top of page
  • Writer's pictureChristie

My Technical Review of the Son De Flor Classic Short Sleeve Dress

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

Introduction:

As a relatively new consumer of slow fashion and sustainably made clothing, I noticed a lack of in-depth reviews of some lesser-known slow fashion brands, and wanted to fill that gap. I made these purchases with quite a bit less knowledge than I would've preferred, so I want to provide other consumers with the information that I would have wanted as a buyer.


At this point, I've ordered from a handful of small slow fashion brands - many with cult followings. I see these relatively small, niche brands in a number of look books and styling videos and see them tagged in Instagram posts all the time, but don't see many really detailed reviews on the product or the companies. As a thrift/vintage shopper who is interested in investing in quality garments and as a person with an avid interest in fashion history as well as a seamstress who is interested to see how a garment is constructed, I felt like this was a topic other people would like covered, and one that I would enjoy discussing.


This will likely end up becoming a series - In most cases I will be reviewing one individual product per review in exquisite (or exhausting depending on your outlook) detail. I plan on discussing Sezane, Lelasilk and Linennaive garments in the near future. (Sidenote: I purchased this dress from Linennaive today and am looking forward to reviewing it when it comes in!)


Today, though, I will be discussing a Son De Flor Dress. I will also be discussing them a bit as a company and providing pretty detailed fit and construction information on this particular garment. If any part of this interests you, keep reading or feel free to skip to the bolded portions that do appeal to your interests. :)


"Slow Fashion" vs "Fast Fashion":

Before get into the review, I want to talk really briefly about the difference between "slow fashion" and "fast fashion" for those who are currently unaware. Slow fashion is a counter to what's called "fast fashion". The goal of fast fashion retailers is to basically churn out different designs as quickly as possible. As a result, they profit off people buying a relatively cheap item, wearing it just a few times, then throwing it out and moving onto a new clothing item. The quality tends to be low and the general business practices are not resourceful or ethical. Brands like Zara and H&M are currently looked at as examples of fast fashion. Slow fashion retailers, however, tend to be more eco-conscious and don't churn out new designs constantly - They tend to focus on quality over quantity. Son De Flor is an example of a slow fashion brand. The dress I will be reviewing in this blog is a design that has been on their site for as long as I've became aware of the brand, which was about 2 years ago. I could go on and on about the difference between "slow fashion" and "fast fashion", but the terms are pretty nuanced and so I'll leave that for a different blog post. :)


What I Ordered:


Before I placed this order, I had been looking for a classic linen dress that had a whimsical look as well. I saw influencers like Rachel Maksy and Shirinatra wearing this same dress in their videos, and after seeing it a few times on a few different people, I decided that it fit my criteria and ordered one.


The dress I decided to order was called the "Classic Dress, Short Sleeves" as described on their website. Unfortunately, I don't have information on the colorway anymore, but I think it's Sky Blue - The color is no longer available, but the dress can still be purchased in other colors. I purchased it on Son De Flor's website at sondeflor.com although they do also have an Etsy shop.


Here is a photo of the dress unstyled.


About the Brand:


The brand was founded by 2 sisters. I am going to take a quote from their "About" page to sum up what I see as their vision: "And indeed, everything started with 2 sisters, weary from chasing seasons in a fast fashion industry and being sure, that there is a way of slowing this world down a little by creating permanent beauty, without the urge of constant consumption."


They sell mostly linen clothing in classic shapes - mostly in solid colors with a few prints thrown in based on the season. The dress that I purchased is the one that they also highlighted on their "About" page. I'm going to quote them again to describe it: "An elegant classic Peter Pan collar dress with charming twirl from the best linen we could find in the country near the big Baltic sea. It's calm and safety. It's home. It's laughter round the dining table. It's comfort and assurance. It's modest and yet standing out. No chase of trend, nor seasons. Timeless. Feminine. Charming. Subtle." I find this to be a pretty accurate description for the dress.


Son De Flor's dresses range in price from $113 to $241. Their sizes range from XXS to XXL. Most of the products are made out of linen, but they do also sell cotton petticoats and wool outerwear. The general aesthetic tends to lean classic, but also kind of whimsical and playful. The brand seems to be popular with people who are interested in historical or vintage fashion, and they fit really well into the current "Cottagecore" aesthetic that is popular right now.


My Order Experience:


When I ordered, I was able to utilize a coupon code - coupon codes can sometimes be found on influencer's websites, but they only come up occasionally. I believe I got it from one of Shirinatra's youtube videos but I'm not 100% sure, unfortunately. I am also not sure if they run sales at any point, but certain items or colorways do go on clearance occasionally. If you follow their instagram account, you might be able to catch them when-and if-they do run a sale.


The brand currently has free shipping. It's been a while since I ordered so unfortunately I can't say exactly how long it took to get to me from when I placed the order. It shipped to me from overseas to the United States with no issues, though.


The Packaging:


Unfortunately, I don't remember much about the packaging but I do remember thinking that it looked nice and without any plastic packaging. I also recall there being a little surprise in the pocket of the dress, which was really sweet.


Quality of the dress:


Dress Physical Features:

This dress features a fold-over peter pan collar, button front bodice with wooden buttons, short rolled up sleeves with white contrast detail (these can be unrolled if preferred), a full calf-length circle skirt gathered at the waistband, deep pockets, and a concealed side zipper.


Fabric Information:

The dress is made of 100% pre-washed softened linen, and is a nice quality with consistent color in a light to mid-weight. To the touch, the fabric - although it's not smooth - is not scratchy. I also wouldn't even call it rough. It is just textured. If you have a chance to feel linen, you will likely understand what I mean. :) You can see the visible weave of the fabric when you look closely, and the fabric has natural "imperfections" where some threads look slightly thicker than others - this is a feature that all linen fabric seems to have from what I've seen. Generally, the fabric looks smooth unless you look very closely.


Here is a close-up of the fabric. Linen as a rule generally is a bit wrinkly at all times.


The fabric itself on the dress feels weighty with the perfect drape and movement. It's especially nice if you want to wear it dancing - The peek of contrasting white fabric that you see under the skirt hem of the dress is particularly eye catching and unique and is one of my personal favorite details. I believe this extra fabric at the hem helps provide the skirt with its elegant movement and drape as well. Although the dress feels substantial, it is also lightweight enough to be comfortable wearing on a hot south Texas summer day, which is important since this part of Texas is only ever really tolerable or chilly for about 3 or 4 months out of the year.


Here's a picture of the contrasting fabric at the skirt hem.


Best Seasons to Wear:

In warm climates, this dress works best for Spring through Autumn without any need for layering. When it starts getting chilly, it is easy to layer - especially when you have sweaters and coats to wear over it in complimenting colors. With layers, it can definitely be worn year-round. That said, Son de flor does also sell this dress in a long sleeve version. If you get more cold weather than we do in Texas, it might also be a worthwhile investment.


Inside Construction:

If you turn the dress inside out, you will see that most of the seams have been serged, but also reinforced with a straight row of stitching. The stitches are small and the serging quality is good with no loose threads.


Here is a photo of these seams.


At places like the inside collar, skirt hem or sleeve hems (basically the places that might potentially be visible from the outside) the serging is not visible and it is cleanly finished. There are french seams at the top shoulder where the dress will have the most weight pulling, so the top shoulder seam is likely the most durable point of the dress.


This dress is thoughtfully made in such a way that it can be kept for a long time and won't need mending for a while even when worn regularly. It is made to withstand way more than a few "seasons". The zipper seems like good quality as well - it's got plastic teeth and (I think) a plastic pull which is standard. It is securely installed, and doesn't catch when I pull it up or down.


Below is a picture of the side of the dress with the zipper fully zipped. In it, you may notice a part near the waistband where the zipper is slightly visible when closed - zippers tend to be difficult to put in perfectly especially at parts of a garment with extra fabric, so I don't mind seeing extremely minor imperfections like this - as long as it's securely attached and doesn't catch when zipping/unzipping this is not an issue.


Possible future repairs:

NOTE: Before you read this next part, please note that there are currently no issues at all with my dress since it's not been worn heavily, so please don't take this as an issue with the garment - Signs of wear will eventually occur, though, and I want to discuss the potential future repairs that you may need to make on this dress. If you plan on wearing it a bunch and having it for many years as a long-term addition to your wardrobe, I think it's important to consider what types of repairs you might need to make to a garment eventually. Some repairs are skills you can learn - Others take a bit more skill and might require a professional.


From what I see, the seams and stitching are so well constructed that I feel like the zipper might be the first thing to break before anything else does - If that happens, though, don't worry! A tailor or possibly even your local dry cleaner can fix it. I would advise (unless you are a talented seamstress) to have a professional replace the zipper for you. From my own experience concealed zippers are a headache to install and require a special zipper foot on a sewing machine to do cleanly. However, loose or broken stitching is easy to fix with a basic needle and thread and that can be done by anybody. You may also eventually need to re-enforce the buttons-particularly the top 2 buttons since you will be buttoning/unbuttoning them on a regular basis if you wear it fully closed in the front. This is also not a difficult thing to do with a basic needle and thread. This dress didn't come with any extra buttons so you would need to purchase ones that look as similar as possible to match the rest if you lose one.


How It Fits:

Before I discuss how the dress fits, I am going to share my personal measurements so that you can get a good reference:


Height: 5'5'

Bust while wearing a very lightly padded bralette: 37"

Waist measurement: 28"

Arm Measurement at widest point: 13"


I purchased the dress in a size medium based on the size chart. The waist is not fitted right to the waist on me - I can pinch about 1 inch of fabric (2 inches total) that isn't touching my waist. The waistband sits about an inch below my own natural waistline. Although it doesn't fit right against the body on me, I find that simply belting it gives my waist the definition that I like. The bust fits just about right although I do see a bit of gapping if I move my arms back. The size chart says M fits up to a 38" bust. I definitely would agree with that, and honestly might advise you to go a size up if you don't feel comfortable with it being skin-tight against your bustline. As for the sleeves I have fairly large arms in relation to my torso size so as a general rule I have a difficult time wearing clothes with fitted sleeves without them being too tight. Thankfully, I don't have any major problems with the sleeves on this dress. They fit as tight as I would like them to fit. The sleeves don't pinch my arms, but I do feel tightness around the widest point of my arm when I move certain ways. I also feel it just a tiny bit when I am taking the dress on and off. This is largely not noticeable, though. The shoulder seams hit slightly past my shoulder bone, which is perfect. As for the length, the skirt falls somewhere between the widest part of my calf and my ankle, which I find to be pretty flattering.


All this being said, Medium was likely the correct size for me and the size chart seems to be pretty accurate. When you order, I'd advise most people to order based on their bust size. Also check your waist and bicep measurements if those are regular concerns, though. The skirt portion is a circle and will fit you regardless of your hip size.


Below are measurements of this garment laid flat:

Armpit to armpit: 19.5"

Waistband: 16"


Styling options:


This dress is extremely versatile and really easy to style with different clothing items - especially if you purchase it in a color that compliments your other layering items.


Here are a few combinations that work well:

  • With a pinafore over it - You will look like you walked out of a Ghibli film or an old Disney movie. It's a really sweet combination and the perfect way to get that cottagecore look.


  • With a cozy cardigan - NOTE: It works best with poofy sleeved or oversized cardigans otherwise you can see the line through the cardigan where the sleeve ends.


  • With an oversized sweater over it - I like to wear it with a slightly cropped sweater, or roll the front of the sweater up a bit to define the waistline.


  • As a skirt - Wear it with a high necked blouse and loose sleeves over it with a statement necklace. Tuck the shirt into a thick belt at the waistband to hide the edge of the blouse.


  • As a shirt - If you have a long enough full A-line or circle skirt to cover the bottom of the skirt, the dress's skirt can be layered underneath and the dress can be worn with just the bodice portion exposed.


Do I recommend this product or brand?

I love this brand, and I love this dress. My next purchase from them would likely be this same dress, but in a neutral tone so that I could pair it more easily with more of my items. I'm intrigued by their Classic Peg Leg Trousers. Pants are much harder for me to buy without trying on, though.


Overall, the design of this dress is classic, the quality is really great, and the company so far seems to demonstrate ethical practices compared to the majority of fashion brands. I am really happy with this dress. It can be purchased here.


Closing:

I know that this was a really long post, but I hope that it was helpful or at least a bit entertaining or educational even if you aren't interested in purchasing this dress in particular. If there is anything that I didn't cover that you think I should have, let me know. I made a long list of the questions that I would've wanted answered before I made this fairly large investment in the brand, and I know that everybody looks for different things. For future posts like this, I want to be inclusive and cover basically everything. :p


If you have tried anything by this brand, let me know what you thought about it! Also let me know if you have any questions about this dress that I didn't cover and I'll do my best to answer them.





Recent Posts

See All

4 Comments


zabes64
Apr 16, 2023

While originally we thought Son de Flor was great, they have seasons where their fabric is poorly dyed and loses colour, especially the 2021 line of clothes where we have 3 dresses that had areas of complete colour loss. They took back 1 dress, but were completely unhelpful with the others, including giving us instructions to rinse in vinegar and then wash with table salt which caused even more colour loss. Their suggestion was to re-dye the dress ourselves after having to remove the white trim.


While some items have been great, too many issues with poor quality control of their dye process should make anyone question ever spending that kind of money with them, and we certainly regret the…

Like
Christie
Christie
Apr 20, 2023
Replying to

I'm so glad to hear they eventually fixed it! Thanks for the update.

Like
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page