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Once upon a time, reader, your author did not wear anything but pants.
Awkward and out of place in an Anthropologie or Zara, there were no dresses that fit my style, or, to be totally honest, my body size and shape. I found solace on Instagram, where bloggers celebrated their personal brands — curvy and retro — and I found my style community.
In place of bandage skirts and boho-chic ankle-skimming skirts, there were waist-nipping swing dresses, circle skirts, and T-strap heels galore. I obsessively started following and tracking these bloggers until I found where they shopped. There were a few standouts: Modcloth, of course, Collectif, Emily and Fin, but Unique Vintage came up again and again. And so, I shopped.
Unique Vintage has had a brick and mortar in Burbank, CA for a number of years, but its website, which features sizes up to 20, is the real gem here. A variety of patterns and shapes are available in recreations of vintage cuts that flatter curvy bodies, or anyone who loves a classic look (‘20s to ‘60s) but doesn’t have the money or time to scout actual vintage. I visited the adorable shop last month, and it’s great, but as is often the case, it doesn’t have nearly as expansive a selection as the site.
I did not expect to shop today, I swear it. But when the email came in, I had to click: “$25 dress shop.” The sale features a few of the brand’s most classic and popular shapes in a few different colors and patterns, and they are the kind of vintage looks you can pull off without looking cartoony, if you don’t have time for a victory roll in the morning and just want something that goes with a ponytail.
Best of all? It offers simple returns and great online sales help (including very easy transactions and chatty social media accounts). This is mostly a love letter to my favorite dresses, and I am both proud and a little dismayed to pass on my biggest closet secret. But with holiday parties around the corner, everyone deserves a dress that makes them want to wear nothing but.