Off the Rack ~ Trashy Diva Roundup

I’ve done a few reviews of dresses from Trashy Diva in the past. But since my last review, I’ve collected lots more pieces from this company. So this week I’m doing a comprehensive review of all the different cuts I’ve tried, with a focus on how boob-friendly they each are.

Let’s start with my measurements. I’m 5’6” with a looooong torso and short legs. My figure is 37”-29”-41” and I’m between sizes for bras, at 28G/GG – 30FF/G. In the photos below, I’m wearing a Freya Ada in 28G in all the pictures taken in the white hallway, or the Freya Deco Strapless in 30FF with the halter-neck dresses. All the other pictures were taken a while ago, so I’ve no idea what bra I was wearing!

These are in no particular order, except that dresses for which I’ve already done a full review are at the end of the list.

1. Maria
Print name: Peacock
Fabric: Medium-weight rayon
Size: 8
Side zipper, non-functional buttons up the front, pockets

IMG_4373

IMG_4374

IMG_4375

I would say this dress has plenty of room for boobs, but it’s not cut in such a way that is as fitted to a big bust as some other designs. There are under-bust darts, but the overall shape from the bust apex to the waist is still more of a ski-slope rather than curving under the bust. However, thankfully it does not pull the waist seam up and create a faux pregnancy belly.

Boob-score: B+

2. Loop dress
Print name: Geisha Fans
Fabric: Stretch cotton sateen
Size: 6
Side zipper, fan-back skirt, no pockets

IMG_4376

IMG_4377

IMG_4378

My measurements actually match the 8 in this dress, but I bought it used for a really good price, so I took a chance on the 6 since it has stretch. Size 6 is supposed to fit up to 27” waist and up to 38” bust, but the waist is only the tiniest bit snug and the bust is noticeably small even though it should be ample enough. Usually the size chart is spot-on, but I definitely don’t think so this time. It pretty much works out in my favor, since the waist feels good. And even though it’s squishing my boobs a little, the multiple darts make it hug my figure just beautifully. I think an 8 would have been “perfect,” but I kinda like having a snugger fit for a change.

Boob-score: A

3. Hepburn Jumpsuit
Fabric: Medium-weight rayon
Size: 8
Back zipper, pockets

IMG_4379

IMG_4380

IMG_4381

This is easily my favorite Trashy Diva piece that I own! This is the item that changed my previously very staunch anti-jumpsuit rule (anti-any clothing that requires undressing to pee, really). Unfortunately, it was long since sold out by the time I discovered it. Luckily, someone in my Trashy Diva Facebook swap/sell group listed one for sale and I was able to buy it for about the same price I would have at retail, minus the shipping!

Aside from being a really unique and incredibly comfortable article of clothing, I’m happy to report that the torso is actually long enough on me! Yet because the pants are so loose, it hides the crotch location, so I think it would still work on petite gals as well. The legs are quite long, though, so some hemming might be necessary. I’m wearing the same 3.5-inch heels here as the other photos, and my feet are still completely hidden. As for the bust, well I think that speaks for itself. The waistband is completely under my bust, and there’s plenty of room for boobies thanks to the gathering, without excess cleavage. Definitely the best-fitting TD I’ve tried so far.

Boob-score: A+

4. Sadie Ruffles
Print name: Slap & Tickle
Fabric: Lightweight rayon
Size: 8
Side zipper, matching belt, non-functional buttons up the front, no pockets

IMG_4382

IMG_4383

IMG_4384

This is a new dress to me, though it’s an old print. I just got it used from another Facebook group. The Sadie has floppy short sleeves, and comes in a variety of skirt shapes. I really love the original Sadie, which has a draped tulip skirt, but the asymmetrical ruffles here are pretty fun too. They’re only on the front, and the back looks like a plain A-line shape. Unfortunately, the belt is way small. I have to wear it on the loosest setting. It just doesn’t match the dress’s actual waist.

Aside from that, though, it’s a lovely fit on a full bust. I was expecting it to have the ski slope shape of the Maria, but this one curves under the bust pretty well, as you can really see in the third photo. I’m not sure why it fits so differently than the Maria considering they have such similar top structure and even the same dart placement, but I’ll take it! Also take note of the fact that I’m wearing a loud printed bra and dark colored underwear, but you can’t see them through the dress even though the fabric is lightly colored and very lightweight.

Boob-score: A

5. Sandy Mini
Fabric: Medium-weight rayon
Size: 8
Side zipper, embroidered daisies on the waistband, pockets

IMG_4385

IMG_4386

IMG_4387

At first glance, the Sandy seems to have a similar structure to the Hepburn. But it crosses over in back exactly the same as the front, whereas the Hepburn is a flat, non-crossover V with a zipper in back. Sandy also crosses the left side over top, while Hepburn crosses the right side over, and Sandy has a slightly deeper cut. You can actually see a tiny bit of bra gore peeking out, so this cut requires a true plunge bra.

You can also see my bra strap making an appearance on the right-hand shoulder. Though there is plenty of room for boobs in this dress and the waistband sits at the correct height, this shoulder configuration tends to slide off my shoulders a lot. I have two other dresses with this front and back cross-over construction, and they do it too. Since I hate to make permanent alterations to my TD, I instead poke a safety pin through the interior shoulder seam allowance, and then close it around my bra strap. Then I can slide my straps back and forth if needed, and once they’re situated, they actually hold the shoulders in place and keep them from sliding off. Someone with broader shoulders also might not have this issue.

Boob-score: A-

6. Amaya
Print name: Chinese Opera
Fabric: Rayon crepe de chine
Size: 8
Side zipper, non-removable fabric tie-belt, pockets

IMG_4388

IMG_4390

IMG_4391

The Amaya has the same front and back cross-over as the Sandy (though it crosses over on the opposite side). However, this time it’s got a much less full skirt, and half-length kimono-esque sleeves. Additionally, the waistband comes up a fraction higher on me, just barely sitting on breast tissue. It once again requires a plunge bra—if you blow up the third photo, you can see just a touch of visible bra gore, and it tends to flap open if you move a lot or bend over. Additionally, these shoulders just absolutely will not stay up on me. I can only wear it with safety pins in the seams as I described above. That being said, as usual there is plenty of volume for boobs, though bigger gals may want to pin the front together or sew in a hook and eye.

Boob-score: B-

7. Annette
Print name: Sci-Fi Rockets
Fabric: Stretch cotton
Size: 8
Side zipper, matching belt, pockets

IMG_1295

IMG_1298

IMG_1299

Since I’ve already done a full-length review of this dress, I’ll keep this brief. Annette is not particularly boob-flattering. In my earlier review, I complained about the ski slope shape and that the sides of the top flared out around the armpit area. The arm holes were also too wide open, and I had visible strapless bra even after I shortened the straps a little. I’ve avoided the Annette cut since purchasing this dress, and in fact just traded another gal on Facebook for a different cut, which is coming up next.

Boob-score: C

8. Rockette
Print name: Sci-Fi Rockets
Fabric: Stretch cotton
Size: 10
Back zipper, matching belt, non-functional buttons up the front, patch pockets

IMG_4392

IMG_4393

IMG_4394

I absolutely adore the Sci-Fi Rockets print, and it’s become a bit of a collector’s item in the last couple years, so there was no way I would ever sell it despite the fit issues. Luckily, there’s always someone on Facebook who wants to trade sizes or cuts in the same fabric. I recently fell in love with the Rockette cut, which I wasn’t quite adventurous enough for when I first purchased the Annette (it was only my second TD order ever!), and pounced when someone wanted to trade theirs for a different cut in a smaller size.

Unfortunately, the 10 really is too big on me. The belt is huge even on the tightest setting (though I can fix that by punching in a few more grommet holes), and the back doesn’t stay up since it’s a halter top. However, I’m glad I got a 10 anyway, because the bust fits great, and the waist is the same diameter as my old Annette for some reason. I’m really pleased that it curves under my bust instead of going straight from apex to waist. And since it’s made of cotton instead of delicate rayon, I’m much more comfortable with the idea of altering it myself. I’m going to add some under-bust darts and will take in the ribs on the side seams if necessary.

Boob-score: B (It’s hard to say objectively, since it’s not my real size and requires alterations, but I’ll estimate it’s one grade up from Annette.)

9. Lena Sarong
Print name: Ruffled Feathers
Fabric: Stretch rayon
Size: 8
Back zipper, stretchy shirred side panels, no pockets

IMG_4395

IMG_4396

IMG_4397

This is the newest addition to my collection. I actually own another Lena dress and two Lena tops because I love this cut so much. It is just so flattering. Though as you can see, it definitely emphasizes the girls! This stretch rayon fabric is a dream to wear, and the stretchy shirred side panels mean you get a customized fit. Some people complain about the halter hurting their neck, but as long as you wear a good strapless bra (like my trusty Freya Deco), then the dress strap doesn’t have to take any of the weight.

I also appreciate that the neck strap opens and closes with buttons, because these straps are always too long on me, but all I have to do to shorten them is unpick the buttons and re-attach them further over. Additionally, some of the older models of this dress have a much thinner strap, but I prefer this wider one since it balances out big boobs and gives a little more coverage on the sides.

Boob-score: A+

10. Goldie
Print name: Crepe Myrtle
Fabric: Lightweight rayon
Size: 8
Back zipper, pockets

IMG_4398

IMG_4399

IMG_4400

Oh, the Goldie. I’m not usually into florals, but this more graphic floral print really spoke to me. And then it went on sale! So I got the one dress that was left in my size, the Goldie. It looks amazing from the front, but it has one huge problem…

IMG_4402

This is the back! I couldn’t resist a dress that shows off my back tattoo so well, and I actually did find an okay solution to the bra issue (I do not regularly wear it with this Freya Deco), but it’s just such a hassle! I started by tacking the blousey front part to the straps to hide more side-bra:

IMG_4401

Then I wear it with my low-back Le Mystere Soiree Bustier. But a little bit of the bustier still peeks out above the waistband, so I take a black tube top and wear it under my boobs, tucking it into the bra band in back to make sure it doesn’t fall down. It ends up looking fine, but it adds so much extra bulk that the waistband is then borderline too tight. Additionally, the bustier stops right at the bottom of the waistband, so it all squeezes me extra tightly right in my squishiest spot, which is neither comfortable nor flattering. And what’s more, the front dips down so low that my bra is only hidden because the top is so blousey and baggy. I’m actually in the process of trying to trade this dress for another cut in the same print.

Boob score: F

11. Trixie
Print name: Big Polka
Fabric: Lightweight rayon
Size: Medium
Back zipper, stretchy shirred side panels, tie-neck halter, no pockets

IMG_4403

IMG_4404

IMG_4405

A Trashy Diva classic! The Trixie is one of their oldest styles. It used to be made with wide straps like my Lena Sarong above, but ironically this time I prefer it with the thin straps. Once again the stretchy shirred panels give it a custom fit. And the detailed bust is oh-so-flattering on big boobs. The only problem is that the floppy nature of the fabric means those details don’t always hold their shape perfectly. You can see in the second photo, for example, that the left-hand side sits at a 90-degree angle in my cleavage, while the right-hand side is at a diagonal, because it flopped over while hanging in my closet and is stuck that way unless I starch it.

I used to own this dress in cotton poplin as well, but I decided I didn’t wear it enough to justify keeping, so I sold it. However, that one did maintain its bust details a little better since it was stiffer fabric, but it also wrinkled really easily and you could see the layers of fabric through one another at the bust, giving it a lumpy look, so I still prefer the rayon.

Boob-score: A

12. Lena
Print name: Green Kimono
Fabric: Rayon crepe de chine
Size: 8
Back zipper, stretchy shirred side panels, no pockets

lena1

lena2

I only have real-life pictures of this dress because it’s currently at the cleaners after I wore it to a swing dance event on the USS Intrepid, pictured here. It’s again soooo flattering, especially with the contrast-color inner bust panel. It was also amazing for spinning in!

lena3

Boob-score: A+

13. Doll Mini
Fabric: Medium-weight rayon
Size: 8
Side zipper, pockets

IMG_1091

My very first Trashy Diva piece! Read the full review for much more detail. This is still one of my favorites and I would love more of the Doll cut. It’s similar to the Sandy again, but this one stays up on my shoulders a lot better. Plenty of room for boobs here, and the waistband stays firmly under my bust.

Boob-score: A+

14. Streetcar
Print name: Cherries
Fabric: Rayon
Size: 8
Side zipper, removeable matching neck-tie, matching belt, pockets

IMG_1548

IMG_1551

IMG_1552

IMG_1553

IMG_1555

The first Trashy Diva I ever paid full price for (a rare happenstance!) is this Cherries Streetcar. It was a re-issue of an old print, so I knew it’d go fast and I bought it outright. You can read my full review here.

The Streetcar is definitely a less boob-friendly option. As usual, there’s enough volume, but it doesn’t curve under my bust, and it’s actually a wee bit small, so that my bigger boob pulls the fabric over to sit crookedly. However, I tried a size up at the time, and it was too big in the waist and across the back. The nice thing about the Streetcar is you can wear the neckline in several different configurations. However, it does require a strapless or T-back bra, or a Rixie clip, to keep your straps hidden.

Boob-score: B-

15. Jenny Short-Sleeve
Fabric: Heavy stretch knit
Size: 6
Side zipper, no pockets

IMG_1115

IMG_1113

Here’s another one I wrote a full review of. The Jenny is exceedingly comfortable and very boob-friendly thanks to the ingenious construction. There are vertical seams leading from the skirt pleats up to the bust, where it pleats out again. There’s also gathering up on the shoulders that resembles netting, which allows for generous fabric in the bust. It’s also super stretchy. I sized down to a 6 and could have easily worn a 4 if I wanted it clingier.

I did end up selling this dress due to it not getting enough wear, but that’s no reflection on its fit or quality otherwise. It’s highly, highly recommended! It was just a little too conservative for me.

Boob-score: A++

16. Doris
Fabric: Cotton voile
Size: 8
Side zipper, pockets

IMG_2221

IMG_2229

IMG_2230

Finally we come to the last dress, Doris in cotton voile, another that I previously reviewed. The cotton voile is so light and cool for summer. TD currently has one cotton voile offering, and that’s the new Mahjong print collection. They should definitely release more in this amazing fabric!

As for fit, it’s pretty darn good, though I must admit the waistband does not remain under my bust. It’s well above my underwires, but I’m okay with that because the boob room is still pretty generous and very flattering—and you can wear it with a normal bra. Plus I think the dress looks really good on me!

Boob-score: B+

Oh, I just remembered one more that I don’t have any photos of—the Norma Jean dress. And the reason I have no photos is that I got it cheap on eBay, but it didn’t fit right at all, so I re-sold it without ever wearing it out.

norma-jean

It looks deceptively boob-friendly thanks to wide straps and gathering with elastic at the top of the neckline. But it swooped scandalously low to show too much cleavage for comfort. I’m talking visible areola. And the waistband came up way high above my underwires. And this was with sizing up to a 10 from my usual 8. Stay away!

Boob-score: F

 

Save

Save

Save

Bending the Rules, Part 1

Guess what unexpected bonus I found while I was looking for a fit model? Another writer!  Kimberly is a recent college graduate looking to begin a career in social media.  When we met, she was wearing an old Target bra and had never heard of any of the large bust friendly clothing brands that we love on this blog.  We immediately got her enrolled in Ali Cudby’s one-hour bra course and set up a fitting with the famous Freddy from Eveden. Now she’s ready to write for Hourglassy. Some day she’ll tell you all about her fitting experiences, but you’re going to love the topic she’s decided to begin with.

Hi, readers! My name is Kimberly, and I’m thrilled to announce my guest series on Hourglassy. With Bending The Rules, I’ll attempt to dissect the various “rules” that have been sartorially imposed on big-busted women. I’ll also try to provide examples of ways to stick to the rules — or break them, if you’re so inclined.

Because I’ve been considered “busty” for over ten years (I was a 34C in the seventh grade and my boobs never looked back), I’ve had plenty of time to figure out the ways society dictates that busty women should dress. Along the way, I’ve thrown caution to the wind and gone against the rules when I felt like it, but I’ve also gone along with them at my own discretion. I’ve been reprimanded for showing “too much” cleavage and praised for being able to “hide” my boobs well. Basically, my closet is full of busty dos and don’ts, and this is my chance to share that with you.

One thing I tend to hold conflicting opinions about is showing my bra straps — it seems like one of those things that’s taboo, ugly, or tacky for no particular reason, and I’ve always resented that. Friends have pointedly told me that my bra was “out” when straps were showing, as if I hadn’t noticed. Family members have shaken their heads at the sight of a bra peeking out the side of my dress. Just because you never see bra straps on the red carpet, people have treated them as something to be hidden.

Living through countless New York summers has presented me with many opportunities to be jealous of the smaller-busted women who can seemingly wear whatever they want, especially in the sweltering heat. They don’t have to wear bras with those halter crop tops or flowing strapless blouses or backless dresses. They can even wear cute, underwire-free bralettes under them if they want to, and since those are lacy and delicate, they’re not considered a fashion don’t. Meanwhile, I’m stuck with huge, sweat-inducing bras, and according to the rules, I have to make sure to cover. those. straps.

It’s a bit ridiculous. If I need to show those straps in order to wear a cute outfit, who cares? I don’t really ever have the luxury of going braless, and plus, if I pay so much money for these special bras, why not show them off?

I do try to buy clothes that cover my bra and its straps, but sometimes that means giving up on a beautiful dress or cute summer shirt. If I want to wear a crop top, I’ll get one in more of a t-shirt style, like this black one:

image1

(shirt by Bershka)

Plenty of the (numerous) dresses in my closet have thicker straps and fuller coverage, in order to pander to the “no straps” rule and hide the bra. These are more for the occasions when playing by the rules is necessary, like in professional environments. I got this pink dress to wear to a work event:

(dress by Ann Taylor Loft)

(dress by Ann Taylor Loft)

But then there are times when I just don’t care about the scandal my visible bra straps will apparently cause, and I buy a tank top like this because I want to be able to wear what other people wear during the summer, even if my boobs are fully out, along with my bra. If someone with a 32A bra size can wear the tank top without any hypersexualized commentary and opinions, I can too:

(tank top by Project Social T)

(tank top by Project Social T)

Or backless dresses like this:

(dress by Kimchi Blue)

(dress by Kimchi Blue)

image5

And I deal with whatever negative comments I get. Bra straps may be considered unsightly to some, but they support me so that I’m able to wear those cute outfits in the first place.

On that note, if I know I’m going to wear an outfit where my bra straps or band will be visible, I try to match my bra in some way. I once wore the green dress pictured above with a neon purple and pink bra, and my mother (rightfully) told me how ridiculous I looked. Also, I wore it to work earlier that day— not my best choice, but thankfully, no one said anything. I bought this light-blue Claudette Dessous bra specifically to wear under a grey dress, and ended up loving it! The straps are delicately detailed, and the bra is supportive without any extra padding — perfect for summer.

claudette-periwinkle-dessous-mesh-bra-product-0-405193457-normal

The straps on lots of Simone Perele bras like the Amour are also pretty enough to show, and in a color like black, they go with a lot of different outfits:

SIM13R330_anthracite_PD

So go forth and wear whatever you want, readers. If you need a bra, wear one. If you need to show that bra in some way in order to wear something you like wearing, don’t think twice. Anyone who will criticize you over the sight of a strap obviously doesn’t understand the heavy lifting you have to do on a daily basis, and for that — you are strong.

—–

For more on visible bra straps, see Leah’s post from our hot September last year.

Wearing More Front Room in Real Life

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for me to wear my altered More Front Room pieces for the very first time this week because the company is having an amazing semi-annual clearance sale. All I could think as I wore my peplum top and silk blouse was, “You’d have to be crazy to let this sale pass you by.” $47.60 for the peplum top is a steal. (Yesterday there was a glitch on the company website and I thought I’d missed my chance to show you these pictures before the sale ended. Nothing like a second chance!) As a reminder, here’s my post with pics of how it looked before I had the sleeves shortened and the waistline raised. I like how the bootcut jeans balance the peplum. I would have liked the waistline slightly higher, but I lost that battle with my seamstress.

morefrontroom peplum with jeans front

morefrontroom peplum side

morefrontroom peplum back

Next the silk blouse as I wore it on Sunday. If there’s any chance you will ever need or want a silk blouse, then you need to stock up on this right now.

morefrontroom silk blouse rolled sleeves front

morefrontroom silk blouse rolled sleeves side

The sleeve length is perfect compared to how they looked before my seamstress raised the cuffs.

morefrontroom silk blouse unrolled front

Raising the cuffs means a shorter sleeve placket, but I’m fine with it. I was super pleased that the cuffs could be reattached to the shortened sleeves without any loss of detail.

morefrontroom silk blouse unrolled cuffs point out

My seamstress raised the buttons so the rolled sleeves stop at my elbows, although shortening the tab may have been another option. At first I thought I preferred the rolled sleeves, but I really like the elegance of the full-length sleeves.

morefrontroom silk blouse unrolled button point out

As you can see, I have a very corporate, conservative style with this blouse (my husband said I looked like I was going back to the law firm). Since the length is quite long on me, next time I’ll try wearing it untucked over leggings.

Full Bust Finds: MM.Lafleur Dresses

Last week Kat listed MM.LaFleur as one of 30 workwear brands that Corporette readers had probably never tried.  She was wrong because her readers raved about their MM.Lafleur dresses in the comments.

I checked out the size chart, but the numbers didn’t give me much hope. At 41.5″ around my bust in my 32F Empreinte padded plunge bra, it looked like I would have to follow the old size-up-to-fit-the-bust routine. However, knowing that size charts don’t always tell the complete story, I decided to pay their studio a visit today.

Am I glad I did.

MM.Lafleur targets women who want to look great without the hassle of shopping. The company is known for their Bento boxes–a curated shipment based on a customer’s answers to their questionnaire. Their physical store, on the other hand, is a dream come true for women who want to try things on in person. It’s like going for a bra fitting with fitters who know their product inside and out and don’t mind bringing you anything you ask for–including prosecco and water.

Pauline was my amazing “fitter”. I told her that I was probably a size 8 or 10 in the waist but might be a 16 in the bust. She decided to start me off with a sampling of size 10 dresses that tend to work well on “heart” shapes. Every single one of them fit.

For the rest of this post, I’m going to focus on fit and the seams that caught my eye.  If you want to know more about the impressive fabrics and workmanship, they have some very passionate Yelp reviews on the subject. Here are the seven dresses that I tried.

Emma

The Emma was my favorite, but the photos don’t sufficiently convey how “together” it made me feel. I positively swaggered in it. Pauline described it as the perfect presentation dress. The fabric isn’t stretchy, but I felt that there could be room for an extra cup size or two.

emma front closeup

I’m trying to point out a vertical seam that runs almost parallel to the folded detail.

[Read more…]