Review of the Black Pencil Dress by Made in Preston

I haven’t had a little black dress in a really long time. I love black, but most of the dresses I’ve found that work for me are either not available in black… or boring as hell. I’ve also completely avoided high-cut tailored dresses, as that usually means it will completely smash my chest (if I can manage to get it to zip). So when Made in Preston offered me a chance to review one of their dresses, I was intrigued by the black pencil dress:


Looks: The dress sort of sits between business-attire and clubwear, which can make it challenging to figure out how and where to wear it.

It the dress fell a few inches longer, I could totally see myself wearing this to work or to a concert (as a performer). I don’t care much about what people consider “appropriate”, but I honestly don’t think I’d be able to bend down to pick something up without temporarily turning the dress into a shirt, which is simply a practical concern rather than one of modesty.

But is also a bit conservative for a party dress. The sleeves/straps are more like epaulettes than sleeves… or straps, which is pretty cool, and the dress is short and form-fitting, but I’d love to see it with a few more fun accents. A chunkier silver or brass zipper (rather than the black invisible zipper) would spice things up a bit, and some embroidery on the epaulettes could work well… but then it wouldn’t be a basic little black dress.

Basically, I’d seriously consider wearing this to work with some very opaque tights… but it would also pair well with bare legs and some very tall wedges.

Fit: Made in Preston offers UK sizes 6-16, as well as 3 bust-proportions for each size. “Fit” is the standard off-the-rack size, “Foxy” is a bit more room in the bust, and “Fab” is a fairly generous amount of extra bust space.

I’m currently around a 28HH/J and was a 30H/HH when I ordered the 10 Fab. My waist measurements put me at a 10, and my bust measurements put me at a 12/14 Fab. But I was wearing a 30H/HH when most calculators suggested a 30K, so my measurements can be deceiving… plus, when buying clothes for boobs, sizing up in the waist to accommodate bust is sort of counterproductive. Looking at Two Cakes on a Plate’s review of the 10 Fab made me a bit more confident- she wears a 30GG, and the top part seemed to have a bit room left yet! Since the material had a decent amount of stretch, I went for the 10 Fab. (Spoiler-altert, I wish they made a double-Fab… or triple-Fab… can I suggest “Fine” and “Fierce” as names?)

The first few tries, I could not get it to zip once it got past my waist. But I fiddled with the zipper a bit and got it to work (miracles). It was on, but my bust was definitely flattened a bit. Not nearly as bas as an off-the-rack US size 6 would be, but definitely not enough space for my bust. In the photos I took, you can see some buckling of the fabric around the underbust- my boobs were trying to steal fabric from the waist! A 12 Fab might have worked better (and been more “work-appropriate”, but I love the waist definition that the 1o gives… so I’d love to see this in a 10 Fine or Fierce! ;)

Photos (taken in a messy bathroom… sorry):

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This sort of shows how squished my boobs are from the side:side squish

It’s great from the front, though:

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