I can't say I have any desire to design my own clothes. I just don't have the chops and really enjoy tracking down and styling up clothing that skilled designers have created. BUT! I do love being able to customize the clothes that I order, so I was very excited when the folks at UnitedStyles dropped me a line about collaborating.
I got a chance to use the interface to customize my dress. I picked the Moscow style, and made some adjustments to the styling before tinkering with color and pattern. In addition to solid colors, UnitedStyles allows you to pick from a fun group of prints AND change the colors and print size to your personal taste. SO fun, people. I tweaked my print of choice, and submitted my order.
The staff is incredibly attentive, and I was put in touch with a rep who kept me abreast of the process. In about a week, she let me know that my fitting dress was on its way. Yeah, you heard right, they sent me a fitting dress to make sure I would get the proper style, size, and fit.
The fitting dress is plain black and made from the same stretchy jersey as my custom dress. I was asked to send feedback on fit, which I did. I went the extra mile and took this photo, but the staff told me photos are just a bonus. I told them to shorten the sleeves and let the dress out a bit around the hips. (The fitting dress is a bit snug, but will still get worn, too, and it's mine to keep. All orders include a fitting dress in addition to the custom dress.)
And they LISTENED to my feedback! The tweaked dress* had shorter sleeves and a much better fit in the midsection. I had my custom dress within 10 more days, and wore it immediately. I got a virtual avalanche of compliments, and even wore it to the first Strong, Sexy & Stylish event!
A few points worth mentioning:
- I wear a size 8 dress and took a UnitedStyles large with tweaks. So the dresses run small and are currently only available in limited size runs (XS to XL).
- The print on my dress was digitally generated and if you get close enough, it looks a bit fuzzy, as if the dress has been washed many times. It's nothing that would keep me from ordering prints in the future, but I felt it merited mentioning.
- The design interface is a bit pokey and you pretty much have to walk through the process from the beginning every time you hop on the site.
All that said, I'm still incredibly impressed with this company. If your fitting dress works, you're getting two dresses for the price of one. Customer service is impeccable. And being able to pick the colors and prints, sleeve length and neckline on your own dress is so fun. I probably spent two hours designing dresses before I finally settled on my custom frock. UnitedStyles is a very fun concept, and a great option for those who want a bit more control on how their dresses fit and look.
I'm delighted to have a custom UnitedStyles dress to give away to one lucky Already Pretty reader! Here's what you've got to do to enter:
- Be a resident of the U.S. or Europe.
- Visit the UnitedStyles website to check out the colors, patterns, and styles available.
- Leave a comment on this post telling us which style of dress you'd select if you won, and A VALID E-MAIL. Comments without a valid e-mail in the comment will be disqualified. (Best policy: note your e-mail like this: sally [at] alreadypretty [dot] com)
- Cross your fingers!