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10th Commandment: June 12


Dorothy Perkins Peacock Dress ($69)

Last week, I tried my best to empty out the Ask Belle mailbox, but as often happens, I just generated more queries.  It’s like the loaves and the fishes in my inbox right now.  But I’m always happy to help, there are definitely times when I had someone to ask for style advice.  Oh wait, I do.  Here name is Miss M.  Everyone needs an honest friend.  But I digress…

Today’s Two Ways item comes from a reader who wants to know how to style this dress and whether it is too short for work.  Looking at the photo of the dress, it appears to be four inches above the knee on the mannequin, which means on a normal woman it likely hits just above the knee.  I don’t think it would be too short for work, but you’d have to try it on to know for sure.  I like to keep my professional skirts and dresses three fingers above the knee.

As for ways to style it, check back at 1:00PM for Two Ways to wear this dress.



  1. Clare says:

    I have never worn Dorthy Perkins before and on their measurements I am between sizes – other readers who have worn this brand: how do you find the sizing to run? Thanks!

    June 12, 2012/Reply
  2. Jessica says:

    I JUST ordered that dress! I am very excited about ideas of how to wear it ­čÖé

    I order a lot from Dorothy Perkins online, and if you are going to order anything, I would recommend being very careful about the size you buy because it's expensive to return clothes (you have to ship them back to England). The website says that the sizes are American, but they are not – they are UK sizes that they match up to the American size that you order. Their matching-up table is on the website, but I have to order one “American” size up to get to the right UK size.

    I am 5'5'', weigh 130lbs, and I always wear an American size 6. I generally wear a UK size 12 (sometimes I wear UK size 10 tops). The Dorothy Perkins website does not match an American 6 to a UK 12, so I have to order an American 8 so that I can get UK 12.

    My advice: order one American size larger than your regular size if you are unsure what your UK size is, but if you know your UK size, then just make sure you order the American size that corresponds to your UK size.

    I love all of the clothes I have received from the website! I would definitely recommend their dresses.

    June 12, 2012/Reply
  3. Belle says:

    Jessica: I agree with that advice completely. Order one American size larger than you think you need. Even if you have to do a slight alteration, it will be cheaper than shipping it back to the UK.

    June 12, 2012/Reply
  4. Cara says:

    That dress is gorgeous! I love the peacock trend.

    June 12, 2012/Reply
  5. RR says:

    Jessica, have you had to pay import duties on purchases from Dorothy Perkins?

    June 12, 2012/Reply
  6. KC says:

    Love this dress, unfortunately it would probably actually be 4-5″ above my knees.

    Question: how much print is too much for work? I have a dress that is a work-appropriate length and fit, but has a busy stained glass window pattern that I can't decide if I can wear to work.

    June 12, 2012/Reply
  7. Jessica says:

    RR – Import duties actually never crossed my mind, but now that I think about it, I've never ordered more than $200 worth of clothing at a time from a UK website. The Dorothy Perkins site is great because there is free shipping if you spend over $75.

    Belle – Do you know anything about possible import duties for online clothes orders?

    June 12, 2012/Reply
  8. RR says:

    I've been wary of DP so far because I've seen complaints about them erroneously charging exorbitant import duties even for orders under $200, billing US customers for items they didn't order, and having unresponsive customer service. But it seems like you've had nothing but good experiences which gives me hope!

    June 12, 2012/Reply
  9. Jessica says:

    RR – The only problem I have had was that their customer service took forever to reply to me. I was not impressed when they finally did answer my question (about my order), but now that I'm sure about my size and I know how to return things (even if shipping is really expensive), it's worth it for me to order from them. I hope you don't have any problems, because their clothes are so pretty.

    June 12, 2012/Reply
  10. Belle says:

    KC: Depends on the office. For me, I would wear this on a Monday or Friday or a recess day. It is a lot of print, but it's too hyperactive for a moderately conservative day/office.

    June 12, 2012/Reply