I have a tendency to feature dresses here on the blog as soon as I acquire them... but occasionally, there's one that slips through the cracks. This beautiful Hell Bunny dress has been sitting in my closet for about a year now – not because I don't love it, but because it feels too fancy to wear for a lot of occasions. I still haven't found the proper event to really show it off, but I decided that I don't need the "right time" to appreciate my clothes, and promptly put it on during a particularly hot day for a few minutes. Hell Bunny finally launched an online store on their own website (so now you can order directly through them!). Although this dress isn't currently available, they have tons of other cute things – and you can get 10% off your order when you head over to their site!
I'm especially obsessed with the back drape detail – it's just so pretty and romantic. I think this dress would be perfect for a summer wedding (if only I had one to attend!). I actually owned another style of dress in this same fabric, but I found this style to be more flattering on me. This chiffon fabric is quite delicate, and this style seems to be a bit more resilient than the other I tried as well (which started to tear after one wear, unfortunately). This one fared much better, and I hope I can wear it for a longer period next time! Because of all of the lovely detailing on this dress, I opted for simple styling; I'd usually feature more pieces in a blog post, but I don't think it needs a whole lot more than this (maybe a cute clutch and a bracelet, at most)!
I'm eager for the weekend to arrive (it's official: I'm living for the weekends now), since it'll mean I'll finally be at my new place full-time (with internet, yay!), and I'll have a little free time for blogging. I have a feeling it's still going to be a while before I totally adjust to this new life I'm making for myself, which is okay – I just need to remember to be a little more patient than I usually am. I'm trying to handle everything with grace, but it's not always easy. I think the important part is that I'm trying, and I'm doing something kind of scary, and I hope other people are willing to be a little more patient with me, too.
I'm all about the patterned skirts lately! I'd been wanting this adorable skirt by Heart of Haute since Christmas, and I'm glad I was finally able to get my hands on it (thanks to a recent sale at Doll Me Up). Although I love a full skirt, I have to admit that I get more wear out of more casual, versatile pieces like this one. It's definitely a piece I can wear during 3 out of 4 seasons, and although I went with basic white for this time around, because of all the different colors in this harlequin print, I can mix and match with ease.
I'm mostly moved in to my new place, but there's still so much to do and not very much time to do it. I'm exhausted most days after work; even though it's not physical at all, I find it very draining. It's proving to be a big adjustment. I don't know why I didn't try to ease into all this change a bit more, rather than having everything happen at once... but sometimes life just happens that way. I'm simply trying to rise to the challenge (and keep my head above water). My backlog of photos is dwindling, so my next task is fitting in my blogging with my new schedule – which admittedly will probably be more fun than some of the other things I've had to check off my list lately.
Heart of Haute Getaway Skirt in Harlequin: Doll Me Up
We're in the full swing of summer, so I finally got the chance to try out these two swimsuits from Red Dolly Swimwear! The sweet folks at Red Dolly were kind enough to send me the Bella (a high-waisted two-piece black suit with white polka dots) and their Mint & Fruit print one-piece suit (which has the cutest little citrus segment print). Both suits feature lovely prints, a halter tie top and a gathered center bust (which is lined with an elastic band underneath).
Neither suit provided much support, but the citrus print one-piece came with padded bust cups, which I really appreciated; unfortunately, the two-piece didn't come with them, but you can add them to any suit for a small fee – and I'd definitely recommend that you have them added if you're well-endowed like I am. I chose to wear an XL in both suits, as I hate when swimsuits are too tight and expose too much, but I think I might've been better off in the size large, as they felt a bit roomy. However, these suits served me well for my beach day (well, faux-beach day, since I was on Lake Ontario, not the ocean) and a relaxing afternoon by the pool. Red Dolly has a ton of darling designs to choose from (and they make matching suits for both babies and little girls!). I'm actually dying to try out one of their cute swim skirts, and they have a couple of pastel suits I love! If you're eyeing one of these cute suits, you're in luck: you can take 20% off their order at Red Dolly Swimwear when you enter the code SAMMI at checkout!
So here's the thing: swimsuits can be very scary little creatures if you allow them to be (and admittedly, I often do). As a woman in our society, we're constantly bombarded with manipulated images of seemingly perfect models in skimpy swimwear, and it's difficult (at least for me) to not get down on yourself for not looking a certain way when you bare almost-all in a bathing suit. It's stupid. It's unnecessary. It's harmful. I believe 100% in body positivity and loving myself at any size... in theory. In practice, it's not always so easy. I've struggled with my weight and body image for most of my life, and it can be a real challenge to not critique things about my figure – especially when swimsuits are enter the picture. I don't like to equate what I weigh with how beautiful I feel, but if I'm being honest, the two do tend to have some sort of correlation – not because I don't believe that I'm attractive when I'm heavier, but because I personally don't feel healthy and happy at a larger size, and I'm sure that shows through.
I've made a lot of positive changes in the last few weeks, including losing 10+ pounds on Weight Watchers thus far – though please be assured that I'm more concerned with feeling like the best version of myself than the number on the scale. I'm on a bit of a journey. Part of that journey is embracing and celebrating how I look in the here and now, which can prove to be difficult when you're so focused on a particular result. Sometimes you just want to skip to the end, to the "after" photo. But that ideology sucks and I want to be cognizant of loving myself unconditionally. That being said... I wasn't thrilled with how I looked in some of the photos from these sets. Instead of appreciating the cute suits from Red Dolly, I would end up fixating on my body's supposed imperfections. Of course, as a blogger, I have the task of editing dozens of photos of myself, and that gives me the unique opportunity to pick apart every little roll and bit of cellulite I see. That's hard, and it's even harder to break that habit. The idea of exposing parts of yourself often kept private to potentially the whole of the internet is... daunting (especially when you don't have much control over where they might end up or how people might judge you). But you know what? I felt really cute in these pieces. They're really fun. I like how I look in the photos I chose to show here (even with my hair up, which I normally hate!). I don't look perfect or like a model, but that's anything I've ever really wanted. I just look like myself – "flaws" and all – and that's a pretty beautiful thing.
The harlequin prints from Pinup Girl Clothing continue to grow on me. I got this purple and green colorway on a Facebook swap and sell group (the dress version supposed to be coming back later this year), and while I'm glad I own it, it's very clear to me that it was put in the washing machine (and maybe even dried). I got it for a good price, but even so, it's annoying when people don't disclose the state of their garments when selling them. And as a general PSA: don't throw expensive items like these in the wash! I always dry clean my PUG dresses, and even for the stuff I do wash myself (like the peasant and vamp tops), I always wash on cold and always line-dry. You can't really tell from these photos, but this skirt has pilling and has faded a bit, and I also bought another vamp top that definitely went through the dryer. I know dry cleaning is expensive, but I'd much rather pay a little more to keep an expensive piece in great condition than even risk the chance of ruining it completely. Just a little laundering tip to start off your Monday morning. :)
I moved most of my stuff into my new apartment this weekend, but it's a bit of a process. I won't have electricity until Tuesday (and probably won't have internet 'til next week), so it gives me a bit of time to space things out, which makes it a bit less stressful. It's gonna be beautiful when it's all done, and I can't wait to show you guys! My first week of work went pretty well, and I'm hoping this week will have me feeling less overwhelmed with all there is to learn. I'm also hoping my backlog of blog photos will last for a little while until I get settled!
Happy Friday! This week has been super busy – not only was it my first week at my first job, but I'm moving into my new apartment tomorrow – so I'm actually surprised I was able to find time to put together this post. Of course, I still have a ton of packing to do (oops)! I'm starting off this week's Friday Favorites post with some adorable skirts from Unique Vintage!
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may receive a small commission, which helps to run my blog. I promote only items and brands I absolutely love. Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette!
Unique novelty prints tend to be among my most sought-after "unicorns." Although there are quite a few true vintage pieces that fall under this category, there are a few retro reproduction items that I'm always on the lookout for – and this Bernie Dexter dress was, until recently, one of them. This print of Japanese geishas is so lovely and different; although I know prints like this have been known to cause a bit of controversy in the past, I think this one is a beautiful representation of these talented ladies. With everything that's going on in the world right now, cultural appropriation – especially in popular fashion – is of keen interest to me. I recently watched The First Monday in May (which is an excellent film, if you haven't seen it), and I think it poses a lot of really great questions about Western fashion being influenced by Eastern culture.
In other news, my first week at work has been a bit of an adjustment thus far, but it's going pretty well. There's definitely a lot to learn! I'm trying to maintain an open mind and a positive attitude. I'll be moving into my new apartment on Saturday(!), though my electricity won't be on until next week, so I probably won't be there full-time until sometime after that. I'm definitely going to do an apartment series here on the blog, and I can't wait to show you pictures! There's a lot to do before move-in weekend, so this might be my last post until Monday. You can always follow me along on Instagram to see what I'm up to! PLUS... I've added some new items to my Shop My Closet store! Be sure to check that out here. :)