A while ago I was contacted by a company called Elisabeth Mary Smith and asked if I’d like one of their custom made vintage inspired dresses.
When ordering mine I had several email conversations with the company, who are based in Switzerland. I requested a few alterations from the standard sizes and lengths, taking in the waist further and lengthening the skirt as I felt their standard skirt lengths were far too short for me. I chose a cotton “Belinda” in a fabric called Las Senoritas, and also requested my upper arm measurement be taken into consideration as I have large upper arms!
The ordering process is fairly simple, though the dresses aren’t really what I would call bespoke as ordered. You pick your preferred dress style, then your size from a size chart, pick your skirt length from a selection offered, and then choose your fabric. The dresses are also referred to as retro or vintage several times, but in reality even the longest skirt length offered as standard is far too short on an average height woman to have a real 40s or 50s look. It’s worth contacting them though, because they were perfectly happy to make multiple alterations for me and provide a longer skirt length of 60cm, in fact they said they could have made it even longer if needed as this dress hits *just* on the knee and I’m 5’4″.
The dress took a few weeks to arrive, as it’s custom made and coming from Switzerland. It arrived beautifully wrapped in brown paper, and with a packet of flower seeds attached as a label, which I thought was a nice touch.
When I tried it on, the waist, which I had asked to be altered, fit perfectly, and the full skirt was fine. The bust, which I had ordered according to the website size chart, was miles too big though. I have a bust measurement of about 37″, so I ordered the size 16, which shows as 38″ instead of the 14, which shows as 36″. Next time I’d go down a size definitely! I feel that it’s more than an inch too big. It’s fine standing up, and with a push up bra, but when sitting I really need to watch leaning forward! I plan to get it altered as it really is a lovely dress otherwise!
Overall the quality of the dresses is excellent with a really good choice of fabrics and styles, just keep an eye on those sizes and go down instead of up, and watch those skirt lengths as the standard ones are quite short!