It’s a bit late to be recommending a party dress suitable for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but this “Velvet Cowl Neck Maxi” from Bravissimo is so fabulous, I’m sure readers will be able to find another occasion to which it can be worn.

My measurements are 38”-29”-43” with height 5’6” and bra size UK 28GG/30G. In this post, I’m wearing size US 8 (UK 12) Curvy/Really Curvy.

Most of the time, especially in stretch fabrics, I take a US 6 (UK 10) in Bravissimo’s clothing. But longtime readers may remember that I tend to favor cuts that camouflage my tummy, so in this case I liked the 8 so much that I didn’t even bother with a 6.

I felt like a total bombshell in this dress. It really highlights an hourglass figure, or creates the illusion of one if you have a straighter shaped silhouette. As with the shorter teal velvet dress I reviewed in my last post, the fabric is stretchy and so soft. There is no zipper yet I still had no trouble sliding it over my hips.

This shade of smoky blue doesn’t quite have the same glittery sparkle as the teal dress, but I love the almost two-tone duochrome thing it’s got going on, appearing blue at some angles and more gray at others. It’s very sophisticated.

The cowl-neck is flattering and slightly sexy while covering up pretty much all my cleavage. And the heart-shaped twist back cutout gives just a bit more something special to the back view (and remains bra-friendly, of course!).

I wish I had brought dress shoes with me on this try-on trip so that I could have gotten some outdoor shots in natural light and against a better background. But alas, I hadn’t anticipated trying formalwear in-store. Still, here are a bunch of busy indoor photos from various angles to show off the dress’s shape and its little left-side slit that helps give it that slight mermaid shape and extra ease of movement:

This is another dress I desperately wanted to leave the store with, but unfortunately I have no place to wear a floor-length gown! Black tie events are just not part of my life. And most of my friends are already married, or the ones left wouldn’t have a wedding that fancy, so I can’t even justify the purchase by thinking I’ll wear it to a future occasion.

One can only hope that Bravissimo releases a cocktail-length version of this cut in a future season!

Bravissimo’s “Velvet Cowl Neck Maxi” retails for $170, but the black velvet version is currently on sale online for $102 with all sizes still in stock!