Wednesday, March 11, 2009

J.Crew: Cotton Poplin Tie-Front Dress Review

I know, you are probably thinking, "Another J.Crew dress?" and you are right! I am trying to get through the clothes that I have that are recent, and that you can still purchase somewhat easily (as opposed to hunting on eBay).

This is the Cotton Poplin Tie-Front Dress (item #12108), which originally retailed for $118, but is marked down to $59.99 now! J.Crew describes the dress as such:

A chic little shift dress in crisp cotton poplin. It has a flattering fitted bodice, gathered skirt and is finished with a sweet bow at center-front waist. Scoopneck at front and back. Short sleeves. Inset waistband. Side-seam pockets. Side zip. Bodice is lined. Falls above knee; 22" from natural waist. Import. Machine wash. Catalog/ only.
The dress came in 4 colors: black, blue-grey (light pewter), green (crisp celery), and pink (tea rose). I opted for the crisp celery color.

I will be honest, I was a little bit worried about the dress looking too 1950s kitchen green, but it isn't! In the picture it is a nice, minty green, but in real life, it is a nice, pale green (not so minty). I also don't think it is the color of celery (one of my least favorite vegetables!).

The fabric is the same as the Cotton Poplin Sydney dress reviewed previously - very light and smooth. This dress fit fairly true to size, but I have this story to share: the dress has a side zip, and goes on over the head just fine. Getting it off was a tiny bit of a struggle - I had to wiggle the fabric a bit so it could easily be pulled off over my head, and was even a little worried about the seems ripping.

Now, I know some of you would say that then maybe I should have ordered a size up, but I can tell you that the dress would be way too big for me, and gaping at the bust. Either way, it's not a deal breaker, but just something that I know I have to be careful about (hopefully you won't!).

This skirt is a nice compromise between a fuller A-line and a pencil skirt. It has a sort of pencil skirt silhouette, but is a little fuller than that. As with other dresses, this dress would have been better in petite, or maybe I just need to wish for longer legs. J.Crew's description says that the dress hits above the knee, but as you can see from the pictures above, it covers my knees.

The neckline of this dress is a sweet U-neck, and is not too revealing. However, the U is very wide at the shoulders. I had to pull my bra straps to the sides to get these pictures without any unsightly straps in the picture. I would recommend wearing either a strapless bra or one that allows you to adjust the straps to be farther apart than is typical.

There are side, on-seam pockets on both sides of this dress. They are pretty roomy, but I can't imagine myself walking around with my hands in these pockets that often.

I forgot to get a detail of the bow, but it is very nice, not obtrusive at all. You can see from the picture of the dress from the side, my bow was sticking out a little, so if you want it to lie flat, you may need to steam or iron it. (Maybe by now you have figured out my aversion to ironing!)

I cannot wait to wear this dress when spring finally decides to arrive for good. I would love to pair this with a simple cardigan, maybe white, grey, or black, or maybe a nice contrasting shade of green. I think the dress is so sweet and simple that you can really wear it for anything, depending on how you accessorize it.

What do you think? Do you own this dress? Do you like it?


TwisterChick01 March 12, 2009 at 9:38 AM  

JTS, the dress is PERFECT on you! Congrats on your purchase. The silhouette is so feminine and lovely and the color is refreshing as well. I just ordered it in black yesterday as part of the 20% promo, and now I feel encouraged to get the other colors too after seeing how fantastic it looks IRL and not just posed in the catalog/online. I also really like your idea of pairing it with a cardigan. It's a pretty versatile dress and I wish you much comfort and compliments when you wear it! You look GREAT.

JTS March 12, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

Thanks TwisterChick01! You are so sweet :)

When I saw it was on sale (plus the 20%), I was considering getting it in other colors as well, but my closet is full of dresses, haha!

Anonymous March 12, 2009 at 5:08 PM  

Thank you for posting. I remember you said that you are on the shorter side. I'm 5"1' and ordered this is a 0 Regular. Do you think I will need to hem it? Also, I was wondering, can you adjust the bow (make it tighter/looser?) Thanks in advance.

JTS March 12, 2009 at 10:14 PM  

Hi Anon - yes, I am even shorter than you, only 5'0". The length would probably vary based on how long your torso and legs are, but if I wanted this to hit above my knees like in the photos, I would definitely have to get it hemmed!

You can make the bow tighter or looser, but I'm not sure how it would look - right now the way it is tied, the fabric on either side of the bow is nice and flat - if you make it tighter, the fabric might pucker, and I don't think there would be too much change if the bow were looser. Hope I am making sense!

Anonymous March 12, 2009 at 10:53 PM  

Thanks so much. I really wish Jcrew would offer more petite sized dresses or that the sizes would still be available long enough for a promo code (!!)

I bought this dress in light pewter. It looks lovely on you and the crisp green color is a nice alternative-- My only concern with the pewter color in that cut is that it might look too nurse-like. I guess this is where good accessorizing would really save the day. Thanks so much again!

JTS March 13, 2009 at 9:48 AM  

Hi Anon - I agree, more petites from J.Crew would be so nice! I don't think the pewter color would look too nursey - especially with the right accessories, like you said!

Pink Maple March 14, 2009 at 6:58 PM  

Thanks for this review!

Anonymous March 14, 2009 at 11:32 PM  

I don't care for this dress, for some reason it reminds me of those housewife dresses from the 50s60s.

JTS March 16, 2009 at 11:02 AM  

@PinkMaple - You're welcome!

@Anon - This is actually one of the reasons one I like it - it feels very retro and classic to me, and I love 50s housewife dresses, one of my favorite styles! :)

kendra March 31, 2009 at 1:35 AM  

the dress is gorgeous! i just hit submit and will be trying it out myself! thanks for the great review! : )

JTS April 1, 2009 at 10:03 AM  

Hi Kendra - I'm glad you found the review helpful - what color(s) did you get?