The Darcy dress by Unique Vintage is another one of those dresses, the kind I immediately fell in love with as soon as I first glimpsed it. It landed in my inbox as part of a New Arrivals email from UV and, though I had only just woken up, the sight of it made me a little bit grabby as I clicked through to the website with sleep still in my eyes.
In truth, I’ve been tempted by the Darcy dress before, but the previous prints hadn’t felt entirely ‘me,’ only managing to tempt me without convincing me. It wasn’t until I saw this red and cream print that I felt the I HAVE TO HAVE IT urgent feels. You know those feels. Of course you do, you read this blog; just between me and you, darling, there’s no point in denying we get a bit too excited at the sight of pretty dresses. It might be a bit weird to the not-so-clothing-obsessed, but it makes us happy. And this Darcy dress definitely makes me happy.
I am all about this print. I can’t say why specifically I love it so much–it reminds me a little bit of paintings and crayon swatches, but I have no particular attachment to such things–but I do, ardently. It’s the kind of dress that made my friends say ‘that is so you!’ when I showed them a picture of my on-my-way-to-me new purchase, as I’m known to do, and that pleases me.
In terms of features, this dress has removable straps that allow it to be worn strapless if desired. It closes with a back zipper. There’s side seam pockets in the 30-inch-long skirt, which isn’t a full circle but lays beautifully and would take a petticoat. The bodice is lined and has boning on the sides. It’s made from a textured woven blend fabric, which I hadn’t expected but found I like, and feels very floaty and light for summer.
Now, while the straps are removable and there is boning, I have doubts as to how easily this dress can be worn strapless for any woman with a sizable bosom. I don’t consider myself particularly busty, yet I feel the construction of this dress isn’t really supportive enough to stay up all by its lonesome in a comfortable fashion that won’t result in me making tiny adjustments and upward-hikes during lengthy wears.
The reality is that the boning only consists of one plastic bone on each side, with the bodice being lined but quite thin, so there’s nothing in the structure that will make the dress grab onto your bust and stay up. Plus, because the lining is so fine that I found the bones stick into my (admittedly very curvy) upper hips uncomfortably. I’ve got to decide if I want to remove the boning entirely or do some clever stitching to solve that problem.
Overall, I’ve noticed that when I compare this Darcy to my other Unique Vintage dresses that have boned bodices, those dresses have a more structured, substantial feeling than this dress does. I think it’s because those dresses are designed more for evening wear and this is a summer piece that they didn’t want to become too heavy and warm with layers of substantive structuring, which I completely understand. Still, I wanted you to understand the construction of this dress to avoid any possible disappointment and to clue you in as to whether you can wear it strapless, if you especially want to do so and have concerns as to whether that will be possible for you.
The boning issue aside, I’m happy to wear this dress with the straps as I was never particularly bothered about wanting to wear it strapless anyway. The print makes me feel summery, and I actually like that it’s a slimmer skirt than my usual fare–shocking, I know.
My final fit note is that the woven textured fabric has no stretch, only the slightest touch of give, so make sure to follow the size chart. I got this dress in the XL, for 33 inch waists according to the size chart, and it flat measures 34 inches in the waist, with no stretch.
This red printed Darcy dress costs $98 and is available in sizes XS-4X. It also comes in a different navy floral print. Both dresses are available from Unique Vintage, which ships internationally at a variety of prices and has a customer reward points system that earns you money off your future orders.