The New Look lace layered midi dress

My mission at the time of this dress: Find a dress suitable for a friend’s wedding. At that time, I had never been to a wedding ceremony, so I was a mixture of excited and nervous. My thoughts were, “I can’t wait to see the bride”, “I wonder what the dress is like”, “I wonder what the cake is like”, “I wonder what the actual ceremony will be like”. Then it was the ultimate question, “what was I going to wear?”.  I won’t say how many people I asked, or how many sites I searched trying to figure out what I should wear, especially as the wedding was very traditional and held in a Church.  So I began my search.

A trip to New Look had me try on about 4 different dresses, one of which was this:

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This Blue Lace Layered Midi Dress was available at New Look for £11 (reduced from £29.99) in UK sizes 8-16, found both online and in store, however it may no longer be available online.

The first few things that strike me about this dress: It’s a midi, it has thick straps, it has a long lace top layer, match it with a shrug and some cute shoes and it should be perfect.  By all accounts it’s the perfect dress for a formal occasion and is adorable, but this is why it’s important to try things on.

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Immediately you may notice the difference between how it looks for the model and for myself. Supposedly we are the same height, however we are not the same size. I’m wearing the size 16, a touch tight overall, and due to my curves, it definitely has a different appearance to the original model.

The overall material is slightly stretchy, which helps get this dress on, even if it’s hugging every curve, and I believe because it is stretchy it has enabled me to do the zip up fully without issue. On the back of the dress (as illustrated by the stock photo), there is a chunky zip that provides a break from the entire lace ensemble.

The straps are a good width, enabling them to easily cover up a bra strap without problem whilst supporting the dress. They are slightly elastic, this being useful as the straps aren’t adjustable and provides the option to lift the dress up a bit ensuring the bust area is covered, which is fairly easy as it’s a squared neckline. The bust…I adore the look and design of this, the extra layer of lace making the waist appear smaller, but, this dress simply isn’t made for those with a curvier figure, especially on the bust. This supposed midi dress is completely lifted up due to the bust; the lace layer doesn’t stop on the slimiest part of my waist but an inch or too above, and the hemline does not reach my knees but mid thigh. With a larger bust, this dress becomes distorted and what is meant to be a wedding outfit, turns into more of a night out dress.

As with many bodycon style dresses, it’s made to hug the curves, and as with many women, we have plenty of said curves. While I loved the look of the dress, the fact that the lace is meant to drape over the curves and not cling to them is a bit annoying, especially as the inner layer of the dress becomes exposed when moving. Something to suck in and smooth the hips and stomach would probably make this dress more of a winner in my books, even if it wouldn’t be wedding appropriate.

From my photo, I wore this dress with a pair of black tights; considering the length of the dress, this was definitely needed. As the dress itself is gorgeous and has wonderful detail on the lace, I would choose fairly simple accessories; a black shrug with black tights and shoes, maybe something with a similar blue, or match the dress colour to my eyeshadow.

The dress is good for a night out, but useless for my wedding needs, if it came in a larger size that catered to curves and taller women, it would be wonderful. But other than the size and the length, it is a cute dress.

Since trying on this dress and writing this blog, I’ve been to a total of two weddings; one as a guest and another as a bridesmaid. The overall issue I’ve found is mainstream shops often don’t cater to larger sizes, or if they do, the design of the outfit is meant for individuals a lot older. At 22, I want cute formal outfits in my size, I want to be able to find something that can be worn to a wedding and not a club in a popular shop. I do want night out clothing, but as more people I know are becoming engaged, it would help knowing that it would be easy to find elegant but young clothing that would fit the curvier figure. A lot of shops are becoming more plus size friendly, but the fact that it’s taken this long to get this far is not right, especially when the UK size average for women aged 16-24 is a size 16. The fact is, regardless of what size you are, it’s important to try on, or even be willing to try on clothing and judge how you feel in it as opposed to judge it there and then. I look at a model wearing an item of clothing and part of me goes “it won’t look too different”, the other part of me says “I would look awful in that”, and finally I’ll decide to try it on. It may look completely different as shown by this dress, or it might look the same, but without experimenting and having fun, you don’t know.

For those wondering, I did managed to find a dress for my friend’s wedding, so I shall be posting a review of this dress eventually.

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Alex Morley Hewitt
curvylegion@gmail.com
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