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Johanna Ortiz x H&M Review

Johanna Ortiz Review
    In minor, lighthearted, low-stakes news, the full Johanna Ortiz collection dropped at H&M today and I'm going to review it. I felt a little torn about this because for the last few years I've been moving away from buying from any fast fashion brands and otherwise would try to only buy H&M secondhand. On the other hand, I'm a long time Johanna Ortiz fan (my first JO dress) and want to support her collection to help it be a commercial success. If you don't know her, Johanna Ortiz is a Colombian designer (read a profile here) whose clothes I always think of as colorful, flirty and expensive. I feel like 3 years ago I remember her dresses retailing for around $1,000 (still too expensive for me but I bought secondhand or otherwise heavily reduced - they often appear on TheRealReal.com) but recently I've been seeing them retailing for closer to $1,500-$2,500. In this collab, nothing that I saw is over $70. 
     I was curious to see what she would do with H&M and what the quality of the pieces would be. Obviously, the fabrics are going to be different from what is in her normal collections. As a petite lady I also always appreciated that her sizing ran a little smaller and was curious if that would carry through in the collection. My thoughts are woven throughout below, but my overall impression was positive. I think there are a few items where fit was sort of strange (on me at least - and I'll point it out below) but that otherwise I thought it was a cute and well-done collection for the price. Most of the dresses had pockets, a few were lined and a lot of them had cute details like semi-open backs or covered buttons. 

This is what I tried on:

Johanna Ortiz HM Review
Johanna Ortiz HM Review
     First up, this short red dress ($34.99 - I'm going to list US prices taken from the H&M website. Mine were in AED so there was a small difference in prices). This is one part where trying these on outside the US might mean I had a different experience. I grabbed the smallest size in all of the pieces I tried on, which was a UK 6/EUR 34. I assumed that meant that it was a XS in American sizing but about halfway through my try-on I looked at a fabric tag to confirm if something was linen and I saw that the sizing there said that this was a XXS in American sizing. So, to the extent the collections are the same, it looks like this collection ranges from XXS-XXL. In this particular style, the XXS was a little too tight around the waist. I did like the button and wrap details in the back, but overall the print wasn't for me so I didn't bother trying it in a bigger size. This one wasn't lined. 
Johanna Ortiz HM Review Petite
     This dress ($49.99) and the leaf dress up above were the two pieces I was most excited about. I think the print is really cute, the dress is 100% linen and I love the dramatic poof on the sleeves. However, it was too large on me. Even when I belted it and rolled up the sleeves it was still a little much, so I passed but I think it would be awesome on a taller woman. (I'm 5'3" or about 160 cm.) This one also wasn't lined. 
Johanna Ortiz HM Review Petite
H&M Johanna Ortiz Review
     This one ($59.99) ended up being my favorite and is the one I bought. It is lined, has pockets and also has covered buttons running down the front. On the model it is a midi length but on me it is more like a maxi. I love the waistband and the sleeves. It is maybe a smidge too big in the waist (you can see me holding it in the second image) but I think I have the sewing skills to nip that in ever so slightly and so I decided it was worth it. 
Johanna Ortiz HM Review
Johanna Ortiz HM
     Cali, Colombia, where JO is based, has been called the salsa capital of the world, and as someone currently taking salsa classes herself, I really almost bought this whole thing just to wear to class. It is a top ($24.99) and skirt ($49.99) (as seen in the first image - in the second one I'm wearing my own top). I thought the puff sleeves of the top were so fun and appreciated how voluminous they were. The black & white print on the skirt wasn't my favorite but it certainly has some sassy ruffles. 
Johanna Ortiz HM Review
Johanna Ortiz HM Review
Johanna Ortiz HM Petite
     This is a dress ($69.99), not a skirt. I really liked the color and print of this one, but I am not a fan of the one-long-sleeve look. Also, my hair sort of obscures it by the non-sleeve side dips pretty low and would definitely show a strapless bra. I wanted to see what it would have looked like as a skirt so I folded down the top and I loved it. If it ever goes on sale I would consider buying it and turning it into a top and skirt. This one was lined. 
Johanna Ortiz HM Review
Johanna Ortiz HM Review
     This dress ($69.99) was definitely too large for me. Also, I liked the floucy-ness of the top but sort of wish it had been off the shoulder. I'm including the second image so you can see some of the details, this one had a flap that buttoned behind the zipper and I thought was a nice touch. It was also lined but, if I remember correctly, I don't think it had pockets. 
     This is a bad picture but I wanted to include the swimsuit. This one was too small for me and I also tried the UK 8. That one fit better everywhere but the bust. It is a one shoulder swimsuit and, while I have a pretty small chest it was barely contained on the side that didn't have the strap. It cut across too low (sort of similar to the pink dress) and wasn't flattering. 

That's my roundup. There were a few other dresses I didn't try (mostly in yellow, which I don't really wear ever) and the swimsuit and the top also came in different color/prints. Hope this was helpful if you were curious about this collection. 

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. These prints are really fun. I particularly like the leaf print on the dress you bought!

    I hope all is well where you are. Things feel a little intense in NYC at the moment, though K and I are very lucky in that it's pretty easy for us to get set up to socially distance and stay home for at least a week or two (and longer, if needed).

    1. Hi Xin, thank you so much for asking! It has gotten pretty crazy recently but just trying to stay calm and positive. I'm basically just inside all day but I think some sort of shelter-in-place order is probably going to be in place for us soon. Stay safe!