When DD-Atelier founder Olga Promptova asked me to choose a dress from her site to review, I requested the ribbed cotton jersey dress in red. Then I worried that I’d chosen something out of my curve-hugging comfort zone. DD-Atelier garments tend to be very close-fitting, and the models on their site don’t show any bulges. Could I get away with it?
As soon as I slipped the size 80D-F over my head, I knew I could. Yes, the 5% lycra makes it form-fitting, but the generous amount of fabric keeps it from stretching too tautly over my frame.
I only needed to make two undergarment adjustments:
- Wear a full cup bra. In these pictures, I’m wearing my Empreinte Grace in 32F (for reference, my waist is 33″). In a balconette, any jello-ing above the cup shows up under this dress.
- Wear my Spanx open bust mid-thigh bodysuit instead of underwear to avoid the extra bulges that come from an elastic waistband.
While the dress is 5% lycra, the sleeves are 10% lycra. When I asked Olga about the difference, she explained that this was to avoid making the sleeves too bulky. The design also uses two seams down each sleeve, which allows for narrow half-raglan shoulders, narrow sleeves and high armholes. It all works together for a very neat and streamlined look.
The sleeve details don’t jump out at you until you’re wearing the dress, but the elegant simplicity of the French darts was the first thing I noticed. While they don’t completely obliterate the strum-strum effect across my chest–it’s a stretch fabric after all–they keep it from being the focus of attention by ensuring plenty of room for my bust.
You’ll see how this dress can be dressed up or down. This is in spite of the neckline actually being quite casual, where the design uses a raw edge with stitching just inside. (The red isn’t orangey like it seems in the picture below. The colors in the other photos are more accurate.)
The high neckline definitely contributes to a bust-maximizing look. However, it doesn’t climb into full crewneck territory, and it rests just below my collarbone at my upper balance point, a good place for me.
Here are some of the ways I styled this dress today. I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that the possibilities are endless, and I’d love to hear some of your ideas. If you’re feeling sad because there is only one size left in this dress in red, cheer up! Olga has assured me that more red dresses will be in stock soon, plus a dark (almost black) navy option.
As you know, I’m shoe-challenged. I think these booties can work with this dress, but it definitely needs something else. Any thoughts?
The photo below is simply to show you the difference with the sleeves un-rolled.
Here it is with the khaki linen biker jacket that I bought from Pepperberry in May.
Below is my favorite look, and I’m especially pleased because it’s with one of my shirts. To wear this in real life, I’ll have to find some thigh highs to get rid of the waistband indentation.
Or I can hide it with a belt!
Here I added a third layer, my DD-Atelier denim jacket. Olga told me that she especially likes this jacket with this dress in grey.
More hiding my waistband with a wide belt. I was afraid this combination would look frumpy, but I think it actually looks quite elegant!
Here I’m trying more of the one-piece-three-ways dressing that I wrote about earlier this month.
It would work great if I hemmed the dress . . . or wore it under a longer skirt.
Speaking of hemming, it’s time for the moment of truth in which I fold the hem up to just under my knees.
I’m posing very carefully because I don’t want the folded “hem” to drop, but I have to admit that this length is better on me. Perhaps this is the answer to how to get away with the black booties above. The model on the DD-Atelier website wears this dress with loafers, but she is 5’7″, and I’m only 5’3″.
There’s another moment of truth coming when I wash this dress for the first time. I’ll update this post once I’ve done so, but it’s going to be a while. I love this dress so much that I don’t want to risk any fading or shrinking. Happily, one of Olga’s customers has already machine-washed her dress and found that everything came out fine.