Review of Dobbin Clothing

I’ve been thinking about sustainable and ethically produced clothing recently, and my clothing consumption habits. I buy a lot of thrifted and second-hand items but I’m not so sure that that doesn’t just make it easier for others to buy disposable clothing knowing there’s an outlet for getting rid of it. I’ve been inspired by the example of several wardrobe and sewing bloggers who are doing “second-hand and handmade first” pledges this year. (Side note: is there more ‘made in Canada’ than ‘made in USA’ clothing these days? It seems like it.)

So when Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen posted about Dobbin Clothing, a new line of women’s clothing that is designed and made in the US, I was intrigued. I really liked the look of a lot of the items, and since their winter line was on clearance and there was an additional discount for new customers plus free shipping and returns, I made an order.

The items came the other day and I thought maybe folks would be interested in a review. I’ll say that all the communications were nice, the shipping was about a week cross-country (totally reasonable) and everything was wrapped nicely and included a hand-written note. The quality of the pieces was really good and the fabric was all fabulous.

The first top I ordered was the Griffith stretch pique top. I was afraid the fabric would look too 70s tennis player, but it was actually quite nice. The shape was good, but there was a manufacturing flaw – the front shoulder dart detail was quite uneven between sides – the dart on one shoulder was noticeably longer than the other shoulder.

The second top was the Harper stretch silk blouse, which was lovely. The fabric was a stretch silk with a crepe texture on the outside and charmeuse on the inside. The cut was good, the raglan sleeves with gathering were really nice as was the neckline. Unfortunately, the color was a true salmon orange and made me look horrible (I was hoping for a pinker hue) so it’s going back. I would also note that the lowest point of the neckline was pretty low – I could just barely wear it without showing my bra, and I’m taller than average, so most ladies would probably need to layer with a camisole.

I also ordered the Juliet ponte dress in black, which was just amazingly nice. The notch-neck neckline was faced, the fabric was thick enough so that no underwear lines showed through, and all the details were well-done. The only problem was where the waistline hit me – above my waist at the bottom of my ribcage, which is what happens to me a lot because I have a long torso. I vacillated for a long time about keeping it, but I just couldn’t justify spending most of a hundred bucks on a dress that didn’t fit perfectly.

Size-wise I would say that the fit is generous. I ordered an XL or 16 in everything and it fit well, and I am currently a 16/18 in mall stores.

It may seem weird that I’m recommending Dobbin even though I had to return every item I ordered, but I would totally try them again for tops, or if they ever have tall/long torso sizes in dresses. (BTW, all their current pants are cropped – what is that about for winter?) The cuts were flattering, the fabric was great, and the service was stellar. When I contacted them about the return and the issue of the darts on the white top, they were quick to respond and very friendly and helpful. If paying a bit more gets me this quality, I could get used to it. Anyway, I recommend them if you’re looking for a high-quality product that you can be pleased to wear. (I am not affiliated with them in any way and my thoughts are my own.)

Mall-ing

I was down by the larger mall today, so I stopped by, to use some of my panoply of coupons and gift cards. Wonder of wonders, I actually found some pants that fit – cargos from Lane Bryant, and ‘Willow’ trouser cut from Coldwater Creek. I tried on the new LB ‘right fit’ jeans, and the Blue type fit pretty well, although I could have done with a lower rise (and a length somewhere between Average and Tall). If Ann Taylor Loft had had 18 curvy bootcut jeans in stock, rather than 16 being the largest size in the store, I would have had a pant-buying hat trick (and the world likely would have ended, so it’s just as well).

Holiday trends appear to be velvet, satin, and bright and jewel colors – lots of reds and pinks, dark teals and dark greens. I saw some lovely wool jersey dresses at Banana Republic in gray and jewel tones; a fabric I haven’t seen much of in RTW until recently.

If you’re on the bigger side, or know someone who is, you will probably enjoy reading the blog The Pretty Pear, about plus-size clothing and shopping, which I discovered today.