Product Review: Bolero Wrap Tops

Hello Everyone,

First, let me preface my review with a heartfelt outpouring of thanks to Patrica of Bolero.  She and I have the worst timing when exchanging dresses and tops for reviews because lately either I am sick and/or the beautiful NC weather decides to pour rain/ice/sleet/etc.  Combined, it has taken me several weeks to arrange photo shoots, but I am so happy to finally have the opportunity.

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In the shop, I unabashedly gush over how much I wear Bolero pieces, and I am not the kind of person who gives false praise to encourage sales.  I tell people because it’s the truth, and I am not ashamed to admit I wear at least one Bolero dress every week.  Most weeks, I wear 2-3 dresses because they are the most comfortable work-appropriate clothes I own, and they continue to flatter my ever-changing figure no matter how much or how little weight I am carrying.  More importantly, I can trust the dresses to wash well and last more than a season.  I toss these babies in the wash, hang ’em dry, and voila!  The dress looks brand new even after constant wear.

Purple Lace with Pink Underlayer
Purple Lace with Pink Layer

While all budgets and shopping preferences are different, I am the type of person who missed “the shopping gene.”  My philosophy is to purchase the best quality I can afford, but buy less overall pieces.  It doesn’t help that I am hard-to-fit and work a job which can be physically taxing, so finding one item that works could qualify as a Herculean task.  I would much rather spend $100 on one dress that not only looks amazing but will also endure several years than repeat the shopping cycle with cheaper dresses which pill or look shabby quickly.  Obviously, that’s not a universal way of shopping, but for those of you who either have a higher discretionary income or who want pieces which fit amazing and last several seasons, consider Bolero.  In fact, I have another post coming up soon with her spring and summer collection, including an incredible orange dress (a statement a person with my skin tone almost never utters).  I’m excited to share all of this with you, but in the meantime, Patricia has also released a line of wrap tops which are the focus of today’s post.

Purple Lace with Green Layer
Purple Lace with Green Layer . . . oh, and Lord Rayden the friendly dog ghost

As with the dresses, the wrap tops are designed to be friendly to a fuller bust and come in sizes S-XL.  These pictures were taken yesterday in the midst of another rainy day, so we decided to have some fun with it.  Per usual, I am wearing the size Small.  As of yesterday, I weighed 169 pounds with a bust of 42″ and a waist of 31″.  However, the tops even fit when I was at 175 a couple weeks ago, meaning there is flexibility depending on body shape.  Since I am clearly not on the “small” side of things, women in that 00-2 zone may have fit issues, but my aunt, who wears a 4, also tried the tops with great success too.

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The blouses are adorned with a flattering side ruche which accentuates curves and tailors the waist of the top naturally.  The deeper V-neck allows space for the bust, and the fabric on the back and shoulders is not binding or constricting.  Since I am blessed with bigger boobs for my frame and shoulders worthy of a professional lineman, I often struggle with tops, even knit ones, because they pull uncomfortably across my back.  And the last thing I want to do at work is hulk out of my shirt!  Nevertheless, these tops give and stretch with me so I can perform a full range of movement without fear.

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Because the neckline is lower, you may need to consider a Perfect Cami underneath for work, but as you can see from the photos, it’s not exceptionally deep either.  The sleeves hit at the elbow, which I feel is a flattering length for most women, and the shoulder coverage will keep you warm in frigid offices.  However, the fabric is still lightweight enough not to make you sweat in the heat.

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In fact, Patricia’s fabric selection has always been one of my favorite components of her designs.  First and foremost, it just feels so darn good!  I have never put on a Bolero dress and thought:  “Meh, this is kind of scratchy.”  Instead, they glide over my shoulders and feel like a cool, soft fabric good enough for sleeping.  Second, they drape well across multiple figures.  The lightweight fabric has its own quality of movement to hug curves, cascading over them without clinging in unflattering ways.  Finally, the synthetic blend never wrinkles and dries quickly, making them ideal travel companions.  It truly is the perfect fabric.

Bolero_Green_1 Bolero_Green_2

For the tops, she has two options.  The first uses the same fabric as the dresses, and the second uses a lining fabric with a lace on top.  I love both, and I enjoy having the option of something solid or printed as well as something with a textural element.  Bonus points awarded to the tops for not showing any bra seams or lace either.  While seams showing does not bother me, I know my customers would appreciate a fabric which does not reveal every element of their bra like a page of braille.

Bolero_Purple_Pink_4 Bolero_Purple_Pink_3

Finally, I think the length of the tops is a refreshing change from many bust-friendly pieces.  While I do love my BiuBiu and Urkye pieces too, I find the tops are sometimes quite long in the torso, making them more appropriate for wearing with jeans than with skirts.  The Bolero tops all end at an area which works for either.  The only downside I potentially see is that women who are taller than me may find them to fall short, but I am sure Patricia could work with you on something a little longer.

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While this has nothing to do with the tops, I do want to remind everyone that Bolero is a small business with products designed and manufactured in America under ethical working conditions.  It’s because of these elements that a dress is between $98 and $108 and the tops will be between $60 and $70.  However, the quality is there to support the price, and I feel better knowing that my money is supporting another business owner trying to help women feel more confident about themselves.

Overall Grade:  A+

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Because taking pictures should be fun . . .
Because taking pictures should be fun . . .

Product Review: Bolero Wrap Tops
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.

17 thoughts on “Product Review: Bolero Wrap Tops

  • April 16, 2015 at 11:14 am
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    Erica! The shirts look GREAT on you! I love the lace. Looking forward to your upcoming dress post!!

    I am LOVING my Bolero dress– I wore it all day on Sunday and I didn’t want to take it off. Can’t wait to get a few more 🙂

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 16, 2015 at 11:37 am
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      Thanks Same! The lace ones are really beautiful in person, and I just love the fit. So glad to hear you are enjoying your dress. She has several gorgeous prints for those maxis (and regular dresses), and I highly recommend you (and everyone reading) like her FB page because she updates it with her latest designs.

      P.S. There’s talk of a Bolero trunk show in the shop sometime soon!

      Reply
  • April 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm
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    I agree with Sam! You look fantastic! I rarely wear dresses, but the promise of an orange dress that works with my football-player shoulders is one I keep my eye out for.

    The purple print is one I do not see on the website or recent Facebook posts. Do all the cuts come in all prints? Or some sub-selection of those?

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 16, 2015 at 12:31 pm
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      Thanks, Lee! 🙂 I own *nothing* orange. Not that I don’t like the color, but it’s just not one that usually works well. I put the dress on and was pleasantly surprised. It really pops against a crisp white too. If you haven’t tried Bolero yet, give them a shot. They are very friendly for bigger shoulders!

      What’s available from Bolero is definitely not reflected on their website yet. I don’t know that she has the purple lace tops listed yet, but I do know there’s a lot of overlap in what fabrics can be used for her dresses. She’s also been experimenting more with sleeve options too. Maybe Patricia herself will post here with some info on exactly what is available as I am not 100% sure.

      Reply
  • April 16, 2015 at 2:26 pm
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    BIG THANKS Erica!!!
    You look awesome and like they said ” A picture is worth a Thousand Words” this photos are sending a very strong message of how great Bolero Styles fit to a Busty and Curvy woman!
    I’m a passionate Designer and put my heart in the things I do and to see a final product in a real person, who not only look amazing but also feels happy, beautiful and with such an fantastic energy as we all can see in your photos is just beyond words…
    My best to you, Jason and your beautiful aunt, I’m so happy to be part of the success of A Sophisticated Pair.

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 17, 2015 at 3:24 pm
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      I am so glad you like the photos! 🙂 We decided to work with the rain since it has been a staple here for awhile, and it turned out great. Patricia, another commenter on this post was asking about what patterns were available on which pieces. Do you mind weighing in to let her know what you can make?

      Reply
      • April 19, 2015 at 11:59 am
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        Oh yes Erica, absolutely LOVE your photos, not only it’s obvious the great fit of Bolero styles, but I can feel your freedom, happiness and as I always said: When you wear Bolero, you are the Super-model!
        I will send you a Line sheet with styles and patterns available.
        Thanks again to you and Jason for such amazing job !

        Reply
        • Erica
          April 21, 2015 at 4:25 pm
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          That would be fantastic to get a line sheet with styles and patterns! I can update it here so people know exactly which ones are available for order as I know there is a lot of interest in your designs. 🙂

          Reply
  • April 16, 2015 at 7:58 pm
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    Terrific photos – you look great. Did you mention what bra you’re wearing under those shirts? It’s great too. The turquoise top is particularly lovely.

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 17, 2015 at 3:25 pm
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      Thanks, K-Line! I’m wearing the Anna Pardal Emmeline under these, so that goes to show how forgiving the fabrics are to not show seams or a black bra underneath. 😀

      Reply
  • April 16, 2015 at 8:29 pm
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    You look terrific! I have such a hard time with tops—though I am more of a dress girl. Will have to look into the brand!

    You are right about quality, too; with some items, it is definitely worthwhile to buy something well-made, even if it is a little on the pricey side, because it will last longer. White camis are almost a dime a dozen (and with good reason, since we all know what happens to white…especially in the kitchen…), but things like dresses should last for a while, especially if they’re in a timeless style.

    Reply
    • Erica
      April 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm
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      Thanks, Jen! I have two other posts with some of the dresses already there. Like you, I wear a lot of dresses (said while wearing a Bolero maxi today), but these are great tops. One of the nice things about Patricia’s designs is they camouflage the bra, even in sleeveless dresses, which makes it easy to wear them to work.

      I do have a few things I buy cheap too, like scarves and tee shirts, but if it’s something hard to fit or classic in design, I will pay more just so I don’t have to shop again!

      Reply
  • April 17, 2015 at 4:49 am
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    Hi Erica,

    Are you able to post a link for the Bolero website?

    Reply
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