Functioning on the theory that leopard print is a neutral (it’s true, don’t even try to argue,) I think it stands to reason to say it can be dressed up or down. Yes, that somewhat comes down to the cut of the clothing item in question, because, no, neutral though it may be, I still wouldn’t recommend wearing a pair of leopard print capri pants to a wedding, but lucky for us, this off the shoulder Lily dress is a lovely and suitable dress for many an occasion.
Dress: Leopard print Lily dress gifted by Dolly & Dotty
Bag: Old Just Fab
Jacket: Lana PU Biker jacket by Collectif*
Shoes: Black Palmas wedges by Hotter
Belt: Off the leopard Cindy dress also by Dolly & Dotty
The way this Lily dress sits just off the shoulder works beautifully to display the collarbone, something I think is super sexy, so I decided to try my hand at a sultry yet relaxed Bardot inspired up-do to best accentuate that fact. And phew! Let me tell you, between the hair and this dress, I was absolutely feeling myself. The seductive wide V of the neckline coupled with the pleats in the short sleeves had me feeling slinky and elegant, while the fitted bodice giving way to the full box pleated skirt created that gorgeous 50s silhouette I adore. The skirt also has pockets, a feature I will never fail to find great joy in, so in all I couldn’t be happier!
I have a tendency to lean towards velvet fabric leopard print–something about the lushness of that material paired with the print always gets me–but I love that this is a more simple leopard printed onto stretch cotton. It lends a level of casualness to this piece that the elegant neckline doesn’t necessarily bring to mind immediately. As you can see, pairing this with wedges for a warm weather look is effortless, but even putting on my faux leather jacket, the most casual outer layer I own, not only adds warmth but also, let’s face it, that instant cool vibe that you always get when you pair leather with leopard. You can lean heavily into a rockabilly vibe if you wish, another casual styling vein that would work well, but it’s also possible to go full glam with this dress, adding opera gloves, killer heels and a great vintage headpiece for a chic occasion look. Hell, you could even layer on a sheer black tulle shawl to ramp up the drama. It is, as far as leopard dresses go, pretty much as versatile as you can get.
The fact that this dress is made from a stretch cotton means not only is it forgiving when it comes to sizing but also comfortable for full daily wear. In a size 18 the Lily dress fits me in that snug pinup way that many love, but the sleeves don’t quite sit off the shoulder for me the way they’re supposed to, so for this leopard lovely I decided to size up into the 20 to get that little bit of extra room across my broad back. The waist lays flat at just over 39 inches with stretch to 42, while the bust flat measures 44 inches with stretch to 48. Those measurements put it bang on with the size chart. The skirt is 31 inches long. This dress is machine washable and closes with a hidden back zip.
The Lily dress is available in 13 other prints and patterns, encompassing polka dots, florals, and even a novelty unicorn print, so if you’re not a leopard lover you needn’t miss out. If, however, you love this leopard fabric but would prefer it on another dress style, Dolly & Dotty have used it for 4 more dress cuts, a skirt and a top.
The Lily dress comes in UK sizes 8-26 across all different colourways. 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.
COVID-19 NOTE: These pictures were taken alone and safely in a secluded outdoors area with no other individuals present, practising responsible social distancing to help limit the spread of Covid-19.