Kim has been busy with the job she got after writing about visible bra straps two years ago. I’m thrilled that she’s back to review an amazing dress from Miriam Baker.

Confession: I don’t own any formal wear. My office’s dress code is casual at best, my friends aren’t getting married yet (come on, guys, I need fancy parties to go to!), and I rarely attend any networking or business events. When I do have a nicer event to go to, I tend to wear outfits that veer into weirder territory, and then I worry all night about being under- or over-dressed. For my friend’s birthday the other night, I put aside a simple t-shirt and jeans combo in favor of a silky, polka-dotted slip dress. Upon seeing the cleavage I was willingly putting out into the world, my boyfriend remarked, “That dress looks like it’s going to explode.”

Soooo, yeah, I’m not sure any of the dresses in my closet are super-appropriate for a fancier occasion, which is something I should probably remedy.

When Darlene first showed me the Miriam Baker Dahlia Dress in navy, I was both excited and hesitant—excited because in person, the dress is absolutely gorgeous, and hesitant because at first glance, it didn’t seem like it’d look good on me. I actually thought that the size 10 dress looked like it’d be too small, even though that’s normally my dress size. I also noticed that the style of the dress wasn’t something I’d typically pick out for myself—because I usually wear loud, exaggerated, over-accessorized outfits, I had no idea how I’d look in the classic, elegant Dahlia.

Imagine my surprise when I stepped into the dress and found that it zipped up smoothly, no tugging or struggling necessary. Looking at it before putting it on, I had thought the material would fit in a more body-con way, which I don’t like, but with it on me, I realized it was stretchy in all the right ways—it even seemed to have a shapewear-like quality that didn’t accentuate my stomach at all. I loved the way it showed off my waist with the long sash, and the slit is a sexy addition that makes the dress a little more unique. I also don’t own anything with ruffled shoulders/sleeves, so I wasn’t sure how that would work on me, but I ended up loving them! This is a dress that looks simple until you put it on.

Here’s how it looks from the side.

The only thing that was slightly off was the fact that the neckline bunches up a bit in the front, as you can see more clearly below. For me, this was barely noticeable and didn’t diminish my love for the fit of the dress. If it bothered me, I could have it taken in along the center seam.

Here it is from the back:

I was surprised by how much I liked the way the Dahlia dress fit over my boobs. I wore a size 36I (I believe that’s a UK G) Goddess Clara Banded Underwire Bra  underneath, and not only did my boobs look fine, the dress’ wider neckline covered my bra straps! My bust is a little bigger than the 40.5 measurement of the Dahlia, but luckily the stretchy viscose material was able to contain it. My waist fluctuates between a 31 and 32, so the 31.5 fit on this dress was perfect. If this helps, I’m 5’4 and a half, and the dress comes down to right above my ankles.

One of my favorite things about the Dahlia dress is how versatile it is—I can see myself wearing it to a wedding or something formal like that, but I also think it’s appropriate for work or a date. The best (and most important) thing of all is that it’s actually comfortable! So often, I equate formal wear to uncomfortable dresses that require Spanx and a full day of sucking in. I love the Dahlia because I can wear it without shapewear and I still feel like it’s flattering. It’s not tight in the wrong places or too long or anything like that, and I’m totally okay wearing it for an entire day or night.

I chose to “dress down” the Dahlia with raffia sandals, a matching basket bag, and gold jewelry—if I were wearing it to a formal event, I’d wear heels or a fancier sandal, as well as a nicer bag and silver jewelry (though I’m a way bigger fan of gold). With this look, I feel like the dress is more work-appropriate and casual.

This dress sent me down a rabbit hole on the Miriam Baker site, so I’m sure I’ll be looking to her for my formal wear needs in the future. This just goes to show how hard it is to tell how amazing something can look on you until you try it on!

Disclosure: This set was received as a review sample and Miriam Baker is an advertiser on this site. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience. The Amazon link in this post may result in commissions to Hourglassy.