Three heavy-hitter startups have emerged on the NYC professional clothing scene, and you’ve already read my impressions of two of them, MM.LaFleur and Of Mercer. Last week I got to try the Evelyn Dress from Nora Gardner, who happens to be a neighbor at my latest pop up shop (where I’d love to meet you if you’re in New York City this month).

This Instagram post put the Evelyn at the top of my try-on list. Besides the clever neckline details, I could see bust-friendly princess seams!

nora gardner screenshot

Here is what the navy size 8 looked like on me–plenty of room for my 32G-ish boobs without any smashing or strum-strum factor, and the perfect length for my 5’3″ height.

nora gardener fully zipped full view

Even better, NO FOLDS DOWN MY BACK!  One thing to note about the armhole–there is NO side bra display going on.

nora gardner back view

Here you can see the neckline zipped completely up on the left, and unzipped to my balance point on the right. Lowering the neckline helps to counter the cap sleeves’ effect of grouping my bust with my waist, AND it helps minimizes my chest by breaking up some of the mass!

bust friendly nora gardner neckline compare

You can see an indentation at my hips from my underwear band. I would either size up to a 10 or change undergarments to solve this. The fabric is certainly not to blame–it has a great weight and thickness, plus the dress is 100% lined, so there’s no conforming to bulges like you see in cheaper fabrics. Another great feature of the fabric is that it barely wrinkles, making it perfect for travel.

What I didn’t realize from the Instagram post is that this dress has TWO ZIPPERS, one in the back to help slip it on, and another in the front as a functional design detail.


Too often a dress like this is only available as a LBD, but Nora Gardner makes most of her dresses in multiple colors. Not only does her brand accommodate women’s different coloring, but it also accommodates different body shapes–the Evelyn also comes in a fit and flare, which is great for busty women with wider hips!

Ready to try the Nora Gardner Evelyn dress for yourself? I’d love to hear how it works for you.