Clothing, Dresses, In My Wardrobe, Uncategorized

Label Love: Closet at Dorothy Perkins & Oli - (archived)

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A chat the other day with Amber reminded me that though I’d tweeted about them, I’d yet to write about my latest dress discovery – a gorgeous brand called Closet that’s stocked in some larger Dorothy Perkins stores, as well as on their website and As a rule their dresses tend to be quite structured and fitted, with more than a little inspiration coming from a certain Mrs Beckham. And they give you a waist like you wouldn’t believe!

Though I’d never really considered myself a fan of Victoria Beckham’s style, she does know how to make dresses that flatter curves (ironic, considering her severe lack of them). And I think – given that her collections pulls almost directly from Roland Mouret, Giambattista Valli, Alaia and the like – that she can deal with a big of high street ‘hacking’. Closet have reproduced a few of her more iconic designs, along with plenty of generic but very pretty nipped-waist, tulip skirted shapes, and whacked them out in everything from heart print to classic black for around the £35 – £40 mark. It’s not exactly envelope-pushing fashion ingenuity, but it is really easy to wear and universally flattering.

I had a bit of an impromptu changing room photoshoot when I tried some of the range, and wanted to show you how great these dresses look. They’re not lined, but they are well made, and very easy to wear.

Left: Grey tweet peplum dress £30 at Dorothy Perkins
Right: Black button dress (also available in blue at DP) £38 at Oli

There is, of course, a curvy girl’s caveat. Like so many boutique brands, the range only goes up to a size 16, and it’s a pretty small 16 at that. In fact, the Dorothy Perkins size guide suggest you go up a size in Closet compared to their main range. In all the pics I’m wearing my usual size 14, but you can see how tight the pink peplum dress is. The others fit fine but only just – they come up particularly small in the waist.

But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I know a lot of larger women crave the structure and shape of dresses like this (really, does the world need another oversized godet t-shirt or shapeless maxi dress?) and with Dorothy Perkins’ owner Arcadia launching Style369, the plus size website aimed at fashion-forward young women, we might have an opportunity to get something like this in sizes 16+. Though most of the stock on the site at the moment is Evans more high fashion stock, they’re working with boutique brands like Rock & Revival and Ruby Rocks to refit items for larger sizes. Could Closet be the next on the list? Cross your fingers!

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  • Reply Siany October 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Heh, I actually bought the purple dress you’re wearing at the top yesterday. I looks fabby, and Alex and I both agreed that you’d love it. It’s collected lots of compliments already. Yay.

    • Reply Gemma October 4, 2010 at 8:58 am

      Top left or top right? I have top right (and the one in the middle). Love them.

      • Reply Siany October 4, 2010 at 9:29 am

        Top right! Oh noes we’re going to go out dressed the same, aren’t we?

        • Reply Gemma October 4, 2010 at 9:42 am

          nah, we’ll just have to do a girly ‘what are you wearing?’ next time we’re out together. It’s not like either of us are short on alternatives xx

  • Reply Pamela Powell March 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Gemma

    Dorothy Perkins now has the peplum dress on the sale racks. I usually take a size 14, but was forced to move up to 16. Overall the dress was a disappointment, I did not like that shade of blue and it was too short for my fat knees. Done in black and on the knee would have been much more elegant.

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