In case you wonder why I never write about dressing up, it’s because Mr. Campbell and I never get invited to anything where we have to dress up! So it was a big deal to receive an invitation to a black tie optional wedding in Alabama over Memorial Day weekend. I spent 2 months figuring out what to wear.
As any big-busted woman will tell you, what you THINK you’re going to wear and what you actually FIND are usually two different things. I wanted something light and bright and form-fitting, but I was afraid I was going to end up with something dark and safe. It’s not even that daring, but in my mind’s eye, I was looking for something like this David Meister dress minus the $595 price tag.
I’d had good luck trying a David Meister dress on sale once, and Sofia Vergara and Kat Dennings have been seen in his dresses, so it’s a good bet that they’re bust-friendly.
Instead of wasting time in department stores, however, I went straight to the websites for fuller busts. Bravissimo had my safety dress . . .
and Saint Bustier had my dream dress–the Nigella in champagne.
As many of you know, however, the $275 Nigella dress is a white labeled Stop Staring Billion Dollar Baby dress, often in fabrics and prints unavailable on the Stop Staring website. Sure enough, there was no metallic Billion Dollar Baby dress. Then, as I debated whether seafoam green or navy would look dressy enough, I found the Fortune dress in gold for $179! Afraid my size would sell out, I ordered it right away.
How did I find my size when Leah hadn’t yet published her excellent Stop Staring roundup? Good question! I used a combination of Saint Bustier’s product description (“tailored as the Nigella dress but with less structured feel”; “runs generous”) and Stop Staring’s size chart. Stop Staring’s XL is for a 32″ waist and 40″ bust, which with stretch would probably be fine for my 33″ waist and 41″ bust. However, since the Fortune dress is more generous, I took a chance and went down to a large. It was perfect.
In these photos, I’m wearing my Tutti Rouge Sukki. I was hoping for Jessica Rabbit cleavage, but it didn’t happen. On the bright side, this makes the dress appropriate for a LOT more occasions. I also worried that this dress might not look as good on older breasts, but when I found this photo of Susan Sarandon, I stopped worrying.
Another fabulous feature of this dress is that YOU DON’T HAVE TO WEAR A STRAPLESS BRA. Yes, the cap sleeves are set extremely far apart, but a little double-sided tape should be enough to hide the bra strap that you see in this picture.
Last week, Leah called this a “wiggle dress”–if I’d read that before I’d started shopping, I’m not sure I would have ordered it. “Wiggle dress” makes me think of something so tight that you have to take tiny steps, but it is no challenge at all to walk in this dress.
There’s also a nice little kick pleat in back.
From the photo above, you may notice one of the few negatives about this dress. On the one hand, the fabric is super light–perfect for an outdoor wedding in the South. On the other hand, the lightness causes some of the seams to ripple, especially at the point in the side seam where the dress is tacked to the lining.
Also, despite the great draping, the light fabric can be a little clingy. Shapewear could help here.
The wrap-twist front feels like a work of art, completely covering my large chest both laterally (no surprise) and longitudinally (amazing!). Sometimes the fold across the apex may look like the profile of a nipple, but that’s a small price to pay.
Unfortunately, in the end, the $179 price wasn’t a small enough price to pay. I SO wanted to keep it, but I couldn’t justify it for a one-time event after I found a cheaper option that I’m going to write about next week. With a heavy heart, I returned this dress to Stop Staring, and now EVERY size in it is sold out. If you love it as much as I do AND you have some great events coming up (it would be perfect for New Year’s Eve), keep your eye on the Stop Staring website and snatch one up as soon as it becomes available again.