Reviews: Old Navy wrap dress, Nordstrom petites jacket & more

Spring has me itching for prints and stripes, and there was no shortage of such in my April packages. Although I found just one keeper, there were several decent contenders that I still wanted to share.ONdress1. Old Navy wrap dresses (in reg, petite, tall) - 5 color/prints available, use ONSAVENOW for 15% off

I really like my DVF-inspired ON wrap dress from last year, and couldn't resist trying their current version in petites. PXS fit well off the rack, and the wrap style is forgiving and adjustable. Their regular-sized version last year required so many tedious DIY alterations for me...I'm glad they decided to bring this back in extended sizing!
ondress1
H&M blazer (old), vintage shoes from eBay

The rayon material is on the thin side, so I'd recommend wearing a slip skirt underneath (I own this in both colors and wear them all the time). Please excuse the wrinkles in the photos as I forgot to iron.

Verdict: Returned, but would recommend in the various colors/prints. The fit is good for a petite garment and the wrap style is so easy to throw on for work or weekends. I was ready to keep this, but Nick convinced me otherwise - I don't love this year's prints enough to justify buying a duplicate just yet.

2. ASOS Dress in Striped Jacquard - free ship both ways, try SALESCORE for 10% off, or CHECKOUTTREAT for 10% off $75+
asosdress1
H&M blazer (old), J.Crew mona heels
I love the look and sturdy texture of this black & white dress, but as expected, something was off about the fit of a regular sized garment on a sub-5 foot tall frame...

The shape of the skirt is very full and swingy (made from a full circle), which makes a proportionate fit very important. The dress fit fine on me width-wise in a US 2 / UK 6, but the waistline was an inch or two lower than my ideal placement. The dress looked excellent with heels, but when paired with low shoes, the too-long torso on me became more evident and made legs look stumpier.
asosdress
I know this issue is barely noticeable in photos, but the belted photo below shows my ideal waistline for a fuller dress. My first thought was to raise the shoulders (see below right with binder clips pulling the shoulders up), but the neckline was then choke-me tight. Due to the thickness of the material and construction of the shoulder straps, it would also not be an easy alteration.
asosdress2 Measurements of a US 2 / UK 6: 15.5" from top of shoulder to waistline, 14.5" armpit to armpit, 12.5" across waist, 17.5" skirt length. 85% cotton, 14% nylon, 1% elastane.
asosdress3
Verdict: Returned, but would recommend for someone at least 1-2" taller who doesn't mind an exposed back metal zipper. The material is of medium-thick weight and good quality, and the silhouette is fun and flirty.

3. Gap Printed Pointy Flats (small sizes no longer available online; in-store sizing starts at 6)
gapflats
Wearing a sz 5 - sorry for the terrible photo!

I tweeted excitedly about these when more sizes were available, so I hope any interested readers were able to pick up a pair. I've never tried Gap shoes before and had no idea what to expect, but have to say I am very impressed by these. There is cushioning on the inside, the pointy toe is unexpectedly comfortable, and I was surprised to find out these were genuine leather. I was looking for a stylish, inexpensive travel shoe - and these cuties fit the bill.

I got these with a 30% off coupon online for $35, and saw them on sale in-stores for quite a bit less. Unfortunately for small-footed ladies, in-store sizing starts at 6+. There was also a ponyhair brown leopard which I loved, a red with purple polka dot leather, and a black and white spotted ponyhair option.

4.Halogen Petites Navy Striped Jacket (also in regular sizing for half the price)
halogenjacket
J.Brand legging jeans, Target wedges (old), vintage bracelet

I was sad to miss out on Gap's textured stripe jacket, but was subsequently excited to find a similar option at Nordies (down to a size 00P, which I've never seen there before). The Halogen petites sale price is the same as Gap's retail price, but that's what I get for being late to the game. The fit of this is very similar to 00Ps from LOFT/AT, so slightly roomy for someone my size. The torso cut is straight and the sleeves run on the wide side, as shown below (note: I have the sleeves clipped back in the top photo).

When zipped as shown below, I felt top-heavy like an upside down trapezoid. This jacket looks a lot better open.
halogenjacket1
The quality of this little jacket is similar to that of Ann Taylor. It's fully lined in a thin material, has two faux pockets at the top and 2 real zip ones at the bottom. I really liked the texture and weight (light-medium) of the material, as well as the classic navy and ivory color scheme. As with this boxy J.Crew jacket, though, the cut seems to work better with jeans/shorts/slacks than with dresses/skirts.

Measurements of a 00P: 15" armpit to armpit, 19" jacket length at the longest point in the front, 17" length at the back, 13.5" across the shoulder seams (14.5" across if including the shoulder padding), 15" across the waist when zipped up, 15" sleeve length, 5" sleeve width. 68% cotton, 25% rayon, 7% poly. This size is currently sold out online but I keep seeing new sizes pop back every few days. 

Verdict: Still undecided. I like the colors and textured material, but feel unsure about the boxy cut. Nick gave it a thumbs up and says the cut is no boxier than my tweed jackets, but I feel the horizontal stripes accentuate the squareness of the shape more. I'd love to hear from anyone else who has tried on this jacket!

38 comments:

  1. I love my Gap shoes-so comfy and surprisingly decently made! I love the striped Asos dress-thought you looked so cute in it but I hear you about the waistline...

    http://sequinsandpolkadots.blogspot.com/

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  2. The ASOS striped dress is so cute. Not a fan of the fraying, but that jacket is really cute.

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  3. I must check the Gap website at the wrong times, because I haven't seen size 5 shoes on there in a while.

    There's some sandals I really liked on there, but it didn't look like they came in a 5 at all. I guess this means I'll have to check their online store a bit more often.

    http://somethingaboutthatthing.blogspot.ca/

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  4. I really liked the ON wrap dress on you, but although the fit is good, I don't think it's worth it because ON rayon tends to pill and break down fast after a wash or two. The striped dress is cute, but I much prefer your maxi dress. I know it's two different styles, but an inch or two can make a big difference on a petite frame so kudos to you for returning it. The Halogen jacket is cute, and I'm sure with your sewing skills, you can easily slim the sleeves and possibly the sides easily. I say, if you are still constantly thinking about the GAP one, you can give this one a shot. It's something different, and not an item you already have in your closet.

    - Christine

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    1. Christine - you bring up a good point that I've written about before but forgot to reiterate in this post. With cheaper fabrics like rayon, it's very important to keep them out of the washing machine and dryer to prolong the "life" of the garment. Like you mentioned, machine washing can make cheap fabrics look worn and faded after just a wash. I usually hand wash in the sink and hang dry, and avoid scrubbing too hard to not pill the fabric.

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  5. That skirt looks very similar to Anthro's Jacquard Circle-Skirt Dress except it's like half the price!

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  6. The shoes look really cute! :)

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  7. It's a shame about the ASOS dress. Except for the waist, it looks perfect on you, especially when paired with the blazer. I also prefer that jacket worn open because it drops, creating a natural silhouette that makes it look less stiff.

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  8. Think the ASOS dress was a keeper. Fit you great.

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  9. That jacket is really cute, but if it doesn't look as great closed, I'd vote return!

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  10. Love all your pics. But the striped dress looks very classy and chic. When you wear the jacket it looks like a totally different dress.

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  11. I had every intention to read all your reviews before submitting a comment but then I got to that ASOS dress on you and my heart skipped a thousand beats and before I knew it, I clicked "Comment" to say that the dress looks FABULOUS on you. Then I realized "hey I should see if Jean decided to keep or return the dress" and quickly scrolled back to see the verdict. I was surprised to see that the dress isn't a keeper but I read your review (after seeing that you're returning) and just want to express my appreciation of your thorough review and the importance you stress on fit and proportion. After you mentioned it, I do notice the lower waistline on the dress and the tiny difference between the actual and desired waistline makes all the difference in the perception of your legs. Your sharp eye on fit/proportion has influenced me to pay closer attention to the waistline on my pieces and to make sure they are cutting off my legs!

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  12. Ok, I have calmed down and my "ASOS Striped Dress on Jean" goggles have come off and I can now make a comment regarding the rest of the items.

    How come Nick didn't like the ON printed wrap dress on you? I'm wondering if he and I were concerned over the same issue. I think the fit is great (go ON for extended sizes!), the print is fun, and the price is perfect for the material but if there is one thing that would pull me away from this it would be the material. I feel that for classic silhouettes like the wrap dress that I can imagine wearing for a few years, it is better to splurge on higher quality items. That and I much prefer the print you got last year :)

    Not too much to say about the flats except great purchase! I feel that Gap shoes (when on sale) are worth it, especially their fun spring/summer flats and sandals.

    I haven't tried on the jacket but it is lovely on you and I will try to persuade you to keep it. It looks to be a sturdy versatile piece (looks great with the casual outfit you have on but I can also imagine you rocking this to work) and I don't recall you having a similar piece. It does appear a boxy when zipped up but I am thinking that could be due to the fact that the rest of your outfit is fitted. I think with a more voluminous skirt, the boxy attribute would diminish. The jacket definitely looks more chic left open though. Am curious to find out if you will keep this or not, the stripes are flattering on you!

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  13. I really love the striped dress! I was surprised that you decided to return it, I think it looked good on you :)


    fashionfixeshearts.blogspot.com

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  14. Hi Jenny,
    After reading Wendy's and yours blog for quite a while. I finally found my correct size. Here is a photo of mine in Dorothy Perkins size 4, you may have a look at their's dresses etc. In UK, only few brands do size 4 but they are brilliant.
    http://ww1.sinaimg.cn/bmiddle/53786e1djw1e41wdd66j3j20pk19ctib.jpg

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  15. Wow...I just loved both your dresses..They fit you so perfectly.. and the cardigan is too cute :)
    magnefiestaofmumbai.blogspot.in

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  16. I have a penchant for things striped right now. I absolutely ADORE the striped jacket. I agree, it looks much better opened while boxy zipped up, but it just looks too cute on you with it kept opened.

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  17. Hi there!

    Such a pleasure to bump into on Clarendon Street yesterday. You are an inspiration and I love your style.

    Best regards,
    MB

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  18. Jean: We are always our own worst critics. I am not sure anything makes you look trapezoidal or your legs look stumpy. I was raised with "avoid prints bigger than your fist" and so would normally not even try on the Old Navy dress. You prove that a larger print can look good on someone our height and not overwhelm us. A shame that the fabric is cheapish. I am 37 and have no interest in cheap/throwaway merch.

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  19. Ooo, genuine leather flats at Gap! Nice! Thanks for the tip! That ASOS dress is really nice, except for the slightly-off fit. Love that it's of good quality.

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  20. I haven't tried the striped jacket but if you're wondering what others think, I think it looks great on you! I know you have to love it because you're the one wearing it but at least from the pictures, it fits you wonderfully. I went to look for it in the regular size and it was actually already sold out. The fabric looks expensive and although the price is slightly high, it seems like you'll get your value out if it. Just my opinion though! :)

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  21. Thank you again for posting these reviews - this is really helpful. I also think the ASOS dress looks really good (fabric is very good), however, I know that sometimes when one small thing is off with proportion sometimes you just wont end up wearing it. My opinion with the striped jacket is that as long as you can slim the sleeves it looks good on you. I really like the idea of the blue and white stripes for spring - HOWEVER - at the end of the day I don't think the jacket is anything special, so I would make your decision based on whether or not this fills a vital hole in your wardrobe.

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  22. ON dresses and tops looks so good when new but after a few washes, they look like they are ready to die! Not too sure of the boxy jacket either. Try styling it differently and see if you like it or not.

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  23. It's a shame you had to return the ASOS dress as I thought it looked great on you, except for the waistline. At first I didn't notice the lower waistline, but after put up the picture with the belt to point it out, I can see the difference.

    Loved the Halogen jacket on you when kept open. =)

    Thanks for doing this thorough review!

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  24. First: Can I just tell you how much power your blog has? When you posted that you had ordered the striped jacket from Nordstrom, I immediately went to the site to order. Guess what? Sold out in all small sizes. And in the sidebar for suggested items were the same Valentino rockstud heels you wore in your post. I do not think this was a coincidence.

    Next: I LOVE the ASOS dress. You are right though - the torso is to long. The look was much improved when you clipped the shoulders up (I do this all the time in dressing rooms).

    Last: Love the striped Halogen jacket on you. It's very beautiful and classic. Trust Nick on this one!

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  25. love the stripped dress. i dont mind the zippers.

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  26. I've never even considered looking at Gap's selection of shoes, but I think you just posted my dream shoes, the pointy toe leopard flats! and now I'm on the hunt for a pair in my size, thankfully (or not?) I have large feet so they'll carry them in store since they're sold out online.

    I love how you are so considerate of every single purchase, be it from Old Navy or Chanel, I admire how you think everything out and make good decisions, instead of buying everything just because you have nothing like it in your closet, or because another blogger has it ;)

    I would have thought the striped dress was darling on you, and if it were me, I would have said, "good enough!" and kept it. Thank you for teaching all of us about proper fit and proportions. Such great things to keep in mind for my future purchases :)

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  27. Love both the dresses! Thanks for the review :)

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  28. That J Crew jacket doe....thumbs up.
    -http://dukeseriously.com/

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  29. I really like how you are trying to show how to make careful wardrobe choices, no matter what the price point. So many others will buy something that is a "good deal" and then hope they can make it work. I've been trying to look carefully at purchases too. Now that I'm doing some basic sewing, I'm really beginning to realize the human cost of these cheap buys. It takes me over 3 hours to make a small zippered pouch! I'm feeling like I don't want to be part of the group that supports less-than-fair wages.
    While I still like my ON dress that I bought a few years ago, it is slowly showing wear even with careful washes.

    I had to giggle when you used the binder clips on the ASOS dress and called it "choke me tight". I've tried to adjust dresses that way and sometimes it just doesn't work.

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  30. I had problems with the old navy wrap dress - long sleeve version (size xs regular) too. Im 5'3" around 105lbs and it was just too wide and the sleeves were too short.. it was just a disaster, but I also ordered the short sleeve version in an xs regular and it perfectly.. I styled it here in a day to night look : http://sprinklessequins.blogspot.com/2013/04/wrap-dress-day-to-night.html#.UXqLcCvF0Vk

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  31. Jean, did you know that Gap has a very cute collection of DVF for kids this year? Check it out

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  32. Since I am in your area would you mind sharing where your tailor is located? He/she does such an excellent job!

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  33. Hey Jean,
    I saw your image being used as a thumbnail of an article about Zappos on psfk.com
    Just wanna make sure that you did authorize the use of your image.
    Full name of article is_ Zappos Labs: The Frontier of Online Retails is Curation

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  34. I own the Halogen stripped jacket, and if I'm honest with myself, I regret purchasing it. I am a size 4 (regular), and I have found it to be very difficult to style due to the boxy fit and the v-shape at the front. I do, however, adore the 3/4 sleeves and the fabric, so I am going to keep trying. I would love to see how you style the jacket if you decide to keep it!

    -Elizabeth

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  35. hi jean. i know you have purchased pro-owned CL. Based on your own experiences.. how much do you think i should shell out for pre-own CLs? thanks, A

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