Review: J.Crew Factory Stripe Linen-Cotton Sundress

We all have those clothing items we regret not purchasing. Some regrets last for a few weeks and we get over it, and others last for months. Depending on how much we regret it, we may stalk the interwebs incessantly trying to find said item, and depending on how much we really want it will likely dictate how much we’ll pay for it. One item that I still regret not purchasing last summer is the stripe derby dress from J.Crew. I tried it on at the store, loved it, decided that I didn’t want to pay full price for it and then it sadly only sporadically popped up on sale. And then when I did snag it, I somehow managed to purchase it in the wrong size so sadly had to return it. It’s popped back on eBay several times but I guess I never really wanted it that bad since I wasn’t wiling to shell out close-to-orignal-full-price for it.

Fast-forward a year and I get a coupon in the mail for J.Crew Factory with a picture of the derby dress on it! Hurrah! I didn’t have time to trek up to the factory store so I waited patiently for it to pop up online and then promptly ordered it during the sneak-peek sale. The Crewlet calls this dress the Stripe Linen-Cotton Sundress. Isn’t it lovely?



I’m glad I ordered it when I did, because the dress is already sold out!! Hopefully, it will pop back, it seems crazy that it sold out that fast. Out of the package, it looked pretty similar to how I remember the dress from last year looking. The navy on the dress is very dark, but the lining is a lighter navy. Here’s the tag info:

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The care tag says dry clean which is kind of a bummer for a casual summer dress. It doesn’t say dry clean only so perhaps it would withstand a delicate or hand wash. The skirt has about 3/4 inches of extra material that could be taken down if need be. The spaghetti straps are adjustable and it has a side zip from the waist up to the underarm. I had high hopes for this dress, based on how much I loved the retail version.


Ok, so I’ve got it on and I feel a tad thick-waisted in it but it’s not so bad. My hips are happy and have a lot of room to breathe. The skirt needs an iron but I like the full skirt. The length is good too, not to short, not too long. I’d take the extra 3/4 inch in the hem but I probably wouldn’t pay to have it altered. I don’t even have much cleavage in this dress. I tried a belt with it and liked it a bit better with the belt.  (and yes, I tried it on without a bra.) I wish I could say this was the end of the review and it was a great dress. I think you might be able to guess where I’m going with this picture as to my issue with this dress.


Behold…the pancake boob. Yikes. Right? The reason that I have next to now cleavage is that they’re squashed. Completely squashed.


Cue sad face. There’s not even really room for a strapless bra in there. I tried. It was even more sad than this picture. And yes, I’m sort of arching my back so my middle looks even thicker but yeah, my chest looks that flat. Not a trick of the camera. Ugh. Straight on, it looks great. Get a little closer and it’s clear they’re fighting for air. Believe me, I’m always trying to make sure they’re not overly pronounced or I’m not showing inappropriate amounts of cleavage but this is just wrong. Ugh. But I REALLY WANT THIS DRESS. I just don’t know if it’s worth going up a size because the rest of it fits so well I feel like the skirt would be swimming in a larger size.  I realized I had the straps tightened so I momentarily thought that perhaps loosening up and trying the strapless bra again might be a win, but no, still pancake city. Blah.  I know I should return it, but I think I will need to keep it for a little while to try and get over it. And maybe wander up to the outlet to see if they have a bigger size and if it could maybe work.  I’m also debating taking it to my tailor to see if there’s anything they can do. This is what we call desperation. But at the end of the day, it probably isn’t meant to be.  This is me. Sighing loudly. So, what do you think? Needs to be returned, right? Or am I over-reacting?  Would love to hear what you think, and thanks for stopping by!


4 thoughts on “Review: J.Crew Factory Stripe Linen-Cotton Sundress

  1. Are you addicted to stripes? Lol Maybe that’s why you want to keep it. I think the torso should be longer maybe? Or less pleating. It’s not a slam dunk, so maybe decide if you want to keep it if you feel awesome in it. A lightweight cardi, even left open, would cover your concern about the pancake. 😉 Don’t talk yourself into it, though. If you feel self-conscious about it you won’t feel comfortable in it.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head 🙂 I was admittedly being a bit overdramatic and I don’t think I love it enough to deal with the pancake situation. I think the striped skirt I just blogged about will be a good substitute. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I have the retail version of this dress that I found in store for about $35 last fall. I had issues with it too but the good price helped me overcome them. My issues were mainly with the low neckline. The retail version did not have adjustable straps. I tried pinning them up to get more coverage, but then the rest of the dress looked awkward and short-waisted. The cleavage isn’t too bad, I was able to wear it to a family function (with a black cardigan, that’s how dark the navy blue is. A navy sweater didn’t go at all). The skirt part is perfect, the torso is short. I think we both had similar issues with the torso, I think it’s not quite proportional to the skirt, what do you think? I didn’t notice pancake boob in mine, but it’s possible I was obsessing about the neckline so much I didn’t notice the boob area lol. I think it looks nice on you and I didn’t notice pancake boobs from your pictures, but I can understand the torso being a bit off if the Factory version is the same as the retail version.

    1. Cate, thanks for commenting! I agree that I think it’s the torso that’s a little too short, which is probably what I’m struggling with the most (aside from the flat chest in the dress). I haven’t returned it yet, thanks for the feedback! Based on other comments too, I should probably try it with a cardigan to see if that helps my comfort level.

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