The Label Says to Stop Staring! But It Just Isn’t Possible – Review of the Billion Dollar Baby Dress

Not too long ago, I won a dress from Jessica M’s blog Pin Up Persuasion; she had a blogaversary giveaway, and I was the lucky winner of the Billion Dollar Baby dress from Stop Staring!.

You can get the Billion Dollar Baby Dress from their website by clicking here!

Based on what the lovely Ashley at Stop Staring! told me, and based on my measurements, I selected the size 18 in black. By the numbers, it should have been a bit teeny on my boobs, about right on my hips (though possibly largeish), and about two inches too big on the waist. I expected a tailoring bill, but hey, free dress! And stretchy sexy bengaline as the material! It’s always so forgiving!

Anyway, I had heard of Stop Staring! clothing several years ago. My gorgeous friend Dawn had lost quite a bit of weight (she looked amazing before and after the weight loss, so that isn’t the point of the post, thank you very much! Women of all sizes are beautiful, and no one need take this as an impetus to skip lunch), so she needed new clothes, and bought some dresses from Stop Staring! and I was taken aback by how gorgeous they were. Most of what she bought was a strappy or halter variety, which is frequently an incompatible style with my body. Don’t get me wrong, Dawn is a busty woman, but The Rack of Doom™  is kind of like that friend who sucks all the air out of the room when he/she speaks; kind of all-consuming and suffocating. Because Dawn was so long and lithe and curvy and gorgeous and I was a big fat heifer who couldn’t hope to find good clothing to fit (my mentality of then, not now, thank goodness!), I got the name of the clothing company but never bothered to look them up. I mean, who would make dresses that awesome to fit me?

After I won this contest, I was pleasantly surprised that I could find dresses which suited my measurements, and I’m larger now, due to still retaining a few pounds of post-pregnancy weight.

So the dress arrived.

I tried it on.

Poke me with a pitchfork, it fits like a dream.

SS! BDB Blk 18 Header

I don’t have to take it to the tailor at all! Something about the shaping tightens the waist, although it certainly could stretch more.

I love the square neckline on the back! The sleeves are puffy but a balanced sort of puffy, not that kind of puffy that adds 15 pounds just by putting on the dress. My arms aren’t the tiniest, but the sleeves were comfortable and not tight.

I tried this originally with a Freya Deco, but the straps showed a bit at the back. I’m wearing a Curvy Kate bra in these shots, and don’t have that problem, but Freya strap placement may be an issue in this dress. I didn’t have any band showing, so a strapless bra should work just fine. The dress is snug enough to where I don’t think slippage is a problem, which is so often an issue with strapless bras.

SS! BDB Blk 18 shadow pose

This is a wiggle dress, but so many times, I buy a wiggle dress and the skirt is not tight enough to induce the signature wiggle, and I have belling of excess fabric near my knees. I think that’s because my hip/butt/thigh area is so much larger than just above my knees is. I may have to do some research and get most wiggle dresses tailored in that spot. Buying a smaller size may sometimes fix that issue, but I’m almost certain that I would not have fit the 16 in this dress, and certainly not the 14! Typically, one sizes down with bengaline dresses, and I am between the measurements for the 14 and the 16 on the waist. I’m glad I went with the 18, since The Rack of Doom™ most certainly would not have fit in the smaller sizes.

I should note that I am not wearing shapewear with this. Not a damn thing.

I’m wearing my trusty Fluevog Listen Audrey pumps in black patent leather, and I actually managed to get a reasonable style from my hair. Color me stunned.

Meanwhile, I’m in love with this dress. Stop Staring? Naaaaaah. Not possible.

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So, I never win anything, but apparently I won something.

I certainly hope this is the beginning of a new trend! Me? Winning? YESSSSSSSSSSS

Ok, now I’m trying to remove Charlie Sheen memes from my noggin.

Moving on.

The lovely Jessica M at Pin Up Persuasion recently had her 1 year blogaversary, and decided to have a contest to celebrate. There were fabulous prizes from some very generous and groovy sponsors, and one of the sponsors was Stop Staring! Clothing.

I won a prize from the draw, and it was the Stop Staring! Billion Dollar Dress in a choice of red or black!

Billion Dollar Dress in red or black

Holy cow! Now that’s a difficult choice, not to mention a delightful thing to win! And I must admit that excited texts and Facebook posts from friends first thing this morning certainly made my horrid day much better (Note to self; do not ever have severe PMS while your baby has severe diaper rash and severe teething. End note.) so thank you Pam and Jessica for your parts in that. You both are just so delightful!

The red version is the dress that Nigella Lawson wore recently on TV here in the states on a show on ABC called The Taste , and the Daily Mail in the UK then wrote an article talking about the dress, how it sold out within hours after the airing of the show, and then the DM put it on 5 different women to see what the fuss was about with this dress. I will have some specific comments, and perhaps an entire post on my reaction to the article in the Daily Mail (not for nothing is it popularly called the Daily Fail). I would advise you not to read the sizeist, fattist, elitist, and hateful comment stream on the article, that is unless you have some specific reason your blood needs to boil.

Nigella also wore this dress in the photo shoot for the ads to promote the show, and told ABC that, no, they couldn’t airbrush out her tummy.

“Although it was very thrilling to think of being up on a billboard in LA and around the States, I was very strict and English and told them they weren’t allowed to airbrush my tummy out. Wise? Hmmm. But that tum is the truth and is come by honestly, as my granny would have said.”

I can’t imagine why they’d want to anyway, since she is absolutely stunning, but that’s frigging Hollywood for you. 

So, on to business: apparently, I’ll be doing a review of this dress in the future (oh noes!), but I have to decide which size to procure. This is super-stretchy bengaline, but I’m going for the black, and black is usually less stretchy (Note to self, part deux {another Charlie Sheen reference! Stop me, please!}; work on that post about why the same fabric has different amounts of stretch in different colors. End note.). Aside from that, I’m all over the place in the sizing chart. Due to the stretch, the site says to size down – that puts me in a 14 for the waist, 16 for the hips, and the 18 is still too small for The Rack Of Doom™ [Ok, I’m typing that so much lately that I might have to change my blog name to The Rack Of Doom™. It has a nice ring to it. Thoughts?]. I have serious concerns about wedging my top-full 47″ bust into a dress which measures 44″, despite the existence of ease and stretch. Going for the 18 would mean an absolute requirement of this dress going to the tailor to take in the waist and possibly the hips and legs. The 16 is a big possibility that it would still need tailoring in the same spots. The 14 would be fine on the waist, likely too tight on the hips, and probably way too small on the bust. I’ve asked for help picking a size on the Stop Staring! Facebook page, so we shall see what answers I get.

UPDATE: Stop Staring! responded on my Facebook post with this response:

“Most customers end up having to exchange this dress because the size they ordered is too small. Because the fabric has a lot of stretch, it can tend to fit tighter than expected (versus hanging loosely)…almost like an elastic band. It will stretch to fit but also shrink back down when take it off, if that makes any sense.. I would suggest that you order a size 18 since it should fit your bust and your hip measurements and just have the waist taken in.”

I’d love it if anyone who has this dress would give me fit feedback on this post on my Facebook page as well.

“But, Jenna! Why not get the red?” I hear all of you screaming at me.

My answer will astound you.

Horrify you.

Make you sneer with disdain or recoil in shock.

I discovered while I was dressing for my Papa’s memorial service about a month ago that I do not own a black dress. Not a frumpy one, not an LBD, not too small or too large, nada. This dress shall cure my closet of such an atrocity.

I guess you might want to stay tuned?