This review of two long-sleeve dresses from Unique Vintage may seem out of place considering that we’re a month into spring, but the northeastern US is still freezing cold. (This week, I’ve been wearing these with black tights and boots with a wool coat over top!) These two styles are out of season, so one of them isn’t available any more and one is on clearance with only size XS remaining, but these are designs that UV brings out every fall in different colors, so I still think they’re worth reviewing.
The last time I reviewed a UV house brand dress was in 2014. It wasn’t a great fit, requiring a fairly substantial alteration to suit a big bust. But in the years since, UV has significantly expanded their branded offerings, and the quality has also gone way up. However, the fit is still hit-or-miss and inconsistent. In this case, the dresses are two different sizes, but fit exactly the same. The waist of the larger size is only half an inch bigger!
In all these photos, I measure 37”-29”-41” with height 5’6” and bra size UK 28GG/30G. I’m wearing an Ewa Michalak PL bra in size 65G.
First up is the “Trudy” dress in size large. It’s 95% polyester and 5% spandex, but does not feel like polyester at all! It’s a soft, heavyweight knit with loads of stretch. It features an A-line skirt, zipper up the back, black piping details, huuuuuuge pockets, and comes with a black skinny belt.
Before purchasing this dress, I looked up as many reviews as I could find. While I couldn’t find any in my size (medium/large), I did find several in smaller and larger sizes, and most of the reviews listed it as running small despite the stretchy fabric. Since I’m between medium and large on UV’s size chart, it seemed a safe bet to go with size large.
Turns out that was the right choice! The waist on this measures 14.5” flat, which is just perfect for me. And the bodice construction, which is essentially princess seams with an extra under-bust seam, is very boob-friendly. I’m even surprised by where that underbust seam sits—it’s not quite fully under my bust, but it’s low enough that it looks right. The collar doesn’t float or stretch away from my body, and shows just the slightest hint of cleavage.
Next up is the “Eva Marie” swing dress, which can still be purchased in size XS in solid black with white collar and navy blue with white polka dots and white collar. It’s 59% cotton, 35% polyamide, 6% spandex. Oddly, while this dress is mostly cotton, it feels much more like man-made fabric than the polyester Trudy does. It’s got extremely bouncy two-way stretch, and basically feels like matte, medium-weight spandex with just a little woven texture.
This one’s a medium with a 14.25” waist, yet it seems to fit bigger on me, I think due to both the fabric and the construction. This time, there’s a side invisible zipper, full circle skirt, no pockets, no belt, and little construction detailing on the bodice. The buttons up the front are functional, but are a bit difficult to open and close due to the tight button loops, so I just leave them closed all the time.
Since the torso is shorter on this dress, the waist seam sits above my actual waist, so I much prefer to wear it with a thick elastic belt resting below the buttons, to better define my shape.
The sleeves feature a fun detail—gathering on the underside of the arm and a resulting angled arm opening:
Even though this bodice is fairly flat, it does have some gathering around the neckline that offers more bust volume. And the ultra-stretchy fabric also lets it mold to any shape.
And again with the belt, just because I think it looks so much better:
UV also offers two more similar styles, the Delores and the Diana. Delores features cuffed half-sleeves, circle skirt, and gathered, slightly cross-over plunging v-neckline. Diana features bow-ties on three-quarter sleeves, pleated full skirt, and pleated slightly cross-over plunging v-neckline. They’re both made of the same cotton/polyamide/spandex blend as the Eva-Marie.
I haven’t tried the Delores (though I really want to), but I did try the Diana and it wasn’t successful. The underbust seam came up too high, and even with all the pleating at the bust, it still didn’t sit right and the fabric floated away from my chest. Additionally, it turned out to be fully lined (neither Trudy nor Eva Marie are lined) and had a built-in tulle crinoline, so it was extremely warm. I bought it during the summertime, and was sweating just from trying it on!