Tag Archives: boob-friendly clothing

Beach-side Basics – Review of Bolero Beachwear Halter Retro Dress

6 Sep

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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

Shopping For My Hourglass Figure – Let’s Talk About Size Charts

2 Nov

I am so sorry for neglecting you loves for a few days now – my grandpa just passed away and I wanted to take a moment to just grieve and also give myself a little me-time. However, now I am back and want to keep posting more regularly. Today, I wanted to tackle the topic of women’s sizing these days and talk a little bit about what we mean when we say that something is true-to-size.

I know sizing can be a difficult topic to discuss – it always raises an battle of wills and opinions as we all think differently about sizes and also have different emotional bonds to our dress size. When you used to fit into say, size 8 and then need a 12 with some random piece of clothing, it will stir maybe some swear words or even tears. I used wear a size 6 but have now gone up to 10, even after I slimmed down a couple of inches on my waist. I have battled the fear of sizes above 8 since I got ill with anorexia even though each brand fits differently and your dress size doesn’t actually MEAN anything special.

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I was never very small when I was child – just a regular sized kid with a fuller bust that made me feel fat at a very young age. I developed breasts at age eleven and I got teased for it quite a bit as I was not supposed to be curvy when others still looked like children. At age 16 I started to develop disordered eating habits and thoughts regarding my body – just because I felt so isolated from other teenage girls. I was not flat, I was not sporty and I definitely wasn’t slim in my opinion. However, I was never above UK size 10-12 so my weight wasn’t a problem at any point – but still, it was a big issue for me. I never got my boobs to fit into anything that was less than a size 10 and I was frustrated as I felt so big compared to others.

In the above picture I am not at my smallest but at a point where I started to recover from anorexia and was breaking up from my ex at the same time. I was gaining weight and shimmed myself into my old size 8 Oasis dress which dramatically ripped from its back seam at that very occasion (my sister’s matriculation party). I was devastated as I felt that I couldn’t live up to that size 8 standard anymore. Damn Oasis! Damn my old dress which had been a bit loose about a year ago.

I took a look at Oasis size chart today and currently their size 8 is meant for a 25,6″ waist and a size 10 for a 27,6″. With British sizing, dress sizes usually escalate the way that each dress size accommodates a two inch larger waist than the previous one. However, most brands have very different size charts to each other and I find a lot of people using the terms “true-to-size” and variations of it while describing brand sizing. To me, this seams odd since every blogger and consumer seems to have a different opinion on what “true-to-size” means.

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True-to-size compared to what? With bras, there is a more solid ground to compare the sizing – some well-established brands can be compared to as they usually fit very similarly. By well-established I mean eg Eveden brands and Panache. Also there are less brands in the business which makes the comparison easier. However, with regular clothing the sizes vary so much that it’s actually pretty hard to come up with some kind of standard fit to compare brands to. I have found that many brands’ size 10 fit about 28″ waist but I have also seen a few bloggers call those brands to run big. As dress size is a rather sensitive topic, I feel a bit “meh” about this kind of categorizing as it gives you the impression that some brands and their size charts are more or less right or wrong.

Besides being inconsistent from brand to brand, sizing can also be inconsistent inside a certain brand. I am wearing a Dorothy Perkins size 8 in the picture above though their size chart would put me somewhere near size 12. After trying a few styles in-store, I realized they fitted very inconsistently and I would definitely not dare to order from them online because the sizing is so hit-and-miss.

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Pic by the lovely Tania (see the squished boob – not attractive!)

I also find the different body part measurements a bit tricky. For instance, some brands might both measure 28″ at waist with size 10 but then measure 34″ or 36″ at bust. This is why talking about something being “true-to-size” doesn’t make sense – which one of the measurements fits true-to-size; bust, waist or hips, all or none? Also some brands come up with measurements that seem super unfair to me – but this is just my subjective view on the matter. Let’s take some very common measurements for UK size 10: 34-28-38. Does this seem realistic to you? My answer would be yes, to some body types. When I see 36″ instead of 34″ I jump with joy as the 34″ bust measurement is a far cry from my 39-40″ bust and with 36″ I might be able squeeze myself into a dress that is still a bit too snug.

I am all for making clothes for every body type – pears, apples, hourglasses, and lollipops etc. but there is far too little choices for people who actually don’t fit the 34-28-38 frame. I myself am about 39-28-38 which means I have very hard time finding clothing that would look and feel good, not to mention getting the zipper past my upper torso. So many brands are favouring girls with a pear shaped or straight body type and it saddens me cause I can never live up to that standard.

This was it for this time but I would love to extend the conversation to the comment box – how do you feel about today’s sizing standards and where do you usually find clothes to suit your body type? xx

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