September 28, 2011

See by Chloé Fit Guidance

I get a lot of emails about the fits of my favorite brands so I thought it would be helpful to share some fit guidance. With so many bloggers covering Anthropologie, there remains a lack of information on the designers that aren't carried there but that offer similarly unique and pretty options.

Last month I talked about my experience with Kate Spade Dresses. This month I wanted to share some info on See by Chloé. Both brands make really cute clothes in my opinion, and both are pretty hard to find where I live. I haven't been able to locate much sizing information beyond the occasional garment measurements posted on ebay. So I hope this helps all my fellow ebay addicts and online sale stalkers make informed purchase decisions.

See by Chloé is the diffusion line of Chloé, the iconic French fashion house. Although the price points can be a little obscene at full retail, with patience and savvy you can score major deals through ebay, with stackable coupons on, or by being a swift sale shopping at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Shopbop, or Outnet. Yoox also is another great spot to score past season pieces at more manageable prices, especially during their end of season clearance. And all of the above (save for ebay) have relatively favorable return policies too. I tend not to buy SbC from flash sale sites because so many of them only offer site credit if something doesn't fit. I don't like feeling limited in that way and frankly I don't find the SbC prices on Gilt, RueLaLa, Ideeli, etc. to be as low as other venues.

As well, the fit of See by Chloé dresses can be really unpredictable. Often sizing changes widely with different fabrications, silhouettes, and seasons. My own trials and errors follow.

from winter or spring 2009, white tag era
runs large, size down

I bought this dress twice from Yoox because the size I thought I needed ended up being too large. On the right is a size 8. On the left is a 6. It is fully lined and 100% silk. There are pockets and blousey sleeves. This style runs big, especially in the pink colorway so bear that in mind should you locate it via ebay.

from spring 2008 (brown tag era)
runs large, size down

The silk printed dress is unlined with an exaggerated batwing sleeve. I admit that when you have a larger bust, this kind of sleeve probably does little to "flatter" in the traditional sense. I liked the print too much to care. The style is cut larger so you can size up or down. I am wearing a size 8 and belt or layer with cardigans to make it a little less billowy. It has ample room in the bust, waist, and hips so you can size down if you prefer.

spring 2009 white tag era
true to size, size up for length

This linen dress is so pretty and I've seen it pop up on ebay with some regularity. I am wearing an 8 but wish I had bought the 10 for added length. The sleeves button and are cut slim at the closure. It is unlined and 100% linen so I always wear a slip underneath. The elastic panel at the bust and the pleating give this dress structure, making it viable to size up and not sacrifice a tailored look.

spring 2009, white tag
true to size, size up for hips (lining issue)

The above "Trail Print dress" has a lining that is cut very narrow through the hips, making the appearance of the outside seem blousier and more forgiving than it is in actuality on the body. This is a cotton dress so it is versatile for all seasons and easy to launder at home (still I only hand wash, line dry). Solid color versions are made of a substantial silk blend fabric and come unlined, without the same hip issues of the cotton version. Printed versions of this dress require sizing up for ample hips or dealing with spanx. The above is an 8 but I tried the 10 and it fit similarly with slightly more hip room in the lining.

pre-fall 2010, white tag era
true to size, size up for hips (lining issue)

You will encounter the same slim cut lining and the same misleadingly flowy outer shape with the "Medallion Print dress."  I am wearing an 8 but like the trail print, I'm sure the 10 would have had more room in the lining. Size up or wear squeezy hosiery. Also if you like this print but aren't a fan of the shape, it came in other silhouettes.

winter 2007?, brown tag
runs large, size down

This wool tent dress has a relaxed fit with careful pleats and argyle-patterned seaming. The fabric is thick on this one adding some warmth and a little bulk. One could pull of a range of sizes and have it still work. I am wearing a 6 which fits well in the shoulders and bust. It has pockets and slightly puffed sleeves. Another ebay find!

pre-fall 2008, white tag
can size up or down (shape is meant to be free)

The Landscape Print dress was in high demand when it first came out. I loved it but waited patiently and a 12 popped up on ebay for 75% off retail. It's a little oversized but I don't mind that. The great thing about its forgiving shape is it works for a range of sizes. I don't imagine a significant difference between the 8, 10, and 12. The length is probably longer the higher up in size you go. It is silk, unlined, and very thin (almost sheer) so I tend to wear a slip with it. It has pockets, billowy 3/4 length sleeves, and a zip back. Because the dress is cut with a flowy, tent shape. I either layer it, belt it, or wear it to a buffet dinner.

fall 2007, brown tag era
true to size, can size up for length or down for slimmer fit

This older medallion print dress was one I coveted for ages. The peter pan collar and vintage inspired print were too cool. I tried on an 8 at Filene's Basement (left) but it sold out before I could catch a sale. An 8 was what I probably needed, fit-wise. On the right I am wearing smaller size that I scored on ebay for cheap. It is missing the size tag but I'm guessing it is a 6 or maybe a 4. The smaller size is way short so I layer it but the forgiving shape means you can track down a range of sizes.

spring 2010, white tag era
true to size, can size up or down also

This paisley silk print came in a variety of shapes and styles (one of which I wore yesterday that is fully lined and more structured than this style). I bought the tent dress on sale with multiple coupons from Bloomingdales. It is unlined and has pockets. I am wearing an 8 but  I tried on another colorway in sizes 6 and 10. There was minimal difference (with small but perhaps mentionable changes in length and at the hips). A 12 would have been fine too. This print was also available with a gray background instead of ivory.

fall 2010, white tag era
runs slightly large but true to size, possible to size down

This patchwork dress was perhaps my favorite dress purchase of last winter. I coveted it desperately and couldn't find it anywhere after the second cut sales. Saved by ebay yet again! I got it for less than the second cut sale price, NWT. I would love to find its sister dress for a reasonable price at some point. But in the meanwhile I am happy to have this one. I am wearing an 8 but the cut is quite generous through the torso and in the hips and waist. The sleeves are cut to be tailored but I still think sizing down is possible for most. The above fabric is a thick textured wool blend. But the print also was offered in silk.

I admit that I am a deal hunter and a lot of times that means buying without trying it on. No stores in my immediate area seem to carry this brand with regularity so I take chances. It doesn't always work out but if I have enough information I can usually save myself from hassles and make smart decisions. I hope this helps other fans of SbC!


Amber Lucas said...

This post was so incredibly informative and helpful for me. I am looking to purchase a See by Chloe dress from Yoox, and I am not familiar with the brand or their sizing. You have a great closet! As a fellow fashion blogger, I absolutely appriciate the time and effort that went into this post, and how you broke the sizing down! Thank you!


Ann said...

the problem i have with all of these dresses is that they make you look much larger than you are. I hope this helps as you have a nicer figure but these dresses totally obscure it.

Jesspgh of Consume or Consumed said...

Conventional wisdom suggests that looking the slimmest you can is the same thing as dressing to flatter. And for many dressing to look as small as possible is the most important factor in getting dressed. While there are certainly days when I feel that way too, on other days I embrace looking larger if it means I am wearing a style I think is fun or cool. I know that might sound out of place for someone who vainly posts photos of herself wearing outfits (especially if you are of the opinion that big is always bad). But frankly (and as you've endeavored to point out in previous anonymous comments), I am not thin. I've never been thin. If anything I probably look smaller on the blog than I am in real life. Smoke or mirrors or dresses will not change the reality of my body. And I embrace it when I find a style I like, even if it doesn't feature the narrowest part of my waist or distract from my "chubby little legs."

scarlet said...

and thanks for posting your sizing guidance! I guess if I had known this many months ago, it would've saved me some yearnings.

scarlet said...

After seeing you in that patchwork dress when you first posted it, I set up an ebay search myself and loyally checked everyday. I found that not many See by Chloe dresses in the smallest sizes popped up and the ones that did weren't really enticing to me. And after finally being able to try on one dress at Nordstrom Rack, I found I might be sized out entirely (5 foot Asian, boy figure). So all this to say, I adore your See by Chloe collection (oh the patchwork dress!) and will just get to enjoy the line vicariously through you :)

Adriana said...

Wow. Asking another student for budget shopping advice is definitely the way to go, apparently :) Thanks! 

Adriana said...

Such a smart way to shop! And very helpful too. I had a few bad experiences with ebay a few years ago and have not shopped there since, although admittedly I am tempted to look for some of my own favorite brands there.  What do you do when something turns out to be a knock off or just totally different from what is advertised?

scarlet said...

Thanks, I'll definitely have to stop by Fashion She Says :)  

scarlet said...

I should also mention I'm kinda addicted to buying vintage dresses off ebay. Definitely had a few superhits and more just okay misses that I've been planning to resell. Even when the measurements are posted, the outcome can still be surprising ;) You've inspired me to be a bit more discerning in those purchases as well.

Terri said...

I really like the patchwork and the wool tent dresses.  Thanx for putting this "brand" on my radar.

Dee Dee said...



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