I’ve wanted a white summer swing dress for years. I’ve got close a few times with a mostly white dress, or a white dress that is fancy but not really summery. In my heart, I wanted a swing style made from broderie anglaise. If it had sleeves of some description, preferably not capped? All the better. Well, finally, I found it! Let’s take a look at Louis Louis among the bluebells.
Dress: Louis Louis dress in White English Embroidery by British Retro
Hat: Cartwheel hat previously gifted by Unique Vintage
Bag: Box bag previously gifted by Lola Von Rose
I don’t recall ever reviewing British Retro here on the blog, as I sized out of their range a dress size ago. Often I see their new releases advertised on social media but can only ever sigh over them, since they wouldn’t fit me. Therefore, I was curious this past winter to see the release of a new dress style, Louis Louis, which had a shirred waist and notes in the size chart stating it was a generous fit, hinting at the possibility that the size 18 might fit me. The winter Louis Louis dresses came in velvet and tartan, but with short sleeves those fabric choices didn’t call to me, even though I did like the dress shape itself. Recently I saw that they’d released new versions in spring fabrics and couldn’t help taking a peek at the selection. When I saw this white broderie Anglaise version I knew I had to order the 18 just to see if it might fit. Huzzah and hurrah, it sure did!
With a full circle skirt, an elasticated bust that ties closed to create a small keyhole, a shirred waistband and puffed sleeves that end in cuffs sporting pearlised buttons, this dress is sweetness layered upon sweetness. While that description most assuredly does not describe me, nor my style, this dress fulfils my long-harboured white-summer-dress dreams, and in a way that will keep me comfortable and cool through the brighter months even if we have to suffer through some more heatwaves (pleasegodno!)
As previously mentioned, this dress does come in other fabrics, specifically in four shades of this lovely broderie Anglaise, as well as three colours of gingham, one floral print, three shades of velvet and 2 tartan prints. I hope they make it in a black in future, whether in broderie Anglaise or a plain cotton, as I know I’d wear it constantly.
The shirred elastic waistband does indeed allow for plenty of generosity in fit, just as the product page claims, even though the dress closes with a hidden zipper in the side seam. As the skirt is a full circle it takes a petticoat beautifully, able to accommodate a full volume petti for maximum fluff and twirlability should that be your desire. (For reference, I’m only wearing a medium fullness petticoat in these pictures.) My only disappointment is that there aren’t pockets in the skirt, as I’m so used to that from most of my favourite brands that I reach for them automatically in all dresses. This dress is fully lined and you can wear the sleeves both on and off the shoulder.
Regarding fit, the only area that gave me pause was said sleeves. The cuffs have no stretch and measure 13.5 inches flat, so they did fit me but tightly, in a way I could tell might pinch or strain for me across a full day’s wear. I’m someone who has a few sensory issues regarding seams, cuffs and firmness of fit in general, so I knew this might bother me. The good news is there was room for me to move the buttons over nearer the edge of the cuff by an inch, and doing so made it a much more comfortable fit for me when moving about fully. I don’t sew, but even for me this was an easy fix, so it’s worth noting for other plus size ladies who think they may be able to size down into the 18 but worry about having the same issue.
This size 18 measures 25 inches flat through the waist with stretch from the shirred elastic up t0 46 inches. The bust lays flat at 42 inches with stretch to 52. The skirt is 26 inches long. This dress is designed and made in the UK, and is machine washable.
The Louis Louis dress comes in multiple fabric types in UK sizes 8-18. British Retro ship worldwide and offer 10% off to new customers who sign up to their email newsletter.
Disclaimer: The hat and bag featured as part of this outfit were items previously gifted to me for past honest reviews. 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.
Just when I think I’m done ( with purchasing summer dresses) you bring me back in. Beautiful dress. It really suits you too. ♡
Haha sorry! Thank you though ☺️