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Community Post: 'A Sophisticated Pair' Needs You!

We're going to take a break today from our usual fun fashion posts and talk about something near and dear to our hearts: the fate of 'A Sophisticated Pair' bra boutique in North Carolina. 

A few weeks ago, Erica (the owner and my friend) posted a beautifully raw blog about her current situation with the boutique. Despite having recently celebrated their 7th anniversary, she felt ready to shut the boutique down for good. A combination of medical emergencies (cancer) and other life events had kept her away from the shop, which had lingered to the point that bills were becoming difficult to pay. After serious consideration, she's decided to trim inventory and see if she can make it through in the short term and keep going: it's a brave and difficult decision for a small business to make. 

So why do I care about this small boutique in a state that I don't live in? Quite simply, community. Erica has been one of the largest cheerleaders of female entrepreneurs and the businesses they run in the industry for a long time. She was one of our earliest supporters and has hosted many trunk shows of ours at her boutique. These have given me the opportunity to know her and her family deeply, to the point where I consider them good friends. My friend has spent years supporting and showing love to other women who work in the lingerie and fashion industries. She's blogged about people to amplify their messages and always used her own time and energy for the good of the community: now it's time for us to show her that we care just as much. 

You can read her blog here about her thought process, but here are some easy ways you can help Erica in the short term (and also get some great lingerie or sleepwear to add to your collection):

1) Buy a gift certificate for someone from A Sophisticated Pair - they never expire and Erica is a wizard at matching customers with their ideal bras. 

2) Shop her sale section: it will help her clear out older inventory and prevent it from being a financial loss to the business. It's also a great way to score a deal on some amazing bras currently!

3) If you are thinking about buying a pair of pajamas or a robe for somebody this holiday season, buy it from A Sophisticated Pair! They have a lovely selection of sleepwear and they ship really quickly. 

One of the gifts that I've enjoyed as a result of starting Bolero Beachwear is discovering a community of women who really go to bat for each other and rely on each other - let's not see one member of that community disappear!


7 Curve Friendly Wedding Guest Dresses For All Your Summer Wedding Needs

Summer wedding season is here, which means we're all scrambling to find a new outfit to wear! Finding an outfit to wear to a wedding as a guest can be deceptively difficult, especially if you're curvy. Some weddings allow sleeveless garments and some don't. Cleavage is allowed, but not too much! What kind of weather should you anticipate? Do you need sleeves or not? 

If you're curvy, picking a special occasion dress doesn't have to be stressful. Our dresses are designed to work up to an HH cup, so you don't have to worry about one part of your dress fitting and having the rest expensively tailored. Many of our pieces come with adjustable necklines and sleeve options, so your dress can work for whatever the weather throws at you that day. Our dresses are also wrinkle resistant, so you won't have to iron or steam your dress before the wedding if you're traveling. 

While many of our dresses work well for special occasions, we're featuring 7 of our favorites today. These dresses are comfortable, flattering and will definitely help you stand out at your next summer wedding. 

Ana Dress:

Our Ana Dress is the short sleeved version of our popular Erica dress, which makes it the perfect summer sundress for nearly every occasion. We love the wrap dress top that won't gap or move as you dance or eat! The floaty skirt gives this dress a classic look, while still feeling flirty and fun. This dress is available in a wide range of fabrics, so you can pick your favorite and wear this dress all year long!

Hanky Dress:

Our Hanky Dress has a fun boho vibe but still fits in perfectly at fancy occasions. We love it in our peacock themed prints, which features sparkly details and saturated colors. The cutout sleeves cover your bra straps while showing some skin, while the asymmetrical hem helps this dress stand out from the crowd. 

Karen Dress:

Beach weddings are really popular - and this dress is perfect for them! Our 70's inspired Karen Dress features bell sleeves and a shift dress style along with a convertible neckline. The off the shoulder style won't shift or move around as you do, while the easy to wear design ensures that you'll get tons of use out of this dress all summer long. 

Angie Dress:

Our retro inspired Angie Dress has a lovely neckline and a giant full skirt! Short sleeves make this great for outdoor weddings. This dress looks great in a wide range of prints, but we think this classic rose print is a lovely choice for a summer wedding look. 

Debbie Maxi:

Our Debbie Maxi combines a long flowing skirt with our wrap top for an elegant dress that can go from the beach to a fancy party. The 3/4 sleeves make this easy to wear throughout the year, while the sash helps cinch your waist. This dress can be customized to your height, so make sure to let us know how tall you are when you buy it!

Halter Retro Dress:

This dress is based on the iconic style that Marilyn Monroe made famous, with some full-busted friendly design changes! The retro halter top will work up to an HH cup, while the full skirt has practical hidden pockets to store your phone and other necessities. This look is perfect for someone who loves vintage dresses but has trouble fitting into them!

Bolero Shrug:

Last, but certainly not least, is our Bolero Shrug! This shrug can be made in most of our fabrics, so you can either have it match your dress or contrast with it. It is available in lace and solid versions. If you're attending a wedding where the service requires shoulders and arms to be covered but the party doesn't, try our amazing little shrug!


5 Little Black Dresses for Full Busts!

Everyone needs a classic little black dress, but finding one that fits your curves can be a challenge! Here at Bolero, we love the little black dress for the reasons everyone else does: It can be dressed up or down, worn for any occasion and always looks chic and fashionable. Today we're featuring some of our favorite little black dresses that will take you from retro to resort!

All of these dresses are made with wrinkle resistant fabrics that pack easily, which means you will never be caught without a great dress to wear on the road.

Sweetie Dress in Black:

Our Sweetie Dress features a sheer polka dot mesh panel and sleeves on top of a retro inspired dress body! It's hard to find sheer styles that work with a standard bra, but a bra in your skin tone will disappear under the polka dot mesh. We love this look dressed up in the 1950's style that inspired it or worn with modern accessories for a fun night out. 

 

Monica Dress in Black: 

 

 

Occasionally our love for the 1980's comes out! We love a good sheer sleeve, so we couldn't resist dressing this Monica dress up with one sheer sleeve and a classic dress body. You can pick your sash color that comes with the dress, so you can go with black on black or pick a pop of color to add to your look. 

Sweet Heart Dress In Black:

 

The abstract sheer sleeves on our Sweet Heart dress give this basic black dress an edgy look. The classic sweetheart neckline is supremely flattering on curves, while the full skirt drapes beautifully. You can pick your sash color with this dress as well, so you can choose to add some color to your look or keep it all black. 

 

Besame Mucho Dress:

 

This little black dress gets some extra style points from the red lip charm on the bodice! This is a classic shape that works for all seasons and occasions, from the office to a big night out. The 3/4 sleeves provide coverage without creating extra heat, while the full skirt flows beautifully over curves. 

Carmen Dress:

This sleeveless dress has a mesh inset panel at the waist, which gives a modern look to this classic dress silhouette. We can also make this dress with a solid fabric waistband as an alternative, which we've done for several customers.  Wide straps ensure that your bra straps remain hidden, while the the lined top hides any lumps or bumps underneath. Wear this as is during hot weather or add some warmth with our Bolero Shrug


Bolero Blooms: New Prints and Patterns For Summer!

Summer is finally here and we are so excited about it! We had an unusually cold winter (even in sunny Florida) so we’re ready to break out our warm weather bust-friendly dresses. We’re introducing several beautiful new prints and patterns this season. New prints always make us happy, so this spring we’re doubling down on the colorful prints and offering a mix of classic, trendy and dramatic dresses that everyone will love. Read on to check out the new prints as well as some of the dress bodies that they come in - and then have fun picking out your new favorite dress! To buy a dress that you fall in love with, just click on it's name to get to the product listing. 

Prints and Patterns:


“Yellow Fun” Print:
We couldn’t pass up this summer inspired yellow print, which reminds us of both tiki bars and the 1980’s. This is definitely for those of you who like your prints dramatic and bold, but we know that many of our customers fall into that category! This print is made from a high quality Lyrca (don’t be scared of the whole bathing suit association that Lycra has!) with four way stretch to perfectly conform to your curves. It has great recovery and washes and dries well.

“Watercolor” Print:
This print is a classic, from the beautiful abstract print to the soothing blue and green tones. It’s refreshing, elegant and perfect for spring and summer dresses. This print is printed on ITY (Poly/Spandex mix) and has a wonderfully soft hand which makes it wrinkle resistant. This dress will come out of your suitcase looking as wrinkle-free as it went in, even if your destination is on the other side of the globe! This is a perfect print for the beach, but it also dresses up well for
dinners out.

“Galaxy Print”:

There are lots of galaxy prints out there, but we fell head over heels for this unusual Lycra based print as soon as we saw it. The teal, pink and purple colors look wonderful made up into a dress and make this print suitable for dressing up or for casual wear. Like the “Yellow Fun” print, this Lyrca has great recovery and four way stretch to skim over your curves beautifully.


Dress Bodies:
These prints will be available in a wide range of dress bodies, but make sure to contact us if you want a dress/print combination that you don’t see on the website. Here are some of our favorite dress bodies that use the new prints!

Angie Dress:
This dress features a beautiful sweetheart neckline with flattering bodice ruching and a full circle skirt. We’ve added pockets for you to carry around all of your warm weather necessities and paired each dress with an obi belt so you can create different looks with it. This curve-friendly dress will easily fit up to an H cup bust with zero modifications.


Weekend Maxi Dress:
We love this maxi because it is the ultimate summer dress: it can go from the beach to a fancy restaurant with a change of shoes and jewelry! It’s also wrinkle proof and washable, which makes it great for travel when you’re trying to minimize how many clothes you take on the plane. The long skirt is elegant and provides sun coverage, while the elbow length bell sleeves add movement and an extra dose of fun. The back bodice is lined for a nice smooth silhouette and the contrasting sash works perfectly as a casual belt. This dress fits H-cup ladies with no modifications and the v-neck won’t gap or show too much cleavage!



Any Day Dress:
This easy to wear dress has elbow length sleeves with classic cuffs, making it great for those slightly cooler spring evenings. The panels are used in conjunction with princess seams to make a dress that highlights curves, while the ruched front bodice adds shape. We’ve built in pockets so you’re never without your favorite things and included a belt so you can change the look of
the dress. This dress fits a range of curvy figures well, up to an H-cup!


Princess Ella Dress:
If you’ve been following us on Instagram lately, you’ve seen the Princess Ella dress! This combines a unique system of princess seams and back lacing to create a killer hourglass figure. The lacing in the back gives you a way to adjust the dress to get a custom fit, but also can be used to change out the look of the dress. The dress can also be worn without the lacing for a different look! We’ve designed it so the loops on the back blend in rather than stand out without lacing. This is a fit and flare dress with serious capacity for customization. Check out a recent review of this new fan favorite on Hourglassy!



Sleeveless Maxi Dress:
Everyone loves pajama dresses and this is our version. It’s so soft and comfortable that you’ll want to wear it all day! The 2” wide straps ensure that your bra is covered, while the gathered front and draped skirt help highlight curves without clinging to them. The dress is ankle length and can be customized to your height - just let us know!

What Bolero dress will you be wearing this spring?


Paloma Collection: Bolero’s First All White Collection!

Today we’re doing a sort of sneak preview of a new collection that will be coming later on this summer and represents a new facet of Bolero: we’re doing a line of all white clothing! We’ve been asked about doing something like this for years by customers, but our lead designer’s trip to Spain this winter got her inspired to create something. Later this spring, we’ll be welcoming the Paloma collection to our online store!

Paloma is a common name in Spain, but it also means dove in Spanish. When Patricia came back from Spain, she had white doves and an all white clothing collection on the brain. The collection will include a wide range of pieces, from dresses to convertible separates to pants. Some of the dresses will be versatile enough to work for casual warm weather brides to daily wear. Lots of cities have events based on white clothing as well over the summer, which
makes this collection perfect for those of you who are looking for all white outfits for art or music events. Read on to find out some of our plans for the Paloma collection, along with some sneak peeks and pictures.

White Lace Strapless Maxi:
We made a version of this years ago, but it was designed to work well on DD cups only. This beautiful dress has been reworked substantially to fit beautifully up to an H-cup and incorporate ties that can act as a halter top or convert the dress into other silhouettes. Since it uses a beautiful white lace, this dress can work for a beach wedding or as a dress for evening events. Functional and comfortable strapless dresses are incredibly hard to find in larger cup sizes, so we’re looking forward to releasing this completely unique option.

 

White Lace Pants:
Our pants don’t get as much attention on social media, but they have a strong fan following! Like our dresses, these pants pack beautifully and don’t wrinkle, so they’re perfect for traveling. Our standard inseam is 32, but we can make whatever your in-seam is at no extra charge. These pants are lined, so you get a semi-sheer effect but still have plenty of underwear coverage.

Convertible Top:
We’ve always built Bolero pieces to be adjustable, but we’ve never gone into the realm of fully convertible pieces before. This top can be worn a whole variety of ways, from strapless to one shoulder to off the shoulder. We’ve lined the bodice for coverage and comfort. This workhorse top will become a staple in your summer wardrobe, from parties to beach vacations. This isn’t a style you see in larger cup sizes, so we’re thrilled to be able to put out something so beautiful
and useful that still fits H-cup bra sizes!

Convertible Skirt:
This skirt can be worn in a variety of ways as well, from a sleeveless dress to a long skirt! We love it with the top as a set, but it’s also a great basic to pair with your own t-shirts, blouses and halter tops this summer.

Sweetie Dress in White Polka Dot:
For the first time, we’re dabbling in dresses that could be used for a more casual bride! We love this gorgeous 1950’s inspired polka dot dress, with trendy sheer polka dot sleeves. The entire dress is lined for coverage and comfort, which also creates a wonderfully smooth silhouette. This is a great piece for a party dress or for a curvy bride looking for that vintage look who hates getting things altered.

Halter White Lace Dress: 

This is the classic Marilyn Monroe halter dress, but with a design that highlights all of your curves and has room for your bust! This classic piece is perfect for vacations, summer weddings or every day you want to channel your inner vintage goddess. 

Are you planning on wearing a white dress this summer? Which piece of the Paloma collection are you most excited about?


How Can I Customize My Bolero Dress?

One of the things that we are most proud of here at Bolero is how wonderful our customers look in their dresses - and how many photos they take and share on social media! Unlike other brands, we have far more photos of real customers in our dresses than we do of professional models in our dresses. For several years, we’ve been working with customers behind the scenes to help adapt dresses even further to match their bodies or their style preferences.

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