I feel that Selkie as a brand is now unavoidable. At least if you hang out on Instagram a lot. If you haven’t heard of them, then where have you been? I believe the brand is now about six years sold, but really rose to fame during the pandemic. You can credit social media and the cottage core trend for that. Seeing the dresses more and more often, it felt harder to resist giving in. Under I did after Christmas 2021, which was the beginning of a very intense Selkie phase for me.
So a bit over a year and a half now, I have to ask myself if that Selkie phase is over… Not that I dislike the brand or swear to never buy from them anymore… More like that there has been a shift in my perception of the brand and the value I attribute to their pieces. Maybe my priorities have changed too, or I have grown out of it. I am not sure, but let’s discuss it.
How my Selkie phase started
I will always remember this Mashable article by Jess Joho on how Selkie dresses really only work for Instagram. The author is not entirely wrong. Maybe she was right at the time but since then, the brand has come up with more styles that are indeed more wearable. And while I was not keen on buying dresses that I would never be able to wear on a regular day, I eventually gave in a purchase my first dress. Then pretty much immediately after, my second and third dress.
Of course, I loved the original of the designs. The styles were all so beautiful and the puff dresses the cutest. Such an adorable silhouette. Beyond that, the quality of the garments really impressed me at the time. The fabric was so soft and smooth. The dresses were an absolute pleasure to wear and so comfortable. In addition, I really liked the inclusivity and diversity showcased by the brand. Each new drop got more and more excited and I was often treating myself.
The thing is, Selkie has been dropping more and more drops each year and it has somehow become overwhelming. And frankly expensive. Not that it was not before. Even the cheapest and most simple styles usually hoovers around $249. Even on sales or second hand, those dresses are still a small investments. Full transparency, I have owned in total about 30 Selkie dresses. I have sold a few now, but i will not attempt to calculate how much money I spent on the brand. It’s probably a horrifying amount.
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When things started to change…
It’s over a year now and I have found myself to be more reticent to buy from the brand. Is it marking the end of my Selkie phase? Maybe. I feel a bit blasé by all the drops to be honest. I feel like there has been so many drops, like a fast fashion brand. It is getting too much and contradicting their environment pledge and zero waste promises if I am being honest. In addition, the most recent designs feel a bit recycled in my opinion. The originality feels gone and they are just slapping new prints on existing silhouettes mostly.
And when they are not, and coming up with new styles, they don’t hit right like they used to. New collections and drops just don’t hype me up anymore… and the new silhouette also aren’t doing it for me. They either don’t look like they’d look good on me or do not feel wearable at all. I am all for dressing up like a princess in your living room or go on photoshoots in Central Park or Midtown at Christmas time, I just don’t feel like dresses than can’t be worn in any other context are worth the investment.
I used to though, since I purchased so many of them. So I guess my priorities did shift for real. If you look at it, one Selkie gown costs more than a 3 day pass to Disneyworld… And I’d rather spend my money on travel than on a dress I can’t really wear outside and that would just take the dust in my closet. Beyond that, something else has changed my opinion of Selkie and it is the quality. What got me impressed at the beginning is a reason why my Selkie phase ended.
When my Selkie phase ended…
Back in the spring, Selkie had a new drop, the Giverny Claude Money Collection, which got me so excited! I loved the designs on the website and the Claude Monet Gardens and House are one of my favorite places ever! Plus, I basically grew up just a few kilometers away. I ordered two dress and returned one that just did not work for me. The side boob thing. But I kept the Water Lillies Silk Gauze Ritz Gown and the dress was really the end of my Selkie phase.
For context, I own two other Ritz Gowns: Venus and Lickety Splitz. While the latter is a cotton dress, the former is of the same fabric as the Water Lillies. Or at least, it is meant to. I was able to compare the two and I could see that the quality was different. The fabric on the Water Lillies gown was thinner, flimsier and rougher. It is prone to crinkling which leads to another problem: Selkie dresses are not iron friendly and must be steamed… I don’t have a steamer so I had to make do with all that crinkle. It felt like a massive drop in quality and it was a big disappointment. Especially because again, those dresses are very pricey!
And one last thing… pigging back from the need for a steamer is the fact that the dresses are not at all machine washable. I tried with a puff dress and it damaged the fabric. Even after taking it to the dry cleaner, it was not back to its former glory. I guess you can hand wash your dresses but what a drag. Time consuming, inconvenient, plus not a guarantee it will work. Or you take them to the dry cleaner which is another expense and not a small one at that!
All that to say that I do believe I have reached the end of my Selkie phase. I have spotted some cute styles that I could see myself wearing from the pre-order spring 2024 drop and I am curious about the fall drop coming up in the next few weeks. I may give in here and there if I feel like it or am really enamored with a print. However, I do feel that overall, Selkie dresses are more trouble than what they are worth.
And don’t get me started on zipper issues, the lack of full lining at the bust making the dresses super see-through or the inconsistency of prices between identical styles. I also recently found out that the brand had been increasing prices, and looking at the styles in question, it felt really unjustifiable. So yes, all of that makes it more difficult for me to spend money at Selkie; and that’s why I think that phase is over. Especially because a lot of other brands have now come up with higher quality yet cheaper alternatives.
Are you a fan of Selkie dresses? Did you ever buy garments from them? What did you think of the brand as a whole and quality? Do you feel like the dresses are worth the price?
Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.
See you soon,