Monday, 24 June 2013

Success in summerdresses from a surprising source

When I saw the Paint Print Dress from Pepperberry, I knew I needed such dress: Fun pattern, sleeves, full skirt, knee length - what more could I wish for? So I went ahead and ordered it at full price (which I really try to avoid with Pepperberry!), and was super excited!

Not so impressive - the boob to waist ratio is definitely off (I got it in 18SC).
Maybe it is better with a belt?

Deffinitely better, but I fear that is not saying much. Besides, I really hate wearing belts, so my whole point of shopping bust-friendly is to get clothes that would render such unnecessary.

The neck line was really lovely, and quite modest, meaning I could probably wear this to work with tights. Though that brings me to another 'negative' point: Why so short? I'm 5'8"/173cm, so I wouldn't think I was above model-height, but on the model it was definitely knee length - On me, it's more like lower-thigh length. This would mean that I would want to wear tights or shorts under it, making it a bit less easy-to-wear for me.

Another crucial point, was the feel of the fabric. I didn't like it at all. Maybe I am very picky, because I felt let down by the quality of the fabric in my last pepperberry review as well. But once again, it really felt like cheap, stiff sheets to me. Sorry! It was also very wrinkled upon arrival, indicating that it would need to be ironed before each wear, which is tedious work.

It came in two layers, both of the same fabric:

Perhaps I am being too hard on Pepperberry: I've recently bought some summerdresses from Asos Curve. Mind you, despite the name "curve", it's not specifically a bust-friendly brand, so I would expect them to be less accomodating of my chest, but since they are also sooooo much cheaper, I would not hold them to as high a standard.

But look at these beauties:

Well, well, well! This is the Asos Curve Midi Dress in Pixilated Floral, in a size UK 20 (and it's on sale now, grr!). It's really nice jersey, that is nice and flowy and very comfy - because it is quite thin, it also easily has it sleeves pushed up, to make 3/4 sleeves rather than full length.

I am usually not so happy about elasticated waist-lines, but this one falls perfectly, and only reveals my figure, rather than any lumps and bumps.

It's a lot brighter than pictures reveal (also those at the Asos website doesn't quite do it justice), which I was initially concerned by, but upon putting in it, I'm quite in love with it ;) And I can tell, you, I've gotten many compliments when ever I wear this dress! A real winner.

Another jackpot! This is also a size 20, but it's definitely smaller than the midi dress so it does have a higher risk of showing of my back-bulges, as well as being a bit stretched out across the chest, but still a very nice fit.

It looks great with tights, but for summer when I want a bit of tan on my legs, I like to combine it with shorts - I have three lengths: Below knee="It's a little too warm for jeans", knee="whew, it's really heating up", and these, above the knee="omg, I'm dying, turn down the heat, please": The latter which I've felt like for the many past days, so I was very happy to have made a succesful haul of summer clothing!

Now, that's not to say all the Asos Curve dresses were perfect on me:

Asos Curve Exclusive Skater Dress in Mexican Floral
Asos Curve Skater Dress with Zip Front
They are both size 20, just as the other dresses, but this time, the waist/bust ratio is off: They both deffinitely hover a good few inches away from my underbust and waist. Funny enough, it seems to be for different reasons: The Mexican Floral is cut a lot smaller in the bust than the other dresses, and is really struggeling with my chest, and therefore can't reach on my underbust;  whereas the Zip Front dress is cut quite large all over, so my waist is simply too small.

So, I guess you could say it was 50/50 succes with Asos, but that's still pretty good compared to the fact that it is not specifically made for a large bust, such as Pepperberry is, and yet, Asos is the one who won out on this round of dresses for me!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The results of "How big are your thighs?"-survey!

Some time ago, I created a survery, as I had a theory that the most common tights size-charts do no account for the diverse ranges our bodies (and thighs, specifically) come in.

Well, the results are in!

Some notes first, though:

Only the first 100 answers are free for me to read, so they are the only ones included. Which, is a shame, as I noticed around the 60mark that I didn't have so many 250lbs+ answers, so when I continued to spread the survey link, I specifically called out for the heavier women.  I can tell this was listened to, as the later respondents tend to be heavier, so I assume those beyond the 100 first responses would have represented that range better.

Another thing to note, is that out of these 100, only 86 people provided enough information - I had a few that answered "no idea" to all but the height for example, which is very difficult to use in any regard to tights.

To present the data, I've used the size guides that I mentioned in the original post: Evans and WeLoveColors:

According to Evans, I got 49 (57%) women as size 1, 31 (36%) as size 2 and 5 (6%) for size 3.

For We Love Colors, I got 8 (9%) for Medium, 9 (10%) for Tall, 22 (26%) for 1X, 11 (13%) for 2X, 21 (24%) for 3X and 14 (16%) for 4X.

They both use height, but one uses hip measurement, and the other uses weight, so continuing with the theory that we are very diverse, this will give very different sizes.

So, let's see diverse the results are.

For all those who fell into the "size 1" at Evans, here is what their sizes were at We Love Colors:
WeLoveColors sizes
Hmm! That seems a little odd, eh? Can it really be right, that tights in size 1 from Evans is to fit both those who go for Medium or 4X at other tight manufactors?

Well, since my theory is that most tight size-charts inadequate, so let's see how these ladies compare with their regular jean sizes:
Jeans sizes
Well, that's probably more diverse! From a UK size 4 to 32! There seems to be no system at all.

And last, let's see how their tighs match up:

There's 15" difference between the largest and smallest thighs who would be recommended the size 1! It seems quite unlikely that these women would have much success trying to follow the chart.

Going on to those in Evan tights size 2 we see much of the same trend:

WeLoveColors sizes
Again we see that the women who are recommended the same size at Evans, will be recomneded widely different sizes at WeLoveColors. Though, it's worth it to note that there are no Medium's this time around, so they do afterall follow along a little bit.

Jeans sizes
Here both the smallest and largest sizes we saw for jeans sizes in Evans size 1 are gone, but this is most likely due to the smaller sample size. So this batch just about as diverse in their regular sizes as the one before.
Again we see that the largest thigh is almost twice as big as the smallest! How could the possibly fit the same tights?

For Evans Size 3, I had too few respondents (5) for it make sense to graph. This is probably partly down to the fact that I had a bit too few of the largest ladies, and the very important reason, that it takes a lot to be an Evans Size 3: I'm pretty sure a 5'3" women with 61" hips will in many cases need at least as wide tights as a 5'5" women with 57" hips, yet the shorter women will be catagorized as a size 2.

All the women who were size 3 at Evans, were size 4X at WeLoveColors, and their thighs were between 31"-43", and jeans sizes from UK 26 to 34. Even with so few respondents, that's a huge diversity still!

So, there you have it, that's how the tight sizing compare to both each other, but also to what usually fits our bottoms as well as our actual tigh size.

In the comments section of my survey, the vast majority felt exactly like me about the sizing: It always ends up to small!
A problem I ignorantly hadn't considered was the diverse heights as well: A lot of complaints were from shorter women who always ended up with way to long, as well as to narrow, tights: This of course makes sense when looking at the typical height/weight size chart: Often the shortst heights aren't represented at all - and if you then choose only by the weight, they are made for 5'7"+ for example, as is the case for the larger sizes with WeLoveColors. Or, it will be done as Evans, where a short women will be recommened a smaller size than a taller but narrower women, thus ending up with perhaps good lengt, but way to narrow.

So, my theory that tight sizing does not match up well with actual sizes needed, is looking pretty likely!