Another Heart of Haute dress review! If they’re going to keep putting items I want on their clearance rack, then my collection is just going to keep growing.
This week it’s the Madeline dress in size medium, which I picked up for half off on Black Friday, but which has now been relegated to strictly the sale rack at $75. Honestly, this was a totally spur of the moment purchase that I never intended to make. When I first saw this dress months ago, I didn’t think much of it. But the price made me take a second look and now I’m really happy I got it.
The dress is a polyester/rayon/spandex blend. It’s got a pleasantly heavy weight, feels smooth, and has a nice amount of stretch. I like the unusual dusty blue color. It was initially available in a bright red as well (which apparently sold better since there aren’t any on the Heart of Haute site or sale rack), but I thought it was too Christmas-y with the white trim. In this case, the product photo was very color-accurate.
Next up, let’s discuss fit. As I’m finding is frequently the case with Heart of Haute, there are some issues. But I’ll stick to the positives first. Here’s me in the garment:
Looks pretty good from the front, right? Those princess seams make it a fabulous choice for busty ladies. Additionally, for once the sleeves are not too tight. I might even say they’re a tad loose—not a bad thing, as they’re quite comfortable, easy to move in, and don’t bunch up at my elbows. It’s a nice length for winter or fall.
I also like that the neckline is a deeper scoop instead of a traditional crewneck. It helps avoid that “whole lotta boob” look. High Peter Pan collars are usually a little twee for my taste, so having it more open helps in that department too (and gives me more necklace options!).
Unfortunately, there is one glaring problem with this dress, and that’s the view from behind:
There’s so much bunching! In fact, when I first tried on this dress, the bunching made me really question whether to keep it or not. At the time, all the bunching was happening at the base of the zipper. If I stood in profile, I could see that my boobs were pulling the front of the dress up and creating a downward angle at the white trim leading from front to back. If I moved around, the back of the trim would shift upward to be at the same height as the front, creating a huge bulge of fabric at the waist seam.
In this photo, I’ve been wearing the dress all day and the bunching has evened out so it’s not all at the base of the zipper, but is instead spread up and down the whole back. I’m considering altering it by bringing up the center of the white trim in back so that it looks even with the front when worn. I suppose this could be considered a minor complaint since the front fits boobs so well, but it still annoys me and the alteration would be pretty simple and easy.
I guess it’s just more evidence that Heart of Haute is not really designed with boobs in mind. I know that almost all clothing is designed this way, but it really ticks me off when reproduction vintage brands don’t design for a curvier body. If you’re going to mimic American styles of the ’30s through ’50s, then please make your clothes capable of fitting the figure that was in style during that era—the hourglass silhouette!
Aside from the back bunchiness and my annoyance (which is nothing new), I really do like this dress. It’s got that retro-futuristic thing going on and reminds me of the Jetsons. I paired it with oxford shoes and bright pink lipstick, and felt super girly and cute.