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Hello shirt,

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It finally arrived, 3 days late. I had been getting worried. The silk is gloriously light, soft and smooth - I had been mildly worried it would be too heavy. The colour is also just the right shade of off-white, not as "white"as it looked on the website, and it wasn't too sheer. Lovely low-key details to make the shirt feel special, and French seams are always a joy.

Unfortunately, it was really rumpled when it arrived (no box, just plastic wrapping!) and the collar is slightly pressed out of shape. Nonetheless, the cut looks good and it fit perfectly, although my picture is kind of terrible.

I'm just slightly disappointed by the buttonholes. Surely if Massimo Dutti can make a silk shirt without fraying buttonholes and sell it for 49.90 euros, Sykes can do the same for a shirt that originally retailed at over GBP200? Full marks for fit and fabric, but a B for workmanship. I'm quite relieved I bought it at 50% off.

Minus the manufacturing imperfections, it's my dream silk shirt brought to life. Now I need to wear it to really start loving it.

And hello dress,

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Yes, I bought it. I went to the shop to try it a second time, doing all manner of things to ascertain whether I was thrilled about the fit. Just like how it was the first time I tried it, I didn't want to take it off. Again, bad photo - but photographing black clothing is very hard. To me at least.
(My eye was also distracted by a pretty polka-dot chiffon blouse that was ADORABLE and fit beautifully but my attention remained firmly fixed on the dress.)

It's beautifully made inside and out, with a decent hem that will allow me to lengthen the dress when I can no longer pull off this girlish, above-the-knee thing. Once zipped on, I didn't need to adjust the dress it all. It can be worn belted but it's fine on its own. So simple.

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I left, feeling the dress would go on sale soon. I wanted the dress, but if I could save a couple hundred dollars in the process, I would. It had pretty much sold out everywhere else online in my size, but the A.P.C. store here seems quiet so I felt optimistic about holding out.

When the sale mailer arrived in my inbox a few weeks later, I suppressed a squeak and zoomed off to the shop after work like one of those scarily-focused assassin types in the Bourne movies. I tried it one more time. Still good.

It was 40% off. I left feeling good about the purchase, not guilty as I sometimes do when I spend a significant amount of money. It fills my need for dresses that have a bit more tailoring and structure, but it has the same feeling of ease as my favourite pieces.

(The aforementioned adorable polka-dot blouse was 50% off, but I wasn't going to be distracted by trifles, no matter how adorable.)
So two lovely buys for the new year. I'm feeling quite content at present. Spring cleaning has given me an invigorated view of what's in my closet and it's a nice feeling to look inside and see possibility.

Comments

Hopefully, the good points outweigh the less than perfect points on the blouse. The dress sounds like everything you've been looking for in an LBD. Even better, your patience was rewarded! One of the "commandments" from the Bazaar book that resonates most with me is: "Feel good about what you spend your money on." I like that feeling of contentment that comes from getting the right thing, vs. the feeling of guilt for something bought in a frivolous way, whether it cost $3 or $300.

I cannot photograph black either. Lol @ Bourne assassins! They are relentless (but very very good looking).

-ps. I thought you might be interested in this, I discovered: “The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men by Janie Bryant, at the book store today. Flipping through it I liked it.
Style Enginn said…
Great purchases! How's the sizing of the shirt? I am considering the navy version ...
Kate said…
I love both. What will you wear the dress with first? I'd love to see a picture of the shirt on, to see how it fits.
G. said…
Oh, can you post a picture wearing the shirt? And the dress is very cute, good to know that you could make it longer if needed ... great basics!
I remember you posting about the shirt (I also remember looking for it but it was sold out in that color!) Buttonholes aside, I think it is a good purchase, it's so hard to find a decent blouse that is lightweight but not completely see-through. Viewing The Row's pre-fall collection makes me want a similar shirt even more now.

I'm expecting a cashmere sweater in the mail any day now - I love La Garconne's Lou collection but didn't want to pay +$300, so I've been scouring eBay for similar sweaters. I found one for really cheap, 2-ply cashmere made in Italy, so I'm hoping it works out!
Vegalyn said…
ASOS doesn't really excel in packaging. Most clothing will arrive in a plastic bag, and shoes in a box if they are from the brand itself.
But that's of course details, it's the purchase itself that counts.

I've experienced more than once that more expensive brand don't always have the best craftsmanship compared to Massimo Dutti or even Zara. The online shopping from Zara arrive in a box, clothing wrapped in paper, indeed much more pleasant than a clear plastic bag.
Meri said…
These look great, I would love see photos of you wearing them to see how they fit. I am waiting for the perfect white shirt, haven't found it yet but I am willing to wait for it. It is not an urgent purchase for me and when I find the right one I think it will stay in my wardrobe for years.

I hope your will get a lot of joy out of your new purchases.

Meri xx
If Jane said…
oh wow!
such elegant purchases
lin said…
Pret a Porter P: Yes, I'm glad I held out for the dress. And I've been wanting to check out the book because I'm a fan of the show, although I find she's a bit overkill on the "dress as a character" part.

Style Enginn: Thanks! I bought the shirt in medium, and I'm usually a UK10-12/French38-40/US6-8 for tops and this shirt fit just fine. Will post a pict soon. The navy looks great, might have considered it if I didn't already have a navy silk shirt.

Kate, G.: I'll prbly just wear the dress on its own, with my usual flats - I'm not much of an accessorier :) Might belt it for work. It will also look awesome with the leopard shoes!

Will post pict - although I haven't washed and ironed it yet so it wouldn't be particularly attractive, haha.

Koko: Yes, I was so relieved when I got my order confirmation - it was sold out in my size right after I placed my order. Equipment is making something similar, with just one pocket, saw that on Shopbop if you're interested.

Fingers crossed for the sweaters, I'm terrible at shopping on ebay for items like that - you should post a "how to shop resourcefully" guide - without giving away your top secrets of course :)

Vegalyn: I was pretty shocked, it being my first order from them, but I guess I either pay 5 pounds for that or 25 pounds for Fedex.

Agreed, in spite of Zara having some really poorly made stuff, they still have some very well-made things available at reasonable prices - it's a shame that brands/country of production/prices don't commeasurate with quality; so much guesswork!

Meri: Thanks, will post a pict soon. It took me ages to find a white shirt too, although it only became a priority when I started working. It's a good thing shirts cut looser are in fashion now: more choice for me than when trends swing the other way.

If Jane: Thanks! Hope they help me be more elegant :)

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