Monday, September 17, 2012
During Labor Day weekend, I accompanied my friend to the outlet mall with no intention of buying anything. The stores were a blur to me, (with the exception of Theory, at which I pet the soft leather jackets for an extended period of time) and the merchandise quality and deals were underwhelming. I passively tried on this drapey dress at the Ann Taylor factory to kill time, and ended up really liking it.
If carefully assessed, the dress is not exceptional in quality nor fit. However, there were many aspects of it that I loved individually and saw potential in.
Fit: The outlets carry down to XXSP, of which the overall fit was roomy on me. I planned on taking in the sides from the chest and waist down to the bottom hem, however the garment construction made it more difficult than I anticipated. The skirt half of this dress is lined, and the lining is connected at the waist. I decided to leave the torso alone (and address it with a waist belt), and only slim and taper the bottom half:
Recently, I've been going back to a number of my skirts and dresses and finding myself unsatisfied with the shape at the bottom. A straight-cut skirt like this one looks fine, but after a tiny bit of tapering, the resulting pencil silhouette is more feminine and shapely. I leave the excess material just in case tastes change in the future. And oops, I really need to shorten the sleeves on this jacket versus hoisting them up with large safety pins.
Quality: The material of this dress is a thin rayon/metallic fiber blend, and as mentioned previously, only the bottom half is lined in polyester knit. A slip or shapewear bottoms may be necessary despite the lining, as I noticed seams and contours showing through. I'm wearing a mid-thigh length slip in these photos and you can still see the outline of the slip hem slightly. Tag says dry clean, but I plan on hand-washing in cold water.
I've worn this dress to work a few times and the material does not wrinkle after a day of wear, but it does form creases when folded up in a drawer. The material is stretchy and comfortable for long work days.
Price: Factory retail was $99, marked down to $64.99. I purchased it on a 40% off day (seems to happen quite often there) and I had an extra 10% off coupon. Total paid was $35. Factory stores do take orders over the phone and ship to homes, if you have the item # (286554).
Other details: What really drew me to this dress was the Grecian-inspired draping, and the soft taupe color (with just a hint of metallic) that pairs easily. I also appreciated the not-too-low cowl neck, the dolman sleeves, and the small pleats on both shoulders. I love the silhouette of a slightly loose upper balanced out with a more fitted, tapered bottom. Cinched with a waist belt, the overall vibe of this dress feels almost glamorous.