‘Sophia Black ‘Pearl’ Skirt Fairytale Dress’ Review

Petticoat Diva

Every year I am required hunt a fairytale dress and go to a gala dinner for my professional vanilla life. That’s right, I’m not a sex and lifestyle blogger as a full time job hence why this site has occasional posts rather than content all day long. It’s a hobby.

Gala Dinner

The gala dinner I go to advertises itself as ‘black tie optional’ and so naturally,  I like to pull out all the stops but this years I had a massive ordeal trying to find a dress that I really liked until I tripped across Scarlett and Jo (London) new dress that popped into my inbox.  I’ve bought from Scarlett and Jo previously hence why I’m on their marketing list.  I don’t buy from them regularly but they do some awesome sales – recently buying a dress for £18 that was previously £55 no less – however, this dress had me with the first line. “This gown promises to make you feel like a princess!”

I ordered this dress and although there was a delay in dispatch, Scarlett and Jo were very helpful and put it on speedy delivery making sure my dress arrived in time. It was cutting it fine but I had a good feeling about the dress.  It arrived a little bit creased.

Feel like a fairytale princess

I’m not much of a princess kind but I certainly felt the drama coming from this dress that screamed: “this is definitely a dress for Jo”.

The website went on to say “Designed with crossfront gathered bust detail, floated short sleeves, meshed high-low hem with silver pearl embellishment. Finished with our ever-present magic waistband, this gown will surely dazzle at your next event, and have you shining above the rest! Perfect if you are looking for a prom dress, a bridesmaid dress or a party dress. “

I have to say, I tried this dress on and all I felt like doing was twirling.  I was instantly transformed into a Princess. Floating through my house to show my housemate and she loved it. I didn’t even have my hair, makeup on and I felt amazing.


This dress has a stretchy band and top, and so I can carry off a size 20 with ease.  I might even get away with an 18 but since the gala dinner was going to have food, I thought better of it.

This dress is made of multiple layers that give it it’s twirling ‘oomph!’

Length, I’m 184cm  and sit in a size 20/22 with a 44F bust.  Because I’m so tall, and that my legs are the longest part of my body. I expected the dress to be shorter than viewed on the website but on me the front of the skirt sat just below my knee and the back of the graduated dress sat on my ankles as per the website even though the models were a lot shorter than me it would appear they too have longer legs.

I’ve seen this dress arrive on social networking sites and people saying how long it is. For me, this is a bonus! It’s not very often I get dresses long enough for me for no extra than an average height person! I was over the moon but it might be useful if Scarlett and Jo provide the inside leg length/hip to ankle length of their dresses and or their models so that when buying online they have a better idea of where the dress will sit on them. This might reduce down any returns when people who buy the dress realise it’s tall and tall people, like me, can buy in excitement!

Made in China

I’m slightly disappointed that this dress is made in China.

Not only is China currently releasing thousands of tonnes of ozone-depleting gases into the air which is against international treaties, but they also treat staff extremely poorly. Chinese sweatshops are a thing.  It was recently revealed that many staff are being paid as little as £1.12 per hour (in the case of Apple) and are treated so poorly, large numbers of sweatshop staff commit suicide  Sweatshop is a pejorative term for a workplace that has very poor socially unacceptable working conditions where child labour laws are also known to be violated.

I’m not saying that Scarlett and Jo dresses are made in sweatshops but there is a high likelihood that they could be. China’s recent behaviors do not instill any confidence in me. I appreciate that a company has overheads but, and I may be in a minority here, I would rather pay a higher cost for a dress knowing that the people that have made it have been treated well and humanely.

The thing to be said is that I’m not in a great category to really make this decision but it certainly does influence my buying decisions. If you watch a documentary by Stacey Dooley ‘Fashions Dirty Secrets’ you might find it will impact your fashion buying.

It would be really useful if Scarlett and Jo could issue a statement on what they are doing about their production and also whether they are looking to reduce down the plastics they use too as we are also looking at the #WarOnPlastics.

Machine Wash

This dress is made of Viscose, Elastane and Polyester – the most exciting part about this dress was being able to wash it in a washing machine and not to worry about

The only instructions were to Machine Wash at 30°. I followed this and used my normal detergent and Lenor beads. It was good as new (almost).   I purposefully don’t buy dresses that need to go to the dry cleaners. This is because haven’t got the time or the money for every dress to need that attention.   I spoke to a friend recently who said she bought a dress and it still needs to be dry cleaned.

This dress on the other hand, is back in my wardrobe and ready to wear again.

Almost good as new

During the gala dinner, I managed to catch my dress under the chair I was sat on and so when I stood up, the chair leg went straight through the netting.  I need to think of a decent way to fix it so that it’s not very visible. I don’t have a plan to wear my dress again any time soon so I have time.   You can hardly see that I have damaged it but I know it’s there.

I’d be almost confident to go out wearing it again with the damage. It would be really useful if there were spare beads and or patching glue to be provided with the dress in case of accidents like mine.

On the night, I paired the dress with my pearl necklace,  silver shoes,  hold ups and put my hair up.  I felt fabulous and it’s in no small part down to the dress.


The Sophia Black ‘Pearl’ Skirt Fairytale Dress was the dress of my dreams for this year and I loved every minute that I pranced through the halls of the Celtic Manor in Wales. I was given so many compliments as I passed by. A few of the delegates at the event even recognised the brand as Scarlett and Jo.   The dress was seen by over 500 people and that doesn’t include those online.   I say this as I was most surprisingly given an award on the night. Getting an award meant I had to go up on the main stage in my dress. There are also some official photos I have been spotted in.

The dress cost me £95 and whilst I feel it was worth every penny, I am still concerned about the cost in relation to where it was made.   So all in all, the Sophia Black ‘Pearl’ Skirt Fairytale Dress gets a 9 out of 10 for me.

One Comment

  1. Gifi Fields
    June 17, 2019 at 17:17

    Thank you ever so much for your review. Every year we do a new one in the fairy tale dress series. We manufacture in the UK, China, India and Romania. There are abuses everywhere on the planet including this country. So we must be vigilant. We thought best place to manufacture this product was China so that’s why it was made there, Cheaper to make in Cambodia or Bangladesh and no duty tariffs but less control on our side. Recently we started manufacturing our pocket dresses in China. Why? because we found a source of new but essentially vintage 1940’s viscose crepe still be woven there. Can not get this quality in Europe or India, and we are re-introducing to a couple of generations that haven’t had that Joy of wear. It will be on interesting to see how our customers find it.

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