A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by the lovely PR team at fashion forward plus size brand Pink Clove. They offered to send me something to review from their partywear range and immediately I knew what I wanted: the Pink Clove Claret Velvet Dress (£35, UK sizes 16-32).
Image courtesy of Pink Clove
I was initially drawn by the lovely colour of this dress, and the velvet fabric appealed to me as it would make this dress seem even more special.
I also asked for the Pink Clove Velvet Shrug in black (£20.00, UK sizes 16-32) as I'm often cold at my brother's so needed something to cover my arms. A shrug is such a versatile item and this velvet one is perfect for more formal occasions when my cotton ones would look too shabby.
Image courtesy of Pink Clove
Having already tried several Pink Clove pieces, I knew their sizing runs fairly generously for me so I asked for both items in a size 16.
The dress is a real winner. It is made from an incredibly soft stretchy velvet (90% polyester, 10% elastane) that feels very luxurious but is also super comfortable. The colour is lovely and suits me well, in addition to looking very festive. Claret is a classic colour that works well not only at Christmas but also at other times of the year for formal events so I know this is a dress that will be worn on several occasions.
I love the length of the dress. It easily covers my knees, so I feel comfortable, but is short enough to not be dowdy. The skirt flares gently from the waist to give a great party dress feel.
The dress has princess seams on the front and back, which provide a lengthening appearance to the body. There are ties at the waist to help give some shaping and I found these invaluable as the dress was too big for me around the middle. There is also gathering at the front sides, which add interest and more shape to the dress.
The sleeves are perfect for me. They are elbow length, which is fab as they look like short sleeves in the stock photo, and have some ruching along the lower outer arm.
The boob room on this dress is superb. As you can see from my photos, the size 16 fits me perfectly on the bust and my Ewa Michalak S Szykuś 32KK/70KK bra works very well with the modest neckline. There is a hint of cleavage but my boobs are covered enough for this dress to be appropriate for any occasion.
And what about the shrug? Let me show you...
The black velvet shrug is the ideal companion to this dress. It is true to size and very comfortable to wear. The fabric feels slightly softer and thicker than that of the dress, and that's due to its extra polyester content (96% polyester, 4% elastane). It has good stretch and adds a much needed layer of warmth at this time of year.
Some shrugs have a lot of material across the back and I find that this can sometimes add unwanted bulk. This shrug is not like that at all. There is sufficient fabric to sit comfortably across the back and the bottom hem falls just above my waist.
The long sleeves are lovely and again ideal for colder times of the year. I do wish they were a couple of inches longer as they only just reach my wrists but that's just me being fussy and liking extra long sleeves!
These photos were taken on Christmas Day night, after I had been wearing the outfit for around 12 hours. It's clear that the dress has lost a little of its shape as it has stretched with wear but it's generally held up well. The only thing I was disappointed about was the fact that both the dress and the shrug pick up fluff very easily. That's probably a given with velvet and I should have expected it as my brother's house has cream fluffy carpets and cream sofas so I was asking for trouble! Some of the fluff came off in the wash but some has stayed so I will have to get busy with the lint roller to rectify that.
I absolutely love this outfit and received several compliments on it when I wore it on Christmas Day. It was just what I was looking for - something stylish but cosy and comfy.