Designer Spotlight Saturday:
A Guide for Buying Bernie Dexter!

Monday, March 10, 2014

This is the first post we're actually getting to sit down,

in the same room and write together!  

Junebugs and Georgia Peaches is going to try new segment, Designer Spotlight Saturday!  Every Saturday, we're going to pick a brand we love and share a little bit about it and basically provide a buyers guide for those looking to purchase an item made by that designer for the first time... or even to provide a forum for discussing things like "Have you noticed (insert brand here) runs large?" "This says dry clean only... do you ACTUALLY dry clean it?" "Can you wear a petticoat under that?" Things like that!

June's Bernie Dexter Dress Collection, Dress from left to right (style not print):
Victoria, Chelsea, Chelsea, Beatrice, Swan, Beatrice, Chelsea, Rose, Rose, Beatrice
We get a lot of questions on Instagram about our Bernie Dexter dresses, so we thought Mrs. Dexter would be the perfect designer to start with!




The Quality

The quality of all Bernie dresses, regardless of which style you choose, is consistent.  For the cost, I would expect these dresses to be lined, BUT, that doesn't mean these lovely dresses lack good qualities. (I'll be the first to admit that I was slightly disappointed with the quality of my first Bernie, but the fit + pattern made up for it! I think I just wasn't use to spending that amount of money on one item - June ) You can expect durable fabric, every dress (excluding the Chelsea dress, which has an attached sash) comes with a correlating belt, which are actually pretty nice belts with grommets at every hole to prevent hole stretches/tears.  Saving the best for last, all Bernie dresses have in-seam lipstick pockets (Who doesn't love a dress with pockets?!  This totally makes the dresses for me. -Amelia) , don't worry, they'll also fit an iPhone ; )! 


The Fit


This is the size chart provided on Bernie's website. A lot of reviews we've read have claimed that Bernie dresses run a size large, but we disagree. We find that if you size up the dresses will better accommodate your bust, but will most likely be too large in the waist.  We hate to be the one's to point this out, but we don't find the size chart to be entirely consistent.  (My measurements are 38-26-36 and a medium fits perfectly... so if that tells you something... - June).  What we have found is that WHEN you find the right size Bernie dress FOR YOU you'll be hooked.  Each style is made to be flattering to any body type and size, are tea length and all full skirt dresses easily accommodate a petticoat (I think it says a lot that Bernie dresses look just as great on June as they do on me especially since I'm so tall in comparison!-Amelia).

The Cost

The biggest Bernie Dexter Dress deterrent is definitely the cost, with dresses that range roughly between $150 and $200, these dresses are accompanied by a hefty price tag.  If you choose to pay full price, you're definitely getting your money's worth. (I paid full price for my first Bernie dress, but haven't had to do so again since, lucky finds! - June)  But, as with most things, there's a way around having to pay full price.  Frequently, Bernie Dexter herself will temporarily move dresses to the "sale" section of her website and lists samples and overstock on eBay.  Also, even though they're a higher price item, they're not excluded from Modcloth or Unique Vintage sales (The combination of promo codes and sales on Modcloth have saved me a ton! It may not be instantaneous, but it's worth it! - Amelia). Start hunting those promo codes.


Where To Buy


47 comments:

  1. Gosh, I just love Bernie Dexter dresses! Thank you so much for such a comprehensive review! I am a seamstress, so making my own Bernie dress is an option, but sometimes I just want to buy one! Will keep my eyes peeled for sales. !

    Ladies, I just love your blog!

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  2. Great post and a great feature idea! I've found that I need to size for my bust for Bernie's dresses, so I wear a large (which I actually find to run slightly tight in the waist for my own measurements, but it's pretty similar to PUG's sizing, for the most part). I've found her sizing to be really consistent though, which is fabulous. I've been lucky enough to buy her dresses on sale (either through her own site, ModCloth or her eBay store), and I actually have one of her tops that I got for a steal, and it's super cute. I'm always envious of bloggers like Harlow Darling who get dresses c/o her all the time!

    xox Sammi

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  3. Oh my god! i really wants that dress.. Yes, who doesn't love dress with pocket? I love it!! Irene Wibowo

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  4. Bernie dexter dresses are the best, and the prints are to die for! Thanks so much for sharing this info! I really envy ya'lls collection! Also, if the poppy print dress is the one with the winged shoulders that Modcloth sells, did you know it actually has a style name too? It's a swan style dress like this one: http://berniedexter.com/collections/dresses/products/swan-dress-in-bird-print

    I love y'all's posts, and I'm super excited about this new segment. I can't wait to see all the different designers and find some new favorite designers to try!

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  5. I totally agree with most points you made in this post. The "quality" isn't necessarily worth the price tag, but the fit and the original prints are. I also find the size-guide to be off, as well as there's a variance in dress styles/sizes. I always order a Large, and even then, it's known to be snug on my 29" waist...


    I'm also with you, I paid full price for my first BD dress, which i absolutely ADORE, but I haven't paid full price since. It's rare that the dress I want doesn't come on sale, so patience pays off.


    xo Jana

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  6. As do I, they're so lovely! I'm glad you enjoyed the review! I buy because I can't make, while I own a sewing machine, I've yet to even figure out how to thread it! haha. But, I can see how buying would be far easier, and less frustrating, than making! Hope you get the Modcloth and Unique Vintage emails! They always send the promo codes that way among others! : )

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  7. We're seriously so excited about this feature series! Really? I think Bernie's sizing and PUG sizing is like night and day! My PUG mediums fit SO MUCH BETTER than my Bernie mediums! I've also found that from one style to another, all in the same size, my medium Bernie dresses fit totally differently an I probably could've sized down in one or two of them, so weird! And I've been lucky enough to snag some through eBay for AWESOME prices as well!

    Like we were saying earlier, I'm jealous of anyone who gets c/o ANYTHING, especially Bernie dresses! Green. With. Envy. haha

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  8. What girl doesn't want a dress with pockets!? haha

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  9. I honestly feel like the prints are half of the appeal! We were so excited to share our experiences with buying her dresses! And thank you so much for finding that style name for us! We totally overlooked it! I'm going to edit the post now! : )

    And thank you so much! We're so glad you like it and can't wait to share more!

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  10. Oh, I totally agree, the print is half the reason I buy the dresses aside from the actual cut/make. Amelia actually found some of the fabric she uses somewhere for like $7 a yard or something... which... OUCH. haha. Makes me wish I could sew a little better. And I've heard that about the Large as well! It's so peculiar that Mediums run big and Larges run small...

    And exactly! Patience is SO important with high price tag items! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's figured out "the system" haha

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  11. These prints are GORGEOUS!! I am bugging out over the June's red checked/cookbook one, it looks just like the cover of the old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I die. This is a great post for those of us who would love to have a Bernie Dexter in the closet but are wary of all those reviews on ModCloth that mention the sizing issues. They look great on both of you, though-- I might have to gather up my pluck and order one (when it's on sale, naturally). :D

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  12. Hey pretty ladies! I bought the Va Va Valuminous Petticoat that was recommended and I swear I'm doing something wrong lol. For the life of me I cannot get it to look "right." In your photos it looks to be at the perfect volume. Do you do something to, for lack of a better word, "groom" your petticoat to be as it is?

    You two look wonderful, as usual!

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  13. I loved that Post! I'm lurking around your instagram profiles and i just love you, and i was glad you took the step to blog! (http://instagram.com/annakatrinsky maybe you know me? :D)
    When i ordered my first Bernie Dexter Dress, I bought it off Modcloth, the one, that Zooey Deschanel wore (and i totally screamed when i saw it) "What a Dahlia" - since i'm from Germany i have to pay a ton of taxes on top its always a hassle to buy one. It was for the original Price, and i got some "Folter" or "Retrolicious" Dresses who are the same quality but cost 50 $ less.

    If Bernie Dexter could just lower the shipping costs on her own website, i'd be buying a lot more!


    The last Bernie Dexter dress i ordered was from "whatkatiedid", (for 166 € which is 230 $ - OUCH…) and they attached a card, saying, that you americans dry clean a lot more than europeans do - and that its not necessary to do it, because the fabric is so good - but dont tumble dry it.


    i dont know, if that link
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120821073541AA74lvG
    was one of you guys, but i was thankful and a little bit "sad" that these are partly just childrens fabrics. they arent even expensive!
    i ordered the fabric with the pies on it, and i'm making a skirt, even though i cant sew like a pro - but i think when a fabric is that vibrant and original, it stands for itself, ha!


    keep up the cute work you too!!

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  14. I love this blog! I also am so excited to read about the Bernie Dexter dresses because I am dying to buy one. I am in love with the Beatrice dress and am so worried about paying the money when I do not know what size to order. I am a 34B bust, 24 inch waist, and 35 inch hips. I know it is a swing style skirt but I don't know what size to order because of my bust and waist :/ Could you ladies help me out!?

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  15. wardrobe experienceMarch 11, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    great post! thanks for sharing.
    and ... thank you so much for adding the 'i'd rather post as...' button! so i'm back to be able to comment on this blog ...

    :)

    wardrobexperience.blogspot.de

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  16. Hey june! I recently bought the paris dress in black champagne print from bernie dexter and I love it but its soooo tight on my waist and bust that I can barely zip it up! I have since washed it so it cant be exchanged (sadly) . I purchased a medium because my measurements are bust 36in. And waist 28in. And I thought it would fit perfect! Do you suggest I size up to a large next time? -thanks! :)

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  17. That is EXACTLY why I bought it! My grandma always had a copy so I was immediately drawn to it! And thank you! It was actually hard to give advice even with the warning that there are sizing issues, because I feel like every Medium I own from her fits a little different. So weird. I think you much need to start watching sales because you'd look awesome in one! : )

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  18. Hello Miss Christina!
    I think they "key" to wearing a petticoat 1) what you're wearing it with and 2) WHERE you where it. I pull mine up to right bellow my bellybutton and it usually produces a perfect amount of volume. Amelia wears hers right at her hipbones. Sort of play with where you wear yours in from of a mirror and I'd guarantee you'll find the perfect place to wear yours.


    And thank you for the compliment! : )

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  19. Oh, well thank you Miss Marie! We were so excited when we thought up this series to share with everyone, because every girl deserves to be informed before she spends so much money! If I were you, I think I'd try a small. Modcloth is AMAZING about returns, so it may be worth your while to chance it, buy one from them and return it if you have to. The Beatrice dress bust is lightly padded, so if you buy an XS and I fear your bust may not fit properly in the dress. Even mine is a little snug in that area. Hope this is helpful to you! : )

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  20. Thank you for reading! And we were happy to add it! When I received your email I was surprised we hadn't enabled guest comments beefore! : )

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  21. Hello Lindsey!
    Yes ma'am I do recommend sizing up! I've actually heard from Sammi and Jana (two other bloggers you can see below) that their larges ran a bit small, so maybe it'll fit you perfectly! If you ever decide to sell the one you have to get money to put towards a new one, I don't own that one ; )

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  22. Well thank you, Anna! We were so excited to start blogging! I actually DO recognize you! I think people assume I don't know most of my followers because I have so many, but for those who comment regularly or even occasionally, I recognize them by face+name. ; )

    I actually LOVE the "What a Dahlia" dress and don't own it yet, so good choice! I hate that you have to pay such high taxes to get things you want!

    Any that is SO EXPENSIVE! I'm sorry you have to pay so much to get dresses like these. Have you tried eBay? I actually don't dry clean my dresses, I just wash them and hang them to dry.

    Amelia and I also made the discovery that her fabric is SO MUCH CHEAPER than her dresses. But what can a girl who doesn't know how to sew do? You'll have to let us know how your skirt turns out, because I LOVE that pie fabric.

    You look absolutely adorable in your dresses! We love when people share photos, it's why we switched to this comment forum. ; )

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  23. Hey June. This blog post actually introduced me to this charming clothing line, and made me instantly purchase my own Bernie Dexter dress, so thank you for sharing. I've been vying after something akin to the Vivienne Westwood toile dress that Dita Von Teese has been pictured wearing at several events, and after some deliberating, I went with the High Tea Chelsea dress because of style over the actual toile print dresses available. I'm so excited to receive this dress and am already plotting to wear it around the streets of historic Charleston, SC when I go on holiday in a few weeks. I do have a question regarding shipping. I ordered directly from her website and didn't read until after the fact that shipping can take up to 4-6 weeks. What is your experience with this? I'm in the US, so I figured even with them shipping only once a week I'd still receive it within standard US shipping times. Thanks!

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  24. Thanks also for this review, haven't indulged in a Bernie yet but there was a lilac (or hydrandea) print that really caught my eye! I really appreciate these reviews as I live in Canada and it's an expensive pain in the butt to send things back if they don't fit!

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  25. I've been looking at that one too! She actually has it in the sale section of her personal website right now and I've been pondering about whether or not to buy it! But I'm glad the reviews are helping people, we were torn as to whether they would be helpful or boring haha

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  26. Hello! We're so glad we could introduce you to a new, amazing brand that we love! And I think all of us Dita fans have been lusting after that VW Toile Dress for YEARS so you picked the perfect dress to reproduce that look and I think Charleston, SC is the perfect place to wear it, I love Charleston and used to visit all the time! I've heard rumors that her shipping takes sort of a long time, but I think it'll definitely take less time than 4 - 6 weeks. I've never personally ordered directly from her website, but the longest I've heard of it taking is 3 weeks. I hope this helps!

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  27. Haha not boring! With sizing being so all over the map these days, its nice to have something to go by! And YES ITS ON SALE! Not the best style that was out in my opinion, but the one that is is like half price! I am tempted!

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  28. I got my first HB and BD dressed delivered this week and gee whiz SUCH SIZING ISSUES! I buy pretty much all my clothes online so paid close attention to the reviews of each garment and I'm so very glad I did. I'm 5'8", 38/31/40 and my HB dress is a Medium (and still gapes at the top!) while my BD dress is an XL! Oy! The BD was on sale and thank goodness I didn't pay the full price of $155 because it seriously is not worth that. I'm actually still a little grief-stricken I paid $108 (but not so stricken that I'll return it! Ha!) I love the prints on all her stuff but this fabric is totally unimpressive, it's not lined and the prints don't match at the seams. I was expecting to prefer the BD dress but I don't: from now on I'm sticking to Hell Bunny. Pinup Girl clothing is my next stop for a reasonably priced well-made dress. I have high hopes.

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  29. Hi june!
    Thanks for the response! Super helpful! :) I do still have the champagne dress in medium up for grabs if your interested in it? :)

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  30. I have one question that you guys didn't address I own a lot of bernie dexter dresses and they all say dry clean only. How do you clean yours? Are they really dry clean only.

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  31. Hi ladies! I just started reading your blog posts and they are definitely the biggest help I've found when it comes to pinup advice. I do need a bit more help, though. I'm really young and don't have a super steady nor a super high-paying job and I don't know how to find really good promo codes. Where do you look for yours/how do you find really nice ones and are they relatively easy to find?

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  32. I definitely try to warn people in all our posts regarding the unreliability of sizing charts! Thankfully, most companies have very liberal exchange policies! I tried to warn in our BD post that I didn't feel like the quality was QUITE worth the price. I hope you have better experiences in the future! I feel like you will be more than pleasantly surprised with the quality of a PUG dress!

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  33. I wash mine in cold on delicate and then line dry it : )

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  34. Aww, well we are so happy to hear that you find our posts helpful! The post important thing to do, although at times it can be totally annoying, is to subscribe to the emails of all the brands you love! Promo codes and sales are typically announced via email. Modcloth definitely always includes their promo codes via email and PUG announces private sale events through email only.

    PUG and Modcloth both also often announce promo codes and sales via Facebook and Instagram, so make sure to follow them on social media as well.

    Other than that, we both utilize eBay a lot to buy used pieces!

    Hope this helps!

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  35. Thank you so much! Im going to save so much money now on the dry cleaning bill. I have always been nervous about washing any of them since they are so gosh darn expensive. Also thanks for responding, I love how you guys always take time to respond!

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  36. Thank you very much! I've been looking on Ebay for the past few weeks and though nothing has stood out to me yet, it looks like once I find things in my size, it'll be a tremendous money-saver! :)

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  37. Thank you for your help June. I got the Beatrice dress from Bernie's website and ordered the dress when it went on sale. I love it! Even with a 24 waist I found it to be form fitting in the small!

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  38. Hi ladies & congrats on your lovely blog! I have two BD Paris dresses and I love them! I was thinking of getting the new Paris in Champagne but read some reviews that it runs small so I'm not sure if I should size up for that one. Also what about the Rose dress? Looks beautiful. Do you always stick to your regular size with Bernie Dexter dresses?

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  39. I have multiple Paris style dresses too AND the champagne one and I thought it fit the same :) #goforit

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  40. Thanks for reviewing this ladies ! Especially about the size chart.
    Xxx
    Love From Paris,
    Lorna

    Http://lornasharp.blogspot.com

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  41. I wouldnt recommend washing ones with red in the print, I got caught in a downpour wearing the sundae dress and all the strawberries and cherries ran. It took my drycleaner weeks working on it to repair the red runs. For the cost it isnt worth the risk of wrecking your dress.

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  42. The shoes in the top photo.. Where are they from?

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  43. Really?! I got caught in a storm in my BBQ gingham dress and had no problems, I also wash it (albeit, alone)! How odd! I'm sorry that happened to you though!

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  44. We're glad you found it helpful! Hope all is well in Paris!
    xoxo

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  45. They're from Bait Footwear! You'll see a link in our sidebar but also:
    www.baitfootwear.com

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  46. Hey there, if your at all interested in selling your Beatrice dress I'd be interested. I've been looking all over but nobody has one to sell. :(

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  47. my email is bonniemel@yahoo.com

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