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In fashion, these three words can change everything: "It has pockets."
I normally only wear dresses to weddings. I’m also a brand loyalist. Still, two nouns and a verb were enough to convince me to give Amazon’s third best-selling dress, Unbranded* women’s long-sleeved pocket casual loose T-shirt dress, a try.
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Since September, it’s earned 935 reviews and a 4.4-star rating. The price is $10-$20 (and it’s eligible for Amazon Prime) depending on which of the 20 different colors and styles you choose. Playing it safe, I got gray. If I were bolder, I would have ordered the purple-gray swatch.
When the mail carrier showed up, I didn’t sprint down the stairs like usual. I was nervous. Besides, the fact that it's an unbranded dress had me worried about the fit. Advertised as having a “comfy swing silhouette” that “flares to a perfect finish,” it sounded too good to be true. One of the reasons I’m so brand loyal is because I like to know how something will fit. Still, it was semi-reassuring that 78 percent of Amazon reviewers found this dress to fit as expected.
First, I noticed the color was spot-on. I’m not sure how you can mess up plain gray, but you never know. Second, the jersey knit fabric felt like my favorite T-shirts. While I approved of the color and material, the fit was slightly less flattering than promised.
Unless you keep your perfectly angled legs open and your hands halfway in the pockets like the model, you probably won't achieve the perfect flaring. Still, the silhouette was flattering enough that I didn’t need to wear a belt or add a vest. In fact, the first time I wore it out, I simply paired it with leggings, Sorel boots and a necklace. Within minutes of posting a pic on Instagram, I had a "Cool top!" compliment.
And since the dress only cost $19, I felt OK wearing it while walking my dog: a 150-pound Leonberger who drools more than Beethoven. And while Zeus did drool on me, I take responsibility since I'd stashed puppy snacks in the pockets. (I love the pockets, and the dress certainly looks most becoming when you have your hands in them.)
The description says to hand-wash and hang dry, but I tossed the dress into my washing machine and dryer with a load of branded non-dresses. It came out clean, and I didn’t notice any change in fabric or fit. While I don’t love the dress enough to order one in every color, it's hanging in my closet, closest to the door. That's pretty much staple status.
It also comes in a sleeveless version for hotter days!
Note: I’m 5’4", 110 pounds and I ordered a size small.