If you're part of a bridal party, or you just go to a million weddings every year, you know that buying new outfits for each one can be a daunting time-suck of an experience.
Enter the transformable Wonder Dress dress. The thinking goes that if you buy one dress that you can tie a bunch of different ways, it's like you have an entire wardrobe in just one piece. The Wonder Dress can, according to the brand's site, be tied 20 different ways and comes in sizes to fit every body from a size 0 to 22.
The dress sounds so amazing that we were immediately suspicious. Is the $80 Wonder Dress as wonderful as social media made it seem? We got five real people to try it out.
Watch the video review below and keep scrolling for a full photo review.
The Wonder Dress is distributed by a brand called Nuroco. It comes in 20 colors, and can be tied 20 different ways.
Or at least, I *think* that's right. Because this is a bit of a bare bones site, that sizing can be tricky to understand. On one size chart, XL is described as a US size 14. On another size chart on the same page, Nuroco's provided hip measurement (45") equates to a size 22.
There's no real way to know! We decided to order one Wonder Dress in a size small (supposedly would fit US sizes 00 through 8) and one in a size XL (???) and just see what happened.
Another thing that bears mentioning: The shipping on these dresses is slow and absolutely no-frills. Our order, which took three weeks to arrive, came in a plastic bag with one million customs stamps on it. Nuroco claims to offer returns, but my gut tells me that if these dresses don't fit, you may have to eat the cost.
The dresses finally arrived... and we immediately noticed an issue.
We ordered the small dress ($80, Nuroco) in the shade turquoise, which led to issue #1 — the colors online versus IRL.
Nuroco's site APPEARS to have pulled images from other brands selling similar dresses, which means you have no real idea of what the colors look like. This could be a problem if you're trying to outfit a bridal party. This dress was a very light blue when it arrived.
The good news: The "bands" which cover one's boobs and wrap around the upper body in a variety of ways, were VERY long. The bad news: The fabric both dresses were made from was so cheap, it was nearly transparent.
Slightly daunted, I tried the pale blue dress on first... and was surprised to find that it wasn't as bad as I thought!
I was low-key dreading putting this dress on my body — I'd been eyeballing it on the wardrobe rack for a couple of weeks as it lay there, DARING me — but it honestly wasn't a total disaster!
I usually wear a US size 4 and the size small Wonder Dress fit me perfectly. Based on the amount of stretch in the fabric and around the waist, I estimate this would fit someone up to a size 10.
Now let's talk downsides: This material looks and feels CHEAP, and you know what that means: these dresses are VERY see-through.
You will have no secrets in this dress. Even though I wore no-show underwear, you could see every seam clearly through this dress.
You could see my belly button through this dress, and probably also what I had for breakfast.
Though the halter-style top is meant to encourage going braless, you could definitely see my nipples through this dress. I wore That Girl silicone nipple covers ($13, Ricky's), which did the trick.
Additionally, the dress was cheaply put together — anywhere there was sewing on this Wonder Dress, there were stitches coming apart.
And maybe I'm uncoordinated, or maybe the Wonder Dress was designed assuming you'll have an army of minions to help you get dressed, but I wasn't able to tie this dress in *any* complicated ways by myself.
Overall, I gave the Nuroco Wonder Dress one star out of five — simply because it wasn't *as* bad as it could have been.
$80 for this poor quality is WAY too much money, but it wasn't an unmitigated disaster. I wouldn't wear this dress to a wedding or a formal event, but I might wear it to the beach.
Next, Kala tried the pale pink Wonder Dress in size XL — and was pleasantly surprised by the entire experience. "My first impression of this dress was that there's no way it was going to fit me," she said. "But I stepped into it no problem!"
"The problem I had with this dress as someone with a bigger bust was the sideboob situation," said Kala. "The straps are narrow, and there's NO support. Plus, there are limited ways to tie this dress top if you're going to wear a bra, so it's not as versatile as it seems on the site."
"Thought the back looked really pretty and I loved the color, I couldn't tie this by myself," she said. "If you're going to wear this dress, you're going to need to have some girlfriends to help you get ready."
"The Wonder Dress was also almost totally see-through," said Kala. "$80 for a dress that's *this* transparent, and exposes my bra? Absolutely not!"
"I might wear this to the beach, but it's too sheer for an important event. When the flash hits this dress, you're going to see EVERYTHING."
"One thing I liked about this dress is that it was long enough! I'm 5'8" and a half, and this dress was long enough, even with my heels. I'm never not in heels."
Kala gave the Wonder Dress three and a half stars out of five.
"It's great that this brand is making accessible fashion for a range of sizes," she said. "But I wish the quality was better."
"When I tried to tie this, I realized the straps are thinner than they look online," she noted. "The thin straps meant my sideboob could have emerged at ANY time."
"Every time I pulled the thin straps to cover one thing, another thing was exposed. I was afraid my sideboob would pop out, and I don't even have big boobs! Anyone with a larger bust might have some coverage issues."
"Because the dress that arrived was so different from the dress pictured, I couldn't tie it the way I wanted," she said. "I needed help."
"This dress feels cheap and looks cheap. And if I'm going to an event, I want my dress to look EXPENSIVE... even if it isn't."
Marquaysa gave the Wonder Dress one and a half stars out of five.
As someone who rides the line between straight and plus sizes, Nicola is often overlooked when it comes to formal dresses.
"The color of the dress was much lighter than it was shown on the site, but milennial pink is the only color I really wear besides black," said Nicola.
"My issue was that however I tied it, there was NO support for my boobs. I really like the idea of a dress that you can style a lot of different ways, but if you have a bigger bust, you're more limited in terms of how you can wear it."
"This material was so thin, you could see my tattoos through it," she explained. "I like showing off my tattoos, but I don't like the idea of going to a wedding and having everyone see my underwear."
"Also, I couldn't tie this on my own. My editor helped me, and I loved the high neckline and open back style we eventually landed on, but it took a lot of work to finagle this even with a helper."
Nicola gave the Wonder Dress three and a half stars out of five.
"I could see myself wearing this to an outdoor spring wedding or a fancy night out with friends," she said. "But because the material is so thin, I'd definitely need pasties and flesh-colored Spanx at the ready."
"I like that you can wear this dress many different ways," said Mary. "I'm not usually a one-shoulder or halter girl, but because the material was so stretchy, it was comfortable to tie it this way."
But that stretchy material had some downsides, too. "There was some sideboob happening," Mary said. "I can imagine dancing in this dress and accidentally flashing someone."
"I'd definitely needed cups or padding in order to not make it *too* revealing in the bust," she said. "I’d probably need to wear a slip in order to walk down the aisle in this dress if I were in a wedding party... and if I have to buy a slip or get the dress lined, it defeats the purpose of it being affordable."
Mary's other issue was the Wonder Dress length. "I'm 5'6" on a good day," she said. "And this dress was a little long for me, even in heels."
Mary gave the Wonder Dress two stars out of five.
"I like the concept, but the execution needs work," said Mary. "Given how thin the material is, I think anyone who pays $80 for this is being ripped off. I would pay $18 of American currency for this dress, but no more."
So after all five of us tried on these magical transforming dresses, what did we learn?
We learned that even with all the issues this piece had, it IS possible to make dresses that fit a wide range of body sizes and shapes. All of us, from a size 2 to a size 18, were able to comfortably wear these dresses.
That said, when you're making clothes for bigger bodies, you can't just take a straight size dress and make the waist bigger. There should be more support in the ties and more coverage around the bust to make sure plus-size people feel as supported (and, um, uplifted) as their straight size counterparts.
We learned that sometimes you really DO get what you pay for. These Nuroco dresses are cheaper than many convertible, transformable dresses — and it shows. Nobody wants to go to a summer wedding with their underwear on full display. For $80, the fabric quality should be higher.