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The little black dress may be a classic, but unless you're Audrey Hepburn, it's probably not the most eye-catching thing you own. So, if it's compliments you're after, you'll have to go fishing.
The last dress I bought on Amazon was this nondescript bestselling T-shirt dress in gray. With its comfy jersey fabric, long sleeves and pockets, it screamed practical. But after taking a Caribbean cruise this summer, I realized I wanted something with a bit more pizzazz.
After a quick search on Amazon, I found the Urban CoCo Bohemian Summer Shift Dress. The vibrant garment is available in a variety of gorgeous prints, and the $25 price tag is perfect for my tight budget. Plus, it has more than 4,200 verified reviews. That's how you know something isn't too good to be true.
How it looks
I clicked through the different swatches and struggled to find one I didn't like. Ultimately, I went with Pattern 18. However, even if they'd sent the wrong color, I probably wouldn't have given it back. I like them all. While the dress looks like it could come from a designer, it actually comes from Urban CoCo, the same brand behind Amazon’s No. 1 bestselling skirt and this cute off-the-shoulder top with a five-star rating from more than 3,500 verified reviewers.
My dress is 100% true to color and looks exactly like it does online. I was worried I wouldn't like the three-quarter sleeves, but I don’t mind these since they’re “lotus style" and just look like long sleeves I casually rolled up. Surprisingly, the fabric itself doesn't look or feel as low quality as I expected. I was able to wear it straight out of the package without even steaming it.
How it feels
It's certainly soft, however, it's not very breathable. That’s just the nature of polyester. The dress is 91.2% polyester and 8.8% spandex. Of course, it didn’t help that I first wore this out in Paris during a record-breaking heat wave. There was no AC on the train, so I was definitely sweating. Fortunately, because of the vibrant colors and cool pattern, no one could see any pit stains.
I do have sensitive skin (my neck is still covered in a rash after a recent Keratin treatment), so I was slightly worried about reacting negatively to a cheaper fabric — but that didn't happen.
Why the rating isn't higher
Normally, I only stick with products that have a 3.5-star rating or higher. This dress had a 3.4-star rating when I ordered it. Still, I couldn't write it off without looking into why the rating wasn't higher. Based on what I read, I think it's because of the sizing. At the time, only 46% of reviewers said it was true to size, though the description does note that the size will probably be smaller than you’re used to. I ordered a size small since I’m often an extra-small in loose-fitting clothing. When it came, it was a bit broad in the shoulders, but other than that, it fit perfectly.
Where I'm wearing it
Yes, this dress is short. You'll want to wear shorts under it. However, because it's short, it can also be worn as a tunic with jeans or leggings. I first wore it to the Trek Travel Tour de France VIP party gala at Paris’ esteemed Automobile Club de France (which has a strict dress code), but I can also easily get away with wearing it as a beach cover-up without feeling overdressed.
Casual or not, this dress got me plenty of attention. No one was whistling or making me uncomfortable. But I did get stopped in the street by two strangers (one of whom turned out to be the Olympic silver medalist Léon van Bon, and the other a Dutch photographer who took photos of the dress). I also got some unexpected compliments on social media from followers who have never commented on what I'm wearing before.
I don't like attention enough to live in this dress. But the next time I'm feeling low and need a little ego boost, I know exactly what to wear.
For more clothing favorites, check out:
- 19 shift dresses that belong in your summer wardrobe rotation
- From wraps to maxis, these 16 dresses are perfect for summer
- This comfy-chic romper is the perfect lightweight outfit for balmy summer days
The article was originally published on Aug. 7, 2019.