Near the middle of September, I was contacted by Shabby Apple, a women's clothing boutique. They offer "affordable, hip attire perfect for work or a day to play", and asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their dresses. Never one to say no, I agreed and selected one of the dresses from their online catalog. Unfortunately, I received an email after the order went through stating that the dress was out of stock. But, never fear, they had selected another frock for me to try.
Now, I have to admit... When I saw the one they chose, I was really nervous. I mean REALLY. It was totally something I never, ever would have even tried on, let alone wear sight-unseen.
Here is what I selected.
Here is what they selected for me.
And, it only goes to show what I know about fashion and dressing myself, because I LOVED IT! I opened the package and was a little concerned still, but once I put it on... But I'm jumping ahead of myself.
It arrived and, as I unpacked it to wash, I noticed a tag that noted that, by purchasing this item, I was helping to fund a microloan for a mother in India. She weaves bamboo and her loan: $87. Wow. If you know me in real life, you know that I am a big buyer of fair trade. The whole idea of microloans, especially to women in underdeveloped countries who, traditionally, have been unable to help financially support their families, really strikes a cord with me. So, even before I put the dress on, I was in a good mood.
As I stated previously, hand-washing is pretty much lost on me. I barely have time to hand-wash myself, let alone clothes! So, I glanced at the "hand wash only" tag and tossed that bad boy in wash on the uber gentle cycle. I asked Peter to hang dry it while I was getting the kids to bed last night, but when I looked for it this morning, I found it in the dryer... Oh well! Happens around here! I dried his bike pants the other day by accident... don't tell! Oh- wait- he reads my blog! Oops!
I took it from the dryer and it looked just as perfect as it had arrived, so I decided to try it on. I'd already decided to wear it out to dinner in the evening (did I mention we went on a date?) As I pulled it over my head, I thought "this is NOT going to work". I mean, there are stripes. Over my tata's. I dont want to bring attention to those! But then I stood in front of the mirror.
And I was really pleasantly surprised. My hair was dripping wet and I'd just gotten dried from the shower, but I thought I looked pretty darn nice! I quickly took the dress off (as to not ruin the surprise for Peter) and told him that I was wearing my new dress to dinner!
We dropped the kids at his parents for the evening and went to our favorite Italian place. And, if I do say so myself, I looked awfully nice.
I absolutely loved the dress. (I wore it again to church this morning and I still loved it). It was comfortable, but stylish. It looked dressy and casual- all at the same time. I loved the way it hugged my figure without showing my faults. It washed and wore very well, and fit true to size. My only complaint is that the black skirt picks up lint easily (but, let's be honest, what black item DOESN'T pick up lint). I'm not a lint-brush-handy sort of girl, so that can pose a bit of a problem (for example, I had a gray spot on the skirt this morning at church because I didnt lint brush before I left but that's my fault too...)
Overall, I not only loved the dress, but I think that the company's commitment to women in developing countries is admirable. I told Peter that, while I've never been a dress lover before, I'm thinking of investing in a few pieces! It's not too often that I find dresses that fit well, don't make me feel large, and give me a feeling of helping others.
Guess I'd better convince Peter to let me buy the three dresses in my "shopping cart" already! Highly recommended!