was very comfortable in it. The green skirt likely looks shorter on me than it would on a standing person as tighter skirts tend to ride up when you are seated all the time. It has only a very slight stretch but is still comfortable. It zips up the back. I know that some wheelchair users don’t like to wear skirts for various reasons but I love them. Shoes can be a difficult item for wheelchair users. They tend to come off when you are getting into a car or just anytime. Slip on flats do not stay on my feet at all so I usually get shoes with straps or ties, or ankle boots. The blue boots here stayed on my feet all day, even getting into a car. The green ones came off getting into a car but the ties on them helped them stay on the rest of the time. I buy shoes slightly large in case my feet get a little swelling. I am about 8-1/2 US size so I usually get a 9. I got the green shoes in a 10 as the reviews stated they ran small.
Here are a couple that I think look pretty good on me.
If you use a wheelchair, finding a warm winter coat that looks nice can be tricky as I have learned over the years. Especially a puffy jacket. Those tend to balloon around you making you look bigger than you are and creating a look that is anything but flattering, like you are sitting in a pile of material. If the sleeves don’t fig snugly it’s even worse. Long coats have a lot of material to tuck under you and are a pain if you get in and out of them all day. Last year I bought a down filled black jacket from Express on sale for $100. See it pictured above with and without a scarf. I bought a size large and it fits even with a heavy sweater underneath. It does not ride up too much and the sleeves fit snugly (but not too tight). It has a detachable hood with fake fur trim. It’s very warm without being bulky. The pockets, like a lot of pockets when you use a wheelchair, puff out a little because I’m sitting. It’s better when I zip them. I don’t see the same jacket online at Express this year; I do see a longer version. The red coat is one I bought last month on sale from Macy’s for $100, a London Fog pea coat. I bought according to my measurements, a medium, and it fits over a sweater, a little looser without one. It hits at high hip. The sleeves are not too wide and it gives a nice, somewhat form fitting shape when buttoned. It’s quite warm, maybe not warm enough for the coldest days. I had it on yesterday when it was in the 40s to 50s and I was comfortable. It’s still available at Macy’s online and comes in other colors, including black and navy blue. It comes with a matching plaid scarf, which I’m wearing in one of the photos. I’m thinking of getting the blue one.
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