I Look Better In It Than The Model

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Alison wearing a blue silky drawstring waist longsleeved dress with heeled black knee high boots. She is standing in front of a graphic mural and the wind is catching the hem of her skirt.

As I've mentioned before, I am a Chico's ambassador, which means many months they reach out, invite me to pick items from their New Arrivals, and have me style one for Instagram. I love this relationship; I have been a fan of Chico's for many years, finding their fit and quality excellent and pretty consistent.

chicos blue dress 1
This dress as seen on the Chico's website

Some find Chico's to be… mature in style but I always find really cool and fun pieces and many I keep in my closet for several years. And when I checked out their New Arrivals and saw this dress I knew I had to have it. On the slim model at Chico's, it looked pretty but I knew on my curves that silhouette and fabric would really shine.

Alison in a blue silky shirtdress from chicos. She is walking towards the camera looking to the right.

I reached out to my contact at Chico's and asked to style this dress for December with these earrings and this bracelet. She said new pieces were coming out that following Monday, why don't I wait to see if there was something else I may like better. Monday came and yes, there were some fabulous new pieces available but I still had to have that blue dress.

Alison in a blue silk long sleeved shirtdress from Chico's.

And honestly? Pieces like this are why I love being an ambassador because I think a lot of times Chico's clothes look nice on the model but really are made for a more “average” woman's body. And at a size 14 and 5'3″ I am pretty average and have a lot of luck with Chico's.

And I was right, I LOVE this dress and I think it works great with soft curves. And with the drawstring waist and full sleeves, it's the kind of dress that can work if you're my height or several inches taller, busty like me or with fewer or different curves. Honestly, I think I look better in it than the model!

6 windy
It was so windy the day we shot these photos! But the wind just helps you see the flow of the fabric!

The dress is 100% polyester but reads like silk. But because it's poly it's machine washable and has a short lining (just enough to ensure your underpinnings aren't on display with a strong backlight). I would put this into a lingerie bag to launder on gentle and line dry, either embracing the wrinkles or using a garment steamer to get it looking like new.

Alison in a long sleeved blue silky drawstring waist shirtdress from Chico's.

Here, I am wearing it with tall leather boots because it's winter. But with this breezy silhouette and fabric, I could see this dress with pumps or pointed-toe flats to the office in spring, with metallic sandals in early summer, and come fall with a pair of trendy sneakers and a moto jacket. You could easily cover the drawstring waist with a wide belt for a completely different effect.

This could be worn to a wedding, to the office, for date night, for a holiday party. It's the kind of dress I'd pack for travel because it takes up no space in a suitcase. The ruffle detail and the drawstrings with metal endcaps make this dress special and unique while also being a wardrobe workhorse.

Alison showcasing Chico's rainbow and black metal dangle earrings and link bracelet

The jewelry I couldn't resist because my favorite color is rainbow and I loved how these were subtle yet make an impact. At the time of writing this, the earrings are on sale for $9.99 and the bracelet $14.99, and let me tell you a similarly crafted set would be 5-8x as much at a department store. But just like Chico's has well-crafted clothing, their jewelry is always fantastic.

This month has gotten away from me. I planned on having an end of year recap today on the blog but it didn't finish in time and sharing this badass dress was much quicker since I already shot the look for Chico's. I hope. to have my recap this week, but in case it doesn't happen I wish you all a very happy holiday season and we'll see one another soon!

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  1. You look amazing, and I echo everyone here when I say yhe dress was made for you … which means it was made for me too (5 foot tall size 12), which means I need this dress. Chicos has been my go-to since I was in my 40s (I’m now 60) and I don’t think I’ve seen a dress like that from them.

  2. Chiming in to +1 all of these comments! Based on the Chicos photos, I would assume that I was too busty and too short for a dress like this and would not have given it a second look. But you look phenomenal in it! Chicos is lucky to have you as an ambassador – before finding your blog I always thought of the brand as solely for older frumpy women. But since I have purchased and loved several items from Chicos – in fact I am wearing a Chicos sweater as I type this! If they were smart they would take note of all of these comments and make changes to the types of models they feature moving forward.

    I am still learning what will work for me and what fits my personal style. You and your blog have been instrumental in helping me with this. So for that and for so much more, thank you! And happy holidays!

  3. Absolutely right, plus all the comments. IMO, Chico’s clothing models are unattractive. You present Chico’s clothing in a way that makes me want to buy it — and that’s the point for the company, right?

  4. You have inspired me to try on this dress; I normally would not but it looks so cute on you! My experience with Chico’s is similar to yours but it is like any department store. You don’t love everything but I buy lots of things there!

  5. Did you take a 2 or 3? I am 5′ 3″ and frequently need petite in Chicos since they style for the tall women.

  6. Spectacular. It’s definitely made for your figure. It is SOOO much more helpful to see a variety of figures and movements. I’m grateful for the increase in posting heights and sizes (if not weights) with clothing pictures.

  7. Way better in you than the model!! This dress is gorgeous. Chico’s could take a note here and add some “more realistic” models. I’d never buy this dress as shown in the website. But seeing it in you makes me do a double take! Merry everything!

  8. Know what else is so great about Chico’s? The saturated colors! I can order this screaming bright blue dress, and when I open the delivered package, it will be that same screaming bright blue, as opposed to, I dunno, cornflower or something more demure like that.

  9. 100%, but also because you’ve styled it so much better, imo. Yes the dress could be worn with scrappy sandals, but with the lives we lead they way you’ve styled it is more real.
    As an aside, I agree that Chico’s is one of those brands that works really well on ‘average’ women, so doesn’t Chico’s do what so many other retailers are doing and show models of different sizes and ages?

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