Uniqueen Laila Tweed Dress (3 sizes) c/o - use EXTRAPETITE through 5/2 for 10% off your order
Earlier last year, I met up with Anna of Uniqueen who was visiting town from Toronto. Uniqueen has given me some jackets that I love to pieces (see the No.5 jacket in brown (review), No. 5 jacket in white, and the Malang jacket which is a little roomy/long, yet still gets plenty of wear), but what I like most about working with them is how receptive the small retailer is to feedback and suggestions. I mentioned to Anna that I'd love to see more elegant, quality pieces that are petite-friendly, and also brought up reader feedback about inconsistency amongst sizes. She responded that they would do the best they can to monitor fit consistency (as materials for each piece are cut by hand and not machine), and also offered to manufacture a custom size for my extra petite readers.
Over the past few months, I've had the pleasure of working with Uniqueen's team to tweak this "Laila" dress and make it available in a new size XS (fits similar to H&M sz US 2 / EUR 32, and a tad smaller than American sz 00P). The end product is a classic piece that I see suitable for women of various ages, and can be worn three out of four seasons. The trim adds a tiny bit of edge but is still conservative, and can even be concealed by a collared shirt with the sleeve cuffs folded up. I've worn this a few times already to work, and nearly all the women on my floor have asked where they could find it...
Sizing and fit: This dress is available in XS, S, and M, and runs smaller than western sizing. I am wearing an XS here, and provided Uniqueen measurements for this pattern based on some BR size 00P / ASOS size 0P dresses in my closet. For reference, I am about 5 feet tall, ~92lbs with 30A bust, 24 inch waist and 32 inch hips. Since the fabric has no stretch, we left a little extra room in the hips to accommodate usage of the pockets and for comfort when sitting down. We debated on the sleeve length, and ultimately settled on "bracelet" length for a few reasons. I know not everyone is a fan of this, but I've come to like it for more arm coverage while showing off bracelets and watches. A full length sleeve would also pose issues for women with shorter arms, because the faux leather trim makes it very hard to alter.
Measurements of an XS: 15.7" (40cm) armpit to armpit, 13" (33cm) across the shoulder, 12.6" (32cm) across the waist, 17.1" (43.5cm) across the hips by the base of the pockets, 18.9" (48cm) sleeve length, and 34.6" (88cm) total length. Sleeve width 4.75" (12 cm) across when measured at the upper arm - fairly narrow. Also factor in a few millimeters for the thickness of the tweed and a layer of full lining.
As with all Uniqueen items, I can't emphasize enough to please check the measurements on their site against items in your closet. Their products come from a number of sources, so S, M, etc. could mean different measurements for each of their designs. For example, the S in their No. 5 jacket fits smaller than the same size in the Malang.
Quality & Value: When producing samples for this dress, Uniqueen sent me some material swatches to see and feel in-person. I liked this medium weight black and ivory tweed paired with a dark navy faux leather trim. The navy goes surprisingly well with the tweed, plus adds one more neutral color into the mix for easy pairings. I tested the materials to find one that doesn't wrinkle through long work days/lots of sitting, and also suggested adding functional pockets and getting rid of extraneous fringe. Four sample dresses and numerous rounds of feedback later, I feel the quality and design is fair for the price ($133 w/code EXTRAPETITE + ship). It's more expensive than the deals I normally post on here, but is an amount I'd willingly shell out at the Theory outlet for a good work piece, before factoring in alteration costs.
Shipping & Returns: Items are shipped from Korea, and in my experience arrive in about a week. The shipping cost is 10.99 USD to Canada, and 13.99 USD to most other countries (see details here). For apparel returns, customers need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org within 2 days of delivery to obtain a return code, and shipping fees are non-refundable. Uniqueen mentioned that many returns are due to items fitting too small, so again please check their listed measurements against your clothes.
I'm not affiliated with this company and don't receive commissions for sales - I just had fun helping out on this and am excited to share unique, grown-up options for women who are typically "sized out" by retailers. For tweed-loving ladies who are a little taller, I suggest checking out the 2012 Malang jacket which I just can't get enough of on Cee (5'4") - see all the stylish ways she's paired it so far.
Readers - Do you own any items from Uniqueen? If so, please share your thoughts and any fit/sizing tips.