Over the past few years more and more brands are popping up here and there to cater for the more busty amongst us, and in this post I'm going to introduce the latest off the cutting table; Bitter Lollipop, whom I also have the pleasure of reviewing a dress for!
Bitter lollipop specifically caters for sizes 8-14 in the two options of 'Busty' and 'Buxom'. Here's their size chart.
Bitter Lollipop was launched in September 2014 as a result of founder Kelly's passion for fashion and struggle to find dresses to fit her frame. The name Bitter Lollipop is a combination of her bitter feelings of the difficulties in dressing her own lollipop-shaped figure, in case you were wondering!
Kelly is Chicago born and bred and moved to the UK a few years ago for her Masters degree, settling to set up Bitter Lollipop in Nottingham. Much like Made In Preston, Bitter Lollipop pieces are hand made here in the UK, promoting local industry and boosting the national economy. Kelly's designs are influenced by British culture as well as her American heritage , which are most apparent in her fabric choices.
I was contacted by Kelly a while ago and to be honest, this was the first time I'd heard of Bitter Lollipop. Kelly asked if I'd like to review a dress from her launching collection, to which of course I jumped at the chance. I'd initially fallen in love with the fabric from the geometric print dress but I didn't think the shape would work for me as I prefer a more tailored fit, which is always difficult with my 36-25.5-40 figure, so I instead opted for the safer option hip-wise of the Olivia in the size 8 Busty.
The Olivia dress, prices at £79 is made in what I'd describe as an 'abstract floral' patterned fabric which I initially thought would be pretty for a garden party or a summer wedding, but now I have the dress in hand I can see it's quite versatile and could be worn casually and in the colder months too if you happen to be the kind of person who matches colours worn to the seasons.
My first impressions of the dress; impressed! The dress is made from quite a heavy combination of patterned stretch cotton mix and (I admit I was totally bowled over by this) a STRETCHY lining! In all my years I've often wondered why dresses are made in a stretch fabric only to have that cancelled out by having a non-stretch lining. Really, what's the point in that? The quality of the workmanship is excellent. The zip is nicely hidden at the back, the stitching is neat and tidy and a lot of thought has been given to drafting the pattern itself.
The Olivia fits beautifully on my 25.5" waist and 36" bust, apart from a little gaping under the arms. As you can see from the side view below, my bra is slightly visible. I feel the underarm area could benefit from an extra dart to conceal my bra a bit better but that might just be how it fits on me and may well fit better on someone else.
Of course, the dress does have it's downsides. You may have noticed I used the word 'heavy' to describe the fabric. Because of this I'd suggest the Olivia dress is more suitable for the colder months unless you're like me and gets goosebumps at the slightest of breeze! Also the weight of the fabric prevents the dress from flowing as you might expect. A twirly dress it's not. I'd suggest to remedy this, maybe the lining could be omitted from the skirt of the dress and just kept in the bodice perhaps?
I admit I was concerned at how I was going to accessorise this dress, what with the fabric having a combination of pink, red, coral, black and a touch of pale blue too. I first thought the pattern was better suited to a summery outfit, but having tried it with both red accessories and black accessories, I'd suggest it suits the autumnal months equally. I'll go ahead and post a few different looks now to show the versatility. The black flamingo cardigan was from a charity shop, red clutch bag from my local market and hair flowers from ebay. Let me know which look you like best!
I've heard a few gripes online about the cost of Bitter Lollipop and I just want to stand up for Kelly here. Kelly has worked hard to set up her own business, Bitter Lollipop. Creating patterns, sourcing fabric and making the dresses , both fitting samples and making dresses for orders. Her heart and soul has gone into this and this is her baby. I support her integrity, creativity and passion for her business and hope you feel the same way.
Olivia is made to order and available from Bitter Lollipop at £79 in sizes 8 Busty & Buxom to 16 Busty & Buxom.