Review: J. Crew Belted Dress in Textured Herringbone.

This is the second dress I tried on when I was looking for something to wear to a work event (my review of the dress I ended up picking is here). As of this posting, the textured herringbone dress is on promo for 25% off with the code SHOPSALE. I also like the look of the matching tipped collarless jacket, however this is not currently part of the promo.

This particular dress appealed to me for a couple reasons: first, most of my work dresses are a thicker wool blend and not particularly spring/summer friendly. Second, the overall palette and cut of the dress seem basic enough to wear multiple ways in multiple contexts (e.g., on its own for warm summer days; layered with a blouse underneath or on top for work; with a Tippi sweater on top for cooler weather). Lastly, I have a thing for herringbone, so naturally, I had to check this out.

Here are a few IRL photos of the dress:

Approximate measurements of size Petite 00: overall length (center back, from neckline to hem) 36.75″, across shoulders 12.125″, chest circumference 31.5″, waist circumference 27″, hip circumference 32.5″, sweep 39.75″. The material is 55% linen, 45% viscose; 100% polyester lining (the dress is fully lined). The dress has a hidden zipper and no pockets.

The colorway is called “Navy Multi”, a dark blue color that almost looks black. The herringbone fabric is pretty good quality; it is about medium weight and thickness. Since it is a linen blend, it is actually quite soft to the touch. The softness of the fabric creates more movement in the inverted box pleats at the bottom of the dress. The tie belt is made with the same material, as are the belt loops; I like that you could could completely remove the belt and replace it with your own option. Overall, the fabric makes it a good work dress for spring, summer, and even fall.

For reference, my measurements are here. This is what the dress looks like on me:

The length of the dress is work-appropriate, hitting just below the knee. I really liked the A-line silhouette and flounciness of the skirt. However, I found the bodice of the dress to be slightly wide and roomier than I am used to. When I belted the dress at my natural waistline, some of the fabric bunched up at the sides and above the belt. The straps of the dress are about 1/2″ too long. If I took them up, this would resolve some of the issues with fabric bunching up above the belt. However, I’m not that in love with this dress to seriously consider any further alterations.

The Upshot: I was initially drawn to the simplicity of this dress– the scooped neckline, easy A-line shape, and dark navy colorway. After finally seeing it in person and trying it on, I felt that it was definitely a pretty simple dress, but it didn’t feel special either. Frankly, for me personally, it felt matronly. Given that I’m in the mindset of only having things in my wardrobe that I absolutely love, this dress just didn’t make the cut for me. On the bright side, this dress did open me up to trying on A-line skirts with inverted pleats, so I will be on the lookout for other pieces with this type of style and cut.


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