Review: Lady Voluptuous ‘Bellatrix’

Lori wearing the Lady Voluptuous 'Bellatrix' dress and Tatty Devine jewelleryWhen I heard that Georgina from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust had designed a range of dresses for independent brand Lady Vintage, I couldn’t wait to see what she’d come up with. Named Lady Voluptuous, the range initially had three styles in a variety of gorgeous colours and prints, in UK sizes 16-32, but has since been expanded to include two more dresses and some lovely full skirts. I was initially having trouble making up my mind about which dress I wanted to buy, until Georgina revealed the stunning Bellatrix a few weeks later (see above), with its swishy peplum hem and v-neck front and back. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it, so I snapped up a size 16 Bellatrix dress in black and waited patiently for it to arrive.

The first thing I wanted to address in this review was the fabric the Bellatrix dress is made from. The website describes the material composition as “jersey”, which isn’t especially helpful as jersey is a type of knitted fabric construction but doesn’t actually tell you what fibre the dress is made from. The most frequent use of the word jersey is when describing the sort of cotton fabric that t-shirts are made from, so I assumed that this dress was probably a cotton/Lycra blend like a couple of dresses I have from ASOS. That would have been fine as cotton jersey is comfy, but I’ve had pencil skirts in fabrics like that and they have a tendency to ride up when I walk, so it’s not ideal for a figure hugging dress when you have curves and love hosiery. However, when the dress arrived, I discovered that it’s made from a super fine polyester/elastane mix which feels really soft and skims over any lumps and bumps instead of clinging. I’m guessing they don’t mention this on the site, because most people don’t know how bloody awesome polyester can be (see my blog post on polyester from last year for all the reasons why I love it), but this dress’s comfy fit, swishy hem and silky soft lining really can’t be summed up adequately by the word jersey. The fabric is lightweight, comfortable, slinky and confidence boosting, plus I cannot stress enough just how flattering it is.

Lori wearing the Lady Voluptuous 'Bellatrix' dressI chose a plunge bra to wear with the dress when I first tried it on after assuming, correctly, that the v-neck would sit rather low on me as I have a short body. Other than that, I was just wearing my everyday full briefs and simply stepped into the dress to see whether or not I’d need to return it, so I was not prepared for the reflection that stared back at me. As someone who knows the benefits of shapewear and accessorising to the max, I really didn’t expect the wow-factor that this dress gives all by itself. This might just be the perfect dress for the lazy glamourpuss. The zip is actually long enough for a big bottomed lady to step into it (which is far less common than you might expect!), and the low back means that you don’t have to be a contortionist to zip it all the way to the top. Once on… well, that’s it. In the full length shot, I’m wearing it with a plunge bra and high-waisted briefs, hold ups, heels and some butterfly hair clips that I bought from the V&A shop. That’s all it needed.

Of course, now I have this wonderful Lady Voluptuous dress, I already feel like I need another one. I’m a sucker for a good print, so am currently pondering the kingfisher Phoebe dress, but I have to say that am a bit addicted to the killer curves of Bellatrix. The Medusa style is similarly figure hugging – with a sweetheart neckline, shorter sleeves and no peplum hem – but it’s made from stretch bengaline rather than this soft jersey, so I might have to try it for comparison. Seriously, if the leopard print Medusa comes back in stock in a size 16, I am so there! Perhaps I should go for the black lace print in the meantime? If they’re all this good, I really can’t see any down side to starting a collection.