More dresses: Return and K/R

I ordered a couple more dresses to try from J. Crew. The first is going back. It's the cotton poplin version of a viscose dress I already returned (also in Finds). It's fine -- nice enough fabric, and it would be cool -- but I'm not in love with it and don't need it since my gingham Boden Eleanor will serve a similar purpose. 

The second is a dress I think from last year's line that popped up in my size on the site - it's silk, drop waist but with a tie that allows you to create a waisted effect if you want (an unusual feature) and tiered. A different style than I'd typically choose. In the mirror I liked the silky tiers and the sort of "flapper" effect but did not care for the ruffled shoulder detail. In the photos the shoulder detail doesn't bother me so much. It could possibly be removed to make a simple sleeveless look. 

I got it for a really good price so I'm debating this one. What think you?

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  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    If you have use for the second dress, keep.  If you don't feel incredible in it, return and keep looking. You look gorgeous in everything.

  • Dianna replied 2 years ago

    I like dress number 1, but if it would compete with wears with the Boden dress, back it goes, specially if YOU don't love it.  For the sencond dress, I vote keep.  You look gorgeous on that dress. 

  • Runcarla replied 2 years ago


  • jussie replied 2 years ago

    I like both! Beautiful flapper dress.  

  • Like the Season replied 2 years ago

    Big thumbs up on dress 2. Perfect length on you. And I vote to keep the shoulder ruffles! :)

  • JAileen replied 2 years ago

    The second dress looks great on you. You should keep it.

  • Echo replied 2 years ago

    The second dress looks amazing on you. KEEP!

  • Laura replied 2 years ago

    Second dress is a winner, ruffles and all!

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Well, thank you! I'll try it on again and see. I must admit I like how it feels. 

    You can see it here: (The blue is nowhere near this bright IRL -- much more navy). 

    And here (colour more true) 

  • Elle replied 2 years ago

    Another vote for the silk dress. It looks very elegant on you and the shoulder ruffles don't seem that noticeable.  Silk is such a wonderful fabric in the summer.

  • SarahD8 replied 2 years ago

    Oh wow, that second dress is fantastic on you!

  • replied 2 years ago

    I think of the first one as your style, and the second one as not your style because of the frills—-and yes, specifically the frills at the shoulder (wow! I wrote the above before reading your comments on the second dress. I’m really getting to know your style Suz!)

    The second one looks really good and I don’t see a departure from your regular style as a bad thing.

  • Roxanna replied 2 years ago

    Agree with the consensus here. Not loving #1 on you but I love #2 - but only keep it if you feel it's your style and you have occasions to wear it.

  • delurked replied 2 years ago

    I don’t care for the first. It’s fine, and I see you feel the same.

    The second dress is very flattering on you, and I think a keeper for a good price. I don’t find any issue with the sleeve.

  • Roxanna replied 2 years ago

    Also: have you tried Angie's CM dress? I bought it too. I thought it would look fabulous on you; plus it's more your style and can be dressed up or down, which I thought light be more suited to your lifestyle.

  • replied 2 years ago

    Oh I just saw the other pics. It is sooo cute! I do prefer the navy, so I’m glad that’s the true colour.

  • Sal replied 2 years ago

    I like 2 - it is a different style for you but I think in a fun, party sort of way.  To me it looks like a happy dres - with longevity.  Really nice for celebratory occasions - lunches or dinners etc

    My only question is toppers - do the ruffles work with a jacket over the top - might not be a deal breaker - I have dresses with no toppers but it does limit their wearability as we get warm days and cool nights.

  • Elizabeth P replied 2 years ago

    Ok, I’m going to be a total wet blanket. I think the second dress is lovely, and it looks lovely, but it’s not you. I can’t imagine you feel your authentic self in it. I would worry it will end up an orphan because of this.

    ... slinking away...

  • Thistle replied 2 years ago

    I'm going to be the odd one out.

    Let them both go. 

    I agree with all your reasons for letting the first go.

    I also don't think the second will get a lot of love. It has things you already don't love about it and are planning to change. Not sure the color is something you love, and the style is very unlike something I see in your what-I-wore posts or even shopping posts.

    If you do consider keeping it, where would you wear it? Would you feel fab in it? Are you aching to rip off the tag and wear it?

    I'm a bit worried it might be sale goggles.

    Honestly, I can't remember if you tried any of the Boden dresses, but I feel like some of those finds would fit your style better if they worked in your climate.

  • rachylou replied 2 years ago

    I like both. Number 2 is incredible... but I admit it doesn’t seem you with the ruffle shoulders... lol, you can sell it to me :D

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Very interesting and helpful responses! I think I need to put it on again. Maybe compare it with the Boden Josephine. 

    It's interesting that I am looking at dresses that feel slightly outside my style wicket...must be craving femininity or something. 

    But those of you who wonder if I'll have occasions to wear it are probably the voice of sense. I need to think on that a bit. I do have a few events to attend this summer. 

    Dress 2 is navy, a colour I definitely love, Thistle. (3/4 of my wardrobe is navy, LOL.) Also, I did try (and buy) several of the Boden dresses. :) Am wearing the heck out of them! 

    It's the ruffles on the shoulder that give me pause. The tiered panels of silk are great -- no problem with that. It's the eentsy weentsy ruffles I am unsure about. ;) Smittie knows my style so well. :). Elizabeth P, too. 

    But so does Sally. It feels like a "party" dress to me. (I do think it works with toppers, Sal, but I need to try that. The ruffles are really small.) 

    Roxanna, I am tempted by Angie's CM striped dress but worried it would be too long on me. Is it too long on you? It seemed to work on Jane, who's not super tall. You're right that it would be a lot more practical. But then again, nothing wrong with a dressy dress. :) 

    I think I will keep ONE of these two -- Boden Josephine (if it's possible to alter it easily) OR the silk J. Crew. Not sure which one. Maybe I will start a new thread for a vote, ha! 

  • CocoLion replied 2 years ago

    Everything looks good on you so this is difficult.  But between the two, I prefer the second dress.  I think in motion it looks fantastic (silk, ruffles), something not captured in the still photos.  Have you used the video feature of your phone to see how it looks in motion?  I prop my phone on a shelf, flip the viewfinder in selfie mode, and hit video.  I delete the videos quickly because of all of the memory they occupy.  It's amazing how much you can tell from the video "mirror."

  • CocoLion replied 2 years ago

    I don't think the shoulder ruffles are a problem at all.  I didn't realize the dress is navy.  That's perfect!  A great color for you.  I love the length on you.  I think you will find occasions to wear it.  And since it's a good price what's the pressure.  I hope you keep it.  I like it on you, and it looks good on the bloggers too but you wear it particularly well.  Kind of having some dress envy now...

  • Brooklyn replied 2 years ago

    Hi Suz. I held back earlier but I have to do some slinking away with Elizabeth because, to me, the ruffled dress does not seem like your style. But it looks great on you, so if you are feeling like a change, I say go for it. If the shoulder ruffles could be removed it would look more streamlined and more your style. I prefer the Boden Josephine, but concede that it looks more "daytime" to me and less special/dressy than the silk ruffled dress. So it depends on what sort of occasions you have in mind for it. 

  • Jane replied 2 years ago

    I don’t know about the second dress, I’m kind of concerned you might find it a bit too much fuss may be? I’m not sure if the navy is swaying you too far in favour of it!

    I do absolutely second Roxanna on the CM dress. I love mine! It is very good for me even though I’m just 5ft 1. But the fit is amazing, and so comfortable.

  • Jenni NZ replied 2 years ago

    Well I haven't been waiting or slinking because I've only just seen the post. Dress 2 is a nice enough dress, I don't see it as flapper though, not straight enough, and flapper style never had ruffles on the shoulder that I know of. I looked at it though and thought "that doesn't look like Suz". But then who are WE to tell YOU what your style is?
    Just from what I see though, I'd say send both back.

  • Mirjana replied 2 years ago

    I vote second one with a tie, the best one to my mind suits you terrific and you look gorgeous on it.

  • shevia replied 2 years ago

    I love the second dress on you - even more than the polka dots but it is close and there is a question of wear-ability. I think the newest is the perfect length on you so I would consider shortening the polka dots a tiny bit to match it (still below the knee midi length of course!).

  • The Cat replied 2 years ago

    My favourite is the polkadot dress. And I especially notice that the subtle ruffles at the shoulders seem to balance the volumes in the lower part of the dress. You look very harmonious from all angles. So I vote: Keep the polkadot dress, and don't alter it.

  • The Cat replied 2 years ago

    ... Well, I just noticed that there are TWO polkadot dresses. Maybe the second one, without the ruffles, is more "you"? By the way, I like that the dots are unevenly spread.

  • Style Fan replied 2 years ago

    Suz, I think the ruffle dress looks gorgeous on you but I would wonder if you would wear it.  Are ruffles for you?  I much prefer the polka dot dress in the second set of pictures.  That dress works with you and not against you.  I am probably not explaining myself very well.  The ruffles dress is fighting you a bit.  Okay, I am going to stop now.

  • efbgen replied 2 years ago

    I vote to keep dress #2 is is sassy and has attitude and looks great on you.
    Just saying......

  • rachylou replied 2 years ago

    Ok. I just looked at the pics of other people wearing the ruffle shoulder dress, and I think you should keep it. It’s a nice dress in general, but is AMAZING on you, Suz.

  • Staysfit replied 2 years ago

    I like the v neck polka dot dress better than the J. crew ruffle dress given your current style. I’m not even sure why this is a question unless there is something else happening? Even though the ruffle dress looks good on you, is this the direction you want to go with your style? Maybe it is. You recently purchased a more, for lack of better description, girly dress, which your DH favored, from Boden. It was truly lovely, just like this ruffled lip print dress. Maybe that’s the style direction you are shifting towards now, and if so, you should embrace it, but if that was only a one time thing, than I would keep it that way and stick with your style descriptors or you will end up with a hodge podge of items that are not cohesive and may not feel right. I have watched you work hard to refine your style, and maybe you have come to a crossroads where you need to think about making a shift?

  • replied 2 years ago

    Of the last two you posted, I prefer the v-neck midi with the white polka dots.

  • lyn67 replied 2 years ago

    I love the second, ruffles on the shoulders look small enough to seem like a piping, and  not a major detail. Really feminine and definitely not only a party dress!!!!

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Thanks, everyone, for your intelligent comments. It is so cool to be able to discuss one's personal style with a bunch of people who actually get it! :)  YLF is amazing. 

    Staysfit, I think you've hit on something. I'm not looking to make a major style change, but I do seem to be craving a slight shift of emphasis. I find myself gravitating towards more feminine elements. I'm wearing my day dresses instead of my shorts, for instance, now that I have finally found some that are comfortable enough to wear on a daily basis (the new Boden dresses). 

    It's interesting that people have such different opinions on the J. Crew lip print. Some say it is fighting against me (good phrase, Style Fan) and others adore it. 

    I guess the reason that it is a K/R is that I agree with BOTH camps!! Rachy, it's sweet of you to say it looks better on me than on the bloggers, and you know, in this case, I actually agree! I think it's larger on me -- I don't fill it out as much -- but for this style, that seems to work.

    Meanwhile, Staysfit, Style Fan, and others of you who feel it's a bit off -- I get that, too! It all depends how you look at it.

    Meanwhile, CocoLion hit on something equally important -- the way it feels. Floaty silk dresses just feel amazing!! You can't help but feel pretty in them or "party."

    Fit and flare is actually a (more feminine) departure for me, too -- and Josephine also feels great, though in a different way. It's more a day thinking about when I plan to wear these is also important. I now have several excellent day dresses (Phoebe, Emory, Eleanor, and the Topshop, plus a Comrags handkerchief hem that's a kind of crossover to night) -- a wealth of day dresses I've never enjoyed in my life! Do I need another?

    Then again, do I need another "party" dress for summer? I already have two that I love. And not too many parties.  ;)

    Jane, thank you for weighing in about the CM dress -- that's good information. That would certainly fit seamlessly into my closet. So maybe that's the way to go. 

    Hmmmm....luckily I have time to consider this.....

    And what a change from previous years when I couldn't even find one dress I wanted to try on, much less buy!! 

  • Sara L. replied 2 years ago

    Sounds like you have some thinking to do.  I love the stripes on #1 but see how it could be too similar to items you already own.  I love the ruffled party dress too - it looks fun and feminine.  I don't see a problem with some special items being a slight departure from your usual style.  Too much of the same thing can start to feel boring and staid.

  • replied 2 years ago

    The stripes on the bodice of the first dress form a box.  That's all I see, a box.  I've seen more pleasing dresses with stripes--the CM dress, for example.  I did get that one and it is quite lovely and so comfortable, versatile, unique.  

    The flowy, 'flapper' dress would be great for a summer wedding or another special occasion.  That one looks beautiful on you and you could have those ruffles removed by a rockstar seamstress.  Then it might feel less girly too, less of a departure from your usual style.  If there's a yearning to explore a little different style on you, then I wouldn't deny it, just because it's impractical.  Because that is you; embrace that element in you.  

  • Bijou replied 2 years ago

    I like the JCrew ruffles dress as something different to your other dresses. It’s navy, so it is a great colour and you can dress it up for night or down for the day, so I see this as a versatile dress. My vote is keep this one, although I do think Angie’s dress would be amazing on you.

  • Diana replied 2 years ago

    My favorite is the j crew ruffle dress. It looks amazing on you! However the polka dot dress is nice too (but IMO more ubiquitous) and more in line with what I think of as your style. So I guess it depends on whether you want to stay in your comfort zone or not and whether you think you’d wear the ruffle dress.

  • Christina F. replied 2 years ago

    I agree with Diana's comment above. I also think that you should think where you'd wear the silk dress - but it's stunning for sure, and a dressy capsule item doesn't necessarily have to come out to play all the time.

    It's really am embarrassment of riches this year, and you've looked beautiful in so many of the dresses you've tried. I myself am debating yet another Boden dress I received (stupid sale). Maybe Angie is right and we should just milk it while it lasts!

  • La Pedestrienne replied 2 years ago

    Well, the fit on the flapper dress is amazing and the ruffled shoulders don't bother me one bit. Is the print just a geometric, or is it supposed to be lips? When I zoom in on the J Crew website, the pattern looks like kissy lips, which, I have to say, is not a pattern I personally could live with, and I know you've talked about pattern fatigue before. I could also be wrong -- maybe they're just little sideways diamonds? 

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    They're lips! But you have to look closely to notice it and I doubt if it would bother me. I have a fairly high tolerance for whimsical patterns. 

    Thinking where I might wear the ruffle dress...hmmm. An advantage of keeping that one is that it does not need alterations, whereas the other one does. 

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Okay. Thanks for your help, everyone. 

    I'm sending back both J. Crew dresses and ALSO the Boden spotty dress. I'm just not sure the alterations will make the Boden Josephine work, and now that I have the J. Crew 2 piece, I don't feel as strong a need to keep the Boden -- they'd fill similar roles, i.e. cool, cotton, dressy but not over the top, feminine, good for daytime or date. 

    As for the silk J. Crew, I couldn't figure out when I would prefer to wear it over one of the dresses already in my closet. And Mr. Suz hated it. I think that might just have been first impression -- he does react strongly when I make any kind of style shift, and then eventually gets used to it and often falls in love with the supposedly offending item -- but since I don't have an occasion coming up where I would need to wear this, back it goes. Save my pennies for NAS. :) Should be getting lots of money back for returns -- 4 Boden items and 2 from J. Crew. Having said that, I also kept 4 Boden items and one from J. Crew. :) 

  • Jenni NZ replied 2 years ago

    That's really interesting about Mr Suz. I think Neil has been fairly consistent with the type of thing he likes through the 33 years we have been together. He likes long flowy skirts mostly which get very little look-in these days from me. I do other things to please him! But if he says he likes an outfit, it does influence me to wear that more. It feels loving to me to take the other half's opinions into consideration.

  • Sal replied 2 years ago

    I do think the two piece is a better choice than these two dresses (although I liked them both).  It was an easy yes!!

  • Style Fan replied 2 years ago

    Good plan Suz to save pennies for the NAS.

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