Close to two years ago I did a Gaga for Bernie Dexter. Since then I've kept adding to my collection and I basically consider myself a "collector" of her dresses at this point, I thought it was time to talk about the brand again! I had a handful of different styles in the last Gaga for Bernie, but I've added styles that I didn't have previously so I thought it would be a good time to update a Gaga for Bernie Dexter on this blog. Though I find her sizing pretty consistent, every different style has a different give and take. All online shoppers want intel on how something fits, so I'm breaking down another handful of the styles she has...with more to come over the next few months! (Seriously...I'm not going to admit to how many dresses I have from Bernie Dexter!!)
This is one of my favorite fits in that it's fitted without being too tight-an occasional tall order in vintage reproduction land! (I'm an XS for measure). Though I don't own too many 40s styled dresses, I seriously love them a ton. This one fits perfectly and exactly as it should fit. And though it clearly has a 40s and vintage flare, there's just something so classic and timeless about a Parisian print! This is a more rare style of hers though, and I don't believe she currently has any new dresses in the April style. So if she brings them back or you find an older one one eBay, I'd say whatever your usual size is will likely do.
On the last Gaga for Bernie post, I cited Paris dress as the tightest. I stand corrected! Actually, the Paris dress is now officially my third tightest, as this Kay dress is my second tightest! (I'll cover the craziest tight fit in the next Gaga for Bernie...I'm looking at YOU, Lulu dress!) But seriously, I thought the Kay dress would run big as it somewhat looks like the Chelsea dress (a style that runs large) in photos. Nope! I found this on eBay right after it sold out (lucky!) and when I tried it on I was somewhat stunned. It's wearable, but I wish it wasn't such a tight zip! This and the Lulu dress is a dress I would personally size up to a small, upon buying another in this style.
Other things worth noting are that this dress falls above the knees, which I like. I love the tea length dresses like no other, but that said when I try on a Bernie dress and it hits above my knee caps, I get kind of happy. I don't know why; she just does that length right or something. Also, this is one of the few Bernie dresses with boning in the bodice.
This all said, the above print (Savannah) is the only Kay dress that I'm aware of. I don't believe I've stumbled upon old archive photos of dresses that were before my time in the Kay style nor have I seen any new ones. This may be an exclusive one time style? If so, I can't blame her because this print is to die for and is even more stunning in person!
With the skirts I went with a size small and I'm glad I did. I tend to size up with skirts, as my waist is typically about 25-26 inches and most vintage reproduction skirts (though not all) list that as smalls, whereas 24 inches are cited for the XS. Bernie stays true to this typical size chart. I can wear XS dresses that are 24 inch waists because the fabric doesn't stop at the waist, and for whatever reason that makes it comfortable for me (plus my bust is small and rib cage is super slender so I cut the difference so I'm not swimming up top in smalls). With this history of reasoning, I'm glad I went with the small...especially since I find them to be slightly tight! Not enough to size up, but it's not super forgiving so perhaps be mindful of that when buying her skirts!
As you all know by now, I'm a skirt queen. But ironically I only own two Bernie skirts, despite that she makes a fair amount of them. I love the above cottage skirt and the below spring print (via Unique Vintage), but candidly I do prefer her dresses. I can't pinpoint why, but that is the truth!
I held out on this style for forever. I couldn't put my finger on how I felt about this style. I think I owned similar dresses as a kid and I didn't want to feel juvenile. Finally I just fell too in love with the with some of the prints and bit the bullet...and fell in love. These are actually the dresses I go for when I'm working in yoga pants, have to run to the store really fast and throw something decent on without putting too much effort in. AND if you dress them up they're quite princessy! Effortlessly chic while converting into something fancy with effort? Win/win. Sizing wise...I feel they run a little big. Not enough to complain, but I definitely somewhat swim where the shoulders and bust are concerned. But if you feel like you're between sizes in other Bernie styles, this may be one worth sizing down somewhat in. (The waist also feels ever so slightly looser).
As far as "pinup wear" goes, they're definitely more comfortable. And, as I alluded before, you're not locked into a certain look every time you wear a Victoria dress. I would actually somewhat consider these dresses closer to "classic" fashion...which as you know pulls at my heart strings more than straight up retro looks.
I don't want to do a The Good/The Bad/The Ugly part of the Gaga for review as I've already done that with Bernie Dexter a year ago. That said, I have an update: she no longer is distributed at ModCloth. They decided to part ways a year ago, so if you click back at my old link and read about scoring Bernie dresses on ModCloth remember that is no longer possible. That said, Unique Vintage still carries Bernie and they've had some major sales that involve her dresses. That said...they sell out QUICK, so get on their email list and follow them on Instagram so you can sale when they're having site wide or sale on sale sites immediately so you don't miss out! They recently said that they were the only online distributor for Bernie Dexter clothing recently, though that rendered me confused as Doll Me Up Darling does carry Bernie still and even added a new design or two of hers in the past few weeks. I could have sworn there was another site too, but for the life of me I can't remember. And of course, there's her site itself, which can be found HERE!