Welcome to The Great Try-On. With spring officially in full swing, it's time to ready your wardrobe, and we're here to provide a little shopping inspiration. We got to try on some of the best spring pieces from some of your favorite brands and documented it all from our at-home dressing rooms so that you can see how they actually look IRL. We hope that our photos and candid reviews will help you shop for spring wardrobe builders that you'll wear over and over this season and beyond.
Not to be dramatic, but there’s nothing I look forward to more in life than spring. The chance to finally shed heavy layers and slip into a cute spring dress is a top life experience in my book. I’ll always prefer dresses over pants (don't look at me), but I know that not all dresses are made equal. Finding dresses that fit well, are trend-forward, and are affordable can be a challenge—unless you know where to shop for them. And while there are so many places to shop, what better place exists than Nordstrom? Our editors and readers know that Nordstrom is the best place to shop for next season’s biggest trends and no-fail basics.
So when we relaunched our Great Try-On series for spring, it only made sense to turn to the best of the best (ahem, Nordstrom). And boy, I wasn’t disappointed. Ahead, you’ll find five spring dresses I tried on, along with a few accessories and my full reviews of them. These pieces prove that superior spring items are always waiting at Nordstrom.
Nordstrom Puff Sleeve Belted Cotton Dress + Open Edit Sheer Woven Wide Brim Floppy Bucket Hat
My Review: When spring is finally in full swing, there’s nothing I want to wear more than a simple white cotton dress, so when I found this poplin frock with puffy sleeves from Nordstrom, I knew I had to try it on. First off, it should be noted that this cotton dress is not only soft but also lightweight, making it ideal for humid days in New York. I ordered a medium, and it fits true to size. The hemline hit about midi length, making it ideal for keeping breezy without bearing it all. I love that you can style it as a flowy A-line dress or add a belt for a more fitted silhouette. While I wasn’t jazzed about the belt it came with (I'd style it with one of my own), I could not get over the sleeves on this dress. They’re the type of dramatic puff sleeves that give off that Bridgerton energy I need in my life. Overall, it’s the perfect little white dress for spring, and I cannot recommend it enough.
It also should be noted that I wasn't about to test-drive dresses only for this story, because the key to making any look pop is accessories. So when I spotted this sheer bucket hat, it was an immediate add-to-cart situation. I love a dramatic floppy hat that almost channels Black Southern church attire, and this hat does just that. The only downsides were that it was a little tight on my head and that I didn’t get the yellow one as well, but if you think that will stop me from wearing it all spring, you’re wrong indeed.
My Review: A great knit dress is essential in my opinion. It’s the perfect basic for every occasion and every season, so when I spotted Open Edit’s purple ruched knit dress on Nordstrom, I had to give it a spin. Before I tried it on, I was nervous about the fit—I’m not a fan of more casual, loose-fitting dresses. But when it arrived, I was notably impressed by how it fit. First off, the ruching takes something that looks like a tank dress and turns it into a sultry little formfitting number. And the slit paired with the full-length hem? I was living for it. My only complaint about this dress is that it’s not technically a knit. (It’s a lightweight polyester-blend fabric.) Nevertheless, it’s so chic that I found myself getting over that fact and dreaming of wearing it in the French Riviera. You may still have to hunt for the perfect sweaterdress, but I promise this dress is perfect in its own right.
My Review: It might sound cliché at this point, but cutouts are still one of my favorite trends, especially when they’re on a dress. There’s nothing I desire more than to frolic about in a cute spring dress with some cutouts, so of course, trying on this Nordstrom dress was nonnegotiable. I know people hype up something as being the “perfect little black dress,” but when it comes to this Open Edit dress, that assertion is 100% founded in truth. First off, the fabric is lightweight, making it ideal for spring. The fit is immaculate; I got a medium, and I’ve never put on a dress and had it fit like a glove the way this one did. I love the midi length, and it didn't suffocate my chest at all (which is a damn near miracle considering I’m a DD). But the best part of all is, of course, the sleek little side cutouts. I could not stop staring at them; they show the perfect amount of skin on the sly. You could easily throw a blazer over this dress and wear it to work then shed the coat for date night and suddenly be steaming up the place. It is the perfect black dress. There’s no doubt in my mind about it.
Speaking of layering, I also wanted to test-drive a blazer from Nordstrom’s owned labels, so I landed on this cute Treasure & Bond Mixed Plaid Blazer. I love the idea of plaid for spring. It's very prep meets grunge, and the beautiful pop of blue on this blazer is perfect. I ordered it in a medium, and the fit was true to size. I wasn’t totally obsessed with the piece (only because I love a more fitted blazer). However, the more oversize silhouette is still trending, making this the ideal statement blazer for anyone who wants to invest in it. Plus, it’s a super-lightweight fabric, so it’s the ideal transitional blazer.
My Review: Is it even possible to welcome spring without a colorful dress? The answer is undoubtedly no—especially after test-driving this look from Nordstrom. The best thing about this dress is that Nordstrom partnered with Black visual artist Cristina Martinez to create this watercolor-inspired print. I love work that champions artists of color, and when it’s done as well this dress, that’s even better. I am obsessed with this dress—from the true fit to the swingy silhouette to the lightweight cotton to the puff sleeves and the back cutout and bow tie. When designing this dress, not a crumb was left on the table; it’s that delicious. I don't think I’ve ever had one dress satisfy all my cravings until I met this one. And considering how universally flattering it is (this silhouette looks great on anyone, and heck, it can even be worn backward as I did), it makes the perfect springtime dress.
Every great dress needs a great pair of shoes to match, and when it came to test-driving Open Edit’s Cammie Slingback Pump, I was delightfully surprised. Open Edit’s shoes always tend to sell out in our stories, and now that I’ve been able to wear a pair, I get the hype. They are incredibly well priced, and the quality is shockingly good. Could these pumps, dare I say, rival some designer slingbacks? They’re well-made, super comfortable, and cute to boot. These shoes are possibly one of the best pieces I test-drove from Nordstrom that I didn’t even expect to fall in love with.
My Review: Last but not least, I tried on this cute Chelsea28 Floral Midi Dress. Before taking the plunge, I read the reviews and was a little nervous, as a few shoppers noted that the fit was a bit challenging for bigger busts, but it was such a cute dress that I knew I wanted to risk it all and give it a go. I have no regrets about it. I ordered it in a medium and found it perfectly fit my DD-cup bust. I love that the silhouette flares out slightly, not showing my tummy, but you can still tell I’ve got hips. And the bow on the bust? Delightful, to say the least. The fabric is lightweight, making it ideal for a warm spring day. But possibly my favorite thing about this dress is the minimal floral print. When it comes to finding the perfect spring dress, reviews are helpful, and knowing what trends or prints are popular is excellent, but you always have to be willing to take the plunge because that’s when you find the best dresses.