Those who shop J.Crew are familiar with the dreaded Final Sale. You can get all kinds of great things for very discounted prices, but once you check out, that's it - no returns or exchanges. You can find some amazing deals in Final Sale, especially popbacks...but you can also get burned BIG TIME. I have had great luck with shopping Final Sale when I stick to this rule: Only buy an item if you have either tried it on in the store or it's a multiple of something you already own (Schoolboy blazers, Cashmere L/S tees, etc.). Sometimes, however, I drink too much of the Crewlade and make poor decisions.
J.Crew Souvenir Dress from Summer 2011, Ikat Print in Faded Black or Chili Pepper, 100% Silk.
So this little dress popped back in the Chili Pepper colorway in my size on Final Sale, and I was immediately drawn to it like I am with most red items. A pretty Summer shift in a sweet little print, done in fully-lined silk shantung. Originally retailing for $148, it was now priced for Final Sale at $99. Not dirt cheap, but definitely reasonable for a lined silk dress in such a great color. I even loved the way that the print marched vertically up the skirt and then switched to diagonal on the bodice. The dress was also shown like this in one of last year's catalogs:
Oh, hahahahaha, don't mind me! I'm just having the most delightful time in my antique speedboat, probably somewhere in Europe. I'm having ALL OF THE FUN, so you don't get any. Toodles!
I bought the dress despite knowing what I know about J.Crew's weird fascination with high waistlines, despite the fact that most of their dresses have not fit me very well for years, despite the obvious difference between the model's upper body and my own (read: boobs). I'm sure that you can tell where this is going....
Straight to disappointment. This does not look very nice. The placement of the waistline is in exactly the wrong place for my figure. Plus, there are two little pleats at the waist that make my boobs look really long and low. I mean, gravity will eventually take them in that direction, but I'm in no hurry to speed it up.
Side view. I'm actually fine with the length - this is a play dress, not a work dress.
Sometimes adding a belt can work wonders for a dress. Not in this case, unfortunately.
All of that aside, the really fun part came when I tried to do something crazy like raise my arms while wearing the dress:
Oh yeah, that looks great. If you wear this dress, you'll have to rule out reaching for things above your waist, touching your hair, hugging, raising your glass for a toast, dancing with a partner, or dancing to any song at all where you might be asked to "Put your hands up!"
So now I have a hundred-dollar dress that I can't wear. I've gone over the options in my head, and it seems to me that I can go one of three ways:
1) Take it to a tailor and have the sleeves cut off so that I can at least wear it around on the weekends.
2) Attempt to sell it on Ebay to try to get some of my money back.
3) Turn it into a really gorgeous pillow for the bedroom.
Which option would you choose? I welcome your thoughts and opinions in the comments. Feel free to say "I told you so" in regards to Final Sale, because I deserve to hear it on this one.