I haven’t seen a garment from this label in quite some time, so was thrilled to find one! The Kelly Arden brand was at the higher end of mid-priced dresses and might have been exclusively Junior sizes, as this one is. The nice tailoring details that we expect in a well-made garment (and hardly ever see in modern clothing) are on display here – wide hem allowance, well-finished seams, extra belt-loops to keep belts in their proper place, hooks & eyes at the neckline, full lining, fabric-covered button trim.
Someone took very good care of this dress and the only issue now is that the original belt has been lost. So common and frustrating and it likely happened after the dress was donated. The type may have been either a buckle belt or a sash tie. At least in this case, we can see the color of the original belt, which makes it easier to make a replacement. The style of the dress would also look very nice with no belt (after removing the belt-loops, of course) so there are options. I’m so grateful to women from the mid-century for looking after their clothing and accessories so well.
Although the design is very classic (and, therefore, flattering to many women), I especially like the cutaway neckline that gives almost a halter-style look and really accentuates the shoulders. The stand collar is an iconic element on 1960’s dresses. These style features distinguish the dress from other more plainly cut sheath designs.
I thought that it would be about a size too small for me through the body (a Junior size 9, which is what I wore in high school) but found that it fit very well in that regard. However, the dress seems to be cut for someone with a shorter figure than mine (that makes sense for a Junior garment). Also, the cut seems to be high-waisted with the belt falling just below the bust-line in an Empire style.
That’s not really my favorite, so I think I’ll pass this one on. I’ve had my fun and it will be super-cute on someone a little shorter. Wonder what’s coming next? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY