A few weeks ago, I ordered this little number in the quest for a spring cocktail dress. This was before my DIY transformation success with the H&M mint dress, and now that I have that for half the price - I can't really justify keeping this one. I just didn't expect to love it so much!
This dress combines features from two of my favorite old pieces - it has the striking cerulean blue color of my Banana Republic sheath, and a flirty silhouette like my H&M cocktail dress...
Surprise! I had the hem pinned up six inches, so please pardon the uneven hem. Just by looking at ASOS' stock photo, I doubt many of you would consider this dress with its flapping long skirt, huge provocative slit, and flat-looking torso. However, when one is faced with limited options, developing an eye for potential is critical.
I browsed online for quite a bit, and anything "fancier" yet affordable in a potentially petite-friendly size was either too trendy, too junior prom, or bridesmaid-y. I wanted something elegant, yet modern and chic for preferably around $50 (UPDATE: I got this dress a few weeks ago at the marked-down price of $60 plus an additional discount code. When I published this post, it was still $60, but is somehow now back at the full price of $80). Here it is with the hem pinned up again:
Having ordered from ASOS before, I know that they don't use petite models even for petite-exclusive items. The slit in the stock photo goes almost up to the model's crotch, but I suspected it'd be more modest on me. I just needed to inspect the dress in person to see how feasible a hem job would be.
This dress is made of a medium-weight knit material and is unlined. A hem job should be fairly easy to do, or should cost around $15 to get done. The shape of this dress is reminiscent of the 2011 tailored pencil dresses that some of you are familiar with, but this one is so much more comfortable and flattering around the hips (no puffed tulip shape). The key here is a stretchy material that holds it's structure yet still lets you breathe. My 2011 pencil dresses have no stretch, and compress my chest and ribs after meals.
For a fast fashion brand like ASOS, I'm very pleased with the fit and construction of this dress. My US Petite 1 / UK Petite 4 (smallest available) fits me like a glove and measures 11.5" across the waist, 15" across the chest, 14.5" from the top of the shoulder to the waistline, and 40" total length. As seen below, the peplum skirt is lined and stuffed with a slightly stiffer material to help keep its shape.
As much as I absolutely adore this dress, I sadly don't need it now that I have my H&M one (which I spent too much time altering to give up). I don't have many occasions for rocking something like this, and my closet space is limited. If you're looking for a dress for a spring cocktail party or wedding, I highly recommend trying this and getting it hemmed to the right length (I think this can look fab as below-the-knee too). For someone like me with no natural curves, the silhouette of this dress can do wonders and will be sure to turn heads.
I also ordered the long sleeve belted wrap dress, another petite exclusive. I'll show some photos of it later.
Readers - What do you think of peplum hems? I own quite a few peplum pieces, but don't see it very often on others in real life.