Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Bolero Ruffled Romper by Hourglassy

* Please note that the Bolero shop is on vacation August 21 through September 15, so you’ll have a to wait a couple weeks to place an order. Hope you enjoy this review in the meantime!

This week, I’m reviewing another great Bolero find—the Ruffled Romper. For some reason this summer, when I’m not in my pajamas all day (hashtag quarantine life), I want to wear nothing but matching top and bottom sets or rompers. I even sewed my own two-piece set and a romper in recent weeks (look for those in upcoming posts).

So when Bolero proprietress Patricia offered to send me her new romper design for review, of course I enthusiastically accepted! I selected my usual size small (current measurements 38”-29/30”-42”, height 5’6”, and bra size UK 28GG/30G).

This romper features 3-inch shorts inseam with deep patch pockets and a blouson top with a gentle shelf bra and a large ruffle that fully covers the bust so that you can comfortably wear it bra-less. There is also a string attached to the center front of the neckline that can be tied in a bow, tucked inside the top, or tied around your neck, and the romper comes with a coordinating tie belt. Between the string tie, the belt, and the elasticated shoulders, you can wear the romper in myriad different ways.

Since I sunburn so easily, I prefer to wear it on-the-shoulder. For just waltzing around, I like it with the belt, but for more vigorous activities, I skip the belt and just wear it as-is. The great thing about the belt is that it has two strips of boning, so it doesn’t scrunch up except in the spot where you tie it, so it can define your waist nicely.

Additionally, Patricia is making masks in a massive variety of amazing prints (Smiley beer mugs! Watermelon! Mixed fruits! Even some masculine options, much to my husband’s delight. I’ve personally purchased several.), so she sent along a mask made of the same print as the romper. I love matching my masks to my outfits—if we have to wear them, we might as well have fun with it!

With my super-long torso, I was nervous that the romper wouldn’t be long enough, but I’m happy to report that it’s perfect on me! No wedgies or camel-toe here. I think it would suit petite gals just as well, though, because the blouson style of the bodice means it doesn’t need to be pulled taut to look good and you don’t need to worry about misplaced tailoring details.

The waist is elasticated, so it’s easy to pull on and the polyester-spandex knit blend stretches over your curves to comfortably mold to any size derriere. Plus, the fabric isn’t too clingy and thus doesn’t require any fancy, seamless underwear.

Here’s a view under the neckline ruffle and a shot of the sleeve construction—it’s basically cap sleeves angled in such a way that you can wear it on or off the shoulder:

And let’s not forget the pockets! They’re large exterior patches that perfectly blend in with the rest of the print. I wore the romper kayaking and stored my iPhone (in a Zip-loc bag) in the pocket the whole time without it falling out or shifting around.

By the way, this romper was the perfect choice for kayaking. Nothing rode up awkwardly, the stretch and tailoring allowed for total ease of movement, and it was even comfortable tucked under my life jacket. Plus, the fabric dries quickly and doesn’t wrinkle, and the big ruffle kept my sunburn-prone shoulders fully covered.

Finally, let’s talk about the Bolero face masks! I purchased two different styles and Patricia included a third style to match the romper. So the three styles are:

  1. “Face It Style” – Contoured with ties
  2. “Pleated Style” – Pleated with adjustable behind-the-ear elastic loops and a wire nose bridge
  3. Matching mask – Contoured with adjustable behind-the-ear elastic loops

All of the masks feature a pocket for a filter and three layers of fabric. Face It and Pleated Style are 100% cotton and the matching mask has an outer layer of polyester/spandex and two inner layers of 100% cotton. My personal favorite style is the contoured shape with ties. I find ties more comfortable in general and I get a better seal than with behind-ear elastic loops. If you want a mask to match your Bolero dress, you can fill out the contact form to make a request before placing your dress order.

I’ve been sewing masks too, but I find that Bolero’s contoured ones actually fit better than my own! Something about the depth of the center curve keeps it up on my nose more effectively. If you’re looking for cute masks from a small business but Etsy has you overwhelmed, take a look at the Bolero options!


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