Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: J.Crew Emmaleigh Dress.

     I have been looking for a sheath dress in a great suiting material for a long time now, just so I can make up a three- or four- piece suit (jacket, skirt, dress, pants). The biggest issue, as my fellow super petites can relate, is fit. My fit issues are a bit unique in that I wear 00P on the bottom due to my narrow hips and wear a 0P on top. When buying a dress, it's anyone's guess as to whether I could fit a 0P or a 00P. I generally end up with a dress that somewhat fits on top, but is too big on the bottom, or it fits on the bottom but is too tight on top. 

   Most recently, I haven't had any luck with Banana Republic (too tight on top) or Theory (too long on top for my short torso), but I have yet to try J.Crew dresses. One of the sweaters I've been stalking for months finally went on sale and I needed to fill the free shipping quota, so I decided to try on the Emmaleigh dress for size. To ensure I wasn't going to keep it, I ordered it in Royal Violet, thinking it was a color that I wouldn't like. 

   Here are a few photos in 00P (the color is much less fluorescent than is shown below):

   My initial reaction was that I was in love. I didn't expect to like it at all because of the bright color, but after putting it on, I thought it would be a fun addition to my work wardrobe. It was only after I took the blog photos that I saw that it wasn't as great as I had first thought. 

  The breakdown:

   Quality: I am a big fan of the J.Crew's Super 120s wool. It's smooth and soft, and drapes incredibly well, assuming that you can get the item to fit you.  The dress seems well-made. I found no issues with the construction. The dress is also full lined.

   Look: The overall look of the dress is really nice. It is a great sheath that is appropriate for work or any other slightly more formal occasion. It can be both dressed up with a jacket and heels or you can try and wear it more casually with a pair of flats. It does have pockets that are sewn shut. If you are thinking of opening them, I would give it a second thought before actually doing so. I love pockets, but they can also ruin the lines of a dress or skirt because they tend to open as a result of any movement and you no longer get that streamlined look. 

    Another detail that I loved is that in the inside the shoulder there are little hidden clasps to hold in bra straps:

  Sizing: In the mirror, I thought it actually fit rather well. The bust could fit a bit smaller but the waist fit, and I thought that the hips did too...until I took these photos. Then I realized, after seeing the back view, my rear didn't look that great:

    Hmm. When the butt isn't filling out the dress, that means something is definitely off. Upon further inspection of fit, I saw that the hips were too wide and could use about an inch of slimming on either side. Overall, I would say that this dress runs TTS for J.Crew, in other words, too large for very small petites. Here are some measurements in inches, taken on one side only:

Overall length: 34"Shoulder to waist. 14"
Waist to hem: 20"
Armpit to armpit: 14.5 (unstretched)
Waist: 12.75"
Hips: 17.5"
Shoulder to shoulder (outside seam to outside seam): 10.5"

Verdict: As much as I like the color, and the somewhat *close* fit, doing the actual slimming seems like too much work for this type of dress. If you have a larger bust and slightly larger hips than I do, the Emmaleigh has the potential to look amazing on you. For me, sadly, return.

   To try it for yourself, grab it here. The Royal Violet color is on sale for $149.99 down from $188, plus, if you have a J.Crew credit card, check your inbox. You can get 25% off your entire order and free shipping (anything on the website!) until September 11. I'm thinking long and hard about what to buy. I'm also expecting new stock to be uploaded on to the site during the first few days of September so I'm holding tight until then. Anything J.Crew that you love and think I should try??

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SS_littleflowers said...

That color is beautiful on you. I agree the fit is somewhat off. I love current stock at Jcrew but I feel a bit pricey. I would try and wait until sale...

OurWiredLives said...

Good choice. My initial reaction was that it's pretty but doesn't look like the dress in the picture. Some tailoring would definitely fix that but could get pricey with the 2 layers. Can't wait to see if you can find another sheath that works for extra petites.

Blondie, Esq. said...

What a gorgeous color! Sorry it didn't work out for you. I have the same issues with dresses (if it fits on top, it's huge on the bottom) but this dress works for me (I have it in 4 colors!). Have you tried the Memo dress in Super 120s? It might work better.

Cher said...

Oh I'm jealous that it works for you!! I haven't tried the Memo, the sleeves concern me because I usually need extra room for my arms but I will try it! Thanks for the suggestion!

Blondie, Esq. said...

I think it might work for you! The sleeves were fine for me but the v was a little too deep. I just love the super 120s.

Anna said...

Sorry it didn't work out but I had a hard time seeing the flaw with the dress. I mean, I can *kind of* see that it's sagging a little in the bum area but I doubt I would have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out. You might want to rethink the return but that's just my 2cents.

I see you're from the DC area - VA or MD :)

Cher said...

Heh, well, I agree, it's not terrible, it could just be better. I don't really like things that don't fit perfectly, especially at this price. It will bother me to no end until it's fixed! It may not be as noticeable from the back, but I can certainly see the pancakey-ness from the side view. I have a thing about having pancake butt syndrome. It will not be tolerated. :P

--And i'm in VA, but not far outside of the District. =)

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