When I started blogging, I remember looking for full-bust friendly clothing brands because I couldn’t get the fit I was looking for from regular stores. Well, after years of experience with lingerie, I eventually realized that the right bra can fix most fit issues.
Now, if like me you do like a more tailored fit, I have found a few brands that work surprisingly well for my small band/full bust figure.
Since Spring is finally here, I chose two dresses featuring English embroidery details. That is a detail I always found quite lovely. English embroidery can give a totally different look depending on clothes’ patterns.
Vixen by Micheline Pitt
This pin-up-inspired brand has been on my radar for quite a few years. According to them, their items are manufactured ethically in LA. I did notice that they produce mostly according to demands, and often make the same styles in many colorways or prints. This certainly is a way to regulate production.
The Bardot Beauty swing dress (size Small)
Almost exactly a year ago, in April 2021, I finally decided to try their Gingham Bardot Swing dress. I was looking for a sweet summer dress made of natural fiber and I always wanted a Gingham one. The dress is made of strong cotton fabric, that seems to be of good quality. The pattern is very well constructed, and the minute I put it on, it felt like it was made for me. It comes with a matching belt (that I forgot to bring on the day of this shoot) but I usually always wear them together as I think the belt accentuates my waist and overall completes the look. I think this is an adorable dress that doesn’t look “childish”. It just feels perfect for any summer day, and it has deep pockets!
Fit note: My favorite bra to wear underneath is my Curvy Kate Luxe Strapless.
I ordered a size Small following the size chart, and surprisingly, I found that it was very roomy in the chest area. I assume I would fit in an XS but as the fabric has no stretch, I am worried I wouldn’t breathe very well.
As a matter of fact, when I bought it (a few months before these photos were taken), my waist was 26″ and it felt perfect around the waist. Now that it’s 25″ it’s a little bigger than I wish. All this considered, I must admit, I always wear my most breast enhancing strapless when wearing it. In these images, I am virtually braless though. You can tell there is still space to be filled. I believe this brand is actually great for anyone with a big bust to waist ratio. However, I have seen many different people with various body types in their garments and they all seemed very happy with the fit. The brand goes up to a 4XL.
L’école des femmes Square Neck French Maid dress (US 6)
Another dress that surprised me, fit-wise, is the Squareneck French Maid dress by LA brand L’école des femmes. Just like the Bardot dress, this is a design that has been around for years. While I am not 100% sure of L’école des femmes’ ethical practices, I noticed that this brand stays away from fast fashion behaviors. They have consistently produced the same clothes for many years and only update patterns every so often.
They do have new styles every year but it can’t be said that they have a collection every season.
Fit note: I figured it out after taking these photos but Ewa Michalak bras are my favorite to get the Marie-Antoinette look this neckline requires ahah!
I love the attention to detail in this dress. Beautiful from the inside out, it is lined with pink satin and features beautiful English embroidery on the neckline and sleeves. I also love that it has pockets, though I never put much in them. Pockets are a must.
This dress is made of wool on the outside, but the satin inside is polyester. I washed it by hand a few times and had no issue with the black dye getting over the white embroidery, however, I prefer dry cleaning it, just because I know wool garments can quickly look frumpy if you don’t do things right.
Fit & quality
I personally adore the top part of the dress and if they ever come up with a top that is based on this pattern, I might just buy it. It’s the big buttons and “marquise-inspired” neckline for me. I am wearing a US 6, and when I first put this dress on, I felt it was a bit too big at the top actually. It’s definitely a dress that I wear with padded cups. I think I could size down to a 4 but perhaps it wouldn’t be comfortable to move in.
Like Vixen, I think this brand works very well for petite yet busty body types. The models don’t necessarily give that idea, but this has been my experience. Now, unfortunately, the size range barely goes up to a US10. I hope this changes in the future.
Another thing I noticed over the years is that they have switched some of their wool garments to polyester. For example, my dress tag says shell 100% wool / Lining 95% Polyester & Elastane 5% but on the website, the composition of the newest version of that dress is different from mine (only 40% wool). I own a skirt from them that has the same composition as my wool dress, but now the same design is 70% polyester, 27% viscose, 3% spandex.
Personally, I have a hard time buying polyester for the same price as natural fiber, so I always check the composition before spending money on clothes.
I have quite a few garments from LDF, and they are beautiful, I take great care of them. However, I did notice some quality issues that I am not used to encountering with slow fashion. Because of that, I only buy from them on sale, or I look for second-hand options, as their oldest collections are often made of nice material.
Pfiou, I didn’t expect to talk so much about two dresses. Do let me know if you want to see more of my wardrobe or read about it! It had been so long since I wrote anything, I just wanted to switch it up a bit.