Everyday Reading: Why I Will Never Buy a Shabby Apple Product

July 12, 2011

Why I Will Never Buy a Shabby Apple Product

I have considered writing this post for some time and not done so because I didn't want to seem ungrateful for my mom's lovely and generous gift, but. . . now I'm just too angry not to say something about it, and I would really like to keep someone else from having the same terrible experience I had.

The short story is: Shabby Apple makes poor-quality items and doesn't stand behind them.

The long story? Well, buckle your seat belts. Because I am filled with indignation.

For Christmas, my mom bought all three of us girls dresses from Shabby Apple. Mine was this one:

via

Lovely, isn't it? My mom has good taste and always has (I do not joke when I say that every time I get compliments on an item of clothing I'm wearing it is always something my mom has purchased for me).

The thing was, at Christmas I was still nursing. A lot. And continued to for many months afterward, so wearing a dress wasn't really an option for me. So the dress hung, unworn, tags still on, in my closet for quite a few months.

Finally, when nursing had tapered off to the point where I could make it through three hours of church, I pulled the dress out of my closet, and with anticipation, slid it on.

And. . .then I realized I couldn't zip it up. Keep in mind that the website states that this dress is "fits generously." I am not sure what universe it is where a "generously" fitting dress will not zip over my sub-100 lb body, but it is NOT this universe.

And the top gaped like crazy.

Oh, and the top? Was white. And sheer. And unlined. So the whole premise of Shabby Apple, which is "A return to what dresses were always meant to be—a one piece outfit. No need to add anything…no tank tops, no cardigans, nothing," is blatantly untrue. 

Also, it hit me mid-calf, rather than at the knee, which was quite unflattering.

We were starting to get dangerously near running late, which I loathe, so I quickly changed into something else and we went to church. 

The dress still had the tags on it and I'd worn it for a total of 2 minutes in front of my bedroom mirror. 

After church, I looked up the dress on Shabby Apple and it said, "Sizing concern? Not the right dress for you?  Return your dress and Shabby Apple will ship you a new dress for FREE!"

Perfect. This would be an easily solved problem (my present self is laughing at this). Plus, the dress was still being sold at full-price, so I figured they'd let me ship it back and send me off another one. I'd pick a less expensive dress! 

I called in to Shabby Apple the next morning and explained the situation. "Was it ordered more than 30 days ago?" the rep asked. "Then I'm sorry, there is nothing we can do." (I loathe this answer so much because that is NOT true. They are choosing to do nothing about it).  Basically, I was stuck with a brand-new, non-fitting, poorly made $100 dress.

I emailed a long description of the scenario to Shabby Apple (recap: 6 month old dress, never worn, still for sale at full price, tags still on). I was upfront about the fact that I knew I was outside the return window.

They emailed back saying how sorry they were and could I give them some info about the purchase so they could see what they could do.

My heart soared. 

Only to crash when they quickly responded saying, "Unfortunately we wouldn’t be able to make an exchange for your dress whereas your item was purchased in December. We understand and are flexible when the purchase is given as a gift but we do strongly advise that you try on your items as soon as possible to receiving them so that any exchange/return can be placed within our 30day exchange/return policy. I am sorry for any inconvenience that this may be for you and that the dress didn’t work out for you." 

I'm not sure what their definition of "flexible" is, but it's clearly FAR different from mine. Also, why did they suggest they could do something about it when I told them the dress was purchased many months ago, but then when they saw the actual date, they suddenly couldn't do anything?

I went back and looked at some of the reviews of the dress again. One reviewer, who gave the dress 4 stars, said "The only problem is that the top is completely see-through. You can’t really wear an undershirt because the skirt is so tight that you would see a line. So you would have to sew a lining in the top. The quality doesn’t reflect the high price." 

Okay, so I wasn't alone in this sheer problem. (Why you would still give it 4 stars is beyond me, but whatever). 

Another commenter, giving it three stars said, "VERY LONG SKIRT. I'm 5'4" and rather petite. I ordered this dress in a Med, because another dress that I ordered very similar to this one was a Small was too tight. I have to return the dress because it sits WELL BELOW THE KNEE, as in mid calf. And overall it was just too big, which could have been the Med instead of the Small, but the length was just silly. I looked like I was wearing my big sisters dress. ha. No lining in the skirt, and it felt rather thin. I wish it had fit as it is a cute style! But the pics on this website show the blonde girl with the dress at her knee, ya-no way."

Again, why three stars? But I digress. 

Another FIVE star review said, "This dress is not lined and is a bit of a struggle to get on and off. I did manage to zip it up and down on my own, but it took a good five minutes each time and I feared tearing the dress." 

I guarantee you that the people who are giving these high star ratings with complaints like this are the people who give a standing ovation to every performance they attend.

As I looked through reviews of other dresses, I noticed the same sorts of comments again and again: cheap fabric, unlined, fit not as shown, poor sizing.

I know Shabby Apple has a good reputation. They take gorgeous pictures, they have lovely models, and their selection is wide. They heavily promote their brand in the blogosphere, giving away many many dresses. But their dresses are poorly made, don't fit well, and the photographs are terribly misleading. They are low quality products that are horrendously overpriced.

And their customer service is seriously lacking.

Compare this with my experience yesterday with Lands' End Canvas. I ordered a swimsuit a couple of weeks ago and it didn't show up. I had recently ordered another swimsuit and a shirt for Bart for Father's Day (Lands' End makes excellent, excellent dress shirts) and they'd both shown up within a week of ordering. I knew from my order that it'd arrived two days after shipping at the post office sorting center. But then the post office appeared to have lost it.

Twelve days went by.  

I hopped on their website, clicked the "Chat Now" button and within seconds was chatting with Megan. I gave her my order number and told her the situation. Two minutes later, she was verifying my address and said a new swimsuit would arrive at my doorstep on Thursday, via UPS. No hassle, no waiting, not even a phone call.

And THAT is why I love Lands End. When they say "Guaranteed. Period." they mean it. That's why I buy my swimsuits there, and why Bart wears a Lands End shirt to work 80% of the time. 

They know what good customer service means. 

Last week, my mom emailed Merrick and me to ask if we'd like new black dresses for Landen's upcoming wedding. She suggested that Shabby Apple had a very cute line of black dresses. 

Both of us emailed her back separately that we would love a new dress, but would she mind if we purchased them from somewhere else? 

I ordered this one from eShakti. Their return policy? You can get a full refund or you can get a gift card back in the amount of your order PLUS 20%. Why?  

* A way for us to show higher responsibility in not meeting your expectations.
* To give you the opportunity to order again so that we can try and delight you, the next time round!


That's a return policy I can get behind.  

If you're considering buying a dress from Shabby Apple, I would strongly encourage you to think again. You can get a better dress somewhere else. A less expensive dress. A dress that isn't sheer, sized incorrectly, and unlined. 

And perhaps, if you buy that other dress, if you need to return it, you'll get a better answer than, "Sorry it didn't work out for you." 

(You can read my follow-up post about my Shabby Apple experience here. Spoiler: They never did responded at all. Updated 5/2012: They finally did respond and exchange my dress. Not that after this whole thing I'm at all convinced their dresses are worth spending actual money on). 

71 comments:

  1. I am SO glad you posted this! You may remember I included that VERY dress in a wishlist I posted a while back (read: a SHOPPING list for Haki). Ahem. Anyway, I was just browsing their site the other day thinking, "I wonder if they'll ship to NZ..." and "I could wear that to the wedding in Jan because I won't be nursing as much," and then I worried that for the price (and after the exchange rate and international shipping) I wanted to be sure I would like how I looked in the thing!

    Again - SO. glad.

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  2. So so so glad I read this! I was literally just about to purchase a dress from Shabby Apple. I have no tolerance for this sort of customer service. THANK YOU for saving me a headache! - Sarah

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  3. I have loved their style for a long time, but, being tall, their dresses will never ever fit me, which I was really sad about, until I read this post.

    My sister-in-law bought one of their dresses for a family wedding and when she told me where it was from, I was surprised. It was a cute dress, but it didn't fit her very well and it looked cheap (none of which I said to my sister-in-law, of course)

    The creator/owner of the company's sister is my relief society president and often wears their dresses since she gets many for free. They look as if they were hand made for her. I've met the owner and she herself has great style, but somewhere along the line, the magic combination of both style and quality (of both product and service) just didn't happen.

    I suggest you go hawk that thing on ebay.

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  4. What a pain!

    I've used eShakti a few times, and I'm pleased with their policies on returns. I've never had a hassle.

    That said, I've had to return almost EVERYTHING I've purchased from them. I custom sized and they're all over the place on consistency in sizing, and none of the time has it been right. So to say I'm glad I get my money back when I have to send back ill-fitting custom sized items = gold.

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  5. Good to know as I'm in the market for a new dress!

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  6. eShakti does have a great return policy...which is great because I have returned every.single.thing. I ever bought from them. I have a strict non-internet clothes buying rule for myself now! Best of luck Janssen!

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  7. Ok, then. Good to know. I always doubt their stuff would fit me anyway. Problems like these are why I pay with American Express every time online (except sometimes I pay with paypal so that isn't quite true, but anyway). I bought a new broiler element for my oven a while back. We are slow at projects, so it sat for about 47 days before we tried to install it. Installed, oven the still didn't work. . . Not the broiler element that was broken. Boxed it back up, called to return it, and what do you know, it was beyond the 45 day return window. So I called American Express to deal with it. They tried to get the company to accept it, and gave me an immediate $90+ refund even if they didn't accept the return. The company refunded Amex the money, I didn't have to do anything, and the weirdos still didn't want the element back. So now I have the money, and an unused broiler element (which I don't need. . .). Thank you, Amex!

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  8. Very good to know. I appreciate your honesty here. I have looked at their dresses before and they are quite lovely...apparently only online though, and not in real life!

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  9. Wow, your mom buys you (all) $100 dresses off the internet?! You're one lucky girl :-) Of course, you already knew that ;-) And I love the men's shirt tip from Lands End.

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  10. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I purchased a shabby apple dress several years ago when they first started out. I wanted something cute for a trip to San Fran with my dad. The dress was so hard to get on. I mean really hard, I had to almost fight it. I have probably some of the world's most narrow shoulders so I wonder what other people were doing. The skirt didn't fit right and unless the sash was tied tightly it just didn't look good. On top of that, well, the fabric wasn't the best quality. All of this from a pretty expensive dress.

    So, I sent the dress to my friend Lindsay because I wasn't about to throw out a piece of clothing that was really fine (just not for me). She loved it.

    Then I made the mistake recently of purchasing a Down East Basics dress. It fits terribly. I was supposed to wear it to my cousin's wedding and just couldn't. I borrowed a dress from my mom.

    It's just too bad.

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  11. Thanks for the heads up in dealing with this company. This type of info is always helpful in dealing with online companies. However, I can't help but think maybe you need to take a little personal responsibility regarding their return policy. It's clearly stated that you have a 30 day window to return items. I understand you were breastfeeding but that doesn't excuse issues that were in no related to that. The sheer top would have been noticeable just by looking, breastfeeding or not. The length also would have been a noticeable issue just by holding it up to you..again, breastfeeding or not. Instead you chose to hang it in the back of your closet until you were ready to wear it. That isn't the companies fault. It's your fault. The company gives you a window of time (whether we think it should be longer or not isn't the issue). You have to keep in mind that people try to screw companies all the time. They wear dresses with the tags still attached and then try to return them 6 months later when they are finished with it. That's not fair to the company. Also, the company relies on the money from their dress sales to run their company and pay their bills. They can't leave all that money just sitting in an account in case you decide 6 months later that you don't want the dress. They hang on to the $ for 30 days and then spend it based on the assumption that you are satisfied with your purchase and there are no issues. That would be like a company giving you a paycheck and then coming back 6 months later and saying there was an issue and you have to give the money back. Chances are, you've already spent on the money.

    In the end, you have the power over this company. You have the power to write a blog slamming this company (and somewhat rightfully so as it sounds like their product is junk). The company doesn't really have any way to defend themselves against this except to give in to you and meet your demands. On one hand this keeps companies honest and striving for happy customers. On the other hand, it's kind of bullying because the issues you are having COULD have been resolved to everyone's satisfaction had you just followed the return policy. Instead, you didn't and now you're trashing a company because you are upset you didn't get your way.

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  12. Erin,

    I can see your point, absolutely. I should have tried it on immediately and it's not their fault that I didn't. They are under no obligation to let me exchange or return the dress (although, I never once asked for a refund - all I wanted to do was exchange a dress they could resell since it was brand-new for another dress).

    What is their fault, though, is that their dresses are poorly made and that the sizing makes it difficult to find a dress that fits you.

    When they claim that their dresses are made to be worn without anything else needed, they should not use sheer white fabric for a top. There is no way to wear that without something underneath.

    And based on other reviews, the other comments on this post, and several personal friends and family members, I know that this is not an isolated event.

    I'm not opposed to Shabby Apple because they won't let me exchange my dress, as that's their right (although it does make me very wary to order something in the future from a company that makes it hard for me to get the right item); I'm opposed to them because they're selling heinously overpriced cheap dresses. I do not believe that the photographs of their items match the item you get in the mail.

    And I don't feel like I'm trying to be bullying to Shabby Apple - I feel like I'm trying to warn people who might be contemplating a purchase that they'll be spending a lot of money for a dress that is just not high-quality.

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  13. So glad you posted this! I have considered Shabby Apple dresses in the past and based on this I will NEVER order from them. I can't STAND poor return policies. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

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  14. Nice response to the above comment Janssen! Always classy. :)

    As for your post, I back you 100% and it's not just because you are my friend. I hate companies that do not stand behind their own mottos and goals. You have probably just saved several people their own headache from ordering a dress from them.

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  15. I ordered a couple dresses from Shabby Apple last year and neither fit. One was just all wrong and the other was just too small (the next size up I feel confident would have fit perfectly). But, they didn't have that size in stock, so I ended up returning both. Then my boyfriend bought me a dress from them and it too didn't fit right - the skirt portion was lovely but the sleeves on the top were so tight it cut off circulation. Otherwise it fits and looks great so I'm still looking for a place that will alter the sleeves for me (few and far between where I live), but meanwhile it's sat unworn for many months. I doubt I'll order something else from them again because three out of three dresses haven't fit...and I have to pay shipping both ways.

    I'm so hesitant about ordering stuff online because of this. I order occasionally from ModCloth, but almost everything I've ordered from them has fit (3 out of 4 dresses). And their prices are so much more reasonable and the comments always tell me if something is lined or not. But then I still have to pay return shipping which I hate so much.

    Now I order almost exclusively from JC Penney when I want dresses. We have a small store here that doesn't have much of a selection, so I order from them online. Shipping is free to your home if you spend over $69 and then it's free to return if you bring it back to the store. It's basically no-risk shopping. I've ordered a ton of stuff even if I don't think it will fit because I know I can try it on and return it and get all my money back, without paying any shipping at all.

    I have heard good things about eshakti and will probably try them next.

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  16. What a pain! I must be lucky...I've had really good experiences with SA so far, (granted I buy them once in a blue moon and only after trying on a dress first at a trunk sale or something) but you've made me wary now. What awful customer service!

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  17. What a crappy experience, and what an interesting response from Erin. I think claiming fault on anyone's side is a little pointless, since it doesn't really matter if an issue is the customer's "fault" (and I have to say, I don't think it was)--what matters is how the company chooses to respond. If a company won't make an effort on behalf of its customers, those customers are perfectly justified in expressing their disappointment. A review isn't some kind of sneaky revenge on the company--it's an expected part of the company/customer exchange.

    The 30-day return policy isn't some kind of retail law. If a company chooses to have such a limiting policy, then regardless of how well the policy is advertised, they're going to have to be accountable for people's dissatisfaction with it. Maybe it's the customer's "fault" for not inspecting a dress she knows she can't wear just to make sure she fits in the 30-day window, and maybe it's the company's "fault" for having a restrictive policy in the first place. Either way, Erin is right about one thing: To a certain extent the company is at the mercy of their customers' reviews. Which is why they should probably try a little harder to make their customers happy.

    It's so funny that you're writing about this now, because I was just looking at Shabby Apple dresses a few days ago, when I never have before. I probably won't be buying anything from them either now. Too bad for them that so many people respect your opinion on things like this. :)

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  18. How funny you should post this just as I have a Shabby Apple dress on my dining room table waiting to return.
    The dress I ordered is made of terrible, cheap, scratchy fabric. The kind of fabric one would find on clearance at Hancock Fabrics. Being a rather expensive purchase I was quite disappointed. Good thing I am in the 30 day return window. I would also never recommend this company to anyone I liked.

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  19. I bought a maternity dress from Shabby Apple and it also did not fit right. The picture made it seem like the dress went to the knee, but upon trying it on, it was more like mid thigh. I'm a tall girl at 5'10", but I'm not excessively tall and this dress was short! And, I wasn't even that far along in my pregnancy (5 months). I can't imagine how short it would have been near the end of my pregnancy. Needless to say, I straightaway returned the dress.
    Sorry your experience with Shabby Apple was much worse. I agree, for the prices they are charging, they should be delivering a better product.

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  20. I'm so glad that you wrote this. I was strongly considering buying a dress from them, but I wasn't sure if the very high price (in my opinion) was worth it. I appreciate your honesty! I will be shopping elsewhere.

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  21. I have always admired their dresses but the price and concerns about fit have always swayed me. After reading your review, and others, about the lacking construction and poor fabric quality, I will never buy from them. Sadly, I rarely buy clothing online anymore for various reasons and experiences. Also, it seems that many of these companies create clothing meant for one body type. (Not for tall people.) Sorry for the horrible experience.

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  22. I hate poor customer service, especially when you are paying that price. And from a wholesale/retailer {this not only was this a small part of my major but I have had several jobs working in production and wholesale} this return wouldn't be a loose. They still have the product in their warehouse along with the other items you would have wanted to exchange it for. The only loose in the whole thing was them loosing a customer. I know they are run out of Utah where I know customers here can push and push and push for a hard bargain which can leave the business feeling stubborn however Nordstroms should be every business competition considering they will return every thing... EVERYTHING, even a tire {do you know this story? I will tell it to you if you are interested}. I am seriously blown away with their return policy {actually I have heard horror stories} because it wasn't like you were asking for a full refund. Usually most stores will let you exchange because in reality they aren't loosing anything... no money, no product, no customers. Seriously they can take the loose of one dress no problem, especially if they still have plenty of inventory of it. Shame on them! Seriously, they should know better then this. OHHH and one more thing.... if they don't return/exchange your dress in just a dress that is wound up in a thrift store or ebay being sold new and cheaper then what they are selling for it. It is literally a wasted piece of fabric with their brand on it. Not good on any angle you look at it. Shabby Apple would actually be doing them self a favor by accepting the return rather then being stubborn. I can't believe they would rather you toss it out or re-sell it then do a return. That is just insane! I mean if they didn't care about loosing a customer {which clearly they don't} then at least care about being green, or your own label! I mean Volcom Stone will give away their items that didn't sell during a season to children in orphanages. I am sure Shabby Apple could find a use of their over stock items, if that is what they were truly concerned about.

    I have a shabby apple gown, and my experience has been a little different. I found in in a store and was able to try on several of their items, however every single one of them were absolutely ginormous. Their XS was still draping on me like some fabric was just thrown on top of me. The girls in the store ensured me that Shabby Apple just runs big.... NOPE they run HUUUUUUUUUUGE! That is why I am shocked that you are saying it was tight. Every style I tried on was seriously 3x to big. I actually know the woman who does their patterns and I couldn't help but think of her while trying these dresses on and being extremely disappointed. I too agree they are way too over priced, especially for being manufactured in China.

    They need to lower their prices and change their return and customer service policies. Maybe their mission statement. OOOOORRRRR just get better quality items along with better quality employees and policies.

    Ok sorry for the long novel of a comment. I hope it makes sense. I hope I was able to make my point have it come across correctly.

    PS what did you ever end up doing with the dress? I still cant believe that was $100 lost. Seriously, what a freaking joke!

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  23. So glad you posted this. I have one dress from Shabby Apple and while it's quite darling, it's just really poorly made. If I spend close to $100 on a dress, it had better have more than 3-4 wears in it!

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  24. So weird... My sister and I had bridesmaid dresses for our other sister's wedding last week from Eshakti. It took them 2 months to get the dresses to us and then after countless emails and phone calls would only give us a 10% discount. We definitely will not be giving them our business again! I guess we all have bad experiences with online companies!

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  25. I wasn't overly impressed with the dress I bought a couple years ago (the Antiquated). The XS was too loose, but the XXS was too tight in the hips. The side zipper did not lay flat (I had it altered), and the outer lace layer rides up over the acetate lining. Frustrating! I still have the dress, but I'm thinking of selling it on Ebay one of these days.

    I think the problem with SA is that they come out with these gorgeous, unique designs...and rest on their laurels right there. The dresses appear to be more about the design than the quality, fit, etc.

    Also, I get annoyed by the fact that they do so many giveaways. Despite being a brilliant marketing strategy (hundreds of popular bloggers raving about their dresses, since they get one for free!), this leads to hundreds of very biased online reviews. It's refreshing to see one that isn't gushing with adoration.

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  26. Oh, yes. After seeing them all over blog land I was excited to try and order from them!!! I ordered two dresses from Shabby Apple. One of them I really liked and everything fit well except the neck was weird in the back- I had it altered for $15 and always, always, get compliments on the dress.

    The other dress didn't fit- way too tight. I exchanged it for the next size up, which also didn't fit (the body was better but the top was WAY too big). So, I exchanged it for another dress. I wanted to like that dress but the seam was sewn crooked so the bottom pulled weird (you couldn't tell looking at it, but it felt awful) and it looked kind of cheap- the construction was definitely poor. In a last ditch effort to like Shabby Apple I exchanged that dress for one more very casual dress which miraculously fit and looks cute- but it is a casual dress and not worth the price I paid- especially considering all the return shipping I paid.

    The worst part- when I exchanged for a more expensive dress they charged my card the two extra dollars. But when I exchanged for a less expensive dress- there wasn't any refund!! This post just reminded me that I need to call them about that, although I'm skeptical that their customer service department is going to care!!

    I'm definitely not planning on ordering from them in the future. Their dresses are sized awfully and made out of cheap fabrics.

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  27. Yikes, what a terrible customer service experience. It's pretty infuriating to hear that someone is "sorry you feel that way," when they do have the power to correct things. The only Shabby Apple product I own was won in a giveaway-- and, while it's lovely, I've basically resigned myself to having to have it altered, both for length and to give it a waist. It's crazy that people who were dissatisfied with their purchases would be giving such high ratings, too...that's why I ALWAYS read (and more highly value) the narrative parts of reviews, rather than relying on the stars or whatever.

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  28. Thank you so much for this post! I've actually been going between Shabby Apple and eShakti looking for dresses for an upcoming wedding. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post or email me when you get your eShakti dress and let me know what your experience is because I know now I won't be going through Shabby Apple (I also like the styles and the options you get with eShakti, not to mention the prices).

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  29. I completely agree! My sister loved one of their dresses for the brides maids in her wedding, but after ordering one (and then returning it due to poor fit and quality) my mom ended up sewing identical dresses, but that actually fit and are from nice fabric!

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  30. I've never purchased anything from Shabby Apple because I've never seen anything I loved enough to spend a MILLION dollars on. Plus, I think they look cheap in the pictures itself. AND I had heard a similar story to yours from another friend, so yeah - they're just out for me. Too bad too, because their ideology is brilliant - I wish all dresses were modest and didn't require an undershirt. However, if you look, and as you proved, you can totally find modest dresses all over the place.

    Have you ever made a return to Nordstrom? It's like a DREAMBOAT. You don't even need a receipt, no questions asked. Everyone needs to take lessons from them. Their company makes millions while STILL returning anything and providing fantastic service. People are loyal to them because of it. I shop there all the time, in the BP (less expensive) section. I also love Forever 21, who's return policy is pretty bad, but their clothes are inexpensive enough that I don't mind. And I've still made many successful returns there.

    Boo - I'm so sorry for your experience.

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  31. I agree with this completely, I have a Shabby Apple dress that fits all sorts of wonky, nothing hangs right, the chest fits poorly, the hips fit worse, the length is weird. And I've had similarly poor experience with their customer service. And now I have a dress hanging in my closet that is a lovely color, tags still on, never worn. Sigh.

    xox

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  32. Just to add another perspective, I got a dress from Shabby Apple, also as a gift, that had been purchased three months before I opened it. When I tried it on, I noticed that some of the buttons were barely attached. When I called customer service about it, they offered to exchange the dress (citing the "flexible for gifts" policy they mentioned to you)or offered to refund a percentage of the cost for the trouble of having to resew buttons. I thought it was pretty reasonable at the time, but maybe we just got different customer service reps, or their flexibility expires at three months :) Either way, it's a bummer that your dress didn't work out--it looks gorgeous in the pictures!

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  33. I am also a big (BIG) fan of Land's End. I want more or less everything from their Canvas line. I've learned that if you order something online you can return it to Sears (as long as its a Sears that carries LE stuff. Apparently some don't) which makes me inexplicably happy to not have to bother with return shipping.

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  34. I like posts like this. I think it's helpful to hear why people were unhappy with one customer service or another. I had an awful experience with Cache once and I can't even write about it because I still get so irritated thinking about the whole thing. And it all happened 5 years ago!!

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  35. "the people who are giving these high star ratings with complaints like this are the people who give a standing ovation to every performance they attend."

    HAHAHA! Those people drive me crazy!

    I hope the people at Shabby Apple read this...then maybe you will get some better customer service.

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  36. Your post reminded me that I scrimped my pennies for a Shabby Apple dress about 4 years ago, when they were pretty new. I had my heart set on this dress and I remember when it came I was really surprised at the material. It looked so sturdy on the website but in actuality was flimsy and it wrinkled SO easy. I was so disappointed that I never ordered from them again because I didn't think it was worth the money.

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  37. Wow- this post garnered a lot of attention!
    I can understand your negative experience...but this seems pretty harsh from your experience with one dress.

    I have one Shabby Apple dress that fits me pretty well and I like a lot. The material is great, the top is a little big, but I'm a size 2/A on top and 4-6 on the bottom, so I expected that.

    I just ordered a couple new things from them and we'll see how it works out, but that is disappointing about the return. (mental note to check return policies immediately after purchasing/receiving new clothes!)

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  38. Thank you for posting this - I recently discovered Shabby Apple, but hadn't made a purchase as it's not always easy for me to order dresses online, and I wasn't sure if the (very high) cost would be worth it. Based on your review, I think I'll look elsewhere. I'd love to hear about your experience with eShakti, especially if you have the dress customized at all. Another great online shop to try is ModCloth - their dresses/skirts are so vintagey and cute, and the customer service is excellent from what I've experienced thus far. Hope your new dress works out better for you!

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  39. Let me just include my resounding AMEN! I coveted and scrimped for a Shabby Apple dress earlier this year. The first one came and was too big in the chest and too small in the hips (umm, that is the exact opposite of my normal proportions), I hesitantly exchanged it for a size smaller (herein lies another complaint with SA: SURE you can return it within 30 days, but the return shipping is out of your own pocket), after emailing my measurements to a rep who assured me that a XS would fit perfectly. When the new dress came, you guessed it, WAY too small. Blergh. In a last ditch effort, I sent it back again (another five bucks lost) for a different style. When that dress came it was awful quality, though it did fit. I felt like I was wearing a dress made out of scrubs. So. Sigh. I returned that one (another five dollars lost) for a full refund and put the money toward a thirty dollar DownEast Basic dress that I love and love and love. I still lament the twenty dollars or so that I lost in return shipping.

    Also, worth mentioning, one of my dear friends also bought a SA dress at the same time I did. She tried three different dresses as well and returned every one of them for different reasons: one was way too small (if you knew this friend, you would know that there really shouldn't be an adult dress that would ever be too small for her. She's a stick!), one was the scrub material, and one was completely sheer.

    Anyway, the point of the story is: there you have it, six different shabby apple dresses between my friend and me and all of them were absolute trash. I'll never buy another one again.

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  40. I won a dress from there for Katherine, and it's ok, but I was sort of surprised at it. Let's just say I would never have paid their prices for the quality of fabric and construction. It looks very home made and it's TINY.
    However, I'm also not allowed to order anything else online after having to return endless orders for the last few months. BUT I still want to know how you like your dress from EShakti. Their stuff is so pretty!.

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  41. Since we mentioned Lands' End and good customer service, let me just agree. They are AWESOME. I know you will love this story. I just got $43.35 back with a simple chat session from them. I ordered 2 swimsuits last week and then saw today that they are cheaper now. They will credit you the difference if your item goes on sale within 2 weeks of your purchase. LOVE THEM!!!

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  42. I have a very similar LONG story in which I too hate Shabby Apple Customer Service. I bought a dress from them that was completely unflattering, returned it and wanted a new one. I bought the first with a Groupon Coupon, it cost about 7 dollars less that the coupon was worth. When I went to buy the second dress, they wouldn't let me use that 7 dollars towards the purchase so I had to pay out of pocket. Plus, it took FORever to get my dress mailed to me, which means they had to change the mailing address to AZ (as we were moving) and I didn't get to take my new dress with me on our trip to Europe. SAD! I do like the style of my new dress, but it stains anything I wear underneath--my bra and underwear. I've even washed it multiple times. How annoying! Unfortunately, I still have another Groupon coupon (I originally bought two, thinking I'd use them together towards one purchase, which they won't let me do) and am hesitant to buy another product from them. Totally second your bad opinion!

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  43. I am not a fan of Shabby Apple. Though I have never purchased anything from them, they approached me about doing a giveaway on my blog. The way they operated in communication with me in regards to the giveaway was much like their customer service policy. I loathe them.

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  44. P.S. Land's End is really great with their customer service and I'm happy to hear that eShakti lives up to their rep.

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  45. That's a bummer! The picture was really cute, too bad it didn't turn out well!

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  46. My sister in-law got 2 shabby apple dresses not too long ago. One was too small so she sent it back for an exchange. It took more than 3 weeks to get her dress back....you would think since they are so strict about their 30 day policy that they wouldn't take almost 30 days to send back a different dress. Both of the dresses were not worth the money. You can see in the pictures that some of their dresses fabric is so cheap it's a wrinkled mess for $90.

    I haven't bought from them for fear of lack in quality as well. If you're looking for a quality dress that's worth the money try bodenusa.com, I bought a dress from them a few months ago. The fabric & lining on the dress is amazing. They recently had a sale as well. Oh, and I won an eshakti dress today, so I'm excited to see what it's like.

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  47. Interesting that this is the first negative thing I've heard about them... but all the commenters are agreeing! Good to know. Since I can't afford their prices, I've looked but never even considered actually buying... now I won't even need to look (unless I'm going to try to duplicate it myself or something).

    And I will say that I LOVE places like Land's End, Eddie Bauer, etc. I am ok with paying higher prices when it's higher quality products (and good customer service to boot!).

    I'm with you: it's all about the customer service.

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  48. I'm going to have to agree with what you've said here.

    I bought a shabby apple dress for a Christmas party (and had to return it because it was too big - and barely got the replacement in time) and the fit has never been great and the fabric is uncomfortable. I thought it was just that my body shape is terrible but if someone as small as you has issues too, I guess it's not just me!

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  49. I have to agree with the sizing of Shabby Apple. I bought a dress two years ago that looked beautiful online. The website said it fit true to size. I bought it in a small to be on the safe size, as I usually wear an XS or a petite. HA! When it arrived I couldn't even get it on. I returned it for a medium. It fit, but boy was it tight. I only wore it once or twice because I never felt comfortable enough in it. As for quality - it was alright, but not $100 quality. Will never buy from them again.

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  50. I sense free Shabby Apple products in your future ; )

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  51. Haha, you are hilarious. How do you REALLY feel? ;)

    I have a cousin who only wears Shabby Apple stuff and I always covet her because they're super cute, but she wears like an XXS and I just know that a lot of her dresses simply wouldn't look as cute on a body with curves.

    Anyway, knowing you, you'll probably sell it on ebay and end up all the happier.

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  52. I have a Shabby Apple dress, and, just like someone else stated, it's darling, but the material is cheap and I have had to do some double sewing of some of the seams.

    On the bright side, I've had two really great customer service stories recently. I ordered a backpack from LL Bean and after I used it once, the seam on the shoulder strap started coming undone. LL Bean sent me a new bag right away and I used the packaging from the new bag to return the old. Very easy and no hassle!

    We purchased some Gorilla Glue at a retail store. When we got the package home, it was empty! I called Gorilla Glue and they sent us a replacement (actually, far more than we had originally purchased). It's not all bad in customer service these days!

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  53. Good to know! I am always looking at their stuff but have never taken the plunge!

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  54. This was a very well-written review - you may have been indignant (and I would have been FURIOUS), but it did not come across as anything but reasonable.

    Anyway, I am appalled by the poor product quality and the ridiculous service (not to mention the horrendous grammar of their response to you, but that's another matter). I hope that this posts gets their attention or at least helps warn people away from shopping with Shabby Apple. I know I will never shop there after reading this.

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  55. Daaaang. This makes my heart cry for a couple reasons. I looked (and almost bought) that very dress but shortly thereafter discovered I was expecting my third babe, so I thought better of it. Glad I did now! You're right too--the photos are gorgeous, the models always look amazingly modern but vintage-y at the same time, and I love the idea of being able to find a modest dress that is a little out of the ordinary.

    I did buy one dress from them about 18 months ago. I haven't worn it much, but it is okay. It's all black and it fits me okay (and I'm tall, so who knows how it would fit some of the shorter gals), but if it weren't for the Groupon that allowed me to get it at a deeply discounted price, I'd probably have wondered a little about the expense vs. the quality of the dress (great point there).

    Anyway, I'm sorry you had this experience. No good. I too am a fan of Lands' End. I also love Zappos. If the item is unworn, you can return it for up to a year! For free. I love that. I've also had good experiences with Eddie Bauer and hear that Anthropologie is good to work with as well.

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  56. I have to second Bethany's comment. This is why I love shopping at Nordstrom so much, and why we spend so much of our money there!

    Also I can't believe after all these comments Shabby Apple STILL is pretending like you don't exist. It's not like you want a free dress, you don't even like the products. But some acknowledgement would be nice. This post is totally going in a Brain Dump on That Wife :)

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  57. Thanks for being an honest blogger about Shabby Apple. I have grown weary of gushing bloggers who have received their dresses for free. And while you didn't receive the dress for free, I am glad that someone has mentioned the expensive price for a cheaply made product. My friend ordered a SA dress for a wedding and I was stunned that a $100 dress wasn't at least lined! Dresses from Target are lined and are half the price.

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  58. Wow. OK, so I haven't read all your other comments, but here are my 2 cents about Shabby Apple.

    When they first launched their stuff was a bit less exensive. For a $60 dress you can't really expect much, in my opinion.

    Then, the company got popular, every LDS girl in America was buying their dresses which drove up prices. But didn't change their quality.

    The sizes have never been very consistent and I find some pretty strange details with almost every dress I've ever bought from them like collars that don't stay down and hems that like to flip out. All point to poor patternmaking and material choice.

    But they were the only ones offering inexpensive modest dresses at the time. They'd cornered the market so they could basically charge whatever they wanted.


    In all honesty, if you want a well made, fully lined modest dress you're looking in the $150 price range and you are still SEARCHING to find something that covers and isn't just a plain old solid fabric dress meant to be worn to weddings. I basically only find these quality dresses at Anthro, Jcrew and Nordstrom...especially since I'm pretty tall and most dresses are made too short for my liking.


    Eshakti is great for summer dresses that you don't really expect to last much more than a few years.

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  59. Have not read other comments, so hope am not repeating any. I'd suggest that you have your mother, as purchaser, contact the president/ceo of the company.

    Let's see. There are approximately 60 comments. Each of us will talk to several people in the next couple of months telling others about about Shabby's shabbily made dress and the rotten customer service you received. Some of those people will tell others, and some will mention it to their friends, and so on.

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  60. I agree with Packrat. I also wonder if it would be appropriate to send a copy of this post, and the comments. Part of me wonders if that is passive aggressive, (it totally would be if it was an individual, and not a well-known company.)

    But part of me thinks that SA obviously cares about what people write about them online, and they should know it isn't all "look at this adorable dress I got for free!"


    Lastly, I had a similar experience last year. I can testify that SA dresses are poor quality, especially for the price. The customer service is horrendous, I had to call multiple times every day for a week to get anyone to talk to me.

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  61. I am irate for you! Especially with these dresses being so darn expensive. I love your pick for the wedding though.

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  62. Fair- To say their clothes don't fit great and the quality is not the best.

    Not fair - To say that their customer service is horrible. They have a return policy just like all online stores. Your request was outside the terms of their return policy. It's up to them if they want to make an exception. But we shouldn't really say they are horrible if they decide not to. There are many reasons not to make exceptions... even if someone is nice & reasonable (stock, inventory, ordering/production deadlines, all kinds of junk like that).

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  63. I just happened to come across this post and I just wanted to say that i own 4 shabby apple dresses and I am completely pleased with them all. On their site they have a measuring chart and i went right along with it when ordering my dress and they all fit perfect. My sister also owns 2 of their dresses and when one did not fit when it came she simply was able to ship it back and she had a dress that fit her great in a week or two. I know that this was a bad experience for you and I understand but to say that all their dresses are poorly made and fit poorly would be incorrect. One of the dresses that my sister owns is the dress you got and it fits her right at the knee so its like any other clothing store they can't make their dresses to work with everybody type out there. There is just no way.

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  64. I have two SA dresses that I love. One is well made with thick fabric, very flattering. The other is a bit thinner, but it's a summer dress. But I ordered yet another that I had been coveting and then it went on sale! Except the size I ordered is enormous. It looks like a tent. And because it was on sale for a measly 7 dollars less, they won't exchange it for me. The CS person suggested I have it altered, because it's better to have a too-big dress than a too-small dress. For that kind of money, it should fit! I'm pissed. And I won't order another dress from them.

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  65. I'm coming late to this conversation, but I have to agree with the OP on Shabby Apple's customer service and quality. For awhile, I was willing to tolerate the low quality because I can often fix dresses on my own. With one of their dresses, I had to remove stitching and fix the painfully, glaring mistakes on the front of the dress. On another, it just couldn't be saved and I had to send it back. With the sizing, I once ordered three dresses from the same line (all claiming to run large) and one fit, one was too big, and another I couldn't even zip past my hips. The fabric is cheap and unlined and I've even received one with a stain on it. So, quality is NOT there.
    But it was the customer service that did me in. After receiving such poorly made garments (for high prices), and returning them within a day (they received my return/exchange within two days), I waited for THREE WEEKS just to hear something back from someone. I emailed, called, checked my account. Nothing. In this day and age, and when their promise is contact within 24 hours, there is NO excuse for that. It wasn't until I publicly posted something on their Facebook site that suddenly, I was a valued customer and my emails were returned. However, I have never had a call returned. Then, after a partial credit for one return, they finally sent me an exchange dress that, again, was poorly constructed. However, at that point, I didn't want to bother with them again because I was terrified of another three week ordeal with no contact.I re-sewed the dress and moved on with life. Occasionally, I look at all the cute things they are putting out and feel a little sad that I've written them off. However, it's given me the courage to start making my own dresses - many SA dresses can be easily mimicked.I just have to remember how rude they were and I don't regret my decision to never go back. If their customer service hadn't been so bad, I would have been a customer for life - I invest quite a bit in dresses and fabric - but now I won't touch Shabby Apple with a ten foot pole.

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  66. ahhh! i bought a skirt. (then sent if back on my own dime). they sent me the wrong skirt. i sent it back (i sent it back on my own dime). THEN they sent me the original wrong and defective skirt again! ahhhh! and.oh. i am NOT a 14/16. who sizes these products?
    -kkm

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  67. I had to respond to this to give the fair other side of the issue working at Posh Girl Vintage.com. People don't ever think of the business side. I've not bought from this store so I dont know the quality but that's not the point. I've bought online many times & did not like how it fit, which is part of the online territory, it doesn't mean anyone is deceitful. But I made an agreement BEFORE I bought the item to return it in the time they requested so I'm responsible to do that.

    They have a very generous return policy, 30 days is a VERY long time. We have only 4 days. But we sell actual one of a kind vintage and antique clothing so it's different. It's just not fair at all to bash the business because you made a mistake by waiting too long. Waiting half of a year to put a dress in the mail that takes only 30 minutes to do. Why? You need to remember there are people behind those websites, not machines.

    Sadly people try to buy our stuff all the time and wear them out to parties then return them trying to get their money back. They're reeking of smoke or torn or have make up all over them, and 4 weeks late. It will take us $60.00 and at least 3 hours to clean these special dresses. We work our buts off trying to get great stuff out and make a living at the same time. We often are very flexible and we want everyone to be happy and love their purchase but we can only afford to go so far.

    In the beginning we made a lot of mistakes and were too generous. We almost went under. A business has policies in order to stay alive not just to be difficult. Writing a bad review is justified if they made a mistake and would not fix it but when you are the one who made the mistake, writing an article that hurts their business that is just unfair! It's also not taken lightly either especially in this economy.

    Most customers are super nice but sadly there are a few that treat businesses like they're slaves and if they don't' do exactly as they want they will write up a bad review. They make threats and say all kinds of stuff. We had a lady send back a 1920's silk dress, size 2 that was accurately advertised, and I advised her that it would not fit, she was a size 8 but was madly in love with this dress. She tried to force herself into and it was torn in half. No way to repair it or we would have gladly taken it back and fixed it. We of course did not refund her money we sent her the dress back and she ended up writing a bad review like this about us. It was not deserved at all.

    I hope this explains what it's like on our side so you realize we are people too and there is a reason for the return policy to be followed. Please remember businesses are people too, & they work their buts off and deserve to be treated with fairness.

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  68. I haven't ever ordered from SA, so I have no option on that. BUT, I have to stand an applaud you for making a comment on how we live in the land of the standing ovation. Celebrated mediocrity. Thank you.

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  69. This is SO far after the OP, but I just wanted to thank you for writing it. I had a *terrible* experience with SA. They had a jewelry give-away on FB that earned me a free necklace for posting them on my timeline. An eternity later they admitted that they ran out of necklaces & would send something else instead. I received a grossly overpriced bracelet in the mail & was floored by how cheap & tacky it looked. I'm not sure it would have passed inspection for Claire's. I've never worn it. Then I received a gift card for SA for Christmas. With much hesitation, I ordered a dress & just hoped that the clothes were better than the jewelry. The fit was so bad & frumpy that I couldn't even bear to look at myself in it for more than a minute. Like, depressing "am I that ugly?!" bad. Unflattering doesn't even begin to describe what I saw in the mirror, and the length was way too short on me, so stuff was sticking out below the hem. This dress was supposed to be one of the longer ones, so I contacted customer service and told them my issues- needed to be longer, preferably one that I could nurse in, no peplum because I hate peplum, & no skirts because I'm not going to pay $70 for a skirt. They suggested another dress which had questionable ratings. I agreed to try it, & the fit was even worse than the first one. It was a faux wrap dress that was sewn almost all the way up to the waist, but it wasn't properly lined up so that there was a HUGE pucker (was it to warm hands?). The top managed to be both too tight in part of the bust while gaping with extra fabric in the back. It's like they thought boobs are located on one's back instead of the front. But it doesn't stop there... the shoulders seem to have been sized for a line-backer, so while there was no particular room for breasts, of which I have nearly none so it never should have been a problem in the first place, the shoulders were way too big which caused some more strange puckering. This allowed the top layer of the wrap to gape open towards the top exposing the entirety of one of my boobs. If I had thought "how can I simultaneously make something too small AND too big in the same area?" I would not have thought it possible, and yet this dress achieved that brilliantly. That one was so absurd that I tried on the dress for my husband who began belly laughing hysterically as soon as I walked into the room. I sent that back, too. They made more terrible suggestions before admitting that maybe they didn't have anything for me at the moment, but the gift card was good for 3 years. Fantastic. They will not take back a gift certificate, everything is overpriced, & of course you lose so much money on shipping that each attempt at finding something palatable just chips away at what you had to spend. In the end, I realized that even if I found a blouse or a skirt that I found tolerable, I'd have a hard time wearing it since I would be angry the whole time about how much I paid for such a low quality garment. I told them I would not be back & would just try to sell my gift card. They said nothing in return. Nearly a year later, I am still angry and still have not found anyone willing to buy the gift card at a reduced price.
    But here's the real point of my untimely post: throughout this ordeal, I could not find anyone with anything negative to say about SA. Blog after blog after review after review praised this company & it's "totes adorbs!!!!!" clothes. After a while, I wondered if there was something wrong with me. Was I literally the only person in this world noticing how crappy the clothes actually were in person?
    So, yeah, thanks for getting this out there. If more people were honest about this, maybe I could have spared myself a lot of frustration.

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  70. Sounds like you don't usually buy online. Wasn't smart of your mother to buy you a dress when you had recently given birth and were still nursing. Any clothing gift should have been returned during that time. Your body could have changed forever and even if it was the right size it may have an unflattering fit.

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  71. I got a dress from them once through a blog giveaway, and I bought another one this year. The first one had unfinished edges, and the fabric was cheap and stiff on the skirt, and super sheer on the top, but it was free, so eh. Fast forward a few years, they'd gotten bigger and I had hoped that meant their quality had improved. Nope. Thank goodness for ebay.

    Also, to everyone defending the return policy, I've worked several retail jobs, and it's pretty standard practice to accept returns past the 30/60 day mark for a store credit or exchange, as long as the item is still being sold, and it meets certain conditions (tags on, no signs of wear, etc.). There's really no excuse.

    They're cute designs, don't get me wrong, but they're Target/Walmart quality at three times the price.

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