A Sneak Peek from Leah’s Wedding

Last Saturday was an absolutely perfect fall day for Leah’s wedding. And as you would expect from a bride and groom who include a reading from Julia Childs in their ceremony, the food was a-maz-ing. Of course Leah isn’t posting today, but she said I could share the pictures I took. She’ll tell us soon how she made her Le Mystere bustier work under her gorgeous gown.

leah bridesmaids

I want to know how her bustier bridesmaids chose their dresses (all in cream) and what they wore beneath them. By the way, the bridesmaid in the middle is the one who introduced Leah and her husband.

leah bridesmaid back closeup

Here’s a closeup of the back of the tallest bridesmaid’s dress.

And finally, pictures of Leah in her gown.

leah first dance side

leah first dance left back

leah gown front left

leah left front closeup

Off the Rack ~ Project Runway Does it Again

Apologies for another nonsense post this week. I don’t think I’ll have time for any full-length ones in October. My wedding is a mere three weeks away, after all! This week you get a mini-rant…

Any readers out there watch the show Project Runway in the US? I’ve complained about their treatment of non-fashion model women twice before, and this season is following suit, unfortunately.

Last week’s episode 10 was the “street muse” challenge, wherein the designers had to wander Washington Square Park in NY and find a model/muse from among the people hanging out. A large portion of the NYU campus is just south of the park and the show was filming in the middle of the day, so I knew right off the bat they’d have a glut of young, college-age women to choose from—no middle aged ladies need apply!

I was still hopeful that the designers would choose a variety of women, but nope, they all chose white, slender, tall women—including a yoga teacher and a ballet dancer. So basically they picked women who were as close to models as they could find. So boring!

One of the designers even approached a pair of girls and asked just one of them to be his model; when the other expressed interest, he told her she was too short. So apparently he’s incapable of designing for anyone who isn’t at least 5’8”?

To be fair, this particular episode was at least absent the body snark so present in other seasons when the designers had to work with “real” women, but it was still pretty disappointing. I’m of the opinion that if you can only design clothes for models, then you’re not a very good designer.

Off the Rack

Sorry, no Off the Rack this week. I’m away for the weekend. But I’m hard at work altering my Le Mystere Soiree Low-Back Bustier so it doesn’t peek out of my wedding dress, so get ready for a nice, long alterations post in the coming weeks!

Off the Rack ~ Collectif Polly Gingham Shirt Dress Reviewed

As you may recall, I had pretty good success with two skirts from British brand Collectif earlier this year. As such, I’ve been eager to try one of their dresses. When they recently had a 50% off everything sale, I went with the Polly gingham shirt dress.

Polly Gingham Shirt Dress

I was planning on ordering a 12, which is what I took in the skirts, but on the morning of the sale that was the only size that was sold out. I debated whether to size up or down. I ended up sizing down for three reasons: 1) The waist of the two skirts I have is actually a little big; 2) the fabric is the same 97% polyester and 3% spandex blend as the Agarva skirt, which is quite stretchy; and 3) the size chart says size 10 fits bust size 36”–38”. At 37”, that should suit me just fine.

Unfortunately, the size chart is way off. I don’t know if it’s this way across the board or just with this one garment, but the bust was hopelessly small. I could just barely do up the buttons and then it was flattening me out and straining horribly:

photo 2

photo 1

I was especially frustrated because my real concern had been with the waist, which the size chart says should fit 28” and I’m 29”. But it fit perfectly there! Additionally, I had actually called Collectif before ordering, told them my measurements, and asked if they thought a size 10 might work. They expressed concern that the waist might be uncomfortably tight, but said nothing about it running small in the bust. The website also doesn’t say it runs small in the bust, so one would assume that the size chart is accurate.

When I measured the dress, though, it wasn’t even close:



Just in case the first photo wasn’t clear, here you can see it’s less than 17” wide at the bust, meaning about 33” around—5 inches shorter than the size it’s supposed to fit!

The waist, by the way, was spot on: 14” flat, or 28” around.


I don’t understand why Collectif is listing a size chart that is so far from reality. Why don’t they just be honest?? Had I known the real measurements, I would have simply ordered a size 14 and taken in the waist. And by the time I received my order, 14 was also sold out, so an exchange was not an option.

I sent a rather angry email to Collectif, complete with photos, and told them I thought they should be responsible for the return shipping, since it was their fault I ended up with a garment that doesn’t fit. They did refund me for the dress and the return shipping, but I’m still pretty pissed because they don’t refund the original shipping, so I basically threw $22 out the window trying a dress that had no hope of fitting. I will never buy another Collectif blouse or dress again unless it’s second-hand and the owner has real garment measurements. How can anyone buy from them if the size charts are wrong?