The Gatsby Gown

I thought it was just a Halloween costume, but even so, I wanted it to be the best looking Halloween costume I’d ever pulled off. With the asymmetrical pixie cut and fall lipstick, hair and makeup was taken care of, but the gown itself posed an issue.  I’m 5 feet tall, 29 inch waist, hips and rear end are voluptuous enough to make short dresses difficult to purchase online. Too long and it can look awkward in the back- too short, and there’s no way on earth I’d be able to bend over, and while I wanted to look cute, relative comfort was also a priority.

Finances were also high on my list- especially because I just wanted it for fun, I didn’t want to overspend on it. That knocked out my favorite brand for flapper-esque dresses (Frock and Frill). Their dresses are high quality and gorgeous, but ship from the United Kingdom and break the bank of a grad student like me. Between time constraints and financial limits, I turned to the easy option- Amazon. I was hesitant at first, nervous about the internet dress horror stories I had heard, but settled on only going for Prime dresses- with Amazon student, I could return it for free, if it was really awful.

With venue and style settled, I spent hours combing through all the variations of “flapper dress”, “Gatsby dress” and “1920’s dress” keywords possible. Despite all the variations, I kept coming back to this beauty. I’ve linked it here for you. At $43, with free returns, this is so worth it. The price is similar to what you might pay for a shoddy Party City outfit. I paired it with these shoes, and this headband to finish the look. The shoes were surprisingly comfortable- while they’re not super sturdy, I was able to walk a few blocks around midtown Atlanta before they starting hurting. The headband quality was really really nice- they were a bit pricey for me, but ended up being worth the money, since it brought everything together.

My favorite part of the dress was that I didn’t have to hem it. At 5 feet tall, this is a miracle in and of itself- usually I’m cutting and sewing the day before my events, trying to make it work, but at the same time, that’s my warning to any taller girls who might want to try the gown- it runs short! The sizing chart was accurate- one has to remember to check since a lot of dresses from China run differently than US sizing. The sequins did start shedding a little, but nothing terribly crazy.

As I originally said, I wanted this dress for a Halloween party, and it worked rather nicely with my friend going as Gatsby, but the event that this turned heads was when I wore this shortly after Halloween to the Fox theatre to see Cabaret (the musical). With the same shoes and headband, my one nerdy touch was a Marauder’s map scarf- a gift from a friend that happened to match while covering my shoulders. I hadn’t expected to get so many compliments, but everyone from the staff to fellow patrons were stopping to compliment the ensemble. I think the one moment that brought it all together was when one of the employees stopped in his tracks when he saw me and simply said “Ma’am, you’re stunning!”.  I haven’t seen him again, but the awe in his voice had lifted me beyond the atmosphere and prosecco.

I felt beautiful and admired, and it did wonderful things for my self confidence. I loved dressing up- this was just a cherry on top. The ugly duckling had finally turned into a swan, and that really started this whole projects. An evening gown per month and reviews for the ladies that loved them, with the benefit of these wonderful experiences and stories that I can tell you, my readers. Until next time, much love, and dreams of lovely outfits!

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