Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress

Alison wearing the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress with white Birkenstocks and a lemon yellow leather camera bag from Talbots. She is holding a pair of Ray-Ban aviators in her hands and smiling at the camera as she walks down a sidewalk on a tree-lined path.
The Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress on me in size Large

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should because I share completely different content in my Instagram Stories and more outfits in my feed) you know I got all of my Target Designer Dress Collaboration orders last week. I ordered a lot of styles, knowing at least one wouldn't work and would have to be returned, but I only ordered one size because I'm not a Target collab monster (I see you, folks who buy 6 of each and sell them for a markup on eBay). Anyway, I ended up keeping two and one is this Christopher John Rogers for Target orange shift dress.

I LOVE Christopher John Rogers, but I can neither afford his line nor can I fit into most of it. I was excited for this collaboration with Target because it would make this talented designer's style more affordable, and more equitable as it was available in sizes XXS-4X.

Who is Christopher John Rogers?

Fashion designer Christopher John Rogers sitting in his studio with racks of his colorful clothing behind him. He is wearing black jacket over a tropical print shirt. He is typing on an Apple computer and staring at the camera.
Fashion designer Christopher John Rogers

Christopher John Rogers was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Inspired by anime and the fashion he saw at his Baptist church on Sundays, Rogers began designing clothing for superheroes from random fabric and even trash bags. Rogers attended SCAD and created his label as his senior thesis. He received his first major press when Cardi B wore one of his coats to the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards. (BET)

A collage of 16 images with celebrities such as Lil Nas X, Regina King, Tracee Ellis Ross, Zendaya, and Kamala Harris wearing colorful fashions from Christopher John Rogers
A rainbow of celebrities wearing Christopher John Rogers

Christopher John Rogers has dressed some of the biggest celebrities, including Vice President Kamala Harris' iconic purple dress and coat from the Inauguration. Rogers won the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award (Vogue) and is on the shortlist to win the LVMH Prize (LVMH) this fall.

Christopher John Rogers for Target Review

Alison wearing the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress. She is facing to the left but looking at the camera and smiling.
A side view to show the stiffness of the fabric and how it drapes over curves

I love Christopher John Rogers' use of color and silhouette and was excited to see how he would make a size-inclusive budget-friendly (nothing over $60) collection for Target. While I have had much luck with past Target designer collections (Liberty, Proenza Schouler, and Isaac Mizrahi pieces I either still own or wore to death), some others have been a miss with cheap fabrics, cheap manufacturing, and really poor fit.

christopher john rogers for target review size 14
The three dresses

From the Christopher John Rogers for Target collection, I ordered the three above. They were the only ones that were available in my size (Target collabs run big so I went with Large) and looked like something I'd actually wear.

Shop Christopher John Rogers for Target:

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If you tried to shop the designer drop when it launched and your size or style was sold out… try again. I think many people are returning their hoards and possibly they restocked because writing this post, I have found almost a dozen dresses that were sold out in my size last week but are now available.

Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress Review

Alison spinning in the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress

When I got this dress I tried it on and shared some quick mirror selfies on Instagram Stories. I wasn't sure if this was a perfect summer dress that won't cling but still has fun to it (and it's my favorite color), or if I looked like a tent. I polled those watching and it was almost 50/50 whether I should keep it or return it.

I kept it. That evening K and I went to our friends' house so our dogs could have a puppy date and we could all hang out and catch up. I wore this exact look, minus the purse (the pockets were deep enough to hold sunglasses, face mask, phone, and lip balm). And this past weekend, I wore this look to run errands. It was so perfect for both.

Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress

Shop This Look:

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A lot of replies in my Instagram Stories about this dress were regarding figure flattery. Maybe if it had a v-neck to elongate, or if I added a belt to show my shape. The dress is too long for my height, the color is pretty extreme for my height/shape, the fabric too stiff for those of us with large busts. And these were things I was thinking when I first tried on this dress.

Alison wearing the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress with a lemon yellow crossbody bag. She is walking down a sidewalk and smiling off camera

Eff that noise. Seriously women, let's stop sacrificing our comfort and joy for figure flattery.

I live in Maryland right outside of Washington DC. While on a map this may look to be the middle of the East Coast of United States and therefore may not appear to be especially hot or cold, a map doesn't show the extreme humidity we experience from May until October. It's the kind of weather where those adorable jersey dresses you bought in March look like utter torture come July.

the back view of the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress

Over the decades I have bought so many flattering summer dresses. Dresses like this one, which is so beautiful and makes me feel beautiful… until I am outside more than 15 minutes and I feel as though I am wearing a girdle made of wool and latex covered with a tarp. Maryland summers need clothing that doesn't cling; even better is clothing that is designed to barely touch your body.

Like this dress.

Alison in the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress wearing aviator sunglasses as she walks down a sidewalk

Dress: Christopher John Rogers for Target (Large) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: c/o Talbots (on sale and available in other colors) | Necklace: Etsy | Earrings: Baublebar | Green and Gold Cocktail Ring: c/o REALM | Sandals: Birkenstock

You know what isn't flattering? Being the person in the gorgeous dress who is hiding in the shady corner with her legs wide apart, sweat running down her thighs, fanning herself with a paper plate, a dark wet band around her belt and running down the zipper along her spine. I have been that gorgeous and uncomfortable woman and I have run out of f*cks to continue to be her.

Alison wearing the dress at a garden center, squatting down to grab a plant on the ground
Me earlier that day scoping out plants at our local organic market. I wanted to show the dress can move with you, and even when bending over and hunching, my bra straps do not show.

This dress I can bend down, I can sit on a picnic blanket, I can wear slip shorts and wireless bras or moisture-wicking briefs and Megababe on my thighs and comfy sandals with arch support. I have pockets to hold my stuff or just hold my hands when I don't know what else to do with them.

A closeup of the Talbots camera bag in lemon yellow that Alison is wearing as a crossbody
A closeup of the bag I'm carrying; it's from Talbots, is on sale for less than $100 and also comes in tan. I think it's a pretty perfect size for summer as well as travel. It has an adjustable strap, a variety of pockets, and I think looks great as a shoulder bag or crossbody and is a classic style that will be chic for years to come. As for my lipstick, it is this pencil in the color ‘Clique'.

I can dress it up with gold sandals and a badass pendant necklace. I can wear it as a swim coverup when I leave the beach and head to a restaurant for lunch. And because it's cotton, I can wash it, and spot treat it, and steam out wrinkles.

Alison in the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress

Speaking of wrinkles, I have worn this dress now two times before laundering. I have sat in cars and worn seatbelts and carried groceries and plants. I have played with dogs and sat in grass and I haven't ironed or steamed it since. I know 100% cotton can be scary for stiffness and creasing, but you can see neither are an issue with this dress. And I think it will soften with laundering.

Back view of the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress
FYI, I have a big noggin but I don't need to unbutton the back to get it over my head.

At the time of writing this, the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress is back in stock in every size, but I know orange cotton isn't everyone's jam. So below I have a carousel of similar dresses that may be more your vibe:

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I am partial to this one from J. Crew Factory which comes in a floral, three solids, sizes up to 20, and petites up to 12. Oh, and it's less than $90 (at the time of writing it was under $75). This one from Madewell comes in coral and white up to size 3XL with petites up to XXL; it is $128. And don't forget about Etsy when shopping for fashion; this dress is available up to 5XL and customizable (change the neckline, sleeves, and color) and is around $100.

Alison in the Christopher John Rogers for Target Orange Shift Dress smiling at the camera

Y'all, we survived a pandemic. Okay, it's still going on, but we're HERE and because we survived, we deserve a reward. And I can't think of a better one that letting go of those damn rules about figure flattery that cause us to overheat and be uncomfortable and end up on the sidelines of life. Wear what makes you feel good, there is nothing more stylish than that!

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22 Comments

  1. Ora
    June 22, 2021 / 7:09 am

    Love everything!

  2. Zaeobi
    May 27, 2021 / 1:30 pm

    I have a loose cotton maxi kaftan that’s similar to this dress, but in a black & orange paisley print. At first I worried about ‘having’ to belt it to make it look ‘flattering’ but now I wear it as is – with aviators & Birkenstocks, no less!

    One of the key things that made it work for me (i.e. made it feel ‘just flattering enough’ instead of like I’m swimming in it) was the slightly cropped length & sleeves (ankles & wrists exposed). I notice Allie that your dress isn’t fully maxi length & is sleeveless – I’m not saying this is mandatory for anyone, but just wanted to analyse how those of us who aren’t willing to let go of ‘conventionally flattering’ completely might still be able to dip our toes into this summertime comfort. Thanks, Alison 🙂

  3. Jackie
    May 26, 2021 / 7:34 pm

    I bought the Christopher John Rogers orange dress – hesitantly. It looks so cute on you, but I’m not a great judge of how things will look on me. I’m absolutely thrilled and can’t wait to wear it. My husband – my brutally honest clothes critic – really liked it and I’m pleased to report, that it beautifully survived the dog chewing open the package and a brief stay on my lawn. Thanks for the recommend!

  4. Victoria Whaley
    May 26, 2021 / 5:20 pm

    I might never have tried this dress without your post. I freaking LOVE it. So far, I’m looking at styling it with turquoise and coral tone (I got some nice accessories in that color story a few years back!) but I like what you’re doing with it here too. Thanks for your spot on recommendation.

  5. SANDRA MCCARTHY
    May 26, 2021 / 1:52 pm

    I have to comment (and don’t usually). You and I have very similar tastes in dresses however I lack your strong confidence. Seeing this on you and reading your words made me run and order it. Hence the first one ordered was a bit tight in the chest so I was lucky enough (after some stalking) to be able to order the next size up (hasn’t arrived yet). I’m hoping the bigger size gives me the needed chest room without overcoming the rest of me. I’ll confess – very worried about the tent/maternity look – especially with the added Covid pounds but seeing you wear it has made me too – say, ‘ef it – …. my Mom’s wise words still echo in my head – “if it feels comfortable – it looks good”! Thank you for your honesty and most of all your confidence – which is contagious!

  6. Linda B
    May 24, 2021 / 9:53 pm

    I adore this dress on you! I personally love many shades of orrange. I have been thinking of getting a wide-fitting cotton dress–with pockets!–for summer, and just ordered one a feew days aago. I have had doubts about the “tent” thing–but also hopeful, that it will feel SO GOOD! Now, I can’t wait for mine to arrive. I will wear it joyfully–and remind myself that I need not have any f*cks to give!!!!

  7. Erica
    May 24, 2021 / 5:17 pm

    Thank you for the reminder. I just bought and hesitantly kept a tie dyed dress that has extraordinarily happy colors and is possibly the most comfortable garment I’ve ever put on my body, but is not “flattering”. I had decided to keep it but this makes me want to run out and wear it!

  8. Poppy
    May 24, 2021 / 3:38 pm

    I love Target! I did buy ‘the colorful one’ and agree, maybe it’s not for every occasion (I’m planning on wearing it to a polo match!) I’m between a 10 and 12, but being busty I always need the large. This dress is gorgeous on you, and I have a similar Target one I got before this collab and have worn it lots

  9. Nicole Kowalski
    May 24, 2021 / 3:01 pm

    I voted yes from the minute I saw it on Insta. I can’t believe anyone says it’s not flattering on you. It looks like it was made for you. The armholes are great, the color, the fit across the bust and the drape from the bust down all look chic, chic, chic.

    I LOVE IT.

  10. E
    May 24, 2021 / 2:13 pm

    Ok, can I just say, I voted ‘no’ on the dress on ig, but I have totally changed my mind! I feel like the fabric settled or something, which makes sense bc it is cotton. I’m glad you kept it and proved me wrong- it is great on you 🙂

  11. Katelin
    May 24, 2021 / 12:11 pm

    Gorgeous color. I am on the fence! Wish it were a little shorter to show a little more leg but you make great points and look so happy. I also LOVE the color of that purse.

  12. Nancy
    May 24, 2021 / 12:04 pm

    Love that dress on you but can’t get ready for those clunky, chunky sandals with a dress.

  13. Lee
    May 24, 2021 / 11:26 am

    That dress is so you!! You look fabulous in it; maybe it’s b/c you feel so good in it!?! And your comments about hot and muggy summer weather—I hear you. Here in Arkansas, we experience similar and it’s no fun to wear clothes that make you sweat b/c of their material or style.

  14. L H Carter
    May 24, 2021 / 11:22 am

    “Wear what makes you feel good, there is nothing more stylish than that.”
    That’s what a wise woman who wore an orange dress wrote.
    And that’s this wise reader’s new mantra in regards to fashion choices.
    Thanks for that last sentence, Allie, that wised me up—POW

  15. Johanna
    May 24, 2021 / 10:51 am

    I love that dress! You look beautiful! I am so glad you kept it. Summer dresses are the best.

  16. Cameron Barry
    May 24, 2021 / 9:34 am

    That dress looks great on you!

  17. Krista
    May 24, 2021 / 8:44 am

    I say again, I think this is fabulous! Comfortable and cool while wearing something fun, all in your favorite color…virtually perfect!

  18. Jackie
    May 24, 2021 / 8:14 am

    I don’t usually love orange, but I do live near Baltimore so your description of it being perfect for our climate is really making me consider it! Plus it looks so great on you!

  19. Jane
    May 24, 2021 / 7:50 am

    I love the color orange and your attitude to wear what’s comfortable in the area you live in not where you would like it to be. Thanks for the reminder to stay true to self.

  20. Leu2500
    May 24, 2021 / 6:19 am

    You’re twirling in it. If a dress makes you twirl, it’s a keeper.

    • Karen
      May 24, 2021 / 7:09 am

      Yes! You’ve managed to find exactly what i was subconsciously thinking

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