Off the Rack ~ Trashy Diva Doris Dress Reviewed

Yet another Trashy Diva purchase this week. I bought this on eBay some time ago. It’s called the Doris dress. Mine is made of cotton, which is no longer available on the TD website, but the Doris Middy is available in two different rayon prints (cherries and turquoise floral). I’ve been told that the Doris Middy is just a little shorter than the plain Doris, but longer than the Doll Mini.

I first saw this dress long after it was gone from the TD site and absolutely fell in love. I saved a search for it on eBay and, lo and behold, one day about a month ago it popped up in my size in a nice dark red. Since it arrived at my door, I’ve worn it numerous times. Please note that it’s darker in real life than it looks in these sunny-day photos. And since it was such a nice day, instead of my usual nighttime shot in the apartment with unflattering lighting, you actually get to see my face in these shots!

The skirt is impressively full without a petticoat, but the breeze is hiding that a bit here.

The skirt is impressively full without a petticoat, but the breeze is hiding that a bit here.

I love that the straps are thick enough to wear a regular bra.

I love that the straps are thick enough to wear a regular bra.

This back shot gives a good idea of the skirt’s natural fullness. As with the Doll Mini, the back is exactly the same as the front.

This back shot gives a good idea of the skirt’s natural fullness. As with the Doll Mini, the back is exactly the same as the front.

You gotta love a dress with pockets! These are big enough to fit my entire hand, but not deep enough that I’d feel safe carrying my phone in them without worry that it would slip out.

You gotta love a dress with pockets! These are big enough to fit my entire hand, but not deep enough that I’d feel safe carrying my phone in them without worry that it would slip out.

The skirt is fully lined with another thin layer of red cotton, which helps give it fullness.

The skirt is fully lined with another thin layer of red cotton, which helps give it fullness.

As usual, the bodice is super flattering on a big bust. However...

As usual, the bodice is super flattering on a big bust. However

Unlike the Doll Mini, the top seam of the waistband comes up a little too high. It’s resting on breast tissue instead of staying firmly under my boobs.

Unlike the Doll Mini, the top seam of the waistband comes up a little too high. It’s resting on breast tissue instead of staying firmly under my boobs.

In this photo, my fingers are right where my bra’s underwire stops. (It’s a Comexim “Eris” in 60J.) This photo is a little more color-accurate, by the way.

In this photo, my fingers are right where my bra’s underwire stops. (It’s a Comexim “Eris” in 60J.) This photo is a little more color-accurate, by the way.

Some other notes about this dress: It is 100% cotton with no stretch, so if you ever come across one, make sure you follow the size chart. It’s no longer on the TD website, but I found a cached version, so here it is:

size chart

You’ll notice it’s similar to the Doris Middy size charts, but the waist runs a touch smaller.

Additionally, the invisible zipper, as usual, is a little hard to pull past the seams. The armpit is also sewn together at the top of the zipper. This made it really hard to get on and off, so I unsewed it and added a hook and eye instead. You can just see the white hook peeking out in the last photo above.

The cotton is super light and airy, perfect for a hot day. Just be careful because a gust of wind will give you a serious Marilyn Monroe moment. I have to hold down the skirt when entering the subway because the trains tend to bring in huge gusts of hot air and I really don’t want to be flashing my underwear.

Lastly, I just have to show off my new Miss L Fire “Bel-Aire” pumps that I got on sale from ModCloth:

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I’ve read it in several places and I have to agree, it’s like Miss L Fire shoes are made for Trashy Diva dresses! They match perfectly in style and there are tons of colors to go with any TD dress. These ones are also surprisingly comfortable thanks to the chunky heel and sizable front platform. And I love the attention to detail—the buckle and the bow are the same shade of blue. There are quite a few heavily discounted pairs on Amazon.com, and Miss L Fire’s own site has a sizeable sale section.

Best Breasts Forward ~ Cleo, My Love

As most of you know, I’ve pretty much been a one bra kinda girl for the past three years.  The Panache Andorra has treated me well.  She has supported me through thick sweaters and thin t-shirts, and I have returned her affection far too often by being too rough with her and putting my man-thumbs through her lace.

It is primarily for this reason that I’ve been searching for a bra that does not have a full lace cup.  In the past I haven’t had any luck in my search.  I happen to believe that it is much harder to find a bra that does not have a full lace cup that can hold “full on top breasts”.  I find that far too often the reinforcement placed at the top of the cup is too stiff, creating the dreaded quadraboob effect. As always, I didn’t give up.  There are far too many bras I hadn’t tried to do that.  So I’d just been keeping an eye out.

I never thought I’d just stumble upon an almost perfect bra at The Swap but that’s how I found my Cleo Alexa. Out of over 100 bras at The Swap, it was the only one that looked promising. I knew it wouldn’t be a perfect fit due to it being a 34H and me being a 32J but I figured I had nothing to loose.  I grabbed it up without even trying it on.  The next morning I tried it on and loved it!

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I love this Cleo.  It is very comfortable and although it does have reinforcement at the top of the cups, it isn’t so restrictive as to create quadraboob.  The fabric is soft and I like the extra cushion on the underside of the straps.

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Softer reinforcement

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Soft lace trim is not confining, therefore no quadraboob

It is clear that I need a 32J in the Alexa so that the band will fit properly while maintaining the room in the cup, but how wonderful to find this bra!  In fact I may have stumbled upon a sub category of Panache that has even more great bras for us full on top ladies.  The Cleo Olivia looks very similar to the Alexa.

Cleo Olivia

Cleo Olivia

I think I’ve turned over a new (fig)leaf.

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Continuing My Fight Against Full Bust Frumpiness

If you read my experiment with skirt length and top tightness last June, you probably felt like I had a long way to go in my fight against frump. So did I, and I found the comments on that post to be super helpful. As a result, I’ve spent more time in the petites department, where I found this Lauren Ralph Lauren polka dot faux wrap top in size Petite Large. Although I liked Malica’s suggestion to change the shape at the bottom of my denim skirt, it was simpler to have my skirt taken in by two inches at the waist.

The pictures below don’t exactly compare melons to melons–the pose and shoes are different, plus I’m tanner and a few pounds lighter–but I think it’s instructive. What makes the biggest difference in fighting frump? The same answer we’re told over and over again: fit. Besides that, what else do you think helps? And what more should I do?

full bust frump fight comparison

 

Corporate Curves Report: Awesome Places To Shop In Your Late Twenties And Early Thirties?

So I’m one of those people who follow BuzzFeed on Facebook, and this list recently caught my eye:

25 Awesome Places To Shop In Your Late Twenties And Early Thirties

Feeling too old for Forever 21 but too young for Ann Taylor pantsuits? Here’s a guide to some great clothing stores aimed at people just like you.

Many of the places mentioned were new to me, so I browsed most of them online. My clothes are mostly from Wallis, Pepperberry, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s–the latter mentioned also on this list as “perfect for when you are trying to emphasize quality over quantity in your wardrobe”.

Here are my reactions to my picks from the list.

(Also, if there are Nordic readers or our lovely readers in general who would be interested in a review for bust friendliness of our common brands like Gina Tricot, VILA, Filippa K, Tiger of Sweden, Andiata, Gerry Weber, InWear or even Marimekko, just let me know via Hourglassy email or in the comment section! Would be happy to help out there.)

Mod Cloth:

There seem to be a lot of dresses that I could wear as sundresses or out for a brunch with friends but only very few that I would consider wearing to a corporate office. Our Hourglassy columnist Leah has reviewed finds from this website (boob-friendly dresses and hits and misses), so I suppose there are options for the bigger busted in their collections?

Fashion to Figure:

OMG! What vibrant colored, curve cut dresses! Many are party dresses but there are a number I would wear to work with a conservative jacket. I actually really would like to order two dresses from here, but I have a slight reservation:  even though they say they make fashion for women from size 12 up and in Taharari and Camuto I do mostly wear a size 14, my one and only venture at Macy’s to size 1X and above made me realize that those dresses were too big for me. So are their 1X sizes a good fit for a narrow hipped, small bummed size 12-14 high street woman? All their gorgeous models have a killer hourglassy figures so it’s hard to tell.

dotdress

Fashion to Figure

dotdress2

Fashion to Figure

Fashion to Figure

Fashion to Figure

stripes2

Fashion to Figure

All Saints:

In general I do like their clothing very much but a lot of it is too trendy even for a tech corporate job. But having had a closer look, there are some interesting pieces that might just work at least for my personal wardrobe and could be made to work with a bigger bust with some belt accessorizing.

All Saints

All Saints

Boden:

Quite British with styles resembling Pepperberry and a hint of Orla Kiely. Plenty of pieces that would be suitable for office wear, especially outerwear. Simple classic styles as well as patterns that probably suit retro-inspired women. Did not really inspire or wow me personally.

Zara:

I reluctantly even mention southern European brands as they are NOT designed for broad shouldered Nordic women. The reason I mention it now is that much to my surprise I’ve seen Zara on some curvier US bloggers that I follow. I would find wearable things from Zara to work if they fit me, BUT their size M is for size S women (at least here in Finland) so I simply can not fit into their clothes. I’m now assuming Zara sells different clothes in the US than here and I’m jealous! (Or I need to venture into Zara and see if something has changed here, too, as I’ve not stepped a foot into a Zara store in four years.)

New York & Company:

Plenty of corporate friendly clothes here, though not sure how well they suit bigger busts? Any readers who can shed some light on this? I’m loving jumpers at the moment, and they’ve got a few that could go to my tech office but possibly not to the corporate HQ if I have meetings there.

New York & Company

New York & Company

COS:

According to Buzzfeed, it is good for crisp trousers and architectural tops, and that it most certainly is! This is one example of a style I love–on others. It’s so clear and crisp. But those boxy kinda tops or dresses, well, they don’t ever look so boxy on us big- bosomed ladies, now do they? So while some items might be surprisingly nice, it’s not the intended shape.

COS

COS

Arizia:

Good for: army jackets and minimalist workwear or schoolwear. I am sold. Such effortlessly cool clothing! Their coats especially are amazing. Again, a brand I had never heard of so no idea of the bust friendliness of this brand, but usually at least stretchy items do work.  I am obsessed with this trench coat both in this color and the solid black version of it.

Arizia

Arizia

Arizia

Arizia

I’m always searching for new places to shop as this world is full of brands we don’t know of yet!

P.S. I came back to this post to check what I wrote last week and now I’ve gotta confess that I am absolutely totally obsessed with that Arizia coat . . . as if I needed another one, but, but I want it . . . .