Chances are you have heard of Self-Portrait. Or maybe its just me. I want to make this absolutely clear – I discovered the brand way before it was really discovered. You know what I mean? Its a London based brand born out of Central St. Martins (one of the best design schools in the world) and I love their aesthetics. Very feminine, very romantic and wispy. A Self-Portrait dress is a perfect dress – you cannot argue with that. So whats the verdict?
The Store and Shopping Experience:
I bought this dress and a jacket from a sample sale. They don’t have a separate store but sell on Selfridges and certain other department stores. I don’t think it would be fair to comment on the sample sale experience as the Self Portrait store experience. Of course if you buy their clothing from Selfridges it will be similar to any other item you purchase from Selfridges.
The Pattern and Design:
As you can see, their designs are striking. These are beautiful dresses and of course, very popular and you can see this by how many other brands have copied this design. The Self Portrait guipura lace dresses was what sparked the whole transparent panelled dress trend which everyone from Reiss to Whistles. I loved their dresses but I saw this picture on Instagram and fell in love with this particular dress. My favourite colours, understated and still edgy. I hunted for this dress like a crazy person! And honestly, this dress was the only reason I went to the sample sale. I went in and only looked for black and white and couldn’t believe my luck when I found the dress.
This is a major point of contention. I will say it: there is something very wrong with the sizing this brand uses. I am not vain and have no desire to be ‘skinny’ or ‘thin’ but I fit a size 8 for this brand. When I found the dress at the sale, I was disappointed to see they didn’t have it in a size 6 because I never thought size 8 would fit me.
When I tried it on I realised the size 8 did fit me – in fact it was a little snug. Which is absurd since I barely fit a size 6 for most brands. Their size 8 dress comes with a size 24 waist. Most other stores will show the waist for a size 8 dress as atleast 26 inches.
The weird part is that I still needed to get this dress altered to my size – since it appears to be made for women who are atleast 6 feet tall! I had to take it to a tailor to alter the torso of the dress to my size. I must say she did a fantastic job!
There is no doubt about it. The quality of these dresses is top notch. You know the material is of a good quality – its very heavy, the pleats in the skirt are perfect and the lace is of fantastic quality.
Of course, I haven’t had the dress for more than a year and have worn it about 2-3 times so I cannot yet talk about how long-lasting it is. However, seeing the quality I can take a guess that this is the kind of dress you keep for a long time. You take it out and wear to every fancy occasion you get an invite to. Which is exactly what I wanted and intent to do.
A Self-Portrait dress is usually about £250 to £500 bucks each. Thats quite a bit! I will confess and say I got mine for £50 bucks and spent another £50 altering it. This is pretty much the only ‘occasion’ dress I own and will probably be wearing this to every weddingI need to wear something decent to. The price I paid is definitely worth the dress. But is it worth paying full price?
I’ll be honest – the dresses are made in China so paying even halfway three figure prices for a dress made in China just doesn’t seem like a fantastic deal to me. Of course it depends on how much you love the dress and how many time you get to wear it.
So Will I Buy Again?
Well, honestly, yes, I might. If I need another fancy dress I will probably look at the same brand. I also think for upto about £200-250 their dresses are great value. But above that is when I start questioning the value. If I find their dresses on sale I would definitely like to pick one up. ASOS stocks their dresses so keep a look out and you can pick one up with a discount code.
So did I change your mind about the brand or are you happy to have heard about it?
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