To keep or not to keep: H&M Lace Draped Dress

I found a dress at H&M; last week that I’m excited to share with you guys (I even have an extra one up for grabs). I would love your opinions on whether or not it’s a keeper for the price of $59.95. Sometimes I am deluded into thinking something looks and fits fabulously, but then you guys help me see the light (ie. gap ankle pants, gahh).

This dress is from H&M; “Trend.” Trend is their more expensive line, distinguishable by more fashion-forward styles and noticeably better workmanship. I adore their styles, but unfortunately, from my experience their trendy stuff is usually cut for taller women (long hemlines, super structured shoulders, over-sized, flowy styles). But this dress – not really trendy, plus I thought it fit great:

Dress: H&M; Trend sz 2 (fits like sz 00 and also comes in black)
Cardigan: Martin & Osa XS (can’t wait for my long LOFT cardi’s)
Sandals: Mossimo Palani sz 5.5 – love! Buy em HERE
Brooch/pendant: Vintage “Peri” Cameo pin from eBay


Click continue reading for my review…

I became obsessed with brooches and chains after watching Khatu’s DIY video. I found this 1960’s cameo from eBay. The chain is some cheapy one from A.C. Moore.


FIT: The bust is a smidge roomy (can accommodate up to a 32B or maybe 34A) but the waist is tiny. The tulip skirt is not too bubbly (see side view), but still gives the illusion of some hips. Measurements of a sz 2: 15″ across the underarms, 11.75″ across the waist. 33″ total length.

QUALITY: As with my other H&M; Trend stuff, I am pleased with the quality. The materials are not premium by any means (polyester / viscose / elastane blend) but the details speak for themselves: the gorgeous lace panel that crosses over the shoulders onto the back…the grosgrain ribbon waist…the delicate pleats and draping down the front…the generous pockets…love it all. Plus it’s fully lined with a back zipper closure.

VERSATILITY: Not sure what type of occasions I can wear this to. I can see it being nice for a wedding, or on casual occasions with the long cardigan. What do you guys think?

VALUE: One part that is holding me back is the $59.95 price tag. A little much for H&M;, but I’ve paid $40 before for my “Trend” skirts which have held up nicely. I am just biased because H&M; stuff is usually so cheap, but if you think about it, dresses from BR and Ann Taylor retail for at least twice as much, plus they don’t usually look nor fit too well on tiny petites.


A note on these Palani gladiator sandals. I love them, but don’t expect quality for $25. The materials are all man-made, but the style and fit are perfect for me. They look great with skinny jeans too, and the heel is very comfy. I am going to pick up the same style in black (buy HERE).


PS – Hautelook (click here if you need an invite) is selling a number of beauty brands this week. Stila is up today, and the smokey eye palette I got last time is there even less this time around for $18 (retail $40). I love this palette and have been wearing it almost every day. It’s small and perfect for travel. Here are some crappy swatch photos from my phone:

On Tuesday they are having Lorac. I bought a charcoal eyeshadow from there last time and wore it in this video, but ever since Stila arrived I have been neglecting it. And on Wednesday, they are having NYX cosmetics which is loved by beauty gurus all around. I don’t have anything from there so I’m excited to see the offerings.

Readers – I’d love your thoughts on the dress!
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  1. Pauline wrote:

    Its a gorgeous dress! Now I have to go look for one too!

    Btw, if you have an ipod touch or iphone, download the H&M; app, open it, and shake it! A 20% off coupon will appear 🙂

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  2. stylepint wrote:

    It's a great dress and if you'll wear it often, then it's a keeper. It looks amazing on you! =)

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  3. It looks gorgeous on you- definitely keep it!!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  4. Sara wrote:

    I think it looks absolutely great on you, but if you're not going to wear it enough (i.e. if you have no plan to wear it to work, and you already have plenty of "wedding-friendly" dresses in your closet) then I wouldn't bother. But I do love it with the green cardigan & it looks work-appropriate to me!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  5. Annapurna wrote:

    Girl, that dress looks amazing on you – like someone tailored it especially for you! I get you on the price and the "where would I wear it" question. It is so hard to return something that fits like a glove! Plus, although $60 seems so high (I bet Anthro would charge over $100 for the same), it looks like a one-of-a-kind unique piece.

    However, if you are considering returning it, then I think that answers your question. Return.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  6. Jen wrote:

    I looooove that dress! It's almost funny to me to hear that you're not sure where or when you'd wear it because I'd wear it literally all the time. Could you not wear it under a blazer to work? Especially in the fall with tights and heels, I think it would be work-appropriate. 🙂

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  7. The dress looks super cute on you! The fit is great and you can't tell at all that the bust is roomy. Personally, I would have a hard time figuring out where I could wear this dress — I don't like wearing lace to the office, it's not quite dressy enough for a wedding (not to mention the color is too close to white), and a little too dressy for basic weekend wear. It's not a bad price though, so if you have occasions to wear it to, buy all means keep it!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  8. Jillian wrote:

    I love it!!! I want it!!! 🙂

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  9. jlovesBal wrote:

    Love the lace detailing on the front! 🙂

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  10. hugstiem wrote:

    You really can't wear that to a wedding because of the color. Even though it's not white, it's close enough to be questionable. I always have to stop myself from buying ivory/beige/etc. dresses that I would only wear on special occasions. But this dress looks quite casual due to the material, so it seems like you can just wear it around. Also I don't think I'd think twice about keeping it for $60. Great price for a dress of the quality you describe.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  11. thesmallone wrote:

    I think the dress looks really pretty on you. I love the color!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  12. Jacqueline wrote:

    Thanks for sharing! I love the Mossimo sandals, I had them on order last year but the order never got filled with Target, I can't wait to get them this year!

    The H&M; dress is really cute. I would keep it!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  13. April wrote:

    Jean I think this dress is PERFECT on you!!! I love it! Those Target heels look great on you! I love that pendant!!! I too love to shop Ebay! I have purchased about 5 items this week alone. I'll share soon! 🙂 I checked out the Stila sale on Haute Look and didn't find anything. Like you, I am going to wait on the NYX goodies even though I have enough. LOL! Also, I'm interested in the Jessica Simpson Hairdo on the 23rd. I've always wanted to try fake bangs. Hahaha! Hopefully it will be sold!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  14. grace wrote:

    I think the dress fits amazingly on you (and who doesn't love a dress that has pockets). Since the dress fits so well on you, the other question I would ask is – how much do you love the dress? Do you love it enough that spending the $60 on it doesn't make you cringe slightly? (Sadly, I also look at where it's made – is it made in the US, or in China?) I think the dress is very classy (and unique) though, and it can operate both dressy and casual, so it may operate more than just sitting in your closet for long occasions.

    And thanks for the tip about the sandals! I don't have anything in that style and loved them immediately on you that I had to get two pairs myself to try on!

    I'm also wondering how you liked the booties you bought there?

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    The dress looks gorgeous on you! Definitely don't let this one go. I think the color may be too close to white for a wedding though.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  16. Claud wrote:

    This dress fits you perfectly,looks really pretty on you. I saw IRL on the store and called my attention too…but I agree with you on the price tag. what's up with those prices at H&M;?? I'm so glad i get to see it here on you. Give me a different perspective. I don't like that the clothes are sometimes so wrinkle and this makes difficult to appreciate their clothes. But as you mentioned can be easily solved by ironing. I need to get myself a steamer.

    As others, I think is a keeper. hmmm…maybe I should go back to H&M; to try it LOL I need to attend a bridal shower and this might work…you are given me the idea. I was thinking to get a dress at BCBG but maybe I should look around first.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  17. R.L. wrote:

    You always find the most amazing things at H&M;! That, or you just know how to style things and they look amazing on you 🙂 There's no question that the dress is fabulous. I don't think it's worth the $60 based on the material which looks wrinkle-prone.

    But if it were me, I would keep it because the dress is really unique in a non-overstated way. I agree it's really versatile. I'm not sure if this is something you'd wear to the office but I can definitely see it as weekend-wear or to some slightly dressier occasion. The main things that sell me on the dress are the pockets, the pleats of the tulip skirt, the lace details, and how well the waist fits on you. It really accentuates your slim waist!

    Maybe the dress should only be $30-40, but it's tough to find something so nice that fits well w/o alterations. If you feel like you'd wear it enough times (which I think you should!) then I vote keep it!

    I never wanted a vintage brooch before… but that second picture of it against the lace of the dress is to die for! Love the vintage of feel of it.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  18. I really think you should keep it, it fits you really nicely and I couldn't tell that the bust area doesn't look too bit – especially for a dress like that I don't think it should be super tight.

    $60 for a dress at H&M; is high, but like you send it's from the higher end line. If you told me it was $60 and I didn't know where it was from I would say to keep it especially since it fits you so well and is so versatile. I've been trying to think about "cost per wear" lately and I can see you getting a lot of wear out of that piece.

    LOVE the yellow cardi by the way!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  19. it is DEFINITELY a keeper! ilove the lace..and casual cute that you can wear to work.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  20. Thifa wrote:

    Wow. If that is the fit without fixing up, I'm really impressed. I can never buy things from H&M; without having to go through a marathon of cutting and resewing.. It looks gorgeous and it fits beautifully! It's very classic and elegant 🙂

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  21. It's supercute and fits you really well. I love it with that cardigan for something a little bit more casual. Also, I love dresses with pockets! If you can see yourself wearing it again, you should totally keep it.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  22. Callandra wrote:

    Jean, I really love this dress on you, the color is great for you and it's very flattering for your shape for sure. The pleating and lace detail in the front is lovely (and it continues to the back, very nice)! I also think it looks quality, it doesn't look cheap. It seems very veratile as well, especially since it's such a neutral color. You could throw any type of cardi over it (long or short) belted not belted, add a jacket, wear it as a skirt……it really does seem to lend itself to lots of possabilities………

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  23. I think it looks very pretty on you, and I don't see any noticeable issues with fit either. The length, where the waist hits you, all seem right. You could dress it up, or down.

    The only concern I have is that it seems a little frillier, or old-fashioned romantic, in style than much of what you seem to wear. Maybe that's actually a good thing, and you've been looking to add a few such touches to your wardrobe, but if it's too far out of your comfort zone it might wind up just staying on its hanger.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    This looks fabulous on you! Personally, I'd buy it for $60.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  25. That's a tough decision. I love everything about this dress (color, style, fit..) It's definitely something I would wear myself. The only thing like you said is the price tag. $60.00 is a bit pricey for a dress that sits in the closet waiting for an occasion. If this dress can be worn to work, I’ll say keep it. Otherwise, I'll wait until it does on sale and hopefully small sizes are still available.

    BTW, I have never heard of H&M; "Trend". My local H&M; didn't carry this line.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  26. It looks lovely on you, so its a keeper lol. 🙂

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  27. Frankincensy wrote:

    It's beautiful and looks like it fits you perfectly. I'd vote keep it if you're happy with the quality and can see yourself getting some wear out of it. 🙂

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  28. Liana wrote:

    i think its a keeper! it looks great on you and hugs you in the right places…and it looks like its pretty good quality too

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  29. I love it on you. The details are interesting and draw your eye in. The color is perfect; the light color really showcases the details. A bright color would overshadow them. It looks like it lies nicely and fits you well. How does it feel? Is it comfortable? Can you move in it well, sit in it well? Does it wrinkle easily? Is it machine washable? If it's something you like, and you think you'll get a lot of wear of with minimal upkeep, I think it's worth the price. But, if you have doubts, and it has to be dry cleaned and wrinkles easily and shows that it been worn, then you might want to reconsider.

    But I think it looks lovely on you.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  30. PetiteXXS wrote:

    I think it's a really pretty dress… it's neutral enough to be versatile but still has interesting details. But the price tag is a little ouchy for me as well… I rarely spend that much on a dress unless I love/need it and can't live without it. And I think part of the problem is that it's from H&M; (aka not known for quality). I guess in the end it depends on how much use you think you can get out of it?

    Btw I love your mustard yellow cardigan… too bad the LOFT long cardigans don't come in that color 🙂

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  31. Bella wrote:

    I absolutely love this dress! It fits you perfectly~ but for the pretty steep price, I really don't think it's worth it.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  32. prosephina wrote:

    The fit looks great! And it looks nice up close. I like the button details. But farther away, the lace looks slightly worn – maybe it would look better without the lace, if it's all clean lines, or just slightly less lace (?).

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  33. At first glance, beautiful dress! However, I hate roomy busts, although I cannot tell by the picture. The dress is rather versatile. Wedding, office and date are all appropriate occasions. Also, it matches both bright and neutral colors – again, in picture. The price isn't baD. So, I say keep. Just don't eat out this week :O)

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  34. Emily wrote:

    It looks really great on you, and it's a classy piece. And I love the details.. I've never owned anything by H&M; Trend, but if it generally holds up well, then it's definitely worth it.
    I'm kind of jealous.. I think it would be perfect for a wedding (I have to go to one next weekend with nothing to wear!), and the closest H&M; to me is an hour and a half away.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  35. Stephanie wrote:

    whoa, great composition in the first shot. Love that spot- props to the bf.
    Anyways, I do like that dress on you. Seems like most of us do too! $60 is high but it's def worth it b/c the fit is so nice on you. I don't know of the Trend collection b/c I've only been to H&M; 2-3 times a long time ago when I visited Boston so I don't have any bias towards it. They really need one in the south!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  36. Elle wrote:

    This is a really unique and gorgeous dress. $60 is a lot for H&M; though…I think you should keep it if the quality will hold up and you can keep it in like-new condition. I am too much of a klutz for this color though and I am not sure this dress can survive ketchup stains. I'd love to see this dress in some lookbook posts.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  37. I would most definitely buy it! In fact, maybe I will 😉 The quality looks superior.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  38. Erin wrote:

    I LOVE it! I think you're right about AT/BR being much more expensive and not fitting the same. If you feel comfortable in it, keep it! I think it looks great.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  39. Ping – I love combo pieces too. Thank you for your input!

    Hanna, you're too funny. You're not a dingbat…I actually picked it up in the same color : ) I didn't think the black showed off the detailing nearly as nicely. I will be selling it for a $10 fee plus exact shipping costs for anyone in the U.S. who is interested (no sales tax in MA).

    I assume it is dryclean only but it's at home and I'm in Atlanta for work. I would be worried putting the lace into the wash.

    The Owl's closet – thank you : ) I've been eying the Palani's forever because I didn't want to spend too much on gladiator heels. Don't forget to look for the $5 coupon on retailmenot and use ebates!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  40. KEEP, for sure!:) Love this dress on you! Thanks for the review on the Target gladiators. I've been searching for a similar style and it's such a good price, too!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  41. Banhannas wrote:

    Oh, I'm a dingbat. I see that you picked it up in a black color. So again, while I post twice another question that I forgot to ask. Is it dryclean only?

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  42. Ping wrote:

    Jean– this dress is really pretty and the color is so neutral, it'd be easier to pair with whatever color accessories/shoes you want. When I first saw this, I thought it was two pieces. The button and the lace on the top gives it a nice tough. I love top+skirt in one…makes getting dress quick. I think it's a keeper…I know what you mean by it's a lot for h&m;.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  43. Jessy – I recently discovered that pendants on ebay are quite cheap. I saw the cameos at H&M; and F21 and I think mine was cheaper plus it's "authentic" : )

    Helen – thanks for your input. Their "trend" stuff is always so expensive but it's good to put things into perspective. I paid $125 for a dress from Banana Republic for a wedding and it was worn once and is now "outdated."

    Michelle – good point, it was definitely wrinkly off the rack, probably from shipping. I'm going to let it hang, plus I do have a steamer. You should definitely look into getting one. I hate ironing!

    Jen – thanks for your input : )

    Phuong – Haha, I think the top is my favorite part of the dress. They have a flowy top that has the same exact lace detail and I was contemplating getting that : )

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  44. Banhannas wrote:

    Oh, please keep the dress! The dropped waist and the lace reminds me of a vintage dress. I actually think its worth the price since for 1. finding a cute vintage dress can be hard to find. and 2. Looks vintage but you know its new (i.e don't have to clean the living daylights out of it.)
    You said you picked up an extra! YES, did you pick it up in a different color?

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  45. The dress is lovely, but I wouldn't buy it because sixty bucks for an H&M; dress is a lot. If the quality and material are nice though, keep it! It looks great on you, but you just need an occasion for it. The cardigan on top looks nice though.

    The pendant you have is very pretty, but I think I've seen a similar (if not exact) one at Forever 21 or H&M.; I remember this because I wanted to buy it. haha

    I love your sandals! I want a pair now. It's not bad for 25 bucks, but thankfully, Target is saving me some money by not shipping to Canada. Figures.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  46. helen wrote:

    Yes. I bought a dress from H&M; purely for the look of it and not the quality and paid the same amount as you but it's a lot thinner than the one you have. It fits you well and although a little much for H&M; like you said, for a dress in general it's a good price.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  47. Michelle wrote:

    I think it looks gorgeous on you. I am in love with your cameo necklace! That is at the top of my unwritten "want" list. You paired it beautifully with the cardigan and heels. I can definitely imagine it with a cardigan, cute tights, and booties for fall.

    Would I buy it for $60? No. Mostly because I do not need anything like that right now. I would also worry about wrinkles (this coming from a girl who does not own an iron…a steamer is on that "want" list, as well). From the pictures, it already looks a little wrinkly at some parts. Do you have the necessary tools at home to keep it wrinkle-free? But big plus…pockets!! Also, neutrals are always great.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  48. I love the dress on you and I would totally buy it for $60. The details are great– the fact that the lace extends to the back of the dress is a great touch. The pleating on the front accentuates your little waist and gives you a nice hourglass shape. Definite keep!!! Well worth the $60 (I want to go look for one now too!)!

    Happy Monday Jean!

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  49. phuongle83 wrote:

    The top is not so cute

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  50. phuongle83 wrote:

    I like the bottom part and the color of the dress. The top is not so cut- I don't like the pattern of the lace.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply

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