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The problem with social media is that sometimes you accidentally see things and then you want to buy them. This was the case when I first saw the Leith Ruched Bodycon Tank Dress on Extra Petite. Perhaps it’s redundant for me to post about it too — apparently it’s a blogger favorite. But, I thought maybe I could bring a different perspective as someone who is trying to be picky about what I bring into my wardrobe. All these other people have raved about it. It’s flattering, they say. It’s versatile. And it’s priced at $56! Is it really that great? OK, let’s see about that. Off I went to Nordstrom, where this brand is sold.
My first impression was meh because it doesn’t look like much on the rack. If I hadn’t already seen how great it looked on other people, I would have passed this rack by.
This dress comes in 10 colors. I went looking for the black one. For someone who loves black, surprisingly I don’t own a little black dress. (I mean, if you don’t count the one with embellished bugs on it.) Unfortunately the store close to me was out of most sizes in black, so I ordered online.
The tank dress has no zipper. Just slip it over your head. Although the dress is a bodycon fit, it’s made out of a thick T-shirt material (a polyester and cotton blend). While it does hug you close, it doesn’t feel too tight. The Nordstrom website advises to go up a size if you want a looser fit. I’m a dress size 4, so I ordered a small (my regular size), and medium.
Here I’m wearing small on the left and medium on the right. The medium was a bit looser all around, and also longer. The neckline is also lower. The ruching on this dress is cleverly placed across the mid section to help hide any imperfections around the tummy area. However, I found that works better in darker colors than the lighter ones. I tried some of the lighter colors on in store and they were not as flattering as the black. So if you have a tummy pooch like yours truly, you might want to stick to the darker colors.
Here is the side view. Please pay no attention to my not-flat stomach. Instead, notice the armhole situation. The armhole was just too big on the medium, exposing my bra. Jean from Extra Petite mentions that she took the armholes in on hers. It’s a trick of hers to make regular-sized clothing better fit petite bodies. I contemplated doing that since I do like the longer length of the medium. But in the end I realized the small fit better all around, and I won’t have to alter anything.
So yes, I decided to keep this dress in a small. How did it gain a spot in my closet when I’m trying to downsize? Usually, I would never wear a bodycon dress like this because it would be too constricting (and um, because tummy pooch). But the genius of this dress is the fabric. The T-shirt material makes this dress comfortable, and the ruching makes it flattering. It’s elegant in design, yet not fussy because of the fabric. I think the material even makes it a good item to pack for traveling. It doesn’t seem like you’d have to worry too much about it wrinkling. And it’s easy to take care of: just put it in the washer and let it air dry. (I’d wash the black with dark color detergent though.) Those other bloggers were right: it’s versatile and can be worn casually or easily dressed up. Adding a skinny belt elevates it.
Throw on a cropped jacket, grab a clutch, and you’re ready for a night out on the town.
This dress also comes in a long sleeve version (5 colors) for $59. I think it’s a great buy at a nice price. And now I’ve got that wardrobe staple I didn’t have before, the little black dress.
UPDATE 12/10/17 – I’m trying to be better about making ethical shopping choices, so I’m updating posts with info about where and how things were made. This dress is made out of cotton and polyester. Polyester is petroleum-based, not biodegradable, and its microfibers pollute our oceans. It was made in China, and I don’t have any info on the labor practices of the factory that made it.