I followed the size chart, and ordered based on my measurements, and I'm a curvy girl. It fit perfectly. I'm 5'1", so it hits me right below the knees. I didn't have any of the fit issues that I've seen in other reviews. You don't really need the petticoat, but it hangs sort of sad if you don't wear one. I put a red ribbon belt on it instead of the black one that came with it. I thought it was cuter.
This is my THIRD "color" of this dress this summer. I have worn all three to weddings and strangers were stopping me to compliment me on my dress. Classy, fun and timeless. Don't skip the petticoat and you'll bring down the house!
These dresses were purchased for a show choir performance. We have 30 girls, with varying sizes from XS to XXL. The dress did not come in a large enough size for a couple of girls, but we bought 2 dresses, split them at the side seams, and sewed in a piece of fabric from the 2nd dress from under the arm to the bottom hem. With the pattern we chose it was not noticeable at all. We added 1.5" red satin ribbon at the waist and a red petticoat. When paired with boys dressed in black suits with white shirts and red ties the look was stunning on stage.
Because there was a cinching at the waist (whether black belt that came with it, or red ribbon we sewed on at the back zipper) the waist fit in every case. The bodice fit all girls well, with the exception of one girl it was just too big on. Because there were vertical seams over the bust we were able to easily take in the dress through the bust for a final perfect fit.