Closet favorite: Uniqueen Tweed Dress w/ Faux Leather Trim

uniqueen tweed dress1Uniqueen Laila Tweed Dress (3 sizes) c/o - use EXTRAPETITE through 5/2 for 10% off your order
Ann Taylor perfect pumps (40% off w/ APRIL40), pearls from a friend, J.Crew bag

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.
uniqueen tweed dress 5 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.
uniqueen tweed dress2
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.
uniqueen tweed dress 4 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.
uniqueen tweed dress3 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 info@myuniqueen.com 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.
uniqueen tweed dress 1
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.

60 comments:

  1. Love the dress design - it's so timeless and elegant! It must have been fun to collaborate on it.

    I do like a lot of Uniqueen's tweed designs - I've ordered and returned from them before...the whole process was a lot easier than expected.

    However, when it comes to pricier items - I think I'd prefer to try them on in store before committing. Especially because you're out shipping if you don't love it.

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  2. This dress is lovely and I've been looking for something just like this to begin my new work wardrobe!
    I love reading about all of the opportunities you have to work with retailers to make petite women look great, and it's something I dream of doing myself someday.
    You look fabulous!

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  3. Meh.. It's a nice dress but not sure if its worth the price tag. $133 plus shipping is too steep for me. I'd buy this if it was under $100.

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    1. ^ agreed! definitely a pretty dress and i would be more inclined to purchase this if it was at a slightly lower pricepoint. $95? sure. retail price $150 plus shipping? =/ i think i'll pass and look for a dupe somewhere else.

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  4. This dress is gorgeous! I would definitely buy if I worked in a professional environment.

    xoxo, Julie @ OBSESSED

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  5. loving that tweed! i like how the leather offsets the femininity

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  6. So chic and $133 really is a decent price for a classic, sophisticated piece like this rather than, say, 6 of the same blazer from H&M. ;)

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  7. Overall good, but look wide in the waist from the back.

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  8. Gorgeous! I'm so glad you gave the suggestion of less fringe! Are there any sparkles in the tweed? For some reason I can't see those details on my screen and I ended up having to return a Malang jacket (their spring version) for that reason. I'd be more of a fan of Asian clothing if they were designed with less frills and embellishments, but I suppose that's the style.

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    1. Hi R.L
      It's Anna from UniQUEEN.
      No, there is no any sparkles. Jean particularly asked me to look for the tweed material without sparkles.
      Thank you so much for your feedback and interest!
      Best,
      UniQUEEN

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  9. What a beautiful dress, love that it has an edge with leather trims.



    xo
    http://pinksole.com

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  10. It's feminine, classic, and sophisticated (just like you). I love the color, and it looks like it's a high quality piece. However, from the back view, it looks like the band at the waist sits too low, and makes you look wide, or waist-less. From the front, it looks just right. It must have been fun to collaborate with a designer and create something together.

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  11. Wow, this one is breathtaking! The leather point is very clever and neat.
    Uniqueen should collaborate more with people who are alienated from the resellers and I am glad to see clothing like this.

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  12. Hi Jean, am a big fan of your blog, love ur style especially helpful someone like me who is conservative and mainly buy clothes for work. I rrecently got ann taylor pump and it's slipping off even with heel grip. Any suggestion? This only happen when i wear stocking. Do you wear stocking in your pump?

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    1. I wear stockings for so many months throughout the year that I've just decided to size down half a size with pumps so that they don't slip out. I won't buy winter-colored pumps that "just fit" or are even the slightest bit big because stockinged feet will slip right out. If heel grips still don't work then I'm afraid I don't have other suggestions!

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  13. love the tweed dress -- its such a classic and ladylike look! xo

    http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

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  14. Classic yet on trend with the leather trims. Love this dress. Sadly, I'm usually sized out by retailers as I have broader shoulders and have difficulty finding jackets/outerwear and in this case, dress to fit. 15" shoulders with XS sizing on everything else isn't fun. I've checked out Uniqueen's site in the past and I've sadly concluded that I'm not their target audience, no thanks to my height and broad shoulders.

    fauxionista.com

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  15. you look amazing, love that bag :)




    http://chocolatefashioncoffee.blogspot.ro/

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  16. Hi, Jean! I've just ordered this elegant dress. If the fit is right (I'm not quite so slender as you), it'll be a great item for teaching!

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  17. What a beautiful, timeless dress. I think it looks great on you. Good job!

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  18. nice bag! :*

    http://landing-in-fashion.blogspot.com/

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  19. I love this dress and I've been waiting for it to come out ever since you posted it on Instagram! I love that the waist fringe hits at the right spot above the hips. Love the leather piping details too. Can't wait to try this on! Thanks Jean.

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  21. Where did you buy the blue coat? How much? I have been admiring the nude colored shoes you wear. Can you please do a post on how to shop for nude colored pumps, sandals, wedges, flats?

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    1. Hi there - it's from the Theory outlet from a few years ago and was a little under $300. Not cheap, but I do like their stuff. For "nude" shoes I think the key is finding a shade that blends into your skin tone...nude varies so much brand to brand, and a shade that is totally off from your natural leg color wouldn't maximize the lengthening effects.

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  22. Love this look! the tweed looks amazing :)

    so proper and lady-like!

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  23. Hi Jean, what price did you get this Jcrew bag? What price do you think is suitable for it?

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    1. Hi Julie, I got it for a little under $100 during an unlikely sale (& had to call around to different stores to find one still in stock and pay the shipping fee). Before that I thought $150ish was reasonable for a basic color (nothing crazy like neon that is likely to get discounted) and almost purchased on eBay before a fellow blogger told me she saw one of the bags at steep discount in store.

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  24. You look really nice, love your dress :-)

    Ps: I have my 1st giveaway on my blog, hope you'll drop by :D
    Don't miss the chance to win an amazing CLUTCH from ALDO:
    http://mystylerecipe.com/2013/03/24/aldo-red-lips-clutch-giveaway/

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  25. As I mentioned on IG, I would love it if it were white with black trim since I'd look washed out in this color. But still, I think you nailed it with your suggestions as it fits perfectly. You just look so classy (but when are you not? :) )

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  26. This seemed like such and fun and fruitful collaboration! I love Uniqueen's No 5 and Malang blazers (thanks to your recommendations) and this one is also elegant. I adore the leather trim details.

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  27. Glad to be introduced to Uniqueen today! I've never heard of it until today. I visited the site and was admiring the Holley Jacket, but wasn't sure if the quality of the tweed is worth 124 dollars. Based on your reviews, it sounds like pretty good pieces? Would love to try them one day!

    Christy
    Sunny with a side of...

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  28. Wow, Jean thanks for all your hard work on this dress and for sharing with your readers. I purchased this dress and can't wait to get it. It will be perfect for formal business meetings which are often hard to find clothes for. Thanks for being the voice of us petite gals!

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  29. Very classy look, Jean! You look like a Chanel model. :)

    http://www.sincerelysammie.com/

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  30. Love this dress...so lady like! Very Jackie O :)

    xoxo,
    Andrea

    www.andreaeveryday.com

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  31. Fits great on you, love the bracelet length, and also pairs great with the navy trench. The photo with the navy trench is so wonderfully super sharp!

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  32. Hello,

    I was wondering if you could do a guide on 2013 business casual looks or a business casual style guide/guideline. I'm always so confused when someone tells me business casual. I think you'll be the perfect person to put it together. :)

    --Annie

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    1. Hi Annie! For an office environment that I've never been to, I err on the safe side and assume business casual means a blazer plus skirt/dress/pants, etc and closed toe pumps. Not a full matching suit, but just a jacket or blazer of some sort. After you start working there you can gauge the true level of casualness, as business casual can mean as casual as a cardigan or long sleeve blouse with no blazer required.

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  33. Love the tweed on you. Very professional and sleek.

    Corporate Catwalk

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  34. I think it is only fair to mention that return shipping fees to Uniqueen in Canada will cost you about $35. Buyer beware!

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    1. Thank you for mentioning this! That is a significant fee to consider, for someone new to this brand who might want to try. It is enough to deter me!

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    2. International return fees can definitely be significant but depend on where you're shipping to and from (not sure if returns now need to go to Canada or Korea)- wanted to add that I returned a tweed jacket there before from the US to Canada and it was $11 ish.

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  35. Love your blog, it has been so helpful to me. I do have a question hope you will answer. I notice you wear mostly the classic pumps. How do feel about chunky type sandal heels for petites? I'm 5"2'and I'm thinking about some new heels for this summer besides the classic one or flat sandals. Thanks for any advice.

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  36. Jean, this looks absolutely gorgeous on you! Thanks for working to create petite-friendly clothing for us young professional women who feel its long overdue to stop shopping in the little girls departments!

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  37. Love this on you! Absolutely stunning. I've never shopped at Uniqueen before because of the prices, but I'd love to try their items out when there's a good code or sale. Thanks for sharing this!

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  38. I love your blog and I love your tweed dress! You look so classy and chic! the pearl necklace surprisingly makes you look so classy instead of old, cuz usually I feel like pearl necklace reminds people of grandma or older women. nice outfit! <3 loveeeee

    http://tsizesmall.blogspot.com

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  39. Beautiful dress, so versatile and timeless. I love that it has long sleeves, I find it hard to find elegant dresses ith long sleeves.

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  40. hi jean, what shampoo & conditioner do you use? and also other hair products? your hair looks gorgeous!

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  41. I stumbled upon your blog not too long ago while searching for petite friendly work clothing and it has helped me so much! Today I received my tweed dress in XS and it is a perfect fit/true to size! It is so refreshing to find a classic work outfit that does not require a trip to the tailor! Thank you for your collaboration with Uniqueen for the extra small measurements - I hope there will be more to come!!

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    1. I just noticed you are from Boston - my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  42. Hi Jean!

    I have admired this dress since seeing it on your Facebook page. I ordered it immediately and received it yesterday by mail. I wanted to post a review (which I will also post on the Uniqueen website) for anyone who is on the fence about this dress. For reference I am a bit over 5 ft, 112 lbs, 34B with a 25" waist. For dresses, I typically fit in Banana Republic size 0P and 0-2 in designer dresses. My chest is a bit bigger than most petites, plus these days I am breastfeeding :) I ordered a small.

    1. Material - Exactly as pictured in Jean's post with tiny flecks of silver which are very subtle so definitely work appropriate. It is fully lined all the way to the hem and down the sleeves, except for a few inches around the neckline and cuffs and hem. The tweed is nice quality and the faux leather looks nice but subtle - certainly not too leathery for work and there is not enough of it to look fake. The dress is medium to heavy weight - I live in Canada and I see myself wearing it in the fall and winter - I think it would be too warm to wear in warmer climates. I wonder about the breathability of the fabric, especially with the lining.

    2. Fit - The dress fits me perfectly once I get it on - it's getting it zipped that is the issue! The tweed material does NOT stretch AT ALL (and neither does the lining). So really read the measurements carefully because the material is not forgiving. I need someone else to zip me in but once I'm in, the fit *almost* perfect. My shoulders and chest feel a bit compressed but I expected this because my chest is bigger than most petites. The extra material at the waist (see Jean's post) is a brilliant idea because the pockets don't gape, which I love. The length falls just below my knees - I would have preferred the length of the XS which falls above the knees on Jean (we are the same height).

    My dress measures:
    Shoulders: 13.5"
    Bust: 17.1"
    Waist: 13.4"
    Hips: 18.2"
    Length: 37.9"
    Sleeve length: 20.5"

    Pretty close to the measurements of a small on Uniqueen's website.

    3. Quality - here I have a few small issues. First, the zipper snags at the waist where the tweed material runs horizontally. It might just be this particular dress only. I have had this issue with a skirt before and it can be a bit of a pain. I have to unzip and rezip until I am able to ease past the waist. Second, the right sleeve length is noticeably uneven by a half inch. Third, as I tried unzipping myself the first time, the material ripped at the back right shoulder seam. I emailed Uniqueen immediately about this issue. They think my dress might be defective. I am sending it back and they will send me back a new one, at their expense (shipping-wise).

    4. Customer service - Their customer service is AMAZING. I have nothing but glowing things to say about it. I sent dozens of emails before buying to ensure I was buying the right size. All of my emails were answered within 24 hours. I brought up my issues with the dress and they again replied quickly with a reasonable solution. I may have had some issues with the dress but I am so happy with the customer service that I will definitely buy from them again.

    5. Shipping - My dress shipped on April 8 from Korea and I received it on April 15 (6 business days) - which is impressive. My item shipped to Canada and I paid NO customs fees (it was marked as a gift with a low value). With a bubble mailer envelope, the weight is 606g (1 lb, 5.4oz) so from Canada, the return shipping by air costs $44 (by surface/boat it's $19). Be sure to buy the right size dress because return/exchange shipping fees are pricey.

    Overall, I am happy with the dress - I could have done without all these issues but they also highlight Uniqueen's excellent customer service. I hope this review will be helpful to some of you! Jean - I love your blog - I hope you and your loved ones are safe and sound.

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    1. Sorry - it's $17.60 by surface and $37.68 by air.

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  43. 2nd image was my favourite.... I pinned it :D

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  44. Uniqueen has closed down... :-(

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  45. Hi Jean,
    I love love your blog! I was wondering is there a way I can purchase this dress? The Uniqueen site is closed. I love this dress and really want to buy this one. I didnt know if you are still in contact with the owner and if I could order this dress (im about the same size as you if not exactly the same size.) Thank you so much! my email is n.jojo29@gmail.com
    ps. you are so pretty!
    -Joanne

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