As I mentioning in the anti-polyester rant that was my last blog entry, I have been disillusioned by online dress shopping. I had a very tight budget, and was willing to blow it all on one dress, provided I FIND THE RIGHT ONE. This Cinderella approach did not work: my expectations went sky-high for the over $100 dress set, and I was really set on 3 specific criteria for my “dream dress”:
- Has tapering at the waist
- Has a cute print that’s ultra feminine and playful, without being predictably floral (for me, this tends to be tribal or graphic prints)
- Is made out of a high quality, feel-good fabric
I combed through the usual online go-to’s: Nordstrom, Gilt, Piperlime and more, all with the same frustrating results: crappy fabrics, expensive pieces, and waaaay too many empire waisted styles. I gave up and resumed my uniform of skinny jeans and tank tops layered under various zip and button-down sweater tops. Zzzzzzzzz….
On a different evening, I was online researching designer collaborations for a different blog entry (like the much-anticipated 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target — will keep you posted!), when I stumbled upon dresses at Kohl’s. Yes, Kohl’s, where your grandmother stocks up on towels and picture frames.
Now, I am certainly not a snob, and love few things more than a good bargain, but up until now, I have been much more comfortable in the Runway section of TJ Maxx than at stores like Kohl’s, JC Penney and Sears. I’ve run into Kohl’s before and felt uninspired: so much stuff, so mass-produced. For some reason, coming at it from the designer collaboration angle and shopping online, did the trick. I was excited about a number of styles, the prices were great, and the fabrics I found were better than expected.
So here are the results:
- $ spent: just under $100, with an online coupon code I googled
- dresses bought: 4 (yes, math whizzes, that’s $25 per dress!), 3 printed, 1 solid, all 4 adorable
- lines shopped: Apt. 9, LC Lauren Conrad, ELLE (like the magazine)
- fabrics acquired: super soft modal, breezy rayon, and 1 polyester nylon (but bought for a steal!)
- added bonus: the day after my online purchase, I got a $20 “Kohl’s cash” gift certificate by email, which I promptly used to make the useful, practical purchase of a bath mat and toothbrush holder. Your grandmother would be proud.
Here are links for 3 of the 4 dresses I bought (the 4th is a berry-purple modal number that feels like air next to the skin):
Dress 1 (I got it in dark blue – loved the blue and yellow together!)
Dress 2 (I got the light blue color)
Lesson learned: keep an open mind about the ever-changing retailer options!