Thursday, May 21, 2009

J.Crew: Cotton Bonbon Dress Review

This is J.Crew's Cotton Bonbon Dress (item #15324), which retails for $78.  The dress is available in navy, spearmint, dark charcoal, and seashell.  The dress is alpha-sized, and J.Crew describes the dress as such:
A sweet, summery confection in our signature soft cotton piqué, featuring a tiered ruffle skirt in cotton lawn and delicate picot-edged cotton-lawn trim around the neckline and arm opening. Scoopneck. Sleeveless. Falls above knee: 20" from natural waist. Import. Machine wash.
So I have to say that I have been waiting to see this dress in person for awhile now.  I had e-mailed my personal shopper about the "skirt" the model is wearing in the picture below from the look book.  She informed me that it was the Cotton Bonbon Dress, and e-mailed me the same pictures that are online.  I held off placing a pre-order, and then I happened to see it in-store, and I'm glad I did!  Just for the record, I love the styling in the picture below, especially the Bouquet Sash belt paired with the other flowers.  

[And as a complete sidenote, does anyone else think that this is a different skirt in the picture below?  As in, not the Cotton Bonbon dress?  The skirt seems lighter, shorter, and flowier than the dress.]

I tried this dress on in an extra small, and in the spearmint color.  I don't remember seeing the seashell color in-store, but I saw the other two.  As for sizing, I think you need to size down in this dress.  I saw this in the store a couple of weeks ago, and I was disappointed.  It looked huge on the hanger, and not nearly as cute as I was hoping it would.  Aside from the sizing down issue, the dress fits comfortably.  I think that front-on, the dress creates a decent silhouette.

The dress is essentially a tank top on top, with a lightweight tiered cotton skirt.  The dress has a drop waist, which I'm not too crazy about.  While I think it helps elongate the torso, I just think the proportions are a little off.  The tiered skirt is made of a nice, lightweight cotton, and is lightly lined.  I think the length was a little long on me.  I would have preferred a casual dress like this to hit above my knees.

I don't think that this dress adds that much volume, which is always nice.  I think this is partly because of the drop waist and the top of the dress's being a tank, and partly because of the light cotton used to make the bottom of the dress.

The neckline of this dress is a somewhat deep scoopneck, and both the neckline and armholes are trimmed with the same lightweight cotton that the skirt is made out of.  As described, it has a double layer picot trim, which I think is pretty cute.  My issue with the top is that the sizing is a bit off.  The rest of the dress fit very comfortable, but as you can see from the close-up picture below, the top gapes just the tiniest bit on the side.

I left this dress behind.  I was pretty disappointed by this dress, just because I'd been waiting for it for a few weeks.  I did think it was really comfortable, and I think a few subtle changes could have improved this dress a lot.  I think it's a dress that you can style a lot of ways, and if (and I still remain highly doubtful) that is the same dress that the look book model is wearing, then I love that you can layer pieces to basically turn it into a skirt.

What do you think?  Do you like this dress?  Have you tried it on or seen it in person?  Are you disappointed by the inconsistent sizing?

And please, does anyone have any thoughts on the skirt versus the dress issue on the look book model?


Paper Bag Princess May 21, 2009 at 9:49 PM  

I just don't know who this dress is meant for - it doesn't look too hot on the model online. I think you're right that something must be 'off.' I hate to say it but to me this looks like it could easily be in the lounge/beach cover up section.

Cate May 21, 2009 at 10:19 PM  

I actually think this looks really cute on you... I'd wait and buy it on sale though :)

GingerSnap May 21, 2009 at 10:43 PM  

I also was excited to try this dress on. But when I saw it in store, I didn't even bother. It was huge! I am normally an XS, and even the XS came to my shins just when I held the dress up to me. Nope. Not working. I wish J.Crew would get consistent on their sizing!

C May 21, 2009 at 10:56 PM  

I think the "skirt" could be the dress- maybe pulled up and pinned because they can pin things for a fashion shoot. Also, I think if the dress had one less tier, it would look fine on you- shorter, lighter, not dragging you down.

HeidiG May 21, 2009 at 10:57 PM  

That is so funny - I just posted a mini-review of this and the drawstring shirtdress. Do you mind if I link to your review?

I think the dress could be the one in the pic, but the shirt would have to be pulled down to right below the top ruffle.

I also think the dress worked better on you than me. Maybe one needs curves? But not sure this is worth FP.

JTS May 21, 2009 at 11:50 PM  

@PBP - I like the idea of the dress, but I just think something was lost in translation when executing the idea. I could definitely see this as a lounge/cover-up dress though!

@Cate - Thank you! :) Are you going to check it out?

@GingerSnap - The first time I saw it I passed, just because I was in a hurry, and I was also so disappointed, just because I'd been waiting to see it! I think it looks better on than it does on the hanger.

@C - Thanks! I forgot about all the pinning they can do. Oh, well, saves me some money then :)

@HeidiG - Thank you! I will check out your reviews - and I would love it if you link to mine! :) Do you mind if I link to yours? Thanks for giving your opinion on the skirt/dress thing - I am really interested in it!

HeidiG May 21, 2009 at 11:55 PM  

Link away! Laura In Real Life did a review at the same time, too.

Farmer Jo May 22, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

I had this dress in middles school. It scares me that it is back in the stores...

JTS May 30, 2009 at 10:08 PM  

@Farmer Jo - Haha, everything old seems to be new again lately, especially with fashion (neon, pegged pants, tie dye)!