Full disclosure: I’m not a huge fan of the term “back fat” because I hear it way too often in my job by people who look perfect as they are. Factor in how the mere hint of this perceived imperfection can lead a client to size up in the band to the point of a poorer overall fit, and you can understand my frustration for yet another way people have at their disposal to pick themselves apart. I am also a woman who does possess some extra . . . ahem . . . tissue back there. I developed it after years of not wearing a bra that fits, particularly during periods of weight gain and loss, and even when I am in fighting shape, the squishy bits DO NOT GO AWAY. I used to be really self-conscious about it, but I realized there were much better things for me to worry about and have made peace with it.
Anyway, disclosure aside, I know not all people feel the same way about back fat as I do, which is why I was pleased to see that Patricia of Bolero was listening to feedback to improve her designs. Everything I have shown in my copious reviews has been the original design, but Patricia has cleverly modified the classic shapes to create a second variation which is more forgiving of any lumps, bumps, back fat, or whatever you want to call it.
The above dress is a classic skater style in a brand new print, but the interior of the back has been shored up with a smooth, slightly heavier piece of fabric to prevent the dress from clinging and to allow it to fall smoothly from the shoulder. In the Skater dress, this panel stops at the seamed part running perpendicular to the vertical back seam, meaning it covers about half of the back and includes the bra band. The design then reverts to the regular, softly draping fabric for the lower back and flows downward to the knee. As a result, the panel will not cover the entire back, but the area encompassed by it does have a smooth profile.
Per usual, the fabrics on the dresses are fantastic, and I have found the Skater version to be one of the more flattering designs because of the way the skirt flows from the waist across the hips. Speaking from personal experience, the design can be more forgiving of weight gain, particularly in the tummy or hip region.
In addition to modifying her Skater dresses, Patricia has also changed the wrap tops to have a more flattering back as well.
For the tops, the piece extends all the way down the interior back to completely cover problem areas.
One of the complaints I have read before about thinner tops or even other bust-friendly clothing is how the back is not always as flattering because thinner materials not only highlight the indentation of the bra band but also hardware pieces like strap adjusters or any textural design elements. Not only does the new Bolero wrap top alleviate these issues, but the use of unique, multicolor prints only adds to the camouflage.
If you’re just tuning into my little corner of the Internet, I recommend reading this post discussing the original Skater dresses and then reading this review of the wrap tops. (Spoiler alert: Both are awesome!) Now that customers can elect to have the Back Fat Banishing Panel! added to either design, I am sure people will appreciate Bolero even more. Remember: All Bolero designs are not mass-produced and are instead made by a small business in the USA under ethical work conditions. Supporting them supports our economy and encourages other designers to bring manufacturing back here.
Finally, Patricia has released a number of new prints lately, some of which can be found on her newly revamped website. She has some stuff available now but will be adding more styles and prints in the future. The dress below is one such example of another great print from her:
I love how both of the prints featured in this post work well as a transitional summer/fall print. The fabrics are still light enough to wear now, but the emphasis on solid, primary colors with a mix of dark neutrals allows you to layer them effortlessly later on—a characteristic not all of her prints possess. How easy it will be to wear Bolero in colder temperatures will depend on your definition of “cold.” My definition is between 35-45F (I’m a baby, I know . . . that’s why I live in the south!), and my Bolero dresses hold up well with some opaque tights, boots, and either a cardigan or jacket outer layer. Those of you living in the tundra may need to reserve them for warmer months. 🙂
**UPDATE** At the moment, the two prints shown in this post are the only ones available with the Back Fat Banishing Panel. Patricia is searching for more that work with it successfully.**
P.S. The sale and the arrival of lots of new inventory has me working really late into the evening, so blogging consistency has dropped. However, I do have reviews of the new Anna Pardal Hibiscus Longline, Anna Pardal Rosa Longline, Bolero Carmen, and Bolero Wrap Dress in the works too. I’m hoping to have the first two up for next week because they invite a lot of comparisons, and the latter two should go live the week after that. In the meantime, we are offering all Bolero dresses at 15% off on our website, and for every $10 you spend in the store, you earn an entry ticket in our fabulous giveaway . . . where you could also win another Bolero dress!