When I first tried on this dress, I was in love with the classic silhouette. It reminds me of something Victoria Beckham would wear and is reminiscent of the ASOS pencil dress I got in two colors, except this one is lined, has stretch, is less poofy at the hips, and costs quite a bit less. I also love the color (a true, preppy kelly green) which is flattering against many skin tones.
Here I am experimenting with the double-placket blouse layered on top. What do you guys think? Weird or do-able? The greens are a perfect match and I like that it almost looks like a shirt dress.
I will warn you guys though that this dress has it's issues and will not be flattering on every body type. After bringing it home and carefully examining the quality and fit, this is what I noted...
1. As with many H&M dresses, the torso is cut snug and narrow. A size 2 measures 14.5" across the chest, 12" across the waist and fits me snugly there, but there is room to give in the hip area. When fully zipped, the back is pulled completely taught on me (notice small lines or "pulls" are starting to form at my lower back) and will look unflattering and bulgy if you're not wearing the right size up top. I don't know if a size 2 will comfortably accommodate chests larger than 32A or B (for reference, I am now a 30A).
If you're buying this dress, make sure to check your back view. A photo is my favorite way...mirrors can deceive but photos don't lie!
2. The material is thin and may show lines underneath. The material feels like a thin crepe fabric with stretch (97% poly, 3% elastane) and is fully lined in a stretchy polyester knit. If you look at my very first photo, the inside lining on the chest area is showing through. I'll have to iron it out and make sure to wear seamless undergarments with this dress.
3. The neckline is too low-cut for work. Cleavage-mania! Unless I wear a cami underneath (which would certainly take away from the classic lines of this dress) or wear a blouse over it, I would not be able to wear this on a day-to-day basis for work. It'd be a nice dress for other occasions though, like parties or showers or meals out.
4. Length - how much to hem? My natural instinct was to shorten this dress to my usual formula of 2" above the knee. However, after playing around with pins, I found that this dress looks better and more elegant, balanced and sleek with a longer skirt. I'm showing the dress here with nude heels which has the most elongating effect possible - but I must keep in mind that this length will not look nearly as flattering if I'm wearing flat shoes.
My final pin was slightly above the knee (shown below) but I'm still not sure if it's right. If I choose to hem, it will take a bit of effort to DIY since there is lining and a black slit, which will have to be closed completely.
Verdict: Despite the issues, I love the color and silhouette of this dress. For $35, I decided to pick it up and blogsale later if it does not get enough wear. I like how Elle wore it with trench and brown, but bare-legged days are definitely over in the Northeast.
Readers - What do you think of this dress? Where do you advise hemming it to?