As a fan of vintage style clothing I was super excited when Lady V London set up their plus size range, Lady Voluptuous. These clothes are made exclusively in UK sizes 16-32 and they are absolutely gorgeous. I am slowly but surely making my way through the collection and hope to review it in its entirety in the fullness of time, but as I am sure you can appreciate this all takes time and to mix things up I am reviewing other items in between.
Today I will be reviewing the Cosette Dress (£50, UK sizes 16-32).
Images courtesy of Lady V London
The Cosette is a long-sleeved swing dress, with a full skirt and matching wide belt. I wasn’t sure which size to go for so I ordered two: a 16 in the Blue Butterfly Cosette and an 18 in the Japanese Blue Cosette. I have lusted after both of these prints for such a long time so this was an excellent opportunity to buy them.
The dress is made from a soft stretchy cotton fabric (97% cotton, 3% elastane), which is machine washable at 30 degrees. When washed, the fabric is much less creased but these photos were taken with the dresses straight out of the packets so please excuse the slightly crumpled material in some of the shots!
There is a crossover bust that is sewn in place, so there’s no chance of showing more cleavage than intended. I’ll talk about the fit on the bust as I review each size later in this post. The dress fastens with a concealed side zip but I found it was easy to pull the dress on over my head without needing to use the zip.
Lengthwise the skirt comfortably covers my knees so it’s absolutely perfect. The flared skirt is a lovely feminine shape and this can be enhanced by the addition of a petticoat if wished (as Georgina is wearing in the stock photos above).
Each dress comes with a matching belt, which is a great touch. Again, I’ll talk about the sizing of the belts as I go into the sizing details, but it’s safe to say I am a fan of them! These belts are nice quality and although not overly thick/sturdy I still think they would hold up well with repeated wears. It’s great that Lady V has gone for matching belts, and not plain coloured ones, as it prevents the pattern being broken up and gives the wearer more options. I think these belts would also look terrific with a plain-coloured dress or a skirt and top combo.
The full length sleeves are a welcome change as so often we get short sleeves with dresses like this. I did find the sleeves on both dresses came up a bit short, but they were so close to being proper full length that I really would be splitting hairs if I said this was a negative thing. However, if you are someone with longer arms than average you might find these on the short side on you. In terms on width, there is plenty of room for manoeuvre and I can confirm that the sleeves get wider as the dress increases in size.
So, let’s now look at the two different sizes I tried. For reference, in these photos I am wearing my Ewa Michalak S Kamea Bra 36KK/80KK, some sheer tights from Matalan, and a pair of nude peep toe heels from Internaçionale. I am not wearing shapewear, a corset, or a petticoat in any of these photos.
First of all, here I am in the size 16 Blue Butterfly Cosette Dress.
The print is absolutely gorgeous! I have admired this dress on the lovely Mayah as it looks so pretty on her and she and I so often favour blue dresses, so it shows that it’s a great colour that can work perfectly on different skin tones and hair colours.
I found the size 16 a bit too tight on my bust. You can see in some of the photos that the dress is straining against my chest, which gave me nice cleavage but didn’t feel overly comfortable.
Elsewhere, the size 16 was a very good fit. The waist was a bit roomy, but not overly so and of course was solved with the belt, and the back and shoulders fitted nicely.
And now, let’s compare this with the size 18 Japanese Blue Cosette Dress.
The Japanese Blue print was another that did not disappoint. It’s absolutely stunning! The combination of deep blue, bright orange, white, and black works so well, resulting in a print that is eye-catching, bold, and beautiful.
As you can see, the size 18 is a much better fit on the bust for me. The fabric isn’t on the verge of bursting at the seams and instead sits comfortably on my breasts. The v-neckline still gives a sneaky hint of cleavage but it’s not too much, meaning that this dress is perfectly appropriate attire for anyone working in an office.
Unfortunately, the fit elsewhere was not so good for me. The back and shoulders were rather roomy, and of course the waist was too big. I hoped this would be solved by the belt, but as you can see from my photos I am wearing the belt on the tightest setting but still it was too big for me. It’s such a pity I couldn’t order the size 18 dress with a size 16 belt; I appreciate this would be a logistical nightmare for Lady V London to manage but for those with awkward body shapes this would be a fantastic option. I know Debz recently experienced a similar thing, where she had to size down in the dress for the overall fit but needed the bigger belt. I guess this could be solved by making the belts a bit longer and adding more grommets (holes) so that there is more flexibility for different bodies. I also wish there was a belt loop for securing the end of the belt, as having it flapping around unanchored – as you can see in my photos of the size 18 dress – is one of my pet hates! It irritates me so much that I usually end up putting a hairband on the belt to act as a loop but of course this doesn’t look great and it can prove tricky to find one in a matching colour.
It was with heavy heart that I decided to return both of these dresses. I tried them on several times but I just couldn’t decide which of the fit issues I could live with. Mind you, I may end up rebuying if either dress is in the sale, but for me £50 was too much for a dress that I probably wouldn’t end up wearing very often. Those gorgeous prints were SO tempting, though!
That said, I still highly recommend the Cosette. All too often dresses don’t fit me properly because of my unusual shape and measurements, so please don’t think I disregarded this one because of anything other than that. Clothing is cut to fit ‘standard’ measurements and mine are anything but! The Cosette is a beautiful dress and it’s ideal for cooler months thanks to its long sleeves and full skirt.
You can read other blogger reviews of the Cosette Dress here:
Lolly Likes Fatshion
Rachel Gee Bee
The (Not So) Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess
U Can’t Wear That!
The Muffin Queen’s Closet
Linzerello Does Fatshion
Have you tried any Lady Voluptuous dresses yet? Let me know by commenting below!