Eileen Fisher organic handkerchief linen boxy dress | on sale for $129 (I’m wearing an XS)
Before vacation last week I went to Eileen Fisher to try and find a short dress that I’d feel comfortable wearing. By that I mean that I mean a dress that would not show my knees. Also, I’m into sleeves lately; I don’t mind showing my arms, but I find that going sleeveless often leaves me chilly inside, and having just a short sleeve, or elbow length sleeve really helps a lot. So, I was on a mission to find something just-below-knee-length AND with sleeves to get me through the rest of the summer. Oh, and it had to meet my standards for responsible clothing nowadays, which leads me first to Eileen Fisher.
I ended up with the dress I’m wearing in the photograph, which I wore two days on vacation and a couple times since then. More often than not, I just wear it with boyshorts and a regular bra underneath, but yesterday I wore it with a slip. It is not completely sheer, but neither is it opaque…
I love the dress also with my wide leg linen pants, and skinny jeans. I don’t know why I don’t layer dresses over pants much lately – I have in the past – maybe because it veers too strongly into high-school art teacher territory? Especially in all linen LOL.
I did also buy the shoes, as you saw in this post, but man, I have bad luck with Eileen Fisher shoes. I got a half size down because my regular size was already too big, not even stretched yet. I wore them at home and to take pictures, and noticed they really started hurting the tops of my feet. I thought they’d stretch with more wear, so I wore them the next day or so around the house, and they didn’t. So I had to return them. Sadly, I’ve never been able to keep any EF shoes, there’s always something a little ‘off’ with them on me. Interestingly, they come with organic cotton shoe bags, which I think is an important detail.
What else I tried on:
Viscose jersey round neck elbow sleeve dress – I sort of liked the length on this one, but even the large was too snug at my hips, and the XL was too long and big up top. Straight fit, which isn’t great on me at all.
Mandarin collar linen midi dress – I liked this one a lot, actually, and I’m pretty sure I tried it in a small. It was maxi length on me, and not as cute as a dress as it was a “duster,” worn open with pants or over another dress.
Linen ballet neck shift dress – I actually tried on this dusty rose color in the store, but it’s out of stock. I liked this, but not enough to want to buy it. I LOVED the pockets. I think I tried a medium.
Classic jersey shirt dress – I loved loved loved loved this dress. But 1. it was too expensive right now, and 2. too hot for summer in Texas. And now I feel really bad because I cannot for the life of me remember which size I tried on. I want to say small, not petite. Such a bad blogger…
Tencel shirt dress – this is the dress I tried on some time ago while scouting out linen pieces. I loved it as well, but it was WAY too hot to even think about wearing for summer. I tried the small.
As you can see, sizing was all over the place, as usual. We’ve discussed that before, and I don’t know why that is, other than different fabrics and styles fall and wear differently. I’d like to think that Eileen Fisher doesn’t engage in vanity sizing, but it’s possible. All of my linen pieces are size small, my harem pants are medium, and my slouchy ankle pants are large petite. For that reason, I never order online without trying in person first, I just honestly have no idea what size will work for me. And the differences are often so subtle, it’s STILL hard to make a decision even in person!
I trust Eileen Fisher to engage in responsible and ethical production methods, though, so increasingly, I’m favoring the brand for certain things. I still find a lot of styles rather matronly, and of course the sizing is frustrating, but the more I explore, the more I like. And to think it all started with harem pants…
I looked on the EF site and the only actual store in Texas is in Dallas, you lucky duck! I have bought my EF pieces from Nordstrom and Garnet Hill, but it would be fun to try them on in person one day. And yes, I’ve found that the sizing is different for each item. Nordstrom’s site is helpful and usually gives a guide, like, “This item runs large, order one size down.” If I follow that, I usually find the right fit.
I feel like EF is an adventure too! Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. I loved the color of a sweater I tried on at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale but it was just too boxy for me. Oh well. Probably just as well. Have you ever heard of this http://brassclothing.com/? They seem interested in ethical manufacturing and I liked their concept. Hope you’re having a good day.
That dress is adorable! It looks so pretty on you, and I can’t wait to see how you style it. I have my eye on an EF dress that’s in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale right now. I really need to make a decision……. Also, I wish Austin had an EF store. Do they have plus sizes at the one in Dallas?
I like the dress on you (looks so comfy and chic) and the top right black dress in the matrix from Nordstrom. I just bought the ballet neck shift in vicose jersery and was so disappointed, I was hoping it would be my go to dress for the rest of the year. Too short and too tight, I would have preferred longer and an aline skirt.
I typically buy my EF at Nordstrom too because the fit guides and reviews seem to be accurate. I got the Scoop Neck Jersey Midi Dress and love it–it will work all seasons, I think. I wear my Jamie and the jones cropped silk shirt over it now and snagged a silk EF long sleeve mandarin dress to wear in the cooler months (I too like it better as a duster than a dress!).
Sorry the shoes don’t work for you–guess I’ve been lucky because mine have been wonderful and well made which is a must because I seem to beat the heck out of what ever I put on my feet!
The dress looks great on you! ?
Grechen Reiter says
yes, they do have plus sizes in the dallas store. petites also 🙂 not a very large selection of either, but still. it’s enough to get a feel for sizing, etc. i think
you and catherine should come visit!!!!!
Grechen Reiter says
just looked at brass, maybe had seen it before, but I don’t remember. none of the styles stick out particularly to me, but i appreciate their philosophy, and did you see they give you a $15 store credit for each item you take to get tailored?? i love that! it’s a great encouragement to tailor items instead of give up on them, and to make them fit you just right…
Grechen Reiter says
you’ll have to come visit catherine 🙂 Cathy too!!
maybe i can arrange a shopping event or something at the store here, if we can get enough people to attend, that is…
Grechen Reiter says
i love the shoes, and they do seem very high quality, they’ve just never been very comfortable on me. i try though!!
I have the ballet neck long sleeve in silk Jersey (It’s a couple years old so I can’t remember if it was Nordstrom sale or Off Fifth but it was a good price) I am very much an hourglass and feel it fits nicely – not too tight anywhere. Now I want more silk Jersey pieces – the fabric is so lovely!
Love that dress on you. I may need to add it to my wardrobe…
I have the EF Tencel Shirt Dress and it is my go to dress for work. It dresses up and down. Not too hot, but I am in Northern CA.
I just purchased the Ballet Linen Shift Dress in the white with check print. LOVE this one. Also dresses up and down.
I tried on the longer chambray one too, but was not wild about sleeveless. Got this one instead http://www.eileenfisher.com/mandarin-v-neck-dress-in-yarn-dyed-linen-and-organic-cotton/?&color=1964
Funny, my husband is not a fan of the shirt dress, but I said I love them because they are so comfortable. He said then that is all that matters 🙂
That would be fun!
I just ordered this dress thanks to your review! It’s really hard to find work dresses appropriate for hot weather. It’ll be above the knee on me, but fingers crossed that it’ll look half as cute as it does on you!
I love it!!! They’re out of my size on the EF site, but maybe I’ll have luck finding it somewhere else. I find this EF fit issue something entirely new! I have literally ALWAYS been a size L in EF clothing…pants, tees, dresses…you name it. But not anymore. My first experience with having to return and order an XL in a dress was on Rodales.com. Very tight a crossed the bust, and I don’t have big boobs. Also, I’ve lost weight. Disappointing!
Hi! I love your reviews and was just wondering what kind of success you’ve had with EF shoes?