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.

 

63 thoughts on “Petite-friendly statement dresses: Clover Canyon (Taj Mahal)

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 27, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    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.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 27, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    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)."

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 27, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    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!).

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 27, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    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.

  • pumpkinmommy June 28, 2013 at 6:21 am

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

  • everydaypetites June 28, 2013 at 8:55 am

    beautiful dress, Jean!

  • Anonymous June 28, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Hi Jean,

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

  • Kathy June 30, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    That dress is amazeballs.

  • Jessica July 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm

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

  • tara lynnae August 23, 2013 at 4:42 am

    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

  • Shae R August 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm

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

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

  • Kajal September 30, 2014 at 10:35 am

    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

  • Kajal September 3, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Hi June, Could you please advise if anywhere in the US (including any special online boutiques) have a one off sale of this dress? I live in Australia and I have been desperately searching through Ebay, Nordstrom, Revolve etc across a few countries trying to find this dress. I'm a petite indian girl and I absolutely adore this print. Would appreciate any advice you could offer. Thanks! Kajal

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