An American in Pepperberry (Part I – Dresses)

Last Friday was the big day. I dressed in easy-off sandals, tee shirt and jeans; packed snacks and water for energy; and encouraged my husband to go on a tour of London by himself. Then I spent FIVE HOURS at the Oxford Circus Pepperberry.

Soon it might not be necessary to fly to England just to avoid overseas shipping costs on big bust clothing. While in the store, I heard a rumor that Bravissimo has heard its American customers and is considering plans to open in the United States! It’s unclear whether they will open as a brick and mortar store or online only, but either retail method will be a welcome change.

Until then, if you’re like me and have avoided purchasing from Pepperberry because you’re afraid of the cost of returns for ordering the wrong size, here’s a rundown of the sizes that fit me best during my dressing room marathon. After telling one of the saleswomen that I wear a 32F (but you’ll see that I ended up in a different size in strappy tops and sleepwear), she looked me over and suggested Curvy/Really Curvy in S or M for knits, and Curvy in UK 10  or 12 in wovens and more tailored styles. I tried other size combinations when I couldn’t find a 10C or 12C in a style I liked. I’m wearing my Empreinte Erin in these photos.

[FYI, we don’t get remuneration for any Pepperberry purchases you might make after clicking on the links below, but we do receive a small commission if you purchase bras, sleepwear or strappy tops after clicking this link.]

Safari Dress

I’m wearing a 10C in this picture and a 12C in the photo below it. Even though the 10C cut a little at the armhole, I prefer its overall more fitted look. The 12C was very comfortable but slightly baggy around the waist.

There are so many features that I love about this dress: the subtle gold edging at the neckline and pockets, the working zipper in front, the pockets, the shirttail hem, the soft exterior fabric and the cottony feel of the lining even though both layers are viscose.

blog safari front 10C

blog safari 12C front

The extra fabric in back was a common issue with most of the dresses I tried, but I realize this isn’t the case for everyone. Below is the 10C again.

blog safari back 10 curvy

I could easily have taken a couple of inches of the 12C up at the shoulders.

blog safari shoulder 12C

I was impressed by they way the lining was enclosed with the rest of the dress seams.

blog safari lining

Tile Print Dress

The 10C/RC fit great. Like the Safari dress, both layers are viscose but feel soft and cottony. The scoop neckline was perfect–not too deep and not too high–and I liked the side zipper.

blog tile dress 10C front

blog tile dress dart closeup

Alexa Sundress

This is the one dress I had hoped to bring home in my suitcase, but I learned a sad truth about Pepperberry knit fabric–it’s thin and therefore clingy. For someone with less bulges (or who doesn’t care if her bulges show), then it’s fine. Otherwise, it may help to size up for less negative ease.

The 10C/RC fit perfectly at the boobs. The 12C/RC was slightly more relaxed but still clung.

blog cobalt dress front

blog cobalt dress neckline closeup

 

blog cobalt dress back closeup

The interfacing around the band helped give it some structure.

blog cobalt dress waist lining

Paisley Dress

Cute cottony print on the outside but unfortunate shiny acetate lining on the inside. The 12C fit me best. It has a nice side zip. Overall the style was meh on me (I think it’s the length), but I’ve included how it looked on one of the saleswomen so that you can see the possibilities.

blog paisley dress front

blog paisley dress joanna

Cherry Blossom Prom Dress

I love the vibrant color and print, and if it weren’t for the shiny acetate lining, I would have been tempted to buy this dress and wear a plunge bra under it. The 10SC worked best for me.

blog cherry blossom dress use this one

Quilted Dress

I wanted this 10C/RC dress to work for me because of the unique quilted fabric and zippered pockets, but the sleeves, high ribbed neckline, and A-line skirt conspired to make it look frumpy on me. Also, the black seemed slightly faded. For a classic LBD to carry its weight in dressier settings, it needs to be a true black.

blog quilted black dress pocket

Chevron V-Neck

I love the neckline, print, and 100% cotton shell and lining. I’m wearing the 10RC.

blog chevron dress front 2

blog chevron dress neckline closeup

Broderie Day Dress

This one has pockets and is also 100% cotton inside and out. The cap sleeves grew on me, but I might remove them if I owned this dress–they were slightly restrictive. It was one of the few dresses that didn’t bag at my lower back. I’m wearing 10RC.

blog navy day dress neckline closeup

blog navy day dress front no cap

 Keyhole Maxi Dress

I was about to call it a day until I started browsing the Pepperberry catalog in my dressing room. Whenever my husband sees a woman wearing a dress like the Keyhole Maxi, he’ll say, “I wonder how you would look in that.” Now I had to make another round of the floor just to find pieces he’d like.

I think I’m wearing the 10C/RC in these pictures. Once again, the fabric is clingy, but the print helps camouflage my bulges a tiny bit, and I knew my husband would love this dress regardless. You can’t tell from the angle, but the keyhole definitely requires a plunge bra.

blog maxi

In the end, I only modeled this dress for my husband, and of course he loved it, but we both agreed that I should buy something that I could wear to more than just a date night with him.

Ruched Detail Maxi Dress

This dress would be more versatile than the keyhole maxi. I’m wearing the 12R/SC. The fabric felt more solid so less clingy. I really like the deep V in back!

blog stripe maxi

blog stripe maxi side

blog stripe maxi back

Samira Midi Dress

I’m not a fan of the beaded neckline, but I’m sure there’s a way to carry it off. I’m wearing the 10R/SC. This time it’s not clingy because of thin fabric but because the fabric has slinky-sweater-type feel.

blog green stripe neckline closeup

blog green stripe side view 10RSC

Florence Dress

Finally, the 12R/SC was one of only two remaining dresses in this style on the rack, and as you can see, it fits fine–and there’s plenty of room for larger boobs than mine. The fabric feels slightly heavier than the other knits I tried and glides a bit better over my bulges. It also has my favorite sleeve length.

blog popular blue dress 12RS  front

I know why I like this dress so much–it reminds me of my Lauren Ralph Lauren “you just know dress find”! And this is precisely the reason that I put it back on the rack . . . there’s a good chance I can find a Lauren equivalent in the States. At Pepperberry, I was on the lookout for things I couldn’t find anywhere else.

blog blue dress side

The saleswoman confirmed that this is a very popular style that she herself owns. She also pointed out the newer, floral version with cap sleeves. She owns it, too!

blog floral cap sleeve version of blue dress

How about you? Is there anything in today’s post or on the Pepeprberry website that you’d like to own?

Comments

  1. I am so glad that you got to go there. All of the dresses look lovely. It would be fantastic if there was a US outpost to order from. What is the price range for these dresses?
    To prevent the clingy fabrics from showing all the negatives I wear a light control undergarment. Smooths bulges and lets the fabric glide over your body. Maidenform makes some-at Kohls and Target

  2. Thanks for the Pepperberry round-up! I love the look of their clothes, and have some pieces I really like, but the return shipping price stops me from buying as much from them as I’d like. I also have to skip most of their dresses, they are indecently short on me at 5’9″.

  3. Miss Dell says:

    Thanks Darlene! These are great! I have been eyeing the Alexa sundress but wasn’t sure if the waist band is more of an empire or a bit lower. I like the waist to sit lower and not directly under my boobs. Can you comment on this? It was hard to tell from the pictures you posted but it’s so exciting to see the dress on someone! Thanks again!

  4. sweejen says:

    I like the Cherry Blossom and Tile Print dresses, but the Chevron v-neck is my favorite! What a great print.

  5. Ooh, I like the cherry blossom dress!