Yes, that’s right…I too succumbed to the lure of the Banana Republic tweed dress. First, Jean vlogged about it. Then other petite ladies went wild for it. I resisted at first, but when I saw the dress in person at my local Banana Republic outlet, I decided it was exactly what I was looking for.
As you can see in the photo above, the fit off the rack is not ideal, but I decided to keep and alter it. Here’s why:
1) I had already been looking for a garment just like this. A tweed dress has been on my list of items to pick up for some time now, but I hadn’t found one I liked, with petite proportions, until this one.
2) The proportions are right for my body. The waist is in the right spot, the shoulder fits well, and the overall fit isn’t terribly wrong. As long as the proportions are correct, other alterations are easier to make.
3) The zipper is in a place that makes alterations easier. The zipper runs along the middle of the back, as opposed to down the side seam, making the dress easier to slim.
4) I like the fabric. The dress feels nice and heavy, like how I’d expect tweed to feel. The fabric content is good for the price, and it’s fully lined.
Now, let’s assess what alterations it needs…
I like to pinch and grab at areas of fabric that aren’t quite working for me visually. This helps to give me an idea of what the item will look like after alterations, and whether alterations will even be worth it. So, here we go…
This dress needs to be slimmed all the way down from the bust to the hem. It also needs to be shortened to a more flattering length.
This dress fit my criteria (I’ve been searching for a tweed dress already, the proportions are petite friendly, fabric is nice, and alterations aren’t invasive), so I decided to take the plunge and get it altered.
Side note: San Diego ladies…I went to Francois at La Moda Fine Tailoring, as recommended by Christina in the Alterations Needed Forum. He did a wonderful job!
Ta-dah! After alterations…
This dress after alterations fits like a glove! I don’t have a price for this because I got two other items altered at the same time and didn’t ask for an itemized receipt. Doh!
*UPDATE* I’ve been doing some guesstimating and I believe the price of alterations (slimming + hemming) cost between $40 – $50. I paid full price on this dress ($99), which puts the final price after alterations somewhere near $150. I was willing to pay that much, or even more, for the perfect wool dress, so I’m happy with the final outcome. I’ve seen on Twitter that this dress is now $60 in stores, which helps factor in the cost of alterations a lot!
And, because it’s tweed (and you know how much I love tweed)..gratuitous photo time…
PS – Apparently I can’t stand straight, hence the crooked looking hem in some photos. That’s me being a dork, not a problem with the hem.