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Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Review of the H&M Conscious Collection

Today I spent some time browsing and shopping the H&M Conscious Collection at two H&M stores. Without further ado, here is my H&M Conscious Collection review of the Women's selections. The first store carried a strong selection of tops, shorts, and dresses for Women. I went in knowing that the long-sleeved lace mini dress (priced at $49.95), the tiered tank dress (priced at $19.95), and the crochet vest (priced at $9.95) were my tops three picks from the collection. Naturally, the lace-sleeve dress (the same one worn on the red carpet by Natalie Portman) was only in select stores, so I picked up a few other things and continued to browse. I immediately noticed a positive and a negative: most price points hovered under $49.95, and many of the polyester and cotton pieces were wrinkled beyond belief. (Since I have a brand new steamer at home, and I am still in the stage where I think it's fun to use, I wasn't intimidated.) I skipped some of the sheer tees and tanks and picked up the halter dress, the tiered tank dress, the one shoulder dress, and the crochet vest. Before you look at the fitting room photos, below are some of the window and in-store displays at both stores. As you can see, there is an abundance of textural detail to add depth and dimension to the mostly ivory hues.
H&M Conscious Collection

H&M Conscious Collection

H&M Conscious Collection

H&M Conscious Collection dress

H&M Conscious Collection maxi skirt

H&M Conscious Collection

H&M Conscious Collection

Now for the fitting room photos. First up was the incredibly affordable crochet vest with a festival-appropriate fringed hemline. At under $10, you can bet that I won't be putting this in the washer or dryer. I think it's a great piece for layering over maxi dresses and I love that it can be worn either hooked shut or left open. The fit runs true to H&M Divided sizing. (I'm wearing a 4.)

H&M Conscious Collection crochet fringe vest
Next I tried on the recycled polyester tiered tank dress ($19.95.) It fell below the knee, had a loose, carefree shape, and was slightly sheer despite having a lining. For petite ladies like myself, I recommend belting this and wearing it with heels in a nude/skin tone to elongate the legs as much as possible. I also recommend spending some time ironing or steaming it, as it's prone to wrinkles like many other pieces in this collection. The fit runs big for those who are planning to buy. (I'm wearing a 4.) I can't wait to twirl around in this dress while wearing it with a straw boater hat, stacked bracelets, and belted floral cardigan.

H&M Conscious Collection tiered tank dress
The halter dress was also slightly sheer and in need of some wrinkle prevention, but it felt comfortable. Again, not the most flattering length, but it had a low cut back. I found it to run big. (I'm wearing a small.)
H&M Conscious Collection halter dress
Of all the dresses I tried on, the structured one shoulder dress had the most form fitting shape. It runs true to H&M sizing, and if I remember correctly, I'm wearing a 6. I spotted a few threads on this one and decided that although it had nice details and a sturdy back zipper, it seemed pricey (at $49.95) for the quality. Now that I think about it, I don't recall seeing this dress in the H&M Conscious look book.
H&M Conscious Collection one shoulder dress
Although many pieces in the collection are lightweight, wrinkled, and sheer, they're ideal for summer days and parties. The lace, crochet, pleats, and eyelet details are ultra feminine and a decent value. I'd avoid putting most of the pieces in the washer or dryer and opt for hand washing and drying flat instead. The sheer fabrics lend themselves well to layering, and wearing something that's both stylish and made out of eco-friendly materials always feels good.
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