Tuesday, June 25, 2013
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com after purchasing with "New Customer Discount" as the subject and your order/invoice number to get the refund.