I recently ordered the three skirts in the collection below, but returned them because of fabric and function problems. Judging by the details online, they had great potential. But in reality they were far from perfect. 

The patterned skirt from Marni looked gorgeously voluminous and swooshy, albeit a little short. But since I’m shorter than the model, I pulled the trigger. It came and I was disappointed. The fabric was thin and there was no lining. It looked limp and didn’t have the heft to give it a good drape.

The red skirt from Nicole Miller was close to the red skirt of my dreams, and I was awfully excited to swoosh around in it over the holidays. I was ready to buy a tulle petticoat to wear underneath the skirt to accentuate the voluminous silhouette. Again, the fabric was a problem. It did not drape at all. It created strange right angles and crept up as soon as you touched the fabric to straighten the pleats. It looked like origami, and not in a good architectural way.

The burgundy skirt from Cinq à Sept was perfectly beautiful as long as I didn’t move. From the photo, I thought that the lining went to the hem of the see-through mesh fabric, but it stopped just above the first tier, and was not attached to the tier. So you could see through to my legs when I moved. It was bad when I sat down, because the lining crept up and became a mini skirt, while the rest of the see-through mesh skirt left nothing to the imagination. For me, who likes to be covered, this wasn’t a workable design.

I like to apply the triple P purchasing principle to new purchases. I’ve found that being patient, picky and practical when adding items to my wardrobe is key to minimizing mistakes. It’s hard to make the right online purchasing decisions when we can’t see, touch and feel the details. But at least we can be discerning in our dressing rooms at home.