Review: My experience shopping Dorothy Perkins Petites

Update – I would caution non-UK based customers against shopping at DP given the poor customer service. Unfortunately, after sending back my returns according to their instructions, it took over 35 emails from me over a span of 3 months to receive any sort of assistance regarding a refund from them. Their customer service is outsourced and only reply about once a week, often with one-sentence, automated messages stating that they cannot help. Since this post, I have also received numerous emails from readers sharing DP customer service horror stories covering a wide variety of issues. I apologize to anyone who may have ordered from DP based on this post of mine and experienced customer service issues.

After reading Sydney’s post about the UK retailer Dorothy Perkins, I was very intrigued by their petite offerings in size 0P-14P. I signed up for emails to get a 15% coupon code, then ordered a small assortment of items (blouse, blazer, dress, and pants) to try on for quality and fit.
Before I delve into details, some overarching notes: sizing and quality is similar to other UK fast-fashion retailers Asos and Topshop (but lower prices than the latter). The Petite 0’s I’ve tried from all three brands fit similar to H&M; sz 2, and feel smaller on me than American size 00Ps. Thus, I would suggest sizing up from your usual American clothing size. Shipping to the US and return shipping are not free (when I ordered, they were having a free ship over $75 promo). We are spoiled by ASOS’s policy – which I now realize is very generous and convenient for an international retailer.
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Petite Chain Link Sheer Blouse – Now $27 from $49 plus get extra 15% off from emails

Thoughts: I am a sucker for chain print and really liked the easy-to-wear cut of this blouse. The yellow and blush pink colors were soft and feminine. I was slightly surprised by how sheer it was but that can be addressed with a skin-colored bra (which I have on in the photos) or under tank. My favorite details were the double-placket buttons down the front and small collar, which adds a pop of print when layered. Fit was “casual” (but not oversized), and the length worked well even un-tucked.
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Measurements: My 0P measured 16″ across throughout, 22″ front length, 23″ back length.
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Verdict: I liked many things about this top and debated over keeping. However, with my slowly-but-surely-growing wardrobe, I couldn’t see myself getting enough wears in to justify the price I paid ($41.65). I just went back online and saw that the price was cut to $27 (and eligible for the 15% off newsletter coupon). I would have kept it for that price.

Next up, my favorite item from my order was this white linen blazer, but it was not perfect as-is.
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Petite Ivory Linen Jacket – $69 (also in tan)

Thoughts: I’ve been looking for a new white, classic, single-button blazer. I couldn’t have asked for a better fit in the torso – this blazer was slim cut and contoured to my upper body, but not so tight that it was pulling across the back…

Even without a vent, the back view was flattering on me. The quality was good for the price with lightly textured linen fabric and was fully lined in 100% cotton. The sleeves were slightly wide (but that’s something I’ve gotten used to taking in), and were also ruched up with additional button detailing in the back. They would only be 3/4 length even if I let down the ruching, and I had my heart set on full-length sleeves.
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Measurements: My 0P measured 13″ across shoulders when using just the seams, but 14″ with light shoulder pads included. 20″ length down back, 16″ sleeve length, 16″ across armpits, 13.25″ across waist when buttoned up, and 5.25″ across sleeves.
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Verdict: I hemmed and hawed over keeping this jacket as it was the best white summer blazer candidate I found so far. I had tried on others and didn’t love either the roomy fit, quality, or price points. In the end I couldn’t look past the sleeves, thus returned.

I also ordered two items which I didn’t bother take clear photos in:

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Petite Floral Pocket Dresswas $69 now $39

This dress called out to me online, but when I saw the print in person it was drab and mediocre on me. The quality was good at 100% cotton and fit me very similar to how ASOS petite tulip dresses fit (except my chest wasn’t compressed here). The torso area worked well on me all-around, but the hips have a few inches of extra room due to the pleats and tulip silhouette. Even though this dress was a quick return decision for me, I am glad to now have some gauge on how their petite-sized dresses fit, for future reference.

Dress in 0P measured 15″ across the armpit, 12″ across the waist, 13″ torso length, 19.5″ skirt length, and 17-18″ across tulip hips.
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Petite Cotton Sateen Capri Pants (comes in 4 colors), now $27

Lastly…these pants which looked unspeakably bad on me. The waist and hips were slim, but
the legs were also narrow – I believe the snugness of the calf area contributed to the pants constantly bunching up on me with every step. I also didn’t like the slight sheen of cotton sateen. These were a definite return.

Pants in 0P measured 13″ across waist, 8″ rise, 16.5″ across hips, and 23″ inseam.

Clothing quality aside, some other notes from my first shopping experience with DP:
Processing & Shipping: I placed my order 6/25 evening. It shipped on 6/27 and I received it 6 business days later. Even though there was free tracking, it was very inconvenient to dig around for the tracking # link. Packaging was a large plastic mailer bag like ASOS, but all items arrived on hangers.

Customer Service: Literally one day after I placed my order using a 15% coupon code for signing up for emails, I received a new promo via email for 20% off. I immediately contacted customer service asking if they could make an adjustment. After writing a few more times (first got a generic automated response that didn’t resolve a thing, then some long delays before real human responses in strange English), no one ever resolved my inquiry.

Returns: Returns are accepted within 14 days of package receipt. You need to go online and obtain an RMA returns number to write on your order slip. Cost is out-of-pocket, and for me it was over $16 to return four items to the UK via untracked, uninsured airmail. I absolutely dread waiting in line at the post office on a Saturday, but I chalked that time and cost up to “experimentation.”

All in all, I’m pleased to know that the sizing of DP petites has potential. The quality in my opinion was fair for the price, but it may differ based on the fabric. I would order from this store again if I were really in love with the design of an item and fairly sure it would work out (to avoid the cost and hassle of returns), but I would not pay retail because they have a promo going on every other week.

On a last note – if you can wear regular sizing (2-18, which again I suspect run a little smaller than typical American sizes), the selection is much more extensive. Here are some dresses in reg sizing only that I was eying – would have ordered the ivory sheath if sizes weren’t sold out.

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Readers – Have you ever shopped this brand? If so, please share your experiences or tips!
 

62 thoughts on “Review: My experience shopping Dorothy Perkins Petites

  • Unknown July 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    If you do lots of shipping and returns, if you purchase your shipping and materials (free!) on the USPS website – you can avoid the wait at the post office!

  • PetiteAsianGirl July 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I did used to enjoy that service for some domestic shipping, however I asked and they don't allow that for international packages due to custom forms.

  • dietingfashions July 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I have heard of Dorothy Perkins, and I have noticed many bloggers modeling really cute clothing from that particular retailer. I have not shopped due to mainly convenience.

    Shipping things back are exactly what I dread. Getting refunds + cost of time in transit, you could look at a month until you get your refund.

    For international brands, I like to watch Ebay for deals. It's pretty much hit or miss if you want the style you're looking for though.

    Helen

  • dietingfashions July 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    If you know someone with a stamps.com account, the custom forms are built into the stamps.com postal label. I don't know if Endicia has that feature but I would assume so since both companies pretty much mirror in features.

    Helen

  • lululocket July 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Ooh, a brand I know! I live in England!
    DP has some gems for workwear occasionally, but the quality is not that great – slightly better than H&M; with decent seams usually, but they sometimes take lazy shortcuts like not lining dresses or skirts which renders a light and breezy summer fabric see-through and unwearable.

    I liked the blazer a lot, but the 3/4 sleeves can be limiting if you have long sleeve tops.

    Also, on English sizing, I think you may have missed the correct 'translation'. English sizes are 2 smaller, so a UK 10 = US 6. I'm sure that at the smaller end the sizes get a bit more random, but in principle if you are in US 00, that would be a UK 2. Maybe that explains why you feel a UK 0 comes up smaller than expected – it's a US 000!

  • Rebecca July 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I had a similar experience to yours with Dorothy Perkins. I ordered quite a few items at acceptable prices, but I found the sizing to be inconsistent with different items. A cardigan, which I kept, fit well in a 2, but a blouse in the same size was uncomfortably small. I too ordered and returned the chain print blouse. Because of the unwieldy and expensive return process and an issue with customer service I doubt I will order from them again.

  • Jane July 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Cute clothes, but given the inconvenience, I wouldn't go to the trouble.

  • Pretty in Pink July 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    i've been wondering about this brand after seeing it all over the internet the past few weeks. thanks for the review!

  • PetiteAsianGirl July 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Hi lululocket! Thanks for sharing your insight as a UK native : )

    I just went to the site again, and there is a disclaimer saying all the sizes listed on the US site (and thus, the sizes listed in my post) have already been translated into US sizing. So even after their conversion from UK to US sizing, a US 0P / UK 4 from DP still fits smaller than 00P from a US brand like LOFT.

  • Vivian July 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I really like how the outfit looks overall… But what are your thoughts on dips in the back? Is it ok to be worn untucked? There's so much tops I like with that dip in the back and haven't bought because I don't know how to wear it. LOL

  • Mere M. July 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I've never ordered from DP online, but when I was at Oxford last year, I popped into their store every now and then. I was never impressed enough with the quality to buy much, but I did buy a black pencil skirt for my matriculation that fit me requiring alterations–something I'd never experienced with my 23" waist. (That said, it was sort of trashy looking. I think it was the kind of thing you wear with a tube top for clubbing but I wore it under sub-fusc robes so hopefully it was okay?) Thank you for posting about your experience!

  • Liz July 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I had been eyeing that purplish dress! I'm a bit bigger on the bottom than you, so I might get it! Can you share the 20% code or is it a personal code? If you can, please share! I'll order today…

  • Beth July 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I've been wondering about this brand. Seen them a lot lately. Really cute stuff. Sorry to hear about the disappointing shipping fees/customer service.

  • Anne July 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    i love the shorts you're wearing in the first few pictures! where did you get it from? and as usual, i love your thorough reviews of these new brands–i always check your posts for sizing suggestions and special deals!

  • patience July 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    i discovered dorothy perkins in april 2012 and since then i have purchased about 15 dresses. i absolutely love this brand. it's not always Really Well Made but I tend to get tired of close or wear them out in 6 months to a year so the construction is fine for me. Every single dress has fit my body type to a perfect T. I actually have the a-line version of the dress you have posted here. i ADORE the print and get tons of compliments. i like how long it is (since it's not the petite version and i'm 5'4 it's almost tea length but not quite. i'm a bit bigger and so their dresses work GREAT for curves (no idea about pants, i wouldn't order those online 🙁 )

    so glad you've discovered this brand and i hope you shop with them again and hopefully are a bit happier the next time around with the pieces! here's a secret (or not so secret) about DP – you should NEVER buy anything full price. they have a sale every 4 days or so. sometimes it's on just dresses, sometimes it's one day, sometimes it's two weeks. and if you aren't worried about missing out on your size, you can just wait as everything seems to go on sale 🙂

  • patience July 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    ug "clothes" not "close" – silly habit!

  • Anonymous July 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    love the sunglasses. Who makes them?

  • Anonymous July 22, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    What happened to the giveaway?

  • Riani Irawan July 22, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I shopped at Dorothy Perkins several times ago but I did not satisfy with the items I bought. The shoe size were larger than I thought even I already convert it to my US size, still it was too large. I end up giving it to my sister since it fits her very well. I prefer US online shopping like tobi.com or sugarlips.com and such simply because it is easy to return.

  • lin July 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    the giveaway winners were on the previous post.

  • lin July 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    thanks for the thorough reviews. you are always so informative and detailed. too bad the blazer didn't work out. it looked great on you!

  • Ping July 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    jean, you looks so cool in those aviators! aubs told me about dorothy perkins too. i need to check them out when i have a moment. i do agree i am spoiled by companies like asos and nordie with their free shipping. i hate buying stuff that requires me to pay for shipping especially if i end up not keeping the item and have to pay extra to return.

  • Suzie Q July 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks for the detailed review. I haven't heard of DP before but will probably check it out since I like those 3 sheath dresses that you showed that weren't in your size. From afar, the floral dress looks like a cute print, but that hapens to me too sometimes when something looked better in a picture than in person.

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    http://www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

  • Jessica @ Here(and)Now July 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    You have the BEST reviews! I have been eyeing (and pinning) items from Dorothy Perkins for months, but as with the other UK trendy retailers, I was unsure about whether the quality/fit would warrant the hassle about overseas shipping and returns. I might have to take the plunge and experiment with those chic sheath dresses!
    xx
    Here&Now;

  • Caroline July 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Dismal customer service, mediocre quality clothes…my order took 3 months to shp, and my inquiries were never answered by CS. ASOS and J Crew on sale are better options, IMO. Warehouse UK & Boden are two other good alternatives as well.

  • Samantha Elisabeth July 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    On your white linen blazer. I just brought one from a Michael Kors Outlet for $19.99, transfers from the retail store (originally like $140 or $160). I don't know if you live near one, but you can always call around, and they do ship for a $15 charge (it'd still be cheaper and probably better quality than the DP one since you'd have to alter that one anyway). I like how mine fits I'm 5'2" and wear a size six. It's a bit oversize but still cuts nicely (it's longer like at the butt area). I don't know if all MK outlets got them as transfers, but I know the one near me (the Philadelphia Premium Outlets) maybe one or two left in a 0.

  • Christina Perri July 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I haven't shopped this brand before.
    But I love its outfits.
    Beautiful and my daily style.

  • octoberchic.com July 22, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you for being very informative. The floral dress looks beautiful.

    octoberchic.com

  • Anonymous July 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Have you tried Miss Selfridge?? Much better clothes and quality in comparison to DP in my opinion

  • phiphis blog July 22, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    thank you for this review Jean! i once ordered a dress from DP, and it was too small. the return was a stressful bit, as the shipping cost to return the dress was almost as much as the dress itself and it took an eternity to get to the UK. i wouldn't be able to do that kind of shopping again unless i was absolutely sure about the sizing. but since i don't, i will admire it on other bloggers like you! xox P

    phiphisblog.com

  • Eva Wu July 23, 2012 at 12:35 am

    i like your outfit, so simple and casual. great inspiration!

  • Unknown July 23, 2012 at 3:12 am

    But you can! You just have to get those clear international sleeves – you can either ask nicely at a post office or order them through the website. I've been able to ship internationally successfully without waiting in line!

  • AubreyOhDang! July 23, 2012 at 3:17 am

    i haven't been back to the site in a few wks bc when i checked out their petite dresses, there were such limited variety. it seems the regular sz ppl have the best selection.

    great review though on a new petite brand.

  • Mady July 23, 2012 at 7:19 am

    love the white dress…all the pieces are amazing!

    xoxo
    Mady

    thegirlfromthemirror.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous July 23, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Try out miss Selfridge. Its more fitted for petites compared to DP.

  • Anonymous July 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Those aviators don't flatter your face, I think u look much better in your other sunglasses!

  • Anonymous July 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    "Unknown" is correct. If you print the customs forms online using paypal or stamps.com, then you can schedule a USPS pickup at your house or drop it in any blue mailbox. (I've done it a zillion times in Brookline — it does work!)

  • Anonymous July 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    p.s. The link to print with PayPal is below. You don't even need for it to be part of a purchase to print postage.

    https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now

  • Amrita July 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    love these outfits.
    a bit different from the rest of your outfits.

    – fan girl 😀

  • Amy July 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I LOVE LOVE Dorothy Perkins – recently discovered them and have already placed several orders. I wear a US size 00P and so far, everything I've gotten from DP either in a UK size 2 and a few size 0's has worked perfect!! I love how unique and different the styles are. I adore all their dresses. For the record I typically get 95% of my wardrobe from Banana Republic, so DP is a different more fun look for me.

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