Living the life of a tanchi: An ‘Honorary Tanchi’s’ Wedding Dress Pull

Isn’t she a pearl? Meet Aimee! She’s an honorary tanchi with ‘typical tanchi problems‘ and helps me make sure I cross all my t’s and dot my i’s.

What is an “honorary tanchi?’

In short – a tanchi with no panza. Battling it out with petite problems minus the panza. (Panza is part of the tanchi identity).


Aimee’s Wedding Dress Pull
There is a pun intended with Aimee’s Wedding dress pull – she literally had her wedding dressed pulled with clamps because wedding dresses are not so petite friendly. With the “wedding season” coming up, I have begun plotting my wedding crasher plan (in another life). Aimee approached me with tanchi to tanchi request – pulling dresses to wear to a wedding for this upcoming wedding season. The curation began – a tanchi to tanchi curation to pass along the way of the tanchi.

The Challenge: Keep it Around $35 dollars
I pulled a few in her price range (some I scooped from Mix and Match Fashion Blog) and also some others I thought were excellent for her style, occasion, price point value, and advantage of being panza less. Can you guess which she picked?


Starting from left to right:

Pim and Larkin Striped Dress
Orange Chevron Dress
O’Neill Jackson Dress
(reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland with the flowers)
Cutout Blue Sheath Dress
(great back with black ribbon tie – no shoulder alternation will be needed)
O’Neill Julian Dress
Peter Pan Collar Lace Dress
Printed Dot Flare Dress
(available in petites!)
Volcom Maxi Dress
(Gatsby West Egg 1920s Summer Maxi Look)
BCBG One Shoulder Ruffle Dress

Other Images:

Blue Flowers

Garden Party


Mason Jar Flowers

Wedding Flowers

How I Curated – the way of the tanchi:
I did the 1st pull using online websites. Typically I would scour through boutiques and in-store sales as well. Zappos is a go-to for me – they have such a variety, great sales, prompt arrivals, good brands, and their online shopping experience is a pleasurable one. They have great zoom features on photos, descriptions of model’s measurements, and multiple views of items. If that weren’t enough, their return policy is amazing! Free shipping both ways – making it so convenient for returns, not to mention prompt arrivals.

Tanchi Problems: Frequent returns with frustrating policies for clothes that don’t fit petites
This is a big deal for me. I have often found bebe’s and Forever 21’s return policies frustrating. For example, with bebe you have 21 days and no returns on sale items, with Forever 21 you can only get store credit back. I understand that many customers have abused their return policies, which is what has contributed to enacting these return policies. It does, however, deter from purchasing at times, especially if I know I have a busy month and know that I might not make it to a bebe store within 21 days (they don’t offer free shipping labels). Forever 21’s long dressing room lines and strict policy with the limited number of items can go with me at a time makes for long visit.

The Goal: a Perfect First-Time Fit, Gracias Zappos
It’s no wonder that time and time again I turn to Zappos. What’s curious is that a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, The Goal: a Perfect First-Time Fit, claims that for many retailers, between 20% and 40% of their online sales are returned and fit is the number 1 reason. So how come Zappos does it? I presume it is because they have three distinct features to their online shopping experience, great photos using models, details about model measurements, and customer reviews that must hinder the profit loss. With these features, I am able to consider the “fit factor” before placing a purchase by comparing my measurements and getting a close up on colors and drapery. Thus, I am not as prone to returning merchandise because Zappos got it right. I ordered 3 of the dresses from Aimee’s wedding pull to test them out myself. Aimee doesn’t have a panza problem so her pull was able to include some other dresses that I normally wouldn’t go for.

The Contenders: Volcom Maxi Dress, Gabriella Rocha Peter Pan collar lace dress,and O’Neill Julian Dress
The three I pulled were the Volcom Maxi Dress (Gatsby West Egg 1920s Summer Maxi Look), Gabriella Rocha Peter Pan collar lace dress, and O’Neill Julian dress in black. All 3 dresses get an A+ for price point value. The maxi dress is a great one for Aimee but will require a slight alteration on the length if she decides not to wear a wedge or heel. The dress is not very panza friendly which was disappointing because I absolutely love the color and print of the dress. The drapery (floating away from the body) does not conceal unwanted areas because there is a snug vertical pinstripe lining underneath (great fabric combo with the sheer blue). The sheer fabric is a light blue and therefore reveals the lining.

The Peter Pan collar lace dress was great! Not so much for a wedding though. Aimee and I agreed that the dress was too plain for the occasion. The dress had potential in its black sash belt. It’s ordinary, but with a great black and white palette to work with, it’s a lost opportunity to make the dress more – especially since its lace and construction are done well.

The winner of the three is the Julian dress. I loved this dress! So simple and will allow for wearing fancy statement jewelry. The drapery makes me look slimmer while comfortably and elegantly hiding my panza. The dress will need the usual “shoulder pinch” alteration but worthwhile for such a versatile dress to wear to multiple occasions.

When living the life of a tanchi

We have issues for getting dressed. But the search can be fun especially when come across some unlikely finds. The O’Neill Julian dress I anticipate will become a go-to dress for me, and I can’t wait to sport it for the wedding season coming up. Love when you find a dress that makes you want to sass it up and say, Tengo una panza, y que!

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