Evans Scarlett & Jo Blue City Dress

You may recall a few months ago I reviewed the Scarlett & Jo Side Panel Dress from Evans. This dress was a big hit with me, both in the red/black and the blue/black colourways, as its shape worked so well on my hourglass figure.

Since then, there have been a few different colourways brought out, as well as the Blue City Dress, which has many similarities to its predecessor.

Image courtesy of Evans

The overall shape is pretty similar to the Side Panel Dress, but the main difference, as you can see from the photo above, is the wrapover section on the bust area.  I was absolutely thrilled when the lovely people at Scarlett & Jo sent me a size 14 to try for myself.

As you can see, the deep cobalt blue is an absolutely stunning hue and complemented my blonde hair and fair complexion perfectly. I am such a sucker for this colour!

The Blue City Dress fitted very similarly overall to the Side Panel Dress.  Its 98% polyester/2% elastane fibre content is identical, meaning that it is easy to wash and wear.  The elastane provides a good amount of stretch and the soft ponte fabric is comfortable and holds its shape well.  However, I do find that this material can sometimes develop a layer of ‘fluff’ on the top of the fabric with washing; it’s something to be aware of but don’t let it put you off giving this dress a try, particularly as any pilling or fluffing can so easily be removed by running a razor gently over the surface of the fabric.  

I took these pictures in June before the weather got very warm (as it is now) and I felt very hot in the Blue City Dress so I would say that it is definitely not one to be worn in summer.  It’s perfect for cooler months though and would be great for workwear or even for a date or a night out with the girls.  The plain design of the fabric means that there’s ample opportunity to wear busy accessories to jazz up your outfit if wished.

The length of the skirt is good, although I do prefer my knees to be well covered so perhaps a little longer would have been better.  But I’m being fussy – I am sure the length would suit most people exactly as it is.

The Side Panel Dress came complete with a built-in hidden mesh panel to smoothe one’s lumps and bumps.  The Blue City Dress does not have this so unless you’re wearing shapewear there is a chance that it could be a little unforgiving in certain lighting.  However, the absence of the mesh panel made it more comfortable to wear overall as there was nothing constricting my movement.

I had two main issues with this dress: not enough boob room and too much material on the tummy area.

I am not sure how much you can see it from my photos (possibly more so with the ones further down the page) but the crossover bust did not work for me and I got quite a significant amount of bra show.  There is a folded section down the neckline and I got quite frustrated with how it so easily unfolded itself, but even then there was still not enough fabric to modestly cover my boobs.  This would not be such a problem when wearing the dress on a night out, perhaps, but it definitely would require the addition of a vest or camisole if I wore the dress at work.

My most common issue with this shape of dress from Scarlett & Jo is the excess fabric on my tummy.  Some photos show it better than others but I found that there really was a lot of it with the Blue City Dress. The 14 is the smallest size available so it’s not as if I could size down to see if this solved the problem, but even if I did the bust area would be even smaller!  So, for me, this was not ideal but it would undoubtedly be great for those who like extra fabric and perhaps are more apple shaped as they would fill the dress out much better than me.

Naturally, I tried adding a belt to my outfit to see if that helped the Blue City Dress work better for me.

And yes, it most definitely did!  The bagginess of the waist is gone and although the excess fabric on the tummy is still very much in evidence the belt (S/M from Forever 21) helps to give a much better look overall.

One downside of adding the belt is that it pulled on the bust area, making my bra peep out even more!  So the addition of a belt would undoubtedly mean the addition of a vest or camisole for modesty.

I also tried adding a coloured belt to see how that would work.

I daresay you will recognise this red patent leather belt (from eBay) from other reviews but I couldn’t resist seeing how the bright red worked with the blue.  I love it!  It adds a vibrancy to my outfit and really brings it to life.

I’ve tried a variety of other coloured belts and accessories with this dress (including different coloured vests underneath) and they have all worked really well so far. This blue seems to be able to match so well with a vast array of colours so it’s a very versatile item in my wardrobe.

There are some more great reviews of the Blue City Dress from other bloggers, including Pinkgemma Plus and Fuller Figure Fuller Bust.

If you fancy trying the Blue City Dress for yourself, it is currently on sale at only £15 (originally £35) so make sure you hurry on over to the Evans website and grab yours here.



  1. The Brunette
    15 July 2013 / 19:44

    Hi I am a new follower to your blog and I just wanted to say how fab it is. I love your dress and you look fab in it. Being a busty girl myself sometimes I find it so hard to find dresses that fit right but that dress is lovely. I am a dress-a-holic too.http://brunette-lady.blogspot.co.uk/ x x

  2. Ella White
    15 July 2013 / 20:02

    OMG this dress is perfect for you!! The colour is gorgeous and although the bust area is too small it's not too obvious in these photos. I want one!!!

  3. pinkgemma
    16 July 2013 / 09:32

    I think you are spot on with your review. It is much more suited to people who are apple shaped becuase of the extra fabric. Still think it looks great on yout though with the belts 🙂 xx

  4. Callie Thorpe
    16 July 2013 / 11:28

    You look lovely Caroline!! xx

  5. Claire Bourne
    22 July 2013 / 11:05

    Wowzers! That blue dress looks gorgeous on you! Red belt is a lovely touch too – very on trend with Monaco Blue and Poppy Red! 🙂 Claire xhttp://sizeplusdresses.com/

  6. Anonymous
    23 July 2013 / 20:45

    To me the fit is perfect! As is that figure, ugh!

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