Made to Measure

Westward Leaning_Piol_Marc by Marc Jacobs_Ann Marino_cover

A little over 2 years ago, Dan and I went on a whirlwind tour in Asia, with stops in Hong Kong, Japan and Vietnam. At the top of our list (err, Dan's list) for our visit to Hong Kong was to have suits and shirts custom-made. So on our first day in HK, we hopped the mini-bus to get into town and found our way onto Canton Road. We meandered in and out of side streets and alleys until we found the suit maker recommend to us by friends. Tens of fabric books, three fittings and a little bit less money in his wallet, Dan left HK with one suit and 12 dress shirts. I on the other hand walked away with two custom-made dress shirts. My biggest regret? Not getting custom-made blazers. I hemmed and hawed over the prices, not wanting to make such a splurge. But when I look at the pieces we walked away with, they are still in pristine shape. Dan and I are both in the financial services industry, so these pieces have been put to work! And in the 2+ years that have passed since our trip, I have replaced a handful of off the rack blazers and dress shirts. So that process in and of itself has racked up quite a bill.

So when the opportunity arose to design the perfect made to measure dress, I knew I could not turn it down. PIOL is a company that helps you every step of the way in designing a dress that is made just for you. By selecting your hair, eyes and skin colors, PIOL will help you discover your color palette. You then get to pick  the silhouette of the dress. This is where the fun begins. PIOL provides you with plenty of fabric choices that are complementary to you based on your initial inputs. It was exciting selecting everything from the neckline all the way down to the hemline. I ended up creating a handful of dresses because I couldn't make up my mind! And then, the most important part: the measurements. Luckily, I still had my measurements from my wedding dress or it would have been Dan taking the measurements (yikes). I put my many designs to a vote with my friend and submitted the winner. About three weeks later, the dress arrived at my doorstep.

During the wait period, I got a bit nervous. Would I love something I didn't even get to touch or see prior to submitting? Let me tell you. The fit was perfect and the fabric was quality. I know, I know. Your reaction to the price was probably the same as mine (gulp). But what I learned from my HK experience, making an investment can pay dividends. AND the more you wear something, the lower the cost per wear. The great thing about the dress I designed is that it can be worn for work or play. Here are a few ways I plan on wearing it: 1) as is, 2) a denim vest and a pair of flats/espadrilles, 3) a denim jacket and heels, 4) blazer, tights and booties; 5) as a skirt with a sweater over it; 6) a dress shirt layered underneath.....Get the point? I apologize in advance for those who may get sick of seeing this dress on repeat.

What have been your investment pieces over the years that were so worth the $$? I'd love to hear about them!

Outfit Details:

Sunglasses: Westward Leaning (Voyager 15 emerald mirrored lenses) via ShopBop. I nabbed this during the ShopBop F&F event at 25% off!

Dress: c/0 PIOL.

Carly Bracelet: Loren Hope, $78.

Ligero Ella Crossbody Handbag: Marc by Marc Jacobs from Bloomingdales, $77.96 (originally $198). Sadly, what's available online at Bloomie's is priced at $148.50.

D'orsay Pumps: Ann Marion via Macy's. These are so old! I have re-soled, re-heeled and re-lined these pumps so many times that the cost of repairs has since outweighed the value of the shoes! I'm loving the BR Adelia D'Orsay Pump (kitten gray, $158.

Westward Leaning_Piol_Marc by Marc Jacobs_Ann Marino (3)

Westward Leaning_Piol_Marc by Marc Jacobs_Ann Marino

Westward Leaning_Piol_Marc by Marc Jacobs_Ann Marino (2)

Westward Leaning_Piol_Marc by Marc Jacobs_Ann Marino (4)

Westward Leaning_Piol


Piol_Marc by Marc Jacobs_Ann Marino.

This dress was gifted by PIOL; opinions regarding the experience and product are my own.