If you’ve searched for any wedding inspiration online, chances are good that you’ve come across shots of a bride and her bridesmaids in matching (or coordinating) flowered robes – and chances are very good that those robes came from Plum Pretty Sugar.* I was interested in something from Plum Pretty Sugar for my wedding morning, and possibly as a gift to my maid of honor (Steph, of course), but couldn’t find many reviews of the line. Thus, this post!
These reviews include some affiliate links (denoted with *) – if you click through and/or make a purchase using these links, it generates a small amount for us, at absolutely no cost to you. We’ll always include the full name of products so you can find them easily, should you prefer not to use our links. If you do use our links, a huge thank you for helping us continue to grow Smartly Wed!
Update, July 2018: We’ve added current prices, taken down links to products that have since sold out, and added asterisks (*) to all affiliate links.
If you find yourself in Orange County, Plum Pretty Sugar now has a retail location in Brea. For everyone else, online is going to be the easiest option, so here are some things to keep in mind:
1. My first piece of advice is to contact customer service with any concerns before you place an order. I wish I had before I went through two rounds of returns with items that didn’t fit! The customer service team got back to me super quickly every time I contacted them, and they have a live chat during business hours, too.
2. There’s no incentive to ordering in bulk for your maids (see robe sets here,* for example), as there’s no discount for ordering multiples. So, if you wanted to order nightshirts for some, pants for others, etc., go for it!
There’s also no discount when you order a top and bottom as a set, as in this short-sleeved top & pant set * in Oceane Lulls the Billows, which is $69, but the pants are normally $42 and the top normally $27, so just order them separately if you’d prefer a different top or bottom.
3. Basic size guides are provided here, but they only have numerical size ranges (extra small is 0-2, small 4-6, etc.). There are more specific guides available for various items, with measurements in inches, but you’ll need to e-mail customer service (why these aren’t freely available on the website, I have no idea, as it would’ve saved me two sets of return shipping). I received a link to the robe size guide within a few hours of e-mailing customer service.
4. Shipping isn’t free, and you’ll need to pay for shipping for exchanges, as well, so the more precisely you can order the first time, the better. They don’t accept returns, but you can exchange things within 14 days, as long as they’re not sale items. In my (now extensive) experience, it doesn’t have to be an even exchange; the return just gets you store credit, which you can use on any item.
5. Plum Pretty Sugar has several collections; see the swatch guide here. I’ve tried items from the Signature collection as well as the BHLDN collection. While the well-known kimono robes are available in most prints, that’s not true for all. Some of the styles I liked best were only available with the non-BHLDN line of prints, or vice versa. All of the patterns I’ve tried have been true to the way they appeared on my computer.
6. Most of the fabrics have a light background, which is fairly sheer – good to remember if you plan to wear these robes or pajamas for photos or in front of a group!
Having tried two different patterns from the PPS collection (Sweet Love & Yonderflies, 5 O’Clock at Rajasthan Palace) and two from the BHLDN collection (Viviette Encounters a Lark, Imogen Whisked Afloat), my first reaction was that the fabric on the latter was much softer than the former. I can’t generalize to every pattern in the collections, but I’d be willing to bet that’s true for all of them, so keep that in mind. The standard collection felt much stiffer, more scrubs-like.
All of their products are listed as 100% cotton voile, but there are multiple fabrics that can make cotton voile (while all being called cotton voile). Again, it’s a guess, but I’d imagine the lines aren’t made of exactly the same materials.
Kimono Style Robe
5 O’Clock at Rajasthan Palace looks in person as it does online – a vibrant pink, with gold detailing. I loved this pattern – I still love this pattern – but as noted above, didn’t love how the fabric felt. If Plum Pretty Sugar decided to bring this back with a softer cotton, I’d be first in line. The belt comes detached, and there’s an internal tie, as well.
I expected that the “kimono style” would have a wide sleeve, but it’s actually a normally-sized sleeve with excess fabric attached. As you can see in the photo, the majority of the sleeve is sewn shut, so it’s more like a flap. I didn’t mind it as much as I thought I might, but some may.
If you typically have a hard time getting button-down shirts (or similar) to fit properly, I’d strongly suggest checking out the more detailed robe size guide. My shirt size varies depending on the brand, but I usually need a large (12-14) in styles that don’t button; I’ve given up on button downs, as I need an extra large, which is then too big in the shoulders and in sleeve length.
Despite this, I gave the robe my best shot. I initially ordered a large, which fit fine everywhere except the chest, where it was… not something I’d wear in front of people. I exchanged the large for the extra large, which now fit in the chest, but otherwise looked like I was wearing a shapeless hospital gown. S gave me a sympathetic look and said it was up to me if I wanted to keep it (I’ve long since learned that’s code for “I don’t like this thing”).
Ultimately, I went with the large in a different pattern, but I still imagine myself lounging in the long version of this robe on the balcony somewhere overlooking the ocean. If they had this robe in my size right this moment, I might re-order it, despite my dislike of the fabric, that’s how much I love this pattern.
My robe is actually unavailable right now – you can find a few pieces in the Rajasthan print still on sale, but neither the short nor long robe is available as of this update (July 2018).
After giving up on 5 O’Clock at Rajasthan Palace, I went with my second-favorite, Imogen Whisked Afloat * (only ankle-length available, on sale for $47). This robe I ordered in a large, and kept in a large, despite the aforementioned sizing issues. This is a white fabric with a dusty pink floral pattern, predominantly, and some lighter pinks and blues. It’s not as bold a pink as the 5 O’Clock at Rajasthan Palace, though it’s also an accent color, rather than the main fabric color.
My robe, pictured here on the right, was available in knee length (I’m 5’2”, and it hit me in the middle of my knee cap) but appears to currently only be available in ankle length ($47, was $70). I’ve not tried the ankle length, so I can’t speak to how long it is (this is where I’d suggest contacting customer service, particularly if you’re tall).
Not pictured is the Flutter Robe * in Imogen Whisked Afloat ($45, was $65). I neglected to take a photo before hastily returning this one – I felt it was too frilly and cupcake-y on me, though I ordered it in an extra large, so that probably exacerbated this effect. The sleeves were shorter than with the Kimono Robe, but where the Kimono Robe sleeves are sewn shut, the Flutter Robe sleeves were not. The fit otherwise seemed to be the same.
On the left of the previous photo are the Shorties in Imogen Whisked Afloat * ($22, was 27). These aren’t very fitted, so if you like a more fitted style, you might try sizing down. I went with a large, which was comfortable in the waist, but felt like everywhere else could’ve been more fitted (that’s also where I’m currently the largest, in terms of pants, for what that’s worth). I tried a different style of shorts in a medium (see below), and the fit everywhere but the waist was better for me.
The Shorties have a fully elastic waist, as you can see in these photos, featured in Viviette Encounters a Lark * ($22, was $27). The fabric is a sky blue color with flowers and darker blue birds – completely my fault for not realizing how prominent the bird pattern would be, so this was an immediate no for me.
Next, I tried the Petal Shorts * in Sweet Love & Yonderflies, a pattern that is currently unavailable ($26, linked to the colors still available). Unlike the shorties, this style doesn’t have a fully elastic waist – ugh. I wanted to love these. I still want to love these shorts. They’re cut higher on the sides, and have a “petal” of fabric going from the front to the back. They are, unfortunately, only elastic in the back, so there’s very little forgiveness. This style is not available in the BHLDN patterns.
When I ordered, larges were sold out, so I tried a medium in Sweet Love & Yonderflies (as noted, sold out, but other styles in this pattern available here *) – as noted above, they were fine everywhere but my waist (which, again, because I want to be as thorough as possible, is larger, proportionately, than my hips – I am owning this to help you, the readers!)
If you’re considering the Petal Shorts, I’d ask for a size chart and size up if you’re at all unsure about your size.
FRONT BUTTON TANK TOP
Along with the Petal Shorts, I tried the Front Button Tank Top * in Sweet Love & Yonderflies. The name is exactly right – it buttons all the way down the front, which is where I usually run into trouble, and this shirt was no exception. I ordered an extra large, and still couldn’t get the top button comfortably buttoned.
The pattern (below) is white with tiny red and magenta flowers. It was a little too 70s for me, up close, and I didn’t pick this up from the photos online.
Pretty PJ Shirt
I had such high hopes for this, as all of the real wedding photos made the Pretty PJ Shirt * (in Viviette Encounters a Lark) look adorable. I’m sure it is adorable on some people, but it was a disaster on me. If you, like me, have to size up to get shirts to button, you’ll probably want to pass on this. Online, it looked like a cute, slightly oversized pajama top. On me, it looked like a too-large, boxy uniform shirt.
This is not a long shirt – if you’re tall or have a long torso, ask for the length, as you might find it too short. It was on the verge of short on me, and again, I’m only 5’2”.
Breezy Bloomfall Top
One last try with the tops – I figured if any would work, it would be the Breezy Bloomfall Top * (shown in Imogen Whisked Afloat, currently $18, was $26). Adjustable straps, because straps are always too long on me, and a trapeze-style fit, so more forgiving. Unfortunately, the fabric doesn’t drape very well, so rather than hanging down from my chest, it mostly stuck straight out – not a great look on anyone, I’d venture. I ordered this in an extra large, and the top band (you can see this in the photo, above where the gathers start) was digging in. If you’re less top-heavy, I could imagine this shirt working out.
The Lounge Pants * (in Imogen Whisked Afloat) fit exactly like the Shorties – a fully elastic waist and a wide leg, though this time it goes to the floor. If you don’t have short legs, these pants will be entirely too short on you. They grazed my ankles, and I have a 29” inseam; I wanted them to just touch the floor. As with the Shorties, I felt the waist was comfortable but the legs were too loose.
I kept the Shorties and Kimono Robe in Imogen Whisked Afloat. I’ve given up on finding a top from Plum Pretty Sugar that both fits and is flattering on me, so if I end up wearing my Shorties and Kimono Robe on my wedding morning, I’ll look for a cute coordinating pajama top. I’m still holding out hope that 5 O’Clock at Rajasthan Palace comes back in a softer fabric.
Have you worn Plum Pretty Sugar for your wedding? Are you considering purchasing for yourself or bridesmaids? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
MJ Moore says
I love that you did this review, as I have mixed feelings myself when it comes to Plum Pretty Sugar! I got married a year before they got started, but when I discovered them maybe eight years ago, I fell in love with their prints. Owing to circumstances, I didn’t give them a try until the past year, though.
And I found, like you, the website’s photography has the effect of muting the colors in the prints, so any pops of color are toned down. They’re still gorgeous in real life, just less water-color-y. (For reference, I have items in Darling Jardin Bleu, Pink Love Poppy, Mists Upon Golden Swirls, and Beckoning Creatures. DJB is quite bold in real life, the others closer to the website photos.)
The cuts are less forgiving than I expected for “Loungerie” 🙂 I was lucky enough to be able to work with the medium in everything, but there is no wiggle room in the tops *at all*. Also, my Breezy Bloomfall top in Mists, etc. had the strap come unattached after I slept in it exactly one night. I fixed it myself, no biggie, but I’m not gonna lie, I do have questions about these pieces will hold up to everyday use.
Funny story: I missed having PPS as an element in my wedding by one year. After my husband and I started our family, sometime between my second and third child I contacted PPS with the suggestion that they consider expanding into maternity/ breastfeeding friendly wear. They responded nicely that they thought their items would already work for maternity/breastfeeding (now I’ve tried their tops, all I can say is, nope. Not so much.) So now, two years later, they have “Chick & Bunny” maternity robes! I had my (final) child a year ago, so I missed their maternity line by a year too! Oh well 🙂
But I still love the prints and actually have a couple of items in my cart right now, from their ongoing flash sale. They actually offered to refund my shipping if I complete my purchase- except for flash sale items…
Smartly Wed says
Hi MJ! Thanks so much for commenting! I absolutely agree with you about the colors and the fit.
I haven’t worn either of my pieces yet, but I share your suspicion about the long-term durability. Have you found they wash decently well?
I was tempted to pick up some flash sale items but figured the odds of me wanting to return were high, so decided to pass. – K
MJ Moore says
Well, I’ve followed the instructions to wash on delicate, with cold water, and line dry. The items have turned out well so far 🙂 But… it’s only been a couple of washes. No running of dye or anything- they look good at least for now!
Yeah, these things are pretty expensive for what they are, so I tend to focus on markdowns. But then the final sale aspect helps me think long and hard…
Smartly Wed says
That’s good to know! My interactions with customer service were good, so I wonder if they’d replace items that didn’t hold up? Worth an ask, I think, if you run into trouble!
I almost always regret final sale purchases from all stores, sadly. I have received some PPS promo codes in the past, though, but usually only 10-15% off (still better than full price!)
Ting Ting says
I got the robes in 100% rayon and also did a wash delicate cold wash and hang dry. However, the robes came out stained in dark blue spots (from the floral dye) and I am having a difficult time with customer service in terms of exchanges. I am disappointed in the customer service for something that wasn’t my fault, as I clearly followed the instruction. Now I am left without gifts for my bridesmaids- and I am not sure if customer service will help me.
Smartly Wed says
Hi Ting! Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear that happened to your robes! Plum Pretty Sugar does have a pretty strict return policy (exchanges only for store credit), and they’ll only take back damages / defects within the first 48 hours, and not due to washing. We’re not affiliated with them, so I can’t say for sure, but I’d hope that they might work with you if the dyes ran (and I know I’d be frustrated if I followed the directions & that happened to me!)
Have you tried calling them? I’ve interacted with PPS customer service a few times, trying to get sizes right, and they’ve always been helpful (though that’s a different situation, of course). Return policies for smaller companies can often be a headache, I’m well aware. If you can’t get replacements, maybe they would give you a discount on another purchase? Or, as I had to do with something I bought for my wedding, you could look at your credit card company’s coverage for items that a company won’t take back? I hope that helps, and good luck!