Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Bolero “Hawaiian Princess” Dress by Hourglassy

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Darlene and I have both reviewed Bolero brand dresses this week. It’s been ages since our last Bolero write-up, and founder Patricia has released so many pretty new cuts in the meantime.

While Darlene was looking for the perfect dress for business Zoom calls, I’ve been craving cute summer styles to provide a little escape from real life. If I can’t see my family and friends and my usual beach trips and vacations are severely limited, then I can at least dress like I’m enjoying some summer fun! Thus, this week I bring you the Hawaiian Princess Dress in starfish print.

When Patricia shared photos of this dress, I jumped at the chance to review it! That double-dip sweetheart shape is my favorite neckline for a busty figure, and the shorter paneled skirt is also super flattering on bigger hips—what more could I ask for? Well, how about a back cutout that doesn’t show off my bra and a quick-drying fabric perfect for hot weather??

The Hawaiian Princess dress has raglan-style sleeves and princess-esque seams up the front that meet the sleeve and contour to your every curve. The above-the-knee skirt has six panels that flare out beautifully but don’t fly up when the wind blows. There’s no waist seam, so you end up with a nice, smooth line.

Bolero dresses are typically made of a polyester-spandex blend knit, but this particular print is actually swimsuit material! This is Patricia’s first use ever of this type of material and the print is limited edition, so if you like it, make sure you snap up a dress before it sells out (though there are other prints available). This swim fabric is special because it’s breathable, water resistant, and possesses four-way stretch so it moves with your body in any direction.

I personally found it really great for hot weather. Without knowing it was swim material, I compared it to Under Armour for its sweat-wicking, quick-drying property and its smooth, suck-you-in look. I wore it during a recent heat wave (temperatures in the mid-90s Fahrenheit) while spending the weekend with my sister in Massachusetts, where she doesn’t have air-conditioning, and felt way more comfortable in this dress than in the cotton frock or the rayon top-and-shorts set (both homemade) that I had also brought along.

In most brands, I wear size medium, but Bolero dresses are quite stretchy, so I tend to size down to small, and this one was no exception. (I measure 38″-29/30″-42″ and bra size UK 28GG/30G.) However, since this swim material has a firmer fit, you could stick with your usual size if you’d prefer it to be a little less body-con. I’m glad I went with the small, though, because it fits my waist so nicely and doesn’t bunch up at the sway of my back, which I run into with a lot of other dresses.

I’ve already worn and washed this dress multiple times, and it’s holding up just beautifully. I wore it for a day in Brooklyn with my business partner this week, and got compliments from several strangers on the street while also feeling cool and comfy on our long neighborhood walk. I couldn’t resist asking my partner to snap a few shots in front of colorful Brooklyn backdrops. This is definitely my new favorite summer frock!


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