Babely Bustier [Fables by Barrie]

This blog post is one I wrote months ago and forgot to schedule. Since it wasn’t recently written my measurements mentioned are not my current measurements, but the information regarding the fit of the top and sizing apply to my size at the time so all the advice on that subject still holds true.

I only have a couple of vintage style bustier tops, both by Pinup Girl Clothing. Those bustiers have a frill bust detail and adjustable fit due to the button closure of the back. I love them but have been searching for a plainer bustier with a more traditional sweetheart shaped bust line and a folded collar style trim to the bust. That’s when I found Fables by Barrie.

The Scarlett bustier is a classic vintage styled bustier top featuring a sweetheart neckline and a darted and seamed bodice in cotton sateen, my favourite fabric finish for a versatile look. It’s a lovely piece so I wish I had better pictures for you, but after another wet washed weekend it meant taking pictures once more in my insufficient kitchen-cum-studio set up.

Fables By Barrie Scarlett Bustier in Black Fables By Barrie Scarlett Bustier in Black Fables By Barrie Scarlett Bustier in BlackFables By Barrie Scarlett Bustier in Black
I love the sweetheart shape of this bustier, it’s so classic and flattering. It’s boned and has just a little stretch, which is perfect. The size chart allows for the L to fit 36-38 bust and a 30-33 waist, so that’s what I ordered for my 33 waist and 39 bust. The size chart is accurate, as it does fit, snugly, fastening with a separated hidden back zipper that comes entirely apart to get the top on and off, and a hook and eye at the top of the zipper. I am squishy of tummy and this top is cropped, so I do get a sensational squish overflow where the top ends its supreme cinching powers and my tummy cake powers take over. For that reason I can’t wear this top with pants, shorts or a fitted skirt unless I was willing to layer some strong shape wear below it to smooth out the transition beneath the end of the top. If you, too, have a squishy bottom half and suspect this might happen to you if you want to wear it with fitted bottoms then sizing up would fix the problem as all the sizes fit back to back on the size chart (the L is 30-33 waist but the XL is 33-35, etc.)

The Scarlett bustier is available in 15 colours and in sizes XS to XL covering up to a 35″ waist. It’s a shame they don’t size larger than that, as this is a gorgeous top. I’m sorely tempted by the black and white gingham colourway, but at $88 a top I can’t currently justify a second buy.

Fables by Barrier ship internationally, but a selection of their tops are available from The Oblong Box Shop, which is where I ordered mine as they offer cheaper international shipping and sometimes give out discount codes.

Marnie & Me [Tatyana]

It’s obvious that red is one of my favourite colours. It’s my go-to for lipstick 99% of the time, and my favourite shoe and accessory colour for 90% of pairings as well–honestly, half the time that I don’t wear red shoes with something it’s only because I’ve told myself I should stop being so predictable and repetitive, not because I think red shoes won’t work with that outfit. So, saying all that, it’s probably not surprising that a lot of the SS16 pieces I’ve been most anticipating release this season are items featuring a lot of red. The Tatyana Marnie dress is one of them.

Tatyana Marnie dressTatyana Marnie dressTatyana Marnie dressTatyana Marnie dressTatyana Marnie dressTatyana Marnie dressTatyana Marnie dress Dress: Marnie dress from Tatyana
Belt: From my Havana Nights dress by Pinup Girl Clothing
Bangles: Primark bangle stack (currently in store)
Hair flower: Holly Hibiscus by Daisy Jean Florals
Wedges: Old season Espadrilles F&F by Tesco

I couldn’t quite tell from online pictures before I bought this dress whether the red dots were actually circles or tiny hearts. The latter would have been a bit too cutesy for me, so thankfully I can tell you that the polka dots are indeed red multisized circles featured on a white background. The Marnie dress is a tied halterneck which closes with a metal back zipper and has a gathered skirt, in which there are pockets. The skirt doesn’t have the full volume of a circle skirt, so it best fits a slim to medium volume petticoat underneath. The bust is lined and there’s a very gentle curvature to the neckline, like an incredibly subtle beginnings of a sweetheart bust. The dress comes with a 1 inch deep red fabric belt, but I’ve worn it above with one of my own thicker belts to help tighten it up, since I ordered it a size too large.

I mistakenly ordered the 2X in this dress and returning to America would have been a pain in the butt, so I’ve simply taken in the bodice to make it fit better. The bust does gape slightly on me because of this order error on my part, but it’s not a glaring misfit. Still, for reference the unaltered flat measurements of this 2X dress are 37 inches in the waist compared to the 34 inches stated for 2XL on the size chart, so I can tell you this dress runs large. This is especially the case when you consider that there’s enough stretch in it for me to flat stretch the dress to 39.5 inches in the waist, so you might have to size down if you want a snug fit.

Tatyana ship internationally and regularly have sales and discount coupon promotions that make it worth signing up to their newsletter and/or following them on their social media platforms. I ordered this dress during a 50% off dresses promotion, which is amazing in and of itself, but for international customers it’s worth noting that I was also able to take advantage of the fact that Tatyana seem to offer free international shipping for orders that have a goods value of $175 or more before promotional discounts are applied. That means that as long as your order total is over $175 of goods before the discount code is applied, you can still qualify for free shipping after the discount takes effect in your basket; you just need to select the free option from the options provided when you enter your details for your shipping quote. I ordered this $130 dress and an on-sale $60 gown, totaling only $95 together with the 50% discount then applied, and still got free USPS International Standard shipping.

This free shipping option has worked for me on multiple sales orders in the past, so it’s not a new offer or a glitch, but I can’t seem to find this offer documented on the website so I can’t say for certain this value threshold or free shipping option is the same/available for all international purchases. The website does state you’re to allow 4-6 weeks for delivery with that USPS International Standard shipping service, but here in the UK I’ve typically found delivery comes nearer to 2-3 weeks when sent this way. There can still be customs on your order, so remember that too when ordering.

The Marnie dress is available in sizes XS-4XL and costs $130.