Review: Gap Tweed Bell Dress (w/ suggested alterations)

Dress: Gap Colorblock Bell Dress sz 0 Petite (buy in reg, tall, or petite w/ GAPLINE for 25% off)
Heels: Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps sz 5 (suede from last season)

Happy Saturday, readers! Just a quick little review on a Gap combo dress I picked up this month.

- Fully lined, decent quality
- Affordable, esp with coupons and sales
- Back zip closure makes side alterations easy

- Fit is pretty decent for a 0P, however is a tad roomy in the armholes and bust
- Bust darts are too low for where my chest actually is
- Lining is too long and keeps peeking out (maybe it's just mine?)
- I wish the bodice part were knit / ponte instead
The top feels like a stretch cotton/poplin material, and the bottom is a thicker textured tweed.
Thankfully, most of my "dislikes" are fixable. The lining can be shortened if you're handy with hems, and the armhole and bust problems can be addressed with a simple shortening of the straps, like so:
After simply shortening the straps, the end result is:
- Smaller armholes
- More fitted across the back
- Bust darts move up closer to my actual chest
- Higher waistline (you may or may not like this)
My verdict? I'm too lazy to sew this month, and this dress wasn't love at first sight, so I'll probably return. See this dress also reviewed by Ping, who is about the same size. If you're looking for a fairly classic sheath dress with a nice texture, this is an affordable option.

Readers - did anyone else pick up this dress? What do you think?


  1. This is not related to the current post but to the teal H&M blazer. Check out this ebay link and read the description - your blog content is selling stuff on ebay!

  2. Thanks for the review - I like your alteration suggestions!

  3. Despite the fact that, since you've reviewed it, I KNOW that this dress wouldn't fit me before alterations, I still really like it. Is it more of a navy blue color or grey? I Can't really tell.

    I think it looks nice on you but I agree that if you don't love it, leave it. Thanks for the review though!

  4. When you have doubts always return it n get something you love.

  5. I actually ordered the bell dress in all black in size 0. I haven't gotten it yet, but I'm hoping it fits okay, considering it just didn't work out for you and Ping! I'll have to keep your alterations in mind and will have to do a review post on my blog.

    Thanks for the alterations suggestions, I would have never thought that simply shortening the sleeves would make it look like you altered it all over! :)

  6. Thanks for the review. I didn't see that dress at my Gap....maybe I didn't look hard enough. I really do like it and it looks nice on you. With the thick tweed style it falls for my "winter" wears and I could see a good pair up with some sheer black hose, black shoes, and black blazer......I'm glad you did this post because I've been looking for a nice professional looking dress....and I really don't like 2 piece skirt outfits. Thanks. :)

  7. Agreed with your decision. It looks like something you could easily replicate from items that you already own =).

  8. this looks nice on you (if altered) & i like the color combo on it. too bad it didn't work out though. it's odd that the lining is popping out....

  9. jean-- very nice detailed review and all the alteration suggestions are very helpful! when i first tried it on, i thought it looked great. it wasn't until i reviewed my pics and thought, not so much. lol!

  10. I ordered this dress after seeing it on a few other bloggers but now I'm thinking I should've ordered size 0 instead of 2.

    I agree with you that the top would've been better in another material but I'll see how it looks when it arrives.

    How would you style the dress? With a cardigan?

  11. THANK YOU for the alteration suggestions! I just received my order for the bell dress in black (my first EVER LBD!) and I did find the bust a little low. I might try to take up the straps but will have to see if that also fixes the gaping at the back. Wish Gap would offer petite sizes in stores already!

  12. it's pretty but yeah, it is big in certain areas.

  13. I would return too. It looks like the dress requires too much work, although it is cute.

  14. I noticed that many of your heels are Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps. Are these heels comfortable? Would you recommend them for a person that is on their feet most of the day?

  15. had the same problems. cute dress but don't love and fit could be better.

  16. @NS Omigoodness! Those silly eBayers...first they steal photos and now text. Thank you for sharing : )

    @Jackie Jackie, the top is a navy blue and the bottom is more gray.

    @Rites of Beauty Hmm, I think cardigan or gray/navy blazer.

    @Susan I find them to be pretty comfortable! If you're on your feet most of the day though, I personally can't imagine being in thin high heels. I'm on my tush most of the day and don't walk much in heels at all (I change into flats to commute), so I can't recommend from personal experience whether or not they'd be comfy!

  17. I think it looks great on you! I hope you keep it :)

  18. I just bought this dress on sale ($15 after 40% off!!!) and am planning on making the exact same alterations. I am a little bigger than a size 0, so I picked up a medium. My torso is a good inch shorter than average, so I have the common problem of tops fitting strangely. I was actually looking for a matching tweed blazer or jacket to go over the dress to match, but it looks like they didn't make it to be a suit-type outfit. Still love it for $15...!

    Elly W


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