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

May 5, 2010

The Bandage Dress: Yes or No?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 3:26 pm

So hey, what do we feel about the bandage dress on the big girl?

I mean of course it’s going to work on theoretically plus-sized Crystal Renn:

Crystal Renn bandage dress in Elle

But what about on a more “traditionally built” big girl, like Beth Ditto?

beth ditto bandaged up

Because I kind of thinks she rocks it, although I am having a very difficult time figuring out exactly how she poured herself into an off-the-rack Herve Leger “large” no matter HOW much it stretches.  She looks to me to be to be about a size 20/22 which is about my size, although she’s much shorter. The size large for Herve Leger is a 10/12, with a 38″ bust and hip.   I mean, there’s elastic and then there are the laws of physics, right?

What I love about the bandage dress, although I’d want one with at least an elbow-length sleeve, is they’re so confident.  Unapologetic. I like that. Plus, as someone on the internet said (Style Spy maybe?) they function as shapewear, so nothing…and I mean NOTHING…is moving once you’ve rolled that bad boy on.

What do you all think? Would you wear one? Why or why not?


  1. Not only would I wear one, but I am wearing one to a cocktail party tomorrow evening. I love bandage dresses. In my experience, they look good on just about everybody.

    Comment by Cat — May 5, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  2. @Cat. Where did you find a plus size one? I’ve seen the so-called bandage dresses at Torrid, but they’re just wrong.

    Comment by Plumcake — May 5, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

  3. I would. That shape makes up the bulk of my closet. Of course, I’m theoretically plus-sized like Crystal Renn so I may be biased. But I could see a bigger big girl like Christina from Musings of a Fatshionista wearing it as well.

    Comment by lucylang — May 5, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

  4. Beth Ditto probably doesn’t have to buy things off the rack, that’s how she fit in it.

    Comment by Mary — May 5, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  5. I would love to try a bandage dress. I’m pretty much built like Beth Ditto, so I think I could work it pretty well.

    Comment by Miranda — May 5, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  6. @Plumcake: I’m not plus-size myself, so unfortunately I have no advice as to where to find a good plus-size bandage dress. I think they look great on women of all sizes, though — both Crystal and Beth up there look fantastic.

    Comment by Cat — May 5, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  7. I dont love it on Beth. Sorry.

    Comment by Peaches — May 5, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  8. Definitely. And I would rock that s**t.

    Comment by LL — May 5, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

  9. Slightly off-topic, but how good-looking is Crystal Renn? THATGOODLOOKING.

    Not really a fan, because I don’t think it’s a particularly flattering look as a dress, but as a skirt, I love it.

    Also, Plum, I cut my hair! It’s now shoulder length, and I’ve mastered the art of curling it with straightening tongs. The fifties style hat looks fantastic with the curls, and the straight hair looks good with the little pink pillbox. I wish I’d cut it sooner, it looks so much fresher.

    Comment by Frances — May 5, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

  10. I think Beth looks great, but I am kind of over the bandage dress as a look in general, though I am sure Cat will look most superfantastic and fresh and new when she goes to her party tomorrow.

    Comment by Lisa — May 5, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  11. I don’t care for bandage dresses in general, but I do think Beth Ditto looks great — the shape really flatters her, and at her age, her arms are firm enough not to call undue attention to themselves.

    I’d say from this pic she’s a bit bigger than a 20/22, but I leave that judgment to more expert eyes (and women’s sizes are insanely inconsistent anyway). But I don’t think this is anybody’s size “large.”

    But wouldn’t it be nice to have one’s clothes made? I had a co-worker for a couple of years who was both 4’11” and entirely circular (as am I) and who had almost everything she wore custom made, and she always looked so great. Only time I have had serious long-term wardrobe envy.

    Comment by Mifty — May 5, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

  12. I wouldn’t do it, but it’s more that I wouldn’t ever wear a dress in this overall shape than that I object to the bandagey tightness. I get it about the authoritarian quasi-shapewear fabric, which is seductive in theory. I don’t think it’s Bad and Wrong. It’s not an issue to me that it shows the shape of the belly (which so what) or even the crotch (I don’t see any cameltoe or grooming TMI or anything). It’s more a hip-thigh issue for me — I have extreme hip-n-ass myself and I guess I generally consider that area to be best nonchalantly skimmed over rather than actually clutched at by my skirt. The minute anatomic delineation of that line where the leg meets the torso is not an aesthetic I favor.

    If I were ten years younger I’d be tempted to try one on all the same, based on the way both Crystal and Beth wear it. I mean hell, maybe it really IS that magic a fabric.

    Comment by Violet — May 5, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  13. Up to about three minutes ago I would have said something along the lines of “hell no,” but now I’m intrigued. Not saying I’d definitely wear one, but I might try one on if I came across it on the rack. I’d be with you on the sleeve thing, though; it’s not severe, but there’s definitely some armpit-wing in the Beth Ditto pic, which is one of the reasons I have never bought a strapless. (The other one: monoboob.)

    Comment by daisyj — May 5, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

  14. I have a bandage dress, with elbow length sleeves and a dramatic v neck, in a fetching shade of blue. It’s totally one of my favorite dresses. I’m more at the high end of normal then a true plus, with a pretty strong hourglass figure. It’s not quite as shaping as a true piece of shapeware, in my experience, however.

    Comment by ananas — May 5, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  15. I would have worn one twenty years ago, when I was more of an hour glass. Now my bulk is concentrated on my belly, and I need something that skims over my non existent waist line.

    Comment by Constance — May 5, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

  16. I really really want to say “Heck yeah! Bring it on!” but I don’t think have that kind of chutzpah. I’d try it. I’d have to be having an exceptionally good day, but I’d give it a shot.

    I just… Don’t really like the idea of showing off my lumpy spots. My lower tummy is kind of a touchy subject for me and I don’t think I’d want to put it on display.

    Comment by ChristianeF — May 5, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

  17. A big maybe! I’d sure like to try one myself – so Cat and Ananas , time to tell us where you found them – promise we won’t wear them to the same event!

    Comment by KLauren — May 5, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

  18. Plummy, when I got home I checked the label of my dress (I bought it a year ago at Nordstrom and couldn’t remember the brand). It’s an Adrianna Papell, and a Google search reveals that she makes plus sizes, as well. I love mine — it’s very well-made and looks awesome if I do say so myself. I wore it to a benefit last spring and for possibly the only time ever in my life, thought that I had on the best-looking dress in the room.

    Comment by Cat — May 5, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

  19. I’m on the fence. I like them, but I’m not sure I have the chutzpah for one.

    Although, that could be because I tried on one when waiting for a friend of mine to get off her shift at Macy’s, and the sleeves were cut weirdly–they were these cap sleeps, but the neckline was cut to accommodate the sleeves in a way that made the neckline gape. Not sure if I should have gone down a size or just tried a better dress. I might have to try this again.

    Comment by Genevieve — May 5, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

  20. I would love the upper shape but the lower would end up cupping my belly and emphasing the overhang. I am not blessed with an ample or even adequate bust. Does anyone remember the lady in Steel Magnolias that was wearing the dress that garnered some harsh comments at the wedding reception? I’d rather no comments be made on my lady mound being embraced by my dress. Give me a little more ease in the lower hip/crotch area.

    Comment by Jennie — May 5, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

  21. Not a huge fan of the dress on Ms. Ditto… but how has no one yet commented on those SHOES… they are megafantastic. Anyone know who makes them?

    Comment by Lindsay — May 6, 2010 @ 12:58 am

  22. Herve Leger makes things custom for Beth Ditto. So does Chanel. She doesn’t fit into a large in either label.

    Anyway, aside from that, if you have the confidence, go for it. It can be very flattering on a big girl, I think. Just make 100% sure it really fits. There is no “eh, good enough,” with bandage dresses (for skinny girls too). If it’s even a bit too small it’ll start rolling and bunching weird as you move. No one wants that.

    Comment by Beth C. — May 6, 2010 @ 1:15 am

  23. @Lindsay, yep, if I’m not mistaken (and I’m not) those are Stella McCartney.

    Comment by Plumcake — May 6, 2010 @ 2:35 am

  24. I would have said no, but with the photographic evidence staring me in the face, I say go for it, if you can look as happy and confident as Beth Ditto. That said, I think that a v-neck would have given her less monoboobism, and in something that tight she should have left off her knickers, because the indentations are clearly visible and make her look more lumpy than she needs to.

    Actually it’s extremely flattering on Renn’s hourglass figure and I think it actually looks better on her curves than it does on the truly skinny actresses one usually sees the dress on.

    Comment by Rebekka — May 6, 2010 @ 2:49 am

  25. No. I am post-menopausal 50 year old woman. Even if I were in the best shape of my life, I wouldn’t. It would be just too tragic.

    Comment by theDiva — May 6, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  26. The chub rub would kill me, and I failed Sitting Like a Lady 103, which looks like a prereq here. These ladies are rocking the dresses but I’ll pass.

    Comment by TeleriB — May 6, 2010 @ 10:46 am

  27. God, Crystal Renn is gorgeous.

    Comment by Astra — May 6, 2010 @ 11:00 am

  28. I’m gearing up to buy one, but as Beth C. said, I’ll haveto find that fits perfectly. Then again, wear whatever I please regardless of the fact that I’m a classic apple shape. I love my body.

    Comment by Rosalind — May 6, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  29. @ananas, where did you get your bandage dress, I’m in the size size-ish category as you…???

    Comment by Jessica — May 6, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  30. I would not wear one, but then I go for the long and leg-concealing in general. I think they look kind of cheesy — would much prefer something a little more classic.

    Comment by Jane — May 6, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

  31. I would love to wear one too! But I agree with you that I think I will need an elbow-length sleeve, I think that would look good on me :)

    Comment by Kay | — May 7, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

  32. Why can’t I take my eyes off the two girls behind Beth? I love that Beth isn’t conscious of them, but… you know… it doesn’t look like they’re being nice, ya know?

    Anyhoo, I love the bandage dress on anyone. Not sure I could wear it myself, I’m not that confident yet, but whenever I see them they always look nice. The fabric always looks to sit well and hold a nice line, no matter what shape body it’s on.

    Comment by Kath — May 8, 2010 @ 4:15 am

  33. Thank you. Now could you please speak to my mom?

    Comment by Style Spy — May 10, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

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