Now there’s not many people who have a thing for repro that don’t know about Vivien of Holloway. In fact, it’s one of the few brands kicking out into the mainstream with many a bride, bridesmaid, school leaver or normal woman on the street going there for their special occasion dresses. The full circle dresses are their most well known piece, exuding glamour and being seen on many a red carpet! I myself knew about VoH long before I decided to go feet first into overhauling my look into something more retro. I would regularly browse the website, dreaming of the things I’d one day buy.
And then I did! I have now shopped both online and in store
The thing I love about VoH is they put the actual measurements of the garments online. They use vintage sizing so unless you’re used to buying vintage you may not immediately know your size. By using the measurements and not the sizes online you can be confident of getting the right size (not full proof but as near as dammit). Just remember no to get a shock when you look at the size label when it arrives!
So I went for the indigo tartan pencil skirt as my very first purchase, finally shaking off the trauma of my school uniform containing a tartan kilt (Lyndsey, if anyone is interested). Something to add to my winter wardrobe, teamed with thick tights, chunky knits and my ever trusty brogues.
I was a little bit bigger when I got it and really I overestimated the size, it has always been a little on the larger size but at the time the size smaller would have been too snug (no stretch). They are beautifully made, two darts at the waist front and back, split at the back for movement. I’ve had a few pencil skirts in my time and I have a large bum and hips, splits seem to always split further than they should with strain, not so the VoH skirts, all seams perfectly intact even under extreme pressure.
For my second purchase/s I decided on a last minute Christmas Eve dash to the store. I am so glad I did! The staff are gorgeous and friendly, there if you need them, leaving you be if you prefer and always ready with a compliment or two!
I went in mostly intending to get a dress for Christmas day and in the end I opted for the Runaround Sue in strawberry print. Now this dress is rather clever. Nips in at the waist, has a slightly wider shoulder line to balance out the hips and the pleats which give the skirt a little volume are on the front, the back of the skirt has no pleating at all, very flattering on the larger bottom! I also like the longer length, I didn’t have to worry about it flying up revealing my knickers on a windy day but it still has a hint of cleavage for a bit of sexiness. I wear this dress to work a lot, for winter it’s been thick tights, chunky knitted cardigan and brogues Now the sun is making an appearance it will be bare legs, cute flats or wedges and a light cardigan.
While in store I thought I’d may as well try on the smaller sized pencil skirt to see if it fit and chose the gorgeous grey sparkly one. Well, one “witwoo” from an enthusiastic sales assistant and who was I to resist. This one was on the very snug side and though I’ve lost a little bit of my winter weight now, unfortunately the seam strain, all my own doing, is clear for all to see! That being said there are no ripped seams, which brings me back to the point about quality of construction. There is no stretch in either of these skirts, this one has been under extreme pressure, I expected there to be the possibility of some seam tears but there have been none. Very impressed.
Again, this skirt got me through winter, chunky tights, brogues and heavy knits. Now summer is here I can lighten it up and carry on wearing to the office.
Dave insisted in getting in on the modeling act......
Overall I recommend Vivien of Holloway to anyone and if you can, make the trip to the shop, it’s so worth it and there are lots of goodies you won’t find online too.