It’s wasn’t easy to maintain my sense of style as a pregnant, vintage loving lady.   The reproduction brands I love just don’t carry maternity ranges and true vintage maternity clothes are like gold dust.   I managed a few outfits – waistlines that sat above my bump and accessories for days – but largely I gave up.  I gave in to my ever expanding tummy and accepted that until my baby was born, I wouldn’t be expressing myself through my clothes!

I was excited to revisit my wardrobe after Dottie arrived.  I knew that some outfits would no longer be practical, the majority of my shoes would still be gathering dust for another year or so and a lot of things may be very a little snug, but I hadn’t quite considered the added complication of breastfeeding.

the seamstress of bloomsbury loretta dress vintage stairs rachel palmer

You see, I like dresses.  Dresses are my go to outfit.  But dresses are not particularly practical for a nursing mother.  Especially one that doesn’t want to have to leave their tea and cake (maternity-leave staple diet) and dash off to a changing room to strip off when their baby’s hungry, because their clothes are 100% impractical <—actual thing that happened to me.

So for most of this year, I’ve been part of the jeans and t-shirt tribe.  I don’t mind it, but sometimes I want to wear something pretty and delicate.   2016 has seen us attend a lot of christenings and weddings and nobody wants to wear their baby group clothes to them.  I want to pin curl my hair, paint my nails and wear a pretty dress.   But I still want to feed Dorothy.  The solution – a 1940s style wrap dress.

the seamstress of bloomsbury loretta dress rachel palmer vintage stairs windy

No I’m generally thought of as a 50s lover but I think that’s only because I’ve always assumed that the style of the 50s suits me best.  I have a smallish waist but what my Grandma would call birthing hips 😉 so I feel comfortable under circle skirts and A-Lines.  The less forgiving styles of the 40s had never really caught my eye, until I discovered The Seamstress of Bloomsbury and specifically, the Loretta dress.

Made from 1940s rayon, it’s as close to the real thing as I’m likely to get in a size that fits.  Although speaking of sizes, I feel I probably could have sized down with this style.   I’m wearing a 12-14 at the moment.  This dress is a 14 and probably a little large, so bear that in mind if you’re ordering.  It’s a true wrap dress, meaning you can loosen the waist just enough to allow access for feeding babies (or large lunches)and tighten it enough to create a beautiful silhouette.   In blustery weather, I’d recommend wearing the Loretta with a small slip underneath, just to save your modesty in a big gust….like the ones I was contending with during this shoot!!

seamstress of bloomsbury loretta dress rachel palmer vintage stairs

The cut of this dress is so flattering, the sleeves finish at the most delicate part of the arm and with the hem falling just below the knee, it lengthens and slims the calves.  While wrap dresses tend to have a deep neckline, you don’t feel exposed in the Loretta dress, because TSOB don’t scrimp on the fabric.  In true 1940s style, there’s just the right amount of décolletage on show, whatever the occasion.

While the Loretta dress also comes in a cute navy blue dog print, I chose the Mayflower pattern because I love the rich colours in the flowers.  They look really striking against the black background and with my palest of pale winter skin.

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury is a new brand to me but I already have a long wish list of styles and can’t wait to see what they have on offer next season.

Would you have gone for the navy dog print or the mayflower?

Love Rachel

x

*I was gifted the Loretta dress for the purposes of a review but all opinions are honest and my own*