How to Dress Like a Fairytale Character with Simple Retro: Dainty & Dreamy

Oftentimes, you might daydream that you’re a character in a novel from centuries ago- with gorgeous dresses and dainty details, everything about fashion back then seems so dreamy.

Simple Retro encapsulates exactly that: “vintage styles [integrated] with modernity” and “easy-to-wear pieces” for “both daily and professional needs.” Empowering with an infusion of timelessness, Simple Retro is everything when it comes to fashion.

This Is Simple Retro’s Story

“In 2015, a group of girls with different cultural backgrounds met in New York City. They enjoyed weekly Sunday brunches and time walking around the city visiting thrift shops,” writes Simple Retro.

“The love of vintage clothes connected them and sparked an idea to create a brand they wanted to wear themselves. This is how the brand Simple Retro began: A group of girls and a passion for vintage…”

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“In 2020, Simple Retro came back to the city they loved. They missed the excitement New York brought and the energy they felt from the streets. Yet, without forgetting the girls from Paris and Guangzhou. We invite you to come along and create new memories with us.”

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Designs and Inspirations

Notably, just about everything from Simple Retro seems to be so effortlessly timeless, with a classic silhouette and design that seem to never go out of style.

“Our inspirations range from the 1950s Christian Dior’s “The New Look” to 1980s Boxy Blazers. Unlike other fast, fashion brands, we take our time to explore fashion history and carefully select the perpetual designs for our collections,” says Simple Retro, “We strive to broaden our visions by incorporating diverse stories and cultures. We maintain close relationships with individuals and communities to express voices in a fashion form with our crossover collections.”

“It is important to us that our brand embodies self—expression for all individuals who support us. We welcome you to be part of our future journey and thank you for being with us since 2015.”

-Simple Retro

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The Ally Handmade Cardigan

Cardigans are just so romantically classic, and will be one of the pieces that will never go out of style. It’s practically impossible for cardigans not to be stylish- and the Ally Handmade Cardigan just proves the point.

This avocado-green cardigan features handmade embroidery of delicately pretty baby blue and pink flowers. This feels like a cardigan that really could have been a fashionable piece since years ago without losing its charm!

Shop the Ally Handmade Cardigan here.

The Ally Handmade Cardigan is available in three colors- creamy white, blue, and avocado green. Specifically, the Ally Cardigan in avocado green is a mature chartreuse-like color, almost like a ripened avocado.

The cardigan begins with a deep v-neck, making it perfect to wear any way you’d like. Whether it be a simple undershirt, neck-reaching blouse, or just the cardigan alone, it will always be such a classic look.

Down the cardigan is vertical stitching in the same color, giving the piece some texture and beautiful detail. The stitching is in pairs of two, creating an effect of “columns” going down the cardigan. By the bottom of the cardigan and the ends of the sleeves, the vertical lines of the stitching design will turn into diamond shapes, giving it a geometric shape and a contemporary touch.

The diamond stitching then allows the cardigan to seamlessly transition into the more secure and snug cuffs, which are placed both at the hem of the cardigan as well as the sleeves.

Speaking of the sleeves- I love that it’s slightly longer, giving me a cozy vibe, and has a slight roominess without being baggy at all. It’s just the right amount of hugginess that it feels oh-so-comfortable!

The bottom of the cardigan is ended by the cuff, which makes it snug around the waist and making the cardigan overall in the torso area more loosened. This gives such a casual look without being overly dressy, but still in touch with a romantic, retro look!

It’s amazing to know that the little flower embroidery is handmade- it is so delicately beautiful and adds such dimension and character to this cardigan. The baby pink and baby blue flowers add some youth to the cardigan and the details are so intricate and stunning.

The pearl buttons on the cardigan cannot go unnoticed. It has a slight pink hue, which makes it so alluring and gorgeous. I love that it adds to the dainty aspect of the Ally Cardigan!

The back of the cardigan is simple and continues the vertical stitching design.

I would personally recommend that you size up with the Ally Cardigan, as it tends to be more snug than your typical size- this cardigan’s nice, plush fabric material makes it a perfect fit for the upcoming colder weather!

For styling the avocado green Ally Cardigan, anything neutral, especially darker colors, would look amazing. A pair of brown trousers, and you’re all set, looking like you’re straight out of an old-time novel.

The Kimura Dress

When I tell you that this dress really is to fall in love with, I really mean it! The Kimura dress is a flattering A-line style with a spin on the Japanese kimono. Coming in three shades of red, yellow, and light green, this floral-printed, one-piece dress is so stunning.

shop the Kimura Dress here.

The light green Kimura dress is a pale shade- almost resembling a mint color- and is paired beautifully with prints of lush ivy leaves and blossoming purple flowers. The two colors compliment each other so fittingly and make this dress feel airy and delightful.

The Kimura has a v-neck cut that is not too deep, and the neckline is lined with white to give it some subtle contrast. You’ll notice, however, that this is not your regular v-neck- in fact, it has a Y-shaped neckline in a sense.

Like a kimono, one-half of the dress wraps over the dress, creating a unique and beautiful look. The line that crossed over the other half has a slightly wavy effect. By the end of the wrap are two mint-colored buttons- which add an element to design as well.

The sleeves of the dress are extended to reach 3/4 to your elbow and have a slight puff raise at the top. The sleeves also have a button fastener, so you can adjust to your liking of comfort! The button clasp doesn’t feel tight at all and makes the dressy so effortlessly classy.

This makes the dress feel like a casual princess dress, great for the weekend or even during the weekday! Not too casual nor too dressy, this is the perfect go-to for the times where it’s neither and an easy in-between.

The Kimura dress comes with a tie around the waist, which you can use to create a simple yet elegant ribbon-tie and adjust the dress to however snug you would like it.

The section with the wavy line of the dress carries all the way to the end of the dress. It’s like a robe, but a dress- and created beautifully to feel graceful without overdoing anything.

I am so in love with the Kimura dress- it sincerely looks so effortlessly stunning on, and truly has the wow factor. With the light and sweet flower design and pale green shade of the dress, this is well fit for spring and summer.

The Vivian Blouse

Everyone needs a good, standard white blouse; they are versatile and the perfect staple piece to have in a closet- it’s incredible how handy they get from time to time!

With Simple Retro, their sweet touches of details and elegant simplicity make the Vivian Blouse a beautiful must-have piece.

shop the Vivian Blouse here.

Right from the start, I can tell you this: the Vivian Blouse is made of 100% Cotton, which makes the fabric very lightweight and breathable. This is the perfect seasonal blouse to wear at any time during the year.

The blouse has a v neck, which is surrounded by a polo-like lapel that has been rounded to give a more gentle, softer edge.

The lapel then creates a ruffle-like effect to the blouse, giving the shoulder area some dreamy texture.

The Vivian blouse is a button-down, and has light creme-colored buttons that feel just as organic as the blouse does. As formal and business-like as the button-down sounds, it actually carries an aura of effortlessly put-togetherness that immediately makes this blouse so much more.

The sleeves of the Vivian Blouse are made to be puffy and roomy, and the oversized sleeves come up to about 3/4 length.

The Vivian Blouse is perfect to tuck into your favorite bottoms, whether it be a gorgeous midi skirt or pencil skirt to give a retro feel or even dramatic wide-leg pants with some flair.

Any way you style it, the Vivian Blouse’s sweet simplicity will make everything look so much more complete.

The Polly French Cardigan

You know those white, almost see-through, lacy fabric that the beautiful, old-timey curtains have? The kind that almost feel like wedding veils?

If that could be translated into a cardigan, it would be exactly what the Polly French Cardigan is.

shop the Polly French Cardigan here.

Made of 100% Tencel, this cardigan is extremely lightweight, lightly see-through, and the perfect cover-up or throw-on.

The Polly French Cardigan focuses on everything lacy and has a keen eye for detail, making note of every little design- it goes on and on with this piece!

The cardigan features a drawstring in the top middle of the cardigan, which allows you to drag and adjust the white ribbon to your liking and secure it to however you’d like, which can be perfect for accentuating your waist.

The ends of the tied cardigan then ruffle out with light folds, making the “curtain” effect! This looks so dreamy and romantic, and everything about it is so beautiful.

All over the Polly French Cardigan are lacy designs with tiny holes that makes up patterns and details, adding onto the idea of a perfect cover-up. This makes it even more breathable, and would be the perfect fit for a sundress!

The sleeve of the cardigan reach a little above the wrists, where it flares out right by the elbows.

If anything, the Polly French Cardigan looks like something straight out of a princess fairytale book, and will easily elevate any piece that you are wearing- all you have to do is slip it on and tie on your waist ribbons!

The Ashley Satin Embroidery Tank Top

Undershirts are always a must, and tank tops are most definitely the standard. Easy to style with anything, versatile, and a piece you’ll need quite often, nothing does a tank top better than the Ashley Satin Embroidery Tank Top.

shop the Ashley Satin Embroidery Tank Top here.

The Ashley Tank Top has a light sweetheart neckline that is entirely embroidered with lace designs by the neckline. The embroidery is done in the same color as the solid tank top base, making it subtle but definitely noticeable.

The intricate details make the tank top feel exquisite, and the smooth, silky feel of the fabric makes it elevated. The tank top feels cool to the touch, and feels comfortable and flexible.

The tank top features a stitching that gives little ruffles by the bust of the tank top, adding some dimension, and the body of the tank top is simple yet elegant.

The straps of the Ashley Satin Embroidery Top is very thin and are spaghetti straps, making it even easier to truly style this with anything and everything!

The Verna Radish Jeans

Mom jeans are quite in the trend right now, and Simple Retro’s Verna Radish Jeans are no exception. With a timeless take on the trend, these jeans are classically loose, with just the right amount of tapering.

shop the Verna Jeans here.

Just like any of your standard jeans, the Verna Radish Jeans are complete with belt loops and the never-gets-old blue wash. The main button clasp is a tasteful silver color.

The jeans are slightly roomy in the legs to give you that laid-back, effortless casualness and can be rolled like the images to really showcase the Parisian chic energy.

The back features a leather-like label with Simple Retro emblazoned across in fancy cursive lettering, adding a sophisticated touch. Additionally, the back is completed with two roomy pockets.

I love that overall fit of the jeans- baggy in just the right way without feeling slouchy, and timeless. You won’t ever see the Verna Radish Jeans going out of style.

The Loane Pointelle Cardigan

The Loane Pointelle Cardigan is the perfect unity of the words dainty and delicate. This dreamy, white cardigan is so lovely, and the details in this piece are everything.

shop the Loane Pointelle Cardigan here.

The neckline of this cardigan is a boatneck, which can be opened up to whichever depth you prefer with the buttons, as the Loane is a button-down cardigan.

Even the buttons of this cardigan have exquisite attention to detail- it is a pearl-like white with gold-colored embellishments, which adds to the ivory charm of the pointelle cardigan.

However, most notably, the Loane Cardigan features little lace-like details; the cardigan has tiny holes that create patterns, such as diamonds leading up to an argyle print, braid-like patterns, and much more.

The intricate details truly make this cardigan come to life with every single aspect, and it looks simply magical. Plus, the holes are very tiny- so you won’t have to have any concerns about showing undershirts!

This cardigan is also very versatile in how you choose to style it. Like a shirt, but with more detail and a sense of elegance, the Loane Pointelle Cardigan will pair amazingly with any wardrobe piece.

Sustainability & Ethical Practices

“We believe that reliable products begin with the people and the environment. We maintain a strong relationship with our suppliers to ensure our products are ethically and sustainably produced. 87% of our workers are women because providing job opportunities for men is important to us as a woman-designed brand,” says Simple Retro.

“Our made-to-wear factory is a small and intimate factory with around 200 skilled tailors, located just half an hour from our warehouse in Guangzhou, China. By shortening the transit distance, we minimize the environmental impacts and price costs in supply chain logistics. We work with prominent companies in Suzhou, the city of silk in China, best known for its textile and crafting for the industry for thousands of years.”

“We issue a strict compliance audit to ensure high employee satisfaction and environmental standards. 80% of the factory employees are working locally in their hometown and are pleased to find their working environment spacious, clean, and safe. Staff members work in a highly efficient workplace with the improvement of the automated production line.”

“We regularly visit our factories to ensure suppliers are running under our ethical workers standards: fair wages, employee’s welfare, weekend reinforcement and community benefits.”

“The concept of green sustainability is an unprecedented business demand, and our environmental standards far exceed the industry average.”

-Simple Retro

“As the risk of water shortage and pollution steadily increases, our suppliers assess the most effective ways to minimize water use through water cycle technologies. Simple Retro follows comprehensive fabric requirements for each production by considering water input, energy input, land use, eco-toxicity, human toxicity, natural resources, and reasonable pricing.”

Keep Up

Be sure to follow Simple Retro on Instagram at @simpletretro. Additionally, be sure to follow their Facebook and Pinterest!