Saturday, March 16, 2013

Guest Review by GetFresh: Lands' End 'Dress Test'


Happy Saturday Everyone! Today I am pleased to be bringing you another Guest Review...this one is by the always fabulous GetFresh. She recently purchased several dresses from Lands' End, and has graciously agreed to share her review of them with us. Thank you GetFresh! :)


Dress Test: LE Fit & Flare Dress Review
with a few current Canvas sizing notes

As a shorter (5’2” ish/ 155 cm) and fairly petite, but far from tiny (size 2 in most non-vanity brands, 115-120 lbs, definite pear), online shopper I have struggled with Lands’ End’s often “generous” sizing.  But I appreciate their practicality, price points,
shipping-return policy, live help for online shoppers, and fact they have definitely worked on enhancing their range of styles and patterns over the past few seasons.  Come summer, I definitely also appreciate a truly packable – as in rolled in a tiny duffel or beach bag – no-fuss, road trip dress.  Ditto one that, with a jacket and change of shoes, can go from a Casual Friday office to a get-together or long hours in the car.



PRICE & POPULARITY: I zeroed in on the Lands’ End Sleeveless Fit & Flare Dress  (item 420743-AH6 and 412285-AH9) for a detailed brand re-visit because with over 550 on-site reviews something has to be good, right?  Plus at $59.00, or significantly less during one of LE’s regular promos, it looks like a real deal.

 

FABRIC & COLOR: Of 8 options, I tried the Celestial Blue Print and the plain Mushroom color. Both were true to web images color-wise, with the solid dress looking slightly more saturated and grey than pictured.  The mosaic design of the Celestial (navy) Blue was a good scale for various sizes and body types: still reads as a pattern from distance, but not too busy. The fabric was very soft yet substantial in a 58% cotton/ 38% modal (rayon)/ 4% Lycra blend.  Definitely a forgiving and comfortable, not clingy knit.  Didn’t stay creased at all even when scrunched in a ball. According to a friend who has already vacationed with and washed hers, launders well (no pilling) and hangs dry overnight.

SIZE & CUT: Based on lots of “size down” customer reviews and my past Lands’ End trials, I ordered the Petite P-XXS even though I am not a (0-00) in other brands I wear, especially on the bottom.  There is a lot of “flowy” fabric, particularly in the lower part of this dress. This picture is of it just laid out flat, not stretched at all.  The skirt came just to the top of my knees.  Online says the P is 35.5” long (as compared to a regular 38”), but mine was only 34”. Depending on what length your wear your dresses, that means it could run too short for those much taller who were considering the Petite as a down-size from regular LE which only starts at XS (2-4).  You’d likely end up with a poorly “baby dollish” look.





FIT: Overall, I think the v-neck and set-in waistband are flattering on most figures.  The straps and back provide good coverage.  At my proportions, the inset band hit at a bit of an awkward spot, neither empire nor true waistband.  Because the shoulder straps are set fairly wide apart, the dress gaps a bit at the back of the neck, and at the armholes in front.  While the fairly low cut does not gap when leaning forward, I might be self-conscious about it for a conservative workplace.  Because of all the fabric and a pin-tucked waist seam both front and back, check this dress when seated.  To me it was a bit poufy or tent-backed and “maternity”.  The solid dress did look like it had a slightly smaller and less pleated skirt than the print.




POSSIBLE FIX: The armhole and back of neck gaps, as well as the bust ruching wrinkles and lower cut would likely be sorted by getting a tailor to take the straps up about an inch, a simple, inexpensive alteration.  I would be checking what this would do to the overall dress length, but since there is a lot of stretch in the fabric, it’s likely not an issue.


ALSO TRIED: Lands’ End Original Pattern Cotton V-Neck Flare Dress in the similar Aged Navy Print - better skirt “fall” and shoulders, but front was just too wrinkly and messy on me.

The Stripe Pique Polo Dress - good alternative to Polo or Lacoste, fell at knee, tennis hem, Dusty Apricot is pink as shown below, horizontal stripes did not widen hips as much as expected. 


The Lands End Canvas Polka Dot V-Neck Dress in 0 - nice poplin fabric and pattern, but wide dolman sleeves and a lot of room up top for a smaller frame or flat chest, side zip, 42” length looked dowdy at my height.


Thank you so much again GetFresh for the wonderful reviews! :) 

Btw, if you have a review you would like to share with us, please feel free to email me at FabulousFloridaMommy@cfl.rr.com. :)

Have a lovely day!

xoxo,

14 comments:

  1. I always find the skirts on LE dresses to be too flared for my hourglass/8 figure. I also find them to be a dowdy length. Even the petites are almost too long. The material, construction and price are good though. I haven't tried on this year's crop. I try to get to a Sears to try on in person.

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    1. Hi Generation Kvetch! I have had good luck on a couple of dresses from LE this year, and think they are definitely worth checking out again if you get the chance. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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    2. Generation K, where I am, trying on in person isn't an option, so I thought I would order a few with last big promo to try. Unfortunately, I still do find their dress cuts "big" even in the P size. In my case at least, keepers would require tailoring and hemming to not look a bit "drowned". That noted, their prices and quality are strong and I am sure many blog writers and readers will wear them well. Also have to give LE kudos for the online reviews with sizing indicators etc.

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  2. Great post! I keep contemplating the polo shirt dress, as either Patricia or Marsha swear by that style - how did you find the sizing close to the first dress, GF? It looks great you btw! Given bust, it would sadly be no go for me and the girls, but I admire it! Am off to check out other delights as you have piqued my interest! Great detail, too - so helpful to all and something I am completely incapable of!

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    1. Hi WMM thanks! I think the solid colour polo dress could be a great try for you in their Concord Blue. There is also a more flared version with longer sleeves. The fabric is a nice pique and the fit is forgiving. (I was worried it would be cut too straight in the hips and kill me or too wide and just look shapeless but the A-line is balanced.) In fact, of all my tries, that was the dress I came closest to keeping. Also felt like its more expensive retail cousins. I tried it with a braided leather belt I had for a bit more shape and that looked good too. Most reviews seem to say TTS, the P version just came to top part of my knees.

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    2. It does have a noticeable tennis (longer in back) hem this season. I liked it as is. But sure a tailor could even the back if preferred.

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  3. Great review GetFresh,even though i am sized out of their stuff.
    Have you tried LE canvas,which seems to be cut smaller?

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    1. Hi Ina, Lands' End Canvas tees are definitely a good option - especially if you are petite, some of their cuts, including baseball (rounded) and tennis hems are shorter than an equivalent JC or BR tee. They do run a little wider in the chest though, but I don't mind. And so far no small holes ;-)
      I found the LEC dresses are either still big on top in a 0(smallest size) or too short/ little girlish on me. I think someone younger than me or with a bit better thighs would like (they have a few nice silk and poplin fabrics) but for me at least LE/ LEC dresses a pass. Too much altering for what they are.

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  4. Great reviews, Get Fresh! I love the printed dress on you. I might try that or the polo dress ( sz 8-10, 5'8", +hips); 38" is the shortest I could do. I like the length of the last dress, but not the sleeve deal.

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    1. Lane thank you. I really liked the polo dress, it's a subtle A-line. Might be the one that ends up in my closet, depending how the summer list works out (snowflakes here today, so summer seems long off.)

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  5. Great reviews GF, LE is definitely putting some effort into their dress department. Nice to have that flat rate return shipping as well, even from Canada.
    FFM hope your weekend is going well! :)

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    1. Appreciated Dani. I vastly preferred the all-cotton fabrics (poplin, pique) over the modal blends; fine for spring but some seemed like might be hot. Their easy, flat-rate returns a definite plus (get to ON depo fast but card processing - which happens once bulk shipped back to US - still takes a bit.)

      FFM thank you again for letting me post :-)

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    2. Thank YOU, GetFresh, for sharing the fantastic review with us. It is greatly appreciated! :)

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