It’s been almost a year since my first nap dress review and with Tuesday’s drop and the massive explosion in styles and options it felt like time for an update.
If you are not familiar, the Nap Dress is a trademarked dress style made popular by Nellie Diamond’s company Hill House Home. They initially started as a bedding company and still do make bedding (I’m currently lusting after this Green Vine Stripe Bedding Set) and their first dresses were dresses that were so comfortable that they could be slept in, but cute enough, and enough not like pyjamas that they could be worn out of the house. Nell often describes her aesthetic as “Victorian ghost” and these dresses were very much that. This where the classic Nap Dress silhouette, the Ellie, came from, but there were also styles. As the fashion side of the brand started to explode they have, logically IMO, capitalize on that and their fashion section has very much popped off, leading us to where we are today.
Some stats and logistics: I am a pretty solid 18, sometimes my chest pushes me into 20/22 territory, sometimes my bottoms are 16. I always take an XXL in Hill House, all styles. My measurements are 52-38-53.
Shipping to Canada is a flat rate of $35 USD. All prices on the website are in USD. I have never had to pay duties, I think they include them in whatever shipping/customs broker they use and that’s why shipping is $35.
Let’s get into the styles I need, then I’ll parrot some of the feedback I have heard.
These are the two Ellie’s I own, the one on the left is the updated version and the right is the old version. The updates are that the updated model has a few more rows of smocking and it has pockets (!). Although, actually to me, the extra rows of smocking are my favourite update. With the old version I find I always have to keep pulling the dress down so that the skirt isn’t just a tent out from the middle of my boobs. If you have a larger bust I think the updated version will make this dress fit so much better.
The usual advice is to size down for the Ellie, some say even to size down two. However, if you have a large chest I say take your normal size. I normally take anywhere from an XL to a 2XL and in Hill House I always take an XXL, regardless of style. My measurements are 52-38-53.
I think this dress has become a classic for so many reasons. The very first time I tried it on, I literally said, out loud, “I feel like a pretty, pretty princess”, the really do make you feel so feminine, so pretty, and so, so comfortable. Especially now that they have pockets for your phone.
Of all the Hill House dress I won, this is the one I want to like the most, it is very much “my ideal self”, but it is not my favourite to actually wear. If there is one common complaint about their dresses, it’s that their short dresses are VERY short.
What I like about this dress, the design, the men’s polo feeling fabric, the rick-rack trim.
What I don’t like about this dress: the length, it is sooooo short. I literally never wear it without the bike shorts underneath, which I do think works because it does have kind of a tennis dress aesthetic. I also find the arm holes a bit difficult, I would have appreciated another inch there or some elastic. You also can’t wear a bra with it, which detracts from the tennis dress energy.
This dress is no longer available online.
Oh, the Ophelia. I want to love this dress, it’s such a gorgeous shape; on people with smaller chests. I do think it is still a nice dress on me, but it is getting very close to milk maid. It’s just so low cut. The tie on the front is fully adjustable, and I have it pulled as closed as it will go in both of these images, but it’s still a lot. I have seen people take the ties and tie it up around their neck like a halter, but that put so much pressure on my neck that a) it hurt, and b) I was legitimately worried that I would break one of the straps.
Logistically, it has a side zip, a fully functional neck drawstring/tie, and a smocked back. You cannot wear any bra that I have tried with it. The back is low and wide enough that straps always show and the front is so low that strapless bras are always exposed.
I am planning on wearing this again to one of my many weddings this year. I’m leaning towards the August wedding, but it may be the October wedding, I haven’t quite decided yet.
It feels egotistical to say that this is my favourite of their dresses, but it’s not my fault they gave a dress my name. I love this dress so much and am simultaneously relieved and crushed that there aren’t any in this summer drop. I wore this dress close to once a week last summer. I wear it with a tank top underneath because while it will close over my chest, it pulls big time. This lilac stripe print is also a bit sheer, so the tank top helps with that.
I love the length of this, if this was where all their mini-dresses hit I would never wear anything else, to me this is so perfect. I wear this to work, out for daytime outings, to grocery shop. I adore this little shirtdress.
Now the Cher. I wanted to love this dress immediately, however it also fell victim to the Hill House Hemline Curse. I had it let down as much as the seamstress possibly could and I love it so much more now. I don’t if the pictures really show it, but the left is before it was let down and the right is after.
Now I feel like I have to say something about mini-dresses and mid/plus size women. I love my legs. They are thick, I won’t deny that, I cannot remember the last time I wore knee high boots and I love the look of a riding boot. But my legs are nearly solid muscle. They are lean (except my inner thighs of course), but because of how strong and toned my legs are, they are my favourite body part and so I like mini-dresses. However, I also like not being worried about bending over even a tiny bit. To me no dress is worth the risk.
Now that I have had the hem let down, this has become my go-to winter going out dress.
This dress is not currently available on the site, but I would not be surprised if it came back in the fall.
This is my favourite not dress item from Hill House. I love the blackwatch tartan (the same as my Cher dress above). It’s the perfect faux-kilt for winter and holidays.
However, what I love most about this skirt is how smart it is. The buckle on the front is fully functional and has two holes and the inside button closure (picture below) has two button options. So, if you wear this to Christmas dinner you can have it fully done up and then sneak off to the bathroom after and loosen the skirt up probably close to an inch, inch and a half. It’s brilliant. The back is also fully elasticated.
I love the length, I love the pleats, I love the kilty vibe. 10/10.
This skirt is not currently available on the website. I’m not certain if it will come back, it may have been a Hill House University collection exclusive.
I get so many compliments when I wear this dress. I think it’s just so fun and I love this print (unfortunately a fall print and not online anymore).
Things I like about this dress: the length, the pearl buttons, the tie neck, the elastic waist, nearly everything.
Things I don’t like about this dress: this dress is so, so close to fitting perfectly. It pulls just a bit at the bust, and the tie nearly covers it perfectly. Since this dress wouldn’t work with my tank top hack for the Laura dress I saw a TikTok where the creator was responding to a comment to wear a compressive sports bra or a binder under button-downs or dresses similar to this, and it worked for them, so I thought I would give it a shot. It worked perfectly. So every time I wore this dress this winter I wore a compressive sports bra and, just like magic, no pulling.
The other items I own are the Kit top and the Grandpa Cardigan, I wear them both very frequently. I do wish the Kit came in a larger size and that I had gotten the cardigan in a smaller size, so a slightly ironic occurrence there. Especially since in general I find my top to be a bit big for most not fully smocked tops.
I have also ordered the Daphne in Lilac for a couple summer events, but it hasn’t arrived yet (I ordered it on Thursday, I wanted to place my order before the drop so that I didn’t get lost in summer drop chaos, it’s already shipped, so my tactic worked).
Other People’s Feedback I Have Heard
One of the most common things I have seen and heard in Nap Dress Nation is that people with big boobs want to be able to wear bras and less low cuts and everyone except the very petite women wish that all the mini-dresses were a bit longer.
I have also seen a lot of complaints about quality. I have never had any issues. Maybe a loose thread here or there, but nothing that has ever really bothered me.
The 2023 Summer Drop is on Tuesday May 16. I am not shopping on drop day due to budgetary constraints, however if I was:
So that is my updated Hill House Home thoughts. Please let me know if you have any questions!
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