Back in the summer I was looking for a smart dress that I could wear for work; something that was suitable for business meetings, conferences, and interviews. My problem is that business dresses are often made from non-stretchy materials, so I knew I would have to scour around to find something suitable.
When browsing the New Look website, I happened upon the New Look Inspire Jersey Peplum Dress (no longer available online but was £12.99, UK sizes 18-32 (it was also available on the ASOS website)).
Image courtesy of ASOS
The dress was available in both purple and black, so I ordered both in a size 18. For reference I am wearing my Ewa Michalak S Pieprzyk 32KK/70KK bra in these photos, along with some tights from Matalan and a pair of black platform stiletto heels from Primark.
This is a very simple sleeveless jersey dress with an added peplum. The fabric is very comfortable and stretchy (93% cotton, 7% elastane), and it’s machine washable.
Lengthwise the skirt hits me just above the knee – as you can see it’s quite a bit longer on me (5’5) than the ASOS model (5’9.5) so your height will make a difference to the dress’s appearance. I think this dress would be pretty much perfect if it was about 4-5 inches longer so that it would be a midi dress on me and come comfortably over my knees. That said, I really like it anyway and I can wear it with tights as I am here to disguise its shortness.
The scoop neck is good because it flatters my bust but is not low enough to be indecent. There is the tiniest hint of cleavage on view, but it’s very much corporate work appropriate. The back neckline is also scooped, which gives a great look and provides less coverage – ideal for the summer months! The armholes have been cut a little too widely, but with careful positioning the fabric covers most of my bra at the sides.
The peplum is superb – it sits just below the waist but it’s in the perfect place to emphasise my hips. Peplums are brilliant for disguising lumps and bumps and this one is reasonably long so it also could help to cover a protruding tummy.
As you can see, the dress is fairly tight but the stretchy fabric helps provide a great fit. The waist is a bit loose as this is a size 18, so I tried adding an old but much loved Forever 21 belt to fix that.
The belt works its usual magic and helps to define my waist. I do have to wear it slightly higher than usual so that it doesn’t cut into the peplum, so I do get a bit of a ‘underboob belt’ look, but as long as I stand up straight this isn’t a problem.
I wanted to add a jacket to the dress to see if I could make it look more formal, so I grabbed a Forever 21+ cropped jacket I’d bought in a sale earlier in 2014.
I think it looks great! I am so glad I bought this jacket as it works perfectly with the peplum because it doesn’t overlap it at all. When the jacket is closed, the full effect of the peplum is seen, but even with the jacket open the outfit still emphasises my feminine curves and is very flattering. I think the black jacket and tights really make the purple hue of the dress pop. The jacket is a size XL and I’m afraid I can’t link to it as it’s no longer available.
I also bought the dress in black; as I’ve already shown you photos of the fit of the dress I thought I would take the opportunity to style the black one a little differently. I added an old belt from Primark, a hair flower on the neckline, and some wide fit burgundy t-bar stiletto heels from New Look.
I was really pleased with how this outfit looked on camera – it shows that the dress is perfect not just for the office but also for a party or a night out on the town. Yes, I would much prefer it to be longer, but it’s so good everywhere else that I can forgive this one aspect.
I do hope New Look bring this dress out again in summer 2015 in new colours. When looking for stock images for the dress I found one of it in red, so who knows…?