Ace & Jig 3rd Drop Try-Ons and Reviews at A. Cheng (Part 2)

One of the pieces I was most excited to try at A. Cheng was the Ace & Jig Hot Cross Dress in Carnival. Not because I loved it — quite the opposite in fact. I would never have ordered this for myself, and likely would never have had the chance to try it on had it not been in a nearby store. 

But after witnessing it sell out on site after site during rolling pre-orders, my curiosity was piqued. It was clearly an Ace community favorite. I needed to see what the fuss was about.  

My (very detailed!) thoughts and try-on pics below.

I've tried on the Hot Cross Top in Damask before at Barneys, and that was a big ol' fail on me. (It was in an instagram story at the time, and maybe someday I'll make it permanent on this blog.) The Hot Cross Dress in Carnival, I'm pleased to report, works significantly better due to the weight of the length. I'm wearing an XS in the above photos, and would have sized down to a nonexistent XXS.

Sizing: The XS was a bit big on me, since I have no chest to speak of. This is one that would benefit greatly from some nips and tucks, as I will detail below. I would definitely recommend trying on multiple sizes in this if at all possible.

Cross-Straps: The most notable feature of this dress is also the most finicky. If your bust doesn't perfectly fill out the front, and if the straps aren't placed juuuuust right, you WILL get the bunching that you can see in the image from Founders & Followers. This is definitely one that needs a bit of alteration for a good fit.

Back: Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the back because my overtly-efficient boyfriend deleted them, thinking I just wanted to see what it looked like, and not suspecting that you, my adoring fans, might want to see as well. You'll just have to believe me when I say that it looked nice when worn alone, sans bra. Which brings me to...

Body: The overall shape is that of an ideal summer dress: It drapes well, is more lightweight than its color would suggest, is a modest length (no Monroe moments for you!) and hangs gently away from the body, encouraging maximum airflow. A lovely, shady, body tent on hot summer days.

Pockets: Yes! There are pockets! But admittedly somewhat to the detriment of the shape. The hip pockets do seem to emphasize the hips a little bit, and it's up to you whether that's an issue or not. My try-on buddy Sara suggested tacking the pockets down so they lay flat instead of bunching at the sides, which seems smart, though again, effortful.

Braless Potential: High — the textile is lightweight without being sheer, and the swiss dots and loose cut camouflage any other, um, bumps that may otherwise be visible. Sideboob potential seemed pretty low, too, even on petite me.

Layering Potential: Questionable. Don't get me wrong. It looks super cute layered. I'm picturing it with a Wheeler Shirt or other button-down, but whatever is worn underneath must be reasonably fitted to avoid bunching. Though it looks cute with the Sylvia Top below, the back was an awkward, bunchy, uncomfortable mess. You'll probably want to stick to stretchy jersey underlayers.

Textile: Lightweight, drapey twill. Smooth and soft main textile with textured colorful nubs. Doesn't seem likely to pull.

Overall: Not really my style or textile, and alterations-required makes it too high-maintenance for me. but I'll be keeping an eye on it.

The Ace & Jig Sylvia Top in Pearl was pretty unremarkable to me. This is a size XS, and I found it TTS. I'm not personally a fan of the high and slightly ruffled collar, but worn with buttons in front, it's not particularly offensive to me either. It's not something I would ever buy for myself, but it's not particularly amusing to hate on either. So let's move on.

While I wasn't 100% sold on either of the two pieces alone, the two of these pieces worn together is pretty ridiculously cute.  I could see it working even better with a Booker Blouse in Pearl, or a Wheeler Top in Stellar. 

Even with the myriad fit issues noted above, this combo nearly got me, if only in photos. The fabrics are too good. 

Did you order a Hot Cross Dress this drop? What are your thoughts now that you've read this in-depth review? I'm curious as to how this piece fits others! 


  1. Thanks for the try-ons Wendy! I feel like this drop took me by suprise too! This is super helpful. So you think the hot cross dress is running oversized? I was debating saki, but wanted to see the shade of brown in real life-- might be hard to find one if it's going to be that popular :)

    1. Hi Irene,

      I did find it to run a bit big if you were aiming for a fitted look on top. I do have a smaller chest, and the XS could have been more fitted across the back for a better criss-cross. However, if in doubt, I would get your normal size and consider some minor alterations for a perfect fit. Wouldn't want it to get too small elsewhere... I think my hips would have been okay with the next size down for a shape similar to the gallery skirt from last spring, but it might have been tricky with pockets.

  2. So interesting about your take on the hot cross dress. To me it seemed very tts. I tried on the same ones you did (thanks for the heads up!), and ended up coming home with the small. There seemed to be such a small difference between the xs and small on me, but the small just draped a bit better over my hips, and I preferred the slightly looser look. There's no way I could get away without something underneath either of them (a bandeau bra works perfectly I think) because since I'm totally flat as well, both the xs and small just go way too low and loose in the underarm area - and that would not be a good look lol. Surprisingly the front slight v/dip was actually ok, even in the bigger size. And add one bandeau - or fitted tee - and I think I'm actually fine with zero alterations. I can see how this one will fit really differently on different body types - I think it can work for a range, but will just look quite different and/or require different amounts of tailoring. Perhaps I'll test out the backwards look tomorrow and report back on that ;)

    1. Interesting! I tried on the S first and the XS afterward and preferred the XS. The S was really bunchy on me in the back! I opted to go braless because, quite frankly, I've never found a bandeau bra that actually stays in place, so I basically end up braless anyways! I think you're probably narrower up top than I am, so I can see how armholes might be too deep for you.

      Ms. Sara Danielsen also tried this one on, and I swear that she looked better than I did. I think it would work for a range of body types, but those straps would need some adjusting for most.

  3. Hmm. The bunching didn't really bother me. Perhaps I'll just consider it ruching? Or a gathered back?

    As for the bandeau, I don't wear a real (aka strapless) one - that would fall down on me too. But my go to under all loosey goosey summer things is basically a bandeau with super thin straps - helps avoid major wardrobe malfunctions ;)