Full Bust Finds: MM.Lafleur Dresses

Last week Kat listed MM.LaFleur as one of 30 workwear brands that Corporette readers had probably never tried.  She was wrong because her readers raved about their MM.Lafleur dresses in the comments.

I checked out the size chart, but the numbers didn’t give me much hope. At 41.5″ around my bust in my 32F Empreinte padded plunge bra, it looked like I would have to follow the old size-up-to-fit-the-bust routine. However, knowing that size charts don’t always tell the complete story, I decided to pay their studio a visit today.

Am I glad I did.

MM.Lafleur targets women who want to look great without the hassle of shopping. The company is known for their Bento boxes–a curated shipment based on a customer’s answers to their questionnaire. Their physical store, on the other hand, is a dream come true for women who want to try things on in person. It’s like going for a bra fitting with fitters who know their product inside and out and don’t mind bringing you anything you ask for–including prosecco and water.

Pauline was my amazing “fitter”. I told her that I was probably a size 8 or 10 in the waist but might be a 16 in the bust. She decided to start me off with a sampling of size 10 dresses that tend to work well on “heart” shapes. Every single one of them fit.

For the rest of this post, I’m going to focus on fit and the seams that caught my eye.  If you want to know more about the impressive fabrics and workmanship, they have some very passionate Yelp reviews on the subject. Here are the seven dresses that I tried.

Emma

The Emma was my favorite, but the photos don’t sufficiently convey how “together” it made me feel. I positively swaggered in it. Pauline described it as the perfect presentation dress. The fabric isn’t stretchy, but I felt that there could be room for an extra cup size or two.

emma front closeup

I’m trying to point out a vertical seam that runs almost parallel to the folded detail.

emma cleavage

Perhaps a non-plunge bra would lessen the visible cleavage, but if not, the folds should make it simple to pin. Sarah, another one of the amazing stylists, told me that she wears a 32DDD or 34DD in Chantelle. She pinned this dress when she wore it in size 6 to her brother’s rehearsal dinner the week before.

 

emma front full

emma three quarters

Everything I tried was form-fitting, but because of the Emma’s diagonal ruching, this was the only dress without a hint of tummy bulge.

 

emma back

The back lay just right.

Rachel

As soon as I put the Rachel dress on, I felt like my style icon Claire Underwood. The  storm cloud color has to be the most versatile on the planet. And I absolutely love that you don’t see any horizontal stretch lines across my chest (the infamous strum-strum factor). There could possibly be room for at least one more cup size in this dress.

rachel front clearer

rachel front

If I owned this dress, I’d experiment with undergarments to smooth out my un-Claire-Underwood-like bulges. Perhaps also shorten it a bit . . . .

rachel back from the side

According to stylist Sara, this dress works well on some petites. From the back, I’m not one of them.

Aditi

The Aditi makes stylist Sara’s list of dresses that are busty-petite friendly, and that was definitely my experience.

aditi pose

aditi dart

Dart closeup and armhole. Although there may be room for a larger bust than mine, you can see that the armhole is pretty deep, so there could be a danger of pulling it open even more with a larger chest.

Lydia

The Lydia is another channeling-Claire-Underwood dress with its streamlined silhouette and interesting twisty straps. I think it’s worth trying if you wear one or two cup sizes larger than I do. This dress also made it onto Sara’s busty-petite friendly list.

lydia front

lydia twist strap closeup

This is after the hidden snap has been fastened around my bra strap. My bra strap could still be seen a bit, but a bra in the same color as the dress would keep it from being a distraction.

lydia seam closeup

I absolutely love this curved French dart that extends from the lower waist to the bust line.

lydia side

lydia back

The back works for me.

Nisa

The Nisa isn’t my top choice because the cap sleeves and neckline group my bustline with my waistline. However, I can still appreciate its pockets, diagonal seams down the front and neat extra seam over each shoulder. Plus, it’s another busty-petite friendly offering. The fit was amazing, and since the fabric is stretchy, it could possibly fit someone bustier than I.  For fans of longer sleeves, the Etsuko is identical except for its 3/4 sleeves.

nisa front closer

nisa neckline

A closeup of the interesting neckline. At first I thought it was a cowl neck, but it’s much more structured.

nisa bust seam detail

I always love darts that become pockets at the bottom.

Annie

The Annie fit me in size 8. It is one of MM.Lafleur’s longest styles but can easily be tailored (it looked less matronly on me when I lifted the hem). It’s also highlighted on Corporette today. This dress felt very basic to me, but Sara pointed out that it has a higher neckline for women who need to be more careful about cleavage, and it’s also hip-friendly.

annie front

annie side

annie back ripple

My back issue again, but someone taller than I am could do really well with this dress.

Maria

Tall Hourglassy readers will LOVE the Maria. I could only make it work one me by raising the waist seam a couple of inches, which I show you in the second photo.

maria too long

maria shortened

maria side

Sadly, while the dress is bust-friendly, the large armhole isn’t bra-friendly.

Since I’m currently on the “easy” end of the full bust spectrum, I can’t wait to hear from G+ readers who try MM.Lafleur dresses. In the short time that I spent in their showroom, I was impressed at how the same dress could look completely different–and yet still amazing–on a variety of women.

Comments

  1. It’s awesome to see you review these: I reviewed MM.LaFleur on my blog partly because I was the only busty person I’d seen do so, and I had mixed experiences with fit. I really like the way their dresses look, though, to the point where I bought a dress of theirs even though I’m still not quite sure it fit me right. I’m glad that you’ve highlighted some that fit you better!

    One of the ones you tried (the Rachel) I felt like fit me really well too, so I second the recommendation, for whatever that’s worth! I also look forward to trying the Maria, since I’m taller than average and I think it’s cool-looking.

    Question for you, though! You said that the Nisa and the Etsuko fit identically in the bust: did you try them both? I ask because I like the look of the Nisa, but I tried the Etsuko and it squished me in the bust a whole bunch.

    Thanks,
    Lishan

Trackbacks

  1. […] Full Bust Finds: MM.LaFleur Dresses .  Hourglassy is a great blog for anyone busty, and it seems that Darlene had a more positive experience with the fit of several MM.LaFleur dresses than I did.  Absolutely worth checking out if you want a second opinion! […]