Retrolicious Dinosaur Dress Review

Retrolicious has a bunch of excellent science themed dresses! The only one I own is the Jurassic Park Dress so that’s the one this review will officially be for, but the others look really cool too! In particular, the Paleontologist Dress looks pretty awesome (Retrolicious loves their dinosaur dresses – they even had an adorable dress up day at the LA Natural History Mueseum). They’ve also got a periodic table dress, a blackboard dress (with a healthy mix of equations, graphs, geometry, and chemistry), an EKG dress, a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur skeleton dress, a space dress, a constellations dress, and a bird dress. On top of that, Retrolicious has a number of skirts, including a general science skirt, a chemistry skirt, and a skirt made out of the same dinosaur material as the Jurassic Park Dress.

I originally found the Jurassic Park dress on ModCloth. A number of Retrolicious’ other dresses are also available there. Some, however, are only available on the Retrolicious website. Conversely, some are only available on ModCloth, like this shark dress and this astronomy dress (which also comes in a super cute crossword puzzle print).  So that’s something to be aware of.


I love how colorful this dress is. I also love how there are a lot of different dinosaurs on it, but the consistency of the plants keeps it from being too overwhelming. The cut of this dress is also excellent; the key-hole in the back somehow shows only the part of my back that I’m comfortable with! The neckline is high, so there’s absolutely no risk of cleavage. Plus, the length is good; it hits me just above the knee (and I have pretty long legs).

In general, this dress has a fair amount of internal structure to it (i.e. it’s relatively stiff, not that stretchy). This means there’s less risk that it will hug your curves in ways you’re uncomfortable with. It also means that the pockets can hold more without looking weird. I can generally put my phone, keys, and wallet in them without any trouble. It has also held up well over the 3 years that I’ve had it so far, despite traveling with me to many conferences.

Retrolicious dresses are all made in the United States and come in a wide range of sizes.


This doesn’t really bother me, but I could imagine it being a mild annoyance to others: because this dress isn’t very stretchy, it might feel constricting if you’re doing something that requires an abnormally large of motion. I don’t notice it at all when I’m walking around or working at my computer, but I could imagine it would feel a little unnatural if you were trying to do complicated lab work or something.

Style advice:

This dress comes off as a little less casual than, for instance, most of the Svaha dresses. I would put it squarely in the “business casual” category. In science-y contexts, that can mean it runs a greater risk of getting the “why are you so dressed up?” reaction. But in my experiences most scienc-y peoples’ reaction is just “You have a dinsoaur dress! That’s awesome!” I usually wear it with a brown belt and a cardigan.

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