This is a beautiful dress - I am returning it only because I found a dress more suitable in color and weight for a Caribbean wedding; first, it is true to color in the image - it is a very dark charcoal. It is also true to size. I ordered the size I always wear and it fits perfectly. The skirt is long for me, as is always the case for my size (wider than I am tall) - I would have the hem professionally altered had I kept it. The shawl is elegant- I would wear it on the elbows, as pictured with the celery colored version, or drape it on the neck with the scarf down the back perhaps. The bodice is beautifully beaded in a high quality craftmanship. This really stands apart; this year all major designers for mother of bride/groom and evening dresses are all about sequins and lace overlay and lots of dark colors. Those popular dressmaker brands, however, turn out some chintzy looking sequins. By contrast this dress is well made. Unfortunately it is too dark and heavy for my event. Also, because I am short-ish, I feel I look just a little stocky. It also is not as flexible in the bodice as I would like. The beading is a little rough on my inner arms with my arms at my side. If I were going to dance the night away it might not be a deal breaker. However, in the end it won't do for the climate I'll be in nor for the dark color. I thought about keeping it anyway because it is so delicious! But my clutter coach's voice on my shoulder is saying "Don't hold onto things you won't use." I was a little concerned when it arrived very compactly bagged in a plastic envelope-type delivery. However, it held up fine. The scarf has some fold lines, but it is polyester and dry clean only; I wouldn't touch it with heat/iron, maybe a cooler steam would work out those fold lines. I would consider the celery color if it worked in the color scheme. So satisfied that I tried this dress out and I can recommend it with this info. It has made me notice J Laxmi and I have only seen the name here on Overstock. I will be keeping my eye out now.
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