My Big Bust Haul from the DD Atelier Clearance Sale

It was my lucky day last Wednesday. I already had an appointment scheduled for late afternoon in New Jersey, so after I told you about the DD Atelier warehouse clearance sale, I took a little side trip to the DD Atelier warehouse where, for $146, I came away with three new dresses in three different sizes that I’ll describe below.

First I’ll start with my very favorite: the Cayenne top and matching 52 cm skirt that looked spectacular on Olga last September and that I let get away during the Black Friday sale. The website doesn’t lie when it says this is the perfect fabric–it’s smooth, has an excellent weight (substantial without being heavy or bulky) and was wrinkle free after four days in the shopping bag.

DD Atelier cayenne front walk

The fit of this style is e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y close. I measure 32″ at my waist and almost 40″ at my bust. Last September we determined that 80D is my best size in DD Atelier, but while I could zip the 80D Cayenne and it didn’t smash my boobs, the entire top felt ultra snug, and there was some whiskering across the front of the size 80 skirt.

dd atelier cayenne front 2

Wearing the DD Atelier Cayenne top in 80F and skirt in 85. I took this and the following photos in direct sunlight for a better view of the seams, but the fabric seems darker indoors.

The 85D gave me more breathing room and fit fine, but my breasts looked larger in it, the sides flared out more, and the back neck hole gaped a little. The size 80F top took care of all of these issues.

dd atelier cayenne back

The invisible zipper is a little challenging, but not impossible, to pull past the waist seam of the peplum. It ends within an inch of the hem so that you can actually step into the Cayenne top if you want instead of pulling it over your head.

dd atelier cayenne set right side

I’m not used to thinking about the profile of the bottom half of my bosom in clothes, but the zipper, waist seam, and U-seam across the chest make such a close fit possible that bra shape will definitely be a consideration going forward. In the photos above, I’m wearing my Empreinte Erin, but I’m not a fan of the almond profile from the side or the extra bulk in front where the bra seams meet beneath the U-seam.

dd atelier cayenne rounded profile

In the future, I’ll probably wear my Empreinte Grace (above) or Essential Body Wear Abbie bra beneath this top.

Finally, I love the charcoal grey color of this set, which makes the no-waistband pencil skirt even more versatile.

dd atelier cayenne skirt no belt

Here I’ve added a wide belt (that I purchased five years ago for a post about accessorizing and have barely worn since!).

dd atelier cayenne skirt with belt 2

This photo shows how forgiving the skirt is of tummy bulges, thanks to the lining and great exterior fabric weight.

dd atelier cayenne skirt with belt

My second favorite piece is the plaid dress in beige (really more like milk chocolate). I hadn’t planned to try it on, but now I’m planning to live in this dress all summer! Below I’ve included a wide brown belt (also purchased for that blog post five years ago and barely worn). I love that Olga includes two discrete belt loops at each side of the waist.

DD Atelier plaid dress with belt

Of course, who am I kidding? I’ll be wearing this dress belt-free when it gets hot.

DD Atelier plaid dress how i will really wear it 2

Long-time readers know that shoes are a challenge for me, but I tried to dress things up with heels and pearls below. However, I’m also a fan of the tights and metallic loafers styled with this dress on the DD Atelier website.

DD Atelier plaid dress playing dress up 1

Finally, let’s talk about fit. I’m wearing this dress in size 85D. The 80D and 80F both fit but were more restrictive around the waist than I want from a run-around-town-in-the-summer dress. The 80D also seemed to pull slightly at the bust snaps.

If I’m really serious about looking my best, I’ll hem this dress. As it is, you can already see the difference it makes for me to roll up the sleeves!

DD Atelier plaid dress long sleeves 1

With the generous amount of high quality fabric and amazing attention to detail–hidden side zipper! pockets!–this dress was already a steal at its original price of $83. I got it for $41.

Last but not least, here is the Scotland dress in size 80D. For a dress that is described as “woolen”, it is surprisingly lightweight, which means I can easily wear it for the cooler days of spring.

dd atelier scotland dress plain front

I’m still experimenting, but I like my pearl pendant with it.

dd atelier scotland necklace only 2

I also like this camel blazer with it, but my husband felt it was too “corporate” with the Bohemian fringe at the hem and thought a wrap would be more appropriate. Any thoughts on the subject?

dd atelier scotland front blazer

dd atelier scotland 3 quarters

The  fabric drape and skirt lining once again help prevent the material from clinging to my tummy bulges.

dd atelier scotland right

The bias cut and four (!) princess seams in front once again allow for a very close fit that completely outlines the breast, so I’ll probably wear a bra with more lift and a rounded shape in the future, like the Empreinte Grace below.

dd atelier scotland rounded profile

This dress was my main reason for visiting the New Jersey warehouse. My Samantha dress looked more proportional after I hemmed it, but I wondered if the fringe on the Scotland would make hemming impossible. I already knew I couldn’t take it up at the waist because of the hidden zipper.  While it looks like it may be possible to remove the fringe and reattach it after raising the hem, it also looks like a lot of work. If I were to get rid of the fringe from the bottom, I’d have a hard time removing the fringe from the armholes because it is sewn into the facing. At this point, I’m fine leaving things as they are and continuing to experiment with accessories.

Finally, you may notice in the first few pictures that the side zipper bulges out slightly at my waist on my left side. Perhaps this wouldn’t be an issue if I had a longer torso, and for $38, it’s certainly not a deal breaker!

Happily, I bought clearance items that are still available in a variety of sizes. I hope that my reviews help you bring home your own DD Atelier haul! At the very least, I hope that they will add to your understanding of DD Atelier’s sizing and quality for future purchases.

 

Comments

  1. Miss Dell says:

    Darlene, you look great in all the pieces! I hope my cayenne top and skirt look as good – I wear a 30F (37/27) and bought the top in 75F so hopefully it will fit well. I agree that hemming the shirt dress will make it look extremely flattering on you and it looks great with the sleeves rolled up. I do think the Scotland dress needs might look cute with a wrap instead of the blazer, or maybe one of those chino field jackets over top? Or a little denim jacket…either way your choices look great on you.

  2. I couldnt pass up this sale and ordered the Cayenne set. I came in just 2 days! Will miss the NJ site as it took weeks for my dress to arrive from Russia. I agree that the outfit runs small. My measurements are similar to Darlenes except that I am taller-5’7″. I wear a 30G in Panache bras. The 80F top and 80 skirt fit me perfectly. The zipper on the top is a bit difficult to zip on your own. Very happy with the purchase. Dont pass up the sale!

  3. Danielle says:

    Thanks for reviewing these items, Darlene. I’ve had my eye on the cayenne set for a while, but wasn’t sure how well they would fit based on the item descriptions. I went with my normal DD-Atelier size (80H) for the top and 85 for the skirt; both fit like a glove! The fabric feels wonderful and is super smoothing. I’m actually looking forward to the next time I need to dress up for work.