Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stream of consciousness: Anthropologie February catalogue

Want to shop through the February catalogue on your own? Here it is.

Cute Anthropologie...very cute...



Carmenes Bedding ($58-$248)
I would hate to be the guest in the greenhouse...



Stretching Acres Cardigan ($68) &
Peony Lore Skirt ($168)
...the perfect soft Spring cardigan
paired with a bold skirt...


...intricate leatherwork, I love the
cream colored base....


Jahoda Corset Top ($98)
...I love this top, but I hope
the bow is removable...


Compass Points tee ($58)
...my favorite item in the catalogue;
I love the Mediterranean-style print
and the tunic length...


White Pasque Tank ($78) &
Cicmany Skirt ($118)
...I love both items here,
just not together...



Pleated Carrot Trousers ($98) &
Bizuteria Tank ($218)
...no, no, no, it is not
Hammer Time...


Folkcraft Tank ($78) &
Knotted Knee Pants ($78)
...the soft tiers of the tank
look flattering...


Shadowlight Dress ($148)
...glamorous!...


Krasna Dress ($188)
...send this to me on Santorini...


Rastlina Blouse ($98)
...I think I owned a version
of this blouse when I was 5,
not that that's a bad thing...



Layers of Memory Blouse ($118)
...onions got layers, chocolate cake got layers,
and this shirt got layers...lovely layers.

Lucky lucky, you're so lucky


A story I had to share: I was at the 5th Ave Anthropologie (NYC) on Thursday night after a tough day at work. You know, the kind of day that only walking through fabulous stores and pretending to buy everything can cure.

I spotted the Tano Banana Cream Tote's ($188) berry cousin from this post last week and saw that it was on sale for $70. I decided a splurge was in order. Once up at the cash register though I was already feeling guilty; I really shouldn't spend any more money this month. So mid-purchase I started to tell the SA that I'd changed my mind when she said, "Oh my goodness." What, I asked? You're never going to believe this, she said.

This bag is on sale for $9.99.

The SA asked if there were any more but I'd gotten the last one. Best $10 I've spent this week. And a nice little pick me up.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Reviews: Glass-Of-Bubbly Dress


One of my favorite things about Anthropologie is they're not afraid of fun! Just because I'm in my 20s doesn't mean I shouldn't be allowed to wear fun things anymore. (And I plan on feeling the same way in my 70s.) If I want jewels on my jean pockets...well then I'm going to Bedazzle away! If I see a kid with a cool tee on...I'm gonna look for one in my size. Adult clothing is often too boring, boring, boring. Tans and greys and simple and zzzzzzz. Nothing wrong with a classic but let's spice it up every now and then!

All of which is a really long-winded way of saying I love the Glass-of-Bubbily Dress ($178) by Floreat because it's fun! I would wear this dress on a date. I would wear this dress when I am late. I would wear this dress in a band; I would wear this dress and do a hand stand. In the sun; on the run; I would recommend this dress to anyone!


In the store I was slightly confused. I saw both the tan and blue versions of the dress and though they looked similar they felt different. Sure enough, one check of the product page reveals that the tan dress is wool while the blue one is cotton. This made the tan dress thicker but I was comfortable in both in my true size 6. I maybe could have sized down to a 4 in the blue but feared the chest would be too tight. The shoulder straps were just a bit long on the tan dress but that could easily be fixed with pinning (or maybe a different one of the same dress).

The waist detail was incredibly flattering and the soft pleats of the skirt float nicely away from the body. I felt hot in this dress! The blue cotton version was my preference and it will most likely be my first February Anthropologie purchase.

Reviews: Waiting for Poems Sheath


I'm starting to feel the winter sillies setting in. Normally this is when I'd schedule a fabulous vacation to somewhere warm, with beaches and (hopefully) a friendly place to crash but this year I am staycation all the way. So I'm living vicariously through spring clothes.

I admit that I glossed over the Waiting for Poems Sheath ($178) in the January catalogue. Wasn't ready for it. But when I saw it in-store my only thought was: supercute! I tried on my true size 6 and found it comfortable. The dress is lined cotton with a side zip.



The bird and flower detail is very warm and pretty, and I like the pleats around the neckline. It took me a few minutes to decide whether I like the sash or not but it's won me over. I wish it was a true red rather than a coral color but if you don't like it you can remove it. This dress would look great with a white or ivory cardigan over it. To the Wishlist it goes.

Email: Best of the Dress


Anthropologie must have known that today is review week's dress day. How else to explain their latest email all about dresses? I have always been a fan of Anthro's dresses but the Two Rivers Dress ($118) featured in the email is a bit underwhelming to me. I like it, but Anthro has such fabulous dresses that I can't believe that's the one they chose to feature!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Looking for...Wildflower Cardigan and Wool Finch Skirt


I know this is a long shot, but I figure what the heck. I am trying to help a friend of mine find two Anthropologie items from Fall 2007 seen in the shot above: Sleeping on Snow's Wildflower Cardigan (size small) and Elevenses' Wool Finch Skirt (size 6/8). She would like to use it as her costume in a 1-woman play she is putting on in a month. We've been scouring eBay but no luck. If you or someone you know owns either and is willing to part with them please email me at snapsparkchik (at) gmail dawt com. Thanks. :) And if you're looking for an item from seasons' past feel free to post about it in the comments!

Reviews: The Artist's Totes


If your heart is set on a fun totebag for Spring, I heartily recommend The Artists' Totes ($68). They come in three different designs all with bold colors and striking fun patterns. They are big enough to hold documents (or sketch pads!) and are durable enough to hold a 15.4" laptop. I also love how the shoulder strap is a contrasting pattern.


My favorite pattern is the birdbath. I can't really say why; I think it reminds me of the birdbath in my side yard growing up. The bags all have interior linings though I did not notice an inside zipper pocket. I would not be surprised to see college students toting these around the city and I just may join them soon.

Reviews: Beribboned Bag

Deux Lux's Beribboned Bag ($88) has made its way through three permutations at Anthropologie: first it was white with yellow and brown, then blue/green and now amber waves of...ribbons. As usual with bags the product photos on Anthropologie's website are deceptive...I thought this was going to be a nice, small, hobo-style under the shoulder bag.


In real life though this bag is BIG! Much more of a beach-tote size than small purse. The shoulder strap is there for good reason! It's made of stiff cotton and I like the pattern of all three versions. (If you can find it, the blue version is on sale for $50). The yellow was sold last spring and I haven't seen it anywhere lately, even eBay. All three bags have rivets (shown in detail above) along the bag. It's a surprising touch.
Since the bag is bigger than I thought, so is the bow! You could easily take it off the bag and make into a belt. It's an interesting touch that becomes bold because of the bag's overall size. The bag closes with a zip and has one zipper pocket inside. I would totally use this as my Central Park bag in the summer and I feel like $88 is a pretty fair price.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reviews: Bai Mu Dan Skirt

(front)

The Bai Mu Dan Skirt ($118) takes its very clever name from a white tea that can only be harvested in the spring. Like the tea, the skirt has a golden shimmery hue to it along with pink accents around the waist. The cotton/viscose skirt reminded me a bit of curtains. Really nice curtains.

I was easily able to size down one size to a 6 in this skirt. The skirt sat lower on my hips than I would have expected, more on top of my hips than under my belly button. This skirt also had a lot of fun flounce to it! I freely admit to twisting around in the dressing room to see the fun effect.

(back)

The pattern on the side of the skirt is long grass stems with tiny leaves. The site product photo doesn't do a very good job of illustrating them. I found the pink patches on the back to be a bit bothersome...they are towards the side like jean pockets would be but they were clearly too high up to be over my bottom. They almost seem to taunt "here's where the muffin top is when she wears skinny jeans!" The black seam also created a weird line across my bottom and in my opinion made my butt look a bit droopy. But from the front I loved the skirt.

Online Anthropologie recommends trying the skirt with the Night Owl Tee ($98) and the Chinook Cardigan ($128) so I did. And it looked pretty silly together. But with the Labryinthe Tee (now $30) or the Leehi Shell (now $30)? Pretty sweet. I would not consider this skirt a must-have at full price, but I put it on my Wishlist for when it goes on sale.

Reviews: Fertile Loam Mini


The Fertile Loam Mini ($148) has an interesting name. The only other time I have ever heard the word loam was traveling in Ireland when a native was telling my then-guy and I about building his house out of "straw, sweat and loam." I don't think it's an allusion to the skirt's color either because I thought loam was kind of brown and sandy. This skirt has a grey-purple-lilac hue to it which is quite lovely. The website product shot does not capture the true color accurately in my opinion.


The Fertile Loam mini has appliques that kind of look like whirlwinds to me, or maybe twirling bows. That is what drew me in. It also has cutouts shaped like viney leaves. There are a few different fabrics used on the applique, but the skirt itself is linen. I am not a huge fan of linen -- I find itchy and stiff.


In trying on the skirt, I had some fit issues. My normal size 8 was a bit poofy on me off the hips, so I tried a 6. The 6 had the same poof issues, so I tried a 4. The 4 was tight on my waist but still looked kind of poofy off the hips. You know that scene in Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland' movie where Alice is falling and her skirt has caught the air and poufed out? That is how I felt I looked in the skirt -- like I was falling and my skirt had caught the air underneath. The skirt hit me above the knee (right at the top of my knee actually) but I don't know that I'd really call it a mini skirt. It was just shorter than normal. And of course the linen was structured so this skirt had no flounce to it. When I twisted from side to side, it just stayed put. A little less fun than a flouncy skirt.

Despite the poofiness I really liked the skirt's fullness. I tried it on with the Meadow Squill Top ($98) and liked the complete look (although it was a bit bland in color) and loved the skirt with the From the Ground Up Top ($68) that I reviewed earlier this week. This skirt is overall a maybe for me. The detailing is great but $148 for linen? I dunno.

Reviews: Oblique Pencil Skirt


The Oblique Pencil Skirt ($88) is a wine color that is so rich and intoxicating that I can spot it as soon as I walk into Anthropologie's Soho store no matter where it is displayed. The website picture really doesn't do the skirt justice.

I own plenty of pencil skirts already though so this try-on was just for fun. Made of cotton, the skirt is a bit stiff/rough to the touch but I suppose you want structure out of a pencil skirt. Though the front is adorned with off-center buttons they are just for show; the skirt actually opens and closes via a back zip.

One thing I love about pencil skirts is that they are shaped like me. Tiny waist with larger opening for the hips. So for me this skirt sat nicely on my natural waist in my true size (8). However, my friend with me at Anthro hated this skirt because on her lean, straight frame in her true size (4) it sat too low on her with weird bunching around her hips.

Lengthwise the shirt hit me at the top of my knee. I tried it paired with the Baltzer's Bridle Cardigan ($118) pictured at the top of this post but the affect wasn't as pulled together on me as it was on the model. I passed on both items, though I do like the skirt. It would work well as a work foundational piece.

Email: Skin Deep


In the winter my skin always gets dry, dry, dry. It's no surprise then that Anthropologie's latest email is all about skincare and bathing. Lotion, soap, etc. I have never used any of Anthro's skin products and honestly I don't plan on starting. I have smelled some of their items in-store and they smell pretty good but I have my tried and true regimen that I don't plan on changing any time soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reviews: Sweet William Blouse


I will just come out and say it: I love the menswear as women's wear trend. I think it can be very sexy and I love the way menswear fabrics are reinterpreted for feminine use. (I also get a kick out of the skirts on men trend. Maybe I'm weird.)

The Sweet William Blouse ($128) takes a masculine broadcloth-style dress shirt print and reimagines it as a decidedly feminine blouse. Princess seams? Check. Frilly sleeveless finish? Check. Rosettes a'plenty? Check. And let me tell you, I love this shirt.

Like many of Anthropologie's spring items, the shirt is slightly sheer. Seriously Anthro, what up with that? I am sick of having to wear camis under my spring/summer clothing. More layers + warm weather = bad! But it's my only qualm with the shirt.


I found the Sweet William Blouse to be true to size (6 for me). The poplin material was soft to the touch and sat down nicely. The princess seams on the front and back of the blouse lend a structured feel that accented my long torso nicely. This shirt hit me comfortably mid-hip.

The rosette details and well-sewn. The stitching did not waver and was not frayed anywhere on the shirt I tried on. In other words it was of excellent quality. But the detail itself is something you either love or hate. My guy said the rosettes resembled "cupcake foils opened up." Ha! I found that detail kind of endearing and, well, yummy. But I don't think he meant it as a compliment.

Another question is how long this style will hold up. We have two trends here: menswear as women's wear and embellishment. Personally I see this as an investment piece. I would buy it and wear it as long as it is in-style, then pack it up to be worn again in 10 years when the style comes back (the fashion cycles seem to be compacting these days!). Then again, it's a bit of a risk because these two styles together may never come back. I think it is worth the risk and the Sweet William Blouse is wishlist approved!

Reviews: With the Sun Blouse


You know how sometimes you see a shirt on the rack and know it's not for you, but fall in love anyway? That's how it was for me with the With the Sun Blouse ($98). It's all wrong for me -- the front has vertical pleats over the bust; it hits high-hip; it has short flutter sleeves. Still I tried it on hoping that it would somehow magically look fabulous on me.


The cotton-silk material was a bit slippery to the touch. It was also slightly sheer. I grabbed both my true size 6 and a size 8. The 6 was too tight across my chest so I was glad to have the 8. The 8 was better but still not very flattering to my hourglass shape. From the back the shirt was very cute, although maybe a bit shorter than I would have liked. But from the front it was all kinds of wrong. The vertical pleats were stretched and made me look incredibly wide, while the sleeves drew the sleeve right into the muscle in my shoulder which made my arms look wide as well.

I would recommend this shirt if you have a straight, lean figure. It was not a winner for me but might be for you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Reviews: From-the-Ground-Up Top


From the company that brought us the Labryinthe Tee (now $30) and the Field Day Tee (now $30) comes the From-the-Ground-Up top ($68). I'm pretty hit and miss with Deletta tops. I find their fits to be somewhat inconsistent. But I love this top.

It comes in dark grey (with purple undertones) and coral. Flutter sleeves always make me a bit nervous but the FTGU top puts them to elegant use. The neckline detail is pretty meh to me. I wasn't really impressed by it. I was more impressed by the soft feel of the shirt (cotton) and the fit. I was surprised by how much structure such a flowy top could have!


I had to size down one size (to a small) and even that was comfortably loose. I was pleased with how nice the shirt looked with my jeans. The slight a-line had a slimming effect and I could picture myself running errands on a spring weekend day in this top. The flutter sleeves were slightly weighted so that instead of standing on end the ends of sit down a bit. The result was a flattering arm line.

The bag of the top has a v-line of its own. No danger of bra exposure, but definitely some back for the world to see (or the sun to tan/burn). This top was another winner in my book, though it would be way more attractive at half-price.

Reviews: Curl & Twirl Sweater


The Curl & Twirl Sweater ($88) by Moth caught my eye with the curly-q neckline embellishment. It was available in both Ivory and Green at my local Anthropologie. I was a little worried that there are a few twirls with cutouts but decided it warranted a try-on.

I found this sweater to be true to size (medium for me). The Curl & Twirl Sweater is a cotton/nylon mix and has a medium-weight feel. I immediately disliked the ivory because it made me look very washed out. The green however was very nice! To me the color seemed closer to aqua than green. The sweater hit me mid-hip, right at the top of my Gap Long & Lean jeans. The low-cut neckline wasn't too revealing but because of the twirl cutout right over my chest I would probably wear a cami under this sweater for work. The shoulders weren't too floofy, which is sometimes an issue with flutter sleeves for me.


I was also pleasantly surprised when I turned around. I love that the curls and twirls continue on the back and I think this top would make a lovely spring date top! It wasn't so dressy though that I'd be afraid to wear it with chinos or shorts. I'll probably pair this with a skirt once I buy it, but for now to the Wishlist it goes!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Metapost: Reviews week!


Unfortunately this is shaping up to be a rough week at work. I have a big project that is close to over, but this next (and last) week is gonna be pretty tough. This weekend was already eaten by work. But in this economy I'm thankful to even have a job so you'll hear no complaints. And now for the lemonade...this week is officially Reviews Week!

I will be posting product reviews all week and I heartily encourage you to add your own in the comments. I won't be able to comment or post as often as normal but I will join in when I can. With warmer weather not too too far away and spring clothing already making its appearance it's time to dream warm and play cool. Or something like that.

Pow! Accessories


If your life seems a bit grey, brown and black lately Anthropologie thinks it's time for some color! Their new Pow! Accessories collection features big, bold jewelry designed to make a statement. (Rejected names include Zap! Jewelry, Blam! Adornments and Ka-pow! Accents.)

In case you can't tell the name of the section immediately brought Superheroes to my mind so I was a bit disappointed that only the Hypnosis Earrings ($178, above) seem even faintly Wonder Woman-esque (Jem might be a better allusion). The Washi Bangle ($28) is also pretty cool.

What do you think of the Pow! Accessories?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Email: A Soup to Nuts sale


Anthropologie wants you to know they've added new items to their sale section. I didn't see a ton of new items added but I will break it down in a post this weekend. I have been coveting a few items and if they made it to the sale this may convince me to pull the trigger. Are there any items you are hoping are on sale?

Tano!

I love researching the brands that Anthropologie buys from. Recently I have been interested in Tano, maker of the Banana Cream Tote ($188) above. Every time I see the bag, I think 'I love it!' quickly followed by 'I can't justify the price for something that resembles a flattened bowling bag.'


The tote also comes in red, which I have not seen online but has popped up in the NYC Anthropologies a few times. What strikes me is the craftsmanship. The leather is tucked in the corners of the bag to create lean lines and the stitching is thick (double-sewn up by the straps). A bit of research and I found Tano's website. Read their FAQs, they're a kick!

Cruising around the bag section I found this bag, which they call the French Nanny but will be better known to Anthro fans as the Snapping Lawns Bag (was $99 on sale, currently out of stock online). During the big sale in-store I bought a very similar bag, which has the same leather color and shape but different straps. Its original price matches the Snapping Lawns Bag so I am wondering if it is the Snapping Lawns bag. Some photos:

The bag I bought is on the left.
(Steve Madden
bag on the right,
shoes at top for size
comparison.)






UPDATE: After combing Polyvore I realized I had this bag in my items. Anthro called it the Lichen Bag ($288) but I'm not sure what Tano called it.