Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review: Fresh Produce Clothing

Like many mothers, I don't spend a lot of time on clothing choices for myself. My kids are so stinkin' adorable, I'd rather spend the money on them. When I dress them, I only have to consider their comfort and play. When I dress myself, I have to consider the fact that I am taking care of four other people, scrubbing floors, chasing toddlers, possibly nursing someone and trying to find time to exercise. I'd love cute clothes, but beat up yoga pants seem so much more practical.

Enter Fresh Produce Sportswear Clothing.

Fresh Produce began in 1984 and grew from there. They seek to have original prints, vibrant colors and it is all designed by their CEO. They currently ship to 200 countries. Don't want to order on-line? They have stores in several states, including two outlet stores. Be sure to check out their blog, which offers style advice, discount codes and tips on all things clothing related. 

The best part for this hippie mama? Their clothes are primarily made in the USA! How's that for home grown!

When I browsed their website, I was struck by the style of their clothing. It is loose and reminds me of the beach. I love that many of their garments, such as their sun dresses, flow away from the body but aren't "tent" like. The new Spring Clothing Line offers a variety of styles, from loose dresses to more form-fitting tops. Have your spring clothes but need something for the summer? Look at the beach dresses for something comfortable yet stylish. Fresh Produce offers a wide range of sizes, from XS to Plus-Sizes, and nearly everything comes in a wide variety of colors and printsThis jersey skirt is offered in 27 solid colors alone! And let's not forget the prints! When I look at their selection and styles, I feel like I could confidently wear their clothes.

The dress:
For this review, I was asked to pick three "fresh and fun" items that I might like to receive. Picking out colors is a bit out of my comfort zone, since I tend to stick to "safe" neutrals. But, color is the name of Fresh Produce's game AND bright colors are very "in" this year. So, color it was! One of my selections was the Cafe Wrap Dress in Cool Breeze (retail value: $69.00).

(the above images are from Fresh Produce Sportswear)
Fresh Produce wants the customer to say, "WOW!" when they enter their stores. Well, when I got my dress in the mail, I didn't say wow, I sighed and said, "How pretty!" It's just that- pretty and breezy.
The cafe wrap dress, waiting to be washed.
Now, anything that comes in my house and expects to survive better be built stronger than a nuclear power plant. That goes for toys, people, pets AND clothes. On the first day alone, I put this dress through the wringer: baking with my toddler, walking to and from school, a two mile walk with the dog and dinner with friends, which consisted of my holding my two year old on my lap while he dipped his lettuce leaves into asparagus soup and ate it with all the neatness of . . . a two year old. And it survived! I felt like an abused dish rag by the end of the day but the dress was just as perky as ever! It still fit perfectly, felt crisp and made me feel . . . like a pretty abused dish rag! After a day like that, that is something!

One thing I really love about the Cafe Wrap Dress is how versatile it is. I wore it paired with sneaker Mary Janes or flats during the week. On Sunday, I dress up a bit with dangly earring, a necklace and a nicer pair of shoes, it was perfect for church. I bet it would look cute layered with leggings and a jacket in the cooler months. With the right accessories (or even NO accessories) this dress can be perfect for any occasion.

Not only did I wear this to several different functions, but this dress could work at many different times in a woman's life. Although Fresh Produce is not a maternity or nursing store, because this dress flows away from the body, it would be perfect for those first few months of pregnancy or the first few months post-partum. If paired with a tank-top under it (which I did, just for extra coverage), you could easily lift the tank top up and the bodice of the wrap over to discreetly nurse a baby.

I was stunned by the quality of the dress. One thing that concerns me about wrap dresses are their sneaky ability to become unwrapped. This is a half-wrap dress, meaning that only the top layer unties and "wraps" around your front. The bottom layer is sewn into the side. It can't fall open! The seams are all flat and smooth and while the hem is a simple zig-zag stitch, not a thread has come out of place. The material is rayon and lycra and holds it's shape well.

I've had dresses that come untied through the course of daily wear, leaving me to constantly tighten or re-tie the garment. Only once did the dress come untied and that was because the two year old grabbed the string. The tie itself is sewn firmly into the dress; I had no worries that it would rip or tear.

(Two closer images of the tie. Notice how thick and sturdy it is!)

Since the dress was hand-dyed, the tag warned me not to spray any stains with commercial stain removers. For the first wash, I just threw it in on delicate with my husband's work clothes. I used my normal laundry powder (Charlie's Soap) and hung it to dry. The only problem was that the stains from the soup did NOT come out. I really needed to put some kind of stain remover on it or wash it on a stronger cycle. The next time I washed the dress, I threw it in with a load of regular clothes and washed on "normal" in a warm/cool cycle. Again, the dress came out fine, although the stains were still slightly visable.

But you want to see the dress on a real person?

(Photo credit: Adam)
The bottom line:
This dress is fabulous. It's incredibly well made and holds up to the daily grind of raising four children. While it is more than I would normally pay for dress (69.00 on Fresh Produce's website), the quality and versatility make it worth the money.
Love this dress?
Want more of WaldenMommy? Find me on Facebook at Slaying Dragons.
(Fresh Produce Sportswear sent me a dress to review. All opinions are my own.)

1 comment:

  1. Looks really stylish AND comfy on you! Thanks for sharing!