A Napier woman whose dress purchase turned out to be an online dud has finally found the dress of her dreams - this time by shopping locally.

Practically blooming in her new 1950s style frock on Thursday, Michaela Smith can finally say goodbye to the cursed blue dress that gained her international attention.

Her whirlwind adventure began about a year ago when she purchased a $27 vintage-style dress off popular website Ali Express.

But even though she checked her measurements, the dress arrived several sizes too small, and in an entirely different style to that pictured on the site.

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 Michaela Smith's online purchase went viral after purchasing a dress several sizes too small despite checking her measurements. Photo / Supplied
Michaela Smith's online purchase went viral after purchasing a dress several sizes too small despite checking her measurements. Photo / Supplied

Unsure of what to do, the dress hung in Smith's wardrobe for a year, before she placed it on Trade Me.

She expected nothing from the auction, but got a whole heap, including an unexpected support network from other plus-size women.

Standing at 183cm tall, Smith is plus-size and ranges between size 18-20.

The 31-year-old gets confidence from the clothes she wears and it showed when she wore her new dress on Thursday.

Michaela Smith from Tamatea, Napier. Ali Express dress story. February 21st 2019 Hawke's Bay Today Photograph by Paul Taylor
Michaela Smith from Tamatea, Napier. Ali Express dress story. February 21st 2019 Hawke's Bay Today Photograph by Paul Taylor

Smith said hundreds of women had since reached out to her after she posted her dress on Trade Me showing admiration for her bold and humorous move.

"I haven't taken myself too seriously throughout all of this and that's had quite a positive effect on people as well.

"I've been quite overwhelmed.

"For women who aren't so confident and are plus-size I would just tell them to love themselves, to experiment with clothes, find what makes you comfortable, put yourself out there and just work it."

Smith's dud dress eventually sold for $190 with the buyer telling her that he didn't want the dress, but only bought it to show support for what she was doing.

"I honestly don't know what I'm going to do with it - I think I'll get it made into a cushion cover."

Smith was planning on spending the money on her new dress from Two Lippy Ladies in Napier - but shop owner Natalie O'Donnell treated her even further by gifting her the dress at no cost.

"I think it's just great what she's been doing so it's just a nice way of ending the story when it comes to the blue dress," O'Donnell said.