Despite what you may think, I, in fact, did not make this dress out of a shower curtain. I just happened to buy something that looks (and feels) exactly like one. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me explain my thought process behind said purchase… There wasn’t one. This post is both a warning and a happy surprise about how this dress and I became compadres and why I will never get something like it again.
So you just happily scrolled through my pictures and some of you probably thought, ‘hey, that’s pretty cute,’ others probably thought, ‘maybe she should be wearing something longer.’ I agree, and had both of these thoughts when I got this dress in the mail. There was an article on BuzzFeed last week called “Say No To The Dress,” that I really enjoyed as a consumer and style lover. If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, then I suggest you take the 10 minutes to do so. To sum up their larger, better researched and more eloquently written point: buying from overseas retail sites, especially ones based in China, is ultimately a scam and gets you to spend your hard earned dollars in return for crap.
They take photos from bloggers, other retail sites and who knows where else, replicate the piece in the image with cheap products and tell you that you’re getting exactly what you see – when in fact 9 times out of 10 you’re not getting that at all. Some people might argue that you get what you pay for since the prices are next to nothing compared to what you would pay for the same item in a department store. However, I would argue that this type of retailing is a ruse, a scam and fraudulent.
In my undergraduate career I took many classes about retailing, global sourcing, textile production, consumerism, etc. and learned entirely more than I wanted to know at the time. However, these classes and the knowledge I gained from being in them has helped me be a smarter consumer. But, if I’m being completely honest, I am definitely not most of the time – I just know how to be if I ever wanted to :). When I see a deal online or in the store that I feel like I just can’t beat, I take full advantage of it. So when I happened across the site Choies earlier this year and saw their super awesome prices, I figured what was the harm in grabbing a few cheap pieces for my vacation? So that’s what I did. I bought three dresses and a romper for less than $45. Casual, throw on and go pieces that I knew would get worn and still keep me stylish without too much effort.
A very very very very long time later (like six or seven weeks!!!) a small little white plastic package arrived on my door step. “Yeeee cute cheap clothes!” I ran to my room, grabbed the scissors and opened it to find my four items wrapped and squished into an entirely too small package. The first dress was a striped maxi that I thought would work perfectly as a cover up on the beach. It had two side slits and was simple – black and white. I tried it on and Oh Lordy I might have been wearing the most unforgiving piece of clothing that ever existed. Not only was my usual size – a medium – wayyyyy too small, but the straps wouldn’t adjust so I had that wonderful pouch of armpit fat that kinda squeezed out by the strap and just stayed there.
I’ll save you the pain of hearing about the next three pieces in the same detail, but just think, instead of armpit fat there was a lot of butt and thigh action going on. The two ‘dresses’ were incredibly short and much better off as tunics. Unless you are a good six to ten inches shorter than me I would not recommend getting your normal size in these items, or ordering them at all.
The material of the three dresses was slippery and clingy – two things I actively search for my fabric not to be. Now, the article I linked to before is worth the read – as I said – because it talks about all of the sites that have a track record for this kind of false advertising. I don’t believe Choies is as bad as some of the other sites mentioned in the article (keep in mind I have only bought from Choies). I say this because a lot of their pictures appear to be of the actual piece you are getting. Sure some of them are staged, and they’re absolutely styled to look better, but after all what online retailer doesn’t do this?
I do have to take some of the blame for my bad buying decisions because it does list the material of the piece on each of their pages and it is totally my fault for being oblivious to this. I could have returned what I didn’t like – their policy is you can return any unused or unworn item within 60 days of receipt, BUT you have to pay the return shipping… to China… and since I didn’t pay much for the pieces to begin with, I figured that I’d just keep them.
My last tip / note / rant to you is not to purchase OS (one size) pieces from this site. I say this because the tunic / dress I bought that was listed as OS is the strangest of all of the pieces. I think it wants to be a dress, but my 5′ 8″ self is like nahhh this should be worn with shorts or pants or basically anything that will cover my butt. Unless this is the ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Tunic’ it isn’t one size fits all.
Okay, so after this long post I hope it opens your eyes to the realities of buying from overseas retailers. I am not trying to persuade anyone one way or the other I just want a real person’s honest opinion to be out there in the blogosphere about Choies and what they bring to e-commerce. To wrap things up, the dress I am wearing in the pictures is from my purchase and although it isn’t what I thought I would be getting, I wore it anyway and didn’t totally hate it. Yes, it’s too short, yes, the material is awful, but my confidence level is above a six and I had some cute accessories so I thought I could pull it off.
SHOP THE LOOK
Dress: White Stripe Off Shoulder Long Sleeve Shift Dress | Hat: Straw Fedora | Bag: Striped Woven Handbag | Shoes: Pyramid Stud Gladiator Sandals | Necklace: old; currently coveting this and this | Lipstick: L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Fairest Nude