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Grana Review || Pima Tee Dress


As you know, I have a bit of a love affair with Grana. They have some beautiful high quality pieces akin to Everlane, but with more classic (read less boxy) silhouettes at decent prices. They're also a sustainable and ethical brand, all things I love. I picked up a Pima Tee Dress from them for something casual and easy, that I could layer easily.

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| OVERALL OPINION |

This is probably my first 50/50 purchase from Grana. I definitely have a love hate relationship with it. I love the fabric: it drapes beautifully and is literally the softest material I’ve ever felt. I’m not exaggerating, even my grandmother’s million times washed cotton saris don’t feel this good.

But, and there’s a big but, I think tee dresses need to be effortless, not only looks wise, but also to the wearer. Read on to see why I think pulling this off takes more effort than I expected, and whether I would buy this again.




Note: I’ve linked the product and a referral code for 10% off below, at the end of the review, if you decide to check this dress out for yourself.
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| MATERIAL |

Cotton
45% Peruvian Pima Cotton, 45% Modal, 10% Elastane
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| COLOR |

I bought the tee dress in a soft baby pink color, that is no longer available but is similar if not the same color as the Pima box tee available in Rose Beige. It’s a beautiful color, but I think as a tee dress it needs to be dressed up with good accessorizing to avoid the nightdress look. You may have better luck with the darker colors now available.
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| CARE |

Machine wash cold with like colors on a gentle cycle

Non-chlorine bleach only

Tumble dry low (*there was a review that stated that the dress shrunk while in the dryer, so be careful of that since the length is already quite short).  I air dry a lot of my clothes so I haven’t given the dryer a try yet.


Warm iron if needed: You probably will need to iron as, folded up, the material creases quickly. Hanging it out on your bathroom door while showering will steam out the creases if they aren't too deep.
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| CUT |

Neck
Crew Neck

Length
This dress hits a few inches above my knee (My measurements will be in the Fit section for reference). You do have to be a bit careful when you bend, it just barely covers my bottom, and I clearly don't have the world's longest legs.

Arms

The armhole is comfy and roomy without looking oversized.  The arms hit at the upper third of my arm, so not too long, but not short either.
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| ALTERATIONS |

Because of the elastane, this dress would be very difficult for a tailor to alter. They could do it, but the material would keep slipping under their machine, and it would be a risk. If it’s too big you can try shrinking it in the dryer.
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| SILHOUETTE |

This dress is barely A line, and looks more like a straight fit dress when worn. The dress is CLINGY, so if you have any lumps or bumps you're conscious of you’re going to have to wear shapewear (see what I mean by not super effortless). You also have to be conscious of what undergarments you wear, because of the cling.
If these aren’t issues for you, then I will say that the clingy nature of the fabric means it drapes beautifully. Despite its boxy cut, it drapes around your curves to give the look shape, even for those of us who are smaller.

Note: Temporary Housewifey has a review on the racerback maxi dress in the same material, and returned it because of the cling, so you can check out her review for further reference.
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| SPECIAL UNDERGARMENT CONSIDERATIONS |

The best thing to wear under this would be a plain, smooth edged bralette or nipple patches. As someone with a small chest I have no problem with these options, but bustier women might not be able to get away with this.

If you really want to wear a bra with this, I’d recommend either wearing a slip underneath or finding a bra with a truly invisible edge.

Underwear isn’t really an issue since the dress falls away from your body from the bust downwards.

I also noticed that the fabric is a tiny bit see through in the sunlight, so you can see leg outlines. If this isn't something you're comfortable with, you could always wear a longer slip
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| IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS |

This is a pretty fuss free style so there isn’t much to speak of in this department.

The one cool detail is that the crew neck is textured like a T-shirt, and not plain like the rest of the material. Other than that, the seams are neat, I didn’t find any loose threads, and there was no fuzz on the fabric after washing (something that can happen with cheaper cotton).
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| FIT |

This is a much more relaxed fit on me than it is on the model, and I often belt it to give myself more definition. To pull the non belted look off I have to carefully accessorise to make the look intentional. Taller, larger people won’t have this problem, but anyone smaller than me should beware of this.

My measurements as of now: 32-22.5-33. I’d say I’m hourglass with relatively broad shoulders and a broad torso. I carry most of my weight in my thighs and bum.

Height is: 5’0.
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| MEASUREMENTS |

(in inches)

**: These are measurements for the XXS

Front neck drop (measured from top of shirt to neckline): 3

Shoulder: 13 1/2

Sleeve opening: 5 1/2

Arm hole opening: 7 1/2

Sleeve length: 8 1/2 (measured along curve)

Waist: 35

Hips: 36 1/2

Length: 32

Hem circumference: 20 1/4

*Grana gives measurements on their site as well, for further reference.
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| QUALITY VS PRICE |


I got this tee dress in the summer sale for 50% off, but the original price is: $29.

Would I buy it again at full price? Probably not. The material is a little too clingy for my taste. If it were a special occasion dress, then I might be willing to put in the effort to mind what undergarments I was wearing, but since this is an everyday look, it’s just too much effort. I would have also preferred a slightly slimmer cut. I could machine dry to shrink but, that’s always a gamble, and I can make this work beautifully with a belt, so I’m not going to try that.

If you’re a little larger than me, and don’t mind having to be mindful of the undergarments you wear, the fabric is sooooo comfy I would say go for it! For me, this would be a "buy only on sale" item, because I truly do love the feel of the fabric but the cut is just not right on me.


10% off Discount Code

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Use this link, create an account, and you’ll get a 10% discount on checkout. This is only applicable to first time customers who are creating a new account though.

Tee dress link is here. I bought this in an XXS small.







*So, I was really hesitant to put this video up because it didn't come out well at all. The lighting wasn't great in the first half, and I was just generally not happy with it. However, I do think that a video really helps people understand how a piece falls and moves in real time, so I included this anyways. I'll probably retake the video and upload a better one later, but until then, this will have to do :/.
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How to Plan for the 10x10 Challenge



PLANNING FOR THE 10x10 CHALLENGE
This year I was a newcomer to the 10x10 challenge, and I have to say, it was definitely a little daunting, but you get into the groove of things by Day 5. Now that I'm done with the challenge I thought I'd put together a quick guide for anyone interested in trying it out this Spring. I've outlined a few tips and tricks to make the most out of your 10x10, and take some of the stress out of those first few days of the challenge!




1.    Check the Weather Forecast:
I checked for the week and a half to come before even looking at my wardrobe. I didn’t want any surprises. This applies more to those in areas that get very rainy, snowy, or have capricious weather. Of course the challenge isn’t binding law, but it’s irritating to have to break from the challenge and veer from your 10 pieces, for something as seemingly simple and mundane as the weather (if you’re Type A like me).

2.    Plan your Looks in Advance
Anyone with a busy schedule can imagine that spending fifteen minutes in front of your wardrobe hemming and hawing about styling is not an option in the morning (breakfast>fashion anyday).


In anticipation of this, I planned my looks on an app, called Finery. The app allows you to upload (from the net via a web extension, or from your computer) pictures of your clothing, accessories…basically all wearables and create and save looks with them. It’s great for someone who prefers a visual reference, over writing out clothing combinations.  More about the app later as a review is coming up! For those of you who prefer the written word, Style Bee has a great downloadable PDF for planning and rating your looks.

3.    Maintain a Color Palette (I’d suggest no more than 2 non neutral colors), and physically check to see if the shades of your pieces play well together.
This is particularly important, though it seems like a no brainer, but shades are not really something you think about.
What you think is a blush pink may in reality lean more mauve and result in unexpected color clashing. Not all shades of normally complimentary colors mix well, so keep that in mind.

4.    Silhouettes
This challenge will definitely require you to layer, so make sure your first layer (be it a dress, or a cami, or a shirt) is streamlined so it doesn’t add bulk, or look lumpy.
Mixing short and long hemlines is always a good idea. Think crop tops with midis and maxis, or hip length tops with just above the knee dresses (so just a thick strip of the dress peeks out from under). It makes layering easier, and gives you options to adjust coverage depending on where you’re going.


5.    Stay True to Your style:
Don’t layer a loose crop over a loose dress when you prefer streamlined looks, just for the sake of the challenge.

The point of this challenge is to refine YOUR personal style, and discover new looks you’re genuinely excited to wear. If you check out the Fall 10x10 hashtag, there is plenty of inspiration from bloggers with a gamut of styles. Having some visual inspiration that reflects who you are makes it easier to make practical decisions.

6.    Think about textures
Again, seemingly obvious but not. This won’t matter as much in pictures as it will in real life.
I encountered this problem with one of my looks when I paired a slinky pima tank with more hefty silk culottes. The look looked great in pictures, but there was a disconnect in real life. The top was way too casual in silhouette and texture to really go with the bottom. If I’d chosen a thicker cotton tank the look may have worked better, though I think a silk tank would be optimal.


7.    Accessorize like an Olsen twin:
I can’t emphasize how important this is when it comes to the challenge. There were often times I depended on bags and jewelry to take me from day to night. Having picked all of these items out
beforehand made this a lot easier.
This is one of the main reasons I allowed myself to rotate shoes. I lean on my shoes to change the tone of my look more than any other part of my wardrobe. If you have a trusty lean-on that you depend on (eg some people love using coats to spice up a look) change the rules to suit your styling habits!


8.    Check your calendar and have buffer looks:
Of course, ensuring that the looks you have chosen are occasion appropriate is important, and not many of us normally plan our outfits ten days in advance. Add one extra “fancy” look, and one "everyday" look to the 10 looks you already have to be on the safe side.
Giving yourself a special occasion pass is completely acceptable. In fact a lot of people pause the challenge on weekends. It all really depends on your goals for the challenge.


9.    Have Fun!
It’s counterintuitive, but this challenge is only as worthwhile as it is fun! Be creative, pick colors or silhouettes you wouldn’t have before. This is a chance to step out of your comfort zone, learn more about yourself, and personalize and truly inhabit your style!


ADAPTABLE STYLE FORMULA for the Fall 10x10 challenge


2 Tops:
>1 basic shirt
>1 fancier shirt (**button downs can double as light outerwear).

3 bottoms: 
Any combination of Jeans + Slacks/Leggings + Skirts

*If you depend on your tops more than bottoms to add variety to your wardrobe, make it 3 tops and 2 bottoms.

1 Dress:
A basic dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Preferably a classic silhouette (that layers well) and a neutral color or print you’re confident is versatile.

2 pieces of outerwear:
>1 casual, cropped piece: denim/suede/leather/cotton or wool for bombers.
>1 Longline heavier duty piece: this can be either a longline coat/cardigan/trench depending on your weather.

Shoes (if you include them):
>1 pair of flats: choose something comfortable, that goes with all your looks. Many people chose slip ons.
> 1 pair of heels: I saw people wearing everything from strappy sandals, to boots, to smaller heels (eg the Everlane day heel).


SETTING CHALLENGE OBJECTIVES

I outlined the goals with which I entered this challenge in a previous post. This was integral for me to truly retrospect on what I had learned from the challenge. With this as a guide it was a lot easier to retrospect on the challenge and learn from it. Lee Vosburgh has a great worksheet on her 10x10 guidelines post with room to jot down thoughts about and rate each look. Questions to ask yourself when setting your objectives are:

1.    What about your style do you want to change or learn more about?
This challenge can help you decide whether you gravitate towards a certain look (classic/boho/manrepeller), a certain era, towards certain fabrics, and even what style best fits your life, body, and vision. Use this as a compass for your style direction.

2.    What pieces are you unsure of, and what pieces do you want to make work?
This challenge is a great way to heavily rotate pieces you don’t normally reach for, but aren’t sure why. You’ll quickly realize whether they work or don’t.

3.    What pieces/looks are you curious to try?

This is a great way to test out new styles as you’ll quickly see whether they work for you or not.
I did this with my new Zara boots (yes, they aren’t leather but I needed a heavy use boot impervious to rain, but still stylish), and I went from being meh to kinda loving them.



That’s it for suggestions. I hope this makes the challenge a little less daunting and more doable for anyone new to the 10x10 challenge. I highly recommend trying it out, for anyone in a style rut. Hope to see you guys in the next Spring10x10!

Grana Review || Mini V neck Slip Dress



This is by far one of my favourite purchases from Grana. I got it in their summer sale, and it's easily the best summer-fall transitional piece I have.  Needless to say, I'm excited to review such a well loved piece, and tell you why it's a closet staple. 



**I’ve linked the product and a code for 10% off below, at the end of the review if you decide to check this dress out for yourself.
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| REVIEW INCLUDES |

1. Overall opinion + Rating
2. Material

3. Overall Silhouette





4. Cut
5. Details
6. Measurement
7. Fit
8. Quality: Price Ratio

9. Tips on buying
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| OVERALL OPINION |

Despite some issues with mobility (i.e. I can’t touch my toes without flashing front and back), I love the dress. It’s incredibly comfortable and versatile. And I doubt I'll need to be touching my toes in public anytime soon. A good desk to drinks buy.
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| MATERIAL | 10/10

Georgette Satin silk

16 mm double layered 'georgette satin silk'. For any of you silk buffs out there, they've basically renamed charmeuse silk as georgette satin. In laymen terms this means silk that's been woven into a smooth satin weave. 

Note the double layer ends at mid thigh for me, leaving a small strip at the bottom slightly sheer. 

Color

Jet black, they’re not messing around with any of that half- baked greyish nonsense here. I think they were able to achieve this because of the satin weave. Their crepe de chine is more velvety, and thus doesn't look as black.




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| CUT |

*These  observations may not be of relevance to someone taller and larger than I am, so refer to the measurements section to see how this applies to you.

Neck
Extremely deep V neck...depths which warrant more care and concern than the 5 minute rule when bending forward to pick up a piece of your fallen sandwich. However, I do think that considering the relatively girly A-line silhouette, the V neck adds some grown up femininity to what could have been a very school-girl look. 

Armhole
The armholes are large and comfy, however you do risk the casual side boob flash if you’re a mover and shaker. Solve with fashion tape or let your boobs run free (my preferred choice).

I have, however, noticed that larger armholes that don’t almost cut off arm circulation are more flattering and make upper arm flab less notable *definite win*
  



Posterior Neckline
If the front is precariously low, the back isn’t in any way more coquettish.
No, seriously, this is a mini mini dress. Even at my height, the length does not suffice to cover my bum during a full bend over. Crouching is a better option all around.

Side Slits
These slits reach me mid thigh while standing, and leave my entire thigh bare and exposed while sitting. My panties, however, do remain gracefully hidden.

To avoid unwanted flashing, I cross my legs and ensure the fabric is draped securely over my leg twist on either side when I sit.
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| ALTERATION OPTIONS  |

Neckline
Altering the neckline to be a little higher shouldn't be hard, and I plan on doing it myself to make it a bit more conservative. I'll add an update as to how it turned out once I'm done.  Alternatively you can try adding strap shorteners I found here, so you can adjust the length. They carry them in nude, black, and silver, and don't require any sewing.  

Side slit
You could also sew up a bit of the slit, so there is less skin show, and it's easier to sit, though I like the subtle sexiness of a slit of this height.

Fit

If you want the dress to be more fitted, it'll be a simple case of adding two darts at the back (ask your tailor, he'll understand). I like the looser fit, so I'm going to be leaving it as is. 
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| SILHOUETTE |
It’s a relaxed, gentle A-line silhouette that, despite the silky fabric, is quite flattering i.e. no clinging. I'd put this down to the inner layer of silk that acts like a slip.
The slits on the side add a subtle sexiness and femininity to the free flowing dress.

If you would like a waist, cinching with a belt or a jacket tied at your waist is a good idea.



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| IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS |

The finish is great and I found no stray threads.
The seams are smooth and the straps feel substantial considering they’re literally silk spaghetti straps.
I would have liked an extra v shaped panel at the neck to make it a little sexier ala Cuyana, but I’m just being spoilt.

It’s marketed as a beautifully made, simple basic and it is all of those things.



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| MEASUREMENTS |
Measurements were taken in inches, from a size XXS

Front Neck drop (depth of neck): 9 1/2
Armhole:  8 1/3 (measured along the curve)
Length: 35 1/2
Shoulder: 9 1/2
Bust: 32
Waist: 34
Hips: 36
Slit Length: 8 (measured from bottom of dress)
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| FIT |
It’s a very relaxed fit on me and I’m currently a little heavier than usual thanks to 0 exercise and a horrendous diet the last six months. Once I return to a normal eating/workout schedule I’ll update my fit review her as I know that finding sizes is particularly hard for petites at sizing extremes. Having said that it’s loose but fashionably so, and I quite like being able to pack away a burger without anyone being the wiser.


My measurements as of now: 32-24.5-31. I’d say I’m hourglass with relatively broad shoulders and a broad torso. I carry most of my weight in my thighs and bum. Height: 5’0.


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| QUALITY VS PRICE |

It's a fantastic buy for silk at a decent quality. Better than Everlane's silk, actually. Grana states it's markup rates are 2-3.5 times the cost of production which is very reasonable compared to the current 7-8times markup norms.
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| TIPS FOR PURCHASING |

Grana’s sales are not just great, they are phenomenal. I mean, they are almost NO markup price great (they had a sale that was literally named exactly this). I find that xxs, xl are often available on sale for a while, with smalls selling out a bit faster, and mediums and large sizes selling out the fastest. 
During the last few days of the sale they often increase markdowns from up to 30 percent to up to 70 percent, so if you’re willing to take the chance of an item selling out, I’d suggest waiting, especially if you take a size that doesn’t sell out as quickly. Often certain colors and styles are excluded from the sale so don’t bank on your favourite item being marked down. 

Also, be forewarned, they've started discontinuing styles, so if you don't pick something up before a major sale ends, there is no guarantee it won't be gone for good. In the end, if it’s something you love and you know will be well loved and used by you, sale or not, I say invest in it.

DISCOUNT CODE
Just use this link, create an account, and you’ll get a 10% discount on checkout. This is only applicable to first time customers who are creating a new account though.


The link to the mini v neck slip dress is here:  I bought this an XXS small in black.


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