Monday, July 21, 2014

Review + Haul: Orla Kiely with People Tree Dresses

Before I get into my review, I must first comment on the adorable packaging from ModCloth.

This is my first purchase from ModCloth and every single detail in the packaging is absolutely adorable.

Both dresses came attached with a People Tree tag, with a short description of the company and the process behind making these dresses.

I got a size UK8 in both dresses, which is about a US4 or size small.

The dresses are made with organic cotton in India, and are machine-washable, which is a great plus.

A closeup of the prints. Each is a version of Orla Kiely's Flower Girl print, which I believe is from the SS12 collection. I also have the Jeanie Bag in this print, which is probably one of my favorite patterns.

For reference, I am 5'3", 110 pounds, 32A bust, typically a size XS in tops, 0-2 in dresses, 25-26 in jeans.

Both dresses are made with soft organic cotton, although the material on the black dress feels a bit thicker and more substantial, probably due to the dyes needed to create the larger pattern. Again, both dresses are a UK8, the smallest size available at ModCloth. They do fit but...I still think a UK6 would've been better. They feel fine around the waist, which has a fold over detail on the front and elasticized in the back, but the bust area could be taken in a bit (then again, I do have a small bust, but I'm wearing my most padded push-up bra and there's still some extra space). In the photos above, you can see that it sits a good inch away from my side (you can see it more in the first photo of the pink dress). There's also slight gaping in the back (again, more noticeable in the pink dress). I love the cutout, which has perfect placement as my regular bra does not show through. My bra is also easily concealed by the thicker straps, making this a super easy dress to throw on. I would say it'd look great belted, but then that would take away from the cutout in the back. I also appreciate the modest neckline and the knee length, making me venture to say that this dress, when worn with a cardigan or blazer, would be work appropriate. However, I can't decide if I'm going to wear this to work yet (I'm a high school teacher) simply because the print is very loud and fun. I'll probably wear this dress for weekend outings and date nights. 

Aside from the slightly larger fit, the only con I can think of is the fold over waist detail on the pink dress. It came with a thick crease that multiple presses with my iron couldn't get out. Maybe after wearing and washing, the crease will naturally fade. It's not noticeable at all, except of course to me because I'm just a stickler for details like that.

Overall, I LOVE these dresses and I'm looking forward to wearing them on casual outings with my friends or dinners with my husband. The pink one is still available at ModCloth, but in limited sizes. The black one is sold out, but you can still purchase it at People Tree. There's actually even more dress styles featuring this print, all adorable, so check them out here!


  1. I wish I had your problems with fit. My problems go the other way. I've been eyeing these dresses for awhile on ModCloth (love them BTW) but I'm not a dress wearer in general, and I'm not thrilled about the open back. That said, I'm here to offer some help with the looseness in the bust issue you are having.

    If you have a sewing machine, you can take in a seam, down the sides, without undoing any of the factory sewing. Just under each armpit and then down towards the waist. Taper it out to meet up with the factory seems where they fit well. Make the stitches large and you can remove them if it does not work for you or you need to make changes. Once you are comfortable with this easy alteration method you can make the stitches closer together. If you don't sew take it to someone who does, it's a very easy alteration to do, especially because these are sleeveless.

    I have a large bust, and I often have to buy a size larger shirts, and I take in the sides this way to make them fit better below the bust line and give me some shape.

    Love the dresses, and you Rock them great!!!!

    1. Hi Margo! I used to have a sewing machine years ago and I'd use it to hem my jeans and pants, but it's been awhile so my sewing skills are a bit rusty now. I'll probably just end up taking these dresses to my tailor, but I hate having to pay extra to get the right fit - just wish everything would fit me off the rack! Anyway, thank you for the helpful tips and kind words! :)

  2. "just wish everything would fit me off the rack! " don't we all :), You probably have more luck with that than I do. They don't make cute clothes for us "dough-y" gals. Well they do, they I have to kiss a lot of frogs before I find my prince. And I've gotten real good at some simple alterations which has opened up a whole new world for me. I even alter my jeans now. Being an apple figure, I have to get jeans with legs too big in the legs so they fit my waist, so I've learned how to skinny up the legs. Making a diet and exercise lifestyle change though so hopefully a year from now (or sooner) I'll be at a better weight and can get a whole new wardrobe ;) 4 pounds down 19 to go!

    1. That's awesome, Margo! Good luck with your journey! And I've been there - when I had my son, it was such a struggle losing the weight. But I started eating better (stuck to lean meats and veggies, and cut out sugars) and exercised 5 days a weeks, and I was able to drop 40 pounds. Took me about a year, but it was all worth it. And buying a new wardrobe afterwards was the best part :)