Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The short of it

Every year I buy a fairly simple cheap summer dress, the kind of dress you can lounge around in on a hot day and not feel you look like a mess. Not a special dress, just an okay summer dress you don't mind spilling a glass of white wine all over. M&S always has a good supply.

So last week I ordered this



It arrived this afternoon and I was very pleasantly surprised It was a great colour, had a shocking pink cotton lining and was a perfect fit, in all but one respect. Unlike the picture, it comes above the knee. And when you sit down above the knee is mid-thigh. Now I am 5'5" which means I am taller than than model. How can that be?

And when will this madness end, I ask, as I pack it up for return?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

How weird! Especially as there's no mention of short, medium or long length.

Geri

Toby Wollin said...

uh...can we say 'lack of quality control'?

mq, cb said...

I am several inches shorter than you, so your loss might be my gain. Thanks for the tip.

Btw, this site was recommended to me if you are ever looking for a basic (but not particularly cheap) dress - http://www.karencole.co.uk/pcategory.php?cat=dresses

Linda Grant said...

That Grecian dress is very very good.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving a black cotton shirtdress I ordered from the Betty Jackson black website from Debenhams. They never seem to have a decent range in the local store and the online service is quick and allows you to bypass registration. see http://www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10001_10001_63060_592948_-1

angeleno lady said...

So many catalogues do the same thing with T-shirts - their pictures show the hem landing mid-thigh but then the actual T-shirt might, just might reach down to my waist. Arrrrrhhh!

Nancy said...

I noticed a very similar style in the Boden catalog: http://tinyurl.com/3n5zvx

Not in solid colors, unfortunately, but it does come in "regular" and "long" lengths.

I'm the U.S., where Boden has only recently made inroads, and I have no idea how it compares with M&S. But I'm sure you do.

(And I agree that dresses this season are ridiculously short. I'm 5'8", so I've pretty much given up. On the other hand, I'm in the San Francisco area, where summers are so cold and windy that we almost never can wear sleeveless dresses unless we travel far inland.)

miss cavendish said...

Too bad. But when I look at this dress, my eye tells me that it should be shorter, as it seems to swallow up this model.

/anne... said...

I'm 5'9". I've largely given up buying dresses and skirts - those full supposedly knee-length ones on me look like I've been shopping in childrenswear - I just sew them.

After several weekend shopping trips, I recently managed to buy a dress - I'd almost given up completely!

Anonymous said...

Finding a dress that fits is never an easy task but if you have a good 'alteration lady" the whole dress hunting is a different affair.

The 'alteration ladies", the unsung heroes of the clothing trade ( at least they are in Budapest and Melbourne)would be a good topic for discussion.

On the topic of M&P, Lord Sieff ( one of the famous presidents of M& S)'s book " Do not ask the price" is a fascinating read.

Fiona said...

Thanks to mq,cb for the Karen Cole website - looks great for summer basics. Has anyone bought from there to vouch for quality etc?

Linda Grant said...

I have emailed to ask what fabric the Grecian dress is made of and what is its length

Kim H said...

re 'anonymous' and her alterations ladies. I am one of that rare breed and find it frustrating to see so much badly finished, ill fitting clothing being purchased by ladies who feel they have no other choice. We alterations people work hard to satisfy requirements but you have to be realistic sometimes - we use needles not magic!mw

Linda Grant said...

Hello Kim H, do you live in London? I'd love an alterations lady but have never been able to find one and don't know anyone else who has one.

Linda Grant said...

(Though alterations would have no effect on the too-short dress as there was no hem to let down)

Linda Grant said...

I just rang Karen Cole and spoke to Karen Cole herself. I asked about the fabric, she said a heavy jersey which guaranteed no cling, and on my 5'5" below the knee. So I have ordered the Grecian dress.

Nancy said...

Do let us know how the Grecian dress turns out. I agree that it's beautiful on the screen, but would hesitate before paying a rather hefty trans-Atlantic shipping fee.

Anonymous said...

Here in Cambridge, one lovely lady has the alterations of all the High Street stores more or less 'sewn up'. I'm sure the major stores in London would use the services of someone they could put you in contact with if you asked them nicely.

Geri
PS Just off to look at this grecian dress everyone is talking about.

Kim H said...

Sorry Linda, I live in Worcestershire so I cant help you. Good luck finding someone local.

Anonymous said...

Just tried on a very lovely simple jersey navy and white striped dress by Phase 8. However, it was so low my t*ts nearly popped out. Can I say t*ts on this site?

Geri
The Grecian dress is lovely as is almost everything on that website. I like the city shorts!

Geri

lagatta said...

I very much appreciate the corporate ethics statement on the site: http://www.karencole.co.uk/pwelcome.php

Your blog has discussed ethical clothing before, and how too much of it remained either the proverbial post-hippie sack dress or overly gimmicky, faddish clothes that only suit young hipsters.

Perhaps this lovely, wearable collection is an indication that this is being outgrown.

Yesterday I visited a local-designs shop that had a gore skirt I liked in a good quality jersey blend, They were out of my size and the colour I wanted (only very bright colours - not my thing for bottoms as I have too much of a bum) but the owner-designer said he would be getting in more in darker shades. We were chatting, and he said more and more customers now ask where garments and materials came from and under what labour conditions they were produced (and this is not an expensive line, though the quality is quite good and there are some pretty things).

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