Diane Kroe Origami Top
Gear,  Reviews

From Dress to Top and Back: Diane Kroe Origami Top

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Diane Kroe Origami Top

Confession: I am not a pretty traveller.

As much as I admire those photoshoot type photos that so many female travellers seem to be able to take and post on Instagram, that’s not my real travel life. I bring minimal makeup, zero hair products, and my clothes are usually yoga pants and cotton shirts that will wash and wear easily.

However, as great as those clothes are for exploring, they kind of suck when it comes to going out. Not that I need a ballgown and high heels, but sometimes it would be nice to have a dressier option. But when travelling for months at a time battling with weight restrictions, adding a few more shirts or dresses into the mix is often just not a realistic or smart option. Especially since I’m not the best packer to start with; even while keeping ‘minimal’ my bag always ends up heavier than I want.

So for the past couple years I have settled on having one, maybe two, tops that could possibly pass for a little dressier when going out, but they usually still make me feel like a backpacker. However, knowing that this trip I was going to a conference, working with a couple luxury brands, and probably hitting some clubs and bars at some point, I hoped to find something a little more stylish than usual.

Queue Canadian designer Diane Kroe’s Origami Top: shirt, halter, and dress all in one lightweight piece of fabric.

Diane Kroe Origami Top

It sounded magical, and I was immediately intrigued, but also skeptical. Could one piece of fabric really look good in multiple ways? And, more importantly to me, would they look good on my curves? Or was it another piece of clothing for stick figures only?

Only one way to find out.

I brought the origami top with me to Bali, bringing it out for the first time in stylish Seminyak for my girls’ getaway. While it was too hot out to wear as the long sleeve top (although it was a look I loved), I did wear it as a halter during the day.

Diane Kroe Origami Top

And as dress one evening.

Diane Kroe Origami Top

I liked it as a dress best, probably because I only had one other dress with me and plenty of tops.

The looks, as provided by a informative pamphlet included in the package, were easy to mimic and put together. While I definitely had my favourites, all styles worked on my body type which definitely impressed me. I did find it a little short when I wore it as a halter, but no skin showed and it was totally appropriate; I just tend to prefer longer tops.

The top itself was lightweight and easy to pack. It also washed and dried really quickly in the warm sun, and looked as good as new after being hand washed. The only complaint I had was the material wasn’t the most breathable. I got really hot really quickly walking around wearing it in the middle of the day in the high heat and humidity, so ended up saving it for evenings when the sun was down and it was a little cooler. Definitely a better choice, which was fine by me because evenings out were what I really needed it for anyway.

**note: The designer has since informed me that the origami top comes in different materials. I have the heavier material (Brazil Knit- the least see through & no undie lines). There is also a lighter weight Venezia material, and coming soon, the Spa Jersey material. 

So would I recommend the origami top? Absolutely. The flexibility of having multiple outfits in one piece is pure gold to travellers such as myself. The fact that it is actually stylish (cough, cough zip pants) only ups the value. And being adaptable to all body types only seals the deal on this travel piece.

Want one of your own? Shop for your favourite colour, and check out the rest of the Diane Kroe travel clothing line. Use promo code HANNAH10 to save $10 on your purchase!

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The Origami Top was provided for me for review by Diane Kroe brand. However all opinions are, as always, my own.

Photos by the talented Robyn Hartzell

11 Comments

  • Sky

    I need this in my life! Packing and I never get along very well and I’ve contemplated similar clothing pieces before but everything seems to be designed for tall and thin. I LOVE that this is perfect for curvy girls too.

  • Kat

    After stumbling across your blog post then watching Diane Kroe’s videos several times and deliberating carefully over all the items Diane offered, I ordered her Wrap Top and was very disappointed. I’m short and very curvy (waist over 10″ smaller than hips) and ordered this in the white spa fabric (it comes in white, black, coral, or red – I thought white would be best for my needs) after contacting Diane Kroe and providing my measurements and being assured that a standard size garment would fit me, rather than needing a custom order garment.

    I couldn’t wear it as a wrap top because it bunched up in my midsection (like water, clothing seeks the path of least resistance) and because it was white and the light-weight spa fabric, the layers of fabric wrapped underneath were obvious (which looks weird when they’re bunched up). In the “how-to-wear” video for the Wrap Top, they suggest that women can let the tails just hang free – not so for short women as the tails on my standard size garment nearly brushed the ground.

    No matter how high you wear the neckline on the halter, the back is almost entirely open, so you either have to wear it braless, wear a backless bra, wear a cami under, or wear a cardigan, wrap, or some other item over it so the back doesn’t show. Again, my upper body is much narrower than my lower body, so if I wrapped it tightly enough to cover my upper body, that presented issues at the bottom of the shirt where it hit my hips. Same issue with the crew neck style – the back is still open. Again, the crew neck style didn’t stay in place on my hips and rode up and gathered around my waist, as did the halter.

    I also ordered the Carry-On-Cozy Parisienne ($73.67 USD) and was dismayed to discover that the line of snaps were visible if they weren’t actually snapped (the product listing says they are strategically hidden and they aren’t visible in any product photos). With the snaps visible on one side of the garment and the tag visible on the other, it appeared inside out no matter how it was worn.

    Given the expense of these garments, I couldn’t justify keeping them if I didn’t love them – I could just imagine trying to get the Wrap Top to fit properly while trying to quickly get ready for a day of sightseeing, and having to keep readjusting it all day. Ms. Kroe only allows exchanges, not returns (I requested a return instead of an exchange, citing the standard size of my garments and the fact that they’d never been worn/washed and could still be easily re-sold – she seemed to say yes, but now keeps referencing my exchange since that the items have been sent back) so if you find you have trouble getting clothes to fit without alteration normally, proceed with caution since you can’t try it on before buying and can’t easily return it if it doesn’t work out. Additionally, the only reviews about these product are blog posts like yours – all positive.

    • Hannah Logan

      I’m sorry they didn’t work out for you! I haven’t tried the wrap top but I really do love my carryon cozy. Mine is a navy/golden colour and the snaps are dark so they blend in really well against the navy, plus the ways I tend to wear it they are snapped up. I have said in my reviews I don’t find every way you can wear it the best look for my body- I don’t love the origami top as a halter or the carryon cozy as a dress, but at the end of the day I do love my Diane Kroe products and my pieces have at least 2 looks that work well for my body. I’m actually going to a show she’s at here in Ottawa her this week with the intent of buying a new piece for upcoming travels.

    • Karen Li

      The wrap top didn’t work for my short busty frame either. I love the origami top, wanderlust, infinity and the endless. These might be better options for you. If you’re able to make it to one of her shows, you can try products on the spot before you buy. Good luck.

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