Black billow top dress - mini dress by Espiral - review by PleasurableThings

Black billow top dress

Mini dress by Espiral

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My new fall-back option

This is a versatile dress that's nice to have in your closet when you need a quick and easy answer to the "What do I wear out tonight?" question. It's definitely worth its price tag, but does have some design elements that I was not so in love with.
comfortable to wear, easy to care for, suitable for different events
excessive ruching, does not "billow", plastic zippers cheapen it
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
I would score this dress medium-well (3.5 stars if that was possible) for pricing and fit. It looks pretty close to how it does on the product photo. It's very comfortable and easy to put on. I've worn it to two parties within the first week of owning it, and expect it will stay in my closet as an attractive and easy option when I'm not in the mood for putting together a more involved or particularly fashion-forward outfit.

There were a couple of things that were not quite what I expected with the design of the dress. Given that this is called a "billow top" dress, I was surprised that the top part was not a bit looser. There was plenty of room, but I wouldn't describe it as "billowing." I'm smaller on top and bigger in the hips: 36A/B, 29" waist, 40" hips, and decided to order the dress in medium. The fit was very comfortable, not too tight, but perhaps the large size would have been more billowy on the top.

Also, while the side ruching is a nice feature, I felt there was a bit too much of it. It goes all the way from under the breasts down to the bottom (unlike in the product photo where it is only around the model's hips), and the folds of fabric can be significant, depending on how far you have the dress pulled down. Wearing it at mini-skirt length, I found myself re-adjusting all the folds throughout the course of the evening. The dress did not ride up, but with a lot of movement the folds from the ruching shifted around and looked a little odd.

The material is a single-layer polyester-spandex. It's a little translucent when stretched out, for example in the skirt when walking, but not so much that it's a worry for evening or for events with dimmer lighting. If you were to wear it out in broad daylight you might want a slip under it. The material is fairly slinky and the seams are finished well, so it's quite comfortable against the skin.

The zippers are grey plastic, painted silver on the outside. On the plus side, they don't feel cold like metal zippers might when you put the dress on, and they're easy to operate with their large teeth (kind of like practice zippers on children's toys.) On the negative side, the paint can start to wear off after a couple of wearings.

For washing, the package says "wash separately, drip dry." I decided to hand wash instead, largely to prevent against the paint chipping off the zippers if they were jostled around in a washing machine. The dress cleaned up easily, with no color coming out of the fabric, and dried quickly on a drying rack. There was no change to the size or fit after washing.
The first place I wore this dress was to a dinner party, during which I was holding and carrying my 6-month old baby around for most of the evening. I wore it with opaque black tights. The dress exceeded my expectations in that it did not ride up, held its shape (except for some movement of the ruching folds), and was easy to clean after having lots of food dropped on it! I would probably not wear this to a family gathering, but for an evening event with friends it was a nice combination of sexy and practical.

The second place I wore the dress to was a New Year's Eve party at a nightclub. This time I wore it with translucent silver tights, 3" heels, and with the zippers partially unzipped. I received several compliments on how hot it looked, and the dress definitely stood up to some energetic dancing!

This product was provided at a discounted price in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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This review was edited by
  • Coralbell Coralbell
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  • burtnuh
    It's cute on you! Thanks for the review
  • LavenderSkies
  • CountryPrincess
    Thank you so much for your review!!
  • lovelylolaa
  • Rory
    Nice review! Thanks!!
  • brandij1j
    Great review. Love the details. Photos helped a bunch!
  • lzee
    Thank you
  • Tbanda
  • higs
    thanks for the pictures and review!
  • deltalima
    Thanks for sharing
  • geliebt
    Lovely review!
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