It’s news to no one that I love the Claudia dress by Alexandra King for Deadly is the Female since I already own 5 of them–4 of the bishop sleeve dresses and 1 of the bishop sleeve gowns, in the super luxe and impossibly glamorous navy velvet version. I don’t, however, own any of the flutter sleeves, purely because I could never quite decide which colour would make the most sense for me to purchase, on a practical level. Well, Deadly and Alexandra made that decision real easy for me recently by releasing their first ever printed Claudia dress–this navy polka dot flutter sleeve beauty, made to sway and swish in the way of all your most buttery chiffon dreams.
I actually traveled to Frome a couple weekends back to model for Deadly for their new Spring/Summer line, so I was lucky enough to model this dress in person. Despite my deep love for the Claudia dress shape, I wasn’t sure if the georgette fabric would work for me like the stretch jerseys did. The second I tried it on it was clear the Claudia cut had worked miracles again and, also, you know, that I absolutely needed to buy it, which I then gleefully did the first day this dress went on sale shortly after our shoot. I would say ‘whoops’ except it wasn’t a mistake and I’m not remotely sorry.
It is a lightweight wonder. Made from a semi-sheer fabric, it comes with a short navy slip so that you can wear it with your modesty intact, but if you want to be daring and chic you can definitely just opt for a black bra and panties underneath to create a totally different vibe. Even when wearing this dress with the slip I feel shockingly sexy in it, the fabric able to shift with the movement of your body or any stirring breezes in a way that looks and feels almost sensual. The slit in the skirt certainly doesn’t hurt in that regard. It can definitely be worn for a sexy date night just as easily as it can be worn to a wedding, or even dressed down with flats and cats eye sunglasses for the most casually chic wear on a sunny day. At present, I can understand people pulling back from ordering clothes that feel more like ‘event’ wear, but this dress is so versatile it can serve you year round, and even on a day of home quarantine if you want to dress up just for the chance to feel a bit special and normal again!
The other (and most) versatile feature of this dress is it’s one size fits most sizing. Like all other Claudias, whether dress or gown, flutter or bishop sleeved, when unbelted this little darling looks like a very fancy version of a choir smock, as you can see in the picture below. The genius of this dress is that tying the belt (something you can do several different ways, to your taste) entirely creates the shape of this dress, which not only means it will fit most women but it also means it will fit you all the time as well. As someone who’s weight has fluctuated a lot over my lifetime, knowing I can buy one of these dresses and still have it fit even if my size drastically changes is a relief and a joy, with added happiness points layered in with the knowledge that it also means I can lend it to all of my friends and sisters, no matter their size or body shape! As the first port of call for all of my loved ones who are less enamored with shopping when they need a dress for a special event, this is a brilliant feature.
While the georgette fabric of this dress has no stretch, the slip that comes with it does, and it does fit me. The bust of the slip measures 34.5 inches flat with stretch to about 47, while the waist is 42 inches flat with stretch to almost 60. It’s a gently A-line shape, so for slimmer ladies it will gather along with the outer layer of the dress to comfortably form part of the flattering ruches that make the dress look so special, while larger ladies will find it fits more as a fitted slip that doesn’t affect the stunning draping.
For plus size ladies wondering if this dress will work for them, I have a 47 inch bust and 50 inch hips, I carry my weight a lot on my belly, and I wear a UK 18 or 20 depending on the brand; and not to be arrogant, but I think this dress looks just as lovely on me as it does on Deadly’s other slimmer models, so I have faith it can work for almost anyone! There are other plus sized lovelies who have shared pictures of themselves in their Claudias on Instagram and in Deadly’s dedicated Facebook group, the Deadly is the Female Dollhouse, if you want to see more babes rocking these dresses.
OH! And before I forget (as if I ever could,) this dress has pockets!
The Claudia dresses and every other item in Alex and Deadly’s collaboration line are handmade in Wells, Somerset, to the highest levels of quality and care at Alexandra’s workshop. Alex runs her own small bespoke and bridal wear business, which also sells true vintage, in addition to the time she spends creating with Deadly, while the Deadly is the Female boutique is dainty little gem situated atop a picturesque cobbled street in a small town in Somerset, some 20 minutes from Bath. Both businesses have gorgeous, professional websites and social media platforms that can easily make it appear that they are much bigger businesses than they really are, and that ceaseless professionalism is carried through all that they do in the way both teams conduct themselves with their customers.
Both Alexandra and Deadly ladies (comprised of owner Claudia and shop manager/model Scarlett,) are endlessly kind, loving women who enthusiastically want to help other women feel the most confident and fabulous versions of themselves. As such a small team, our currently troubled times must be incredibly daunting for them, and I hope that if you can afford to keep shopping at the moment that you’ll consider spending your hard-earned money with small businesses like Deadly is the Female and Alexandra King, because money spent with a small business makes a far greater difference to the lives of its owners than money spent at a large chain brand ever will.
The Polka Dot Flutter Sleeve Claudia dress is One Size Fits Most and is available on Deadly is the Female’s website, as Covid-19 has forced them to temporarily close their Frome shop. If you love the flutter sleeve cut but polka dots aren’t for you there are 2 new floral prints available in the Claudia line, as well as in a new maxi dress length (which I am obsessed with!) Not a print fan at all? You can opt for one of the several plain colourways, in both flutter sleeve or bishop sleeve. Seriously, there’s a Claudia for everyone–or, if you’re me, several.
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any of the companies listed or any other individuals.