Since sharing my Bolero Beachwear discovery with you last year, I’ve become good friends with the company’s effervescent founder, designer and fellow entrepreneur, Patricia McCaw. You know what a dress mood I’ve been in lately, so when Patricia offered me one of her new maxi dresses to review on Hourglassy, I couldn’t wait to receive it. A size Medium Petite arrived on Monday, and I’ve been wearing it non-stop ever since.

bolero maxi dd cup up front distant 1

The three features I liked immediately were:

  • perfect length, so no hemming necessary
  • perfect fit at my bust (more on this below) without any horizontal seams across the breasts–a welcome change from her original styles
  • a slim column of fabric falling from under my bust to my feet . . . the high quality fabric (still a polyester/spandex blend) has a silky surface and just enough weight to skim bulges without feeling oppressive or bulky.

bolero maxi dd cup up front closeup

It goes without saying that there is no armhole bra going on with this dress.

bolero maxi dd cup up left side closeup

And there’s no back band display, either, even with the generous dip!

bolero maxi dd cup up back

Below, I’ve scrunched the neckline as low as the drawstring will allow.

bolero maxi dd cup up scrunched down cleavage

Here, I’ve extended the neckline as high as the drawstring will allow.

bolero maxi full coverage neckline

Regarding the fit around my breasts, this size is simply perfect. There is NO extra room to play with, but the fabric isn’t stretched thin either. I’m wearing my 34G Fantasie 4520 in these pictures. You may be able to see that the “cup” area of the dress is a good 1-2 inches below my own underbust. In the pictures below, I’m playing with that extra cup room to get a feel for whether they would accommodate GG+ sizes. I’m not sure, but it’s worth a try–especially if you don’t care whether the neckline “tacks” at the top of the drawstring (it’s pretty amazing that it can tack, isn’t it?). At the very least, there’s enough vertical length in the bust area that the band will stay put beneath your breasts instead of creating an unintentional hi-lo effect.

demonstrating bust room in bolero maxi dd cup up
I was deep in concentration . . . until I realized that Mr. Campbell was watching me through our back door. He likes this dress a lot.

Patricia lines the bosom area of her sleeveless dresses so that you feel even more supported. The lining has a four-way stretch, but the vertical stretch is significantly less than the horizontal stretch–which explains why her dresses are just as great for lounging around the house braless as they are for going out with a bra on! The lining is an expensive extra step in the manufacturing process that Patricia feels is worth the comfort and security it gives the wearer, and I agree.

bolero maxi dd cup up interior cup lining

Finally, here’s a closeup of the gathers at the side of the bust area that help ensure enough room for a large bust.

bolero maxi dd cup up side gathers

If you’d like your own Bolero maxi dress and you live in South Florida, North Carolina, or Texas, you’re in luck because Lion’s Lair, A Sophisticated Pair and Mystique Lingerie each carry them. If you don’t live near one of these stores, simply send Patricia a message via the Bolero Facebook page, and she’ll tell you everything you need to know about price and how to order.  The Bolero website isn’t up to date, but if you spend some time on the Facebook page, you’ll see how this style looks on other full-busted figures, and you can check out the black and white print option. Patricia also has a blue print that she’s going to post photos of soon.

Of course no review would be complete without measurements. Here is a size chart that Patricia emailed to me, but keep in mind that my waist measures 33 inches and my bust 41 inches, and I’m wearing a Medium Petite in these pictures.

SMALL (6-8) Waist 28, Bust 36,Hips 38

MEDIUM (10-12) Waist 29, Bust 38-39, Hips 40

LARGE (12-14) Waist 30, Bust 40, Hips 42

XL (16) Waist 31, Bust 42, Hips 44