Sparkly gold plastic sunglasses: Canadian Tire (bought the very same day these snaps were taken - perfect timing or what!!!)
1950s aqua nylon (chiffon) scarf: Gift from a dear online friend ♥
Pink sparkly bow earrings: Payless
Grey top with grey lace collar: Grace
Wide pink belt: Clothing store in Scarborough, Ontario that shut down years ago
1950s Middle Eastern scene novelty print skirt: Gift from a dear online friend ♥
White lace trimmed crinoline: Pettiskirt Style
Vintage bangle bracelets: Assorted sources
Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue black patent purse: etsy seller MK Retro
Black eyelet slingback sandal flats: Payless
Lip colour: Clinique Raspberry Glace
Photography by Tony Cangiano
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What is Grace? How do you personally define it? If we turn to Webster's, we find that even there it has quite a multitude of meanings and possible uses in the context of applying it to a human trait and that each one fits the bill and yet feels like it still needs more. I think that grace is a certain sense of ingrained strength and composure. It is loveliness in the face of adversity and a gentle spirit when the world is mean and ugly. Grace is patient and sweet, loving and emblematic of many women over the centuries who we continue to look up to this very day.
Often the notion of grace goes hand-in-hand with a gentle demure and a quiet strength, as well as being something that a great many of us aspire to, and a percentage already embody. Grace can be amassed or lost, but never forgotten and it is an important characteristic which I personally feel the world would benefit from significantly if more people, women and men alike, strove to embody it to a greater degree.
In addition to being one of the loveliest traits a person can posses, Grace is also the name of an absolutely charming clothing brand from the UK that specializes in women's tops, camisoles, skirts and dresses in sizes ranging from 6 to 24, as well as scarves and collars. Earlier this year I was contacted by a representative from Grace and asked if I'd like to receive and review one of their beautiful offerings.
After educating myself more on the brand, I was happy to say yes and shortly thereafter, I received the strikingly lovely grey PP Jersey & Lace Shirt, which retails for £79.00. I sincerely appreciate this review gift from Grace and am delighted to share more about it all of you here today.
It is made of some of the softest, most skin friendly fabric (I have very sensitive and highly reactive skin, and therefore there's no such thing as too soft a fabric for me), which is a blend of ultra gentle organic cotton and bamboo. As well as being the gentlest feeling fabric I've ever slipped into, this long sleeved shirt has the versatility of being worn as either a top or a cardigan, thanks to the fact that it buttons all the way up the front.
This is a quality top through and through. The lace is detailed and very good quality, the garment forms well to the body, and it has the ability to be dressed up or down to your heart's content. I own relatively few blouses with none-pointy collars, so this top was also a very welcome breath of fresh air in my wardrobe. On the recent day when these photos were taken at Manitou Beach in Naramata, I opted to dress the top up a fair bit, thanks to this awesome 1950s Middle Eastern novelty print skirt (a gift from one of my dearest friends in the world), but you could just as easily partner it with jeans, shorts, overalls, or on the even more formal side of things, under a suit jacket or blazer.
I've also worn (but not yet photographed) it with my 1950s navy blue pencil skirt and that combination - to borrow, fittingly, an expression from the fine folks in the UK - works a treat in creating a very, very office/professional looking ensemble, especially when you add in stockings, pumps, and a classic, ladylike handbag.
It was at least 30 degrees out when we took these photos, but even though this Grace top has long sleeves, I wasn't swelteringly warm in it all. In addition to its fabulous qualities mentioned above, it is also gorgeously breathable and light as a feather. I would have no qualms packing this top with me if I was headed to the Sahara Desert. The fabric is supple and relatively thin, but not in a negative way at all. It's thin and sturdy at the same time, which is becoming an increasingly rare combination to find in clothing these days.
In addition, though Grace Clothing is not a dedicated vintage reproduction brand, this top, as well as some of their other offerings, has an alluringly lovely vintage appropriate look to it that would make it at home in any mid-century fashion fan's closet. When I wear it with a pencil skirt, it takes on more of a 1940s feel, whereas hear with my Aladdin worthy vintage circle skirt, it's fifties through and through. I suspect it could easily be styled in 1930s and 60s directions as well, in addition to obviously working wonderfully with more contemporary styles, too.
Grace's products are made with organic and fair trade fabrics, attention to detail, ethical manifesting processes, and an awareness of their impact on the environment. The company believes that "one happy day design integrity will become mainstream", a statement which, on top of hoping really does return to being true once more, seems to embody the word "grace" itself rather fittingly.
At £79.00, this top, especially for those like myself who do not live in the UK, is a bit of an investment piece for sure, I readily acknowledge that, but I can say with 100% sincerely that I feel its more than worth it. I've never worn a softer or more comfortable button front cotton shirt before and sense that this garment will last me for many, many years to come. I sincerely hope so, as it's a cinch to style up or down, timelessly pretty, and truly does have a certain unmistakable air of grace to it that suits the nature of my wardrobe to a tee.