I have to say starting work at a new company and a completely new branch of childcare (special needs kids) has had me facing a problem with work attire – I need to have something quite easy-going that can be washed with no problem, even several times a week. So you can imagine that stretchy jersey dresses have been a great option for me, especially as I work right next to a beach where we play with the kids on a daily-basis! When Bolero Beachwear came out with their halter dress a few months ago, I immediately knew this was the perfect work dress for the hottest days of summer, but also great for hanging around at a summer cabin and going for a girls night out on Fridays. Lucky me, the lovely Patricia who is the CEO of Bolero, decided to send me a dress to try for a blog review! Here are my thoughts on this Marilyn-esque little number… (Psst! Thank you miss T for taking the pics, I really appreciate it and love you forever <3)
It’s pretty obvious that the Halter Retro dress got its inspiration from Da Queen, that is Marilyn Monroe. You know the iconic flashing scene with the white dress? I think you do! Instead of going for the classic white only, Patricia has come up with a few different colours and prints that the Halter Retro dress can be made in and obviously, as a big fan of classic styles and colours, I decided to go for my favourite colour, red. The dress is made from a very stretchy and quite thin material, so it is perfect for the more active summer days when you don’t want to stress about being restricted by your clothes.
I received my dress in size Medium, but Bolero Beachwear is overall on the generous side of sizing, so I could have probably gone down to Small, which I wear with my Erica and Carmen dresses comfortably. The bodice is lined to make it more sturdy and the cuts of the top accommodate a large bust very well. The neckline of the dress is quite open but I still find it work appropriate in laid-back work environments, especially if you throw on a cardi like I did in the pics (this one is from Collectif). Bolero also make lovely little shrugs in basic colours so make sure to add some to your cart! As the dress must be worn with a strapless (mine is the Curvy Kate Luxe in 30H), there is not much cleavage and I quite like it that way. The top part of the dress covers my bra completely which is a huge upside when talking about a halter dress for big busts.
One of the biggest selling points for Bolero Beachwear is the wearability and easiness of the clothes – they are easy to travel with, don’t require ironing and can be washed several times without losing colour. I simply cannot wear a lot of “Dry-clean only” clothes at work, as when I wash them in the machine, they don’t really like it that much. Also I can get pooped, pissed or puked on at work (yes, we work with babies too!) so I need to have something that I can clean with ease immediately. This is the reason I love Bolero for: there is no hassle if I drop something on my dress or a child gets messy – my Bolero dresses simply don’t get ruined (unless it’s foundation or something equally tricky that stains all clothes!).
In addition to being easy, I have found some great wardrobe staples from Bolero – my Erica and Carmen dresses get a lot of wear as they can be dressed up and down and worn through the year with some tights and cardis to make them more versatile in cold weather. This is why I usually choose the most classic colours and prints when it comes to basic dresses such as the Halter dress – so that they could be easily adapted to my pinup style and will look good after years and years of use.
I am all for team Wear-Whatever-the-Fuck-You-Want (as my dear friend Jessica put it), but if you are wondering who this dress would be for, I would say it suits very well someone who is either an hourglass shape or top heavy, as the top part of the dress is clearly designed for a fuller bust but also for a wider back. I found myself pulling the back up a few times when wearing the dress, as the Medium might be a tad too large for me. If you have a wide back and a big boobs though, this is the dress for you! I usually find every other dress too snug for me in that area, which is why I was amazed how roomy the dress is for a quarter-back built girl like me, haha.
To be honest, I don’t really have anything bad to say about this dress – it is comfy, looks great and has pockets! What more can a girl hope for?! I think it pretty much tells it all that I didn’t have time to photograph this dress before yesterday, as I wore it through the whole summer (it was probably my most worn dress for three months) and it was in the wash all the freaking time (oops, so sorry, Pat…)! The Halter Retro dress costs $120 which is a bit up there, but personally I feel it is worth the splurge. These garments are made locally in USA and thus cost a lot more to make than your average China dress. They are also made with love to achieve the highest quality and fit a fuller bust like a dream. What’s not to like! If you want to shop Bolero, take a look at their online store, here.