Product Review: Bolero Beachwear

Hello Everyone,

With the hectic holiday season and the stressful moving experience over, I am ready to begin February with a fresh attitude, and what better way to kick off the month than with a review of Bolero Beachwear?  Darlene of Hourglassy posted a wonderful review of their bust-friendly beach dresses a few months ago, and I fell in love with the products.  She kindly forwarded my contact information to company owner and designer, Patricia.  After discussing the dresses and potential for us carry the line in the shop, Patricia generously offered to send me a free dress to review.  It arrived in time to be a surprise birthday present, and I have not had a chance to do a proper review until now.

Who cares that it's 38F with snowflakes?  Pretty dresses for everyone!
Who cares that it’s 38F with snowflakes? Pretty dresses for everyone!

For most of Americans, now is probably the worst time to review beachwear.  As I type my review, I am treated to a drab gray visage outside the store window with intermittent bouts of freezing rain.  Even in North Carolina, we have consistently experienced below average temperatures which make it difficult to imagine days spent in the warm summer sun.  No matter!  Where there is a pretty dress, there is a way to layer, so I have made it my mission to find ways of enjoying my dress even in colder temperatures.

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Hooray for tights and boots!

Patricia sent me two samples from her fuller-bust line, which features a generous cut in the bust to accommodate larger cup sizes.  The size small was perfect for my current 42-29-41 measurements; nevertheless, the medium was not a bad fit either.  I think the design and fabric composition of the dresses allows some leeway in sizing, but my personal recommendation is to size down if you want a tighter fit in the waist. 

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The photographer caught me adjusting my hair, but I think it shows the dress silhouette nicely.

Because the dress is designed for easy travel, the content is 90% polyester and 10% spandex.  Polyester, like many synthetic fabrics, is rather polarizing.  On the positive side of the spectrum, poly blends usually never wrinkle, wash/dry easily, and maintain shape well over time, but to achieve these advantages, you frequently sacrifice the breathable quality of natural fibers.  Personally, I only like poly blends if the quality is exceptional.  Cheap polyester makes me sweat or becomes scratchy and uncomfortable throughout the day.  Depending on the cut of the garment, jersey can highlight every single lump, bump, or roll you have . . . and sometimes create a few new ones.  However, when the poly-blend jersey has a high quality, I can slip into the dress and never worry or fidget with it throughout the day.  Fortunately, the Bolero Beachwear falls into the latter category.

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The fabric is buttery soft and gently cascades over the body to provide a flattering fit that highlights my figure without exposing flaws.  The soft, fluid-like quality allows the dress to float around my legs as I walk—a feature that leaves me feeling like a model on a catwalk.  Furthermore, the dress keeps a perfect shape all day.  I have worn it in the store and returned home in the evening with the dress looking exactly as it did in the morning.  That’s no easy feat given how much I move, bend, and sit throughout the day.

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I just love how it floats and twirls around my legs!

Strategic ruching at the neckline creates visual interest and balances the bold print without falling across the bust in a less than flattering way.  I have mentioned before how I either love or hate prints, but the combination of green, teal, black, and camel in tropical-inspired animal print is eye-catching but versatile.  A variety of supporting neutrals can either tone down or accentuate the print.

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Photos do not capture the depth of the print.

Considering the style is classified as beachwear, it is no surprise that the dress is not the warmest style to wear, but I found the sleeveless design layers easily with jackets, cardigans, and camisoles.  Plus, a warm pair of tights with boots can compensate for a lighter fabric, even when it is snowing.  The back of the dress dips lower in a U-shape but covers my bra and most of my side tattoo.  With the right supporting accessories, I think the dress transitions easily to office or casual environments.

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Would you think this was a “beach” dress? Yeah, me either.

For the beach or casual wear, I think the dress looks chic by itself, but I prefer a belt for highlighting my waist.  Also, the neckline dips a little low for me to wear for work.  Even though it covers my bra, the bow on the center gore is exposed if I move or bend too much.  If I whipped out a cleavage bra, I doubt this would be an issue, but again, I am thinking of this dress for work.  For the beach, the coverage is perfect, and given the flattering fit and ease of wear, Bolero Beachwear dresses are a nice vacation pick to take you from beach to boardwalk.

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Notice how it falls straight down on the side and doesn’t create any unflattering pleats near the tummy.
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A sexy exposed back without being too revealing

Finally, Bolero Beachwear products are made and designed in the USA.  As a fellow American based small business owner, I think it’s important to support other companies who work to keep jobs and money in our economy.  (Side note: I am wearing a Perfect Cami—another US product—in many of the pictures.)  Bolero dresses are also limited run items, so you can snag unique prints and colors that set your wardrobe apart from friends and family.

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Relaxing amongst the bras in my new dress

While I impatiently wait for winter to pass and spring to arrive, I’ll be wearing my Bolero dress with lots of layers, but I’ll be dreaming about days at the lake, sand between my toes and blue skies overhead.

Bolero_12If you’re a local customer, I have the medium sample in the store as well as color swatches for upcoming prints.  Check them out when you visit because we may ultimately decide to carry a few of her dresses this year!

Product Review: Bolero Beachwear
Erica
Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.

9 thoughts on “Product Review: Bolero Beachwear

  • February 4, 2014 at 9:53 pm
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    Wow, this dress looks absolutely fab on you! I love the cut and colors– I think we all want to be on a beach somewhere right now, and you totally look ready!

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm
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      Thanks, Sweets! I cannot emphasize how done I am with winter, and now that I have NY weather announcements on my phone, I want to cry. How do you do it?? How???

      Reply
      • February 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm
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        It’s almost never this bad! Last year I wore a light Spring trench coat to all the shows! This year I have to keep saying things like “at least you don’t live in Chicago/Canada/Alaska, where it’s a billion degrees colder.” Maybe you will bring a warm Southern wind with you?

        Reply
        • Erica
          February 7, 2014 at 3:50 pm
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          Boy, I hope so! I’m not equipped to deal with northern winters. When we finally get to meet up, you may not recognize me through the bundle of layers! 🙂

          Reply
  • February 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm
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    I really like that dress! I love that it is a longer length because I just can’t wear the short length most summer dresses are. Are they available to order online?

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm
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      Tammy, I totally agree with you about wanting a dress with a little more length, especially if you plan on wearing it outside of the beach. It’s really comfortable and soft, and I think you’d like it. Right now, I know that Lion’s Lair carries them, but we may be bringing them into the store as well:

      http://www.lionslairdesigns.com/

      Reply
  • February 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm
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    Okay, I really want one of these now. I never would have gone near that print if I saw it on a hanger, but it looks great on you!

    Reply
    • Erica
      February 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm
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      Thanks, Holly! I feel like prints have to be tried on to be appreciated. I have felt the same way about quite a few items only to realize that once the garment is on, the print really works. That said, I’m still a picky print person, but I love me some animal print 😀

      Reply
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