1. H&M Trend chartreuse textured knit pleated shift, $39.95, sz 2, item #075199
Leopard "ponyhair" heels: old Calvin Klein (their lower heel version)
I brought two H&M items home without trying them on first, because fitting room lines were out the door. I love many things about the dress above - the color (similar to Ann Taylor's "ripe avocado" skirt) which would look great with bare legs or opaque tights, the sleek pleat in the front and in the back, the cozy thick knit material which was comfy and warm. The fabric is very textured in person, which doesn't come through in these photos.
The fit of this dress is very boxy off the rack and designed for someone taller, so I considered two types of alterations: 1) Hem length and slim sides marginally, to maintain the short shift dress silhouette that it was designed to be. The front and back pleats would also have to be tacked down with thread because they kept falling open and twisting.
Or, 2) Slim sides significantly into pencil dress-style but keep the length...Two types of alterations for two different looks - one more contemporary and chic, and one more work-friendly. Which alteration would you have gone for?
After much debate, I decided this dress wasn't worth the additional work (plus, the fabric smelled strongly of chemicals). I'm trying to be extra discriminatory with H&M purchases, since it's easy to go overboard there with the low price points and frequent new arrivals.
2. H&m burgundy sheath dress, $34.95, sz 2, item #024160 (also in red-orange):
After my friend Ping showcased this dress (see all the ways she styled it), I was very eager to try it on. I love the rich color and the simple sheath cut. The material is a thin crepe fabric with a little bit of stretch, and it is unlined. There was no sz 4 to be found so I brought home a 2 - which unfortunately was too tight and restricting on me for work. It looks fine from the front, but the indentations from my belly button/stomach/thighs were visible from the side, and the chest on me was stretched taught (for reference, I wear 30A).
H&M currently has other thin crepe dresses in 3 colors (white, hot pink, and black) which is the exact same style as this emerald dress from 2011. To me, these dresses represent wasted potential because they made the torso so snug (such that the interface lining shows through clearly) and the neckline low-cut. Below is how a sz 2 looked on me with no wiggle room to spare in the torso:
During my recent visit, I spotted another dress style hanging with the above, but the cut was slightly different. The neckline is noticeably higher, and the skirt seems to be more pencil-shaped. I only saw black this time around:
Below left: higher-neckline pencil dress, Right: same dress as above in white. Both are $34.95.
3. Next up, I've heard great things about Banana Republic's ankle trousers and had to give them a try myself. I love the color options they come in - the Cinnamon, Navy, and Winter Burgundy all have the potential to be work staples. The thicker fabric is great for a work pant and seems like the type that would not wrinkle easily.
Banana Republic Sloan Slim Fit Ankle Pants in Winter Burgundy (7 color options)
Measurements of 00P: 13.5" across waist, 17" across hips, 26" inseam, 5.5" ankle opening, 7" rise.
On my way out, I stopped to fondle the Julie belted sheath (pictured right), which seemed like a more work-appropriate but also more expensive alternative to the H&M burgundy sheath. See it on Phiphi.
Readers - Have you been shopping Fall colors? Please share any good finds or items on your wishlist!