Sunday, 24 August 2014

City Chic Wild Floral Dress and Wild Crane Dress 14/XS (US)

Here in the UK, we have quite a range of plus-size fashion brands to choose from. The biggest and perhaps most well-known include Evans, Pink Clove, Asos Curve, Yours Clothing, New Look Inspire, Collectif, Curvissa, Boohoo Plus, Simply Be, Forever 21+, and Taking Shape. However, if you're looking for an even broader range of choice for clothing for larger ladies, you might want to cast your net a little further and look across the pond to the USA. In America, women seem to be spoilt for plus-size choices, with brands such as Pinup Girl ClothingTorrid, IGIGI, Ashley Stewart, One Stop Plus, Lane Bryant, and Avenue really leading the way and providing an incredibly wide range of style choices. Most recently, super-cool plus-size brand City Chic, originally founded in South Africa but perhaps better known for its stores in Australia, opened its first store in the US. 

(I am keeping my fingers VERY tightly crossed that all of these brands will soon be coming over here to the UK, but in the meantime I am often tempted by the gorgeous threads available from these overseas retailers.)

A few months ago, I saw the stunning Chastity from Garner Style showing off a dress from City Chic; it was the Wild Floral Dress (US sizes 14/XS-24/XXL, $138.00):


Image courtesy of City Chic

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am a sucker for floral prints so this dress had me at 'Hello'. I loved its autumnal tones so I immediately headed to the US City Chic website and looked it up. I drooled over it for quite some time and ummed and ahhed about which size would be best for me (in the end I decided the smallest size, US 14/XS, would be best)...and then I discovered its beautiful sister, the Wild Crane Dress (US sizes 14/XS-24/XXL, $139.95):

Image courtesy of City Chic

Argh! So much blue loveliness! And, even better, FLORAL loveliness! I knew I had to bite the bullet and place an order. Unfortunately City Chic don't currently ship to the UK, but luckily I have a few blogger connections around the world and so with the help of my pal Hanna from The Wardrobe Challenge I got in touch with Dani from the US blog DIY Fatshion. Dani was brilliant and very kindly agreed to let me have the dresses sent to her so that she could post them on to me.

A few weeks later, my dresses arrived. I could hardly wait as I opened the package and tried on my new frocks.









For reference, I am wearing my Ewa Michalak S Pieprzyk 32KK/70KK bra (review coming soon) in these photos and some nude platform heels from Primark.

The dresses are so, SO pretty! The fabric is lovely - it's like a fairly thick sateen, and it has a little bit of stretch to help give a great fit. It's 95% cotton and 5% elastane so it is comfortable to wear even in warmer weather. There's an underskirt to give the dress a lining and it has tulle netting, which gives the skirt a fuller appearance. The dress fastens with a zip at the back but I found I could pull each dress on over my head without undoing the zip.

However...before I wax lyrical any further about how wonderful these dresses are, I must say at the outset that they are significantly too small on the bust for me. I could have cried when I discovered that. I loved everything about these fab frocks but sadly the bust was WAY too small and so tight that it felt uncomfortable. If you look at my snaps you can see there is some serious boob-squishing going on!! It's hard to say what size dress would be best for me without being able to try them on but I think I'd need to go up two sizes, meaning that a US 18/M in these dresses would be about right. Yes, that would mean the waist on each of the dresses would be far too big, but a belt would cover that up. 

I was so upset at the fact these dresses are too small on my boobs that I couldn't write this blog post straight away and instead put the dresses aside to be reviewed at a later date. That may sound silly but it really is so disappointing when clothes don't fit properly; I am sure this is something to which many of my readers can relate. Now I am ready to write about these dresses and I will give a full and thorough review, as always.

The scoop neck is fab but as you can see from my photos it is fairly revealing. This could be rectified by wearing a camisole or vest underneath but that might spoil the overall look of the outfit. If the dresses were a bigger size I think the fit on the bust would be better. I like the fact that the dress has a scoop v-neckline at the back as well; it's always good to have different features on clothes and as most of my dresses cover my back up to my neck this is a welcome change of style.

Lengthwise the dresses are fab. They just about cover my knees so they are a very flattering length. I'm wearing nude heels from Primark in these photos but I think it would be great fun to pick out colours from the dresses to match my footwear. I can imagine the Wild Floral dress looking fab with some golden yellow heels or some in classic red, and the Wild Crane dress would look even more gorgeous with some cobalt blue stilettos.

The skirt is lovely and full. It makes me feel like twirling around and around...but due to my balance issues I refrain. It's so girly, though, and it makes me want to sashay around. The skirt's length is good because it's not at all frumpy, and it looks good with leggings for a more dressed down look, or bare legs and heels for a more formal occasion, like I am wearing here in these photos. 

The sleeves are 3/4 length and have little slits at the ends to allow your arms to flex. I think this is a great touch and it shows how simple design features like this can make all the difference to the wearability of a garment. There's plenty of room in the sleeves for plus-sized arms, too.

The dresses come with their own belts, which are identical. They have a patent black faux leather section at the front and black elasticated material at the sides and back. I found both of the belts far too long for me and so my waist wasn't cinched by them; so that you can see the difference I wore the supplied belt with the Wild Floral dress and changed over to my own belt (from Forever 21) with the Wild Crane dress.

Overall I absolutely love these dresses and I highly recommend them. I am still very sad that they don't fit me but I will be listing them on Depop, an app-based selling platform, in the hope that I can recoup some of my money and perhaps re-buy them in a bigger size. You can see all the things I am selling on Depop here - if you'd like to buy anything but you don't have an account or don't want to download the app then just send me an email or a private message on Facebook. Everything must go!

11 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, I really love these dresses. I think my favorite has to be the first one for sure. Those colors are just to die for. Shame it's not my size as I would have paid full price! Anyways, good luck with selling, I am sure someone will snap it up right away.

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  2. What pretty fabrics these dresses are made frm! I am not suprised your upset they dont fit well enough, hope fully it will make you feal beter to know that they look realy lovely on you. I hope you can get them in a larger size so you can wear them. you look so beautiful. Poppy x

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  3. Thanks for all those links to plus size brands. I sometimes think about buying from a different place (KMart just doesn't cut it sometimes ha!!) so I will use your links as a place to start. I have tried Torrid before and their items are great so do give them a try if you're thinking of buying from the US again. For what it's worth I think these dresses look perfect on you but of course I'm judging it from photos, you are the one wearing the dresses and will know how comfortable or tight they feel. I hope you can buy them in a bigger size! Thanks, Suzanne

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  4. Just a heads up - the problem with City Chic is it really really is a plus size brand - great if you are larger all over, but if you're just busty, they don't work all that well. I recently got a load of stuff from them (I'm a new migrant to Australia from the UK), all in XS, and unfortunately its all a bit big across the shoulders/arm holes/upper arms - and I'm by no means tiny. I've now lost 20kg and I look totally stupid - my boobs are still huge, so I need the room there, but have gone down to around a UK size 16 ish on my bottom half and a 12/14 on my top half (not counting my boobs) and the XS just totally swamp me stupidly so.

    Sorry to be negative about their clothing - if you are sized that way, they are great with some lovely items and really well designed clothes (rather than just 'make it larger' stuff that just doesn't go on a plus size body, so stuff actually fits in places like shoulders/arm holes whilst still fitting on waists etc, where they usually don't), but they do certainly come up rather large if you're just busty.

    (sorry forgotten my google user names etc, so anon! :o )

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  5. I have the wild floral dress and I bloody love it!!!!! You look beautiful as always xxxxx

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  6. What a shame - you look positively gorgeous in these! If only I were able to fit into them but alas - I'm at the larger end of the plus size spectrum! Great blog as always, thanks for the list of brands x

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  7. I have the blue dress and I Loooove it. However it is a bit restrictive in the bust(I wear a small)

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  8. Even though they are a bit too small in the bust, they are so beautiful on you!! The floral print is really beautiful on both as well.

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  9. So pretty - both you and the dresses =0)

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  10. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! City Chic need to come to the UK NOW!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, I would buy ALL the dresses from them if they were over here. And we don't even need physical shops (although that would be ideal), we just need to be able to order and return from the UK. Thanks for introducing me to this brand, I had never heard of them before. Now I am totally in love with everything they sell! And these dresses are just lovely on you. I hope sizing up works x

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  11. Thanks for your review - I ordered the Wild Crane dress after reading this post and I am so happy I did. The dress is exactly as you have described and you even helped me get the sizing spot on. I am pear shaped so this dress works so well for me. I hope you buy from City Chic again as they make so many great dresses. From a very happy and very well dressed reader in AZ x

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