Tucked away in St Kevin's arcade on Karangahape road, the Rita Sue Boutique is a collection of vibrant and beautiful dresses and accessories. A mixture of pinup, vintage, and alternative pieces there are a beautiful selection of brands both international and New Zealand made.
I photographed three outfits showcasing pieces available at Rita Sue Clothing, and especially for those wanting something flattering there are styles for all body shapes. I went for a classic vintage evening look, a formal occasion outfit, and the perfect look for a summer's day!
Rita Sue Clothing | November Business Showcase
This first outfit was a definite classic. For girls out there with an hourglass shape, the fitted skirt aspect of this dress is perfect. For girls who have a bit more booty, go for a full skirt at the bottom, and for girls who are well endowed an off the shoulder strap feature is perfect for you! This Laura Byrnes Gilda Dress in Black Velvet wears really well, and the velvet is very flattering. Plus there is no worry about it creasing! I am just wearing a standard bra with this dress, and it's still super well fitting. I prefer not to have to worry about crazy undergarments, to me it defeats the purpose of finding the right outfit that suits me best. Don't be afraid to try different styles on when you're shopping for a certain look, some dresses especially can look flat on the hanger but absolutely transform when they're worn! And also, vice versa can be true. Don't set your heart on any outfit you haven't personally tried on unless you've worn and tried a similar style you know has worked for you in the past.
I styled this outfit around the black dress, so these heels from Novo shoes made a great match. My necklace is also my own, and is vintage as it belonged to my grandmother. It was a birthday gift from her husband on her 21st birthday! I decided on red and black as the main colours for this outfit, and immediately fell in love with the beautiful detailing of this Pop That Cassette hair piece. There are still a number of these pieces and similar ones available at Rita Sue, although this New Zealand brand is not operating at this time.
I went with a loose wave for my hair in this look, but you could easily style this very authentically pinup or vintage. This outfit is pretty multi-seasonal, in winter you could wear this piece with semi opaque stockings, and a mantle or coat. Rita Sue stocks a number of different coats and cardigans that would make a great match. Pearls would also make a lovely accessory choice in contrast with the velvet too.
This hair piece from Pop That Cassette, could be worn so many different ways. Traditionally it just holds back a section of hair on one side, but you could place it on top of a bun or with both sides of your hair pulled back behind. It is quite a statement piece so I like to have it visible from the front.
This next outfit is also originally a Pinup Girl Clothing dress, it's the Ava Swing dress in Dark Blue. There are a few of these left at Rita Sue, plus a gorgeous silver one that I was deciding between. I love this shade of blue as it's so flattering for so many different skin tones! (That and a similar shade of deep pink is the same too). It's great for girls with a bit of cleavage, and especially those of us like me with narrow shoulders. One thing I all to often struggle with is having dresses or tops fall off my shoulders after a few hours. I have since transitioned to cross over back bras, and that's been amazing. This dress fitted perfectly.
I chose not to wear a petticoat with this dress, as the Rita Sue boutique caters to the vintage fashion lovers, but also stocks all round beautiful clothing for any special occasion. This would be the perfect comfy but elegant dress for a night out, a special dinner or especially an important date!
My necklace is my own from Veronica B, also a New Zealand brand. Shoes are from Novo Shoes, and my ring is Karen Walker.
This bag is also available from Rita Sue Clothing, there are also a few colour ways. I love the graduating illustration design on it. Plus the two handles on top make it nice and simple, classic designs are something I often gravitate towards.
The taffeta fabric of the skirt was perfect for twirling and swishing. It's quite a sturdy fabric, making it a little warmer and good for in between weather. The way it crinkles reminds me a lot of a dupion silk, and I felt so regal wearing it!
Most of the dresses at the Rita Sue Boutique are fully lined and some are boned too, so that makes figuring out which undergarments to wear a lot easier. If I were to style this dress any differently, I would almost always choose a statement necklace, and heels. It's very much an all encompassing dress, with less accessories the better to show it off.
My last outfit features New Zealand brand, Mavis and Bob. You can shop this dress and the same style also available in yellow here. This brand is made here in New Zealand, and this dress is cotton and great on a very hot day at the beach! You can take a look at more of Mavis and Bob's dresses and designs on their Facebook page here. I'm wearing this dress with a petticoat from Rita Sue Clothing too, the less full version in white. The petticoats available at Rita Sue are also made by hand here in New Zealand too! By a very talented lady, and are of the highest quality.
I styled this look with my white heels from Overland, and a blue hair scarf also available from the Rita Sue Boutique. You could also accessorise this dress with a little white belt, or a lovely white cardigan in cooler weather.
The brooch I am wearing is from Erstwilder, and Rita Sue stocks an adorable range of these! See my video below for a little sample of more pieces available in store. The sunglasses are available in a number of different colours, including polka dot ones. Adorable!
A beautiful full skirt and a summery feel, this outfit is the perfect day dress. It would suit best ladies with a more petite bust, and those who are a bit taller as it is almost tea length. It could also easily be worn without a petticoat, and with a pair of cute sandals instead!
Watch more of these outfits in motion, with my fashion film showcasing Rita Sue clothing below:
Photographer. Creator. Dreamer ♥