I review a lot of mid-price point pinup dresses, so I’ve been making an effort lately to dig out some of the more budget-friendly items in my closet to review for ladies who are working with fewer spendable bucks leftover at the end of their paychecks. Today that budget pick is the Verona dress from Lindybop.
A black swing dress with a flared box pleat skirt, a lace overlay bust and a cut out detail on the back, this is a modest but pretty design that would work great as a little black dress of an evening.
If I look a bit lackluster in these pictures it’s because that’s how I felt in this dress. The dim, dreary weather aside, this outfit just was not working for me.
It’s a pet peeve of mine to see bra straps and backbands showing in strapless or backless tops, not because I have an issue with underwear being on display for any modesty reasons, but because clothes designed with these features are not designed with exposed underwear in mind as part of the look; strapless tops are meant to showcase your shoulders, not your bra straps, and backless tops are meant to show off your back, not your backband. Consequently, my style nerve twitches to see a look lessened by the inability to find creative underwear solutions to creative design ideas. That said, more often than not the fault doesn’t lie entirely with the wearer when dealing with products produced by high street and budget companies. Said companies often have no qualms in producing clothing of no- or -ill-structure that require you to search far and wide for specific, extreme underwear solutions in order to wear them, as those companies don’t want to invest the time and money in researching and creating a decent structural support as part of the garment construction, despite the fact that the average women does not feel comfortable nor confident in going braless.
This dress is one of those items that is designed with no thought given to how it realistically will be worn, designed creatively but produced cheaply. The lace detail of the neckline and the back of the dress is stunning and pretty much the reason I ordered this dress, but there is no way to wear a normal or strapless bra with this dress without it showing and ruining the entire concept of the design. The solution is a low back bustier bra, handy if you already own one, but annoying to have to search out if you don’t. I purchased my bustier a couple years back on ASOS, but even though I own it I still tend to avoid wearing it as I don’t feel it gives my breasts any modicum of oompfh, so when wearing this bustier I don’t fill out a dress in the same way as I would even wearing a well-fitted standard bra that doesn’t specifically lift, push or boost. I feel the same lack of oompf is obvious in this dress specifically; the bust on it is roomy and with my low-back bustier merely cupping but not truly supporting my boobs, I do not fill out the too-big bust properly and don’t have decent cleavage in it, which is a shame. So, to wear it I either have to invest in a much better backless bustier bra or I have to live with the slightly sad boobage. Going braless in it isn’t an option because there is zero support there.
Another concern I have in fit is that, as per usual with Lindybop swing dresses, this size 14 fits me loosely, even though their size 14 is for 32 inch waists, their size 16 is for 34, and my current 33 inch waist should see this fitting snugly. Instead I have plenty of fabric at the waist to pinch, meaning a 32 inch waisted lady would be swimming in this. Wearing a belt with this is not only preferred but a necessity to achieve any conceivable notion of a flattering silhouette.
I desperately wanted this dress to do better than the other Lindybop dresses I own, but it doesn’t. The usual Lindybop issue of tight sleeves is avoided only because there are no sleeves, the waist is too big as usual, and the necessity for a low-back bra could have been avoided if the design team had thought to bring the waistband up higher in the back to cover a bra’s backband if they determinedly did not want to invest in constructing a bust or bodice that actually provided some support of its own.
It’s a lovely idea and a steal at £34.99 but I think women who share my pet peeve for bra straps on show will find themselves frustrated and unable to wear this dress to its unfulfilled potential. Women who don’t care about flashing their straps can probably find a way to wear this dress without mimicking my forlorn feelings.
Do you own any dresses that have caused you to engage in an underwear solutions struggle?