Holly’s Favorite Things: Full Bust Friendly Vintage Reproduction Dresses for Spring

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

I worry a lot about variety on this blog. I tend to cover several brands heavily, for a pretty practical reason: they’re the brands I’m spending large chunks of my own money on. This does mean that the blog runs into the vintage reproduction world more than it probably should – one of my goals for the spring is to try and work some modern pieces back into my wardrobe. I see lots of great dresses I’d like to highlight but don’t want to do it individually and overwhelm people. The “Holly’s Favorite Things” posts are my new solution! I’ll cover a category of stuff that I love and is currently on my mind and lump it all together into one post. If you’re feeling the same way, go to town and make a shopping list. If not, tune it out and come back the next day. I suspect these will show up covering clothes, outerwear and lingerie.

Image via Trashy Diva

Image via Trashy Diva

The vintage reproduction companies tend to be slightly hush hush about their new stuff, but some previews are filtering out now and some things are even up for pre-order. Since the lingerie brand previews are mostly done, this seemed like a good time to cover some spring dress highlights. The lead image in the post is the Downtown Dames dress by Pinup Girl Clothing, which I adore. I would need the right occasion for it and I think you need some serious attitude to pull it off. With the wrong accessories, it could get theatrical very quickly. However it does combine some of my favorite things: gold, music notes and great cleavage.

Image via Trashy Diva

Image via Trashy Diva

Trashy Diva was all about solids with gorgeous beadwork last season, but this season returns to my truest fashion love: novelty prints galore. Two dresses have been put up for preview, which also serve as a sneak peek at some of the gorgeous prints we can look forward to. The bad news? They don’t come out until at least April 15th, so you have to wait. The good news? As soon as they go on sale I will be walking my butt over to the nearest Trashy Diva store and writing up a full report on the new stuff. These Crepe Myrtle and Blue Hawaii prints are the best kinds of novelty prints. They’re fun, bright but still wearable as day to day pieces. Trashy Diva should be releasing each of these in multiple dress styles, which means there should be something for everyone. So far neither of these styles is my favorite, so I’m desperately hoping one of my closet staple cuts will show up as part of the range. More Sadies, Lillian and Maria dresses please!

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

I’ve reviewed the Jenny dress cut here, but I haven’t really fallen in love with any of the prints since the Neverland fabric. This orange version has won my heart, although I have serious doubts about my ability to keep all that white space up top clean! Pinup Girl Clothing always goes big in terms of bright colors for Spring/Summer, so this print is actually on the restrained side for them. This dress is wearable with some drama and feels fun and fresh.

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

I have one of the Birdie dresses in the red roses print with short sleeves, so I’m intrigued by the new spring Birdie dresses with long sleeves. I’m not sure these will work with the New Orleans weather, but I love the prints and colors. While I’m a fan of all three colorways, this blue and yellow one is my absolutely favorite. These dresses look great on full busted ladies and are perfect for lunch dates, cocktails or brunches. They also pair well with vintage hats – the giant fluffy skirt just makes you want to wear one!

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing Instagram

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing Instagram

Image via the Pinup Girl Clothing Instagram

Image via the Pinup Girl Clothing Instagram

I can’t seem to resist a good Disney print, so I squealed when I saw these previews up on the Pinup Girl Clothing instagram account. Fans of the classic Disney Sleeping Beauty movie will recognize the sartorial dilemma – pink or blue! Luckily this dress and skirt will be produced in both colors, so you don’t have to enlist your local fairy trio to make the decision for you. This dress and skirt should be available around May.

Do you love any of these dresses? Which is your favorite?

 

Want of the Week: “Darling” Multiway Top By Sugarshape

multiway-bh-top-darling-black-front

It’s 30 degrees today, but I’m staying inside and pretending that spring is near anyway. I love spaghetti strap tops, but I hate having my bra straps on show. While I love the Bravissimo halter tops in terms of looks, they don’t come in my size. All of this means that I’m extra excited that the ever innovative Sugarshape has released a multiway top, just in time for the Spring/Summer season. This top can be worn with regular straps, as a cross back, as a halter and even as a strapless top!

multiway-bh-top-darling-black-drunter

These tops have built in bras for shape and support, all sized by Sugarshape’s intuitive measurement system. Instead of cup sizes, Sugarshape uses measurements and sizes bras simply by band and full bust measurement. I’ve tried it before and am a fan.

multiway-bh-top-darling-black-ueberkreuz-hinten

 

These tops come in basic black and white, but I’d love to see them in colors too! How about red or navy, Sugarshape? I’m looking forward to trying one of these later this summer when it warms up, but in the meantime I’ll continue drooling over Sugarshape’s gorgeous new bras.

sugarshape-emmy-buegel-bh-smaragd-editorial-schaukel

Full Bust Friendly Dress Review: The Trashy Diva Varga Dress Versus the Trixie Dress

Image via Trashy Diva

Image via Trashy Diva

Trixie Mini Dress in RedI was lucky enough to get to spend Thanksgiving in my favorite city this year – New Orleans! While New Orleans has enough to keep anyone busy, I obviously couldn’t leave without doing a marathon try on at my favorite dress store. I’d sort of forgotten about Black Friday, but was thrilled to see the sign on the door of the French Quarter Trashy Diva boutique offering 20% off when I walked in.

Image via the Trashy Diva Facebook

Image via the Trashy Diva Facebook

 

Shamefully, I was too busy trying on dresses left and right to get any good pictures of the boutique itself. The new Trashy Diva dress shop is on Royal Street and is much bigger than their old space. Even so, it’s packed with dresses in all colors of the rainbow. I’m glad they have such good sales assistants, as they have so much stock I think it might be pretty difficult to navigate on your own. They have lovely fitting rooms, as well as nice places to sit for those who are tagging along with you. They even have a “man couch” in the back for beleaguered menfolk to chill out on while they play games on their phone if they’re accompanying female shoppers to the store.

I obviously tried on massive amounts of dresses! I walked away with five, as well as a long list of what to buy next. I’m currently hunting for a holiday dress, but after that the new black cotton Liz dress is headed towards my closet. My five included: the Cobalt Satin Liz Dress, the maroon long sleeved Jenny Dress, two Trixie Minis and one Varga Dress. I went ahead and exchanged one of the Trixie Minis for a second Vargas after I got home – you’ll see why once I do the review and comparison. Kudos to the sales assistants for showing me the Liz dress, which I had overlooked completely on the website and fit like a dream. It may be my new favorite dress shape!

I’m reviewing the Varga and the Trixie together since they’re very similar dresses in terms of shape and construction. Both have elasticated side panels built into the dresses for a near custom fit, are halter dresses and have medium full skirts. Weirdly enough, trying them side by side, I found one worked much better for me than the other.

IMG_0810I originally ordered two Trixie Minis online after I bought my dresses in the store, since I liked the idea of having some more casual summer dresses. The Trixie and the Varga are functionally the same dress body, but have different necklines. The bodice of this Trixie is slightly padded and layered with a thinner halter.

IMG_0811

 

This is a great view of the elasticated side panels that are found in both dresses – they’re great for creating a custom fit!

IMG_0813

 

If there’s a lesson in this post, it’s clearly that necklines matter so much when you are full busted. Same dress body with a slightly longer skirt, totally different effect with the wider halter and the sweetheart style neckline. While I love both dresses, after seeing these side by side I thought getting another color in the Varga was a better bet than a second color in the Trixie Mini. Consequently, I’ll be exchanging my teal Trixie Mini for a teal Varga.

Both of these dresses are from the cotton poplin line, which means they’re extra light and airy for summer. It was actually warm enough to wear these outside today, even in December. They’ll be great when the real heat kicks in next year.

On a quick note, I’m wearing my Maria bra by Elomi under this as a halter. I’ll be doing a full review later, but I’m thrilled to finally have a real multiway bra that looks this good and doesn’t dig into my neck.

Do you prefer the Trixie or the Varga? What are your favorite flattering neckline shapes?

 

Curve Friendly Fashion: The Kinky Box Skirt In Venus Flytrap Print from Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Those of you who are regular readers will realize that this review is an aberration – I almost never cover separates. Since throwing all my jeans out ages ago, all of my casual and flattering shirts have been sitting in a drawer. While I’m not going back to pants since I can’t seem to find a pair that works on me, I am actively trying to reincorporate my cute tops back into my rotation. I’ve been on the lookout for cute skirts for daily wear, so you may see more of them popping up on the blog and on the social media streams.

I actually fell in love with this skirt months ago and passed it by since I thought it would feel like a costume. The print was part of a capsule range inspired by Little Shop of Horrors that Pinup Girl Clothing did earlier this fall. I loved the colors and the idea of the skirt, but couldn’t quite picture me in it. Between the pretty pictures of it on I Like Pretty Clothes and a flash sale that Pinup Girl Clothing had, I couldn’t resist trying it.

Close up of Venus Fly Trap Print

 

I’ve found over the last year that I’m one of those people who really enjoys stocking their closet with bold novelty prints, but I’ll admit that this was possibly the boldest print that I’ve ever purchased before! I expected it to be cute and quirky, but was worried it might be overwhelming on my shorter frame. What I didn’t expect was that it is absolutely beautiful in person. The rich purple contrasts with the greens and yellows in a way that is truly gorgeous.

Kinky Box Skirt in Venus Flytrap Print

 

The Kinky Box Skirt is a new cut for Pinup Girl Clothing and I really hope they’ll extend it beyond the Goth collections that they did this year. It’s the perfect cut for short waisted girls who like high waisted pieces. As you can see, high waisted for me basically translates to my underbust measurement. It’s even a good length for me, where some vintage inspired pieces come down to my calves due to my height. I actually wore it several times last week with both short and long sleeves due to massive weather changes, so it’s clearly a versatile piece that can be worn over and over. I’ll probably pair it with white or even red in the summer. I really love the shape of this skirt and how flattering the wide waistband is. It gives a great hourglass effect even when you’re just throwing it on over a plain t-shirt.

What do you think of this skirt and the print? How do you feel about novelty prints?

Full Bust Friendly Dress Review: The Coquette Dress in Jade by Fleet Collection

Image via Fleet Collection

Image via Fleet Collection

I was so impressed with my previous dress from Fleet Collection that I couldn’t resist going back for more! I’ve been on the hunt for more casual dresses and these fit perfectly into my wardrobe. I ordered the Coquette and the Derica, which I’ll be talking about as two separate reviews.

Coquette Dress In Jade

The Coquette looks like the perfect casual dress that could also be used for work purposes. I ordered it in the jade color since it was a better fit for all seasons. While most people have separate wardrobes for each season, Southerners tend to buy with year round wear in mind and then add layers when it gets slightly chillier.  I ordered the dress in an XL, which is also the largest size that Fleet Collection makes.

Coquette Dress in Jade by Fleet CollectionThis dress is totally gorgeous while still being modest enough to get you through all kinds of social situations. I really like the tiny white ruffles around the skirt to break up the solid color. I’m always looking for dresses which are fashionable but still covered up enough for professional stuff, so this dress fits the bill perfectly. It’s very boob friendly from both the front and the back. Like my other Fleet Collection dress, the fabric is a high quality medium weight knit.

IMG_0712

My only tiny complaint about this dress is that like many, the armholes are larger and show your bra a smidge if you’re on the busty side. This doesn’t matter when I’m wearing it with a cardigan, but it does mean I’ll have to wear a nude bra with it during the hot months.

Considering that Fleet Collection isn’t a full bust specific brand, I’m really impressed with their offerings. They’re a very budget friendly brand (this dress was $68) and their pieces look far more expensive than they actually are. I’d definitely recommend them to anyone in the size range and I’m hoping that they’ll start making a wider range of sizes sooner rather than later!

Indie Clothing Designer Spotlight: Dig For Victory Clothing

Image via Dig For Victory

Image via Dig For Victory

While I don’t do the full on vintage look, I do tend to gravitate towards vintage style dresses. I love buying real vintage, but with my measurements it can be hard to find stuff in my size. Given my love for vintage and difficult sizing I was thrilled to find Dig For Victory, a company that will recreate vintage dresses using vintage end of roll fabrics – but with custom measurements! Think of them as the EShakti for vintage gals. You can even have them add extra details like bows via custom request.

Image via Dig for Victory

Image via Dig for Victory

Dig for Victory is based out of Brighton, England and has a storefront there as well as an online presence. The concept is pretty simple: pick a dress pattern or just a fabric from their stash and then either buy a dress in your size or have them make you a custom dress. You can change sleeve lengths, sleeve types as well as details like hem lengths. As someone who struggles to find vintage dresses that hit at my knees, I’m tempted just by the custom measurements and the hem length feature. They have an adorable stash of prints that ranges from classic florals to Paddington Bear print.

Image via Dig For Victory

Image via Dig For Victory

I’ve never run across custom clothing that uses vintage fabrics before, but it feels like the best of both worlds to me. I also like that Dig for Victory offers a range of dress bodies that includes tea dresses, wiggle dresses and lots of dresses that are in between. For instance, this Black and Yellow Heidi Dress is a nice option for those who aren’t wedded to either wiggle dresses or giant circle skirts.

Image via Dig for Victory

Image via Dig for Victory

I’m definitely adding Dig for Victory to my list of dress boutiques to try soon. Dresses run around 115 GBP (or $185 USD) with a small customization fee.

Image via Dig For Victory

Image via Dig For Victory

What do you think of Dig for Victory? Would you wear one of these dresses?

Full Bust Friendly Dress Review: The Jenny Dress in Neverland Print by Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

I’m someone who is kind of crazy about not having my bra straps show, so I’ve casually been in love with this Jenny Dress from Pinup Girl Clothing without any reason to do anything about it. Luckily, Elomi has now released a strapless bra in my size – and I have no shame in admitting that I ordered this dress to celebrate my new strapless bra!

Neverland print close up

What drew me to this dress was not the shape but the print. I usually gravitate more towards 40′s dress shapes, I’ve always loved Peter Pan. I was thrilled to see a print that was based on the original source material rather than the Disney movie. Fellow Peter Pan fans should note the acorn and thimble in the print! This photo also shows the colors accurately – it’s a darker pink than the promotional photos show, but I like it a lot.

jennydress

 

I got this dress in my normal Pinup Girl Clothing XL, despite reading that it ran tight. Now that I’ve worn it, the sizing is actually a little easier to explain. This dress is lined with satin and the entire bodice is boned on each side. This helps the fabric hug you tighter, but also leads to the dress feeling tighter. As you wear it for a few minutes, the fabric opens up and feels like your normal size. Having said all of that, I had no problem getting it zipped up in my regular size. I’m 5’4″, so as you can see this dress is longer on me than on the model.

jennydressstraps

 

This dress also features fully adjustable straps, which is perfect if you’re busty or have especially small or wide shoulders. My personal theory is that this dress is probably designed to be worn without a bra, which is why the boning and the straps are designed to help pull you into a specific shape.

Jenny Dress with Sweater

 

As you can see, this is a gorgeous dress that does a great job of emphasizing your waist! I find poofy skirts a bit much to mess with during the day sometimes, but this one was nice and easy to wear. I wore it to run some errands and out to lunch with no issues whatsoever on the day that I took these. It looks great with flats and a sweater but would also be easy to dress up for a pretty yet unexpected party outfit.

While I like this dress a lot and will be wearing it a ton, I’m not sure the Jenny Dress cut is the most full bust friendly thing that Pinup Girl Clothing has put out.  The dress has so many high quality elements that seem designed to act as a bra that it almost fights with the bra you have on! The boning in the dress and the underwires in your bra have to be positioned just right to make it sit perfectly and that can be hard to maintain as you move. I think it’s lovely and I’m thrilled to have it, but I’m don’t think I’ll be buying multiples like I do sometimes. I know some people have reported similar issues with the Monica dress that has a strong internal structure, so I wonder if it’s a matter of these dresses being so well built that they’re hard to layer a supportive bra under.

This will be yet another well loved addition to my closet by Pinup Girl Clothing and I’m so excited to finally own this print! It’s rare to see companies making modern novelty prints, so I’m glad to see companies like Pinup Girl Clothing and Trashy Diva put the effort in to design and produce them.

What do you think of this dress? What do you think of the print?

Full Busted Dress Review: The Holly Golightly Dress In Plum by Fleet Collection

IMG_0667

Since I’ve thrown out all of my pants and traded them in for dresses a year ago or so, I’m constantly on the hunt for flattering yet casual knit dresses to replace the jeans and t-shirt section of my wardrobe. I ran across Fleet Collection months ago, but somehow lost track of them until their Secret Sale notification popped up on Facebook a few days ago. The 20% off encouraged me to take the plunge, bringing a $68 dress down to $55. I haven’t read any reviews of Fleet Collection dresses, so I had no idea what the quality or the fit would be like.

Holly Golightly Dress in Plum

I took the plunge for several reasons:
a) the price
b) the gorgeous purple color
c) all Fleet Collection dresses are made in Los Angeles and I do like buying made in the USA whenever possible
d) the fact that the dress was named after my favorite ever Holly – Breakfast at Tiffany’s was the movie that made me happy to be named Holly in the first place!

Holly Golightly Dress in Plum by Fleet Collection

I was thrilled to open the package and discover that the dress was far more than I expected –  it is made of a nice solid fabric and beautifully made and finished on the inside. The fabric is thick enough that I think this will make a great year round dress if you live in a warmer climate – it’ll be perfect with a sweater and tights under it on colder days. This dress feels and looks far more expensive than it is. The Holly Golightly dress has a zipper, but I could also pull it on over my head with no problems.

Holly Golightly Dress in Plum by Fleet Collection

Not only is this dress full bust friendly, it’s got a feature that I almost never find in nice casual dresses – back interest, as Darlene would say! The cutout with the bow in back is pretty and interesting without overwhelming the line of the dress. I definitely want to try wearing it out with my hair up to show off the back a bit more.

Holly Golightly Dress in Plum

This dress also has hidden pockets, which is an incredibly useful feature in a casual dress. There is lots of great detail work on this dress for the price.

The downside of Fleet Collection is that they don’t go beyond an XL, which is the size I bought. This dress would look great on plus size women and I’d love to see them offer an expanded range of sizes so everyone could take advantage of their offerings. They’ve now been picked up by Modcloth and other websites that sell a full range of sizes, so I’m hoping that may influence them to expand their offerings.

dericaemeraldfront

 

dericaemeraldback

 

Coquette Dress in Port

I would absolutely buy a Fleet Collection dress again – in fact, I’ve already got my eye on several more possibilities. I love the Derica dress and think that the cutouts might actually work with a real bra! I may get brave and try it soon.

What do you think of Fleet Collection? Have you tried them yet?

IGIGI Dress Review + Gift Card Giveaway!

Felisha Dress by IGIGI

Make sure you don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

I’ve been window shopping on the IGIGI website forever, but I hadn’t heard a lot of reviews about how they worked for busty women. I’d seen pictures of both Georgina and Caroline looking fantastic in their dresses, so I was super excited when IGIGI me the chance to try a dress.

IGIGI carries dresses in sizes 12 through 32 and specializes in interesting colors, flattering prints and great plus size silhouettes. They carry separates and basic workwear items like suits and coats, but everyone I know is mostly obsessed with their dresses.

It never gets quite cold enough for real sweater dresses here, so I elected to go with a dress from their “Intro To Fall” line. I have lots of prints in my wardrobe, so I decided to go with something really different for me – stripes! I loved the classic chic look of this dress as well as the t-shirt type top. I need more easy to wear work dresses and this seemed right up my alley. The size 12 fit my chest measurement exactly, which is rare for a size 12!

So how does it look? Check it out:

dress-full

dress-close

I’m obviously going to review the dress, but I have to start with a note about the packaging. Lots of companies just stuff their $130+ dresses into a plastic bag so they wrinkle in the mail, but IGIGI really does their packaging right. It came perfectly packaged with a bag and a hanger, which had been packed flat in a larger box so it wouldn’t wrinkle. This is the first dress I haven’t had to steam wrinkles out of in ages, so extra points to them for packing things nicely.

As for the dress itself, I love it. It’s not my normal vintage infused style, but I think it’s a great alternative look for me. The waist is a bit big, which I expected given that my non-bust measurements are a little small for the IGIGI size chart. The waistband detail disguises that wonderfully, so I don’t even have to wear a belt with it.  The dress feels very sophisticated and almost Parisian to me, while still being completely business meeting appropriate. Even better, it magically hides all the weight in my stomach!

nezetta-navy-gold-front-1

I was most surprised by the quality of the dress – the fabrics are nice and the whole skirt is lined beautifully so it falls nicely and doesn’t move around too much. These dresses are a great deal for the price and I see why they’re so popular. I’ll definitely be back to try more – I’ve got my eye on this gorgeous cocktail dress, despite not needing any more fancy dresses.

If you like the look of this dress or if you have also been lusting after an IGIGI dress, today I have a treat for you! IGIGI has graciously offered to host a giveaway with The Full Figured Chest – the prize is a $75 gift certificate that can be put towards the gorgeous dress of your choosing. The giveaway will run until November 5th, at which point I will notify the winner. If I don’t hear back from the winner within 72 hours, I’ll have to pick someone else, so please make sure to enter with an email address that you check on a regular basis!

Check out the widget below to see how to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full Busted Clothing Review: The Dietrich Swing Trench by Collectif

Image via Collectif

Image via Collectif

Finding a winter coat when you live in a warm weather climate is actually a pretty tricky thing! While everyone else has been obsessing over wool coats with fur collars, I’ve been looking for the perfect coat for the southern winter season. It needed to have more warmth than a raincoat, but also be able to work for 60 to 40 degree days. I also wanted it to have room to fit layers underneath in case it got below 40 for a week or so. I spotted this coat on the Collectif site months ago, but sort of wrote it off as just another pretty raincoat. I rediscovered it on Modcloth and realized that it was lined and made out of a heavy cotton – plus, it was just too lovely to resist! I’ve tried a dress from Collectif before and I’ve heard that their sizing varies widely between styles. Seeing the coat on Modcloth gave me the confidence to take the plunge. If the coat didn’t work, free returns always beats return postage to the UK.

Collectif Dietrich Swing Trench in XL

 

I still need to steam it properly, but this coat is absolutely a winner. I love the light blue color as well as the figuring flattering details. This is the XL, which is a smidge tight on the chest but fits my waist perfectly. It’s a better fit than I get on most coats, so I’m willing to go with a slight amount of pulling to get such a great shape. If I unbutton the top button, it doesn’t pull at all. I’ll probably wear it with the top button undone and a pretty scarf for color most of the time anyway.

This coat has an absolutely gorgeous floral lining that is silky smooth and adds an extra layer of warmth – I was shocked at how high quality and well made it was.  While it wouldn’t work in a climate that gets a real winter, it would certainly get you through until the snow sets in. It will work wonderfully here with a cardigan under it for “cold” days. In general, all of the details on this coat are done right: cuffs and pleats are perfect, the skirt is poofy but doesn’t get in the way and the buttons are sturdy. From my limited experience, Collectif pieces are incredibly high quality and always a good buy.

Dietrich Swing Trench Red TOP VINTAGE RETAIL ONLY

 

Collectif has released this coat in red recently, but it’s also available in beige and black. They’re also bringing in some gorgeous wool coats with fur details if you’re lucky enough to need that kind of thing in your life.

Gretel Coat red

 

While I know that not everyone is a fan of Modcloth, I think they’re a great place to try out Collectif due to their easy returns policy. I love this Phyllis Doll Dress as well, but I’ll probably only check it out if it shows up on Modcloth at some point. They do make it easy to try out international brands without taking the risk of being stuck with something!

Phyllis Doll Dress Burgundy

 

What coat will you be wearing this winter? What do you think of this one?