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Review of Shabby Apple’s Espina Bonita Dress

Review of Shabby Apple’s Espina Bonita Dress

I was so excited when Rebecca of MinnChic told me I’d won her $50 Shabby Apple,, gift certificate giveaway. I’ve admired the dresses online frequently, but never purchased one.

You’d think winning something would make you feel like the top of the world when getting free money to shop online, right? Actually, it got pretty nerve-wracking. I studied the Shabby Apple site like most law students prepare for the bar exam. I did not want to spend a lot of extra money, because I wanted to pick a dress that many of my readers might find affordable. And, well, I don’t have a lot of money.  I also wanted to pick a dress that would flatter many different body types, and is very versatile. I love the specialized looks at Shabby Apple, ranging from classic to Hollywood Old Style Glamour, but I need clothes that have lots of re-mixing potential.

I could have showed off this dress more, but this is all I got most mornings. Check back in when I’m out with the girls and have at least one Cosmo in me.
Espina Bonita dress ~ Shabby Apple with $50 gift certificate
Long chain ~ Jada’s Jewels
Glass ring ~ antique, family heirloom
Franco Sarto shooties ~ old, Marshalls or Ross Dress for Less I think

I did find a number of dresses on sale, but after reading the sometimes conflicting reviews regarding sizing on various dresses, and noting that some sale items were nonreturnable, I wanted to make sure I didn’t order a dress that didn’t fit and couldn’t be exchanged.

No dangerous curves ahead but great flapper potential ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve wanted a little black dress for a while, so I chose the $64 Espina Bonita style. I know the young blonde, curvy model is wearing it in a variety of sexy poses that I’d just look like a dork if I tried to copy, but it looked like a comfortable, fluid jersey style that could be accessorized for casual or dressy occasions. After reading the single review and the description that says “…Fits Generously”, I ordered it in a size smaller than the size Small I thought I would wear.

My self-esteem plummeted a lot slightly when I put it on, and clearly do not have Fits Generously Girls. In an Extra Small. I contemplated the sad, empty bust line for a minute, and then pulled out the closest thing I have to a miracle bra, which is a black cami with a built-in padded bra that I stole from my sister my sister gave me.

Someone ran out of the house, thinking we were going to the beach, and she didn’t want to get left behind.

Voila! With a bit of adjusting, I didn’t even need one of Mina’s Fasheners to avoid flashing the world with my Ungenerous Girls. Then I took a long look and said, “Whoa, Nellie, this is a pretty hot number, but perhaps a bit much for the office.”

Where is your suitcase? Why the hell are you wearing that getup to the beach?

Actually, I love the Espina Bonita dress. It has sort of a 20s feel with its long, lean silhouette, dropped waist, and mid-shin length skirt. I think I could also pass as an aging dancer, and I know I will go dancing in this dress. I accessorized it a million different ways, and discovered adding a scarf could even get it to the office.

I’m not leaving until you put me in the car for the beach.

I believe this dress would flatter many different body types, and probably look a zillion times better on women with curves, of which I have zip. The ruched waist is well-constructed and tight, much like one of those body shaper camis. The skirt is fully lined, and has a great heavy, swingy feel. My only real complaint is the elastic at the arm bands is a bit tight, and my ego took a slight hit to discover I’m not a Fits Generously gal, even in the teeny size.

I styled the dress conservatively for the budget career dressing blog. How would you style it – and would you wear it?

18 Responses to Review of Shabby Apple’s Espina Bonita Dress

  1. That's a really pretty dress – a good basic. I like all the ruching in the middle, but I find that a bit limiting for adding belts/obis and such.

    Hee, love your pup.

    • Thanks, Sheila. I think this dress might actually look good with a very skinny metallic belt, but you're right, most of the accessorizing will have to be jewelry, tights, shoes, and/or scarves. I would love it even more if it had fitted three-quarter length sleeves.

    • Lisa, I discovered recently I am missing the All Important Style Blogger clutch in my pics! lol

      The sad thing is, I have several heirloom clutches that would have looked great with this dress. And my highest heels are stored with my winter shoes. Which I can't find but better before October. And Dear Hubby never tells me I'm standing kinda dweebish ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      Next time ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Toss a brightly colored cami under there for a pop of color and modesty. I think a belt or jacket would also look great with it. I think you picked a good option, but just need to work on styling it. I think my biggest turn-off of Shabby Apple is the extremely tall/thin models. It makes it really hard to imagine how an actual garment would fit on petite-not-generously-sized me.

    (Also I hope to have you a package in the mail soon. I picked you something up at Super Saturday sale, and I realllly hope it fits.)

    • I feel like an idiot. You're right. A bright cami could really help this dress go Full Daytime ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have the same problem with the models, plus the reviews indicated that some items were oddly sized. I actually loved some of the more unusual dresses in brighter colors on sale, but they couldn't be returned so I didn't want to take a chance.

      You send the best mail, and you have excellent taste. I will look forward to something in the mail that doesn't say BIG FAT UTILITY BILL ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. I can see you dancing in this and you may be ahead of the Great Gatsby craze that will hit in December. It seems to fit you fairly well. My girls aren't very generous either.

    • I am so glad we are virtual friends, and that you are such a savvy style blogger. I had no idea a Great Gatsby craze is coming, but if it means neon is out, I'm all for it ๐Ÿ˜› Because of your recent post, I'm going to see if I can snag a September Vogue to take to the beach.

  4. Oh Lynne you picked a great dress! I think this looks amazing on you and congrats on winning! I've hosted Shabby Apple giveaways and been contacted by them, but don't own any clothes by them, though I do quite admire them! I can see this as being a very versatile dress and you look so rested and happy in these photos. So glad the Teen is home!!!

  5. Hmm, I would probably have a bit more luck up top but need a tank underneath to keep it decent. With my heavy arms the sleeves would probably not work, but I do love the length.

    Great review, I've often wondered about Shabby Apple and their quality.

  6. Hey. I wanna know why this dress looks sooo good on you and would look sooo bad on me. The comparison is stark. I guess I'll just throw up my hands and be grateful I know a gal as attractive and shapely as you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. This dress is fantastic! You made a great choice, every woman needs a great LBD. I won a gift card to Shabby Apple too and I too have been studying the site and over analyzing and I still haven't made a choice yet! I will at some point here!

  8. Thanks for articulating all the factors contributing to your choice and your thoughtful review, Lynne! I like the dress's neckline on you. A big hat and sandals could take this look to the beach. (Beach! Beach! Beach!)

    Though I would have almost exclusively chosen black in the past, I notice that I seem to be developing a wee aversion to acquiring any more except in cases of wardrobe gaps.

  9. I can imagine that dress will be in your wardrobe for ever and always look good. It's classic, very flattering, and I would never have guessed there were any boob issues at all! Nice win, Lynne. Ooh, that rhymes.
    I think I would have to add some colour – patterned tights (when it's cool enough) or bright shoes. And bling, lots of bling! And a cloche hat for the Great Gatsby vibe! xxx

  10. I think you made the right choice for a dress, this is such a wardrobe staple for years. ๐Ÿ™‚ How cute is that doggie!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ What breed is she/he? Pembroke something?

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workersโ€™ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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