Thursday, 26 July 2012

Eliza Parker Portofino by Day Dress

I had never heard of American plus size clothing brand Eliza Parker until I read a review of the Monaco dress by the amazing Mhairi at Lilybobomb's Lovely Lumps.  She made the dress look absolutely stunning and I was most envious!

Recently I was on the lookout for something special to wear for a posh work do and I was over the moon when Jessica, the founder of Eliza Parker, was kind enough to offer me a dress of my choice to see if it would be suitable.

It was so hard to choose from all the gorgeous numbers on offer but after a couple of choices ended up being out of stock I settled on the Portofino by Day dress in Teal.

  
Images courtesy of Eliza Parker

The colour really caught my eye and of course the shape of the dress is completely me - a wrapover top half and a defined waistband = a very happy Caroline.

After some discussion with Jessica we decided that the US 10/12 (approximately a UK 14/16) would be the best fit for me.


And she was right!  The waist fitted really well without being uncomfortable and I was very impressed with the fact that there was no 'bra show' at the armholes.  The dress offered good coverage on the back, as all too often in tops and dresses I find the area of skin between where my bra straps sit and my armpits is left uncovered, which is not flattering at all.

The bust area is not as generous as I would have liked - but I am mindful that my 32K boobs may not be the size of the average wearer of these dresses! - so I had to wear a black vest underneath for modesty.  I don't mind however as I think it works well with this dress.  If I wanted to, I could wear a different colour vest to make a contrast to the teal for an alternative look.

The skirt is A-line and flares out from the waistband.  I generally prefer skirts which are flat on the front as I often find that the gathered material adds unwanted bulk but on this occasion I think it works really well as there is not an excessive amount of gathering.

I could add a belt to this outfit for a change of look but I love the fact that the waistband is wide and substantial enough to work on its own.

The length of the skirt is just about right on me.  I am only 5'4 and you can see my 3" heels in the third photo so if you are taller than me you might find it a little short for you, depending on how long you like your maxis.  I prefer mine to be super long so would have been happier if this was perhaps 2 inches longer but seeing as this dress was a gift I certainly can't complain!

The fabric is a lovely, quality jersey.  It's not like the cheap stuff you'll find in many high street stores but a thick, heavy and durable material which drapes beautifully and feels very special.  On top of this, the skirt is lined, which ensures modesty and helps hide a VPL and other lumps and bumps.  Due to the high quality fabrics used, the dress is not machine washable; it should be either hand washed or dry cleaned.

This dress is described as a 'day dress' but I would be very comfortable wearing it either during the day for work/shopping/coffee with friends or during the evening, jazzed up with accessories, for a night out.

Eliza Parker offers clothing from US size 10 to 28 (approximately UK 14 to 32) - see their size chart here.  Their ethos is all about finding the right fit for plus sized ladies, which is refreshing as all too often we are given few options other than shapeless, baggy clothing.  They have a system called 'Perfect Fit', where you can work out your shape using the pictures provided on the site and then see a range of Eliza Parker clothing which will be most flattering.  As Jessica herself says, it's '...a fast and easy way for you to find the right styles for you online!'  I love how there are many pieces with defined waists - perfect for the likes of me.

On top of this, all the items featured on the site have photos of them from the front and the back.  Jessica, as a curvy plus sized woman herself, has identified that it's super important for customers to know what items looks like from different angles and many pieces even have videos to show what they look like and how the fabrics move when worn.

Finally, customers in the US are offered free delivery and free returns - what excellent service!  For those of us in the UK it's $35 for any size order, so still a great price.  (If you're in the UK or Europe, do be aware of the potential import taxes and fees.  I was fortunate enough to be sent my dress free of charge for review but I still got stung for over £30 from Customs & Excise (and Parcelforce's processing fee) - ouch!)

The Portofino by Day dress - along with many other items - is now on sale on the Eliza Parker website.  It's available for just $119, which is $50 off the original price.  What a bargain!  I can see myself getting more items from Eliza Parker in the very near future - will you be giving them a try soon?

Check out the fantastic MrsBeBe's review of the Eliza Parker Venice Dress here!

6 comments:

  1. Completely fabulous on you as always, I really love this dress! xx

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  2. You look lovely, the colour is amazing on you :) x

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    1. Thanks Sian - teal is my favourite colour :-) x

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  3. Yet another stunning look for you Caroline! You look like you stepped onto the red carpet at some film premiere! WOW
    FF

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    Replies
    1. Thank you - just need to work out how to get my hands on a ticket to a film premiere now... ;-)

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