Urkye Review: Retro Dress

Today’s post features two reviews of Urkye’s new Retro dress – the first by my friend AJ, who tried out both a 38o/oo and 40o/oo in Navy, and the other by me, of 36oo/ooo in Black. Thanks to AJ for sharing her thoughts, and I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried any of Urkye’s new dresses! 

AJ’s Review

When Boosaurus asked me if I wanted to do a dress review for Urkye, I was excited but a bit concerned that I would be disappointed (mostly because of my fears that I wasn’t measuring correctly). I had been stalking their website for over two months, trying to figure out whether or not to try anything. All of the dresses looked great on the models, but none of the models had the neckline I had been hoping to find in a good, multi-occasion, easily accessorized dress, the kind of dress that you can wear to just about anything in most weather. I have never had one of the dresses because my curves and torso just don’t agree with department store finds.

Enter the Urkye Retro. Sweetheart neckline, check. Fitted waist with flared skirt, check. Really short sleeves and a basic color? Check! I picked granatowe (navy) in part because I’m generally too chicken to wear anything brighter but also because my favorite color, the turkusowe (turquoise), was sold out in my size.

The Urkye size chart puts me in the gray zone between a 40o/oo and 38o/oo, leaning more towards the 40o/oo. I hedged my bets and got both (the 38o/oo with the matching bow/belt, the 40o/oo without), so here’s a review of the two sizes and what did and didn’t work.

Color and Material:
The color is a dark, dark navy, one of those that really only looks blue next to black in normal indoor lighting (outside in person, you can tell it’s blue). The material is sturdy with a decent amount of stretch to it. Seaming is nicely finished and nothing looks out of place; I didn’t find any puckering. Both dresses were well sewn.

[Boots on for safety. Fire ants have no mercy. Here I’m wearing the matching bow belt.]

The dress material is fairly thick, which does make this a better dress for cooler weather than hot summers. The inside of the dress is doubly heavy around the top of the bust, which I think helps the garment to keep its sweetheart neckline from drooping (and, to be fair, no droopiness happens). Again, a bit more of a heavyweight material than expected. I live in a very humid climate, and even in 75-80 degree weather, the dress would be too hot to wear. I felt sweaty just trying it on for the photos since it’s already at least 80 here.

[It’s totally cold enough to wear a scarf! What do you mean, I’m sweating?!]

For reference, I measure about 37” around the bust, 30” around the waist, and 40.5” around the hips. My usual bra size is currently a Comexim 65H/70G or a Panache 30FF.


[No belt. Dangerous, non-ant proof shoes. Sometimes, you have to live on the edge. I actually sustained about 15 ant bites thanks to these shoes.]

The Retro is a true pinup style, and I feel like a 50’s housewife. That said, I had no problem with my chest showing too much due to the high neckline (and my non-cleavage chest), which is an occasional issue I’ve heard others reference in Urkye’s dresses. The 40o/oo bags out a bit in the back and is too wide across my narrow shouldered frame, even though it is a bit more comfortable in the waist. The 38o/oo is more form fitting, very fitted in the waist, but not uncomfortable, and it does a better job of showing the curve of my back. The bust area looks nice and fitted in the 38o/oo, but there is some room for a larger bust from the stretch in the material. The 40o/oo was still fairly well fitted in the bust, but it was at the risk of becoming baggy. Again, part of that problem was because the back was too large for me. If you have measurements close to mine but have average or broader shoulders, I would recommend the 40o/oo.

The sleeve openings work well on my somewhat slender arms, and there was no pulling from the arms towards my chest. The length of the sleeves felt closer to a cap sleeve than a standard short sleeve, although that may juts be because I’m used to looser sleeves around the arms.

My hips were not a problem in either the 40o/oo or the 38o/oo since the skirt is loose and free. This is the first dress I’ve ever tried on that makes me think I wouldn’t mind if my butt were bigger. The skirt is somewhat long, hitting me at mid-knee (I’m about 5’6”), but it fits with the style of the dress and is flattering to my calves. Note: there is a LOT of skirt material.

The dress looks fantastic with or without the belt, though some might find the obviousness of the seam odd. I normally do not feel comfortable or aesthetically pleased with a belt at my waist, but because the 38o/oo does nip in so well at the back, there is no material wrinkling up around the belt to bother me. The seam does hit me in the sweet spot of my natural waist, so putting the belt there makes sense. I tried both the bow belt and a few other wide and skinny belts I had lying around, and all of them looked fine to me. The 38 belt worked well with both the 38o/oo and the 40o/oo dress since it was made of the same stretchy material as the dress.

[With a thick belt! Yes, my legs really are that white. ]

My two issues with the dress involve the waist seam and the bottom hem. The waist seam is very thick on the inside and bothers my overly sensitive skin. Still, the dress is so comfortable otherwise that I wouldn’t avoid wearing the dress due to the seam. Also, while going out and about in the dress for a few hours, I found that the hemline would occasionally flip up and need smoothing again. Again, not a deal breaker, but it’s something I’m going to be researching a fix for.

[The seam. Love it or hate it? I kinda wish there wasn’t one.]

If I had to advise Urkye on changing just one thing about this dress, it would be to add pockets. I fell like the skirt is just begging for them; there’s plenty of space for pockets in all that fabric.

I will be keeping the 38o/oo and sending the 40o/oo on, but again, if you find yourself between these two sizes on the chart, I would recommend going up or down based on your shoulders and back.

All in all, the Retro is a gorgeous, well-fitted, cooler weather dress that begs to be accessorized. Personally, I will be watching and hoping for more colors.

[Thank you, tree, for being so supportive! You were a great prop!]

Boosaurus’ Review

I was quite excited when I saw Urkye’s lineup of new dresses released just in time for summer! The Retro dress looked like the all-occasion skater dress that I’d been searching for, so it was the one I decided to order.

Color and Material:
The Retro is currently available in the fairly standard color choices of Black, Red, and Navy, with matching fabric belts also available. Although I’ve been trying to veer towards brighter clothes, I went with standard black this time. The dress ended up being strong black color, not at all faded-looking.

To go with it, I ordered a green belt for contrast; the green belt colorway is labeled as going with the Kokardka dress rather than the Retro, but I’m not sure how much difference there is between the two belt styles. The fabric belts Urkye is offering are quite simple and cheap, so if you wanted to experiment with colors, it’s not too costly. Keep in mind that the belt is really for looks, not for cinching in the waist at all.

[I was really into “subtle” pops of colors on this particular day!]

The dress seems sturdy and well-made, with the skirt having pleats and flaring out in a slight A-line while still being moderately form-fitting overall. The material itself is stretchy but fairly thick; since I live in a dryer desert climate not too far from the coast, this dress will probably be too warm during the very hot summer days, but I’ve found it just fine in the 65-80 degree weather we’ve been having. I anticipate that it will also come in handy for summer nighttime events. I found it very comfortable – I dislike stiffer fabrics, but this dress almost made me forget I was wearing a dress!

[No belt needed; toned-down accessories make this dress a worthy choice for a nicer event]

I went with my usual size of 36oo/ooo. For reference, I measure about 37″ bust, 27″ waist, and 35″ hips, and wear a size 28H bra. My opinion is that the dress runs true to size for Urkye, with the additional note that, like many other Urkye items, the bust portion is generous/stretchy for accommodation of a wide range of measurements.

Because I have rather nonexistent hips and a shorter torso, I found that the dress itself was not as flattering on my body shape (despite the overall fit being right). To be honest, the entire dress made me look a little heavier/wider overall from the front and didn’t “showcase my figure” as well as some other bust-friendly dresses have. I think this is due partially to the thicker material and partially due to the shape of the dress not meshing quite as well with my particular body type.

The sweetheart neckline is interesting, although it didn’t suit me quite as well as other necklines do. It seemed to make my bust area appear heavier and just didn’t sit as well as I might’ve hoped, giving a slightly pointy shape. That said, I don’t think it looks bad, and I appreciate having a variety of necklines in my wardrobe.

I like the contrast that the belt’s pop of green provided, although wearing the belt seems to cut my torso in half visually somewhat with this dress because of where my natural waist is. But the dress looks just fine both with and without the belt, and this is really a matter of preference and body shape.

Although I’ve come across the seam at the middle of the torso portion before in Urkye clothing, it bothered me somewhat in this dress because it added to the bulk and seemed to cut off my (already short) torso a bit. If the torso portion of the dress had been seamless and a little longer and tighter, I think the dress would’ve suited my particular body shape somewhat better.

I also found myself wishing that the dress had pockets; the material of the skirt seemed thick enough that adding pockets would have made sense.

The Urkye Retro is definitely a solid number. I love how comfortable the dress is, and I’ll be wearing it around despite the fact that the style doesn’t suit me perfectly. In fact, this dress might get more wear than other dresses I have because it’s so comfortable and wearable! I also appreciate that it’s a dress that I can dress up or down with accessories (like rainbow socks). 🙂

[The Retro is comfortable enough to hike around the local forest-park in!]

The Retro Dress sells on Urkye’s site for 159zl [about $42].