Much as I loved the Babergh Dress ($188) upon spying it in the August catalogue, I was pretty sure it would not work on me. The skirt looked too straight, the waist looked too high and Floreat is a tricky brand for me to begin with. Plus I already own Leifsdottir’s Conch Shell Pencil Skirt, the inspiration for the bottom half of this dress. But when I spotted it at the Soho Anthropologie I just had to give it a shot.
Guess it must have been my lucky day! Because even though everything about this dress meant it shouldn’t have worked on me, it did. I tried on my usual size 8 in Floreat. It was close across the hips but a better fit than the 10, which hung loosely all over. There were some details I hadn’t noticed online like the vines stitched into the lavender waistband and the silky top. I loved the scalloped jacquard of the skirt too. Some of the online reviews note loose stitches on the skirt so make sure you inspect yours closely — for the record mine was just fine.
I can’t say I understand the floral things on the shoulder. They seem extraneous. They are attached by loose enough stitching that you could remove them. Overall though I adore the dress! You could wear it to work or networking functions, perhaps even a party. I put it on hold and will most likely be picking it up later today.
Floreat had another dress I was dying to try, the Doubly Adorned Dress ($148). Anytime an outfit has menswear as womenswear I am there! I love a good plaid. This dress has a very nice plaid, with two vertical bows laying against the waistline. With how straight this dress was I knew sizing up would be in order, so I tried on the 10.
That idea worked, sort of. It fit over my hips fine, which was my primary concern. It also satisfied my secondary concern — fitting over my chest. And the end result is not too bad. I was pleasantly amused by the sleek shape I earned in this dress. The waist area was pretty loose though. How loose? Well…
…that loose. Tons of extra material that I smoothed out for the shots above this one. But! I’m not really complaining because this dress was clearly designed for a straighter shape. I’m honestly amazed the frock looked decent on me. With some tailoring and the right cardigan over it this dress could become a work staple for me. Wishlisted, but waiting for sale.
Another dress that came to the fitting room was James Coviello’s intriguing Grasby Gardens Dress ($348). The high neckline makes it perfect for statement necklaces. The trailing flutter sleeves are a more romantic shape (though one sleeve was kind of sad on the dress I tried on).
I reached for my normal size 6 here and it fit well. The dress was slightly creased in a few spots — I think it just hit the racks the day I tried it on. I’m willing to overlook it. As with the Babergh, a well-placed waist makes all the difference. Since this one sat at my natural waist it balanced the top well. I’d pair this with either a sparkly or cinched belt. The silky material reads more party than work to me, but with the right top layer this dress could work for either. Wishlisted!
I first saw the Violet Gloaming Dress ($268) on Tien and though she is much more petite than me our bodies have a similar shape. So it was no surprise that I had the same issues as she did with the dress.
My primary issues were two-fold: first, there was a weird paunch of fabric in the stomach area that made me look pregnant. Second, from the front I felt the dress made me look wide across the hips. It’s too bad because I liked the shoulders, and the sash (which seems to be the same sash as on the Blushing Avian Blouse ($98, review here). I tried on the 8 for reference. Back to the rack.
This is Bailey 44’s Kissing Friday Dress ($158), which after the more structured dresses above was sort of like wearing a sack. The shoulder accents on this dress remind me of the First Flight Tee (now $30, review here). Bailey 44 is great at taking basic materials like jersey and making them look more tailored through carefully placed seams and darts.
I tried on my usual size medium which fit comfortably. The darts trail inward around the waist to create a nicely defined shape that is flattering. But I did not love this dress. Though all the right elements are there I was underwhelmed by the look as a whole. It just seemed kind of tired; not sure if that is a result of the color (a plum) or what. Pass for me.