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Dresses that are not frumpy and boxy
Where can I find them?

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34 replies to this topic

#1 paula1

Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:40 PM

I've been finding it really hard to find any dresses that are not shaped like sacks, that don't sit just under my buttocks or that my grandmother wouldn't even wear in her greatest depressed state (not dowdy, frumpy or taupe!)

Recently most clothes I have seen are cut in a big square, both tops and dresses. This is not flattering to anyone who has a waist and a bust. According to the sales assisstant at Country Road, most women really like the boxy tops and dresses that are out now....mmm who wouldn't want to look pregnant or 10 kg's overweight!

I'm a size 12 with a waist, a bust and a round behind. I'd like something with a bit of shape that doesn't look like a graduation gown. I'd rather be able to try clothes on in a shop too rather than online.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, I mean casual and dressy!


#2 Ruby Gloom

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:12 PM

I'm wondering if maybe Target isn't your cup of tea since you mentioned Country Road, but they have a BIG selection of dresses at the moment. I have two from there at the moment. Very different shapes and not frumpy, IMO.

#3 paula1

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:18 PM

Thanks Ruby Gloom,

I'm happy to look anywhere, if it's well cut and looks nice I don't care if it's from the reject shop or David jones!

#4 aphraell

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:18 PM

going to be ninja.gif as I have the same issue.

I like the 50s style dress (fitted tops, nipped in waist, full skirt etc) but a) they tend to be dressy and b) not easy to find!

#5 Feral timtam

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:22 PM

QUOTE (aphraell @ 17/10/2012, 07:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
going to be ninja.gif as I have the same issue.

I like the 50s style dress (fitted tops, nipped in waist, full skirt etc) but a) they tend to be dressy and b) not easy to find!

Target actually seems to have a lot of these at the moment, it's annoying me no end because while I love the dresses that are in there, very few of them are breastfeeding friendly.

#6 EBeditor

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:22 PM

You can add a belt to most dresses to give them more shape. I buy a lot online and seek dresses I know will fit my body type, which is also curvy with a small(er) waist. Leona Edmiston designs her clothes for curves, check out her online boutique.

#7 Ruby Gloom

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:23 PM

Cool original.gif Check them out. I also thought online there's www.ezibuy.com.au but I know you said you'd rather stores than online. To be honest I've had the same trouble to a degree. While I don't MIND the ones I've found, I still find myself trawling online.

Oh I just thought of Modcloth too (www.modcloth.com.au ? ). Someone mentioned it in another thread recently and I've been looking ever since!

#8 summer80

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:29 PM

Witchery and Seed Femme have some gorgeous stuff at the moment. You could have a look online then pop into your nearest store to try on. Do you like the peplum shape at all? Plenty of this style around at the moment and looks hot on curvy girls!

#9 chickendrumstick

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:33 PM

I've had the same problem and find Target to be pretty good. Beyond that I have given up and found a dress pattern that fits and flatters me and have had my mum sew me 6 new dresses!

#10 paula1

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:42 PM

I've never tried a peplum stye dress but might have a look when I'm out.

I'll definately give Target a try too.

I'm glad it's not just me that is having this issue.
I've tried the belt to see how it would look but honestly on me if just creates more bulk.

Leona Edmiston has some nice dresses but the only thing I don't like is the fabric that she uses, it's too clingy in all the wrong places.

I'm determined to find find something!

#11 alxase

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:43 PM

For dressy dresses I like Veronika Maine and Cue, for example
I am a similar shape to what you described OP and find boxy shapeless dresses make me look much bigger than dresses with a defined waist.

#12 Philosophie

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:51 PM

Jacqui-E has some great dresses... http://www.jacquie.com.au/shop/en/jacquie/search/dresses

Love Tara Moss modelling their dresses.

Another fav of mine, but a bit over the budget for me (but I like dreaming about them: is Marcs.

Wish I could buy this one:

Hope this has helped xxx

#13 cuddlebud

Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:43 PM

Second veronika Maine stuff, also review Alannah hill have some lovely feminine dresses...

#14 Schmig

Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:51 PM

I always love Leona edmiston. Loads of stunning styles including plenty for those of us with hips and a bust

#15 Girlo

Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:56 PM

Birds Nest have some great 50s style dresses. I've actually never bought from them personally, but I really like the dresses.


#16 tarn

Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:45 AM

Not sure what state you are in- but Johnston and Bell in Balmain  have some great shaped dresses. I think they have a web site too.
I agree that although the box shape seems to be everywhere- it doesn't seem to suit most women!!!
Ahh- the perils of fashion.

#17 adl

Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:53 AM

I have seen really pretty almost classic flattering shapes in David Lawrence, Ojay, Jigsaw and those are just the ones I walk past at North Sydney so I can only think there are more out there...

and the colours are just fabulous,  greens, rasberry, cobalt blue, coral , yellow really not frumpy at all!!!!  

#18 spear_maiden

Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:03 AM

yeah, a shortish sack style dress worked when I had no curves, was a size 8, was all of 18yrs old and wanted to show my legs off!  Now, I would like something to suit my shape and that is longer than mid -thigh.

I was also going to suggest Alannah Hill.  For similar vein of style but cheaper, grungier(?), younger Dangerfield used to be good, can't quote it now but perhaps have a look - tho their sizing can sometimes be a bit small and I'm unsure about dress length now too.
Also, Maiocchi is all about the waist, knee length and lots of their dresses would accomodate larger busts. ( I think; I don't have one so can't guarantee lol).


I'll be keeping an eye on this thread too, for additional suggestions.


#19 Mpjp is feral

Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:08 AM

QUOTE (Studybug @ 18/10/2012, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

WOW thanks for this link I LOVE their stuff - never heard of them. I have picked uot about $3K worth of stuff i want!! Want, not bought sadly!

Edited by meplainjanebrain, 18 October 2012 - 09:25 AM.

#20 melajoe

Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:21 AM

OP, I feel your frustration!  I've been having this same issue as well.  I'm short and shapely and all the boxy dresses and tops make me look like I am wearing a tent!  Even with a belt the excess fabric looks a bit meh.  I've solved the dress problem by making myself a few dresses to suit my shape and I recently bought some casual but nice dresses from Jeanswest of all places (I never shop there but walked past a store the other day and the dresses caught my eye).  Most of them are midi-length so they aren't super short either.


I have also been admiring the dresses on Birdsnest but I still hesitate to buy dresses online as I've been caught out with the wrong fit a few times and although most places have good returns policies now, it's still a pain to have to return stuff.

#21 MeN3Ps!

Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:31 AM

hey Paula1, I had the same issue.  sad.gif  Gave up shopping for a longtime! There was nothing I could find for almost 2 years that didn't look like a mumu or a tent!. I found a fitted t-shirt with belt could look good when the dresses were unflattering.

Ok, when I WAS pregnant, Mamaway was very stylish.

When not pregnant, I go to Target, Katies or Portmans.  original.gif
(H&M or Topshop are usually good if you are going overseas). I also love Dangerfield!


#22 spear_maiden

Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

QUOTE (meplainjanebrain @ 18/10/2012, 08:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WOW thanks for this link I LOVE their stuff - never heard of them. I have picked uot about $3K worth of stuff i want!! Want, not bought sadly!

I know, feminine, lovely but uber cool too, isn't it!!!  They must still be Brisbane only.  They've had a store on Ann st in the Valley for as long as I can remember.  And they're aweome quality too; can last years.  Once I'm done studying, and I get a FT job, I've told DH that I'm going to spend my first paycheque on clothes for me, so you can guess where I'll be heading...

#23 JBH

Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:45 AM

It's pricey, but I love Sacha Drake. Lovely dresses. I tried on the Aimee this morning and I really want it.

#24 Academic

Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:09 PM

QUOTE (Studybug @ 18/10/2012, 11:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know, feminine, lovely but uber cool too, isn't it!!!  They must still be Brisbane only.  They've had a store on Ann st in the Valley for as long as I can remember.  And they're aweome quality too; can last years.  Once I'm done studying, and I get a FT job, I've told DH that I'm going to spend my first paycheque on clothes for me, so you can guess where I'll be heading...

They used to have the BEST sale store around the corner from their main store, on MacLachlan St. I picked up quite a few dresses for $30-$50 around eight years ago. I still have them, but don't fit into them anymore.

OP, I second the suggestion for Alannah Hill. It's pricey to buy current season but there is TONS of older stuff on eBay - a lot of it never worn, and some ridiculously cheap. I've bought three or four things in the last month alone, and for less than $200 in total.

#25 SlinkyMalinki

Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:13 PM

I like Leona Edmiston too.

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