Saturday, June 13, 2009

J.Crew: Ink Dot Printed Claudine Dress Review

This is J.Crew's Printed Claudine Dress (item #15194), which retails for $148. I've added Ink Dot to the front of the name because the pattern is sort of reminiscent of that, and is a bit more descriptive than just "Printed Claudine Dress", which is what my PS told me the name of this dress is. The dress is also available in petite sizes. This navy is the only color that the dress is available in, and the dress is alpha-sized.

I tried this dress on in a size 2, as I heard some early reports that the dress runs a bit on the larger size. I found this to be mostly true, but as I did not try on a size 4, I cannot really comment on true-to-size the dress is. The main measurements for this dress are the bust and the waist, so ladies with a larger bust may find that their regular size fits just fine. I would recommend starting with a smaller size, and grabbing both the smaller and your regular size if you can.

In addition, there is a tiny bit of elastic in the waist, so that gives you a bit more room to play with in the waist, as it stretches very nicely. Just to give you a bit more detail on the sizing with regards to the elastic in the waist, there was still a bit of stretch in the size 2 for me (and trust me, I am not a size 2 in the waist).

The dress is made of a very nice, lightweight cotton fabric. The cotton is very airy, and moves very nicely. It is soft to the touch, and is a nice weight for a spring and summer dress.

The design of this dress is a more fitted bodice and a fuller skirt. There is a bunch of pleating on the bodice, as well as on the skirt. There is also a fabric covered belt in the same pattern as the dress, which is included with the dress. The dress has the very thin, belt loops for the belt, which helps to cinch and define the waist. I didn't find that the skirt of the dress adds a tremendous amount of volume, but I also prefer fuller skirts, so I am probably a little biased. :)

The dress has a bit of a retro vibe to me, given the overall shape (fuller on top, narrower at the waist, and fuller skirt), and has a very nice silhouette. I think the pattern itself is very pretty, as the dots appear in a somewhat random pattern, and have a bit of a blur effect to them on the edges. I think it's a fun pattern, and I think it works very well in the navy. Again, I am also biased here because I love polka dots. The navy is a pretty dark navy, very close to black, so I think you could easily pair this dress with many different colors.

The straps on this dress were just a tiny bit too long, but I thought the overall length of the dress was very nice. It hit just below my knees, so it would be a bit shorter on those taller than me (which I think is most people). The straps have those bra strap holder loops that allow you to sort of "clip" your bra to the straps of the dress and prevent slippage. The armholes are a very generous cut, and are very comfortable as well. The neckline is a nice, modest scoopneck.

I unfortunately do not think this dress is super versatile. While you can certainly pair this dress with the right accessories to make it more on the casual side, I think the silhouette and allover pattern make it a bit more dressy. I see this dress at a summer garden or cocktail party, maybe paired with a light cardigan and some strappy sandals. I'm not sure, however, that you could really pair this with much to dress it down much more than that.

I absolutely love this dress. I love dresses with this silhouette, and I think the pattern is very pretty and classy. I did not, however, take this dress home, because I've already pre-ordered it in petites. I'm hoping that this will help with the strap length and how long the dress is. While I love the navy color, I would have loved to see this dress available in a pastel print as well (although my wallet is glad it's not). Even though this isn't the most versatile dress, and isn't super inexpensive, I really love it!

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Do you like the silhouette? Are there any other colors you would like to see it in? What would you pair it with?


gigiofca June 13, 2009 at 3:35 AM  

You look really, really, really good in it. It's going to look smashing in petites. You're my favorite in this dress so far.

Jordyn June 13, 2009 at 9:10 AM  

This dress is stunning on you!! It would be great belted with a cardigan and heels or dressed down with pointy flats and a denim jacket. I'm lovin on this!

Cate June 13, 2009 at 10:13 AM  

SO cute on you! I'm glad you got it.

lilac cupcake June 13, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

Looks fabulous on you! I am interested in what you say about the petites ... I had the same thoughts about the straps being a touch too long, although the bra straps held it in place pretty well. I wonder how long the petite will be.

Margot June 13, 2009 at 6:28 PM  

Gorgeous on you! I want to know how the petite fits, though.

Ms. Page March 19, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

Hey! I was searching for a photo of this for my Polyvore and thought I would share how I wore this dress for my engagement photos. I wore it with the bistro orange silk cardigan and a pair of brown boots. Granted, I wore this in late October but it was a pretty look. You can see my engagement photos here: