Review: Diane von Furstenberg Francia Dress in Size 0

I’m going to at least three weddings this year, so I’m on the lookout for great, colorful dresses. While at Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco, this DVF dress looked super tiny on the hanger, had major hanger appeal, and there it was in size 0. The color is a deep purple (a bit brighter than the picture shows), which is usually a great color on my skin tone, and the fabric is a viscose/silk blend, which has the potential to be stretchy and slim fitting.

I tried it on in the fitting room, and just couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. When in doubt, I like to buy now and decide later, so here is the DVF Francia dress in size 0:

Diane von Furstenberg Francia Dress, size 0 (same style here)

The dress runs pretty small. I could probably use the bust taken in, but overall, not too bad. It’s short and drapey, which gives the dress some interest, and I think it would look cute belted.

My favorite detail is the drape in back across the shoulder:

Little extra room in the bust:

Once I got this dress home and really inspected it, I was impressed with the quality. I wish the fabric content was a little more silk for the price (it’s 88% viscose, 12% silk), but the craftsmanship is very nice. All the pleats and drapes are well thought out, and it’s fully lined (in 95% silk!). I did have an issue keeping the neckline straight (it was straying towards one side), but fashion tape would easily keep that in place.

I was a little concerned the ruching around the lower tummy would create a “pooch” but surprisingly the fabric is thin and drapey enough that it wasn’t an issue.

What I did have an issue with was the waist placement. It’s a bit too low for me. My initial thought was, “No problem! Just get the shoulder straps taken up!”. This would also make the neckline less scandalous, and raise the arm holes, which is always a good thing. But, take another look at the back drape I like so much. The back drape starts exactly at the shoulder seam. Oh no! It can’t be taken up! Well, maybe it could, but it would be tricky, and easy to mess up.

After getting this dress home and looking at it critically, I can see this dress is not for me. I would want to get the shoulder taken up, but with the draping at the shoulder seam, this alteration becomes difficult. If you have a longer torso, or lower waist than myself, then this dress could potentially fit really nicely off the rack. Especially if you can fill out the bust better than I can! Lucky you!

PS…I guess I should fess up…I’m getting a little “boost” courtesy of my Lucia by The Little Bra Company. I wanted to see what it could do for this dress. =)

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Anonymous

    Wow that bra is amazing! Makes me interested in trying out the Little Bra Company even more!

    This is kind of random, but I ordered from Anthropologie last week and wanted to share the results:
    My measurements-5 ft, 95 lbs, 32A, 24 1/2" waist

    The Creative outlet tank: I love this and will be keeping it! The ruching is very flattering, makes me look a little more well-endowed! I got it in pale pink. The armholes are a little big, I will see if a tailor can take up the straps.

    Also good: Roaming Frills Cardigan Sweater-Fit like a glove, armholes not at all baggy or weird, Sleeves were not too long, shoulder seams were falling where they should. Unfortunately, my fiance HATED the ruffles.

    Items that were WAY too big:
    Swift Current Cardigan
    Climbing Cowlneck
    Curated Tee

  2. says: Alterations Needed

    Thanks for the Anthropology rundown! I haven't been in there in a while…might have to take a field trip.

  3. says: PetiteAsianGirl

    Lol! I was going to ask about the "boost" then saw the note at the end.

    I'm torn on this dress for the reasons you mentioned. The draping detail is so lovely and I can see how this dress would be stunning on someone that is a size bigger than you with curves. I think the alteration you mentioned would be the right one, but that would be so unfortunate about the shoulder ruching. No need to risk that. I'm assuming this didn't cost as much as the one in the link b/c that one is 100% silk? Either way, beautiful dress but I agree with your decision to return.

  4. says: Alterations Needed

    PAG – Yeah, when I went through the photos…I went, "Damn! The girls look good!" LOL

    This dress was about $325. Still pricey, but not as bad as the silk one. I can't seem to find the exact dress on a retail site. Weird.

  5. says: PetiteAsianGirl

    Forgot to mention, this reminds me of a dress I've been eying from Theory. What do you think of the "Atalla" ruched t shirt dress? I wish it came in a color other than black. It looks short on the model, but may be right above the knees for us.

  6. says: Alterations Needed

    PAG – That dress does look mighty short and fitted. It would probably fit you really nice. Personally, it reminds me of something the little gangster wanna be girls from my neighborhood growing up would wear to a school dance. LOL. I think I'll be passing on that one.
    "Atalla" Dress at Bloomingdales

  7. says: diaryofashopper

    Cute dress! Too bad that it needs difficult alterations. I still haven't tried on any DVF dresses. I will have to make a point to try out a wrap dress next time I am at Saks! :)

  8. says: PetiteXXS

    I love the deep purple color and draping… too bad about the fit but I also agree with the return.

    I really need to go try on those "little" bras!

  9. says: sparrow

    OMG look at your bosoms!

    Sorry, I got distracted LOL. I love LOVE this dress – the drape, the shape, the style, the weight of the material. You look fantastic, but it is a little too big. If only it fit like it looks in the first photo – you look about 5'6" and so elegant – how frustrating!

    May I ask what shoes you're wearing? They're quite lovely too and damned if I can find a pair of round-toed heels without a ridiculous platform on them…

  10. says: Jenn

    I'm glad you decided against the dress. While cute, I don't think it flattered your figure well enough to keep. I do like the color on you, though!

    I wish that bra came in my size. I need petite bras and side support, and really (due to, uh, placement), I measure bigger than I look!

  11. says: Really Petite

    Gosh that dress is expensive! I agree that even though the dress is very sophisticated and you look great in it- with alterations plus the steep price tag- may not be worth it. But at least you look good:)

  12. says: Vix

    Wow that dress has everything I love in a dress!

    I can imagine how perfect it would look on you in a 00, because it's pretty damn good in this size. I know it's even spendier, but you may want to try the all-silk Francia; the silk exterior/cotton lining may make affect the fit in your favor.

  13. says: Anonymous

    Where are you ladies located? If some in same cities, sharing special occasion dresses would be a great idea. Since it's so so hard to find well-fitting, well-made tiny ones. I'm in Seattle.

  14. says: Jackie

    That would fit me!!! Too bad is so expensive but it's a lovely color and I would definitely wear something like that.

    I agree with sparrow. It hits just in the right place to make a petite girl look taller but I also agree with you, return it. When the arm holes in a garment are too big I don't even bother.

  15. says: PetiteXXS

    I love the deep purple color and draping… too bad about the fit but I also agree with the return.

    I really need to go try on those "little" bras!

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