I have a love/hate relationship with M.M. Lafleur. Love in that I love their aesthetic which is minimal with great details in solid colors. Hate because while Darlene and Lishan at Reasonably Presentable have had some success with their clothing for fuller busts for the most part I have not. I made an appointment in May of 2018 for an emergency skirt purchase to go with a blouse that I already owned for two different job interviews the next day. Instead of leaving with a skirt I left with the Adelaide dress which is full bust friendly (and comes in misses and plus sizes). Note this dress and M.M. LaFleur in general are expensive! The Adelaide dress retails for $265.
M.M. Lafleur’s branding is that they make getting dressed for corporate jobs easy and do the work of shopping for you. When you make an appointment for their showroom a sales person will ply you with prosecco while bringing items for you to try on. Any items you wish to purchase you can then order or if it is a fashion emergency (my case) you can leave with the clothing items. One note is that there is not a mirror in the dressing room and you need to come out to see yourself in the mirror. There is also not three-panel mirrors or multiple mirrors so you cannot look at your backside (which annoys me). Many of their dresses have unusual seams which I imagine would increase the costs of alterations if you wanted to alter their non-bust friendly dresses to fit a full bust.
The Adelaide dress is made to look like a skirt and a blouse. The skirt is an a-line which means that there can be extra room in the hips without it being as obvious as extra hip room is in a fitted sheath. The top has pleating at the waist which makes room for my ample bust. The top of the dress also has two layers which means that if you have some issues with back rolls (like I do) that this dress will not show them. I am wearing the size +1 (and I am 5’7 and measured 49.5-39-46 in November). This dress is also machine washable.
In my MBA program we did a session on presentations and while I was not a fan of the woman teaching this session (she compared my way of giving presentations to a game show host – and this was not a compliment). She did make one comment that I still find useful. She said that women should wear dresses and not skirts and blouses because a skirt/blouse combo will always need adjusting to stay neat and tucked in and a dress means you are fussing less with your clothing. I definitely agree with this advice and felt extremely confident wearing this dress for the five different interviews I have worn it for in the past two years (and I was offered three of the five jobs!).
These photos are from November when I interviewed for the job that I started almost 5 weeks ago. I am hoping not to switch jobs anytime soon but I believe that it is always important to have a business formal interview outfit at the ready. Being a cusp size with a full bust means that I can’t just go into Ann Taylor or Banana Republic and buy an interview dress or suit on the fly. I work on the corporate side of television production and a high-quality dress is appropriate for an interview (but know your industry – I realize that this dress might be too formal for some and not formal enough for others).
Do any of you have a favorite interview look?