Pinup Fashion

The Dita Cardigan

It still amazes me when I try to talk to people about Dita Von Teese and they don’t know who she is. I mean, I sort of get it, if you aren’t into this style then you might not know but COME ON! She’s basically the Queen of glamour and I’m sure most people will recognise her pictures at least.

If you are into the vintage/pinup fashion scene (which I’m guessing you are if you are reading this blog), then no doubt you will have heard about the Dita Cardigan by Wheels and Dollbaby. It’s designed in collaboration by Dita herself and it’s become quite the collectable item. Wheels and Dollbaby bring out new colours each season which nine times out of ten get snapped up quick-smart and even end up on eBay going for ridiculous prices.

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My first Dita Cardigan was 4 or 5 years ago and I ordered the Peach. Eventually I sold it so I could buy the bright red version and recently I sold that one too so I could buy this beautiful Violet colour. I’ve been wishing and hoping for a purple version for years but it’s known that Mel (Wheels and Dollbaby owner and designer) hates the colour purple. So, when it was announced, I felt a obligation to buy it and help ensure it was a successful colour so it might encourage Mel to bring out more purple shades in the future.

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I’m not going to lie, it’s not a cheap cardigan. At $190 (Australian Dollars), it’s definitely a luxury item. The Dita Cardigan seems to split people into either 3 categories – those who collect and buy almost every colour (there’s some who do actually own *every single colour*), those like me who might splurge every once and a while and own a few or sell one to make room for a new one, and those who cannot fathom spending $190 on a cardigan. For the latter, I get it but I certainly don’t judge. If someone wants to buy and own all 22 colourways then that’s their prerogative and they shouldn’t be made to feel bad about that.

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When this colour was released and since it had been a few years since my last Dita purchase, I ordered the size 10 which was the same as my previous one. Unfortunately as soon as I first tried to put it on, a hole in the seam of the armpit appeared! I was not happy and it really put a dampener on this treat I’d bought myself. I certainly felt like for the price, the quality was lacking if such a thing were to happen so quickly.

I contacted Wheels and Dollbaby customer service and was really happy with their response. They immediately sent me out a new one, this time in a size 12 at my request as I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t going to be putting any unnecessary strain on the seams. I cannot fault the way they dealt with the situation and hope it would be the same for any customers in a similar situation.

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So… the big question which I’ve been asked often – “Is it worth the price”. Honestly, you’ve got to look at it in two different ways. The first, is that yes, it is worth it if you are willing to pay, if you love it enough and and you can afford it. I’ve bought many things in my life that to others, they aren’t ‘worth it’ but to me, they most definitely were because of how much I loved them. That’s what the Dita Cardigan is to most and of course the fact that for those of us who love The Queen herself, it’s our little connection to her.
Emotions aside, the quality of the cardigan isn’t exceptional. The knit isn’t particularly soft and the buttons are known to be problematic and come off easily, But the design is beautiful and and I do adore the combination of velvet trims and contrast embroidery.

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This colour is now sold out (predictably!), but there’s a new Silver Lurex version on it’s way. For sizing, I’d recommend comparing your measurements to the size chart and erring on the side of ordering up if unsure. I also know several girls who reinforce the buttons as soon as they get it to be safe.

Full Outfit Details
Cardigan | Wheels and Dollbaby
Skirt | TopVintage
Shoes | Pinup Girl Clothing (similar here)
Petticoat | Malco Modes
Gloves | Vintage

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I’m not a huge fan of the silver so won’t be ordering this time around but I have major regrets not getting the beautiful emerald green so if that ever makes a comeback, I’ll be definitely ordering that! I also hope for a lemon yellow, mint green or a royal purple.

This is the last set I have from Elizabeth J Photography, I’ve been hanging onto it because I miss Liz and our shoots back in New Zealand! But, it was time to share and I know that Liz and I will work together again one day.
If you are in Auckland and want some beautiful pictures of your own, weather it’s portrait/pinup, family, wedding or maternity, Elizabeth J Photography is a wonderfully fun and talented photographer.
For enquiries, email [email protected]

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Categories: Pinup Fashion

8 replies »

  1. Thank you for the honest review. I’ve thought about buying one ever since I first read them but I’ve dithered because of the price. And goodness knows I would have to win the lottery before I could buy one on eBay! The most recent purple version appealed to me but it was sold out in my size before I could buy it. Like you, I’m not really crazy about the silver. I might just start saving up for the next color that comes out.

  2. Beautiful pics as always. I’m so sad because I’m also not a big fan of the silver colourway, so decided not to splash out for it this time – sad because I only decided to get fully into this style fairly recently, and missed out on getting the violet one, which is so pretty.

  3. The purple version is gorgeous! I have the red one. I’m in Perth, Western Australia, where Melanie Greensmith is based and it was a sad day when her Perth Wheels and Dollbaby store closed!

  4. I just wore my black cardigan tonight with a black leather circle skirt! I felt divine, but I agree-if that emerald green comes back, I too, will snap one up!

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