el cheapo · Keepin' it real

Day 340: It’s here!

The doorbell rang half an hour ago. Under my watch, E answered and accepted the package: a flat box wrapped in plastic.

I opened it up to find my dress, wrapped in tissue paper, and a surprise gift: a tape measure and a face mask.

I had to try it on right away; if not for me, then for E who insisted it must be time for a “fashion show.” So upstairs I trudged to swap my sweats and t-shirt for my new trapeze-hem shift dress.

Here were my first impressions:

The fabric. You guys, this cotton knit is so comfortable that I didn’t want to take it off! It’s a nice thick knit: definitely not any chance of being see-through, and it drapes beautifully without being clingy. I love it.

The pockets. The dress I chose has a huge kangaroo pocket in the front which is pretty much invisible if my hands aren’t in it. My only complaint here is that the pocket is too low for me to comfortably rest my hands in it. That said, its location ensures that you really can’t see any bulges when the pocket is full, so I guess that’s a win.

The quality of the work. The stitching looks good to me. No complaints here.

The fit. Here’s where it gets a bit confusing for me. The dress fits, and is very comfortable. The sleeves are exactly what I ordered—elbow length—so the fact that I don’t love how they look is really my problem, not theirs. To me, the hem is lower than “just below the knee.” Would you agree? And the silhouette is fine, but if I take it in just a little bit at the back it’s definitely more flattering. The sleeves are another thing: on the website they looked quite fitted, but on me they’re kind of loose.

The dress as is. Kind of looks like a beach cover-up. Super comfy though.
The dress if I take in just a few inches around the natural waist. A much nicer shape, I think. Does the length look to you like “below the knee” or “mid-calf”?
This is what it looked like on the website when I ordered it.

I’m not quite sure what to do: return or keep? They have a no-hassle return policy, even for the custom-sized dresses. I could probably re-order with different hem and sleeve lengths and it would be a bit better, or I could order a different style that has more shape. On the downside, I’d have to pay return shipping to Oregon, which would probably set me back at least $30. At that point, is it worth returning? Or should I shorten it and take it in a bit and chalk it up to a learning experience? And are the things I don’t like about it really the manufacturer’s fault, or did I just pick a style that isn’t exactly as flattering as I’d like?

I took the dress off because I still might return it. But I so wanted to keep it on because it was by far the most comfortable dress I’ve tried on in years.

So, readers, what should I do with this dress?

2 thoughts on “Day 340: It’s here!

  1. Ooh, pretty! I vote keep it and modify it just a little bit – with it taken in just that little bit in the back it looks great. I’d also call that length “just below the knee” as advertised…but I guess there are a few inches of wiggle room there. Basically…you didn’t want to take it off…and it looks cute…so why on earth pay extra money to send it back?

    I’ve ordered a couple dresses from them, and I’ve been about as happy with all of them as you seem to be with this one. I think their models are all super tall & skinny…and then the dresses just never look quite the same when I put them on. But when I wear them I get compliments. So I think it might just be getting your expectations aligned right?

  2. I personally (for me) am not a boatneck fan but that neckline looks better on you than it would on me. Take in at the back/waist. The tiny bit like you show. I LIKE the looseness in sleeve, makes your arms look thin and I hate sausage arm sleeves. Above all, COMFORT and POCKET!!!! Keep it.
    Put a broach or longish necklace with it to give it some light.

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