What I Wore: Taking a Chance

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wardrobe oxygen 1 wardrobe oxygen 0 wardrobe oxygen 4Dress: Southern Raised via Etsy and Big Cartel | Shoes: Vince Camuto | Cuff: Had forever (similar) | Cast Cover: c/o CastCoverz!

As a curvy woman, it's pretty hard to shop online from a retailer that isn't well established and doesn't have a generous exchange and return policy. Will it fit the girls? Will it suffocate my arms? Will my belly button/butt crack/etc etc etc be on display? This is why I usually shy from dresses and tops on Etsy. However, I have been CRAVING a wrap maxi in a statement print, and when looking for one at regular retailers I have been underwhelmed by poor construction, poor fit, and poor selection.

So I decided to take a tour around Etsy for inspiration. Maybe I could find a seller who would create a custom dress from my measurements. I first checked with the seller Nuichan, who made my gray and red maxi skirt. Nothing was quite right. So I searched Wrap Maxi Dress and found this one! The seller said it was available in S, M, and L. I messaged the seller asking what this meant, she got back to me right away and said a L would fit a 12/14. As a curvy woman, I know that when items claim to be 12/14, they are often more like a 10 with an A chest… but I took a chance since it was stretchy.

Yes, there's a safety pin to keep my breasts from spilling out, and yes I add another one when I want less cleavage, but otherwise this dress is a fab fit! I wore it a couple weeks ago to a party and felt festive yet as comfy as if I was wearing loungewear.  Even the length is stellar, I'm just wearing my Vince Camuto booties with it, no need for a crazy high heel like most maxis, and no need for flats like petite maxis.

Ladies, don't think because you have curves or a double-digit dress size that you're stuck to shopping at the standard retailers. Go to your local dry cleaner or ask a friend to take your measurements and consider branching out to smaller businesses and ask questions and take a chance. The more we ask for quality, fun, and unique fashion the more likely people will realize the value in catering to our figures. Power is not in your dress size, but in your wallet. Change is happening in apparel every day and it's exciting and needs to continue, so speak up and get what you want and what you deserve!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I just recently discovered you, Allison, and love your blog! I’d like to wear a dress like this but I’m apple shaped so all the lumps happen between my arm pits and my hips. What do you recommend in terms of shapewear under a dress like this that would prevent clinging?

  2. This looks fab! Thx for the advice – I’m going to have to get my butt on over to etsy and take a look around and maybe take a chance on the smaller sizes with stretch too! Yay you!!! 🙂

  3. Loving your polished, ladylike silhouettes lately and your use of color has been great – simple monochrome, or wonderful punches of color, like your last two looks. Perfection! – Queen Lucia

  4. Great looking dress Allie! I too have the same issues with fit so it’s great to get tips like this. Re the safety pins – have you tried using press studs? Whenever I buy a dress that gives me cleavage issues (like, basically everything other than a turtleneck!) I hand sew a couple of press studs on the inside of the front seam – one to help keep the neckline closed and avoid boob-pop and one a little higher to enable me to wear the dress to work or a conservative event with layering a camisole underneath. I find the press studs more secure and less damaging than safety pins 🙂

    1. You know, I haven’t tried them but will have to check them out! I’ve gotten quite skilled with the safety pin, but when I had the long arm cast and had to have K pin the neckline of one of my dresses (oh that man is a saint) I realized how damaging and difficult they can be!

  5. Allie,

    I like maxis for many reasons. This one is just spectacular and spectacular on you. I like the print and the way it flows and hangs. What is the fabric? It looks like it has some heft to it. I think this dress would look good in any year starting in 1930.

    You have such a highly developed talent for dressing yourself or anyone else just right. If I had the $ and you had the time. I’d jet coast-to-coast once a month and have you completely outfit me. I know that I would look the best I have ever looked.

    I looked up the dress. The price, are you kidding me? I estimated that it would be over $100. Wow.


  6. Beautiful colors! I’m not sure if the problem is on my end, but the link to the seller is not working for me?

    1. It wasn’t working for me this weekend when I scheduled the post, contacted the seller and she said it would be up by today. Let me research this, in the meantime check out the Big Cartel link below the photos, her site there is working. Thanks Jenny!

  7. I love that you take chances and have so much fun with trying new styles. For me, I just don’t “get” maxidresses. I don’t ever like them, on anyone. 🙂

  8. I love the colors and the fit on you! I have tried, tried, tried to wear a maxi dress. It would solve a lot of issues I have with hiding spider veins. For some reason they just do not look good on me, no matter what. But I do keep trying to find the one that works. They looked good when I was younger, but my body has changed tremendously with two kids and age.

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