You may or may not know that I am very selective about my novelty prints. If they’re too cartoony, whimsical or bright, I tend to stay away. Same with featuring animals and fruit, typically. But, you know, there are exceptions to every rule, and the new Toucan print Estella dress from Lady Voluptuous’s SS17 line is one of them.
Considering it features both fruit and animals by way of pineapples and birds, you’d think it would be a no go for me, but colour plays a big part in what appeals to me about a print and it was the colour scheme of this birdie pattern that really reeled me in. The muted mid blues of the flora contrasted against the mustardy yellow of the pineapples and the rich navy blue of the toucans are magic for me, combining some of my favourite shades in one summery print that somehow isn’t garish, overpowering, or even brow-beatingly tropical despite the toucans and fruit. It’s kind of like a tropical print done by way of England, where our summers are typically breezy, less than sweltering, and sometimes a bit damp. This print is Summer Lite, if you will, Tropical Paradise at Twilight, Birds Sheltering From A Monsoon. It’s subtle as well as fun, and I like it a lot.
Dress: Tropical Toucan print Estella dress C/O Lady Voluptuous
Cardigan: Honey Tootsie Cropped Cardigan from Doll Me Up
Bag: Erin wicker bag by Dancing Days/Banned
Shoes: Old season New Look
Hair Flower: Soft Blue Deluxe Hydrangea by Daisy Jean Florals
Adding to the lovely colour scheme of the print is the wonderful comfort level of the dress itself. Made in a stretch cotton sateen fabric and unlined, there’s plenty of give to keep you comfortable in summer no matter the humidity levels or how many ice creams you just put away. It has a faux wrap front and closes with a hidden side zip, so you don’t have to worry about making adjustments or checking for gaping. The flared skirt will fit a medium fullness petticoat to give it a little more volume, or you can wear it easily without one for a more floaty, breezy summer feel–you know, once we actually get nearer to summer, an age away though it might still seem now. This dress is made in London and is machine washable, so you don’t have to feel guilty either way about dropping your pennies on yet another pretty frock. Plus, it has a neat wing feature on the cuffs of the half sleeves that I just love, so this dress has a lot going for it.
I got this in the size 16 and it fits very true to their size chart, matching it’s flat measurements exactly at 34 inches for the waist and 41 inches for the bust. The stretch in the fabric allows those measurements to stretch to 37 inches and 46 inches respectively. The arm cuffs stretch to 16 inches, with the armholes measuring 21 inches, so the arms are comfortable even for us ladies toting chubby uppers (aka, big upper arms.) The skirt measures 26 inches long, that length coupled together with the faux-wrap neckline making this dress a modest pick while still remaining stylish and fun. It would make for a perfect work appropriate dress for the summer months if you’re looking for something more lively to fill out that side of your wardrobe.
The Lady Voluptuous Tropical Toucan print Estella dress comes in UK sizes 16-32 for £50, though this print is also available on the Lady V London Tea Dress in sizes 8-22 as well. Lady V London ship internationally.