Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

October 1, 2007

Review Revue! IGIGI Trench Dress

Filed under: Review Revue — Miss Plumcake @ 11:56 am

A few weeks ago Francesca and I were asked by the fine folks at IGIGI –the company most known for dressing Hairspray star Nikki Blonsky– to select an item or two from their most recent collection, wear it and write an unbiased review. I’m not sure they knew what they were in for.

I chose the Navy Trench Dress

Navy Trench Dress

Beautiful no? But beware friends, this is a lot of dress. The material is heavy, the skirt is full and there is a lot of interest going on what with the buttons and the belt and the wide lapels. I am 5’10” and I just barely carried it off. La Blonsky wore the same dress on Regis and although she cannot by her very nature do anything but look adorable, this particular ensemble makes her look mumsy.


And yet sadly it’s the mumsy-ness –that look somewhere between Mary Poppins and an Edwardian Matron– that makes this dress is an “almost.”

It almost works. It is almost superfantastic. I cannot complain about the quality of the workmanship, it’s beautifully made (in the USA!) and meticulously finished. Even the material which I did not particularly love was substantial and not cheap.

So what went wrong? Well first, there are the puff shoulders. Oh you can’t see them, but trust me, they’re there and much more noticeable in person. I do not find a puff shoulder becoming in general, but it muddied up a dress whose lines were struggling to stay clean and precise. The lapel is overdone, although just barely and the double breasted buttons are set a bit too wide to flatter. The skirt is good, but needs hemming on anyone under 6 feet tall (La Blonsky needed to lose a good 6″ off hers. I would have benefited from 2″) to capture that New Look feel.

If IGIGI comes out with a more streamlined, stylized version next year I’d consider adding it to my permanent rotation, but as it is my life is too short for an “almost” to play any part…and so, by the way, is yours.


Want to try it yourself? Use code WRAP at the checkout for 10% off the sales price.


  1. I have to admit I like the slight puff to the shoulders, but then I have such non-existant shoulders and bustline that I’m desperately grateful to ANY detail that makes me look like there’s something between my neck and my hips.

    On the other hand, it’s useful to know that at 5″2′, I would probably have to hem this puppy two inches just to get it off the floor.

    Also, it pulls oddly at La Blonsky’s waist as though she’s got some fit issues going on.

    Comment by Twistie — October 1, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

  2. The double-breasted nature of this dress is what turned me off. I didn’t think even the very lovely models looked good in these dresses, so I gave it a miss. Personally, I don’t feel most full-figured women, particularly big-breasted women, should wear double-breasted. They are for members of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. I love many Igigi designs and have purchased several, including my first long evening dress. I’d love to see a single-breasted trench coat in bronze metallic, or perhaps a big graphic houndstooth check coat from Igigi.

    Comment by Mimi Stratton — October 1, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

  3. very balanced review. and may i say, yay. i have seen the finest bloggers of my generation become seduced by schwag, going out of their way to praise meh stuff in order to stay on the goodies gravy train. please continue as the unbiased, unbuyable voice of the [fat] people!

    Comment by marjorie — October 1, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

  4. Cheers for not being swayed from honesty with free clothes!
    (and thanks for the honest review, I’d been looking at that dress and now know there’s no way my 5’2″ frame can carry it off.)

    Comment by Kelly — October 1, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

  5. I think there’s a difference between borrowing some trenchcoat-style styling, detailing and shape to create a “trench dress,” and making a dress that essentially IS a trenchcoat. I have an Igigi dress that I love, but I think they just went too far in the literal “coat” direction on this one.

    Comment by Emily — October 1, 2007 @ 8:27 pm

  6. Whereas I would actually love to have a trenchcoat styled like this dress! [In black, please.] All the trenchcoats I have found are too short for me (I want a trenchcoat which will cover the hems of all skirts and dresses, which will NOT leave a drab little frill hanging below the hem of the coat), and far too straight in the lines of the skirt. And since I have bulky biceps, a full sleeve with a puffed shoulder is just the ticket for me, since, as it happens, I am built exactly like an Edwardian matron.

    The excess of fabric poofling under Ms. Blonsky’s bust would indicate that she is somewhat short-waisted, and should investigate wearing plus-size petites (some women need petite sizes through the top only; considering the poofling through the midriff, and the fact that the dress which is kneelength on the model is teasing Ms. Blonsky’s ankles, I’d say she’s likely to be a plus-petite for both top and bottom).

    Comment by La BellaDonna — October 2, 2007 @ 7:07 am

  7. Wait, is the fabric heavy enough for it to be worn as a coat instead of a dress? Are the buttons functional? I think it could kick ass as a trenchcoat, it just doesn’t make sense to me as a dress.

    Comment by Emily — October 2, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

  8. I LOVE the coat-dress look of it and I have seen so many high-end designers do it in small sizes, that I went gotten it from them in black a few weeks ago.
    Ok, so I have to say that got lucky or something, because it looks AMAZING on and I am kind of an extreme pear shape, so finding styles that make me look very proportional is tough. So far this is my favorite outfit, and the amount of the compliments that got (I already wore it 3 times in a matter of 2 weeks) is astonishing. And buttons just work great on me, I guess it is a matter of personal taste. The funniest thing is that a few people have asked me if I lost any weight when I wore it (love that one..)

    Comment by Carla G. — October 2, 2007 @ 11:56 pm

  9. i would like to know where i can purchase on of those trench dresses

    Comment by marjorie gabriel — December 14, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress