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Product Review: Leota Sheath Dress

Flattering to all sorts of body shapes, and resolutely wrinkle free, this dress is an ideal travel companion.

What is it: Leota Sheath Dress

Price and Where to Buy: $138 on Leota.com

Pros: This dress refuses to wrinkle. Even after being stuffed into the corner of a suitcase for a transatlantic journey, it emerged smooth and ready to wear. The cut is flattering, and the self-tie belt is forgiving. It can be dressed up or down easily (I wore it all day and then to an evening out, changing only my shoes between events). It’s also comfortable, and though it’s made of synthetic fabrics (rayon and spandex), it didn’t smell bad after multiple wears on the road.

Cons: This and other Leota dresses have a slightly higher price point, but wearing one feels like an investment for your wardrobe, one that adapts easily to both daily wear and travel use.

How it Rates:

  • Usefulness: 9/10.  Flattering to all sorts of body shapes, and resolutely wrinkle free. This dress is an ideal travel companion.
  • Value: 8/10. At $138, this dress isn’t an impulse purchase for most budgets. But it just might end up being the hardest-working item in your closet.  
  • Durability: 8/10. This dress seems very well made, with strong seams and fabrics that feel good against the skin. It doesn’t need to be dry-cleaned, which is a huge plus for travelers. When I machine washed mine, it stretched out some (machine washing is OK, but hand-washing is preferred, I learned), but by the time it was dry, it had mostly self-corrected.
  • Cool Factor: 10/10.  This dress is a clear winner, merging great style with travel-friendly fabrics. And Leota gets additional cool points for making its dresses in the U.S.

Final Verdict: If you’re willing to invest in a dress that looks great and travels extremely well, this should be on the top of your shopping list. The company also makes a number of variations on the sheath-dress theme, as well as wrap dresses, maternity dresses, and other styles. Note that the dress seems to run slightly large though, so order accordingly.

(Photo: Leota)

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at editor@smartertravel.com.

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