When I mentioned to my SIL that I would need a maternity formal for our other SIL’s wedding on June 1st, she recommended I try JJsHouse. I looked through their maternity formals and found a dress that I really liked:
What I Wanted
What really attracted me to the dress were those cute gathers in the front of the dress. I thought, “Those will look so adorable over my 24-week baby bump.”
My SIL’s wedding colors are cobalt blue and yellow, and I can’t do yellow, so I ordered the dress in royal blue. I also thought that a full-length gown would be a little overpowering for a sunny June wedding, so I had it tailored to be knee-length, I had myself measured by a professional tailor prior to ordering the dress, and found that most of my measurements fit their size 12 measurements (which is my normal dress size anyways), so I went ahead and ordered a size 12. I paid extra to customize the hem to a shorter length. Between customization, S&H, and foreign transaction fees, I paid a total of $159.62 for this dress. And if the dress had been tailored the way I wanted, I would have considered that a good deal.
What I Got
This is what arrived in the mail yesterday. Notice anything missing?
The dress doesn’t even have those adorable gathers in the front that attracted me to it in the first place! It has gathers at the sides, but not at the front. I would not have even ordered this dress had it not had those gathers in the front that were shown on the model.
The bodice part fits okay. It’s a little tight, but I can get into it even in a push-up bra. (Really makes those pregnancy boobs pop!) I like the beadwork and sequins well enough, and the stitching seems competent enough. No complaints there.
It’s below the bodice that the problems start. Let me just say it bluntly: this is not a maternity dress. It is somewhat tight on my 22.5-week bump. It is going to just barely fit my 24-week bump, and I’m not even that big. My weight gain has been conservative (Dr. Not-Sark wrote “poor weight gain in pregnancy” on my chart last time) and I’m not carrying forward; baby is head down and seems to be rather low in my pelvis. I won’t be able to wear this in the third trimester at all. I tried on two other empire waist non-maternity gowns that I have in my closet, and they both have more room for my bump and feel more comfortable than this dress does.
I mentioned these problems with the dress in my product review. This is what I was told:
We are sorry to hear what has happened to your dress. As you can see from our website that we have a large collection of garments in various styles, while what you can not see is that we also have a large group of professional dressmakers. Each dress is made from scratch by them after the order is placed. Well trained as they are, the difference in personal skills is still kind of inevitable. These slight difference may finally show in the completed dresses. Anyway, our dressmakers know very well what our designers want to express as they work under the same roof. They won’t do anything harmful to the original beauty. Please rest assured of that.
Um, no. I am the one who judges what is beautiful on my dress and what is not, and I think the lack of gathers on the front of this dress is definitely “harmful to the original beauty.” You telling me otherwise is not going to change that. (This is like when you get an awful hair cut or dye job, and the stylist tries to cover her ass by insisting that it looks great on you just the same.)
As for the size, actually, for pregnant woman, we always highly suggest them choose custom size.
Really? Where on the JJsHouse site does it say that pregnant women should always select custom size? Because I carefully read everything about how to measure yourself and order the correct size, and I found absolutely nothing about how pregnant women should always choose custom size when ordering a maternity gown. What’s the point in even having a maternity section if the maternity dresses don’t automatically come with some allowance for a baby bump? If pregnant women are supposed to always select custom size, you’d think this would be listed on every maternity gown page or something. I had already paid for special customization to make the hem shorter, so had I known this, I would have been happy to enter in the measurements that the tailor gave me.
They offered to refund 15% of the cost of the dress, and I said sure, which I assume means I have $18-22 coming back. Still, I don’t think I would ever pay $140 for an ill-fitting “maternity” gown that is missing part of the design I ordered. Not when I can get a dress like this that looks like it actually has allowance for a pregnancy bump for $99.
All in all, while I’ll wear it to the wedding next week, I don’t think I’ll be ordering from JJsHouse again. And since I’m going to need another (non-maternity) gown for my sister’s wedding on November 1st, and would have been happy to order from them again had they gotten this right, they’re definitely losing a sale.
UPDATE: Actually, I’ve changed my mind and decided to push for a refund on the dress. Wish me luck!
UPDATE 2: They upped the refund to 25%, so I’m taking that. Not sure that I’ll buy from them in the future or not. I think that was a good-faith effort to make amends, but I really wish they’d just gotten the dress right to begin with. However, not sure I could find a nicer maternity dress this close to the wedding, so I might as well go with it.