What Shannon said, it might be too sheer, but then, sleeves of any kind are a rarity, and warm but dressy dresses are HEWI's, so really it's competing with sleeveless and short sleeves and 3/4 sleeves and some elusive warm cashmere dream of a dress.
I wonder if the 35" length is the front or the longer back hem--on me this would be desperately too short even if I was happy with my knees, but might work on near-petite, as the length looked good on viva.
So, for indoor, nighttime theater or cocktail party and so on, I think maybe you go with the warm coat and boots getting there and then, voila.
It would also be a plus if dark tights and boots work, since every bit of extra coverage can help for winter wear.

It does have a versatile feel, I agree. Sometimes, you need to live a little.

So excited you are trying it!! Okay, so my two cents (and I have worn it, so listen to me!) haha.

1.The sleeves are not that sheer. Not at all as sheer as they appear on the model. How does that happen anyway? Do they photograph different fabrications or something? The sleeves do not feel or look super sheer to me AT ALL. In fact, I think it really is a cool/cold weather dress. I will not be wearing it in August even if the evenings get cool. In the winter, it will be great with tights and booties (and an overcoat to get to the restaurant, of course.)

2. It is not that short. MUCH shorter on the model. It almost hits the top of my knees in front. In fact, it is too long for me to wear as a tunic, and I am 5'5". I had hoped to wear it over skinnies but to me it feels too long to do that.

3. The neckline is one of the things I LOVE about it. It's very crisp and it stays flat against my collarbone. And you know I am not endowed in the chest region. The neckline is gorgeous.

I can't wait to see you in it!


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Well, Vivian, you KNOW it was the picture of you that got me drooling over it, right?

I figure if we are jacket twins and numerous J. Crew item twins, this might be another win... fingers crossed.

It will be a while before I can model it because I will be away when my purchases arrive, but luckily, Nordstrom's return policy makes that no problem.

I love that dress and would order it too if I thought it had a prayer of working on me. Perhaps as a tunic? I dunno, those straight cuts are usually not my friend, but *maybe* as a tunic with skinnies and boots for me...

But I think it would be brilliant on you. Looking forward to seeing it!

I would pass, sorry. Yes it is lovely. But really, honestly, would you get enough wear out of it to be happy about the purchase, especially with restricted income because of awesome life opportunities? Do you have other pieces that can fill that gap so you could spend your smaller budget on true workhorses?

I ordered it based on Viva, too. Lemming Party!

Thistle, that's a really good point. I forgot to mention in my original post that the money is actually not an issue at this time. I am doing some extra contract work specifically to pay the NAS bill.


go for it, Suz!

Ok - Suz, please enlighten me in the ways of avoiding or reducing duty. I pretend-ordered this dress (because I love it ) and another Vince sweater. Total bill came to $500 and a bit. But then....the duty and taxes were $169. The f? That's close to 30% of the entire cost! When you are declaring it at the border, are you avoiding the duty out of sheer luck , or do they tend to charge less. Help me understand the process

Susie, isn't Girl Math great?

Lisa, here's what happens. If you are out of the country for 8 days (as my husband and his son will be) the exemption is $800 per person. So it wouldn't be a problem.

Another way to avoid duty (shhhh...I did not say this...) is to...um...fudge. Like, by wearing said item. (I wouldn't do this with this dress, but I do it with bras and similar items.) If the tags are off and you are wearing the item, nobody is going to question you. Honestly, they are after bigger fish than that $100 sweater (or whatever).

Also, you do get $200 free if you are gone for 24 hours. So if you can make a number of short trips, taking only what is worth about $200 each time, it's pretty straightforward. I live quite close to the border and have done that.

Another trick -- use a Nordstrom note to pay -- it brings the price down by the note's value.

Still another way is to have a friend from the US mail an item to you from their address as a gift. Sometimes you do get dinged for duty -- they can open packages at will and charge you if they see the tags. But often they do not bother -- it just depends. If the declared value is $40 Canadian, then it's okay.

Of course you are taking a risk in that case. The item might never get to you and then you're out of luck.

I wouldn't use the shadier methods very often. Mostly I declare what I have and pay. Or try to arrange my shopping "binges" for when I or family members will be gone long enough for the larger exemption, as now.

Yeah, Suz, I almost didn't mentioned the L word (leggings). Ha haha!

Can't wait to see it on you - and happy to have someone else on team waiting for NAS purchases (my sister will be here in a month!).

Thanks Suz. As I suspected. I know all about the exemptions for time spent in the US....just figured there was some other trick I don't know about. I got caught about 30 years ago not claiming everything i had bought, and the whole experience was so awful (financial penalties for lying, double the duty charges etc etc) and the humiliation of being hauled into the US Customs office ensured that I have never, and will never fudge the value of anything I've bought. Just not worth it.

I also wanted to add....in my experience, even when I pay duty at the border, the cost is lower because I'm not paying for shipping and other mysterious add-ons. And there seems to be less rounding off or something -- some items get charged higher and others considerably lower -- depending on fabrication and provenance.

Plus -- there's a form -- if I pay at the border yet decide to send back, theoretically I can get the duty back as well.

Fortunately, I also get to TRY ON the items before I return to Canada -- this means I send a heck of a lot back before there's any issue about making a claim.

...and you only pay 13% HST when you cross the border in your car - no additional duties. Also if you take you hubby with you for the ride the exemption is going up to $400
Unfortunately it only works when you live close to the border - an hour or so...

Exactly, Sveta. We are lucky ducks.

I confess to having taken my DD along for the ride a couple of times, with the promise of lunch....she is easily bribed by yummy food.....

DH also comes once in a while but he is much less help because he shops even more than I do!!

I'm so glad you are going to try this Suz. It will look amazing on you.

Lisa, you said the free shipping isn't happening? I've placed two NAS orders, and have got free shipping on both. It also shows up in all the pretend purchases I've made, when checking out duties. There is a minimum of $100... We're you over that?

I will look forward to seeing this dress on you. Sadly, I can't think of any specific events where I would wear this, otherwise I'd be tempted. It looks so much better on Viv than on the model.

I would also like to hear Angie address the longevity factor....

I think in a way it depends how it fits and what your personal style is, Aquamarine. This kind of dress is fairly classic -- but is having a "moment" now. If you wear and like waist surrender no matter what is going on in the fashion world, I think it has longevity. If not, then you might feel too straight up and down in it, I suspect. Also, the length it falls will be relevant. It seems to hit Vivian almost at the knee and she is 5'5" or 5'6". I expect it will be a touch longer on me because I am shorter; then again, I think I take a size smaller than she does also (we're similarly proportioned except she has a nicer bust and better legs, LOL.)

I can't WAIT to see it.....

Good discussion on duties. Lisa, can't believe you were hauled in. For some reason borders make me shake, and I'm one of the most honest people out there.

I was once thoroughly searched at the border. I was with my stepson, who was then a teenager. We had, in fact, done a bit of illegal cross border shopping (the exemptions were much lower in those days) and we were terrified. But they couldn't find the evidence and were probably actually looking for drugs, not silk shirts from J. Crew, so they let us go. It did make me shaky, though.

Ordinarily, they let me across without even a question. Only once did I get grilled about a purchase and it was because it was an eBay purchase (my first ever) and I had no receipt. But they let me go with a warning to always get a receipt in the future.

Granted, I don't fudge very often. Usually I am super honest -- I just time my shopping to coincide with longer visits to the US when I can.

Re Suz's duty tricks......I have a friend who lives in Buffalo. She says Canadian's come across wearing old, throw away clothes. They buy new things, put them on and toss what they came in......and they actually have dumpsters where Canadians toss their stuff. She says you can always spot the Canadians. No, I'm not kidding! A woman I know who lives in Victoria, BC goes over to Seattle and does this. Seems weird to me! LOL

Well, I have certainly done it with underwear. I wear my oldest, rattiest bra and simply toss it! I also have worn jeans, a top, and other items back.

Fortunately it won't be necessary in this case.

But it will be a while before I can model this baby for you, alas. I'm travelling later this month and won't be around...yay for Nordstrom's generous return policy.