Saturday, May 2, 2009

J.Crew: Lightweight Gauze Marbella Cover-Up Dress Review

This is J.Crew's Lightweight Gauze Marbella Cover-Up Dress (item #15624), which retails for $69.50.  This is the only color it comes in, sweet papaya.  J.Crew describes the dress as such:
The strapless cut and tiered ruffles are rich, feminine flourishes on this streamlined, modern silhouette. Laid-back cool style for the hottest of summer nights, with a removable tie that can be worn at the waist or around the neck. Cotton. Straight bodice and skirt. Fully lined. Falls to midthigh. Import. Machine wash.
This dress can be styled as a strapless dress, a halter dress, or a tie-waist dress.  It was styled as a halter dress on the mannequin in the store, and seemed cute enough.  This dress is alpha-sized, and I tried this on in a size small.  The fabric on this dress is a cotton gauze, and it's a little too rough for me as a regular dress, but I think it works well as a beach cover-up.

The dress has a two-tier ruffle at the top hem, with a loop inside the dress at the bust to hold the tie if you want to make it into a halter dress.  The length on this dress is pretty nice - it's not as short on me as it is on the model, but I prefer it this way, even for a beach cover up.  As a straight-up strapless dress, I think it is pretty boring - it's shapeless and verges on being unflattering.  From the side, it reminds me of a floral pillowcase.

When you use the tie to create a halter, I think the dress improves a little, but is still pretty shapeless around the waist.  The halter does add a little more to the dress, which is nice.

Here is a close up of the halter tie and the top ruffles.  I wish I had known that tying the tie around the waist was another styling option, as I think it looks kind of cute that way.  It would certainly help with defining a waist.

Here is a close-up of the floral pattern.

I left this dress at the store.  I don't like the way it hangs, and I wasn't crazy about the fabric.  Plus, I think $69.50 is a little too much for a gauzy cotton dress.  But honestly, I wouldn't even go for this one if it were on sale.

What do you think?  Do you like this dress?  Which way is your favorite way to wear it?  Would you wear it as a beach cover-up or just a day dress?


GingerSnap May 2, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

Ok, i'm going to have to be a dissenting opinion. I LOVE this dress (and bought it) at my latest outing to the J.Crew store (with my red card) I am styling mine as a regular dress (with the tie around the waist - it definitely gives it a lot more shape!) I actually sized up on this one to get a little extra length (to make it more dress like and less beachy). I love the colors and I think I'm going to pair it with a pair of nude heels. It was a definite keeper for me :)

jjc May 3, 2009 at 6:21 PM  

If I had to choose, I'd prob say the halter. Love the print though, not the 'rough' fabric or so it feels. I don't think I'm one of those who'd pull it off.

Saw this at the B&M hanging way back in the corner. So they must consider it not 'hot'.

jackie from dc May 4, 2009 at 10:20 PM  

Lol, I tried this on during my most recent visit to JC (part of a disappointing visit, I might add!), and it looked ridiculous on me! I'm 5'8", so it was waaaaaay too short, and it was soooooo shapeless. I can see how using the halter sash as a belt would help; unfortunately, on me it just would have made the dress scandalously short! Hahaha, well, not every item is going to be winner on me, I guess.

JTS May 14, 2009 at 10:24 PM  

@GingerSnap - I like the waist-tie styling, and good idea to size up for the length. Nude heels sounds like a really nice match! :)

@JJC - It was actually up front in my store - I wonder how they decide where it goes in which stores?

@Jackie - I was also underwhelmed during the visit when I tried this one on. I think short would work as a beach cover up, but it'd be nice to get more wear out of it!

Marissa May 23, 2009 at 4:00 AM  

How sweet.!! Personally, I love floral print fabric. That halter dress is super cute and adotable.

JTS May 26, 2009 at 8:55 PM  

Hi Marissa - I love floral patterns too, but this one just wasn't doing it for me :(