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?
Thanks for the review Amy! I have owned two Lindy Bop dresses previously and yes, they were a steal (each under 30 pounds) but at that price you can really see the cheap material and construction and none of them fit me perfectly. I mean, ok, it´s hard to find a compromise if you are Medium on top and extra Large on bottom like I am, but after reading your blog and instagram for months, I have decided to stop buying all these cheap clothes and decided to save up for PUG. Yes, it is more expensive that anything I have ever bought and it is not budget-friendly but my reasoning is: wouldn´t you rather own one beautifully designed dress that fits you like glove and that you want to wear all the time than own 5 dresses you´re not looking forward to wearing? I think I´m clear on the answer now 🙂 Also, I have to say that your reviews are super relevant to me because we are waist sisters – 32-33 inches which often falls in between sizes in most repro clothing and especially PUG. Ordered my first PUG this weekend during sale and I´ve been biting my nails in excitement ever since! I hope I look at least half as good in it as you do! 🙂 xx
Sorry about such a late reply! I’m so excited you’re getting your first PUG piece though. What did you get, what did you get?! 🙂
I love LindyBop! Their sizing works pretty well with me – guess it just goes to show how each gal experiences these kinds of things differently! To me, with my shape, their sizing is spot on much more than other stores where I am much more of an in-betweener. But yes, so frustrating when a dress doesn’t allow you to use what under garments you have to accommodate! I have a few like that and usually opt for a cardigan to go over it so my bra straps/back isn’t on display – it bothers me too!
How curious! Just goes to show, as you said, that different brands work for different ladies. I’m almost always between sizes with a lot of brands, but for Lindybop all my friends echo my exact same sentiments on size inconsistencies and sleeve tightness, even my size 6 friends. But a little Lindy Bop insider birdie has told me they’re working hard to sort out their size issues from here on out, so hopefully before long those of us who don’t have your luck with their fit will be able to enjoy them as well 🙂
I’m a little sad to hear how this dress falls short of your expectations because I think it so cute! I do agree–I feel exposed undergarments take away from the intended design of a dress (outfit in general). Maybe you can try those sticky chicken cutlet bras that have a clasp (like NuBra) to form cleavage? If it didn’t have a keyhole in the back, I probably would have considered just wearing a black strapless bra and make it look like there is some lining underneath the lacy section (if I really wanted to make the dress work).
I do have a dress I am currently have an undergarment situation with! (http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/masuimi-dress-black.html but in plum–I’m guessing the plum has been discontinued.) I need some lift and support so going bra-less is not an option. The dress has cups in the top, but it is a stretchy dress so I would just be flopping everywhere (and that is unacceptable). A regular bra can’t be worn due to the deep cuts and angle of the straps. A strapless might work but the ones I own come up much higher than the neckline of this dress. The only other idea I have is to get a very decorative bra and wear it like I intended to show it off, but the dress is so sexy already…
I adore my Hell Bunny Karen dresses, they are so so pretty… but hoo boy does that super low v back feck me off! I don’t know who the heck decided to design the dress like that (similar to a couple of other HB dresses with button up backs – WHY WOULD YOU SUBJECT US TO THAT??!!) because apart from that it’s the perfect day dress, but hey ho. So my solution was to buy a back strap converter from ebay for about £2. It attaches to you bra clasps & pulls them diagonally downwards then wraps around your waist. It’s incredibly ugly & takes a bit of tinkering with to get it comfortable but at least I can now wear my Karen dresses without everyone seeing what colour underwear I’m wearing 😉 As for hiding straps in lace panels, I’m not too sure I think gals could get away with the shoulder straps showing in the Verona better if it didn’t have that humongous cut out drawing so much attention to the back! 🙂
Maybe the back converter I had was a crap one but I didn’t find it worked at all; it seemed to render the support of my bra totally void by dragging it all down a bit, so it was pointless to use it. At least it works for you 🙂
I only have one Lindybop dress and it fits me great (the Ophelia), but I bought the one size the shop had which was a size down from what the size guide said I should have, so I’ve been a bit wary about buying online from them because I just don’t know if I should follow their size guide or size down again! I think that dress does look lovely on you, even if you’re not so happy with it.
Poorly designed necklines and bodices are one of my pet peeves too, especially as a large busted, plus size woman. I find a lot of PUG’s dress and top designs just don’t translate well into plus sizes for busty ladies – I just cannot get the range of bra options needed wear some of their clothes without having bras show. And braless just isn’t an option! So it’s either not buy the outfit at all, or alter the bodice to cover my bra, which is what I did with the Lydia rose dress. (sadly the bra I have to wear under it isn’t comfortable, so I don’t wear the dress as much as I wish I could, cause it’s just so gorgeous)
That’s interesting you don’t find PUG necklines translate well to plus sized ladies because I’ve never seen a busty lady struggle with bra issues in her PUG–Pinup Cortney Maylee is blessed in the bust department and she always manages to rock PUG without any bra straps showing or seeming support issues. Finding her on Instagram and asking her what underwear options she opts for might be a good idea if you struggle with this.