Recognize this picture?
If you’ve liked me on Facebook, you should…
Ah, Spring. The birds all a-twitter, the bees buzzing happily around the flowers just in bloom, the sunlight warming the skin of young and old… Too bad it’s almost over here in Las Vegas. Summer is around the corner, and I’m already steeling myself in preparation for the skin-sizzling heat of the desert sun. For at least another week or two, though, I am enjoying good weather and the bright, happy green of the plants that don’t grow naturally here but have been imported to make it seem like the Mojave desert is a viable place for human life. Unnaturally placed or no, I sure do love verdant green. It may even have edged out blue, the longstanding leader, for Miss Shapen’s Favorite Color. That’s what first made Pin Up Girl Clothing’s Colette Button Down Dress in Green Sateen look so irresistible to me – the exquisite color. And now I’m clinging to it because in my mind, it’s such a delightful spring look that maybe if I wear it enough it will stave off the horrors of the upcoming summer (oh hush – I never claimed to be rational all the time). So despite significant fit issues, I am reluctant to speak the truth about this, which is that it just doesn’t quite work.
Obviously, it’s a gorgeous dress. The color is absolutely to die for – possibly my favorite color of any dress I’ve tried. The shape is classic and gives a lovely silhouette while allowing for modesty when completely buttoned up (undoing the top button ups the cleavage factor, but still wouldn’t be over the top at a garden party, I’d say… Not that I really follow societal norms on what is and isn’t appropriate, but for those of you who do, I think you’re still good with this one.) The fabric is truly lovely, soft but substantial, and the overall quality of the garment is exceptionally high. The skirt is extremely generous, and the way it falls around my legs feels luxurious without being overly heavy. Alas, I’m only borrowing this dress, but if it weren’t I would absolutely be keeping it. That being said, there are as I mentioned definitely a few fit issues to be discussed. Before we go on, though, I owe you apologies. This dress comes with a matching belt, but somehow when I got to the photoshoot, I couldn’t figure out where I had put it in the suitcase I’d brought (it seemed obvious once I was home, of course). Therefore, all the belted shots have been hastily taken on a different day, which is unfortunate for direct comparison. I had brought a bin of belts with me, but obviously the only one I had that worked even remotely was not ideal. This isn’t the dress’ fault, so please keep that in mind as you view any pictures with it on; I am including them because having the waist pulled in highlights issues that are present with the included belt as well. Anyway, sorry about all that. *grumbles at self for being a doof*
Right then. Here we have the dress from the front, three ways: on its own, with the belt I had handy (it really is great on other garments, I swear), and with the included belt. Sorry about the wrinkles and cropping in the indoors photo (which will also be in any photos to follow with the included belt); I arranged this hastily so I could get the post up and didn’t have time to prepare like I normally would. Anyway, I think it’s obvious that the dress is generally gorgeous, but upon closer inspection, you may notice that there is something funny about the placement of the darts. It kind of reminds me of the issue we busty lassies often get with underbust seams sitting on the boobs instead of beneath them, which stops clothing form nipping in properly. This dress does have enough room for my chest, but placing the darts so high makes it lay weirdly on that area. My guess is that one inch lower would largely solve the problem, but I am neither a designer nor a seamstress, so I would welcome comments on that matter. Either way, it’s a bit awkward and I’m not so fond of the effect it has on my shape. This is compounded by the fact that the waist sits too low on me. This latter problem is not terribly surprising; I am both high waisted and generally on the short side, so for a dress to seem long-waisted on me is not uncommon and can’t be considered a general failing of the piece itself. However, given how high the bust darts are, it seems that either this dress is weirdly proportioned or that I am vastly underestimating the distance between the waistline and boobs of women significantly taller than myself (whom I assume the dress would suit better). My boobs are pretty high-set as it is – they start just an inch or so below my collarbone – so said tall lady would have to have boobs higher than that and a torso several inches longer than mine as well. It’s a shame, because I love everything else about this dress, including the overall shape.
Turning to the side, the dart issue becomes even more glaring, and while I admit I am not wearing a terribly flattering bra in these pictures, I still think this problem is negatively impacting the shape of my boobs. The dart draws the eye downwards and causes weird fabric bunching, and also obscures the gentle curves of the boobily joobilies in a rather disappointing fashion. It is clear in these how much the included belt helps the overall look – with a wider belt (something I often favor) this dress looks a bit frumpy.
The actually find the back view pleasing, depite the extra fabric in the upper torso that is bunching a bit. Still nice.Now for one last big fit issue (not cropping these because I actually think my ridiculous unkemptness is funny):
I can’t raise my arms comfortably in this at all. I suppose a demure, ladylike gazelle of a woman might not need to wave her arms about and constantly gesticulate like a madperson (or, you know, get something off of a shelf), but I am not that woman and do in fact use my arms in their full ranges of motion pretty regularly. I don’t know if you can tell how much the fabric is pressing into the tops of my arms, but yeah… Yowch. And what on Earth is it doing to my boobs in the second?!* GAH. Those darts again. Eeeegh.
In the next picture, I’ve done my best to show how the dress might look with the waistline brought up, which I think vastly improves the look on my figure. If I owned this, I would definitely attempt to have this altered in that way. Obviously the extra fabric would be taken out instead of bunched up all awkwardly, heh. I’m not sure what if anything could be done about the sleeve issue, though, and I’m pretty sure the darts aren’t fixable (although really, what do I know about such things?), which is a shame. Because look how cute this is!
So, final assessment? I’m kind of amazed at how much I still want this dress despite all the issues outlined. I’m still not sure I can completely recommend it in good faith, though. It’s a tossup for me. What do you think, gentle readers?
Style: Definitely save this one for a nice occasion, unless you are like me
and wear whatever you want all the time.
Which I recommend, of course.
Fit: 5/10. Wish I could say higher. :(
I do notice many of the same issues in the models on the company’s website, so they may not be busty/curvy/high-waisted/short/whatever dependent, unfortunately.
Comfort: 7/10 (other than the issue with the arms, feels lovely on)
Style: 9/10 (for the overall style/concept, as opposed to fit above)
My measurements at the time of the photoshoot: 39/27/38
*Interrobang! I love these.
In backyard photos:
Photography by Geoff Carter
Markeup by Elaine Thomas
In other news:
– I’m sorry I didn’t manage to do the second review I mentioned. It turns out the dress is no longer available form Pepperberry, so I want to change the format of my review, and I don’t have time tonight. Mrgh.
– Bra reviews are forthcoming, but it will be a bit; I’m waiting to get better sizes in two companies’ bras (Comexim and Braologie – will be doing size comparisons in each), and I’ve been having all my Ewa Michalak bras altered, so I’m documenting that process for a before-and-after review that will then serve as a reference for my reviews of all of their bras, since I will be wearing them all that way. Is good, yes? I am particularly excited for the first Comexim shoot, as I have plans for it already and they involve a tasty dessert item. NOM.
– Apparently I am a real blogger now, so in addition to The Brog, the Facebrog, and my Tumblr (lovingly nicknamed Tumbly the Tumbrog in my mind), I now have Twitter (@weirdlyshaped – see sidebar!) and Pinterest. Please come and say hi!