Wednesday, March 4, 2009

J.Crew: Dazzling Dots Pencil Skirt Review

Ahh, the Dazzling Dots skirt from J.Crew (item #11804). I first noticed it in the Spring Lookbook, and I have to say, that normally, I probably would not have given this skirt much of a second glance, but the Lookbook's styling really put me over the edge. I am a fairly conservative dresser - I would have paired the cool, minty green with a white, or maybe black top, but the aqua and gold colored top definitely made me reconsider the possibilities for this skirt (and my own dressing style).

J.Crew describes the skirt as such:

We found this gorgeous jacquard fabric in Italy (they just make it best). We love it in this classic, lean, leg-lengthening pencil silhouette. A very versatile piece. Wear it belted with a simple top by day, then switch to a ruffled silk blouse and a statement necklace for night. Acetate/cotton/poly. Sits at waist. Back zip. Back vent. Fully lined. 22 1/2" long. Import. Dry

I actually "pre-ordered" this skirt, the first time I had ever done that, because I liked it so much. (I say "pre-ordered" in quotes because I'm not really sure how this was different from just placing a regular order.) When it finally arrived, I was in for a couple of surprises. Not bad surprises, but surprises nonetheless.

I ordered this skirt in my normal pants size, and it was just a shade bigger than I would have liked. I debated returning it versus taking it to my wonderful seamstress to fix, but couldn't decide, and just put the skirt in the closet for a bit to stew things over. Regarding the length of the skirt, it is a tad too long for us shorties, in my opinion. If you look at the skirt on the model, it just barely covers her knees. On me though, the skirt definitely covers my knees. I also thought about asking my seamstress to shorten this skirt, but given the type of fabric, I was a little afraid of how much that was going to cost.

IRL pictures of the skirt; the left one is using the flash, the right one is not (the right one also features the back end of my PD (pscyho doggie), who was dying to be in the picture, and kept sitting by my feet, hence no feet in that picture).

So right off the bat, I was a little iffy with the fit, and kind of bummed about the length. I think if J.Crew had made this skirt in petite, it would have been perfect! After I visited a retail store and tried on another pencil skirt in the next size down, I was convinced that I should just suck it up and exchange the Dazzling Dots skirt for the smaller size. [The issue with returning it was that I bought it using a percentage off promotion, and wanted to ensure that I could get the same price for the exchange (I could), and returning things are just a hassle overall.]

This is a picture of the skirt in the smaller size. I don't think there is a noticeable difference in fit, but I think it is a tiny bit shorter on me, which is always good. This is probably due to the fact that the waist/hip measurements are smaller, so I can wear it a little higher, and thus it appears shorter than the larger size.

Also to note, either in the larger or smaller size, this skirt is not very forgiving with the panty lines. Definitely do a front, side, and back check before you leave the house if this kind of thing bothers you.

The last thing to discuss, and I have seen a few questions about this, is the color and fabric. When I saw this skirt online, and read that it was a jacquard fabric, I thought the fabric might be heavy or stiff, but it definitely is not. The skirt is surprisingly light, and much lighter than I thought it would be. It will be a very nice spring and even summer skirt (and even fall and winter with the right hosiery).

The biggest thing I noticed about this skirt though was the color. Online, it appears in some photos as cool, minty green. It appears this way in both the standalone picture and the picture where it is styled with the Havona tank.

However, as you may have been able to tell from some of the IRL pictures above, the skirt is not as minty green as it appears in those pictures that I mentioned. The underlying green is still a mint green, but I don't think it is as minty as the pictures make it look. Beyond that, the "dazzling dots" are very much a gold color, and in no way appear as mint green as they do in the picture above. The dots are still very pretty, but they give the skirt more of a green-gold look than a strictly mint green. IRL pictures of the fabric are below.

The inside of the skirt is lined in a smooth, mint green fabric, with a pretty white-striped fabric at the waistband.

All in all, I think this is a gorgeous piece, and it was definitely worth the money. I would have paid full price for this, but I was fortunately indecisive long enough to take advantage of a promotion. I think this skirt will look very nice paired with a single color top (as mentioned at the beginning), or with a colorful one like the Havona top (which yes, in case you were wondering, I also got).


Anonymous March 4, 2009 at 4:24 PM  

Hi JTS, thanks for the review, which you mentioned yesterday on JCA. This is very helpful. Since I am a 0 and have had trouble with their pencils being too big (two are currently at the tailor's, and I'm awaiting the results), I think I'm going to--sadly--have to pass on this one. I appreciate your taking something off my "must have" list . . . now I can replace it with something else!

krista.alana March 4, 2009 at 8:03 PM  

Thanks for the review! I love this skirt. I see what you mean about it not being as "minty"... but I think the color is still so pretty. It's on my birthday list, so I hope I get it! LOL... I'm short too, so I'd be doing tons of alterations to it. I think it looks so great and fun.

Anonymous March 5, 2009 at 12:12 AM  

Such a pretty skirt. I like the minty color. I hope the metallic diamond jacquard I am ordering is as pretty irl.

JTS March 5, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

@Anon 1:24 - Thanks! I am glad you found the review helpful! :) I wish they would have made it in petites as well - do the petite sizes fit you well?

@Krista Alana - Thank you for stopping by! It is a very pretty color even if it is not as minty as the picture. I hope you get it for your birthday! :)

@Anon 9:12 - Which one is the metallic diamond jacquard skirt? Is it like the Pembridge Dot skirt? I just ordered that one! :)

Anonymous April 1, 2009 at 11:08 PM  

Fantastic review, thanks!!

JTS May 18, 2009 at 7:41 PM  

Thank you Anon - I'm glad you found it helpful! :)