Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Princess Dress - A HolyClothing Arwen Dress Review

HolyClothing creates a truth more beautiful than any fiction, exquisite handcrafted garments exclusively manufactured in our ethically managed factory.”

I will share more on this wonderful company toward the bottom of this review but first I need to tell you about the MOST AMAZING opportunity I have recently been given . . . .
to receive and review THIS DRESS!!!!!
(Pardon the wrinkles.  The photo shoot opportunity came faster than the "wash before wearing" opportunity.  Can you all just pretend it has no wrinkles???)

This dress is the 
Arwen Square Neck Renaissance Medieval Princess Gown Dress
 produced by HolyClothing.

The website describes the Arwen 
features and benefits in this way:
  • Do as you dream in Arwen; with jacquard inset panels and rich embroidery on soft-draping rayon/viscose, your personal story will never lack a heroine, beautiful in her courage.
  • Our dramatic interpretation of princess-line construction flows and flatters the figure; Arwen's back lacing enhances fit with charming elegance evocative of epochs past.
  • Examine the beauty of Arwen's sleeves: immaculately draped petals, lined with jacquard, artfully split to reveal a fitted inner sleeve, descending to a graceful point.
  • 100% rayon/viscose is the most absorbent of natural fibers, truly matchless for lustre and versatility, and especially well-suited to our hand-dyeing.
  • HolyClothing creates a truth more beautiful than any fiction, exquisite handcrafted garments exclusively manufactured in our ethically managed factory.

I found this dress to be as dreamy as it looks.  It truly transforms your demeanor when you slip into this dress. I felt very royal indeed.

Let me talk more about the dress.

My dress promptly arrived via DHL from the HolyClothing office in India.
It was folded perfectly (something which it will never see again) and tucked neatly into this protective clear plastic bag.

I took the dress out of the bag and my fingers were thrilled with the silky but solid texture of this garment.  It was sturdy but not thick.  It was weighty because of amount of yardage but it was not heavy and burdensome.

I will admit that it was much darker than the blue divine pictured on the website.  The FAQ page states: The Studio Lighting we use to photograph the garment is the best on the market, as is our digital camera. However, studio lighting will sometimes make colors appear slightly different than they really are (sometimes brighter or in a different shade). The settings on your computer monitor are also a factor; different monitors may show different shades for the same item. 

(Yet again, many of our photos taken in the full sun on a 85 degree day appear much closer to the website color than the navy blue color the dress appears to be in my darker house.)

When the dress arrived, I could not wait to try it on.  Unfortunately, I was the lone adult in the house and worried that I would not be able to lace up the back.  Thankfully, I was able to slip it over my head and wiggle my way into it. (A Princess has just gotta do what a Princess has gotta do!!!)  :)   If I were going to wear this out to a Renaissance Faire or a Dress-Up party I would want an adult present to help me tighten up those back laces so that the edges touched together in back.  
Notes: 1) I had no adult near this day to tighten up these laces as it really could have used. 2) Most princesses do not drive their children in sweaty, hot mini-vans and thus would not have wrinkles along the backside of their dresses.... I honestly think these wrinkles would have fallen out with a bit of walking and 3) I am not worshiping the woodpile... just making a fun picture.

 If you fall in love with this dress you will want to look carefully at the measurements.....they are SPOT ON!  How do I know....well, I had a measurement issue and needed to return my first dress to the HolyClothing return center in Michigan.  This return went smoothly.  I mailed my dress to them and a new dress was ordered and mailed to me in return.  

HolyClothing's Customer Service is TOP RATE with prompt, helpful and pleasant correspondence via email.  If at anytime you have a question that you can not find the answer to on the site or on their FAQ page feel free to email them and I am confident they will help you in a prompt and friendly manner as best as they can.)

If you find yourself in between sizes for this dress you will want to order the bigger size.  The only adjustment on the dress is the lacing that you see above.  There is not much leeway for expanding and even with a dress that is not form fitting the design of the garment allows it to flow and move around the wearers body.

The front of this dress 
has a beautiful embroidered accent around the square neckline, around the raised waist and around the sleeve where the outer petal leaf attaches.  The center panel of the skirt is beautiful jacquard as is the inside of those large split sleeves.

As I mentioned yesterday, we took our field trip to the look-out tower on a day that reached 85 humid degrees with full sun.  The darker color of this dress heated up under the sun but the fabric breathed wonderfully to keep me cool.  I truly was not uncomfortable at all in this dress outdoors in the heat!

If you are into Renaissance Clothing HolyClothing also offers the Guinevere Square Neck Renaissance Princess Medieval Velvet Dress, seen here.  They also have many other peasant and princess styles in their dress line.

But, HolyClothing is much, much more than Princess Clothing!
They offer dresses, skirts, pants and tops made in richly colored, hand dyed, hand sewn, extensively textured beautifully flowing styles.  

Their designs are flattering on small and larger women and they offer sizing from Small to 7X.  

One thing that I love about HolyClothing's garments is that their designs also allow for weight fluctuations, as many women experience.  Another thing I love about their clothing is that their styles are not only elegant but THEY COVER THE BODY and do so in a feminine and flattering way.  You are not likely going to find THAT out at the mall!

But, don't take my word for it
Check out some of these styles (my wish list):

Kayla Satin Embroidered Renaissance Princess Boho Sun Dress

 The HolyClothing website is super easy to use.  You may browse each garment type by size, by color, or you may view all.  You may create your very own wishlist which allows you to make notes on each item.  Most answers are addressed on the website and if not their customer service is seriously the most excellent I have ever experienced!

Now, let me tell you a little more about HolyClothing, the company.  In 2001 Janice Kay founded the company. Her lovely picture is at the bottom of nearly every page on their website.  She and her family own and run the HolyClothing Factory in India.  They are actively involved in all that happens there and guarantee a factory that is ethically managed with no child labor and employees who are treated well within comfortable working conditions.  Graham Kay told me "by owning the factory we are able to offer a superior quality product at a reasonable price."

Please click on one of the MANY links I placed in this review 
and go visit HolyClothing today.

If the Arwen Square Neck Renaissance Medieval Princess Gown Dress has won your heart you may order your very own.  The price for this amazing hand dyed, hand sewn GLORIOUS dress starts at $64.99 but if you order (anything on the site) before June 21st and use the code 5439 you can receive 10% off your order.

Click HERE to *like* HolyClothing on Facebook which will alert you to upcoming contests and discount codes.  Their Facebook page currently has a chance to win your very own Cherie Mini Dress.  Also visit their website to view even more options.

As you depart on your merry way, know that I am wishing that your dreams come true and that your heart might live happily ever after in a beautiful new garment by HolyClothing.
(PS.... tomorrow's blog post will take you behind the scenes of my Princess Photo Shoot....aka: Field Trip to the Watch Tower and if you missed it you can CLICK HERE to read about how this dress is a dream come true because I've ALWAYS wanted to be a Princess.)


**Disclaimer:  I received the Arwen Dress free of charge from HolyClothing in exchange for a fair and totally honest review of the gown.  I have received no other compensation from HolyClothing.


Our Village is a Little Different said...

Wow! It's gorgeous! Thanks for the great review.

Susan said...

Both my 12-year-old son and my 8-year-old daughter announced you are "pretty!" My son doesn't normally go around announcing that ladies he doesn't know are pretty, so you've got something there. This is a great review, Kristi, wish I had some extra funds for my wardrobe. My daughter wants to know when Holy Clothing is going to make dresses in her size. ;0)

Anthony Burdge Jessica Burke said...

Doesn't a fair review get sort of diminished by the fact that you got the dress for free? How can that exactly be fair? Also, have you ever questioned why the company is hand making these dressed in India? Why not the US? Where's the information about their factory? On their website they're located in Niagra NY, but where's the manufacturing info? How come you don't ask about that? I don't think your review is fair.

Kristi said...

First, receiving a free product for the chance to review it does not automatically disqualify the review's fairness. If you read through my product reviews, there have been several products that I received for free that did not work for our family or that we just simply disliked. I stated that in the review while also giving a fair assessment to what the product was and the quality of the workmanship of that product. This is what I claim to do, nothing more nothing less. A fair assessment good or bad of **the product** and how it works for our family.

Regarding the ethics, first I am giving a product review on THE PRODUCT not on the ethics of the company. Crusading the world on the topic of Ethics (yours, mine or other) is not my crusade.

Second, this company is family owned and operated closely on the ground at the manufacturing plant in India. That information IS on the web if you look for it. Through many emails I was told many times that they have a personal connection with the workers and can guarantee fair wages, fair treatment, comfortable working environment and no child labor. Seeing as though this review was about THE DRESS I did not include all of those details. They are currently working on a background and history of how the company started to post on their site but sales are doing so well the few people running the business end of the company have been pressed for time to get that written up. I was promised it was drafted and that they would get it on the website as soon as they could after a final review.

Third regarding the ethics, feel free to contact the company and go on your own *USA ONLY* campaign. This is not me. So to challenge the validity of my review ON THE DRESS from the slant of me not challenging the company to bring the jobs home is your issue not mine. Feel free to challenge them. Feel free to email them. I expect if you politely and professionally state your concerns and questions you will get a response with answers. This is not MY issue, this is yours and I stand my by original (INCREDIBLY THOROUGH) review of THE DRESS.

And yes, I was in love with the dress before I got it. I actually had a problem with my first dress which the company fixed... at their expense. That does not mean that I skewed the facts, exaggerated, lied or otherwise corrupted the information or pictures that I reported. I gave a VERY WORDY, thorough review even pointing out at least one thing that I did not like. So, perhaps my love comes across as being unfair and biased but my review is fair and true to my promises of giving honest and thorough reviews of PRODUCTS.

Susan said...

Having "bias" is a fact of human existence. Every review I've ever read had some sort of bias, whether the reviewer received the product for free or not. Each and every one of us is influenced by many many factors, and that doesn't invalidate our opinions. They are simply opinions.

Kristi has been totally upfront about the fact that she received this product free of charge, so she's not keeping you in the dark. ;0) It does not invalidate her opinion. I enjoy reading her reviews because she's very forthright about what she really thinks and is not afraid to point out negatives.

And she was reviewing a product, not the whole company and their practices. How many product reviews do you see that do a complete expose on the company's background and business practices? Or is that only a requirement for companies that don't fit a particular mold? I'm sorry, but I'm not going to assume that just because a US company is employing workers in India that they are exploiting them. Would you have that same question if their factory was in the US? How biased is that?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got yours for free. I spent a lot of money with them on a velvet burgundy dress. I wore it twice and when I had washed it, it bled red dye everywhere and some of the trim became white in places. Their customer service offered me free shipping on my next order. Like I's order again.

Oh and I had ordered this same dress in another color and it was HUGELY larger and I had to give it away.

Lorelei A Eddy said...

While I have honestly had some similar quality problems with a few of my purchases over the last 7-8 years, for the most part I happy and have continued to order from HolyClothing.

I chose to do business with them because I don't see the same or even very similar items made in the US and giving an Indian an American customer willing to pay American prices appeals to me.

That said, their items are garment dyed, with dyes that are not chemical heavy, so are not as colorfast. Also they are embroidered and rayon, they should be gently washed, hung,or layed flat to dry, depending on the garment. Feel free to check my Facebook, I really do wear and love their clothes, check their site and see my reviews of their products.

Barbara Ewart said...

I have tried to locate contact information for Graham or Janice Kay without success. Since it would appear you have contacted them, I would appreciate it if you would message me on my Facebook page with any contact information you may have. It would be much appreciated. ~Barbara Ewart, Vancouver BC CANADA

Kristi said...

It is not my email to give out. I contacted them through Private Messaging from their Facebook page and they replied to me through the email I gave them.

I would suggest you try that as well.

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