I have been fortunate enough to be able to try a number of Scarlett & Jo dresses this year and I was extremely excited when the latest one arrived by post a couple of weeks ago. The team had very kindly sent me the Scarlett & Jo Midnight 2-in-1 Lace Insert Peplum Dress (£45.00, UK sizes 14-32).
Image courtesy of Scarlett & Jo at Evans
I love all shades of blue and this rich midnight hue is an absolute delight. I was sent the dress in a size 16 and was worried it would end up being too big as I am usually a 14 in Scarlett & Jo stretchy items.
First of all, I really love this dress! The shape, colour and style are all fantastic and as it’s of course cut for women with average proportions it’s only my own awkward measurements that cause the fit to not be spot on. My issues with the fit may not all be apparent from my photos but I wanted to share them with you as I hope they may be useful to anyone wondering about sizing.
Overall, the size 16 turned out to be an ok fit. I think a 14 would have not worked at all as the bust area would have been smaller and shorter, so this is probably my best bet. The fabric of this dress is 93% viscose and 7% elastane, so it feels like a heavy jersey or a light ponte fabric. There is heaps of stretch and it is superbly comfortable to wear. The washing instructions recommend hand washing inside out so this dress requires a bit of extra care but it’s such a lovely number that I feel it is worth it.
I adore the lace panel on the upper bust area as it shows a peek of cleavage whilst remaining modest. Well, it would be modest on most people but unfortunately for me due to the fact my boobs take up a lot of room my bra is on show in several of the photos! For reference, I am wearing my Ewa Michalak PL Cappuccino Bra 30L/65L in these photos. The semi-exposed neckline gives a sexy look and the fact that the rest of the dress is completely plain makes this section stand out even more.
The waist is, unsurprisingly, too big for me and this is not helped by the fact that the bust section is not made for boobs like mine. My boobs pull the waist section up because there is not enough room in the bust and so the dress doesn’t quite sit properly on me.
Thankfully the peplum helps to hide just how generous the waist is on me, as the frills help to give a curvier appearance. The peplum is intentionally shaped and hangs longer at the back than the front. I like this as it’s different to most other peplums out there and it adds another interesting aspect to the dress. It also works well on shorter ladies like me (I am around 5’4) as the shorter length of the peplum at the front helps to elongate my lower body.
With the too-big waist issue in mind, I couldn’t resist adding a belt to see if it would work…
This skinny snake print belt came with an F&F Clothing at Tesco dress I bought earlier in the year. It works well with this dress to gently pull it in at the waist and accentuate my narrowest point, and print adds contrast to the otherwise quite plain (but lovely) appearance of the dress.
Most of my belts are of the wider variety so I also dug a blue one out to see how it looked.
My wide blue patent leather belt also works very well, despite it being a different shade of blue to the dress. This belt felt more comfortable than the thin one as it helped hide the fit issues on the bust and waist and generally gave a better fit. It did eat up a little of the peplum, though, but I don’t think it’s a major problem.
The sleeves of this dress are great. They are elbow-length, which is perfect for cooler months when indoors as it’s no good wearing anything too heavy as with the central heating on it can be easy to overheat.
The length of the skirt is great as it covers my knees. It is fitted but the stretchy fabric provides a flattering shape that does not show up any lumps and bumps, despite the fact there is no lining (which I must admit I prefer as linings can ride up and cause their own problems). There is a slit at the back of the skirt to allow for ease of movement.
Despite the fit of this dress not being quite right on me, I think with the addition of a belt it works really well and I am delighted to have this dress in my wardrobe. It would serve well as a party dress but also one for a more formal workplace.