Off the Rack ~ Reviewing Bolero Beachwear’s Summer 2016 Offerings

It’s finally starting to feel like spring in New York City, and my thoughts are turning to warm-weather dresses and swimwear. So it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce readers to Bolero Beachwear’s latest styles, the Halter Retro Dress with matching shrug and chiffon shawl, and the three-quarter sleeve Staple Shirt.

Disclosure: These items were received as review samples. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

You may recall from my last Bolero review that this made-in-USA brand specializes in soft and stretchy boob-friendly clothes that are anti-wrinkle, anti-pill, and washing machine-safe.

Every season, Bolero founder Patricia McCaw introduces new cuts and prints, and I just love the two prints she sent me to test out this time.

First up is the Halter Retro Dress. I think you all know how much I love vintage style, so this Marilyn Monro-esque style is right up my alley. However, truly the first thing I thought of when I saw the beautiful watercolor-like blue print was the ocean. And with its easy-on, easy-off tied halter neck, it would be a perfect beach cover-up. Yet it’s still cute and appropriate to wear to lunch or dinner at a restaurant after a day at the beach. I was so taken with the idea of wearing it to the beach that I photographed it over a bikini:

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The bust cups are lined in the same print fabric, and the front waist panel is lined in soft mesh. The dress features a full skirt (with pockets, of course!) and a small bit of elastic at the top of the back to keep it held up. As usual, the waistband remains fully under my bust:

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Additionally, since the fabric is so stretchy, I found that I could tuck in the top half and wear it like a skirt:

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And thanks to the full skirt, after swimming you could change from swim bottoms into regular underwear under the skirt, and you could pull the dress all the way up to change from bikini to bra:

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For those cooler nights, Bolero offers a three-quarter sleeve shrug that perfectly matches the cerulean blue of the dress’s print:

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I appreciate the little design detail of a bit of gathering at the ends of the sleeves:

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And while I found the chiffon shawl with the dress to be a little too much of the same print for one outfit, I was really into the fringe on the ends of it, which helps weigh it down and drape nicely. I would certainly consider wearing it with a white or pale blue dress:

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Finally, we come to the three-quarter sleeve Staple Shirt, this time in a pinup-friendly cherry and pindot print. This super cute top features a flattering wide neckline without visible cleavage and gathered fabric at the bust for contouring. The front is fully lined in white mesh, so there’s no worry of visible bra showing through.

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I found the shirt a little loose under my bust compared to the perfect fit I get from Bolero dresses, but I think it’s also exacerbated by the fact that I’m wearing shorts that are, to be honest, too small. (I actually tore them a little in the back when trying to get them on!) However, I would not want to size down from this small to extra-small because I’m afraid the arms would be too tight. They don’t feel too tight right now, but the black trim is more restrictive and not as stretchy as the rest of the arm, so it could be uncomfortable in a size down.

Additionally, when this top first arrived, I couldn’t tell if it was a true white or a very, very, very pale pink. Ultimately I determined that it is white, but some of the cherries bled just the smallest bit while the shirt was folded up in the package, leaving the barest pink spots mirroring the cherries here and there. It’s really hard to see (and exceedingly difficult for me to capture in a photo), but it is there if you look very closely in bright light. As such, I might recommend that shoppers wash this top with color-catchers when it first arrives, and then do a vinegar soak to really set the colors.

Looks like it’s going to be another great season for Bolero, and I’m looking forward to what they introduce next!

 

Comments

  1. What a great review and lovely photos, thanks so much Leah! Love the fit on you and the description of our products too.
    Each piece is technically designed to flatter the curves using travel-friendly fabrics. The cherry print has a pinkish background from the manufacturer, we like the design and the softness of the material.

  2. Patricia told me about your review because I’ve been swamped with store remodeling and have missed all my favorite bloggers. She told me you looked beautiful, but this really was an understatement. This dress on you is just gorgeous, and I love the blue shrug. The colors, the shape, everything is like a modern Marilyn Monroe! Also, I love the cherry print top (so so cute!), but I am also have envy for those shorts. 😀