I’ve received a few questions about this ASOS dress, and wanted to share some quick thoughts...
Length: This is labeled as a "midi" dress, despite being shown to hit above the model's knees. I used to alter my skirts / dresses to 2 inches above the knees without a second thought, but lately have been gravitating towards a longer hemline. I especially like them with either higher-waisted items (to visually lengthen the leg line), or with fitted pieces (to add some conservatism - ie. love this printed option).
For this dress, I experimented with all sorts of lengths before deciding on right at the knees (about 1" shorter than option #2 below). Below the knee was a little truncating even with my highest heels, and above the knee seemed too casual. I used this old formula as a guide, and chose the length that showed equal parts skirt and lower leg (lengthened 4 inches here by nude pumps).
Material & Design: Although the banded look of this ASOS dress is presumably modeled after Herve Leger bandage dresses, I imagine that the material weight and quality does not compare (must also factor in that it's a fraction of the price)...
I have not tried any Herve Leger dresses personally, but from what I hear, the banded material is thick and sturdy. This supposedly aids in the "compression" effect (like built-in shapewear) for holding in trouble areas and enhancing curves. The poly/elastane blend material of the ASOS is thin and slightly see-through if you wear contrasting underwear. However, when pulled taut like it is here with no zipper, it nevertheless does have some compression and curve-enhancing effects.
Sizing & Fit: The dress is labeled as a “bodycon” style, which implies a very tight intended fit. I’m not quite used to wearing skin-tight items, therefore wavered between two sizes for the longest time. I usually wear between US1 and US2 for ASOS, but debated between US2 and US 4 for this dress. Here were some of the differences (for reference, I'm about 5 feet tall and 92 lbs):
US 2– Very fitted throughout and had to squirm to get it on (*tip – put this dress on by stepping into it and pulling up, versus pulling it down over your head. I learned this the hard way and had to thrash around with my shoulders stuck. If you have shapewear bottoms, that will help the dress slide on more easily). The snug all-around fit created some cleavage and a slight hourglass shape for a body with minimal natural curves. In the 1st photo of this post, I am trying on the size US 2 with the hem folded up.
Left: US 4 vs. Right: US 2
US 4 – Fitted but not like a second skin. Did not “compress” the body like the size 2, which made me feel more at ease, but on the other hand lost some of the intended bodycon effect. It gave me less of a “lift" in the bust, pretty much no cleavage, and less waist/hip definition. The shoulder straps were also too long and kept slipping down.
Left: US 4 vs. Right: US 2
Final choice: After going back and forth a few too many times, I ended up sizing up to the US 4 and performing the following alterations:
1. Shortened the skirt length
2. Tapered the skirt for a more pencil-shaped silhouette
3. Took in the waist
4. Shortened the shoulder straps
Since the dress is unlined, the alterations were not complicated but did take me some time. The end result is fitted with less clingy-ness at the bum (my main reason for sizing up), but the bosom-enhancing effects of a smaller size were lost. If you don't mind a very snug silhouette, I suggest going with your usual size and rocking it with confidence : )
Readers - What is your preferred length for a dress like this? Below, at, or above the knee?