Dudley Stephens fleece tops were the most requested SIOS that I think I’ve ever had. Their social media advertising blitz and influencer sponsored posts had dozens of women, including myself, asking if this was the time to buy a fleece turtleneck. Ask, and you shall receive. Here is your Dudley Stephens SIOS.
Dudley Stephens is a direct-to-consumer company that sells “thoughtfully designed [pieces] by and for modern women.” Their clothing is made with recycled fabrics, which is awesome. And they make all of their products here in the United States.
DS, as they like to refer to themselves, is also repped by some of my favorite bloggers. So when Anh and Meghan both sang the praises of the fleece sweater, I bought one instantly.
I decided to purchase the Park Slope fleece turtleneck in off-white. It was spendy at $158. But I love a dramatic turtleneck, and since 70% of my wardrobe these days is some combination of athleisure pieces, I felt like it would be worth it for a piece that I thought would get a lot of wear.
When I opened the package, I was instantly disappointed. Here’s why:
First, the Park Slope is described as a “shorter style.” Now, I’m not very tall at 5’7;” but I have a long torso, so I should have known anything called a shorter style was going to be too short. And on my body, the top was just covering the top of my jeans.
Since DS makes a longer Cobble Hill style, this would have been fixable, except for the other two issues.
Second, I didn’t like the feel of their signature Vello fleece. The hand feel was a little rough, a hair plastic-y. And when I put it on, it didn’t feel warm and cozy. It felt a little cheap. A friend assures me the feeling goes away after a wash, and I believe that that could be true, but there was another issue.
Third, I hate being a walking billboard for brands. Even small logos drive me a little mad, but if they blend into the item, I’m willing to overlook it. But the cuff of my delicate, off-white sweater had a 1.5″ tall embroidered neon green pineapple on it. Wearing the sweater, my eye kept drifting toward it. It was like a flashing neon sign.
Bottom Line: With the less-than-flattering length + the less-than-cozy fabric + the bright neon logo in a very visible place, I’m afraid that I will not be joining the Dudley Stephens fan club. The brand has some serious devotees, but it wasn’t right for me. And at $158, I can’t be expected to keep it just because my lackluster experience is a minority opinion.
Still looking for a fleece sweater? Try this fleece turtleneck from Gap and this one from Aerie are both worth a look. Plus-size? This one from Backcountry fits the bill. If you prefer a crewneck, try this one from Levi’s or this one with a shirttail hem from Splits59.
As with all Saw It On Social items, this sweater was purchased (and returned) by me. No sponsorships or gifts were accepted or solicited.
Can I get an AMEN on the complaint about short boxy tops for those of us that are average/above average height?? I swear, there are so many brands I *covet* but cannot wear because they’re cut for women 5’3” with a short torso. (Looking at you, Madewell!) Not to mention the boxy designs don’t help ladies with curves. Ugh. Even if I did have a showcase-worthy stomach (I don’t), bending over in Target is NOT the place I want to show it. Also, I think I’ve aged out of the torso bearing years. (Especially in fleece during the winter!) Thank you so much Abra for the real world perspective, we love you!!
I’m 5’4” with a short torso and can’t get the boxy tops to work. I have NO idea for who these are designed.
Agreed!! All of these boxy and/or cropped tops/sweaters/sweatshirts are NOT flattering on the average woman – plus, as a woman over 40, I want something that covers my rear if I’m wearing it with leggings. If nothing else, but for warmth!!
I would like to commiserate with the complaint on boxy/short tops and ALSO add on – can we PLEASE be done with cropped jeans? Normal jeans already look vaguely cropped on me. Having every trendy style be “cropped” or “kick flare” now ventures into blatant capri status. And I’m only 5’8″ish, maybe 5’9″ on a good day. So frustrating!
Kick flare pants are flattering on absolutely no one. Tall, thin model types can pull them off, but they aren’t actually flattering.
Agreed about aging out of the torso showing! Everyone should dress how they feel best, but even when I’m feeling great about my midsection I have zero desire to show it off in a crop top (and even less so in a sweater crop top when it’s cold outside!)
I’m 5 foot 7 (or six) and my lower stomach is my least favorite area. Anything that might show that off is a hard pass for me.
I also ordered one of their turtlenecks this fall. I was really looking for the unique funnel neck, and since the free people ottoman slouchy tunic didn’t work for me, I gave this a try. My first impression is that the fleece seems exceptionally thin. I felt it should have been a little thicker, not bulky, but for $158 I was unimpressed . Secondly, I felt the sizing was a little on the small size. I am a size 6 and I definitely should have sized up one. Thirdly, like Abra, the lime green pineapple on the wrist drove me bananas. Mine also went back.
I appreciate this feature so much. One of my favorite things about it is seeing things that never make it into my own social feeds. Thank you! 🙂
I am 5’6″ with a very long torso and I ordered the Cobble Hill rather than the Park Slope for the very reason you mention. It was a great length, but was like a bell around my hips. This was emphasized by the fact that it is so slim in the shoulders, chest and waist. I also had the same response to the feel of the fleece. That said, I am tempted by their new coat, the Fleet St Funnel Coat in Shearling. What can I say, their marketing is good . . .
I got this top from Land’s End that looks very similar to the DS Cobble Hill style and is a steal for only $25 (but I got it on super sale for less than $10!) Note that it is a true fleece fabric and may get hot in warmer climates.
Always look forward to these posts from you as I know you will give your honest opinions! Thank you!
Thank you for saving me from myself on this one!
$158?! Good grief! I’ll stick with my North Face fleeces at that price. Thanks for the review!
$158 for a plasticky sweater? I’m pretty sure Uniqlo makes a cozy sweater for $20. Also I have to continue to commend you and your blog for staying true to your values, and only promoting the products that you actually would buy with your own money. I saw a former corporate fashion blogger shilling this today, and claims it to be the “coziest.” What. A. Crock.
Yes to Uniqlo! They make a Heattech fleece crewneck that is soft and warm. I think it comes in a turtleneck option, but this crewneck is what I got and freaking love it: https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/women-heattech-stretch-fleece-crew-neck-long-sleeve-t-shirt-428328COL09SMA002000.html?gclid=CjwKCAjw_sn8BRBrEiwAnUGJDkRtwzxG8bgFpHlKe0rS9K0cM0_qH2k9msENUqYNETmANUI1cWB-dhoCuI8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds.
I’ll be wearing this with my Vuori bottoms all fall and winter!
I’d been eyeing these, hung up on the price, until I saw the pineapple, too – it’s so eye-catching and really detracts from the otherwise classic look, imo. This is really validating my decision not to go for it.
Like others, I love these posts.
Is it weird that I really enjoy the SIOS posts when you didn’t like something? I haven’t seen this brand before at all, but I love hearing your opinion on everything! I have been following you since I started working 9 years ago, and to this day you’re my go-to for workwear.
Not weird at all. Abra’s candor is refreshing especially when she’s swimming against the tide on social about how great a product is. I love that she’s willing to discuss why you might NOT like something that she did like – eg fit was great for body type x but if you’re petite, tall, plus size you may hate this.
I’ve been waiting for this post! Thanks Abra!
For anyone interested in a fleece turtleneck, I highly recommend checking out this one from J. Crew Factory: https://factory.jcrew.com/p/womens-clothing/sweatshirtssweatpants/sweatshirts/longsleeve-funnelneck-pullover/H1549?color_name=ivory-navy-glen-plaid
I got one a few years ago and it quickly became my favorite. It feels like a sweatshirt with fleece on the inside but looks much more polished. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it. When I saw they had it in stock again last year, I picked up another color, and I’m happy to see it return for a third year!
I’m thrilled you posted about this! I literally just added myself to the waitlist yesterday for a black one and now will not bother ordering! You saved me both time and money! 🙂
Thanks for saving us money!
I love your honest reviews. I have almost purchased a top several times but didn’t want to be duped by the social media hype. You always save me money on the bad deals but I think I spend too much money following your great reviews.