Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Carissa Rose review and reader discount [outfit]

Katerina shirt dress c/o Carissa Rose (available) / LOFT sandals - 2009 - $10 on sale (similar) / Artisans Lane Turkish Jewelry necklace - 2010 - gift (available in other colors) / Emilie M faux leather bag via Marshall's - 2011 - $25 (similar)
[Worn: 09.11.11 | To: Church]

I love the look of a crisp button-up, but I know a lot of women have trouble with them. Fit can be off, buttons can gape. And that's for those of us who aren't overly endowed up top. It's even harder to find a good fit when your proportions are not the same as what the manufacturers use (and really, who has those proportions?).

Carissa Rose is a company that specializes in making button-up tops and dresses flatter and fit women with curves and larger chests. Carissa Rose's tops use hook and eye closures spaced about an inch apart to get rid of the gaping problem.

When I first received an email from them, I was intrigued by their mission, but I didn't think it was for me, since I'm not really curvy. I wrote back to tell them that, and they asked for some of my measurements to see if they could work with my size (34B or C bra, 28.5" waist, normal dress size 2/4). They sent me the black Katerina dress in size 6WE and the truffle Olivia shirt in size 4RE.  I finally got around to wearing the dress this weekend, and I have to say...this is my new favorite dress.

  • Lightweight fabric
  • Hook-and-eye closure on top eliminates gaping
  • Skirt is single piece (no buttons)
  • Skirt is straight (not A-line), so it doesn't give off the 50s housewife vibe that many shirtdresses do
  • Sash is long and thick, and can be tied in various ways
  • Truly knee-length, which is very flattering and elongates the calves
  • The dress is supposed to be long-sleeved, but the sleeves hit 2" above my wrist (I like to roll my sleeves anyway, so this wasn't a big deal for me)
  • Unlined
For all my doubts about fitting into clothes made for curvy women, the sizing was perfect...loose enough to roll up the sleeves and be a bit airy, but fitted enough that I didn't get lose my shape. I'm excited to try out the Olivia shirt soon, and of course I'll be back to report on that.

Get one for yourself

Carissa Rose is offering New Professional readers a 20% discount off your purchase with the code THENEWPROFESSIONAL20. Discount expires October 13, 2011. Shop their website, which also includes great sizing and shopping resources for curvy women, and check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Tell me...has fit an gaping prevented you from buying button-up shirts and shirtdresses? Have you tried Carissa Rose?

Disclosure: Carissa Rose sent me two items free of charge for review, but the content of the reviews is all mine. No compensation was provided, and no agreement was made to guarantee a post or positive coverage.


  1. What a great dress. I would say the pros definitely outweigh the cons on this one.

  2. This is a great look on you, Angeline, love the dress! My usual issue with shirt dresses is that the bottom button hits at mid-thigh, so even if there's material to make it office-appropriate, the button placement makes it look like there's a really high slit in front! I've also found that the material and the button placement make sitting down a complete peep show, as the dress rides up and the button gaps. I love the look in catalogs, but I've yet to find a shirt dress that works for me.

  3. ooo! Thank you for introducing me to this company! They have great stuff! And since we have the same measurements (seriously... the same.) Then I already know what size would work for me. I'm going to have to look into this more! I always have issues with button ups gaping at the top, which is why I don't wear them, so yes, quite excited!

  4. I love this dress. I am small chested and petite and have issues with button ups all the time because of it. In fact, I was just thinking about this the other day strangely . . .

    Thanks for the tip! I will have to check it out!

  5. I really, really love this dress on you! Thanks for introducing me to the company—I'm definitely looking for some nursing-friendly looks that will accommodate my slightly distorted proportions after the bean makes her hopefully timely appearance, and I'm thinking one of these might fit the bill.

  6. It's interesting how smaller women often don't they're curvy even when they are! I think it might have something to do with the way we now often use "curvy" as a euphemism to mask what we really mean: overweight. Curvy actually means a certain waist-to-hip ratio (in fashion industry standards it's 75% or .75 so with your waist size that would mean hips just over 37.5 inches). In other words: curvy means womanly curves, whether you're a size 4 or a size 12. Not sure if the ratio applies, but whatever the case the dress looks very cute on you!

  7. @ no guilt fashion - I think so, too, but part of that might be because it was free to me. I don't know that I would pay so much for a dress that is unlined in a store.

    @ ashley - that's what so great about this dress...the bottom is a single piece, so there are no buttons to worry about! I hate that about most shirtdresses, too.

    @ pixie in pumps - how fun! we need to do a swap (a little bummed that we didn't pull each other in that group swap last time)

    @ S - sounds like this would work perfectly, and could probably transition just fine into your regular wardrobe afterward, too, depending on the size.

    @ anonymous - I agree with you completely, and that's actually how I meant curvy in the post. I do think my body shape is straight. I don't fit into pants marked "curvy" because my waist is too wide. I've always fit better into styles marked "straight." In comparison, I have a friend who is several clothing sizes smaller than me, but definitely has curves, no question. Totally a matter of shape, not size.

  8. Well this dress is giving you curves then!

  9. This looks really cute on you! I've been thinking about adding a shirt dress to my wardrobe, but since I'm petite, sometimes they can end up making me look schoolgirl or something. This one is quite sophisticated though - I agree the straight rather than a-line skirt really adds to it.

  10. Thank you for this review of Carissa Rose. I found the clothing line when I googled "clothes for women with large breast" several months ago. I have been hesitant to order but a friend suggested I look for reviews.

    Because of 10" difference between my bust size and waist size, finding something that fits my waist is impossible. I was rather anxious to spend this kind of money on an unproven brand, but now am looking forward to the delivery :-). Thank you very much!

  11. @ anonymous - I'm glad this could be helpful for you! Good luck on the sizing...it sounds like Carissa Rose might just be perfect for your shape.

  12. Myself and two others all got "Oops, we cant find that size." So, needless to say I won't spent that much money on clothes that still won't fit me.


Like this? Leave a comment!
Comments with emails attached will receive emailed replies; otherwise replies will be added below the original comment.