Keep, Exchange, Alter, or Return: Portobello skirt

Shannon set me on a shopping mission when she picked up this cute Portobello skirt from Cleo a few weeks' back.

And she may, indirectly, have been the catalyst for my TAUPE revelation! (Thank you, Shannon).

Of course I decided I had to have it.

Sold out in my store, of course, in every size, but I ordered it, it arrived, and I love it. Stretchy, walkable, a perfect length for flats or low heels, it is ideal for my upcoming China/ Vancouver travel capsule, and could also form the basis for a new TAUPE capsule. So you KNOW I want to keep it.

There's just one problem. Either it doesn't fit quite right, it's sewed defectively, it's too big, or my body is weird (or maybe some combination) because it sort of puffs out in a weird way on one side. There's extra fabric on one hip. Just looking at it (off my body) the seam appears straight. But on me, there's a poof.

I hoped it might "settle" if I wore it around the house, but it didn't. Hubs noticed it and said it looks weird. Daughter doesn't think it is a problem. When I have a top pulled over it as in pic #1, it doesn't bother me. But I am wondering, should I try to get a replacement or have it altered? Would love your thoughts. It's made of a knit material, by the way.

The top is a "freebie" from consignment, a product of the late, lamented Cassis. This is the kind of thing that makes me continue to consign. I had never owned a sheer top like this before and would not have paid full price because I would not have seen it as "practical." But for free, I brought it home, and holy schmoly. Not only can I layer it over a bunch of tanks and camis to change the effect, but it covers up my not so nice chest area and allows me to wear my beloved blue-grey jersey dress with comfort, which none of my previous camis did (the necklines being too low). I can also layer it under lots of other tops. Brilliant!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • san replied 8 years ago

    I love this skirt on you. Such a great color and interesting texture.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Sorry - just realized I should have posted in K/R.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Do keep! I love that shade of taupe, btw. Looks great on you.

  • DeclawedJaguar replied 8 years ago

    I wonder if the skirt is just too big? Barring the strange fit issue, I love the skirt on you.

  • texstyle replied 8 years ago

    It looks great and taupe is a wonderful color for you!

    Re: the small defect, I'd order another (maybe call first to try and get someone who will send a note along to shipping to make sure it doesn't happen again, if possible). I find that small defects are common with online/mail order items and often if I re-order a replacement it will be right.

  • K. Period. replied 8 years ago

    It's too big, or at least that's what I see. In order for the seams to lay flat, it needs to be tighter on you. Very cute, though! Love the top. My goodness. So awesome.

  • rachylou replied 8 years ago

    I don't think it's going to get better. I think it's a fabrication issue and a RATE type skirt. It IS super cute.

  • Echo replied 8 years ago

    The colour and style are perfect for you, but this skirt is too big. Skirts like this (knit material, banded-type style) are designed ot be body-con and there is just too much room in it for you. In a smaller size it would be perfect, IMO.

  • JR replied 8 years ago

    I'd see about an exchange myself. Phone your local Cleo or customer service and see if it can be done without further shipping. I would have recommended just a quick home alteration, but the zipper rather complicates things.

  • annagybe replied 8 years ago

    I would see if you can exchange. It's defective.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thanks all - a mix of opinions!

    There is no zipper - if it is, in fact, too big, could it simply be sewn to fit? I have a Wonder Woman. I just worry that with the knit fabric it might still bunch a bit.

    It is the smallest size, so I can't size down.

  • cinnamon fern replied 8 years ago

    You could go a size smaller but that would be a different look - this isn't too big, it's just not body-con. Can you call the store and get them to send you a replacement? Since the skirt is defective they should pay the shipping and return.

    These colors look great on you, btw - your skin looks fabulous.

  • biscuitsmom replied 8 years ago

    I think it looks great on you, honestly.... it's just kind of a RATE skirt, imo

  • Parsley replied 8 years ago

    I really like the skirt, but I think it's too big on you. Could you take it to your seamstress and ask her if she can fix it? I bet she could just take it in, since there's no zipper.
    If not, then I vote return.
    The top is great!

  • Glory replied 8 years ago

    I vote keep because it looks fantastic and it will be perfect for China and Vancouver. I would try and steam the seam and see if that works. If not, take it to your seamstress and have the seam made a wee bit smaller. I think it is worth the effort.

  • JR replied 8 years ago

    Looking closely, I can see now that there's no zipper. But there is a pesky waistband, making it a little more complicated to fix. So I still vote for trying an exchange. A tailor would be my second choice, because this skirt is fabulous enough to warrant an effort.

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    Is there time to exchange *and* ask your tailor to fix if need be? All the things you mentioned are possibilities - defective or too big (some things that are meant to be bodycon bubble like that when there is no tension of a body filling it out. BUT, I don't think you'd wan't too much bodycon anyway. That's why I think testing the defective theory first would be good. Then you can get it tailored just how you want it if there is still a problem.

    PS: the tank is AMAZING.

  • Caro in Oz replied 8 years ago

    I love it on you - my you are on the right track with your neutrals!!! If they have sold out of your size can you get the retailer to pay for an alteration (it shouldn't be too difficult to do it's just a seam adjustment)? Oh the tank - it's wonderful too.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thanks, all - I think I will take Rae's advice and take it back, but order a new one explaining about the problem. There IS still time for it to come and be altered before China.


    By the way, I am SO excited about the taupe thing. It is a complete revelation for my closet.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news Suz, but I had/have the same issue. The first one I tried on in the store had the same pucker on the one side. So the SA brought me another one and it had the same thing. She then checked all the skirts in the store and they were all like that. However, she believes it is not a defect of the skirt but how they were packed in the warehouse when shipped to the stores. I solved my problem by washing the skirt by hand and the pucker relaxed. It's not completely gone I must admit, but it's lessened enough that it doesn't bother me.

    Obviously I don't know if you ordered a second one if it would be the same or not, I just thought I'd point out that this was the case in my brick and mortar store.

    I personally don't find this size on you too big - the size smaller would be quite body con. If you like the skirt, it would be an easy "pinch and stitch" for your Wonder Woman.

  • morethanbeige replied 8 years ago

    I think it's really cute on you, Suz. I would probably take it to my tailor and ask her if it's easily fixed...

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Shannon, THANK YOU!!!

    I was so hoping you would weigh in. Because of the way it is sewn, I sort of wondered if it was a design defect. Now I know.

    I'm going to forget about exchange. I'm going to take it to WonderWoman East and ask what she thinks. If she thinks making a new seam will do the trick, I'm doing it. If she doesn't, I'm going to keep and wear it anyway, in the hope it relaxes a bit over time.

    I'm in XS petite and can't go lower so it's either alter or wear as is. And I love it enough to keep it regardless.

    THANK you for putting me onto this fab travel skirt!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    It is a lovely skirt isn't it? It's so comfortable, versatile and can be dressed up or down. I'm glad you're going to make it work. You can hardly see the pucker on mine after I washed it. Just curious, did you steam or iron it at all? That might take it right out.

  • JulieJohn replied 8 years ago

    Hooray for taupe! Good luck washing that pucker out. ha ha - made myself laugh.

  • cjh replied 8 years ago

    Since Shannon said they are all alike, my theory is that the pattern was badly designed. One of the curved pieces which are seamed together was cut so it doesn't exactly match up to the piece it is supposed to match, or the curve of the piece isn't the same as the curve over the hip should be.

    It is an excellent color for you! I hope that it wasn't so expensive that manipulating the shape by washing is beyond what you should expect for this item.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thank you again, everybody.

    CjH, it's not an expensive piece in my budget. Not cheap, but not super-pricey. I can tell already that even if I don't manage to fix it the cost per wear will be less than $1 by the end of the season. It will be a workhorse.

    Shannon, good point. I didn't iron or steam yet. I can try that first before taking it to WonderWoman East.

  • Mo replied 8 years ago

    I just have to say how lovely these colors are on you! I agree the fit is off. I have a similar skirt (in black) and think it is meant to be bodycon, but I get that you can't size down. Fingers crossed for Wonder Woman's magical powers!

  • lynn replied 8 years ago

    You are just the cutest thing in the world! I love this skirt on you!

  • qpswan replied 8 years ago

    I think that you can do have an amazing figure and that skirt does not do it justice.

    Good luck with finding the perfect skirt!

  • Freckles replied 8 years ago

    Both pieces look amazing on you Suz. Good luck getting the skirt to lay properly.

  • CocoLion replied 8 years ago

    It's a defect. Try exchanging first, if the problem is still there, get it fixed. It's worth fighting for this skirt, looks like a workhorse and I too love these soft tonal combinations. I don't think it's too big, I like the fit. Love the top.

  • sarah replied 8 years ago

    Darn it, Suz. That skirt has great potential, but I totally see what you mean, and I would return it, unless your tailor thinks he/she can sort it out.

  • lyn67 replied 8 years ago

    Both items are spectacular on you Suz, the taupe is such a sophisticated colour on us, blondes! Happy for your sheer top, just hope to change the skirt for a perfect one, as I can see what you say, what a pitty, to deal with such boring sthings..Otherwise they are a keeper, and a good base for your taupe capsule, very chic!++

  • Deborah replied 8 years ago

    Suz it looks great! I read Shannon's comment and I had been thinking the same. It actually looks to me like it needs a good steam. I would have it professionally steamed at your dry cleaners.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Hmmmm, reading through all of the comments I wonder if this skirt was just designed for a hippier woman? My DD has been trying on these types of skirts and some have very obvious hips in them that she can't fill out. A look from the tailor will help.

    I agree that you should keep it and wear it regardless. It will be a great travel piece and a workhorse no doubt. Next year, you might be looking for a proper taupe suit but for now, this is a great way to try the color out.

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