Eliza J. petites maxi dress + neutral strappy sandals review

Eliza j petite floral maxi dress1

Eliza J petites chiffon maxi dress (sz 2P altered; belt is included! Other prints here)
Steve Madden “Stecy” sandals sz 5.5, Essie “fiji” nail polish

I was shopping for a dressier occasion, and fell in love on Nordstrom’s website with this floral option – perfect for wearing to a wedding, an engagement photoshoot, or just a dressy night out. Even in the stock photos, there was so much flowy movement and the reviews were glowing. I had noticed the brand several times before because they have such pretty maxi dresses, but never gave it a try due to sizing limitations. Only select styles are available in petite sizing, and amongst those a 2P was the smallest available so that’s what I ordered. Update: They now make this starting in size 0P!
Eliza j petite floral maxi dress3
These photos show how the dress in 2P fits on me with no alterations. I think it fits fairly true to size (see measurements at the end of post), maybe a little smaller than AT/LOFT and J.Crew. The length though is long for petite sizing. For reference, I’m just under 5 feet tall wearing 4″ heels here, and could still use an inch or two shortening of this dress. I will be taking in the torso slightly on each side, and shortening the length (by the way, if length is just slightly too long for you, a little cheat I love instead of alterations is the “foldover” trick). I thought the fully-lined quality was good for the price, so don’t mind getting alterations on a more unique piece. Bonus is a gold-toned skinny belt which can be paired with other outfits!
Eliza j petite floral maxi dress4
On to these sandals – I’ve gotten so many questions via Instagram about their comfort. Honestly, I don’t think a 4+ inch high heel with ankle strap and tiny front strap can ever be “comfy,” but I don’t think these are bad given the style! I started my search for a minimalistic, classic nude high heel sandal back in February and figured I’d give a run down of my favorites tried on to date, from splurge to steal:

1. Stuart Weitzman Nudist
Height: 4.25 to 4.5″ – not 100% sure as listings differ and I forgot to measure
Sizing: starts in size 4
Colors: numerous options

The ever popular and original minimalistic sandal. Several of my friends own this and swear by the “comfort,” so I was a little surprised when I tried them on. Not painful, but they felt like exactly what they are: a sole strapped onto the feet by means of two very thin straps. Though I do realize this is also the exact reason why they are so aesthetically pleasing!

I also tried on the Nudist’s relatively lower-heeled sister, the Nudistsong. I’d prefer these over the original, since the 3.75 – 4″ heels are still high enough to be sleek/sexy but more manageable than 4+!

2. Steve Madden “Stecy” sandals
Height: 4″
Sizing: starts in size 5.5
Colors: many options

A dupe of the Nudist, with a slightly thicker sole and wider front strap. These cost a lot less than SW, but I feel you get what you pay for. The patent upper is a shinier faux leather (lining and insole is leather), and the small changes in details makes the shoe look less high-end. I got these instead of the SW Nudist, because I really wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to get used to walking in this style of sandal! However, I’ve worn them several times already, and left them on the entire day recently for a mix of sitting/standing/indoor walking. You get used to the feeling of pressure at the two straps, and they were surprisingly not painful and left no blisters or chafing by the end of a long day.

Also, these are not for wider feet – the soles run narrow so your feet do hang over slightly on each side. The reviews are so mixed, my guess is comfort for these really differs based on your exact foot type and tolerance for heels. I am in love with the general style though as it’s super flattering with jeans, pants and skirts alike and very leg-lengthening. Since it’s a timeless shoe, I’d be willing to spend more for something of better quality too.

3. Vince Camuto “Court” sandals
Height: 3.5″
Sizing: starts in size 4
Colors: 10 options

If I weren’t fixated on the super thin strappy look, these would’ve been the winner instead. The 5-star reviews also speak for themselves. The “beige” leather was matte and looked very nice quality in-person…soft to the touch but sturdily made. The color looks better and less dull than my snapshots here.


The fit of a size 5 on me was comfortable and secure off the bat, and the style was flattering on my foot. The back-of-the-heel piece comes up higher than the other options here, but did not feel irritating.

Steve Madden Stecy vs. Vince Camuto Court

4. BP “Luminate” sandals
Height: 3″
Sizing: starts in size 4!
Colors: 6+ options

A budget-friendly option in faux-leather or fabric. At 3,” these were a little low for what I usually wear, but are fantastic as a more
sensible sandal. These felt true to size and have good reviews. Several of my friends and cousin own a pair of these!
Eliza j petite floral maxi dress2
Hope this roundup helps anyone else looking for the perfect nude sandals!
Eliza j petite floral maxi dressMeasurements of this dress in 2P, for reference: 17″ armpit to armpit, 13.5″ across the waist (skinny belt helps cinch it a bit too), 14″ from top of shoulder to waistline, 56″ total length. Fabric has no stretch and dress is fully lined.


72 thoughts on “Eliza J. petites maxi dress + neutral strappy sandals review

  • Linda April 16, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you so much for this review – need sandals like this!!


  • Anonymous April 16, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Love the dress! Size 2 petite is out of stock. 🙁

  • Sasa Zoe April 16, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Great information! Love your dress!XO

    Shall We Sasa

  • Franziska April 16, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    I've been eyeing up the eliza j maxi dresses for a few months now because the reviews say it runs long, which is perfect for me. this one looks so pretty on you that it may just be the one I pick for the wedding we have coming up this month!

  • Kathy :) April 16, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Great review! I always appreciate having a range of splurge to steal. The dress looks very chic and effortless 🙂

  • Happiness at Mid Life April 16, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    This dress is just stunning on you!!! I am going to a wedding next month and need to start looking for a dress.


    Hope to see you for TBT Fashion link up.

  • Anonymous April 16, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I just purchased a dress like that for a wedding I went to last month. Can't believe you are wearing one on your blog…I feel so up to the minute right now! Ha. I want to warn you…I'm 5'1" and had to have the dress taken in and hemmed for 3.25" heels to be less than an inch off the floor and it cost $110! They may even have been giving me a break on the price just to be nice, as they may have figured I didn't expect that. A lotta fabric going on with those, let me tell you…But it IS a show stopper, and WILL get noticed…So if you have the $160 + $110 or more. And then you may need the belt shortened for another $15 or so…It can be worth it, but it may cause a bit of a heart attack…

    I tried the "minimalist" sandals for the dress and ended up with a nude peep toe, as it was still cold and wintry (with snow) the day of the event. However, of the sandals I tried, I think I loved the Guess Caterina ones the best. They are silver with jewels…not sure if they had a nude version (my dress had a lot of gray in the pattern, so those were appropriate). Second favorite were the J. Crew Factory ones…but they could have used a ball of foot pad to keep my foot from sliding and the ankle strap was a bit too wide. But still a good second option…and a little lower than the Guess. I tried the Stecy in silver as well, but they were too narrow for my wide feet.

  • Diana April 16, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Beautiful dress!

    || D I A N A ||

  • Anonymous April 16, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I also want to say that the dress is of excellent quality and worth the money in that respect. It does run small though, so you should size up from what you would normally buy in another brand of dress.

  • Caitlin Morton April 16, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    So funny I literally posted this dress on my blog last night! It is so cute! Xo

  • Meize Mouse April 16, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Zara's nude strappy sandal is my favorite! I'm not sure if they're still available. The triangulated front makes for even more leg elongation. At $80 full price, they're real leather so a great buy. Not comfortable for hours on end, but they've been my go-to shoe to wear as a guest to weddings because of their versatility.


  • Jean April 16, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    It looks like it just got re-stocked!

  • Jean April 16, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    This (or any of their pleated maxis) would look amazing on you esp with your height!

  • Jean April 16, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Ah, great minds think alike! I agree it's really nice quality for the price point and glad to have a second opinion that it runs a little smaller than some brands. Yikes, that's quite a bit for alterations! My guess is the average tailor would charge $50 or so for hemming due to the amount of material…but it could vary greatly due to location and the tailor. Though that is also why I'm considering taking it up via the shoulders a bit which is an easier job, or just cheating with the tuck over the belt trick after I get the torso slimmed.

    Also, I don't think the belt needs to be shortened at an additional cost…I've showed lots of ways to knot or tie a long skinny belt and think this is the perfect candidate! I just need to use my nifty hole puncher to punch 1 extra hole, which is free : )

  • Anonymous April 16, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    I loved it when I saw it on Nordstrom, but I love it even more now, seeing it on you!!! You look stunning and gorgeous, Jean!!


  • Anonymous April 16, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Well, I really think a lot of that was for the pleats. It seems difficult to roll the hem with pleats to shorten it, and then you have to consider that a pleated skirt has twice the fabric. It took 45 minutes just to PIN the torso and the skirt. I had asked if the person thought it could have been taken up at the shoulders instead and she said "no". But maybe you are right and that would have worked…Originally, I thought that it would when I took it there. I also asked if the skirt could have been detached and shortened at the waist and she said "no" to that, because it would have been considered a redesign and would cost even more. I leaned toward trusting what she said, because I've been going to them for ten years and they are the best I've found. Not a run-of-the-mill sort of place…more of a suits/formalwear place…but they do a very nice job. For such a gorgeous and expensive dress I wanted it done right. One suggestion the person did have was to just hem the front and then taper it to the back and leave it longer like a train. She said that is what a lot of bridesmaids are doing. I thought that the dress would have gotten ruined that way with both dirt and possible snagging on the chiffon fabric…which is always an issue with that material. Another thing to note (which was also mentioned in the reviews, I believe) is that the sides are a different length than the front…longer. Just in case someone notices that and thinks something is wrong.

    Yeah, you could definitely knot it in one of those ways. I didn't like the gunmetal belt that came with mine (I had the mint dress with the gray flowers that is now sold out but similar to the yellow one currently for sale in regular sizes) and went with a lighter silver belt of questionable quality but good looks from Target. I didn't trust that a hole could be punched in there without ruining it. But anyway…it is something to consider for someone who isn't comfortable dealing with a belt tail. A lot of people aren't aware that belts can be fixed at a shoe repair shop. But you are correct that tying it up nicely can work.

  • Anonymous April 16, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Another thing I read in the reviews is that Nordstrom will punch an extra hole in the belt for you if you have the alterations done there. Not sure what they charge. But yeah, tying will work.

  • Petite-ish April 16, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Love that blue and white color way and flowy chiffon will always be one of my favorite textures. There was a somewhat similar anthro dress (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/31103053652314421/) that I had in my shopping cart for a long time last year but never pulled the trigger on. Anyway, looking lovely as usual. And your deck is also looking great. Love that wicker bench!

  • Keri H April 16, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    This is gorgeous. I love the floral print and the pleating at the top of the dress. So good to know because I can never find a maxi that hits me at the right length because I am so short. Lovely!

    Enclothed Cognition

  • the05experience April 17, 2015 at 1:56 am

    You're a life saver! As a wide feet girl, I've been looking for a pair of heels with wide enough strap to make my feet look good. Now I can finally give this "simple strap heels" trend a try!

  • Miriam Henderson April 17, 2015 at 2:55 am

    I love these sandals. Thank you for giving such great tips!




  • Anonymous April 17, 2015 at 4:11 am

    The Schutz CadeyLee sandal is a good middle ground between the Nudist and the SM. I noticed on their website that the sizes go down to a 5 and they're "only" $180. I found them to feel similar to the Nudist in terms of comfort. I saw some of the SMs in the store where the plastic around the buckle had deteriorated from over use and because of the less durable material.

  • Paola April 17, 2015 at 5:03 am

    Perfect dress!

  • prudence yeo April 17, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Such a gorgeous blue floral maxi dress, you look amazing in this feminine piece!


  • Eden Mint April 17, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Beautiful dress, love the heeled sandals too!


  • Karen Zhao April 17, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Not sure if my other post went through. I love that whenever I am on the hunt for a particular style, you make the post very soon after. For dresses, I tend to stay away from lighter colors because of the see throughness. Do you have any advice? Many suggest wearing a slip but I have not found any petite slips. Even when the fabric isn't that see through, at the certain lighting and angle, everything can be revealed! My white and yellow dresses have been sitting in the corner of my closet untouched 🙁

  • Aimee April 17, 2015 at 9:19 am

    I got the J.Crew Factory stacked-heel sandals last year, and have loved them ever since. They were my go to shoes for going out all last summer. The stacked heel was essential, and allowed my feet more support so I could stay out all night in them.

  • tailoredandtrue April 17, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Such a pretty dress! Love this look!


  • One Stiletto At A Time April 17, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Wow that dress is amazing!!!

    XoXo One Stiletto At A Time

  • Alyssa Renee April 17, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Beautiful dress!!! =)

    Follow Me:

  • Anonymous April 17, 2015 at 11:13 am

    AH! I tried this exact style from Eliza J about two or three years ago ( this dress has been so successful that they bring up many colors and prints later, to became one of their "classic" piece). At that time the smallest size is sz 0, which is still too long on my 5'5 frame even on the 4' heels. But I was impressed by the simple and elegant look and relatively nice fabric. Good to know now they have petites! Probably I'll give it a try in the future. It's one of styles that I love for a special occasion, comfortable, beautiful, sophisticated and timeless, nice!

  • Anonymous April 17, 2015 at 11:53 am

    hi jean, did your jcrew factory package come yet and did you end up keeping any of the jcrew factory items? i bought a couple items based on your recommendation, but im on the fence in terms of quality of the fabrics. thankyou!

  • Trou Vang April 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Love this dress on you! And I have also been eyeing these maxi dresses for an upcoming wedding. 🙂

    The Peculiar Trouth

  • jessydust April 17, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    How beautiful is this?! I love how the dress flows. The quality must be amazing for that price, too! I hope to see you style it in other ways since I can see it becoming a "one time" piece.

  • Lindsay April 17, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I have two great high/low neutral strappy sandals. The high is a Manolo Blahnik – I think mine are Chaos, but I'm pretty sure they are 4" not the 3.5" offered now (I bought them on sale at NM in January, so the same version may not still be out). They are actually really comfortable for the height. The low is Ann Taylor- I just bought the Alaina a few days ago and they are SO comfortable! They are so soft because they are suede, and have a very padded foot bed and are only about 2 3/4" tall. Definitely recommend scooping them up on one of AT's frequent sales!

  • yeji April 17, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I felt like lately I couldn't relate to your posts, maybe partly because your style has evolved over past few years that I've been following you (I do miss your business outfits!) but this dress came at a perfect time when I was looking for something to wear at a wedding. Thanks for the great review!

  • Misa Hoxholli April 17, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    I love this dress. its very pretty and fun for the summer. Definitely on the dressy side but still beautiful.

  • Tianna Gallinaro April 17, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Love that maxi dress. Blue and white is always so classic.
    xo Tia | http://www.bigcitytyro.com

  • Janet April 18, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Hi Jean! I love your blog and have been following you for awhile! I remember you mentioned that your tailor is located in Chinatown in Boston. Would you mind sharing where he's located? I would love to get some things hemmed! Thanks!

  • Anonymous April 18, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Hello Jean – unrelated to this post but I just wanted to ask how you liked the items you ordered from Jcrew Factory. I was debating on purchasing the striped skirt and leopard belt but wanted to hear your thoughts.

Comments are closed.