What we wore to KBIS — hint: Pam’s gone Mad for ModCloth

retro dressesMy immediate question when Pam announced that we would travel to Las Vegas to attend KBIS for the launch of our new Retro Renovation® by Wilsonart® boomerang laminates: What should I wear? So when Pam gave me the go-ahead to get two new retro-style dresses and a pair of shoes for the two days of the show, I was super excited! Shopping with my boss’ dime for cute clothes that I get to wear and keep? I love my job! Of course Pam treated herself to some new threads too, and my oh my, we have been having some fun trying on these fabulous frocks to pick our favorites for the trip.

Today: Take a look at our options. Which do you think we should have chosen?

Disclosure: ModCloth and Amazon both have affiliate program — so the links to those listing are Affiliate links; that is: If you click through and end up buying anything within a certain number of days we get a spiff.

Kate’s KBIS choices:


When Pam told me to go shopping for dresses, I already knew just what style I wanted. Being a curvy, 5′-5.5″ 155 lb, 38-29-39, I wanted to make sure I chose dresses that had a retro feel without being costumey, overly cutesy or too pin-up girl. Because of my bust size, I need to find a dress that fits like a glove on top without having too low of a neckline, cinches at the waist and then flares out from there. Dresses that are too fitted all over have a tendency to make me look a little too va-va-voom for a professional setting. I also stayed away from busy patterns in favor of solid colors that wouldn’t add visual bulk. To get a little more height, I know I’d be wearing some low heels with the dresses. I already had one pair of black, retro-style shoes that would likely go with whatever I ended up buying (the Seychelles, which are very comfortable, low heels), so I set out to find one more pair of shoes — in red. The two dresses and one skirt and top that I decided to try were all a nice fit and flair style of dress that didn’t feel too voluptuous on my curvy frame.

I’m usually a huge fan of Modcloth, but for whatever reason I wasn’t finding what I needed there this time. Instead I hopped over to Unique-Vintage which offers the same type of retro style clothing but has a slightly different variety of styles.

1. Miz Mooz Carissa in Red — My goodness these shoes are a thing of beauty! I’m already a huge fan of red shoes — probably 70% of my shoes are red — and these red shoes are my new favorites. While they are heels, which I don’t typically wear, they are surprisingly comfortable to walk in. I’m thinking it has something to do with the high back on the shoes, which act as some ankle support and the fact that the front buckle has an elasticized attachment to the shoe, allowing for movement and flexibility while walking. Before heading to Las Vegas, I wore these shoes around my house for several days to assess their comfort.

2. Vintage Style Black Button up Cap Sleeve Blouse – Unique Vintage — Usually I stay away from form fitting button up tops, because it is difficult to get a good fit, but this black top — made by Banned Vintage Clothing — is well made and fits nearly perfectly. Based on the measurements, I ordered the large and found it to be a good fit. There is one tiny gap between buttons, but I can add a snap to ensure no weird gapping occurs. If I had sized up to the XL the rest of the shirt would have been much too large on me.

3. Hell Bunny 1950s Style Green High Waist Crepe Ellie May Swing Skirt – Unique Vintage — Usually I order dresses and skirts in size large, but the measurements for the Hell Bunny clothing suggested that it ran big, so I opted to order the medium in this skirt. The medium fit perfectly, with enough room in the waist to comfortably tuck in the blouse and still not feel too constricted. This teal colored skirt is very well made with a nice weight of fabric and looks good with or without a crinoline slip’s added fullness. Bonus, this skirt has pockets!

4. Hell Bunny 1950s Black Crepe Cap Sleeved Rosina Swing Dress in Black – Unique Vintage — When I first saw this dress, I instantly loved it. I was a bit worried about the faux buttons going down the center of the bodice, which can sometimes not be flattering on busty gals like myself, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Following the sizing guidelines, I ordered the medium and found it to fit perfectly. Surprisingly, the top of the dress is extremely flattering on my curves. The length of the dress is good, and it is very comfortable to wear, too! I liked the weight of the crepe and the dress itself is very well made. This is a new favorite!

5. Unique Vintage Red Polka Dot Happily Ever After Swing Dress — I liked the fit and flare shape of this dress, and the sweet heart neckline is usually flattering without being too revealing on me, so I decided to give it a try. Based on the measurements, I ordered the large and when it arrived I found it to fit quite well except it was a little too tight across the chest. I could zip it up without issues, but I felt that taking a deep breath was too restricted in this dress. The fabric was silky and lightweight and had a light sheen to it. I was not in love with the fabric, especially after trying on the heavier-weight, more quality-feeling Hell Bunny dress. All in all, the dress was cute, should I wear it?

6. Trip the Light Fantastic black heel – Seychelles Footwear — I have two pairs of this particular style of shoe — the black and a yellow pair — and have had them for several years now. As far as heels go, they are extremely comfortable. The stacked heel is low enough at about 2 inches to be comfortable, and the leather uppers have never given me even the slightest discomfort. They have a great retro feel to them, and I get compliments nearly every time I wear them. While they are technically summer sandals, I have worn the yellow ones in the fall and winter with black tights, which really makes them pop. It seems that Seychelles puts out a few new colors of this style every summer, so if you can’t find the color you are looking for, more may be available in the spring.

Pam’s KBIS choices:

retro dresses

Pam taking over for Kate here. I had never shopped at ModCloth before and now admit, I’ve become a bit obsessed.For this Las Vegas trip, I was aiming for a certain look in my mind’s eye: Vintage 50s, to match Kate and the laminates… not too costumey… I wanted to emote businessperson authority, but at the same time, retro-blogger friendliness.. and the dress needed to fit well, look good on me and be comfortable. We all have “body type” to deal with — I am 5’8, 150 lbs., 37-30-39, with broad shoulders and a long waist. Like I just said, I became a bit obsessed with ModCloth — I ordered six different dresses — one, in two sizes — to try and find “the winners.” (I will return the rejects.)

How did these dresses shape up – literally and figuratively, on me?

1. Just in Timeless Dress in Florets – ModCloth — Woah, this dress by Emily & Fin is nice. At $125, not cheap. But I thought it was really well made. Invisible back zipper, lined, pockets. After reading buyers’ comments, I ordered a Medium. But is the fit right, or not? Throwing more FedEx money at the problem because I started late and was running out of time, I ordered a Large. Would either one be a keeper?

2. Itinerary Execution Dress – ModCloth — Lovely dress also! I ordered a Large, and it fit well. Maybe a tad big on me, but I like comfortable. It’s not really “retro” but I liked it so much I kept it for other occasions. I got it on sale — 70% off — yay!

3. Vintage 1940s Dress – Retro Genies in Northampton, MA — To prepare for this event, I first scavenged my closet. I have a fair amount of vintage clothes, but many of them are too costumey or … just weren’t right for what I had in mind for Las Vegas. This lovely vintage dress, which I bought at Retro Genie’s in Northampton a few years ago, could fit the bill for Las Vegas, though. I also have a vintage black beaded cardigan to go with. I also took another trip to Retro Genie’s to scope for the Las Vegas trip. I bought two dresses — a Lanvin shirtdress and a Jaeger bat-wing 70s number. Both terrific, but neither 1950s… although the Lanvin, in an eye-popping 80s (I think) print, looked so great and was so comfortable I considered breaking “must match Kate and the laminates” filter.

4. Emily and Fin Star Studded Performance Dress in Dots — ModCloth — Cute dress, but in a Medium waaay too small on me and also, too short on me. It was immediately off the list and will go back.

5. Way of the Blithe Dress – Modcloth — Loved it. Bought it in a Large, fit great. Also got it on sale 70% off. Looked great with my hair color and with the brown shoes I also bought from ModCloth.

6. Stop Staring! Mighty Marvelous Dress – ModCloth — This one gives me lots of pause. It looks kinda stunning on me, everyone who saw me try it on kept using that word. But: Is it too va-va-voomy? Kate told me, “If you still got it, flaunt it.” This was the first dress that I purchased in my ModCloth Madness, and I kept it at the front of my mind while I assessed the incoming alternatives. I also gave up carbs for two weeks, went on the treadmill every day for an hour, and embarked on Shapewear Quest 2016. (I am not overweight, but I definitely am not in shape.) At every stage, this dress remained a strong contender given the Yowza factor. How much does Pam want to stand out (and need to remember to suck in her gut while wearing this number), that is the question.

7. Sacha London Vera Mary Jane Pump in Black Cow Suede – Amazon — Awesome shoes. They make you like 3″ taller, but because they are platforms, you’re really only on the equivalent of a 1- or 1.5″ heel. I bought these shoes locally a few years ago. They are very comfortable. You can also get them on Amazon. I love these shoes.

8. Vanity Fair Women’s Smoothing 22-inch Chemise with Lace — Via Shapewear Quest 2016, this was my key find. I wanted that length; most shapewear slips I found looked way too short, and I thought there was no question they would ride up. I got a Medium, and it seems to do the trick in creating a smooth line. Putting it on is like trying to pull a ginormous rubber band up around your body. Kinda fun. Once on, it’s comfortable, though, although you can’t walk too fast and plan more time for pit stops.

9. Hell Bunny Dean’s List Diva Dress in Cardinal Plaid – ModCloth — Nice dress. Fabric is wonderful, stretchy but substantial with a bit of stretch. Dreamy fabric, actually. A contender, when paired with my vintage black beaded cardigan and the statement Sacha London platforms.

10. I See Strut You Mean Heel Brown – ModCloth — Platforms in the same vein as the Sacha London. Made out of pleather so read a bit cheap, but I like the whole platform heel set up and needed retro brown shoes, so I planned on keeping them if I needed them.

So…. which outfits do you think Pam and Kate should wear to KBIS?
We are BEAT.
Flying home Thursday. We are taking Friday off.
We’ll be back next week —
and will have a followup story all about
our Big Las Vegas Laminate Wilsonart Adventure —
including photos of what we actually chose to wear!!

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  1. Cheryl says:

    These are some nice choices, being repro dresses they are going to come in your sizes , and won`t rip when dancing. I love Miz Mooz shoes, there comfortable as well as stylin`. Stop Starring wiggle dress with a spanx is what I have worn. Super sexy !
    So # 6 for Pam. I see Kate in # 2

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