Image courtesy of AX Paris
Isn't it a lovely dress? I adore the mix of colours and the vibrant, sultry, summery pattern. I must admit that I wasn't sure if the strapless style and defined bust area would work for me but I ordered a size 16 and waited to find out.
Wow, the dress is absolutely stunning in real life! The colours are so beautiful and work so well together to make each other pop. The use of brights against the dark background really emphasises the richness and vividness of the hues.
With regard to the fit of the dress, I'm afraid that was another matter. As you can see, it didn't quite work out for me, unfortunately.
As I suspected, the 'boob section' is far too small to fully accommodate my breasts. There is a bit that hangs off my boobs that should in fact be sitting on my ribcage/underbust so I would need another 2-3 inches in length in the boob area for it to fit properly.
It also offers only minimal coverage on my boobs and I have a fair amount of cleavage showing, so this is by no means a modest dress. I am wearing my Ewa Michalak PL Milady bra in these photos and the straps of the bra almost appear to be the straps of the dress. However, I could always wear clear straps with my multiway Ewa Michalak PL Onyks as it has removable straps (but it is important to note that it is not a strapless bra).
The dress is also extremely roomy around the waist and tummy so would be ideal for anyone wanting something to cover this area generously and flatteringly. For me, the excess fabric was not ideal so I found a way of tying the waist ties in an attempt to alleviate this somewhat.
Instead of tying them at the back, I wrapped them around my waist and tied them at the front!
It worked quite well overall! The problem with the bust area remained but that aside the waist ties pulled the dress in nicely and accentuated my waist. The ties did not always stay exactly in place so they did require a bit of fiddling with from time to time but I think this simple change of tying makes all the difference.
The dress is quite a good length on me. I am around 5'5 and without shoes it comes down to my ankles and brushes the tops of my feet, and as you can see from the photos here it is a good length for showing off a pair of killer heels if so wished.
The fabric is soft and stretchy and has a slight slipperiness to it. It feels very slinky as I move around and although it is man-made fabric (65% polyester 35% elastane) I think it would be very cool and comfortable to wear on warm days and evenings.
The more I pranced around in this dress, the more I liked it. But I was still unsure about the bust issue and the fact my bra straps were showing so I turned to two old faithfuls to see if they could help solve these niggles.
Bring on the belt and shrug!
Now, I took these photos in a hotel while I was away from home with work and I therefore only had a small selection of accessories with me so you'll notice that the red shrug and patent leather belt do not necessary exactly match any of the colours in the dress but hopefully you still get the idea of how well these items, if not the particular colour, work with the dress.
As usual, a trusty belt pulls the dress in properly at the waist and shows off my voluptuous figure. And my Excite Clothing shrug covers my arms, offering warmth for cooler days, as well as (mostly) hiding my bra straps from view. I tend to wear shrugs like this that offer only minimal coverage; of course there are all sorts of shrugs available on the market so it would be perfectly possible to wear something like that instead if I so wished.
The one problem that I was unable to address with the addition of the belt and shrug is the overhanging of the defined bust section. This could be resolved by either gently stitching the band of fabric to the main body of the dress, or one could use Wundaweb (iron-on hemming tape) to stick it in place. My only hesitation with the latter option is that you'd have to iron the band exactly in the right place, otherwise it could cause unsightly wrinkles or creases in the fabric.
In conclusion, I am left with mixed feelings about this dress. It is absolutely gorgeous and I feel so glamorous and special in it...but I can't help that feel it isn't quite right for me. I am so disappointed as I wanted so much for it to work for me but I think it would be far better suited to someone with smaller boobs and perhaps a wider waist. That said, I think it would be perfectly suitable for me to wear as a beach/day dress accompanying a bikini so it wouldn't matter if the bikini straps were showing. So, all is not lost after all - thank goodness!
I spotted this alternative on the AX Paris website today: the Swirl Slinky Elasticated Maxi Dress:
Image courtesy of AX Paris
Had this dress been available when I was choosing my latest item, I would have definitely gone for it instead of the Splash Printed Strapless Maxi Dress. Both dresses are utterly lovely but the shape of this one is much more 'me'. I daresay the boob area would still be too small but the shape is better and of course the fact it has straps will help to provide a better fit overall. I would probably size up one or even two sizes, knowing that I'd need to wear a belt with the dress regardless, in the hope that a larger size would offer more room for my boobs.
Do you wear maxi dresses? And is your preference for a strapless or strappy style? Please share your thoughts with me by commenting below.