If you follow me on Instagram or have seen me in real life in the last several months, you know I have been living in my Nap Dresses! Quite a few of you have asked for my thoughts on the Nap Dress, and I put together this review/guide post. Their next drop (Trellis coming back!) is this Friday at 12pm EST so mark your calendar!
I only own the Ellie Nap Dresses so my review will only be on that specific style.
IS IT WORTH IT? WHAT ARE THE DRESSES LIKE? ( SIZING + FABRIC)
Priced at $125, the Nap Dress is not the most affordable dress out there. With that said, I personally think it’s worth it because the silhouette of the dress is so classic, and I get so much wear out of it. I am a huge dress person because I am all about putting on one thing of clothing vs two (aka I am lazy), and I love that the Nap Dress is so easy to dress up or down. Since I got my first Ellie back in April, I have been wearing it at least once a week.
As of now, I have the Ellie dress in Navy, Raspberry Red, and Black Swiss Dot. So far, I have I stuck to solid patterns so I can get as much wear out of them as possible. Fabric wise, Navy and Raspberry Red are similar in that they are crisp, parachute-like fabric while the Black Swiss Dot is much thinner and softer (it is semi-see through). The feel of the fabric seems to vary from dress to dress, which is hard to gauge since Hill House Home does not have a brick-and-mortar store yet (though it sounds like they’ll be opening the first one in New York later this year).
The Ellie dresses run big, and people usually recommend to size down at least one full size. I am usually an XS but I wear XXS in the Ellie (bra size 34b for reference). If you are larger chested, you might want to stick with your normal size though so that there is more smocking for your chest. Speaking of sizes, I find the Black Swiss Dot to be much tighter than my Navy and Red Ellies, and other people have found both the White and Black Swiss Dots to be smaller as well. I wish I had gotten my regular size in the Swiss Dot FYI.
DROP DAY (NAP ROOM) + ADVICE FOR BUYING
Hill House Home drops new Nap Dresses once every few months, and following their Instagram account is the best way to get updates. Typically, the dresses drop at 12pm EST mid-week (which means I am blocking off time in my Outlook calendar). 30 minutes before the drop, the Hill House website is closed and replaced with “The Nap Room” where there is a chat with everyone waiting for the drop. HHH Founder Nell Diamond joins for the last 10-ish minutes and answers some questions. Right on the dot at 12pm, The Nap Room automatically refreshes to the regular website so you can order.
Due to the wild increase in popularity over the last year or so, the Nap Dresses sell out FAST, especially the smaller sizes. They have been scaling up their production with the last few releases but I imagine it must be hard to predict with such a fast growing consumer base (their IG follower count tripled since I started following them earlier this year!). If you are able to get on the website at 12pm, I think you will be okay (but maybe not at 12:10pm). Definitely, make sure you have your payment and address information entered so you are ready to add to cart and check out ASAP.
There’s a Facebook group called Hill House Home BST where you can buy Nap Dresses secondhand, often at a better price than Poshmark. It’s also a good resource if you need specific size recommendations. Another Facebook group. I recommend joining is Nap Dress Nation & Grandmillenial Inspiration, which is more inclusive in terms of both brands and conversation topics. If you are looking for more affordable options than the original Nap Dress, there are a lot of Hill House inspired dresses available. Few Moda has a calypso dress that is very similar to the Ellie (and only $64!). I can’t speak to the quality as I have not tried them.
HOW TO STYLE THEM
The reason I love the Ellie dress so much is because it is so versatile. Both the silhouette and fabric are suitable for most events. I often wear mine casually with my Strawberry crocs and Jack Rogers (I call them work-appropriate flip flops). I have also worn them with heels. Since I got them in the spring, I haven’t had them through the winter yet but in the colder months, I plan to wear them with a thin turtleneck underneath or put a sweater cardigan over them. With the big skirt, I don’t think I’ll have trouble swapping out my crocs and heels for boots and booties.
I do not wear a bra under my Ellie, and I think you can get away with it if you’re smaller/medium chested. For the Swiss Dots since they are more sheer, some people wear a half or full slip underneath. I find the Black Swiss Dot not too sheer (think it’s slightly less sheer than the White), as in you can kind of see the shape of your legs out in the sun but not the color of your underwear. I just wear nude underwear (as seen in below photo) but might invest in a half slip if I were to take photos out in the sun.
HOW TO CARE FOR AND STORE THEM
I machine wash all my Ellies on a regular cycle. Some people dry clean them but I don’t think that is necessary. For darker fabrics like the Navy, sometimes the detergent gets on the dress and leaves little white spots. I usually add an extra rinse when I was the Ellies to avoid those white marks.
Accordingly to my mom, you should almost never put your clothes in the dryer because that’s the quickest way to ruin your clothes so I air-dry my Ellies. When air-drying, I put the dress over the hanger on its body rather than the sleeves to prevent the sleeves stretching. Once I have the dress on the hanger, I fluff out the sleeves so they dry full and fluffy (see photos below for how the sleeves look like straight out of the washer and how I flatten and fluff them out).
Some people keep their dresses folded and store a dresser but as someone who doesn’t steam or iron most clothes, I just keep my dresses hanging over the hanger.
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(First two photos by Sujung Chronicles.)