I like to dress it up on a night out, and being of the slightly gothic persuasion Hallowe'en is always the biggest party night of the year. I have done my fair share of scary horror themed fancy dress parties, but after stumbling across the Leg Avenue brand I fell in love with their cute girly fancy dress outfits. They do almost any costume you can think of and there is a good range of fairytale outfits to choose from. Little Red Riding Hood is obviously a popular theme as Leg Avenue have 9 different versions of this costume! I picked the Red Riding Hood Story Book outfit to be my Hallowe'en costume following the success of their Alice in Wonderland costume that I wore previously.
The Red Riding Hood costume can be directly bought from Leg Avenue online at www.legavenue.co.uk. The RRP is £59.22 on the website, which is very expensive for something that will only get a couple of wears at the most. I would strongly advise looking for the costume on eBay as you can get them considerably cheaper, and I paid around £25.00 for mine and that was brand new in the packaging. The sizes available range from Extra-Small all the way up to Extra-Large, although the cuts are on the small size. It important to check the sizing chart as the outfits don't correspond to normal labelling. For example, I'm a size 10 and that's classed as a medium! XS = 6, S = 8, M = 10, L = 12, XL = 14.
Product description: "2 piece outfit. Racy Red Riding Hood features tutu peasant dress with corset front detail and hooded cape."
The outfit comes in two pieces and is fairly basic as the dress is made to look more complex by having various detailing at the front. The main part of the costume is the dress, which has a fitted bodice section with a flared skirt and an attached apron at the front. There is a faux corset section which laces up but does not actually have any practical function so does not cinch your waist like a real corset would, this is for decorative purposes only. This also makes it easier to wear as you are not having to layer up and wear a real corset over the top, and you also have the added bonus of extra freedom of movement without the restraint of a structural corset. The dress has adjustable bra type straps and zips up at the back so it's very easy to get on and off. The skirt is very short so you need to be quite confident to wear it! I'm 5' 10" and this was getting dangerously close to being a cheek-flasher. It helps if you wear an underskirt (Leg Avenue do a nice range of tutu petticoats) as this not only gives the skirt some volume and helps it to fall prettily, but it also gives you that extra inch or two of coverage to preserve your modesty.
The other part of the costume is the hooded cape, which ties up with a drawstring over the neck. This completes the look and you can still see the full effect of the dress as the cape is quite cropped and only covers a small area of the upper back and shoulders. The outfit itself looks good together but it can feel a little bare on the accessories side, as your arms and legs are uncovered. I think without wearing the cape, the dress on its own loses its fun cute look and becomes more on the tarty side. It definitely compelted the look to wear both pieces together. You could also team this with some sexy stockings or add in a prop, like the picnic basket shown in the picture, to get a more full on costumed effect. To make it look a bit more edgy you could wear some killer high heels, or as I preferred, biker style boots. This toughens up the costume and adds to that whole Lil-Red-the-wolf-slayer feeling!
The dress was very comfortable to wear and allowed me to move freely without feeling restrictive as the fabric did have a little give to it. I was a little disappointed that it did not seem to be quite as high quality as I was expecting given the high retail price. The material has a slightly shiny finish to it which is not quite enough to be glossy or wet look, and it just looks on the cheap side. I've only worn this a couple of times as it's not the sort of thing you could wear apart from for a special occasion or themed party. It is easy to care for afterwards as you can just put it in the washing machine, but be careful of spillages as I did end up with some unknown food and/or drink stain on the fabric which did not wash out and left a sort of greasy looking mark.
This is a nice outfit but not worth paying full price for in my opinion!