High End vs. Budget Friendly: the Ruched Dress

So many options when it comes to clothes, so little time, right? That’s why it’s helpful (for me at least) when I see real women try things on I am pondering. The stock photos don’t often do a piece justice and the models are usually very tall and super slim. Gimme a picture with a real woman so I can relate and decide on sizing. That’s what brought me to the style of dress I am sharing today. To sweeten the deal further, I ordered it from two different retailers – high end vs. budget friendly.

Nordstrom may not what all of you consider high end, but for the sake of this post, and in comparison of Amazon, that’s what I’m calling it. The ruched dress is part of the Anniversary sale so while the price comparison may not be very great now, once the sale is over the price difference will be greater.

High end vs. budget friendly: the ruched dress

My apologies for the blurry photos – these were taken by my husband with my DSLR – apparently his hands are shaky. I didn’t realize how bad they looked until it was too late! Oh, Kellyann!!!

High End vs. Budget Friendly

I consider myself to be a budget friendly, affordable fashionista! There are most definitely things I believe are worth the extra money, oh, hey Vionics, I’m looking at you! Over the years, I have learned that it is in fact better, most of the time, to have a few high quality pieces rather than lots of inexpensive – wear-for-one-season-then-replace items. That being said, your budget and your values will help YOU decide where to save, spend, or splurge!

High End Ruched Dress

This ruched dress by Steve Madden caught my eye on one of the many YouTube videos I watched leading up to the Nordstrom sale. I figured it would work well on just about any body type with the ruching, v-neck, and cuffed sleeve. It’s a figure flattering shirt dress and priced at $52.99 now and $89.00 after the sale.

High end vs. budget friendly: the ruched dress

When I was able to shop the sale I tried ordering it in black but of course it was sold out. I settled for Moroccan Blue because why not, she’s pretty! I ordered a size small.

Budget Friendly Ruched Dress

Since I really wanted the dress in black versus blue, I took to Amazon to see what they had that might be comparable. You might remember when I mentioned ordering these dresses here. In case you didn’t know, you can upload a picture of something you like – from anywhere – to Amazon and the app will search and find similar options. So, that’s what I did! This dress popped up!

In the picture below I circle the camera feature. Tap it and then pull a photo from your phone. It’s so clever!

I thought I ordered the dress in black, but it was actually navy. Amazon told me to order a medium and I did.

High end vs. budget friendly: the ruched dress

This one is essentially the same, except it’s longer. It is a shirt dress with ruching and a belt and comes in 15 colorways! Sizes run from S – XL and the price is $47.99. The price difference is negligible now but once the sale is over and you can actually shop for and buy the Nordstrom version, the difference is more substantial.

Who Did It Better?

The Steve Madden dress felt better to the touch even though it is 100% polyester. No doubt it was a pretty dress. One thing I should have paid better attention to was the sizing, I ordered a small but probably should have gotten the medium. The Youtuber who tried it mentioned that it was very tight in the waist and had a snap – that you didn’t necessarily need to use.

High end vs. budget friendly: the ruched dress

The dress looked great except it did not fit at my waist. The tie closure kind of covers that area. Years ago I probably would have been so excited to have the dress that so many influencers have that I would have kept it by fooling myself. I would have a) promised to lose a few pounds or b) pulled out the shapewear. But no longer, I don’t keep things that don’t fit comfortably. So back it went!

High end vs. budget friendly: the ruched dress

The Amazon version fit just fine – very comfortably. It is polyester but felt nice – not that cheap polyester you might expect although not quite at the level of Steve Madden. The belt is not removable (on either dress) and was so long I wrapped it around my waist twice. I do think it’s a flattering silhouette that would be great for many occasions. I did return it as well, mostly because I didn’t love it.

All in all, I liked the Steve Madden dress better, the shorter version works better for me, but the fit was off. A medium would be better but it’s not in stock. Also, it’s not an everyday kind of dress – although depending on your work environment it could be good for day and night. My lifestyle is more casual and without any events coming up, I didn’t need the dress. But it certainly caught my eye and if it fit better, I may have kept it!


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