I've come to rely on dresses as any easy fix for looking polished in a pinch — no matter the season. When I heard there was a style topping Amazon's list of Bestsellers in Casual Dresses with more than 22,000 five-star ratings, I took notice.
Could this be the latest gem to come from the same marketplace that gave us the perfect summer-to-fall transition maxi and universally flattering LBD? There was only one way to find out, so I ordered the dress and prepared for my big debut.
There are plenty of shades to choose from
As with several of the other styles that have made their mark on Amazon, one of the first things I noticed with this shift dress is that there's a wide range of color and design options to choose from. Some of my favorites include vacation-friendly brights like Sky Blue and Rose Red and bold patterns like Bamboo Leaf and Leopard.
I promised myself that one day I will break out of my comfort zone and order something different, but I decided to stick with classic black. I figured I'd get more mileage out of it because it would transcend the seasons and wouldn't be as recognizable if I ended up wearing it fairly frequently.
The cut is flattering
Though I can certainly appreciate a good number of options (and be intrigued by thousands of reviews), what initially sold me on this dress was the cut itself. I love the typically flattering — and roomy — fit of a shift and thought the bell sleeves added a nice boho touch. It's casual enough for brunch with the girls and dressy enough for fancier occasions. I also like how the V-neck lent itself to the breezy aesthetic and allowed room to showcase a pendant necklace or two.
I can attest that the cut is fairly flattering and provides enough wiggle room in the arms — one of my personal pain points — as well as the skirt to allow for a flowy effect. I typically wear a size 6/Medium and purchased a Medium (8-10) thinking the Small (4-6) would be pushing it. While it seems to vary among reviewers, I would recommend going a size up from a length perspective alone, especially if you're looking to wear the dress for more formal or conservative occasions.
The material is good quality
One of the things I'm most wary about when ordering clothing online is that it won't appear the same in real life. This is especially true when it comes to the fabric, as the cut is only as good as the cloth. There's not much fun in wearing something pretty if you're worried that it's see-through or about to rip at a moment's notice.
While some reviewers said that the fabric felt scratchy and wrinkled easily, I didn't find that to be the case. I was happy to find that the fabric of this dress (a 96 percent polyester blend) held up well. It's lightweight and breathable enough to allow for movement, but not cheap-looking or seemingly fragile. I found that it was also fairly wrinkle-proof after a quick steaming, making it a good option for travel.
Shop TODAY associate editor Danielle Murphy, who tried on the shift dress in a Yellow Flora design, also found the material to be worth the buy. "It has some weight to it, making it feel more expensive than it actually is," she said. "I wouldn't hesitate to wear this to a wedding or a more formal occasion. In fact, I even purchased a second dress in Navy so I would have a more 'winter-ready' option when the time comes. Both styles are stunning and feel like they're straight from a less affordable boutique."
The price is right
Last, but certainly not least, this dress won't break the bank, ringing in at just $35. Scoop up the Belongsci V-Neck Bell-Sleeve Shift Dress and it just might become your new go-to style.