Friday, 21 May 2010

Review: Pearl Lowe For Peacocks Dresses

When I tried on the first Pearl Lowe for Peacocks dress yesterday I was surprised by the was actually quite large! I needn't have worried about not fitting these dresses, because they are all cut generously. I would perhaps suggest buying one size smaller than usual, because I have a very large bust and even on me, these dresses were roomy.

I am over the moon with them though, really I am. It's so nice to find flattering dresses that make you feel good, look stylish and aren't bursting at the seams! All too often it's easy to settle for second best because there just isn't the same amount of choice and variety for us larger girls. These dresses however, are the type that I'd be proud to wear if I were a size 10 or a 20.

Now I'm someone who appreciates a well-made garment. At Uni we were taught so many technical things about garment construction and hems, seam allowances, overlocking etc etc and then suddenly the high street changed and along came masses of unfinished looking pieces. It's acceptable to wear a t-shirt with an overlocked or freshly cut hem with no proper seam. Interfacings (I used to adore the machine we used for this btw, it was so much fun) and linings are a rare thing to find these days and while I understand it's mostly because of the Primark et al boom and the need for fast, cheap and throw away fashion, it's still nice to see that these skills haven't been completely forgotten.

All of these dresses are well made and have proper interfaced pieces and neatly finished hems and covered fabric buttons with proper button loops. I was a little sceptical that the 'designer name' alone was the reason for the pricing, so I'm glad to be proved wrong, it's definitely because of the higher quality finish.

Anyway first up is this black tea dress with red roses on it (as seen on Holly Willoughby on This Morning). This is quite a difficult length to pull off, below the knee and is definitely for tights or bare legs-the proportions with leggings would be all wrong. The sleeves are split and overlap and there is a tie around the waist. This is the first one I tried on and probably the largest on me. It's quite high around the neckline (back and sides) which is taking a bit of getting used to. Typical 50's shape and with ample room for my boobies.
This pale green and blue floral number is the shortest of the bunch and perfect with leggings. I was really concerned about the top half of this dress, but needn't have worried, because although it is the neatest fit, it isn't too tight (I thought I'd be squished into it). The colours in this are just beautiful, it ties around the waist and the short sleeves have lovely button details. One button on mine though has been stitched with the sleeve folded back, so I'll have to unpick it then sew the button back on-it's just been caught in by mistake (as shown in the image). Love the crochet hem detail.
Another green one, probably my least favourite. It's pretty, don't get me wrong, but the others I love more. It's button through all down the centre front, but because it's quite roomy, there's no gaping (yay). I think I'll need to wear a camisole top under this as it's quite low cut. Again, it has the nice button detail on the sleeves and is slightly longer in length so best with bare legs or tights.
This is the most expensive piece in the collection and I absolutely adore it. Holly also wore this one on This Morning-she has good taste! It has a decent quality slip underneath which is attached at the shoulders of the dress, then this sheer blue polka dot dress over the top. As I anticipated, it hangs beautifully, with pretty pleats from the waist. The belt has a lovely surprise at the back as it is gathered red fabric, not at all cheap looking and a beautiful contrast to the blue. I love the ruched sleeves and smocked shoulders, I want to wear this every day! Please produce it in other colours Peacocks and I'll buy every single one! I hope you get a decent enough idea of them on the hanger, click images to enlarge.
Update 18th June *Peacocks now have additional stock of these dresses on their site now after some styles and a lot of sizes sold out.*


  1. have you seen the lace one too? its lovely the blue is my favourite xx

  2. I love the first one, whats the fabric like? does it give or is it a tight cotton? xx

  3. The first green one and the blue are my favs! Really pretty dresses!

    And I know what you mean about the quality of clothes sometimes...I ordered this dress from Topshop:

    it cost GBP35 and I was quite disappointed by the "quality"...really thin material which is very shear, the black belt in the middle is open crochet so you can see skin through it...overall a bit flimsy for GBP35! Topshop always kinda disappoints me when it comes to quality :( still keeping the dress though as I had been looking for a dress with daisies for absolutely AGES and the cut and fit are nice. Just angry they charge so much, would have been better if it was GBP20 tops.

  4. Tabitha, the black one is 100% viscose, very roomy and has little tucks all over the top half for extra room if you needed it, the skirt part is almost like it's cut on the bias-although I don't think it is. The dress also has a side zip if you needed it, although I was able to get the dress on and off without it. There's definitely some give in it and it's very generously sized. Hope this helps.

    Marlein, me too, those are my favourites! I was hoping to wear one to my birthday lunch on Monday but don't know if I have appropriate shoes that I haven't yet worn on The Shoe Girl Diaries-I'm running out of options now!!

    Yeah I hate people who diss on places like primark when sometimes the quality elsewhere is worse and yet they charge more for it!

  5. I brought the black and red rose one in a size 16 changed for 14 and still rather ample round the breast. Quite suprised as usually need a 16/18 top half, but gave me a confidence boost.

  6. Yes, it felt great to actually say 'it's slightly too big', haha! I ended up keeping the 18's just incase they sold out while I returned them. They'll maybe shrink a little bit with washing anyway.

  7. Just wanted to say thank you for the really useful reviews of the dresses. I just saw the black floral print one on a photo and really like the look of it. Went to the Peacocks site, but disappointed to find only one photo of the dress (none of the garment details were shown properly). I've never bought anything from Peacocks so it's really useful to hear about the quality and finishing of the garment (etc.), which I kinda OCD about when shopping for clothes. Anyway, order placed! Looking forward to receiving my dress now :) Thanks again.

  8. No probs JoA-glad you liked the pics. I prefer when I can see the back of a garment too, I got a surprise with the red belt on the polka dot dress, because there was no mention or visual of that on the product page. I'm sure you'll love the dress, it's so pretty and war-time vintage feeling!


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