Because I love you all so very very much (and also because I needed underwear) I braved the mall and found myself trying on various pieces of Lane Bryant’s most recent collection and I’ve got to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I hope this is the shape of things to come.
Well, not THIS shape.
This shape is a disaster.
You know how sometimes you’ve accidentally injured yourself and you know you shouldn’t look and just wrap something around it until you can get to the emergency room (what? I’m clumsy) but you do look and it’s JUST AS AWFUL as you thought it would be and you fall down the stairs because you’ve passed out and bled all over your white furniture which, honestly, was a bad purchase in the first place and then you spend the next three weeks getting Concerned Looks from people who clearly think you’re a battered woman and not just a thirty year-old moron who should really know better than to try to use an electric staple gun outside when it’s windy?
It’s like that.
This, on the other hand, looked super cute in the LB visuals. It’s sunny! It’s got French cuffs! It’s got a bow and it kinda looks like you should be walking your pet lamb (in a good way)!
Surprisingly, it was an EPIC FAIL! I know! Who woulda thought?! It’s such a great shape.
I think the problem here was twofold.
Fold #1: It was relatively new in the store and hadn’t been properly steamed so the ruffles and the rosettes and the whatnot all just were sort of this big smooooosh of wrinkled cotton. All of that, PLUS the darts PLUS the wrinkles in the dress –oh and this thing will wrinkle faster than a cold man in a speedo– just made it look messy.
I like the rosettes, and I don’t really mind the tuxedo ruffles, and of course I love a nice big bow but it really could have benefited from some better editing at the design stage. There’s just a lot going on and as someone with a Loud Face (remember, I look like a cartoon frog in real life) it’s just Too Much Happening.
HOWEVER, this could be a godsend for the big girl with a long neck and small bust or a very bottom-heavy pear (eggplant?) because all that visual folderol going on in your bustular region would balance out your shape beautifully. Plus, if you’re a darker skinned Big Girl you can buy this and just swan around looking gorgeous and making everyone hate you for being able to wear bright yellow, NOT THAT I’M BITTER.
Which brings us to the big winner, which could not have been more of a surprise:
I was shocked.
Listen, I know my own body and I know what looks good on it. There’s a reason most of my dresses have a deep V neck –I am not blessed with an overabundance of bosom so it’s not problematic for me– nipped in waist and a flowing skirt. It looks good on me. BUT, I’m also aware it’s important to not get into a rut about our bodies or our clothes.
If we try on a different silhouette, it reframes how we look at our bodies. It’s fresh. Interesting.
This thing doesn’t even HAVE a waist, it’s an extremely modest crew neck and it’s shorter than I typically wear. I would’ve bet dollars to doughnuts (although I don’t especially like doughnuts) that dress was the domain of the apple.
This might be Too Much Dress if you’re quite petite because it depends a good deal on the distance between the hemline and the shoe (by the way, this is about the first time Lane Bryant’s stylists have gotten a shoe close to right for a dress. You want something heavy to anchor the look) but I’d really commend it to anyone else looking for something new and interesting to wear that’s high drama but not a boobfest or clingy.