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A friend of mine posted a picture of this dress on facebook a couple of months ago, asking people if they could find out where it was from.  I checked Kiyonna and googled other plus size fashion companies to no avail.  I was checking to assist my friend, of course....but I was also going to have that dress!  Muahahaha.  

I'd nearly given up when I was browsing through Lane Bryant's website when I recognized a model as the same one wearing "the" dress.  LB was featuring a few select items from Igigi, so I went to Igigi's website, and lo and behold, there it was.

I considered the dress for days and days.  I searched online to see if I could find reviews of it anywhere or pictures of anyone else wearing the dress.  I came across a post on blogger Nicole's A Well Rounded Venture, where she talks about visiting Igigi and trying on the Naomi dress along with several other Igigi dresses.  There's a photo of her below modeling the gown, and you can read more about her experience with Igigi here.



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Blogger Nicole from A Well Rounded Venture modeling Igigi's "Naomi" dress
As I considered the dress, I kept getting stuck on the price.  At $275, that's a lotta money.  I even tried to get Kyle to talk me out of it, but he was strangely accepting of my love for the dress and said if I already had my heart set on it to just go ahead and order it.  I found a 20% off coupon online to bring down the price, though shipping costs brought it back up some.  I will never order anything online without checking for coupons first.  There's almost always at least a 15% off coupon out there.

The dress came four days later, and as I opened the package, I couldn't believe the quality of the sequin embroidery.  Beautiful.  I hung the dress on my closet door and realized the dress was made for women much taller than I.  At 5'4". with four inch heels on, no go.  But I wanted to be able to wear this thing with flats.

So I stood wearing the dress staring at myself in the mirror, wondering if I wanted to invest even more money into this thing.  Because alterations to shorten this dress was not going to be easy.  You can't just cut it at the bottom because it has beautiful lace scallops.  So instead, you have to shorten it at the empire waist, and the fabric is gathered and folded along the waistline. Not going to be a cheap alteration...

So I had to weigh my pros and cons.  Pros: super high quality.  Looks vintage from the early 1900's meaning it'll still look vintage in a few years or in many years, so I should get wear out of the dress in the years to come.  Very special, unique, and from a limited collection, meaning I won't likely see anyone wearing the same dress - ever.  It has cap sleeves (con), but I find that the focus is so much on the skirt or waistline, that I don't really notice or feel self-conscious about my arms in it.  I feel really pretty and feminine and dramatic in it.  I imagine myself doing glamorous things in it, so it wins points for appealing to my imagination.  Cons: price.  I can't get the stupid (but lovely) sash to stay in place.  Um...that it's maybe too much?  Too much money, too much drama, too much fancy-schmancy-ness.  But then, I also like it for its too-much-ness.
And so to get it altered I went.  To Sue's Custom Sewing in Dexter.  Knowing nothing about sewing, I felt like the dress was high quality, but who really knows.  Well, I knew for sure after Sue circled around the dress like a hunter, trying to find a weak spot to make for an easy alteration.  She stressed to me how high quality the dress is, and told me - without asking how much I paid for it - that she assumed I paid a pretty penny and that it was completely worth it because the dress was both stunning and of the highest quality.

Two weeks later, my dress shortened and bust tacked, I donned it for a roaring 20's theme party my husband and I hosted to toast the engagement of his sister.  We asked that everyone come dressed up or in costume for a cocktail party in our backyard.  I wore the dress with 1/2" wedges through the grass and up and down the deck steps, and it came out just fine.  Good thing it's a dark color on bottom. 
I did notice that there are little thread pulls in the mesh skirt, but the embroidery pops so much, that it's not noticeable.  The pulls are bound to happen; I'm just glad that the rest of the detailing on the skirt distracts from it. 
All-in-all, a glorious dress that I can't wait for an occasion to wear again.  I received so many compliments, and most importantly, I felt awesome in it.  We have lots of friends and family members getting married in the next couple of years, so the dress should get wear then.  Company holiday parties.  Going to the opera house and a super-fancy dinner.  

And because of the great quality and fit, I'll be ordering from Igigi again.  Something more practical this time...perhaps a dress that I can double for wearing to work and wearing out...  :-)     
 
 
It took several weeks of the Flared Caraz Dress being posted on Anthropologie before I paid it any attention.  In fact, it wasn't until the site featured a shot of a model wearing it for the catalog that I looked up the item details.  After seeing user reviews and photos, I started crushing on the dress.  What I liked about it was the creamy, ruffled bottom; the colorful print featuring plenty of pink, my favorite color; the length seemed long enough, unlike the beautiful Minutiae Dropwaist "Dress" (pictured below) I ordered that has become a tunic worn with grey leggings or jeans; plus, it has some semblance of a sleeve.  The user pictures were really cute, and it had a couple of good full-figured reviews.  I'm always hesitant to order dresses from Anthro because I never know if they're going to fit.  But somehow, strangely, I've never ordered something online and had to return it, though I've had plenty of depressing days in Anthro fitting rooms where nothing fits or they've run out of my size.  
Well, I finally decided to order the Flared Caraz Dress in an XL (I typically wear a 14-16) two months ago.  And it was back-ordered.  For two months.  After weeks and weeks of waiting, I came home from our Memorial weekend camping trip to find it waiting in my mailbox.  As usual, Anthro's packaging was adorable.  The gray plastic-y bag had a printed design with big purple, blue, and green flowers outlined in thick black.  Cute.  Like something from one of their bedspread prints.  Anyways, I opened the package to feel the dress and loved the fabric.  It's a fragile, soft, airy mesh with a lot of stretch to it.  Like many of the other reviewers, I can see it snagging fairly easily, but the print is so busy and colorful, that I think it would be hard to spot a snag anyways.  

The dress has a cream lining that also has a lot of stretch to it.  The keyhole closure in the back is cute and tiny, so no need to worry about wearing a cami or special bra underneath.  Once on, the dress is light and airy and stretchy and comfy.  The print does have a faded look to it, which I like, but there's a bit more black and orange in it than I expected after looking through all of the user pictures.  While it does have a gathered waist, I think it looks better with a belt.  The print is a little overwhelming, so I like the idea of having a belt to break it up a little and to define your waist more.  One of the cons is that if you have a larger chest, like me, the printed mesh overlay will stretch and be lighter in color.  It's only slightly noticeable and not enough to make me feel self-conscious and return it.  Overall, I love how comfortable it is and that you can style it a variety of ways with different cardis, belts, shoes, and even tights and boots in the winter.  It seems like a pretty wild piece - but that never scares me off because I love colorful prints - but I think it can be really versatile too.

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I hung it up and inspected/admired it before trying it on....hoping it would fit.
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First outfit. This is one of the few necklaces I have that can stand up to the print. Most other necklaces got lost in the pattern.
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Awkward stance...
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So I really like the pink cardi with it - it pulls out the pink in the pattern. Not so sure about the boots. Poor pink boots. They sit in my closet, cute as they are, waiting for outfits they can be worn with without looking ridiculous.
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I think I'll keep the dress...I have enough cardis in different colors that I can wear over it, plus it can be worn without a sweater in the summer when it gets really hot. The fabric is so light and airy that I imagine it'll be quite cool in the summer heat.