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Igigi by Yuliya Raquel review and $50 gift certificate giveaway

Igigi by Yuliya Raquel

Disclaimer: I received the dresses reviewed in this post for free from Igigi in exchange for publishing a review and hosting a giveaway.

Last year I reviewed an Igigi dress and a few months later a reader commented to tell me she found the perfect wedding dress there. That made me feel rather good, particularly because I know how hard it can be to find pretty clothes when you’re plus-sized.

Igigi sponsored my friend Wendy‘s annual Weetacon party again this year and gave the larger ladies another opportunity to get a free dress in exchange for a review. Or at least that’s what Wendy told us when we sent in our top three picks a month beforehand. Then she took us out to the parking lot on the first night of Weetacon and pulled out all three dresses we’d each requested from her magical SUV which like a TARDIS must have been bigger on the inside than the outside. There was much squeeing and jumping up and down and the experience was as close to the “Favorite Things” episode of Oprah that I will ever get.

Anyway, you too might get to have a mini-Oprah moment if you enter the giveaway explained at the bottom of this post, but first here’s my review.

First choice: Carmella Lace Dress
Retail: $176

Carmella Dress

I’ve never owned a wrap dress before, so getting into this thing was a bit like a Westerner trying to put on a kimono. The ribbon goes through a hole in the dress and then you have to wrap it around in a certain way and tie it in the back, which was a bit tricky, but looked great once you figured it out. They say wrap dresses flatter every figure, and I think that’s true. I’m glad to have a little black dress in my wardrobe that I can wear in the evenings, or God forbid, to a funeral. (Nobody die on me, please. I don’t need to wear this dress that much.) I like the lace and the way the fabric flows when I twirl. I love to twirl. Do you love to twirl? It makes me feel like a six-year-old again in the best possible way.

(There is a scene in You’ve Got Mail where young Meg Ryan and her mom twirl in the book shop and it is my favorite scene in that whole movie.)

Second choice: Claire de Lune Dress
Retail: $152

Clair de Lune Dress

This dress reaches almost to the floor, which makes it the longest dress I’ve ever owned. It made me feel like I was wearing a ball gown and I was dressed up to go somewhere super fancy. It would probably be good in the winter since it covers you up so well. I think it’s designed for a big-chested girl, but because this is also a wrap dress the top parts can be pulled tighter so there isn’t a gaping canyon of fabric falling off your chest. The ties in the back are really long, so be sure you tie a bow with big loops so you’re not dragging them on the floor.

This dress also twirls well.

Third Choice: Isobel Dress in Garnet
Retail: $112. On sale: $89.99

Ok, this is a pretty dress that looks great on the web site, but it did not look good on me. Had I paid attention to the “Shape Stylist” tab on their web site, I would have realized this and requested something else. I am a triangle shape and the site clearly says which shapes this dress flatters, but a triangle is not among them. Igigi knows best! Wiser women than I shall listen to them! So, instead of showing you how I looked in this dress, here’s how Wendy McClure looked because she is totally rocking it:

Wendy totally rockin' it

That said, I love the red color and the fabric is a nice and soft. It’s made from a jersey fabric, so I bet you could wear this all day and be perfectly comfortable. This dress doesn’t twirl well, but it has many other fine features.

Because there were several ladies running around in Igigi dresses, I also got to experience that Damn-it-why-didn’t-I-order-THAT-dress moment. For whatever reason, the Boulangerie Wrap Dress didn’t pop for me on their web site, but looked really great on the ladies who got it. In a perfect world I’d trade the Isobel dress in for that, but I already got several awesome dresses for free, so I will shut the hell up.

Boulangerie dress in purple

The Igigi web site does a good job of photographing their dresses from several angles and letting you see close ups. They’ve also got videos of models walking in the dresses for a few items, which gives you an even better sense of how they look and flow in real life. I used their size chart, but I think I should have requested the next smaller size than I chose. There you go. I’m not as fat as I think I am. It didn’t matter that much on the wrap dresses because you can adjust them. The Isobel dress isn’t a wrap dress, so the looseness in the wrong places was another reason it didn’t look so great on me.

Honestly, I probably would not drop $176 or even $152 on a dress no matter how pretty it is, but I’m kind of a cheapskate (which you know if you’ve read this blog, ever). I usually go to Macy’s and might find something in the $50-$80 range. But Macy’s does not have the fantastic selection Igigi has. I usually end up with only 1 or 2 real choices there, whereas Igigi has dozens of flattering options. Their clothes are really well made too, so if you do ante up for one of their dresses you definitely get what you pay for.

Giveaway! (What you really came here for.)
Igigi is letting me give away a $50 gift certificate to one of my readers. Anyone can enter, but if you live outside the US please be aware of Igigi’s shipping prices to your country. To enter, leave a comment below describing which item on the Igigi site you would wear to Prince Charles William and Kate Middleton’s wedding and why. One winner will be selected randomly. Giveaway ends at 11:59 Eastern time on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Due to misbehavior in the comments, I decided to end the contest early at 11:40am Eastern time on Friday, April 1, 2011. My apologies to everyone who did behave respectfully.

There are also several other opportunities to win a $50 Igigi gift certificate on the other Weetacon attendee’s web sites. Here are the links so far:

ETA at 11:00pm: Here are a few more links:

ETA on 3/30/11 at 1:30pm: And a few more:

You can watch the @Weetacon twitter feed for announcements of any more reviews/chances to win. Actually, just visit this page for a complete list of the giveaways.

BTW, if you do buy an Igigi dress, tell them Weetacon sent you! They’ve been a very gracious sponsor, so I’d like for them to know their promotions are actually working.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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