Sunday, May 3, 2009

J.Crew: Tiered Linen Playa Dress Review

This is J.Crew's Tiered Linen Playa Dress (item #15191), which retails for $138.  It is available in the papaya color above, and the white color below, and is numerically-sized.  J.Crew describes the dress as such:
An irresistible warm-weather style with tiers of lightweight linen that swing when you step. A comfortable, easy fit makes this dress an absolute breeze. Straight neckline with elastic and gathering along the top edge and adjustable straps with a detachable organdy flower detail. A-line skirt. Side zip. Fully lined. Falls to midthigh; 19 1/2" from natural waist. Import. Machine wash. Available in select stores.
I tried this dress on in a size 4 in the white color.  I was iffy about this dress on the hanger, but I'll try (almost) anything on, so I figured I'd give it a whirl.  I think the dress fits true-to-size, but I think that you could size down in this dress, especially if you are smaller in the bust area, because the neckline of this dress is elasticized.  The double banded straps are a nice touch.

The linen on this dress is a little bit less polished than the Linen Constellations dress, but it still definitely moves really nicely, mostly because of the design.  I'm sort of on the fence about the actual design of the dress - I think the tiers can come across as either really cute and casual, or verging on wedding cake (especially in the white).  I do think the shape does create a nice A-line shape overall, and the bottom two tiers can help to camouflage any worry spots you might have.

The dress is supposed to hang symmetrically all round, but for some reason it was riding up in the back when I tried it on, and I didn't notice.  I am actually not as into this dress from the side as I am from the front.  I think from the side it creates a bit more volume than I would like.

Here is a close-up of the flower on the top of the dress. The description says this is removable.  If you notice, the flower in the model pictures is more pressed than this one.  Mine was a little sad and droopy, but I actually liked it that way.  I think it looks more casual, and less tailored.

Another I wanted to point out is the weird side zip this dress has.  It's under the first tier, and there is also a set of hooks to hold the dress together.  It works fine (and in fact works without it, because I didn't put it all together), but is too fussy for such a casual dress.

I left this dress behind because I didn't really like it that much.  I think there are a lot of nice things about this dress (the fabric, the shape, the little strap and flower details), but I just wasn't in love with it, and especially not for $138.

What do you think?  Do you like this dress?  Do you think the price is reasonable?  Which color do you prefer?


HeidiG May 4, 2009 at 7:41 PM  

I tried it on in store and really liked it, but went with 2 of the dressy strapless dress instead, as they work so much better for my life in summer, when the kids are out of school. But if I had an occasion I knew I would wear it to, I probably would have done it. I almost felt ethereal in it, and at 5'10" and size 8/10, making me feel lightweight is quite an accomplishment. :)

I have to say I was really impressed with the zipper/hook construction around the layers so that they would lay correctly.

JTS May 14, 2009 at 10:21 PM  

Hi Heidi! I saw this dress on Gigi and Slastena, and I thought they both pulled it off well. I LOVE the dressy strapless dress - what colors did you get?

HeidiG May 14, 2009 at 10:26 PM  

I got the dressy jersey strapless in navy and charcoal. I know they are similar, but we (my fave SA & I) decided that they looked less "beachy" on me than the colors. Also, the papaya color, as gorgeous as it is on Slastena, is just not great on me - not saturated enough, as Gigi says. I really am enjoying the strapless - esp since it comes with a strap!!

JTS May 17, 2009 at 9:25 PM  

The papaya was too orange-y for me, I think I would have liked it better with some more red in it. And I also love the strap option for the dress - I love it both ways!