Nope, this is not a Lifetime movie airing at 3:30am, despite the title.

This could just have easily been titled "Dream in Bengaline", because this fabric is comfortable that you could fall asleep in it (but don't because chances are that means you haven't removed your makeup and that's a BIG no-no)!  And the title isn't just the way it is because it rhymes.  Bengaline really does give everyone a smashing figure and the confidence to wear a wiggle with its amazing stretchy design and lump-smoothing capabilities.  So before getting into the actual dresses here, first off, what the heck is bengaline?
Bengaline, from what I've learned thanks to the internet, is a fabric famed for its ability to stretch and give its wearer the most comfortable clothing experience possible. It's also derided by many people simply because those qualities lend themselves perfectly to maternity-wear, which it is used for frequently.  Now, I'm not knocking maternity-wear myself, but let's face it, like bridesmaids dresses, its history is a tad checkered and most certainly scoffed at thanks to some rather poor designs out there.  Bengaline, like most fabrics, is also available in a wide range of qualities, and it's so easy to be turned off early on by one bad experience.  But keep in mind, if you've ever slept on 100 thread-count cotton sheets, and then 600 thread-count cotton sheets, you'll know that even natural fibers can be really lousy if not used properly.  I was initially a bit resistant to wear bengaline because of its questionable reputation, but since PUG said that they used high-quality bengaline, I trusted that they wouldn't lead me astray.  They did not, and if you're still on the fence, apparently polyester is the evil fabric in bengaline, and nylon is the good stuff.  PUG uses nylon/rayon bengaline (fun fact, rayon is not considered to be a true synthetic since it's made of naturally occurring polymers).  So you can rest assured that you are indeed getting the good stuff from PUG.

Now for the fun part... the dresses!  For reference, I'm 31.5"-32", 24", 33", and 37" at the lower hips, and I have all of these in XS.

Erin!  This is what I consider to be the Heidi of the wiggle-world.  It's available in a wide range of colors, and everyone seems to add one to their PUG collection eventually.  Despite not having a seam running across the waist, the waist still dips in and give its wearer a fantastic shape.  This dress is also famous for giving a major boost to the bust, and as someone who's 31.5"-32" there, this is a big plus in my book (bust?).  

You can wear any non-full coverage bra with them and not worry about the straps or cups showing.  I usually wear pantyhose to hide pantylines, as these dresses are fitted in the back and will show lines, or underwear that I know won't show.I have it in the turquoise and pine green.  

The turquoise is much more fitted than the pine green, as you can see from the photos.  I usually wear a belt with the pine green to hide where it's a bit loose in the waist since it otherwise looks a bit baggy.  Just for clarification, the pine green is discontinued now, and has been replaced by a different green Erin, so the fit on the new one may differ from mine.  Both dresses are extremely comfortable... I originally purchase the turquoise because I thought I could make it work for work, but this dress is meant for the evening.  And the color of the turquoise is more vivid than this photo shows (it's more like the photo on the website).  This is NOT a wallflower dress!  

Jessica!  This stunner always sells out immediately, so if you see it back in stock, don't hesitate on this one (the lovely Margarita of the Pinup Girl Boutique was wearing upcoming fuscia purple color for this dress and looked amazing... keep your eyes and wallet open for that dress).  This was the first dress actually that caught my eye on the website, but was out of stock at the time.  When it came back in I bought it immediately.  The kickpleat in the back is fabulous and the whole backside in general is extremely flattering.  If you want to highlight your butt, this is the dress for you!  The color on the red is perfect, and I love the unique neckline.  My only slight annoyance with it is that the belt under the bust can only be adjusted so much as one side is sewed to the dress, so it throws it off balance if you tighten it too much.  

I have a narrow ribcage, so for me, the belt is a bit loose on the sides, but this is a minor issue.  The bra situation is also something that the ladies on here have issues with.  A good balconet bra with thin straps can be worn with this, but if you don't want to run the risk of having your straps show, a strapless bra is best.  I lucked out and found a strapless bustier-style bra at H&M a few years ago that I actually don't mind wearing (I hate strapless bras).  The one I have has 4 hooks instead of the standard 2 and has gelled sides so it stays up perfectly.  But again, if you have a balconet bra you should be fine.  The neckline is lovely and is worth the hassle of finding the right bra for it.  

Masuimi!  I love the neckline on this one.  It's the whole reason why I kept this dress and opted to figure out a way to fix the cups on it so that I could wear it.  But before I get to that, here are the specs on this dress...  very fitted (I have the black as you can tell and from what others have said, the black bengaline items run a bit smaller than their more colorful counterparts), this dress does have a seam across the waist, but it's comfortable and again has my beloved kickpleat in the back.  The lace on the cups is a nice and naughty touch, and brings some softness to the dress.  Now back to the cups.  As many people have mentioned, the cups have a vertical seam running up them, and can pucker easily.  I personally think this dress is better suited to larger bust sizes, since the puckering is less of an issue, but I was determined to keep this dress and love it.   The puckering looked weird from the side, so I knew that I had to do something about that.  So I got a bit creative.  As you can see from the photo here, I went to the fabric store and found some of those tab/stick things that are used in men's shirts to keep their collar ends straight.  I used the longest ones I could find and stitched them to the inner fabric of cup along the puckered seam.  Voila, no more puckering!  Instead the cups now have a more acceptable bullet-shape and don't make my bust look woefully melty and sad.  I wear a strapless bra with this dress since the straps are wide set, though I do think a baconet bra could also be worn with this.  I also love the high back on this dress... it makes it feel more dressy to me and makes the low cut front stand out even more :)

Aaaaand introducing, Veronica!  My newest dress, and one that makes me forget how disappointed I was that I missed out on the famed olive green Dixiefried Paris dress.  

The mossy green color is to die for, and the unusual heart-shaped bodice and off center button make this dress stand out from the crowd.  I love the high collar on this (though it does mean having to wear my hair up to keep it from getting caught in the hooks at the top of the collar), and how work-friendly it is.  The front slit makes walking a breeze, and I'll say it again, the bengaline is super comfortable.  The waist is fitted, but you can hardly feel it, and the hips run more generously which makes me happy!  Keep in mind, the bust on this does run larger than many of PUG's other designs, which is indicated on the size chart.  I took in the top since it was very roomy out of the bag.  The way I took it in (Laura should probably stop reading now if she's reading this since it's probably NOT the way to do it) was to pull the top layer of bengaline over the top of the black ponte heart about an inch on either side of the neckline.  I then sewed it down from the underside of the bengaline fold to the black ponte.  That way, the heart shape is still intact and you can barely see where I took it in.  I only have one visible stitch on either side, and it's barely visible.  And that was all I had to do to make this dress perfect for me!  So if you are below the recommended size in the bust, it is fixable, and if not, congratulations!  You're going to look amazing!  

Of course, I could go one about how fabulous the Dixiefried Perfect Pencil skirts in bengaline are, but Michelle Boutilier already wrote a great blog on it, so check it out:  I couldn't agree more with her words on them.  I love them for work and for play since they can go either way depending on what you pair them with.  So if you don't currently have any PUG bengaline items, give them a chance to win you over to the stretchy side of life :)

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Replies to This Discussion

thanks for the review Ali - you look AMAZING in these dresses. I am very shy of Bengaline (which is why I didnt end up ordering the Veronica).

I have love handles that the Bengaline seem to highlight (these are NOT the curves I am after of course hahah). My measurements are 39 - 28- 40 (so I am an hourglass) yet Bengaline does not love me very much, I always end up having to wear an undergarment that sucks in those love handles. Mind you its not like they are massive...any tips on hiding the love handles other than smoothing undergarments?



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