Let’s Talk More about Shabby Apple

Whew, okay. Am I ready for this?

I think so. (Please let this be the last post I ever ever write about Shabby Apple).

About eight weeks ago, I was looking at my blog stats and I noticed that my original post about my deep unhappiness with all things Shabby Apple was my most viewed post of any on my blog over the past year (which, considering I wrote it a third of the way through the year, was fairly impressive).

I mentioned this on Twitter, linking to Shabby Apple (which I’d done on numerous occasions before), and went on my merry way.

Then, the next day, I got an email from the husband part of the husband-wife team that own Shabby Apple and I almost fell over in surprise.

Apparently some employee had forwarded along my tweet which linked to my posts and they’d seen it.

He told me how successful Shabby Apple had been over the last five years or so and how many repeat customers they had, and then how that probably didn’t matter to me when I had had such a frustrating experience and to call him at my convenience.

Y’all, a letter from the owner! I felt both excited and kind of like throwing up. Because confrontation? I hate it.

We actually had a nice conversation the next day, where I explained how frustrating it was that the policies were all over the place (“we’re helpful with gifts!” “Wait no, anything over thirty days we absolutely do not accept!” “I’m sure we can help you!” “Sorry, there is nothing we can do”) and how I was not very happy with the dress itself (unlined, weird fit, etc).

He suspected it was probably a fluke bad dress (which I absolutely do not agree with because my complaints about it were the exact same as the others on the website) and also that the dress was made to fit someone more curvy than I am (I also disagree with this because I tried the dress on one last time before I sent it back and it fit MUCH better now that I’m not nursing and am back to my real-life flat-chested self).

He said they’d pick out a new dress for me and send it on and requested (although it was up to me) that I send back the other dress so he could see if it was a fluke dress.

My new dress came a week or so later and they’d sent me this one which I totally hated on the website, but, when I put it on wasn’t half bad.

I’d originally thought I quite liked this one, but apparently it doesn’t come in my size, and the thought of another trip the post office for another dress that might not fit/look decent/need to be returned just made me feel tired, so I decided to keep this dress.

And, you know what? I like it. It actually does the things they say their dresses are supposed to do – I don’t have to wear anything under or over it, the length is decent, and it’s a nice mix of dressy and casual. I don’t necessarily love that it has an elastic waist, and I find the sleeves a little tight (I can’t reach very far before the underarm catches), but I’ll definitely get wear out of it.

I tried really hard to get a good front view of this dress and I feel like they were all deeply unflattering

Is it my favorite dress ever? No. Would I personally pay $86 for it (plus taxes and shipping)? HAHAHAHAHA. No. Of course I would not.  But then, I’d be hard pressed to ever pay more than $40 for a dress, so I’m not exactly Shabby Apple’s target audience.

Am I planning to buy anything else from Shabby Apple? No. There’s pretty
much no chance after this whole fiasco that I would ever send them my
own money. I still think their dresses are just far too expensive for
the quality and I think their customer service is sorely lacking. It’d take more than one exchanged dress (mind you, this was not a free dress) to make me forget my own horrible experiences, not to mention the fifty or more other commenters who had similarly poor experiences.

But I’m glad to have a dress I can finally wear (with my gold shoes, no less!) and to no longer feel full of rage when I walk into my closet and see my $100 unlined sheer-topped dress. And it’s nice to have this whole unpleasantness behind me, even if it did take them seven months to respond. But, really, let’s not quibble.

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  1. I'm glad they got in touch with you! I'll have to try it because I'm still really unhappy with the customer service I received earlier this year.

  2. Yay for a new not-incredibly-awful dress! It looks great on you! Now if only they would also contact each of us who left unflattering comments about them on your post from seven months ago. I continue to resent the fact that I wasted twenty-five dollars of returned shipping (three separate returns over the same transaction) all to never actually find a dress worth wearing.

  3. I'm so happy for you that they finally got in touch and were able to get you a new dress that you're pleased with. And honestly, I love this one on you! It looks quite comfortable and I like the detailing on top – very pretty!

  4. This dress looks SO much better on you than on the model (on their website). Perhaps you should contact them about getting paid to model their marginally good, sometimes unflattering dresses. And then get more dresses for free! P.S. Love the gold shoes.

  5. Carl emailed you? I didn't realize he was involved with the business. But yay! The dress is super pretty, and I'm glad you got one that fits.

  6. After your initial post I had lost all interest in shopping there not only for your bad customer experience, but because my number one annoyance with dresses is a lack of lining or lining that is still too thin. While I’m glad they reached out to you, I think I’ll stick with my original decision not to shop there. Thanks for posting about your experiences!

  7. Yay for trying to right their wrongs. Cute dress, blah blah blah.

    But THOSE SHOES! I'm obsessed.

  8. YOUR SHOES. I still think they're crazy overpriced but at least that dress looks nice on you.

  9. The shoes are fan-freaking-tastic. Love.

    Could you add a belt to the dress to mask the elastic waist? Perhaps in red, or gold, or something?


  10. Ok but you are so petite that there is absolutely no reason a dress should have sleeves too tight for YOU to move around in. I had the same experience in my dress from them (like 5 years ago.) It fit fine but don't plan on reaching for anything. And I still think it's weird that you didn't get to pick out your own replacement dress. I think you look cute in the dress though and I'm loving the shoes.

  11. Contact from the owner? Shut the front door. That right there makes them jump a few credibility notches in my book. And yes…I agree with everyone else. Those shoes are fab. 🙂

  12. So basically, in order to get any kind of decent service from Shabby Apple, we have to start a popular blog, complain about it several times, make sure those complaints get links on Twitter, then make sure an employee hears about it and reports back to the owners? That hardly seems like good customer service to me. In fact, this makes me want to shop at Shabby Apple even less.

    Also, shortly after I read your original post, I told some of my friends about it. One of those friends is a full time model and she mentioned she did some modeling for Shabby Apple. She said all of the dresses she tried on had to be pinned, tucked, and placed carefully for her photos. Nothing fit right and it was terrible quality products. She said based on her experience, she would NEVER buy anything from Shabby Apple. Her opinion pretty much confirmed my decision.

  13. I'm with Emily Kate, don't like that you didn't get to pick. I've done two dresses from them and both were sent to a friend because they didn't work for me. I think they look lovely in the website photos, but on real people nice, but not obsessing/over the moon? I don't know.

    I'm also not surprised to read Priscilla's comment. I dislike how Shabby Apple picks the same demographic of bloggers over and over again to do giveaways. I too thought the fabric of my dresses was cheap and could of used some altering.

    Not to be a debbie downer 🙂

    You make a paper bag look fabulous, those shoes are amazing! Keep on doing your thing.

  14. I agree with Priscilla. The only reason they contacted you and made the exchange was the popularity of your blog and (apparently) twitter account. This does not change the fact that their dresses aren't that well made and they will not look out for the little people.

  15. He made you call him? On the phone? I would have just kept the ill-fitting, unlined dress. Phone confrontations = vomit. (Although, I have now made it a habit of pressing 1 to speak to a representative every time I get a robocall, just so I can yell at them to never call my house again. That doesn't make me want to barf, for some reason.) The dress is cute, but I think it's super weird that they sent you a dress of their choosing. But hey, better than nothing! You win!

  16. Did I ever leave a comment on your first Shabby Apple post? I totally agree with everything you said in the first post. Lining {especially for us LDS members} can be so crucial!!! Their fit {as of a yeaer ago} SUUUUUUUUUUCKED majority!! I would say we have a similar figure… and every single thing use to drawn me. However I have noticed that they recently readjusted their size chart which actually is music to my ears because someone who has a dwarf rib cage {not an actual term} and no boobage may actually get to wear something.

    When I use to work at Maggie Sottero, there was a woman who worked there for a small amount of time who actually did the patterns for Shabby Apple. No offense to her, but the lady had no idea how to make a pattern bodies like you and me because she was very endowed and on the larger end. It was no shock to me when I learned this, because she clearly didn't have enough experience to meet the sizes of their demographic.

    I love that you were so vocal about this!! I love that the owner called you {was his last name McKinney?} I thought he was going to be really rude when I first started to read this… so I am glad you were able to make your point in hopes that they do change their return policy and customer service. Because seriously I am with you… it is ridicules!!!! You sell on line you have to be more available if you want people to come back! I too got one of their dresses and it does not fit me at all. I had to take it in myself. I hope that they understand how greedy they are being by not being flexible! It's not like they have discontinued any of their styles yet so why don't they just take returns and then sell it again?

    Anyways there is so much more I want to say but I have already said a mouthful! I am proud of you for doing this, I think you were the perfect person to say something… even when confrontation can be hard, you still were the best person to do the job! I agree… they should have given you two dresses or at least the first one free for the inconvenience…. or at least a gift certificate. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDD they are way to expensive!!! Are you freaking kidding me!! They are manufactured in CHINA!!! Their quality isn't that good, in fact the zipper on my dress flipping sucks! Shabby Apple has great designs but I personally wish I could stalk my wardrobe with their dresses and with those prices I just cant. Thus making me depressed.

    One last thing and I promise I am done. I actually looooooooooooooooooooooooooooove this dress on you!!! I think it is perfect and very very cute!! You look very lovely!!

  17. I've been meaning to tell you how much I love that dress on you. But what's with the model lying down like a mermaid while she wears it? Gagme.

  18. ust stumbled across your blog in search of other Shabby Apple info. I'm sorry you had a bad experience with Shabby Apple. I've bought *many* dresses from them and have had good experiences with them so far. I've been looking for a modest dress retailer for a long time. I only wish I had found them sooner!

    I've also bought from a couple of retailers you mentioned, eShakti and Land's End. Dress availability from eShakti varies from day to day. Colors and styles are available one day and not another. Land's End has the quality expected from a large catalog retailer; a little better than Target. Their prices certainly reflect the ability to purchase items in large quantities.

    I've also looked at/purchased/returned dresses from many other retailers: Ann Taylor, Talbots, The Limited, J Crew, Coldwater Creek, Macy's, Nordstroms, and Overstock.com. Some of their dresses fit me weird. I guess I have a weird figure. If the dresses fit me, their prices, even on sale, were out of my price range.

    Shabby Apple dresses seem to be made for me. When I purchases, if they don't work for me, I return them and get a replacement quickly, thanks to USPS Priority Mail. I've had good, quick communication from them when there are problems with my returns (which was rare.) I've even had a return exception because they sent me the wrong size on a final sale. I also like that they send emails with discounts and free shipping.

    I've been happy with Shabby Apple and the dresses I've purchased from them. I hope to purchase many more dresses from them in the future. I also hope that if you haven't, you do find a dress vendor that works for you!

  19. Also, Shabby Apple will not work for you if you are tall. Their dresses are made for people who are 5'4" and they have no tall option. If you are looking for a knee-length dress (which it's Shabby Apple, so you probably are) and are over 5'6" you will look like you are wearing a shrunken dress. Waist is too high, torso too short, length is not anywhere close to the knee. Wanted to cry when I found this out the hard way.

  20. I guess perhaps I am in the minority, but I've had good luck with shabby apple. I'm 5'7 , and for me, finding a dress with sleeves that isn't insanely short is a real struggle. I can't even imagine what it would be like to end up with a calf length dress. Totally jealous–i've always thought it would be easier to find dresses if I was shorter 😉 Shabby apple dresses tend come to the top of my knee cap. The dress flattered my shape (granted I'm more curvy than the author). I used a measuring tape and their size chart to pick a size and the dress fit perfectly. I think buying clothes online in general is kinda of tricky because everyone has a different body type and it can be hard to know without trying it on if it will flatter your body. My experience with trying to buy modest dresses online is that it can be a mixed bag and you better look close at return policies BEFORE you buy or you will get burned. Some companies have you to pay both for shipping and for return shipping (talk about throwing away money) or sometimes they don't even do exchanges or returns. Ugh. I don't remember the company, but I could tell you a horror story about bridesmaid dresses that my sister ordered for her wedding that could not be exchanged or returned–all sales were final. But back to shabby apple…. I also called customer service because I couldn't find the return label, and someone picked up instantly and emailed me a new shipping label within minutes. I returned the one dress with no problems (I was within the 30 day return policy). Also, the dress I returned was the one that was fully lined. I felt it was too heavy and bulky when I wanted something more slenderizing. I prefer the lighter fabric. Compared with Downeast Dresses, I thought shabby apple was more expensive but also a little higher quality.

  21. this is a really old blog post, but i found it looking for info on shabby apple. just in case shabby apple ever sees these comments, i want them to know that people are still seeing your blog posts and that they made a huge mistake in treating you the way they did. i spend thousands of dollars on line every year, and just the amount of money i send to zappos each month could probably fund NASA for several decades. so, shabby apple, you are still losing customers with serious cash because of how you treated this one customer. the internet never forgets.

  22. Dear Everyday Reading Author,

    I read your posts on Shabby Apple and I have some hope. I was wondering if there was anything you could do to help me. I’ve had a very bad experience with Shabby Apple and they won’t make it right and I’m starting to get desperate. Please help!

    Last month Shabby Apple had a promotion that was “buy one full priced dress, get one sale dress free.” When I shop online, I usually put everything that I like into my shopping basket and then gradually eliminate items until the price reaches what I’d like it to be at. So with this promotion going on, I added the promotional code, then started eliminating the dresses I could do without. When I looked at the price, I was surprised at how cheap it was, but didn’t think anything of it and then placed the order. I later found out that there was a glitch in their system that added ALL sale items for free with the purchase of one full-priced dress. I hadn’t really been looking at what was full priced and what was sale priced, but when I got an email from Shabby Apple asking me to pick the full priced and sale priced items I wanted from my order, I thought “well, technically this was kind of THEIR fault for having a faulty promo code, but whatever” and so I sent them my choices. Before I’d received an email from them, I’d also placed a couple more orders with them unknowingly making the same mistake. I figured they’d email me about those too and I’d pick the free dresses I wanted and whatever.

    Then a week later, I checked my account to find out that they had refunded all of my orders. I asked them about it and they said that they “found out” that I had “deliberately” placed two more orders after they’d emailed me. I explained to them that I’d placed the orders before I got their email, but they wouldn’t place the orders again. I was already feeling very frustrated because the promotional was now over and I couldn’t get the buy one get one free anymore.

    Anyways, despite this lack of professionalism, I got on a few weeks later (mistake #1) and placed another, much larger order, for around $500. This time I double checked that the promotional code was working so we didn’t have any problems and I paid in full for the order. This was almost a month ago. Since then, the order has been marked as “manual verification required” and nothing has happened. My credit card has been charged the full $500, but the order hasn’t shipped. I’ve called and emailed Shabby Apple customer service over and over again, but they have not responded. I suspected that they may be ignoring me on purpose, so last night I used a different email address to contact them. I got a response from them almost immediately asking me how they could help (they didn’t know who I was). This confirmed that they have been deliberately ignoring me.

    To sum things up, I’m out $500, they won’t send my dresses, and they’re ignoring any emails or phone calls I give them. I’m coming dangerously close to the 30 days after the order placement and I’m scared they’re going to give me “there’s nothing we can do” and just not send me the dresses. At this point, all I want is a refund. I don’t even want the dresses anymore, I just want my money back. I keep thinking that what they’re doing has to be illegal somehow. They can’t just take my money and not send me the dresses, can they? It seems like you were able to have some influence with them because of your blog and its publicity. Is there anything you can do to help me? I’m desperate. I need that money back. They’re ignoring me, and I don’t have enough money to pay a lawyer and file a lawsuit.

    You were in contact with the owners at one point. Could you contact them again or even give me their contact information? I’m desperate for help and you seem to have influence.

    1. If this hasn't been resolved, you can contact the Better Business Bureau for help. Hope things have worked out for you!

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