Do you remember when I was pissing myself over the Dear Creatures Pigeon dress at the beginning of the fall?
You don’t even know the half of it, friends. Even my boyfriend doesn’t know because he was rarely home when I would return from work and feverishly check through every site I could find that was selling DC. It was bad. It was really, really bad. I had a problem and I was just so ready to throw money at it.
Finally, woo hoo!, the day came and the ubiquitous “second party internet boutique image” was up and all over the place.
Guys. Styling is important. Seeing Budget Cher Horowitz modeling this sad, slouchy dress put those $150 beans right back into the bottom of my pocket. But then, a few weeks ago, Swirl.com had a DC sale and yes, I got caught up in the madness. The dress was almost a $100 off and they had the red and grey version- which I liked even more than the navy/cream because for the past year and running red/grey is my fav and go-to color combo. Now you know, Mom.
Then, there was some waiting.
But wait! Today, it was waiting for me on my back staircase, yay! Enjoy this feeling of elation. It won’t last long.
I had heard tons and tons of adulation for this brand. I was even confused and believed that they manufactured their goods in, my home sweet home, the U S of A. Ha! Whoops! The first thing I was struck with was a nice, little “CHINA MADE” tag. Surely, something nice has been made in China. But I’m not sure what.
Bear in mind, I am not a textile expert (yet!) but I am a goddamn textile PROFESSIONAL. I made gorgeous clothes on the daily that retail for far less than the DC brand and, I’m convinced, are of far greater quality:
While I understand that knitwear is far more specific and delicate work than your normal, commercial garment construction, I was very, very underwhelmed by what I held in my hands.
Pros: the stripes lined up, it was soft.
Cons: Oh lord. Where to begin?
The fabric: textile content reads “45.1% Cotton, 36.9% Acric 18% Polyurethane”. We’ll assume that “acric” was a misprint of the word “acrylic” because “acric” is a variation of “Aceric” or “Pertaining to, or obtained from, the maple; as, aceric acid.” That could explain some shit. The weave is super fine and the knit itself is way too thin to be an unlined dress. I must have been crazy to believe that for 150 smackers I would be getting something that had a little life to it. Something heavier than most of the t-shirts that I own… and I’m not even talking about those rugged Hanes Beefy Tees that are scratchy and plasticy and take over a year to soften up.
Because the knit is so fine, the “fitted waist”, which is just a 3/2 rib, is ineffectual. It does nothing to shape the garment (note the blousey effect in the top picture) and does everything to create an unflattering band that doesn’t even hit at my waist. It just looks like the reproductive section of an earth worm.
Now, y’alls can take the easy route and just clamor and spam that my ass is just too fat to exist and, friend, there are days when I would agree with you. But I sincerely believe that clothing is a 3-D art and part of that is dressing a body that inhabit all three of those demensions.
I ordered a size large knowing that, with jugs like mine, I would fill out the top pretty well. No poofin’, no blousin’ expected. But I’m really bummed by the proportions. I’m only 5’4″ and having problems with the torso length, so what about someone at all taller than me? Interestingly, the hem of the dress hits just above my knees- which I love. But again, what if you’re not 5’4″? The dress is advertised as knee length and those proportions should change accordingly. If anything, since it is a knit and has a good deal of stretch (which was supposedly designed to be a little loose but you would never be able to tell by looking at the flat garment), editing for length should take charge over adjusting the width.
My most straight forward complaint is that the dress I received is not the one in the picture. On my dress, the stripes are bright, orangey red. It’s a much less lush color combination. Way more bicentennial/polyester/”virgin acrylic” style than “romantic winter nautica”. Also, the above buttons are a nice, pearly maroon whereas mine are a shiny, flat grey with silver edging around the outsides and the holes. It’s unsuited for the design and tres cheap looking. Sad face.
What a bummer, right? But at least I have a few solutions: 1) Wear a slip to remedy gross cling issues. If that doesn’t work, 2) hack out the waistband and sew the skirt to the top to create a babydoll dress. But mostly 3) this was such a disappointing experience. It’s like the internet lied to me!! Dear Creatures designs are so spot on, I almost feel no need to consider my future designing clothes because they’ve made so many things that I wish I had come up with!!! Until now, I’d looked at them with admiration. That’s over. Far, far over. I’ll content myself to hang out in my studio and make my own wardrobe riffing on their designs but with a greater concern towards fit and quality. Being good at making clothing requires knowing how clothes are actually made and how they actually fit. Let’s go back to the days when designers had to apprentice as tailors! Let’s go back to the days when you had to have a superior product! Let’s go back to the days when you had to know the full spectrum of your trade!