Petite-friendly statement dresses: Clover Canyon (Taj Mahal)

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Clover Canyon Taj Mahal Dress (XS here, other sizes here), Philippines clutch, eBay heels (similar)

I first came across Clover Canyon via Blair, and was interested to learn that the line is designed and produced in Los Angeles using original prints. I then got to try on a dress during vacation, and fell in love with the bright colors and surprisingly petite-friendly style. After returning home (to lower domestic pricing), I pored over all the print options available and had a tough time deciding what to try in the right size.
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I was most drawn to the Indian-inspired prints, with their vibrant and whimsical designs. I ordered this Taj Mahal sleeved dress and another sleeveless one (not yet arrived), and plan on keeping my favorite one. I wanted to snap some quick photos to share the sleeved option in detail, as the cut seems to be a Clover Canyon classic and the fit has been fairly consistent for me across different patterns I've tried.

In-person, I thought the print was striking with a little surprise on every corner. Up-close with unedited colors:
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Material: Interior, unlined white backside of the neoprene (90% poly/10% spandex with wetsuit-like feel), which is one of Clover Canyon's signature materials. Likes: The weight of the neoprene does a bit of shapewear work but holds its structure, unlike bodycon styles that would be inappropriate at work. Dislikes: Not sure how this will feel in stiffing hot weather. There's a short zipper at the upper back neckline. All the raw edges were serged except for the lengths down both sides - I thought this was unusual.
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Fit: The fit of this dress off-the-rack is very similar to one of my all-time favorite ponte pencil dresses. That old dress was an H&M sz 2, and I had done extensive alterations customizing the shoulder width and hemming the length. The Clover Canyon in size XS requires no alterations for me. The shoulders and back armholes are a little big on someone my exact size, but not enough to get tailoring done. I look forward to trying the en route sleeveless dress to see if armholes are an issue.

The neoprene dresses are probably designed to be very snug and mid-thigh length, which translates into a slightly snug fit and knee-length for smaller-framed ladies (not a bad thing if you plan on wearing this to work too). I also tried one size up while in London. The S did not hug my butt at all which is ideal for work, but the shoulders were noticeably wide, and the neoprene material just looks better with a closer fit.
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Measurements of an XS (stretchy): 13.75" across shoulder, 15" armpit to armpit, 12" across waist, 15" from top of shoulder to printed waistline, 14.75" across widest part of hips, 34" length.

From Clover Canyon's website, "the team design original prints, and hand-engineer them to frame and enhance the body....garments are designed, patterned, cut and sewn in-house." I did notice deliberate placement of prints to enhance the figure (ie. hourglass bamboo lines along back sides), and (probably unintentional) petite-friendly proportions. Both styles I tried on have a horizontal waist band print that hits right at my natural waistline. This placement is ideal for a lengthening look, and is usually a deal-breaker for me when trying regular-sized garments. The dress length also hits at my current favorite right-above-the-knee, which makes fitted styles more demure.
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Value: Retail price points are higher than those where I usually shop, but I don't think they are unreasonable given the domestic design and production, and no alterations to be done. This item passes my versatility test for work (colleagues loved it out of the box and voted it'd be appropriate w/ neutral shoes and blazer), a night out as shown, and can be toned-down for casual wear with a denim jacket and flat sandals.
clover canyon taj mahal dress I purchased through Revolve Clothing and had a very good experience. They offer 2-3 day free shipping and free returns, plus an awesome 30% refund on your first item for new customers (not sure how long this offer is going on for, and there may be brand exclusions). Email sales@revolveclothing.com after purchasing with "New Customer Discount" as the subject and your order/invoice number to get the refund.

62 comments:

  1. Love the dress. You are very talented in altering!!!


    Karin

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    1. she didn't alter it..

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    2. Rofl, I'm guessing CS just scrolled through the pics without reading the post.

      Anyway, love the design of the dress Jean! Amazing how it fits you so well without altering it at all!

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  2. My gosh this is simply gorgeous!

    www.theofficearmoire.com

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  3. Shame it's neoprene. Gonna be hot in hot weather unless you're wet.

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  4. I really like that dress. Good choice.

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  5. You look beautiful. That dress is so tasteful :D

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  6. The dress is so pretty! You look great in it.

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  7. This dress is so gorgeous on you .

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  8. Obsessing over this dress! Love love LOVE! X0

    http://the-glitter-life.com/2013/06/25/currently-coveting-summer-shoes/

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  9. The dress is beautiful and looks amazing on you Jean!

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  10. Hi Jean,

    You look beautiful - love your hair and makeup! If you don't mind me asking, are you wearing falsies in the pictures above? I have such a hard time finding natural-looking ones and would appreciate any recommendations. Thanks!

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    1. Hi there - thanks so much, and yes I am wearing falsies. They are Model 21 brand (http://www.model21eyelashes.com/) from about 2 years ago, and I can't find the style # unfortunately. I'm thinking of ordering the following to try because they are allegedly shorter in length for a more natural look: http://www.model21eyelashes.com/Model-21-False-Eyelashes-No63_p_113.html and http://www.model21eyelashes.com/Model-21-False-Eyelashes-No20N_p_152.html

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    2. Hi Jean,

      You're so sweet. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

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  11. Amazing pattern on this dress- looks beautiful on you!
    -Rachel

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  12. Wow, that's beautiful. If I had a place to wear it I'd put it in my closet right now.

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  13. What a beautiful dress, Jean! It’s like wearing a piece of art. Even though I adore the dress, I can’t imagine getting a lot of wear out of it. It is such a recognizable piece since the print is so bold and dramatic. Regardless, the dress is stunning and you wear it beautifully. BTW, loving your makeup in this post. You look so fresh =)

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  14. Great find!! The arm length is perfect. I cannot stand when an item hits halfway on my armpit. Love the fitting room pic! I should be getting a new phone this summer, so I will be joining Instagram soon. :)

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  15. why does everything you post/wear have to be either expensive or DIYed =T

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    Replies
    1. I don't see why that's a problem.

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  16. The dress is beautiful! I love the vibrant prints, and how the prints are so different but all fit so well together on the same dress. It looks great on you!

    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  17. Gorgeous, love the vibrant colors on you! (Although loved the print on the one you tried on in London even more).

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  18. what a beautiful dress and you wear it so well. stunning

    www.beebaswardrobe.blogspot.com

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  19. Its perfect on you Jean! Turquoise toes matches so well :)

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  20. Wow, stunning dress! loving the fit and print

    http://sundaydesire.blogspot.com

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  21. The dress looks stunning on you! What an amazing array of patterns and colors. I've been so attracted to the beautiful pieces from Clover Canyon as well but haven't had time to go try on any in person - so this helps a ton! :) Your pictures are colorful and bright as usual - love it! Have a great week!

    Christine
    thefashionpledge

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  22. Wow what an amazing print! I love all the different colors/designs. Like another commenter said, its like wearing a piece of art. So I was looking at one of your older posts (http://www.extrapetite.com/2010/06/life-with-pag-lobster-y-weekend.html), and I had a question. So I've been looking for a bikini that would fit (and flatter) a small-framed, small-chested girl like me. I liked the one you wore in that post and it seemed to fit you well, I think it was a 32b. Anyways now I'm curious (and hopeful) that maybe a 32a/b would fit me but I have a small underbust (26 inches) and am not sure if it'd work. Just for sizing reference, would you mind telling me what your underbust and bust measures?

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    1. If you want to get a swimsuit top in a bra size, measure yourself the same way you would be fitted for a bra, so if you wear a 32 bra normally, go try on swimsuits in that size. Victoria's Secret offers a TON of separates tops starting at 32A with removable padding.

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    2. Hi there - my underbust is 26 as well, and over the widest part is about 31 inches. 32b worked but ideally I was looking for 32A and the style was discontinued. I checked the other day all over the internet for 30A swimwear and unfortunately didn't find anything.

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  23. beautiful dress, love the print!


    xo julesinflats.com

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  24. Love it! Makes you look very sophisticated.

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  25. Beautiful dress! I checked out the website and it says dry clean only. Do you plan on following that? Also, I hope you do a follow-up post on how the dress does in hot weather. Neoprene is a warm fabric, which can be a good thing and a bad thing...

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    1. It's confusing because the tag says dry clean only, but I've seen several neoprene dresses in supposedly the same material on Clover Canyon's website saying hand wash cold. I plan on emailing CC's customer service to confirm that it can be washed by hand.

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    2. I look forward to the hot weather crash test (and resulting laundry) post!

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  26. I love the dress!! You wear the print so well. I love the shoes too, they are so simple and chic for the summer. Would you mind doing a quick review of them? I am also petite and have narrow feet.

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    1. Hi Victoria, the sandals start in size 5.5 and feel closer to a 6 to me. I suggest ordering half size up from normal. I did a quick review in a past post and will paste here for ya:

      "The Anne Michelle version seems to be very similar for less, but I do want to note that returns are subject to a 15% restocking fee and shipping costs, unlike with Nordies. The smallest size is 5.5, which in my opinion feels like a 5.5-6. There is a little extra space under the front toe strap, and the back heel cup is roomy on me. I plan on adding a strip of padding on the underside of the front toe strap, which will hopefully keep my foot more firmly in place and make the heel cup fit better.

      For reference, my pair measures 9" insole length, 4" heel, 3.25" across the ball of foot, and 4.6" across the front toe strap (which should fit fairly snugly across your toes)."

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  27. woww.. the dress looks fab on you! Beautiful Taj Mahal :)

    Maybe you have time to see my new Outfit post: Mint Monochrome Mode

    You are welcome to visit my First Blog Sale hosted on Facebook page. I'm selling New Items at one-third price as on websites For Indian Residents Only.

    Love
    Akanksha

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  28. Really pretty dress Jean :) Suits you perfectly :)

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

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  29. A really nice dress, gorgeous patterns. Fits well on your frame.
    www.jeetly.com

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  30. WOW! Amazing dress! And you're so beatiful =*

    http://aboutdrama.blogspot.ru

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  31. Cute dress! I'm new to blogging and would appreciate any advice you can give. How did you get such a great following? Thanks!

    http://laptopsandheels.com

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  32. This looks absolutely stunning on you!!
    www.simplysiyaam.com

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  33. Cute dress! You look great, Jean!

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  34. What a great fit and the Thai clutch goes perfectly. The options you mentioned for work, casual, and night are great too. Hope to see the dress a lot more on the blog or instagram!

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  35. Their dresses are so pretty and I love the fit on you out of the box! I actually had to look twice because I thought you were wearing a necklace. The placement of each print was definitely well thought out.

    Revolve's new customer discount has been going on for years now, so I think it'll be sticking around for a long time. : ) It's not valid across all brands though, so customers should be aware of that.

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  36. hi jean...im from india n this print here ws v porpular in flowy fabrics...especially used in womans tunics , kaftans...this dress is a refreshing change ...i like the dress and colours however im very unsure how this would suit the humid weather in Mumbai, India.

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  37. I am obsessed with this dress on you! Absolutely stunning!

    xoxo, Julie @ OBSESSED

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  38. Love the dress and the pattern... just hate the fabric. I knew the poly % was going to be high from the photos. I would LOVE to buy a dress in a similar pattern but in silk.

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  39. I love how you alter your clothes. The colors and pattern on this dress is gorgeous!

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  40. Hi Jean,

    I have been reading your blog of a while and simply love your wardrobe! I was wondering if I could get your opinion on something. In a couple of weeks I will be heading to Boston for an internship and was wondering if you had any tips on dressing "business professional" and weekend-wear for Boston summers. Also, I was wondering if you had any recommendations for attractions in Boston. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Victoria - congrats on your internship here in Boston! I hope you love the city, but it's a shame your first time here will be during our dreadfully humid summer : ) It's beautiful here in the spring and fall. For business professional, I'd pack sheath dresses and blazers (carry them when commuting and put on at the office), as well as lightweight pencil skirts and breathable blouses in lightweight silk or polyester. Weekend wear is very casual here. Ppl are in denim shorts, dresses, and flat sandals. It's fun in the summer to row on the Charles river, possibly visit the Boston harbor islands, walk the freedom trail, and of course try all the seafood (oyster, lobster and lobster rolls, and clam chowder!).

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  41. Love the dress and heels!
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  42. That dress is amazeballs.

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  43. Hi Jean! Could you please do a tutorial on your hair? It's lovely!

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  44. This dress looks awesome on you! Don't you love the "built-in statement necklace?"
    I picked the top as one of my faves for this designer spotlight:
    http://dilettantedoyenne.blogspot.com/2013/08/designer-spotlight-clover-canyon.html

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  45. Such a fun dress, and you wear it so well!

    - Shae
    http://currenthabits.blogspot.com/

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  46. Hi June,
    Firstly- I love your style, I have been following your blog for the last 18 months, and always love your incredible fashion tastes.
    I have been hunting for the famous TajDress by Clover Canyon for months. This brand is hard to come by in Australia and Ebay US, UK and AU have all yielded no results. Would you be able to assist me with a stockist in the states that may still have some very old stock for this dress? I have previously purchased items from Ann Taylor, LOFT petites, Anthro petite, Nordstrom, H &M, ASOS petite etc. I'm very similar in build to you, about 5'0 and 95 lb. Many thanks! Kajal

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