One of my favourite top designs from the 50s is the crossed front strap top. There are lots of brands that have their own version of this top, featuring different fabrics and priced across various budgets. I own two tops featuring this crossed strap neckline and both fall on the more expensive side of the budget spectrum for this kind of piece. I’ve been curious for a while about the Vixen Vondetta tops I’ve seen offered by Doll Me Up Darling, so I recently bought a couple so I could do a review for you ladies.
At last count this top comes in 14 colourways, which is the first thing I really liked about it. The second is that each top only costs $19.99 (around £13ish), which is about $30 cheaper than the next step up I could find in price range for this kind of crossed strap style. For ladies on a budget this means you’ve got an excellent option, in a lot of colours for many a potential outfit, for finding this kind of style.
Each top has a lot of stretch in it due to the fabric it’s made of, so despite Doll Me Up’s owner, Krista, insisting I would fit a M, I decided to buy both a Medium and a Lovely to see if there was a big difference in fit. I ordered the Navy in an Medium and the Burgundy in the Lovely. The only free day I had to get pictures for this post saw me photographer-free and trapped indoors as it rained, so it’s in-studio for basic pics this time!
The fabric is is lightweight and unlined, meaning it’s great in summer and for layering. In fact, the fabric is very reminiscent of a swimsuit, though only lined on the bust, where there’s also lightly padded cups. They’re made in the USA and sizing runs from XS to 4X waist, encompassing 24inches to 44inches, a great range.
When it comes to fit I knew both tops would fit me because my 32-33 waist easily falls within the waist measurements on both. The Medium measurements are listed as Bust: 32-38 Waist: 26-36 Length: 25-28, with the Lovely as Bust: 34-40 Waist: 28-38 Length: 26-30. Both tops did fit, thanks to the stretch factor, and yet there was a slight noticeable difference in the way I felt they laid on me. In a way I couldn’t figure out which fit was the best one, because nothing pinched or bagged or rode up. With the larger size there was more ruching gathered across my stomach, which I liked, yet I think I preferred the fit of the medium. Sometimes I found the bust ruching had a tendency to move, as sometimes the large gather that crosses over from one breast to the other on the top slid down further on my bust, making the top look a bit lopsided, but I don’t know if this was just me because I’ve only seen pictures of other women sporting a perfectly symmetrical sweetheart cupline. If I manually arranged the gathers so that this didn’t happen it was fine, but I will probably tack that problematic gather into place with a tiny stitch so that it doesn’t bother me again in future, an easy thing to do and no great sacrifice for a top that costs $19.99.
This top is a really comfortable, affordable option that comes on loads of colours, which are three pluses that could work for a lot of you. For ladies who like a more structured top this probably isn’t something for you, as it’s pure stretch, but that aside I don’t really see any downsides to this number. A perfect piece for those ladies who have to keep an eye on their pennies or have a specific colour in mind that’s hard to find–it’s probably offered by DMU!
Doll Me Up Darling ship internationally and offer really affordable shipping price options, which is great as often ordering from America to the UK (and other countries, I know) can be very pricey. I ordered a dress alongside these two tops and altogether international shipping from the USA to the UK was only $8.99 for the economy option. Faster delivery options are available if you want your items quickly and can pay more, but mine only took a couple weeks to reach me, which is pretty good for an economy mail service. If you want any help on sizing you can contact Krista, Doll Me Up’s owner, who’s only too happy to help. She was wonderful about assisting me in placing my order as I had a knack for picking items that were waiting for new stock to arrive. She was even kind enough to send me a LA Splash Lip Couture as a gift too, which I am in love with and will be reviewing soon, alongside the new LA Splash Smitten LipTint Mousses I’ve since ordered 2 of after being so thrilled with the Lip Coutures.
A-ha! I’ve been quietly wondering and waiting to see this review! Your detail to sizing on your blog posts are so invaluable to me, because I think we have similar measurements – I have a 34″ bust, fluctuate between 32″ and 33″ waist, but find I can fit into some dresses/skirts that measure at 31″, but I think that may be down to fabric/stretch!
I had the same dilemma as you with sizes, do I get the Medium or do I get the Lovely? I bought a size Lovely, but I found the bust to be a tad big… it either wanted to ‘slip down that extra half inch’ to show the top of my strapless bra, or didn’t really give me much support without a bra
So, my questions for you are, in comparison to the Lovely, did the Medium give you ‘better’ support in the breast department, and did it feel noticeably tighter in the waist department? Cause I’m thinking a Medium may be a better fit for me too, as long as I didn’t feel like it was tooooo tight or like, I couldn’t breathe in it! I prefer the ruched look too, but I’d sacrifice that if it felt more firm up top. Also, how did the quality compare to The Oblong Box Shop criss cross tops? They look exactly the same (DollMeUp having a better selection/shipping price), so I didn’t know if they were from the same wholesaler or not! One distinction is DollMeUp’s tops say “dry clean only” (eeeep!) where as Oblong’s say on their website description “hand wash or dry clean”… I’m wondering if I can hand wash my DollMeUp top…
Please, give me all your knowledge Amy! Ha! ;p
I do think the DMU tops seem similar to the Criss Cross tops from Oblong, but I can’t claim to know if they’re from the same supplier. The Medium definitely won’t feel like it’s too tight for you, you should be able to size down just fine, but these tops aren’t built with structure in mind, even with the padded cups, so I’m not convinced going braless in the medium will be an option if you want to feel properly supported. But as the bust shouldn’t be too big on you like it was in the Lovely then I think you’ll be able to fit a strapless under it without any peekage or slippage.