I’ve had my eye on a Gaala dress for a while. An ethical sustainable brand that makes timeless clothing. They had a sale, and I ordered a dress from that sale to be shipped to my Babcia in Poland. The box arrived damaged, but the inside dress was safe. I thought all was well until I arrived there and tried the dress on.

I had ordered an xs which says that the waist is 24-26 inches according to their website size chart, and also based on their web app that helps you find the right size. My waist is 25 inches, so that should’ve been perfect. As you can see the waist laid flat is 14 inches, which doubles to 28 unstretched. That dress is two sizes too big for me! After paying so much, having to travel to get to the dress, and having no internet (and therefore no way to make a return) I was stuck with it. I was also disappointed that the strap lengths were so skewed that I couldn’t tie a bow at the top of the shoulder like in the model picture. It just won’t reach.

I came home a month later and pulled out my sewing machine. Hours of work later, I made the dress fit and lay right. My experience was disappointing for sure, and I likely won’t be purchasing again as it was too much money and a risk lost, but such things happen. And when you want to live sustainably, there is a much-needed skill you should learn: sewing and/or mending.

Moral of the story?

  1. The most sustainable option it to wear what you have.
  2. Buying online is always a gamble no matter what the app and size charts say.
  3. Thrifting is a great option.
  4. Sustainable brands that are transparent should be your first choice when buying new.
  5. 2-5 may mean you need to learn some sewing skills or get a good tailor.
  6. There’s usually a way to salvage a bad retail experience.
  7. Never forget, it’s just clothes. Go adventure and leave it all behind.

Dress – Gaala, heavily altered to fit
Bag – Monnari
Shoes – Aldo