I was really excited when I was contacted by Dollydagger recently as they wanted to send me a dress to review. I was offered the Gypsy dress: it's a 1950s dress available in a stunning range of prints and it was recommended that I should try the White Cherry Gypsy Dress in UK size 18 (£79).
Image courtesy of Dollydagger
What a beaut, eh? Just looking at the print makes me want to breathe in the sea air and take a casual stroll along the promenade. The gorgeous combination of colours and of course the cutesy cherry print appealed to me immediately and I couldn't wait to receive it and try it on.
The print is even more lovely in real life! The white background really makes the cherry print pop and the green ric rac edging is a great contrast. I think the obvious colour to use for the edging would have been red to match the cherries but the green was an inspired choice as it really emphasises the green of the stem and leaves.
All Dollydagger's own brand items are made in the UK. In an age where a huge amount of our clothing is shipped in from Asia it is refreshing to see a company who want to support the British economy directly by manufacturing their items in this country. The quality of materials used is second to none and the 100% cotton fabric used for this dress is incredibly soft.
However, 100% cotton does have its drawbacks on a figure like mine with its extreme curves and there are very good reasons why I normally steer clear of non-stretch garments.
The fabric, although lovely, has absolutely no stretch. Whilst it felt nice and cool, I really could have done with a bit of stretch to help accommodate my hips and backside. The dress felt really tight in these areas, as well as being quite snug on the bust. With no stretch at all there is no margin for error with fit.
As I had to size up to an 18 to get enough room for my hips and bottom, I found that the shoulders and back of the dress felt voluminous and too big. I think my shoulders are fairly narrow in comparison to other parts of my body and this is a common fit issue I experience when I have to size up to fit my bust and hips.
The boob section is defined and the top edge elasticated. This looks so gorgeously feminine in the stock photo on the site and I love an elasticated neckline for that sexy 'wench' look. Unfortunately, my boobs were too big to fit in the section so the underbust seam sat on my breasts. This wasn't a deal-breaker as the pretty print meant that it was not terribly noticeable, although I must admit it did not feel all that comfortable.
The dress has a concealed zip on the side - again, due to the lack of stretch this was definitely needed for getting it on and off easily. The zip was really easy to do up, which again shows the high quality of materials used by Dollydagger.
Lengthwise the dress was perfect for me. I like dresses that cover my knees and the Gypsy does this without being so long that it looks frumpy. Wonderful!
You can see from my photos above that there was quite a bit of excess material on the waist, so I decided to overcome this by adding a white belt...
It's a great improvement! The belt did make the excess material on the upper tummy puff out a bit, which added unwanted bulk, but some fiddling and tucking soon fixed that. As is so often the case, the belt helps to pull in the dress at the waist, which highlights my curvy shape.
The photos demonstrate that I get bra strap show at the back but again this is easily remedied by adjusting the sleeves of the dress.
I also tried the dress with a red belt to see how it worked:
I love it! But I think a bright green belt, to match the colour of the ric rac edging, would be even better. I will be heading to eBay to see if I can find one as I think it would really complete the look.
You can see I have teamed the Gypsy dress with a simple pair of nude heels but I think it would also work well with flats. And a white bolero/shrug would be just the job to cover my arms if I was wearing this dress on a night out.
I adore the feminine shape of the Gypsy dress and despite my issues with its fit I can't help but love it! I do think that a 97% cotton 3% elastane mix would have been a better choice of fabric, however, as it would have offered a superior fit overall. Maybe for the next line of dresses the brand brings out...?
It's great to know there is another vintage clothing brand who incorporate the lower end of plus size clothing, too, and hopefully they will expand their sizing range in the future.
You can read another review of the Gypsy dress over at Georgina's blog here.
Have you tried anything from Dollydagger?