Normally, the May issue is the “summer dress” issue. While there are certainly some dress options this month, it really feels more like the “top and skirt” edition of the May issue. Possibly this could be a really practical edition of the magazine that will be enjoyed by the masses, but I am… not overwhelmingly obsessed with any of these new styles. Still, there is much to see, so let’s take a look:
There aren’t a lot of jackets as we head into summer, but we do get a few options:
116 – This is a relaxed fit jacket that could be a lightweight cover for whatever chilly spring nights we are able to spend outside. I do like the topstitching details and the sleek style. I’m not sure I’d want to wear this sort of silhouette for myself, but I think this could be a fun option for anyone who likes this style.
119 – Heading into summer Burda isn’t giving us a lot of options for jackets, but we do have this sporty vest. I like the hood and the defined waist. I think that this could be a cute cover up for a swimsuit or for a sporty workout look. It’s not the most innovative design, but it does offer a very RTW style.
We have a bit more variety in the dress department this month:
122 – I can’t decide how I feel about this dress. I like the line drawing; the gathering is really pretty and I like the raglan sleeves, but on the model the sleeves look a bit more voluminous than I would have anticipated. I do think that Burda has done a great job of photographing this dress on the model, but I’m a bit less sold on feeling the need to make this dress for myself.
118 – The dress version of the vest from above. I think this could be cute if you are into the sporty/athleisure look. I like the contrasting lining on the hood – I think that is a really fun detail.
109 – I’m not usually a ruffle girl, but I do think this dress is rather pretty. I think Burda’s styling choices for the two versions are really smart – I’m not sure I necessarily agree that this is the most logical dress style to be worn with neon sneakers, but I can get behind the idea of a versatile pattern that can go from casual to elegant depending on fabric choice.
107 – While this is the sort of dress silhouette I typically respond to, I don’t think this one is particularly exciting. I’m not a fan of the tiny strap ruffles, but without that there isn’t too much to this design. It’s one of those styles that’s fine, but not exciting.
112 – This dress is another style that isn’t particularly exciting. I know fashion “comes back around” but this reminds me so much of “80s Bridemaid” styling that I just can’t get behind it. I mean, to be fair, Burda hasn’t done that much with the styling to help me visualize it in a “modern” aesthetic, so I’m just sort of left having flashbacks to my childhood.
121 – We do get a Vintage reprint dress this month! I think this dress is cute – I like the bodice detail that makes it look a bit more like a jacket/skirt combo rather than a dress. It’s maybe not something I feel the need to make for myself, but I do always love to look at the details from the vintage patterns.
Moving on, we get a lot of options for early summer tops as well:
104 – Despite my previous lack of ruffle enthusiasm, I must admit that I do not hate them here. I actually think this top is really cute and would be a very nice spring/summer options. I think it could look great with pants, shorts, capris, or even a pencil skirt, which actually makes it quite versatile. I think the ruffle proportions are very nice, and I like the added waist definition.
103 – I like this more simplified version of the top quite a bit as well. The peplum look is fun, but not too pronounced, and I like the silhouette it creates with the slightly elongated sleeves.
106 & 105 – Interestingly, I don’t really care for this strongly geometric top in the line drawings or garment photos, but I love the image of the white version on the model. I guess it goes to show the power of a white shirt? I do think it is is nice to see how the pink version (style 106) has a more casual summery vibe, whereas the white version (105) has a more formal feel with only subtle changes to the pattern.
120 – I love this top! The curved hem and contrasting detail are beautiful, and I love the way it sort of gracefully flips open to reveal the armhole. Out of everything this month, this is the one design that might find it’s way onto my ever-growing and never-shrinking list! It’s cute, summery, and looks like it could be a fun top to sew.
113 – I’m not sure I love this top on the model, but I do think it looks nice in the garment photo. Again, I’m not really into the whole ruffle trend, but I actually like the proportions of the open V-neck, cropped sleeves, and slightly ruffled hem.
111 – This is a nice tank top with spaghetti straps. I think it might not be a popular style (I know I’m interested in more bra-friendly options these days), but I do like the covered button detail here – it’s a fun way to elevate an otherwise unremarkable tank top. I also like the spaghetti straps – even though it is highly unlikely I would wear them, I think they are also a really lovely detail.
108 – Burda described this as a top/jacket. I think the collar is a fun detail, and I’m sort of digging the vaguely 60-ish vibe I’m getting from the style. It looks like peplums are coming back into fashion somewhat, though perhaps not as large or as flouncy as in the mid-2010s. The waistlines for all of the peplum tops in this issue seem to be rather high as well – something to keep in mind if you are really long waisted.
115 – I like this top. I think that on it’s own it is maybe not the most exciting thing, but I think it could be really versatile and could easily be worn under a jacket for, well, not office visits at the moment, but for important Zoom calls certainly. I really appreciate being able to see this as both a print and a solid; I think this is one of those versatile patterns that would work really well in either fabrication.
And we get a decent mix of bottoms this month to go with our new tops (well, as long as you define “mix” as a variety of skirts):
110 – I like this skirt. The silhouette is a pretty standard A-line, but I like the detail options Burda has on the pleat. The buttons are fun, and I also really like the topstitching detail on the bright red-orange version.
102 – This skirt is also pretty fun. I like how the flounce adds just enough length to prevent it from being a really short mini skirt. I also think the button detail has been super popular lately, and it’s fun to see it on a silhouette other than a half- or full circle skirt.
101 – I think I like this longer pencil skirt variation even more though! I love the button details, and I think the pocket flaps are pretty fantastic as well. I predict this will be a super popular pattern from this issue.
114 – Ok, so this is a pretty boring/basic skirt pattern but I think Burda has done a great job of styling it. I’m not sure I love the floral with the stripe, but I do appreciate seeing this in a really bold print, and I love the monochrome look in the navy. It’s perhaps not the most exciting pattern, and anyone with a decently large back stock of Burda magazines will have something similar, but I think it’s a great option if you want something simple and versatile.
117 – So these balloon pants are the only non-skirt option we get this month. Interestingly, one of my favorite YouTubers did a full video about how to style these sorts of pants, so I think this confirms the suspicion that this is going to be a trend for at least part of 2020. I expect to see more of these styles coming out from Burda. And, well, maybe I have been influencer-enced, but I actually don’t hate these. I mean, I think if I’d seen these in a pre-COVID world I’d be a bit more skeptical, but now that my hips are rapidly expanding from lack of extreme activity, I can sort of get behind this shape. And I think they sort of make sense for that athleisure vibe that Burda is going for in one of it’s spreads. So, yeah. I can get behind these pants. Please feel free to tel me all the reasons I’m wrong down in the comments.
Sadly, the Burda Plus section isn’t terribly exciting this month:
124 – It’s sort of like it can’t decide if it wants to be a dress or a tunic. I feel like I want to like this, but I’m just really bored. Maybe if it was in a more exciting color…? But no, even with the line drawing I’m bored.
127 – Another pattern that’s a bit basic, though I have to admit I rather like it. I think having the bust dart come from under the cut on sleeves is an interesting way to get shaping in a basic style. I also like the elongated hem length and the shape of the V-neck.
126 – These pants are not quite the exaggerated shape of the other pants in this issue, but they sort of hint at that shaping. I do like the in-seam pocket placement – it looks very ergonomic for those of us who love to smash hands in pockets.
125 – I’m less excited by this button down blouse. It just looks… rather generic? I feel like there are so many patterns out there for the exact same thing. Though I will admit that it does look like a practical top to wear during very hot summer days, especially if it were made out of a nice linen.
128 – The wrap top doesn’t look like much in the line drawing, but I think Burda has done a great job of styling it. I’m really digging all of the monochromatic looks in this issue; maybe that’s something I should play with when I find the motivation to wear something other than Doctor Who pajamas the whole day.
123 – I think this might be my favorite design in the Burda Plus section this month. I LOVE the topstitching detail around the hem of the skirt. I also think the asymmetric buttons are a great detail as well.
The kids section feels a bit smaller than usual:
129, 130, 131 – I never have much to say about the kids section, but this feels a bit more lackluster than usual? But it is pretty clear that ruffles are a trend, regardless of the age of the wearer.
And that’s it! Which means it is time to pick the Best of BS for May 2020:
The yellow swoosh tank top! Truly, out of everything in this issue, this is the one design that felt really unique and special. I love the way the contrasted binding/hem detail drapes around the silhouette of the top. There are certain patterns that I think of as being “iconic” for Burda, and I think this could definitely be one of those iconic Burda images.
Of course, we can’t have a best without a worst. This month I have decided to give the BWTF award to:
The Burda Plus tunic/dress. Really, this isn’t a bad pattern, but there aren’t really any bad patterns in this issue. It sort of came down to which pattern looked the most boring. I mean, to be fair, based on line drawings I probably would have made a different choice, but Burda’s styling did come into play with deciding the bottom design this month.
And with that another month is in the books! Overall I have to admit that I’m a bit underwhelmed by this issue. The May issue used to be one of the premiere issues of the year, with what felt like a never ending parade of fabulous spring/summer dresses. I’m sort of intrigued to see Burda changing it up this year, offering a lot more separates, but I can’t say I’m as impressed with the actual result. None of the patterns are bad, but none of them feel overly exciting either? I don’t know, perhaps it’s the quarantine getting to me, but I’m just not that impressed with the issue on the whole. I do like some of the styling, and I like a few of the individual designs, but I’m just not invigorated to sew when I look at this issue as a whole. But what do you all think? Is this your idea of a perfect spring/summer transitional wardrobe? Or do you miss the more fantastical May dress issue from days of yore? Are you looking forward to sewing things to wear for when we all get out of quarantine? Or are you sewing all PJs all the time and can’t be bothered to think about real clothes until we know when we are getting back to “real” life? Discuss it all in the comments!