I arrived at the store and was met by the wonderful store manager Simon, who gave me a very warm welcome and immediately offered me a drink. As I was driving I was unable to enjoy the fizzy alcoholic pop but instead I was given some cherry juice which was lovely (and that means a lot coming from me as I don't usually like cherry flavoured things!). There were also some delicious mini cup cakes on offer.
Simon showed me round the store and of course I made a beeline for my fellow booby blogger and Dollydagger marketing assistant Georgina, who writes the Fuller Figure Fuller Bust blog.
I was itching to try on some of the many pretty 1950s dresses on display but the two changing cubicles were occupied so I got chatting with Dollydagger's founder, Emma Ayres.
Dollydagger started life in 2005 as Emma struggled to find well-made clothing and accessories with a twist, and she wanted to meet the clothing needs of a wide range of women, regardless of their age or their budget.
The brand has grown from its humble beginnings as an online concept store to having an extensive and professional retail website as well as a gorgeous boutique store in Brighton's Lanes, which is where this event took place.
Emma was warm and charming and very keen to speak to all the bloggers at the event. She is clearly a woman who knows what she wants and I am sure she will take her business a very long way indeed. She wanted to ensure we all had a chance to try on the clothes and to find out more about her brand, of which she is understandably incredibly proud.
Dollydagger stock their own label clothing, which is manufactured and hand finished in Brighton, so buying their items is a great ways of supporting the UK economy. Everything is finished beautifully and only superior quality fabrics and trimmings are used.
On top of all this, they also stock other brands, including Collectif and Bettie Page. This means they have an extensive collection of vintage style dresses, skirts, tops and coats (and much, much more), both online and in store.
I was over the moon when I finally got my turn in the changing rooms. I tried on items picked out for me by Simon and Georgina and they did a great job at finding things that worked on my extreme curves.
Please note that I am not wearing any shapewear in these photos and I literally just threw the clothes on to give them a try. If I was lucky enough to wear any of these clothes in public I would of course dress more carefully and choose matching accessories ;-)
First of all, I tried the Friday On My Mind Red Stripe Sailor Top with the effortlessly sexy Dollydagger High Waisted Dita Skirt in Red. Both items are stretchy, which works well on my tricky figure, and the outfit felt super comfortable but stylish at the same time. Naturally, the waist in the size 16 skirt was too big for me so I had to disguise that with my faithful belt, and the extra material around the middle of the size 14 top caused bulging in the tummy area. The length of the skirt was great for me as it came to well below the knee. I was very tempted to take this skirt home with me!
Next, Simon wanted me to try the Dollydagger Dita Dress in Red. This is a size 16 and although it fitted well overall, there was a lot of excess fabric at the waist for me (surprise, surprise) and the bust area was too small. You can see my bra in some of the pics and the underbust seam actually goes across my boobs. I was so sad about this as it was a truly lovely frock and the superior quality bengaline material has heaps of stretch to it. I think if the waist had fitted better I would have been sorely tempted to add this to my wardrobe but even the addition of my belt didn't completely solve the problem.
However I loved the dress despite its issues and couldn't resist being snapped with George in the same number!
When I see pictures like this I find it scary how similar our figures are!
My final try of the night was the stunning Dollydagger Greta Leopard Collar Dress in size 16. Naturally, the waist was too big but my belt came to the rescue and I think this pretty much solved the problem on me. I adore the sumptuous fur collar and cuffs (the dress reminds me of my Collectif Ashley coats!) and the high quality stretchy bengaline fabric ensured a slim fit. This dress is soooo timelessly sophisticated and I feel elegant and stylish in it.
The shoes worn with all my outfits here are these lovely Melissa Patchuli IV Shoes. They were very high for someone like me who doesn't usually wear big heels but they were incredibly comfortable. The soles felt springy and supportive and I could have pranced about in them all day. Several of the other bloggers commented on how comfy they were, too.
There are so many more stunning items available on the Dollydagger site and the great news is that they have a huge sale on! My favourite picks are:
This Eucalyptus Autumn Red Mac is beautiful! I WANT IT!
Dollydagger's Midnight Rose Scarlet Dress is breathtaking. Such a lovely print and the shape of the dress is likely to suit most figures.
The Dollydagger Emerald Green Jewel Dress is so pretty! I would want to be whisked off to a glamorous ball if I owned this - what luxury! The colour is stunning and again the cut of the dress would work on most ladies.
After my trying-on session I was keen to get my make-up done.
I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to make-up and tend to stick to my usual application techniques and colours. I used to be a lot more adventurous when I was younger but these days it's easier to do the same thing, day in, day out, regardless of the occasion. From time to time I will use a charcoal eye shadow instead of a dark grey one, but that's usually about as far as it goes in terms of me trying something different!
The make-up lady, Alessia, was absolutely lovely and instantly put me at ease. She talked me through what she was going to do and then guided me through each step in case I wanted to try something similar at home. She paid great attention to my natural colouring and the colours in my Collectif Dolores Doll Birdcage Print Dress and pink shrug and chose make-up that would complement it all.
Excuse my silly expression in this photo but it was the only one of me with my finished make-up - what a great job Alessia did!
I then spent quite some time chatting with the lovely Simon and exchanging double-entendres and silly stories, as well as with Emma, Georgina and the other bloggers. We had so much fun that it felt rather like an exclusive party!
At the end of the Dollydagger VIP Shopping Experience we were given a marvellous gift bag that contained various goodies sourced from the local area. I had a really wonderful time and would like to thank Emma, Simon and Georgina for their hospitality and for inviting me to the event.
My overall impressions of Dollydagger are that they are a forward-thinking company who really do have their customers' best interests at heart. They already have a loyal following but I am sure this will grow significantly as awareness of the brand increases. Admittedly, the pieces are a little on the pricey side but these items are made from high quality materials and will be wardrobe staples that last for a long time.
Dollydagger's clothing has a great fit but of course my wish would be for more boob room and smaller waists...however I know this isn't what the majority of people look for and I am sure the clothing would fit less extreme curves beautifully.
If you ever get the opportunity to try Dollydagger clothing for yourself then I would highly recommend it. I have no doubt that, like me, you'll love the luxurious fabrics, quality finishing and superior cut.
Feeling tempted? Well, the lovely Emma at Dollydagger has kindly offered a 10% discount off all full priced items for all readers of CurvyWordy. Simply use the code CURVYWORDY at checkout to receive your discount. Please note that this code expires on 19th February 2013 so check out the website asap so you don't miss out!
And finally, I must tell you about Dollydagger's fab competition to win your very own Dollydagger 1940s style Greta Leopard Print Pencil Dress! It's simple - to enter you just need to like, comment or share the photo on their Facebook page here before 14th February 2013. Good luck!
All images in this post are courtesy of Dollydagger