When a product goes viral, how do you respond to it? Are you overwhelmed with a feeling of "gimme now" desire enough to impulsively throw it in the bag regardless of the cost? Or do you seek out a more affordable alternative that reviewers swear is just like the high-end original? As LoveToKnow Mavens, we understand that a big part of living in the 21st century is being constantly inundated with products promising to make your life better, and making sense of it all requires an amount of refined consumer savvy.
Welcome to the Hype Factor
The Hype Factor is a Maven series where we test two products, the Real Thing and the Inexpensive Double, to determine which is worthy of your hard-earned dollar. I've been dying to explore a product that has been targeting me, specifically, for the better part of a year: the SKIMS dress.
I try to approach most viral products with a healthy dose of skepticism, especially if they're the brainchild of a reality television star/cultural behemoth with an alliterative name. With that in mind, when the SKIMS slip dress started showing up on my feed with people making the unpaid claim that they were "reluctantly obsessed" with it, I simply had to find out for myself what all the fuss was about. How special could this modal blend spaghetti strap dress be? So I ordered one in the classic Onyx color, then set forth to find an eerily similar product with equally stunning reviews. Here's what I found.
This lovely little number arrived first - the day after I ordered it, actually - satisfying that "gimme now" feeling. My very first impression upon removing it from the package was that it was heavier than I was expecting, which I took as a sign that it wouldn't be too transparent to wear outside.
Upon further examination, I found the stitches to be sturdy and even, the hem straight, and no pulling anywhere on the seams. Altogether it struck me as a well-made garment for the under $30 price point. The fabric itself is a 95% polyester, 5% spandex blend which feels smooth on the skin, though not particularly luxurious. But the real test is how it looks, right?
Trying it on was like slipping into a second skin. It's tight and sexy without being suffocating. Cut to hug and show off all the curves, additional shapewear would be a must with this dress. The spaghetti straps are not adjustable, which wasn't a problem for me but it could be an issue for a shorter person.
What I got the biggest kick out of is the dramatic mermaid flare of the hem, which inspired me to swan around my apartment all day like Morticia Addams. Overall, I'd say this dress would be a great affordable option for a date night, but it's a little "extra" for more casual occasions.
I must begin my review of the SKIMS dress by noting how long it took to arrive. It might be kind of an unfair comparison, considering Amazon Prime's next day delivery is almost impossible to beat, but it took a full week for this item to make it from the fulfillment center in New Jersey to my door in Los Angeles. In retrospect, I should have just gone to the Beverly Center and bought it off the rack, but as usual, hindsight is 20/20.
Now, about the dress itself: similar to the inexpensive pick below, it was much heavier than I thought it would be. Pulling it out of the package, I was pleased to find that the 91% modal, 9% spandex fabric was so soft; it definitely felt like a higher quality textile.
I found no faults with the stitching or cut, but holding it up against myself, I honestly wasn't sure if it would fit. It just looked way too narrow, cut more in a column than mermaid-like shape. However, when I slid it over my head, it stretched and conformed exactly to my body's shape and size. Plus, I was surprised to discover the fabric to be lightly compressive, which smoothed out my curves ever so slightly.
A few other differences: the SKIMS dress's straps are adjustable and the fabric is ribbed, which gives it a more laid back feel. I wore this out to run a few errands and never felt overdressed, just very comfy and more than a little sexy. By day's end, I understood what all the commotion was about with this dress.
The Verdict: SKIMS Wins
Between the two, the SKIMS dress is the clear winner. It's about 2.5x as expensive as the AnotherChill dress, but the quality and versatility make it a wardrobe addition that you'll definitely get mileage out of. I certify the SKIMS dress "Worth the Hype."