I was so incredibly excited when Pinup Girl Clothing first started producing gowns a year or two ago. I’ve got both the Leopard and Red Gilda Gown and when the luxurious Beatrix was previewed, I knew I would want to add it to my collection.
Now, I’ll admit, there’s not a heck of a lot of opportunities to wear a full length gown, especially in a chronically casual country like New Zealand, but somehow, I have 5 or 6 in total! I just love the elegance that a gown provides, the way it makes me feel just that much more glamorous and like I really could be stepping out of a time machine.
I actually bought the Emerald Green Velvet Beatrix Gown to wear for my birthday a few weeks ago. I told myself that despite it being the middle of summer, I would still be ok wearing this full-length, long-sleeved, heavy velvet beauty… Unfortunately the week of my birthday was particularly hot and humid and I had to opt for my go-to favourite Monica Dress.
I was a little concerned about which size to get in this dress- For PUG swing styles I’m a size small but for wiggles I’m a medium if they have stretch or a large if they are non-stretch.
In the Gilda Gown (read my review here) I went with a medium and found it to run a little smaller than usual as it fitted really well through the bust and waist (normally I would find these areas to be a little loose since I’ve had to size up).
However, for the Beatrix, the hip measurements listed on the size chart were 2-3 inches smaller than that of the Gilda. This made me concerned that I would need to size up to a large which would likely be far to big in the bust and waist and mean costly alterations. For reference, I am 36″ in the bust, 27″ in the waist and 44″ across the widest part which happens to be upper thighs not hips.
Thankfully, someone from Team PUG is always quick to respond to questions on their Facebook page so after asking about weather I needed to indeed size up, I was assured that I should still go with the medium like the Gilda.
It was definitely the right choice! It’s not as tight feeling as the Gilda but I know that it would be just too stretched if I were to try a small. The bust does feel like it’s a little on the roomy side but the waist isn’t too obviously big. I bought this faux leather silver belt from PUG as well to help break up all the velvet.
One tip for when you are putting it on, is that you almost need to scoop your bust up over the gathered seam, like you scoop your breasts into a bra. The first time I put it on, the bust area just didn’t seem to be sitting right but I realised that the horizontal seam wasn’t quite at the right point and so I wasn’t filling the top out enough. Once I’d re-adjusted, it all looked much better.
I’m not afraid to customise a dress if I think something will work better for me and before Beatrix arrived, I had been thinking that I would potentially have the sleeves shortened to just below the elbow, to more 3/4 length. But upon putting Beatrix on, I loved how opulent the full sleeves felt and when I rolled the sleeves up to get a idea of how it would look shorter, it just reminded me of the Monica Dress… and I already have enough of those!
Now if there’s one thing I can appreciate in a dress, it’s the ability to be able to get it on over my hips and therefore avoid ruining my hair! The Gilda was a struggle even to get it on over my head, let alone pulling it up over my hips. Thankfully, the Beatrix comes up easily with a little shimmying and wiggling and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!
Laura Byrnes seriously is a dress design Queen. A dress like this could quite easily have looked a little ‘plain’ (not that I would ever expect that from Team PUG) but the subtle details of the gathering at the bust seam, the beautiful but still practical train and the scoop at the back make this dress complete.
I would like to thank Tony McKay Photography for the gorgeous photos, I especially love the dark, moody ones with the chandelier and the chair!