Argh, I did this totally backwards, didn’t I? I talked about the underwear to go with your party dress before I talked about the dresses themselves. And there are some CUTE party dresses out there right now for ladies with full busts. I had a terrible time coming up with a concise list (not really a surprise), so I’m going to try to pick one dress per boutique or retailer, but I strongly urge you to check out each store individually to see what other goodies catch your eye.
1. “Down to a Pine Art Dress” by Stop Staring! for Modcloth
Eff me, I freaking love this dress. The color, the cut, the phenomenal size range– every bit of it. Please get in my closet, you sassy green beauty.
2. “Faye Floral Doll” Dress by Collectif
I can’t even talk about Collectif’s coats, because I love them so much it kind of hurts me. This one is like a coat for a grown up Samantha doll, SO BASICALLY EVERYTHING I’VE EVER WANTED. It makes me want to weep. We are star-crossed lovers, fated never to be together. Stupid awesome amazing coat. Anyhoo, since I can’t have it for reasons of size-sold-out-edness and limited-wallet-edness, let’s look at this lovely little black dress, available in a fantastic range of sizes (both standard sizes and plus sizes) with a pretty sheer neckline and a classic retro cut.
3. “Spot Sweetheart Prom Dress” by Pepperberry
I’m still waiting for Pepperberry to really blow me away with their party dresses (I want a knockout, classic strapless dress in a truly sexy shape, for starters), and this year, as is often the case, I had design nitpicks over almost every dress (bear in mind I’m super picky about my clothes). I crossed my fingers and ordered this one, and I’m very pleased with it. It’s like I’m wearing a dress that has been custom-made to fit my boobs. I wish I had a little more room in the back, and I wish there were more dress choices that didn’t have such high waists (or that were longer than 105 cm), but otherwise this is my dress for this year’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties.
I’ll throw in some quick review-y type things: I expected the spots to be more brilliantly gold, and when I opened the box I was disappointed to find them more muted (an almost dull, silvery gold rather than a bright yellow gold), and then I decided I liked them again once the dress was actually on– it’s a little more versatile this way. There’s a lovely mini tulle crinoline built into the dress, and the acetate lining feels very silky and soft (although I’d prefer an all-natural fiber for a lining). I find Pepperberry’s clothes to run a bit large, which is a blessing to full-bust women on the border of standard and plus size. I ordered two sizes, one that I think of as my “usual” UK size, and one a size down, and I kept the smaller one. I do find the sleeves a bit constricting, in that I don’t want to lift my arms over my head, but I don’t really anticipate needing to bust a move in it, so I should be just fine. It’s a lovely dress in a flattering shape, and the quality is really fantastic.
4. “Gatsby Fringe Dress” in Red by Laura Byrnes for Pinup Girl Clothing
I CANNOT HANDLE THIS. I’ve heard so much hand-wringing over the years about how curvy girls should avoid ruffles and fringe for fear of looking (gasp) bigger, and this dress is just like, “HA, EFF THAT. DRINK IT IN, Y’ALL.” It’s magnificent. It is adorable. It is red and sassy. I would swish my way all over the place if I owned this dress, and I would applaud any lady I saw at a party wearing it, because I’d be pretty sure that lady would rule. Dang, this is a slammin dress. And seriously, y’all need to look at the rest of Pinup Girl’s holiday store (tomorrow’s the last day for 15% off!!), because it is all so glamorous and awesome.
5. “Splendor Dress” by Bettie Page Clothing
Bettie Page Clothing stole my heart with their incredible Alika dress, which I’ve seen look absolutely lovely on so, so many different full-bust women. Some of the other shapes are more or less bust-friendly, and it’s definitely worth trying on a few different sizes, but in general I love the cheeky retro styles. This beautiful “Splendor” dress screams classic old Hollywood, and I can see it working equally well for an occasion like New Year’s Eve or a more formal (possibly corporate) occasion.
6. “Lena Dress” by Trashy Diva
Oh Trashy Diva, I love your designs, but I am having a terrible time finding a good fit. I have the “Jenny” dress in red with short sleeves, and even ordering a different Jenny dress gave me size/quality issues. That aside, the designs continue to impress and dazzle. Over at The Full-Figured Chest, Holly has been running a great series examining the relative full-bust-friendliness of some of the different Trashy Diva cuts and styles, and the new arrivals on the website are truly, truly gorgeous. Take this fantastic “Lena” dress, in an unusual light olive shade trimmed with gleaming gold and pearl embellishments. It’s festive, retro, and alluring all at once. I worry a teensy bit about the color with my hair/skin tone, but there’s a coat dress that matches it that has stolen my heart.
What do you think? Are you wearing any of these dresses this holiday season? Any other full-bust friendly go-to stores you want to recommend?