Bolero Beachwear Review: A Tale of Two Lolas

Jenny Rieu in the red Lola dress

It’s no secret if you follow my Instagram that I am a huge fan of Bolero Beachwear – and that I wear my dresses from them a lot. However, today I wanted to do something different. I’ll be reviewing the current ponte di roma Lola in stock at Bolero and also showing some pictures of my top secret velvet Lola that was made as a one-off for me – and that I’m hoping Patricia will put into production for winter party season next year!

Lola Dress by Bolero Beachwear

If you’re full-busted, the Lola looks a lot like one of those dresses you would see on a rack at laugh at. It has the dreaded underbust seam, which is usually a sign of dress doom. Amazingly, Patricia has done some magic to make this work on curvy figures – and it’s super flattering! This is the ponte di roma version, which is heavy enough for winter in New Orleans but also probably light enough for spring other places. I’ve had this one for months and it has been washed and worn over and over, so I can testify that they wear well.

Velvet Lola by Bolero Beachwear

This past autumn or so, I finally gave in and sold some of my favorite (but ill fitting) party dresses. I love wearing velvet for the holidays here, so I immediately asked Patricia if she’d ever thought of doing some velvet party dresses. She basically said no, and I assumed that was the end of it. So, you can imagine my glee when this beauty showed up on my doorstep early this spring! It was my dream party dress, in a pink velvet that matched my newish hair color perfectly. It turns out that Patricia had seen my new hair color on Instagram and had run into the velvet in a shop and intentionally matched them up!

I love this formal version of my beloved Lola and can’t wait to wear it to every party and event I can possibly make it work for – it’s totally glamorous but also feels like wearing pajamas, which is the best kind of party dress. While it’s nice to have a one-of-a-kind dress, I’m hoping this gets added to Bolero’s official offerings next year. I know lots of women looking for a similar dress, which is why I’m posting about this one!

I’m really happy to have both these dresses for reasons beyond fit and quality materials – they’re both made by women living in Florida who are paid a living wage. Working in the lingerie industry has opened my eyes to what fast fashion consumption does to victimize garment workers and the environment. While I’m not promising that I’ll never buy another fast fashion item, I have found myself gravitating towards companies who use sustainable materials and in-country labor sources exclusively this year. I’ve also started to explore the idea of making some of my own clothes with sustainably sourced fabric for similar reasons. I love wearing my Lola dresses, but I’m also proud that no one was victimized or taken for granted as part of their creation.

Now all I need is a lightweight Lola for spring/summer and I’ll quite literally be able to live in Lola dresses 365 days of the year!

Have you tried Bolero Beachwear yet? Which Lola Dress is your favorite?


  • Reply Darlene March 6, 2018 at 7:04 AM

    Looks incredible and even better because of the story behind it!

    • Reply Patricia McCaw March 6, 2018 at 8:31 AM

      Doesn’t she look incredible and stunning? And I love the way Holly tell stories too Darlene, just like you, there are some multi-talented women and I’m so honored when they find and love Bolero too!

  • Reply Patricia McCaw March 6, 2018 at 8:08 AM

    Behind these beautiful dresses, there is experience, perseverance, curiosity and much love and all I can say by looking at the amazing fit on you is that it was well worth the time spent making our Lola dress better and better.
    It’s common to see women wearing clothes with terrible fit on them, but… it was made by….and they paid $$$….and because of that, they love to brag about those brand names, it doesn’t matter how unflattering those clothes can look on them. There is a good description for this by Nina Garcia in her book “ The little black book of style” she call them: victims of the fashion.

    At the other hand, nothing more attractive than a woman feeling happy on her own skin, wearing something flattering on her and perhaps, camouflaging some areas that we all feel a bit insecure about.

    And another favorite part of Nina’s book is this: “A woman with style inspired me to ask her: where did you get that dress? Is not in any magazine and I haven’t seen it in the catwalk, I just have to find out where this comes from.” And I’m soooo proud to hear that our customers have situations like this all time when they wear their Bolero dresses!
    Something I learned long time ago at the Fashion school is that usually designers have big egos and of course, we all want to believe that our designs are the best, and probably some are beautiful, but the real challenge is to get the right fit on REAL bodies and even more challenging: on very curvy bodies. So for Bolero, is very important to listen to what customers need and want. And as for our designer, our customers are the best source for learning/improving/designing and by listening to their requests, we came up with designs that look great and more important, make our customers feel sexy, confident and very Happy and for Bolero, happiness is the ultimate goal in life.
    And speaking of happiness, thank so much Holly for making our team so happy and proud of our products. Perhaps there is a Holly Dress in the future….

  • Reply Ebeth March 6, 2018 at 10:28 AM

    I find I really like the prints on Lola, and it’s one of those dresses I get constant compliments on. But that velvet adds an extra facet to an already great dress. I know NOLA is warmer than NC, but I wear my ponti “Erica” all winter here, too. I just wear heavy patterned tights and tall boots. All the dresses really lend themselves to layering; try your Lola with an underskirt! I love the idea of supporting a woman owned and woman centered business.

    • Reply Holly Jackson March 6, 2018 at 4:44 PM

      I love this idea! I’ll try that next year when we get some really cold days. We had a week or more where it was 18 to 20 degrees here that was just miserable this winter.

    • Reply Patricia McCaw March 7, 2018 at 7:21 AM

      So many thanks Ebeth! You’re better than any paid adverstising campaign, not only because you look stunning in Bolero – I know people follow you asking where did you get that dress- but also because you’re such a loving and generous person who supports our small business and like to help to other busty and curvy women, to find the right fit garments.
      I remember when you walked into our Pop-up wearing your Plaid Erica dress with tights and tall boots… so awesome!!! And by looking at you, there were other two ladies who decided to purchase the same dress like the one you wore.
      Plan B in your life can be modeling, nothing like a real curvy woman wearing the right fit dress on her.

  • Reply Jennifer Falcon March 6, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    Love Bolero on you! I love the velvet! I truly hope to see it in the winter season! plus i love the retro vibe! 😉

    You have the curves and this dress shows them in the right way! your confidence is beautiful and admirable!

    • Reply Patricia McCaw March 7, 2018 at 7:23 AM

      Thanks Jennifer! Holly rocking that velvet dress, really keep us thinking to include velvet in our next winter group…

  • Reply Pinup Miami March 6, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    I have a lola dress as well and I love it!!! I also love your confidence in this dress! You have a such a beautiful soul. I make my own dresses as well and can’t wait to see what you do with your creativity!

    I can’t wait to see Bolero bring out the velvet in the winter!

    • Reply Patricia McCaw March 7, 2018 at 6:57 AM

      Thanks so much Pinup Miami! I really love to see -and brag- about the fit of our dresses, the Lola in this case, in a larger size than the size of the models in our website. Your dress was a 1XL and you look stunning!!!

  • Reply Rose March 6, 2018 at 1:35 PM

    I love my Lola dress! I have it in the red ponti, and it is so comfortable. I was able to buy it at a pop up shop with Patricia, and she nudged me out of my comfort zone by having me try this on. And I am so glad she did!! It is such a flattering dress and fits my chest perfectly. It really accentuates my neckline in a way that pushes the boundaries of what I typically wear, but in a tasteful way. I always feel beautiful wearing my Bolero 🙂 You can really change the look of it too with belts, scarfs, jackets, jewelry, and shoes. It is so versatile!

    I am glad you were able to get such a beautiful one-of-a-kind dress; it looks fantastic and I love the color! I don’t typically wear velvet, but I do love this dress in velvet. It looks beautiful!

    • Reply Holly Jackson March 6, 2018 at 4:48 PM

      Patricia is so good at figuring out how to match dresses with her customers! I think she’s a mind reader or something. She’s gotten me out of my comfort zone with several prints/color combinations that are not my regular style, but that I ended up loving. When in doubt about a dress, I usually just let Patricia pick.

    • Reply Patricia McCaw March 7, 2018 at 7:02 AM

      Thanks Rose! you look better than a model in our dresses and I’m so glad you decided to follow my crazy advise and try on dresses and styles out of your comfort zone during the Pop-up at Sophisticated Pair in NC
      I love your idea of changing the look with accesories and what about all the time you save in front of your closet when you know what dress fits you better!
      And big thanks to husband for sending you back the next day to get…another Bolero dress!

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