This dress (thanks to Herself for the link, and those of you who are both plus-size and on LiveJournal should check out the blog she moderates, Fatshion Victim) is from Newport News. Now, I know we've had this conversation before — Newport News, like Lucy, is not to be trusted. I mean, it doesn't have the near-100% guile rate of Lucy Van Pelt, but, really, I've said and you've said in comments that sometimes the dresses are great, and sometimes you get something that was sewn together by hyperactive five-year-olds with a record player needle out of plastic carrier sacks.
This is actually a very powerful idea from psychology: intermittent reinforcement. You're more motivated to persevere when the reward is variable then when it's predictable. Scary, huh? I picture the Newport News headquarters being full of experimental psychologists in white coats, randomly assigning dresses to "good" and "crap" piles and then watching our ordering patterns. And laughing, definitely laughing.
I would hope that this one would be one of the good ones, especially because of the print. But I don't think I'm going to order it, even though it's only $49. (If you want to — and it goes through a size 18), let me know if when you pushed the lever you got a reward this time, okay?