Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Product Review: Polka-Dot Tie-Neck Dress

The Polka-Dot Tie-Neck Dress (Item 97186; $198.00) is currently on sale for $159.99 online and I believe $119.99 in stores. J.Crew describes this polka-dot marvel as:
Oversize polka dots make a sweet statement all over this vintage secretary-style frock. Finished with a retro tie at the neck and intricate box pleating at the skirt for a swooshy effect we love. Select stores. Fitted. Silk. Short sleeves. Button front. Side zip. Pleated skirt. Falls to knee. Dry clean.
I fell in love immediately with this dress. What's not to love thanks to the polka dots, neck tie, and full pleated skirt!?!

I was able to try this dress in my normal-dress-size-at-J.Crew of Size 2. (For reference I am 34B.) Unfortunately, the dress looked weird on me. Too loose to be exact. The waist was not fitted and the chest was "too blouse-y".

I knew I had to size down. The store did not have size 0 available, so I ended up trying the size 00. Well, it fits me! The waist and chest is better fitted to my frame. (Although I suspect the size 0 would have been the best fit.) The point of the sizing story: I think this dress is cut one size large, so I recommend sizing one size down in this dress. At the very least, call (or chat) with J.Crew to ask about the specific measurements of your size.

As for the skirt length, it does not fall to the knee like the product description states. It definitely hits above the knee. So if you are Petite, this dress might fall on your frame perfectly in the Regular length. I would have preferred this dress to have an additional 2-3 inches. But it seems that J.Crew likes their hems short (either they have a knee fetish or they are trying to save some money by not including the extra fabric... I am on to you J.Crew!)

The collar morphs into a tie which looks quite lovely when it is tied low. But the collar can be somewhat awkward. The collar is not stiff, so it does not stand up nicely, nor can it stand down. Not major. Not that noticeable to others. But something to point out. 

The pleated skirt portion is gorgeous. It is not too full where it adds volume to the area. However it is forgiving for those of us who have hips. (Raises hand!) My concern is if the pleats will keep its shape over time. (This concern is not just for this dress, but for any skirt/dress with pleats.) I also would have liked pockets. Alas, there are none to be found.

I also noticed that the back of the dress is slightly longer than the front of the dress when I wore it. (Although, on the hanger, the dress hem is the same length front & back.) I actually found this detail quite charming. I loved it!

Overall, I do not think this dress is worth its full price. However, it is a great buy on sale with an additional percent off. I definitely see myself wearing this piece into Fall with a pair of tights and ballet flats.

For more images & reviews on this dress, check out In Pursuit of Pretty Things' "Two Dresses (Fitting Room Reviews)" & "Squinting Up at the Arena (OOTD)" posts.

What are your thoughts on the Polka-Dot Tie-Neck Dress? Do you own this dress? Have you tried it on at a store? Do you like this style? If so, please share with us your review. :)


  1. I really like this dress as well. It is very lady like, and appropriate for both work and nice dinner out. I contemplated buying the dress, but it was at final sale at the time and I would not be able to return if it did not fit. Also, I had many other polka dot items from this season, and I do not want to be overkill with polka dots in my closet. Other than that, beautiful dress!

  2. 25% off plus free shipping for purchases over $150! In stores and online with code STYLE 25. Yay!

  3. Thank you for the review, Alexis! I'm sure the dress looks absolutely lovely on you! :)

  4. Re: longer in back than front - that could also mean you have good posture. I've noticed more than once that J. Crew clothes fit 'better' when I slump; when I straighten up, I have the exact same thing happen as you. Luckily it looks cute with dresses - not so much with some sweaters!

    1. Lark- I will take the compliment about posture! :) Although that is too funny about the clothes looking better when one slumps over. That would explain a lot with the model poses in the catalog!!!

  5. FYI Alexis, I just returned this dress in a 0 today to the Michigan Ave. store in Chicago, if you really want that one. I am definigtely not a 0 ever, but I could have done this dress, if I was ok never lifting my arms or reaching back to put on my coat (ah the no-stretch of silk). I was able to find a 4 at a California store and they are shipping it to me (though I am bummed I didn't get the extra percent off). They also waived the shipping, so if you haven't worn your 00, might give Mich Ave a call, I doubt they put it back out yet (it was still on the back counter when I left) so it is likely still there.

    1. Thanks Erin for letting me know! I think I will keep the 00 since it does fit me.

      P.S. Happy to hear you found the dress in your size- it really is lovely! :)

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