August 8, 2010

Maxing Out: A Tale of Two Dresses

So a few months ago, I lamented the petite woman's plight in finding the perfect maxi dress.  Since that time, I've found two--count 'em TWO--maxi dresses that my petite, five foot frame actually loves.

Dress 1
Designer: Macy's INC International Concepts
Price:       $89.99 $69.99 + 99¢ shipping

Description: In a dramatic ankle-length silhouette and paisley print, INC's petite maxi dress strikes an elegant pose.

The Lowdown: I tried this dress on in size Petite/Petite at the start of the summer.  I loved, loved, LOVED it, but still could not justify paying nearly $90 for a summer-y dress.  Since then, I have been keeping my eye on Macy's website to see if the price drops.  Well, I just recently saw it listed at $69.99.  This is still not low enough for me yet (but see Dress 2 below), but I'm holding out hope that I'll eventually be able to pick up this dress for $40 or less.  If I do, dear readers, I'll model it for you in a future post.  For now though, here's the scoop:

  • Machine washable  (no pesky dry-cleaning bills)
  • Made of polyester/spandex  (no pesky ironing either)
  • Sleeveless with bra-friendly straps  (because peeking bra straps are a no-no!)
  • Built-in soft cups  (in fact, we A-cup petites could probably go bra-less altogether) 
  • Appx 42.5" from backline to floor  (FIRST and ONLY maxi dress that I wouldn't have to hem)
  • Paisley print  (pattern is fun yet sophisticated, and it complements my skin tone nicely)

  • Price   (maybe it's just me, but I don't want to pay $70 for a polyester dress...)
  • Fabric at bust  (a slight white shines through -- visible on hanger, but not so much when you put the dress on)
Final Verdict:  I'll buy it when the price comes down!

Dress 2
Designer: Banana Republic
Price: $130 $69.99

Description: A silky blend of rayon and spandex makes this dress comfortable as it is stylish.  Knotted halter straps, a deep v-neck and an empire waist give it a sexy, summertime ease. Our designers added a touch of navy for an unexpected twist.

The Lowdown: I tried this dress on in size XSP yesterday.  OHMIGOODNESS!  It is L-O-V-E-L-Y!!!  I felt oh so sophisticated and effortlessly chic the second I slipped it on.  (Sorry, no dressing room pics. But I'm buying an iphone when I start making a salary in a few months, so I'll rectify that moving forward.)  The dress feels like pure silk against your skin, and it had such clean lines and a beautiful drape!  There was no way I could walk out the store without it -- even despite the hefty price tag.  So you know what that means?  It means I'm the proud owner of my very first maxi dress ever!  :-)  Now all I need is a bit of tailoring (see Cons below) and the perfect little sandal to complete the look. 

  • Made of rayon/spandex  (but feels silky like super-soft jersey)
  • V-neck with knotted halter  (perfect to show off toned shoulders and arms)
  • Empire waist (I felt like my legs were a mile-long when I caught a glimpse in the mirror)
  • Color  (stunning shade of gray with a pop of blue along the halter back -- it's GORGEOUS!)

  • Length   (it was about 2 inches too long for my 5-foot frame, but my dad's tailor is going to fix this for me)
  • Dryclean only (oh phooey!)
  • No built-in cups  (a little surprising that BR left this detail out)
  • Sold out online  (but you can check your local store for it like I did)
Final Verdict:  Had to have it!  Will be a go-to staple dress in the summertime!

Now what about you, dear readers?  Have you had any better luck with your search for the perfect maxi this summer?


  1. Modeling photos, please : ) I'd love to see the second one on you. I do own a BR maxi from last summer but it's too poofy on me. I loved it off the rack and thought it looked fine...but then when I looked at photos from the event I was slightly appalled at how I looked, le sigh..

    Also I hope you end up getting that Macy's one. You've been watching it for so long!

  2. Just like PAG, the second one is my fav just because it's solid color. I am not a big fan of prints. I am very interested in seeing you in one of those maxi dresses.

  3. i'd love to see you wearing it! I'm 5'7" and i have alot of maxi dresses. But i wanna see how you wear them:D

    i am now your newest follower. come and check out my blog. and maybe follow me too? thank you!


  4. Thanks for stopping by, Carrie. I'll follow your blog as well. :-) Pics of the maxi will come soon. I haven't even gone to the tailor's yet though. :-(