Happy Easter everybody! I know this is a lingerie blog but once in a while I would like to highlight pieces of clothing that worked for my body measurements as well. I will make this review as informative as possible. I actually am writing it because it has been quite difficult for me to get accurate information about this brand.
L’école des femmes is a LA brand, created by French designer Laura Sfez. Her designs are inspired by French fashion, and since I have discovered her brand I always felt like I needed everything.
[ I received this dress as a gift from a friend. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
To be honest, I will probably dress like a school girl until nobody sells these styles anymore. I am the kid that actually wanted to wear a uniform at school just to wear pleated skirts. But going back to the point… The reasons why I only tried this brand recently are:
1) The international return/shipping policies isn’t very convenient considering the price point.
2) All the models have the exact same body type (thin, very tall, small busted), and I suspected that the designer who is full busted got the pieces she models adjusted to her measurements. Since she said being short, there was no way these dresses would be as short on her as they are on her 5’9″ models. Although they have a precise size chart, I didn’t feel comfortable relying on it.
I eventually reached out to them and they told me I would fit into a size US 8 or Large in most styles I liked. Since I am a US 4-6 in most brands, I thought that maybe their products would not work on my body. As a full busted person, I really dislike having to compromise on having a fitted waist in order to fit my breasts.
I asked around and people gave me contradictory advices. Some of them found the brand to have inconsistent sizing, others said it runs extremely small, and I also heard it was true to size and some women adored it. But very often I was advised to not pay full price for my first order because I could have bad surprises about the quality or sizing. This didn’t smell so good and eventually I just decided that I would buy from them when I will be in the USA for long enough to receive and return a parcel.
However, I was so very lucky, and was offered this dress by a friend who had it but didn’t like the fit. As you can see from the pictures, I still have room in this dress. The fit is a bit different from what it looks like on the brand’s models. The Belle de mer dress is made of stretchy wool and I believe I would be ok with a size 4 actually. In the future, I might still go for a 6, though, to make sure my breasts fit.
Now, I am not lying when I say that I absolutely adore this dress. It’s just so adorable! It totally feeds my Sailor Moon fantasy!!! I love the satin detailing on the sleeves and collar, I appreciate that it is lined with pink satin and that it features cute wool covered buttons. The zipper on the left side is also really helpful to pass it on.
I am 5’7″ and I think the length is actually nice. I would be happy with a shorter dress but this one is very appropriate for many situations and quite comfortable. I love the seams on the bust area as they really give a lot of room for my breasts. They do not feel crushed at all.
I love dresses that stay into place through the day. So often I have to readjust clothes because they move around. I just like not having to do that. If there is something negative to say about this dress, it would be about the cute satin lining.The very first time I wore this dress, I used a suspender belt and it seems that the friction between the satin and my lingerie damaged the fabric. This was rather disappointing honestly, as I hadn’t worn it for a very long time or while being very active. I did not have other issues with it so far, but now I am extra careful with it.
This dress is one of the loveliest I have in my wardrobe and I intend to get millions of wears out of it. Seriously, look at this collar!! So sweet! There is definitely an attention to detail in the design. Now would I pay $359.00 USD or even $249.00 USD for this dress? I am not 100% sure after seeing the quality of the lining and how hard it is to get fitted properly. However, I am truly hoping that this price is justified by the work ethics of the company.
L’école des femmes manufactures in China. Every so often, the designer will share in her Instagram stories about the process of making these clothes. I wish there was more transparency about the way they work on their website but I can’t say that they’ve been acting like a fast fashion company.
They’ve been using the same designs for years, adding new pieces once in a while but never a whole new collection. I think this is one way to do slow fashion. Creating timeless designs and improving them when necessary.Now, the fact that they have 30-50% sale every month makes me feel weird about paying full price for their products. I just feel like it might be more convincing to put everything at a lower price all year and just do two or three 20% off sales a year like many luxury clothing brands do. With that being said, I am not a brand owner and I definitely don’t know everything about running a company so these are only personal opinions.
One thing to take in consideration, nevertheless, is that these designs are meant for a certain body type. Basically thin and rather tall women with very proportional bodies. This might not be true for every piece but I have a feeling that it is for a lot of them based of what other customers told me.
If I had to buy something from them, it would be the Silk Kimono suit . Sadly many of the other pieces I like are made mostly of polyester. To be honest I have mixed feelings about this company. While I adore their designs, I think there is room for improvement in term of sizing and quality. The fact that I am in love with this dress doesn’t invalidate all the other lukewarm reviews I got from other ladies, and this is a concern of mine.