Some of the best shopping you’ll ever do is when things are instinctual—a see-it, need-it, get-it kind of situation. That’s what happened with me and this new dress from The Drop, the in-house Amazon fashion brand that’s quickly become a must-browse for trendy pieces that are well made and not wildly expensive.
Everything I’ve ever purchased from the line has over-performed in terms of construction and life span. These aren’t pieces that fall apart after one turn through the washing machine, and they go through the wash-and-rinse cycle a lot (I find myself reaching for them regularly during a season).
With this dress, I basically knew within three seconds of setting eyes on it that I had to at least try it on. Amazon’s Prime Try Before You Buy program made that a full no-brainer, since I could ship it to my house without my credit card getting a charge. (You have seven days from delivery date to make up your mind; once you’re set, you go into your account to say what you want to buy, exchange, or return.)
So, what aspects hooked me from first sight and what was the reality like?
The versatile shape can be worn almost anywhere.
I love a midi, period. It’s comfortable, looks good on, and lets you walk, run, sit, bend down…you get the picture.
The other design details are just enough: The sleeves are puffy but not so dramatic that they’ll feel tired in a few months. The neckline dips into a flattering V, but isn’t so deep that it could be inappropriate in polite circles (hi, preschool drop-off). The ruching at the waist hits at the most flattering spot, and it also helps the overall fit—the elastic gives and takes to make the shape work on your frame.
It’s offered in my ultimate trifecta of solid colors.
A little white dress is my go-to for the summer (so much so that I almost didn’t order this one in that particular hue, but a pop-up encouraged me to add it to my Try Before You Buy box and I thought, “What the heck…”). You can’t go wrong with it, just like you can’t strike out with a simple black dress.
Into my cart they went.
The third color is a perfect red-orange (Amazon calls it “flame,” but I’d definitely describe it as “tomato”). Red isn’t something I wear a ton, probably because I think it can read as too…harsh? There’s something about the mix of orange that makes this one look less brash and, honestly, more expensive. I can’t explain it, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.
It’s also available in a black-and-white floral, but that one wasn’t my jam as much.
In person, the cotton feels fantastic.
It’s soft and thicker than you might expect. There’s a substantial weight to it—it’s clearly not flimsy or cheap—and it doesn’t give off will-shrink-in-dryer vibes. Fabric is often the giveaway of a garment’s price tag, so I pay attention to how something feels when shopping for new or lower-priced labels. And this one, I’m happy to report, really feels the same as dresses in my closet that cost 3x as much.
There are smart design elements, too.
I was very pleasantly surprised to try it on at home and realize it was lined. This, I kid you not, is somewhat revolutionary (has anyone else tried on a $300+ dress and been shocked that it’s sheer as can be??). And, moreover, the lining is tacked to the interior so it will stay put rather than riding up.
All-important pockets are present, thank goodness, and the zipper is functional. You don’t need to unzip it, but the fact that you could says something about how nicely it’s built.
I’ll be wearing it all summer.
In black, FYI. I loved the others but mustered enough self-control to accept that I don’t need three of the exact same silhouette hanging in my closet.
Leah Melby Clinton is a writer, editor, and serious shopper who loves discovering new labels, detailing the best ways to build a wardrobe, and interviewing interesting people.