After lusting over Realisation Par dresses for years but not wanting to fork out on the exorbitant price tag, I decided that this was THE summer that I made the investment.
But, standard me I couldn't decide which one to get, so instead of making that difficult decision, I purchased not one but four...! You see, these dresses are like a luxury Pringle, once you pop, you really cant stop (oh yes I did just liken realisation par to pringles LOL). Once I had one, I immediately needed another. The cut, colour and fabric are a dream and make these dresses worthy of the cost.
However, there are some handy tips which I wish I'd known before I made the realisation plunge. It's a bit of a minefield considering they don't stock them in any stores so you can't try them on, you also have to ship from the US so you have currency conversion, shipping and taxes to navigate. And to top it off all they post on their Instagram are skinny models so you have no idea how they will look on a normal, carb-eating, gym-apologist.
So first things first, when ordering from the Realisation Par website, how much taxes are you likely to pay? Well, i've made three purchases and so far have only ever paid £3 in duties and taxes. If you are going to order from their website, I recommend waiting till their 20% off days. They usually have them every few months, there have been two so far this year, so I imagine there would definitely be another one soon. It basically means you get the shipping for free and a little bit more discount so it's definitely worth it.
I got three of mine from their website during the 20% off promotions, and one I bought off eBay. They probably all worked out roughly the same in terms of savings in the end. You can usually get a bit of a bargain from eBay and Depop but in most cases you don't usually save more than 20-30% off the full price cost. I think thats because most people like to buy them off eBay to avoid the potential tax and shipping fees which means that sellers can charge higher prices knowing that they're harder to get in the UK.
Now sizing, roughly the size guide is: XXS = 4-6, XS = 6-8, S = 8-10, M = 10-12, L = 12-14 and XL = 14-16. However, this is very much a guide and you need to consider the style you're purchasing. For example, the wrap dresses come up a little bigger but also because they are wrap dresses you can get away with a bigger size. To give you a better idea i've done a brief overview of each of the styles I own and how they fit:
The Kate - Rusty Spot
This rusty spot print/colour is probably my favourite of all the prints they do. Its such an unusual reddish/orange/rust colour and goes really well with a suntan and I think really suits dark hair/features. I got this in a medium, mainly because it was the first of the dresses that I bought and at the time I wasn't sure what size I would be.
It is a little bit big, aka its not as tight on the chest as I think its suppose to be when you look at the model shots. However, I really like the way it fits. I've worn this dress to weddings and the fact it doesn't cling to the chest makes it a bit more comfortable to wear to smarter occasions.
This style and the Ozzie have been designed to fit tight at the chest and its really flattering but for me personally I like the fit of this one a little bit looser at the chest. My advice would be to get your normal size if you want it to be tight on the chest but go a size up if you'd like it a bit looser like the way mine fits me.
The Ozzie - Pansy
I really love this style, its perfect for summer as its short sleeved unlike the The Kate which is the same style apart from the sleeves. I bought this one off eBay and got a size small. I'd say get your normal size in this as it fits true to size, however, if you have a large chest you might want to size up as its quite tight on the bust. I love this print too, i've had so many compliments wearing it and it can be easily dresses up or down, its such an great dress to throw on in the summer and makes you feel amazing.
The Emile - Shanghai Night
The Emile in Shanghai Nights is the ultimate Chinese style dress of dreams! The A-line fit is super flattering, its figure hugging and mini and the print is so beautiful. I've had loads of questions about how short it is and as it's a mini dress, by definition its pretty short. I'm 5'8 and it is quite short on me. However, I am a huge fan of the mini dress so it's not a problem for me, but for those who aren't as keen I would be cautions because it definitely is a mini dress.
On the sizing, I originally bought a medium, but then sold it and bought the small. There is quite a big difference between the two sizes; the medium I could wear a shirt, t-shirt or fine-knitted jumper under the dress. Whereas the small i can barely fit a bra. So depending how you want to wear it i'd take that into account. If you want this dress to be versatile then i'd go a size up so you can wear things underneath it. But if you want it tighter fitting then go for your normal size. I've only worn with bear legs and sandals so far but I can imagine it will be lovely in the winter too with fishnets or sheer tights.
The Alexandra - Dusty Blue Spot
Last but not least - the wrap dress. The Alexandra fit is the one style that I have that I definitely think comes up a little big. Most likely because of its wrap style and therefore excess material but i'd say definitely go for your normal size in this. If you're between sizes then opt for the smaller.They stock a few different colours of the Alexandra and they're all lovely, I really liked this blue as its a bit more unusual and very summery.
An issues with some wrap dresses is that the don't have enough material for the wrap and therefore you always end up accidentally flashing people, however, the Alexandra has been made really well and doesn't have that issue at all. I mean you would expect that for the price tag!