Skirts and dresses haul: LOVE 21, J.Crew, Bensoni

by - Wednesday, January 12, 2011

All of these skirts and (useless) dresses were bought in December, so I'm still doing ok with my resolutions ;)

First is the LOVE 21 Tiered Waist Skirt in mauve, size XS (currently sold here). It looked promising on the model, but I knew it was going to be a return the minute I opened up the package. There were loose threads in multiple places and the fit just did not look flattering on me. The more I look at the photos, the more the pockets look like Dumbo's ears.

Next is the J.Crew Factory cotton Nico skirt in soft sandalwood, size 0 (currently sold here). I was really looking forward to this because a cute cotton skirt in a neutral-khaki color goes with practically everything. When I tried it on though, a muffin top I didn't know I had popped out! All the fat I had around the stomach area was pushed in by this thick rubber-band-like waistband. Not flattering at all. When the skirt is worn above the waist though, it looked a whole lot better. In the end, I still decided to return this skirt.

This J.Crew Factory Cotton-Silk Shimmy Dress in ivory, size 0 was a final sale item. I loved the ruffles and the Victorian look, but let's be honest here, it could pass for a nightgown, lol. Mostly, I loved the potential of the dress --- I could already imagine styling it multiple ways.

The dress came in 3 parts, the actual dress itself (quite sheer), a slip (sheer as well), and a black sash. There is no zipper opening for the dress, just a small keyhole in the back with a button closure. I was a little worried because I sometimes have a hard time getting my shoulders in and out of dresses without zippers (darn wide shoulders!) J.Crew's size 0 is a hit or miss for me, so I crossed my fingers praying it won't be too big. The shoulders seem to fit me fine, but the rest feels a bit big, but could be remedied by the sash around the waist. What do you think though, should I pay to get it slimmed? If anyone has experience, how much would that roughly cost?

I also picked up this Bensoni Silk Asymmetrical Ruffle Dress in coral, size 0 from Gilt, also a final sale item (note to self: I really, really, need to stop buying at final sales). I fell in love with the dress on the model and despite some reservations on the bright color, I figured I should be dark enough to pull it off.

I would say the color is more of a bright salmon-y pink instead of coral. The V-neck is not too low, which I appreciated because I'm flat as a pancake. But I was expecting the neckline to not be dead-center given the asymmetrical name. Half the ruffles around the waist was also pushed downwards, which I didn't notice until now, but a quick iron should fix this. I thought the fit was pretty good overall, except the armholes. Is that worth $ for alterations?

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  1. So many new purchases, Cee!

    Love 21 I have given up on. I've seen cute designs in store in XS but as soon as I slip it on I know it's a no-go.

    To take in the sides of your final sale dresses may be $25-$30 or more. Final sale is always scary! I do agree that the J.Crew one may need to be taken in for it to work. The salmon dress looks really pretty from the back, which I think is my favorite view.

  2. I think the white J.Crew dress is OK without alterations. I would probably tackle those myself because I can sew, but I wouldn't pay someone else to do it since the sash does a good job of slimming it up.

    As for the coral/salmon dress, the sleeve is too long and needs shortening for the fit on you to be like it is on the model. It also needs slimming along the side seams. I try to avoid spending too much on things that are going to go out of style quickly or are only appropriate for certain times of the year/events. I can see this being cute and trendy through summer of 2011, but will you wear it again the following seasons? If the answer is yes, then have it altered.

  3. Wow, lots of goodies!!! Too bad about the Love12 skirt, I love the concept but eek about the fit. I am not a fan of the J. Crew skirt so I am happy you returned it. The material seemed stiff? And I really like the white dress even though the sides can be slimmer. And you know how I feel about bright animated dresses, it looks REALLY big on you though.

  4.'re dumbo analogy cracked me up! Too bad about the skirt, the detail is very interesting. I hear you about the final sale. I found some great dresses at Talbots but couldn't risk buying them because they were all final sale! I've had some things slimmed and it never costs more than $15.00 (but I think Tailor costs vary per location too).

  5. I really like the J. Crew dress! I think it's a tad wide but I don't think it's a "must alter" item especially with the sash to cinch it in. As for the salmon dress, I think the style is very cute but it seems very loose and long on you. You could probably try to get it altered but there are so many areas to "fix" that it may not be worth it.

    BTW - I see no evidence of tummy fat!

  6. I agree that the Love21 line at F21 is not fit for petites. I have a few old items from that line and when I wear them now they hang like sacks. :(

    I really like the white J.Crew dress but taking it in will cost around $30. Not sure if it's worth it since it will increase the final sale quite a bit.

    and the salmon dress is really pretty but something about the fit is a little off too. i'm not sure it's the asymmetry or if it's really just big. unfortunately i think you can do better than this. the color is gorgeous but the fit doesn't say "wow".

    hope i wasn't too harsh. don't take any of it personally!

    kileen :)

  7. Lots of pretty stuff, Cee! I love the Love21 line at F21 but they're not petite-friendly for sure. I really like the salmon colored dress. I usually do not buy any that are marked "final sale" unless I know for sure they're going to work.

  8. Love your haul. I think everything is great except for the khaki skirt. You were right to return it.

    I think you will accessorize the dresses nicely later on. :)

  9. But that skirt is so so pretty!

    Stay Happy and Positive!




  10. My favorite of all is the J.Crew dress. It looks so pretty. If the alteration is not too bad, I say it's a definite keeper!
    The final sale one is a headache. The color isn't bad, but it's so shiny! You need to create an occasion to wear something like it. I can't think of any. :) The fit is actually not bad. The dress can be ironed or steamed to look more polished. (I noticed that half of the flap on the waist is going the wrong way.) This reminds me that I can't buy anything on final sale as well. (which I did already just today. doh!)

  11. Love the J.Crew dress! For the Bensoni dress, I would have a tailor shorten it. I like the length it is on the model That might just be me though, coz I like short dresses. :)


  12. Not a fan of the salmon dress, something about it looks 'off'. But I really do like the Silk Shimmy Dress. I think the fit looks okay on you, but if you're not happy about it, get it slimmed. and def keep that dress; it's a keeper and has SO much potential.
    So sad the skirts didn't fit :(

  13. I love the J Crew dress! and I love how you give such good and detailed reviews for your purchases. I totally would have thought that the first skirt would be cute after seeing it on the model, but those pictures can sometimes be misleading!

  14. Not in love with anything. Everything can use some fine tuning.

  15. @PetiteAsianGirl - Been buying wayyy too much lately. Need to exercise some self control. Thanks for the alteration cost feedback. I just hate to walk into the tailors with no price range in mind and walk out gypped.

    @littlenashua - I truly value your honest feedback. Those are some good points/questions you raised and it really helps to hear from someone who sews. A n00bie like me slips on a dress and knows it feels a bit loose but have no idea what needs to be done. I'll be writing this down when I take it in to the tailors and see what they say.

    @Elle - Yes, too much buying lately! And the sad thing is, there's more to come :( I thought the Bensoni dress felt very comfortable, not constricting at all. But duh, of course there's a reason for that, it's too loose, lol.

    @Callandra - Thanks for sharing your experiences. If the dresses end up being an extra $15 each, I would get them tailored in a heart beat!

    @SewPetiteGal - These dresses were cheaper than what I normally spend on dresses, so there's definitely $ room for alterations. Had to factor that in as it's final sale! Since you sew and you can spot many areas to alter, I'm hoping the tailors will lump it all together and the cost won't be too bad. But we shall see...

    @kileen - Keep the honest feedback coming! Really, I find the not-so-good ones so helpful because there's so much more room to improve :) These dresses cost less than what I'd normally spend, so if the tailors charge about $30, I think I'll go ahead with it. Crossing my fingers they won't be more though!

    @PetiteLittleGirl - I had good luck with a previous Love 21 dress, so I was hoping their skirts would work too. At least this could be returned, unlike the other 2 dresses :P

    @JenlovesBal - I'm hoping once the dresses are tailored, I'll be getting lots of wears out of them. Can not wait to accessorize!

    @20 York Street - So pretty on the model and on the hanger, but sadly not on me :)

    @Vicky - I think if I end up keeping the shiny dress (I'm hoping I don't have to try and sell it), I'll make up occasions to wear them to. Date night with bf once a week? :)

    @PearlsAndGreenTea - Hmm, I hadn't noticed the length really because it felt fine. But now that you mention it, it does look much cuter/younger on the model. Thanks for the tip!

    @Lisa - In a way I'm glad the skirts didn't fit, so I can use the money towards alterations. Is that wrong? :) Thanks for the feedback on the salmon dress. I'll see what the tailors could do about it to make it look right.

    @kimmie - Haha, my reviews are nothing compared to PetiteAsianGirl's! I'm really excited about wearing the J.Crew dress. Can't wait!

    @AubreyOhDang! - I like how your comments are always right to the point :) I couldn't agree more and hope everything can be fixed to live up to its potential!

  16. I initially thought that the dresses look quite big on you... and the skirts are oookay but I didn't really love them. Honestly final sale scares me! I don't even look at those items because I might be tempted and 99% of the time it never turns out well.

  17. Cee - I'm such a doozy! I should have been more sensitive about my comment about the salmon dress since it's a final sale. I'm sure it can be fixed. If not, you can always throw a belt and cardi over it. Trust me, you'll look fab in whatever you wear :)

  18. @PetiteXXS - Hehe, they're scaring me too. After this, I may never touch final sale sites again.

    @Lisa - No worries! Truly. I actually get a lot more out of "it's too big on you, fix this" or "you could wear this with that" because they're so helpful and makes me rethink how things look on me. Your comments are appreciated :)

  19. Oh wow, I see someone has been shopping! LOL

    I am so OVER Love21, I have a bunch of XS's that just sit there in m closet:(

    The J.Crew skirt after alterations will look amazing. Everything else - too big:(

  20. I love the white dress, especially with the sash. If I have to guess, it'll probably cost you around $20?

  21. These are very cute, Cee! Lovely girly picks, perfect for S/S 2011 :) The nudes and blushed pinks are so trendy right now too! Your blog is great x

  22. Hello!

    Your haul looks really great.
    If you don't mind please share it with our fashion haul community.

    Hope to see you around there!
    xoxo :)


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