One of the things I most love in clothing is when designers play with textures. Layering different materials to achieve a multi-textured effect is pretty easy to do with your styling choices, but when a dress already offers something texturally interesting you’re already halfway there. And this Tess dress definitely offers!
Dress: Baby Blue Tessa dress gifted by Dolly & Dotty
Faux fur cape: (Old) Lillian cape by Collectif*
Gloves: Elbow leather gloves from eBay
Belt: Old Primark
Bag: Brown Tara bag by Lulu Hun
Shoes: (Old) Diana heels by Lulu Hun
The crochet lace inserts on this dress are so wonderful, contributing to a unique design. Featuring embroidered circles interconnected by solid dots, it creates a slightly honeycomb effect that feels structurally elegant. The solid fabric of the bodice meets the lace as a sweetheart bustline, one of my forever favourites, while the waistband draws the eye in to the waist before flowing out into the full swing skirt.
A full length sleeved version of this dress would be a total dream for me for evening wear, but even with the short sleeves this dress is ready to stun at events. Special occasion accessories easily elevate its occasion destiny, while selecting more casual accessories will absolutely allow you to wear this dress in daily life without feeling overdone. Just picture this pale blue number with a white cropped cardigan, bamboo bangles, a red belt and red wedges for easy spring days; delightful, right? Not that this pale blue is all Tess has to offer–this dress comes in 10 colours, including white (perfect for budget-friendly brides) and burgundy (which I am absolutely eyeing up with an urge to layer it with all black for moody winter wear–think cardigan or a faux leather jacket, thick tights and boots.) It can be as versatile as your creativity is willing to make it, but there’s no arguing that it’s not a lovely and singular dress.
There’s lots of stretch in the soft cotton material that the bodice and skirt are made from, so this dress sizes generously through the body. I knew the lace inserts would be zero stretch so I sized up into the 20 purely for the short sleeves, since I have large upper arms. The waist lays flat at 39 inches with stretch to 42, while the bust measures 44.5 inches flat with stretch to 48 inches. The cuffs in the sleeves are 16 inches in circumference, so while the dress is roomy on me overall, it’s a snug but comfortable fit in the sleeve. The skirt is just barely shy of a full circle and as such moves beautifully, with a wide arc to twirl and plenty of room to take a medium-full volume petticoat. It’s 28.5 inches long, so I wore a 26 inch petticoat under it so the petti wouldn’t be visible through the lace insert at the hem. Tess closes with a back zip topped by hook and eye, and is machine washable.
The Tess dress comes in 10 colours, from classics like white and black all the way through to hot pink and royal blue, all in UK sizes 8-24. Dolly & Dotty ship worldwide.
Disclaimer: The dress featured in this review was gifted to me by Dolly & Dotty in exchange for an honest review. Items marked with an asterix* are items I bought myself from companies that have previously gifted me other items for review. All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any of the companies listed or any other individuals. The use of my MAK affiliate code will generate me a small commission from your order.
COVID-19 NOTE: These pictures were taken alone and safely in a secluded outdoors area with no other individuals present or passing, thus practising strict social distancing measures in an effort to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.