Online clothes shopping, it is so convenient these days. The joys of internet shopping are particularly appreciated when you have your first child and realise that navigating the shops with a buggy or a furious toddler is not the most relaxing way to spend your (almost non-existent) free time. When one child turns into multiple children, your days of a leisurely browse through the shops, trying on pretty things that catch your eye, are well and truly over. We begin to use that hour when the little ones nap (or are glued to the telly) to trawl the internet. Looking at pretty things that look amazing on stick thin models. Who have (probably) not had children. They are about half our age. And their stomachs aren’t tucked into Bridget Jones knickers to hold them in place.
Of course these online retailers have size charts, but what do these mean? A generic table indicating bust, waist and hip measurements, but nothing about where exactly your bust and waist has ended up after the first two children? Does this size uncertainty stop you from buying from an online retailer with unfamiliar sizing? The disappointment of the beautiful item arriving and making you look like you have a monoboob, or a sack of donuts where your abdominal muscles used to be? The hassle of the returns?
And so the idea was born to do a series of reviews of the various online retailers that are appearing on my periphery.
My first choice of online retailer to feature is Finery. I have been seeing and admiring their pages on Facebook for some time. They have some gorgeous garments and accessories.
But why haven’t I been tempted to buy from them just yet? Hard to gauge clothing size because of the bendy skinny models? Paying for shipment and getting it all wrong? They have free shipment for orders over £100, but what if you want an item for £69?
My Finery package arrived speedily in a gorgeous orange and white box. I feel special.
Generally I was very impressed with the descriptions on their website to explain the fit of the clothes and I think that the garment sizing is fairly reasonable, based on the small selection of garments fitted. Here is my candid review of the items that were delivered.
The Finery Selection
I ordered the Lavender Waterlilies dress in a size 12, even though I normally wear a size 10. Although the dress was slightly too big, I could get away with wearing the size 12. The main area that I noticed it was too big was in the back. I have a small waist in relation to my generous backside (it’s not quite Kim Kardashian, but it’s not small), so there was quite a bit of excess fabric in the hollow of my back. A size 10 would probably have fitted me slightly better, however, if you don’t like things tight around the hips, then you might want to opt for a larger size. This dress is intended to be worn as a relatively fitted dress. If you don’t like any of your curves, then you might want to rethink this dress as a choice for your shopping basket.
I could get away with the slightly looser dress because I have broad shoulders. If your hips are broader than your shoulders (and you don’t want a tight dress) then you might want to avoid buying the Lavender Waterlilies dress. If you are happy with a dress being figure hugging, buy your usual size. Because the dress was slightly too big for me, the lining was hanging out at the hem of the dress, but the straps are adjustable. The slip (lining) is made from a nice quality jersey which feels comfortable against your skin. The dress itself is made from an inexpensive stretch lace, but the floral pattern is gorgeous and compensates for the quality of the lace.
I ordered the pink mesh top in a size 10. It is made from stretch mesh fabric and the website indicates that the top is designed to skim the body, however the top was tighter than it looks on the model (in my view). I would have liked this top to be slightly more loose fitting, the colour and floral has a slightly vintage feel about it, but the tight fit makes it less so. If you want the Rosecroft Virginia Mesh top to look like it does on the model, I would suggest considering a size larger than your usual size. Again, you may need to adjust the straps of the camisole that comes with it. I would have liked the camisole to be slightly shorter (about 2cm).
The leather biker jacket was delivered in a size 12 as Finery had no size 10 in stock. The size 12 is a bit too big for me, which is a shame, the jacket is gorgeous. Fantastic investment piece. I will definitely be searching for a similar jacket in Khaki if Finery do not get more stock of the Ardleigh Bonded jacket. It is the perfect alternative to the Black biker jackets that are seen in abundance.
I ordered the Cobden High Waisted trousers in a size 10. The size 10 is a good fit for me, however I am long waisted and even with my long body, the waist of the trousers comes up very high. If you have a short body, then these trousers may be a struggle for you. I often find that size 10 trouser waists are too big for me, but this one is a perfect fit, suggesting that the waist does come up on the smaller side rather than the more generous size. Although I like the colour, I would be more tempted by the Dogtooth colour option.
I ordered the Florence Flute Sleeve top in a size 12. I liked the fit of the size 12 for wearing over trousers as shown on the model, however, when I tucked it into the skirt, there was a little excess fabric. The quality of the jersey used for the top is lovely. The flute sleeves are made from a fairly stiff polyester, a little bit like the fabric from an umbrella. This is a bit disconcerting at first, but it looks lovely and you get used to the stark difference between the two fabrics and the stiffness of the sleeves. Although I am usually a size 10, I would probably buy this in a size 12 as the slightly looser fit offers a little more versatility.
Somerford Stripe Full Skirt (£129)
The Somerford Stripe Skirt was sold out in a size 10 and size 12, so I ordered the skirt in a size 8. Partly wishful thinking, partly because my waist sometimes allows me to wear a size 8 in skirts. Provided that I have been staying off the biscuits and bacon. The size 8 just fits, but I wouldn’t want to sit down or eat a biscuit.
The Somerford is undeniably a statement skirt. You’ll be walking down the street thinking, “I am woman, hear me roar”. People will glance in your direction, guaranteed. The website describes the fabric as a “taffeta lined fabric” which has the appearance of a very thick, heavy satin. Although the skirt leans slightly more towards occasion wear, you can dress it down by wearing the skirt with trainers and a sweatshirt or a t-shirt. The ivory stripes in the fabric will be prone to stains and marks, so beware of little grubby hands (or red wine). According to the website’s product information, the zip is in the side seam, but this is a mistake. The zip is intended to be in the center back seam.
I plan to do a series of blogs to explore the sizing and information presented by online retailers. Please leave me a comment if there is a particular brand you would like to see reviewed.