Racked attends "Man Shops Globe" party at Rockefeller Center

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

photo courtesy of Racked

Last night Anthropologie held an advance screening of "Man Shops Globe" at their Rockefeller Plaza store here in NYC. I was not there but luckily Racked was! Their post is more about their impressions of the party which in true Anthro style looked pretty awesome. Best line? Given that we would gladly move into an Anthropologie if the option existed, we jumped at the chance to spend an evening socializing in one. Amen.

Unfortunately they had zero to say about the show itself so we're still in suspense until the October 7th premiere. But if the decor in-store is any hint I think the show is going to be pretty fab.

Thanks to Krista for the link!

Metapost: Please help me choose the right shoes.

There is a garment bag hanging in my guy's closet right now that he says is "a new suit." And by new suit I am pretty sure he means "Monochromatic Corset Dress for Roxy" ($188, review here). I'm so excited to wear it out on a date but I need some help picking the right pair of shoes.

I figure that I'll wear this dress one of two ways. The first way is the tough grrrl way, with some kind of boot and a leather jacket. The second way is more delicate with some permeation of a heel. I have some options and I need either help narrowing them down or some other suggestions. Any feedback, positive or negative, is welcome!

First, the tough grrrl options:
Vince Camuto at ShopStyle
Vince Camuto Zorro ($173)
I like the toughness of these.
Not sure if they're too tough though.

Vince at ShopStyle
Out of my price range, but I love the look.

If these weren't peep toe,
they'd be perfect.

Sporto at ShopStyle
Sporto Janet ($73)
Too biker chick? Maybe.

Stuart Weitzman at ShopStyle
The wedges are cool and the metal
is more subtle on these very cool
but very expensive boots.

Madden-Girl at ShopStyle
Madden Girl Zarrin (now $60)
My current fave among the tough grrrl choices.

Michael Kors at ShopStyle
KORS Michael Kors Maverick (now $205)
Highly impractical, but fashion tops function.

Kenneth Cole Reaction at ShopStyle
Kenneth Cole Reaction Pack Attack (now $124)
Simple, tough boots.

Ariat at ShopStyle
Ariat Heritage Lacer II ($120)
My favorite pair of paddock boots
is from Ariat. Time to invest in another pair
to pull double duty?

And the more delicate choices:
Naughty Monkey at ShopStyle
Naughty Monkey Posh (now $70)
These also come in black. I like the touches of metal.

Ted Baker at ShopStyle
Ted Baker Cara (now $135)
Stiletto plus Soho cobblestones spells trouble,
but these might be worth it.

Part boot, part spat, all cool.

Sofft at ShopStyle
Sofft Orlena ($140)
Love the look of these,
but do they match the dress?

Reviews: The good and not so good, part two

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More tricky photography from Anthropologie has me laughing. How could I not have noticed that the model seems to have poofy butt in the About-Town Dress ($128)? If she has that effect I stand no chance.

Yep. More poofy butt. Not only that, this dress was so heavy and extremely hard to get on. The first product reviewer joked that she dislocated her shoulder trying to get in. At least, I hope she's joking. I wouldn't be surprised. I tried on the medium and once I finally did get it on I found it small in the bust with a skirt so completely unflattering it came right back off. I didn't even bother taking front or side shots. The one above pretty much says it all I think.

Luckily there are better options in-store. Take the Reed Shirtdress ($118) by Moulinette Souers for example. Made of cotton voile, it's soft and light. My true size 6 fit well though there is very slight pulling across the bust. Not enough that I feel the need to size up. Plus, it has pockets! Instant win in my book. The skirt is poofy but not outrageously so. The only odd thing was that the arms were very tight on me. My arms have some flab, not sure if that was the cause. I don't usually have arm issues like this. It made the dress a pain to get on and take off. I guess I'll have to unbutton it when I buy it.

Another epic fail recently was the Tweed & Chiffon Dress ($188, review here) which was both too short and too tight. But when Anthro closes a door they open a window and in this case the window is the Here-Today-Here-Tomorrow Dress ($128). Not quite the same but a close approximation. It has a black top and a patterned skirt. The Here-Today-Here-Tomorrow Dress also wins points with me for being a good 3 inches longer and much more A-line. And pockets help. I tried on the small and it was pretty much perfect. Good job, little yellow button!

Email: The most harmonious dress

I am beginning to think Anthropologie's copywriters are psychic. Their email today features the Reed Shirtdress ($118) which just happens to be included in my reviews post coming up this evening. Whether by coincidence or plan I'm happy to see how this dress looks on the model: great! I also like that they layered the Capa Tee ($38) underneath, but to sneak preview my review a little bit I found the arms on this dress to very tight so it's interesting that they were able to layer.

I think Anthro completed the outfit with the Woven Rush Tights ($18) and the Sweater Cuff Booties ($168). They are pretty cool looking though. Stay tuned for my review of the Reed Shirtdress!

(note: This post was updated on 10/1/2009 to add the name of the boots.)

Reviews: The good and not so good

It's rare that a sweater dress looks good on me. I tend to avoid them like the plague. A few weeks ago Anthropologie delivered an email about the Amarena Dress ($148). (Copy editing stickler side note: I just noticed they misspelled the dress name in the email. No wonder I keep getting confused on the name!) Though the model looks just stunning in the complete look above I was sure the results would be quite different on me. Natalie tried it on and it looked amazing on her! It convinced me to give it a go.

But haha, no. There's accentuating curves and then there's marking them seem cartoonish and this dress does the latter to me. My waist is very tiny for my size. The result is that the skirt portion of the dress seems to be jutting out like a petticoat. Not especially flattering. The Amarena Dress seems beautifully made and I think it looks terrific on many peeps. Just not me.

After that experience you'd think I'd be soured on sweater dresses. Nope. The Snowdrop Shift ($158) looked too encouraging on the hanger to pass up. I guess it goes to show that every once in awhile you get lucky. I think this dress looks pretty good on. I tried on the small and it was a bit roomy in the bust. I didn't want to size down to an x-small though. Suffice it to say this Knitted & Knotted dress runs large.

I was so glad to see some fabric under the lace top! With the sheer trend you'd expect it to be just the lace. The waist is sitting nicely at my smallest part and the skirt flares out just enough to keep my hips in proportion before settling straight down. You can dress this dress up or down with accessories. Another item for my wish list, the one that has ballooned to 120 items. Or almost the entire annual paycheck at my first job out of school. Hence the update to my About Me section on the blog.

The Anemone Bloom Cardigan ($118) photographed very well off the bright dress. This Karen Nichol masterpiece is sure to attract animal hair. I tried on the small but I'd have to size up to my true size medium to close it without gaps. I love that the pattern extends onto the back. Does anyone else think it looks more like a big corsage than an anemone though? Semantics, I know.

I also grabbed the Pucker-Up Cardigan ($98) by Bailey 44. I tried on the purple, a color that doesn't seem to be available on the website at the moment. This piece is jersey but it has such a high rayon mix that it feels very slippery. The sleeves are very long as the pic on the right illustrates. I cannot believe the price. It feels like something I would have bought from Rave, Rampage or Forever 21 at 13. Completely disposable. I expect a lot more from this label and they have done so much better, like the A Thousand Tiers Dress ($188). I can't lie, I was pretty disgusted by this cardigan. Not by the look but by the quality, material and price. Seems like I'm in the minority since the reviews are overwhelmingly positive on the website. I could not get it off fast enough though.

anthro: in our own words

Monday, September 28, 2009

Here in NYC, dogs are a polarizing topic. There is the crowd that believes dogs have no place in the city -- they do their business where we walk, they are sometimes noisy neighbors, and they are cramped in the same tight quarters as their humans. The other crowd believes that a well-trained, stimulated dog is happy no matter where s/he calls home. (I fall into the latter group, though are certainly some owners who drive me nuts.)

So the latest anthro: in our own words newsletter tugs at my little heart. It tells the story of the Good Dog Tee ($58):

The Good Dog Tee began as a lighthearted gift that designer Hani M. gave to her manager Carrie S. during fall finalization. Hani hand-painted Carrie's beloved Yorkie mix Roscoe on a t-shirt. The tee was so well-received internally that we decided to offer Roscoe – along with Henry the Welsh Terrier, Bear the Labradoodle, Waffle the Chihuahua, Arthur the Sheltie, T-Rex the Pomeranian mix, Willy & Lexi the French Bulldogs and Norm the Pug - to our customers.

Aww! The newsletter also tells us that Anthropologie's headquarters are dog friendly, which having seen photos and read stories about their headquarters, doesn't surprise me. I'm totally jealous. My previous job had an office dog and my current job's owner sneaks his dog in every so often. Part of the reason why I don't have a dog is because I wouldn't be around enough to care for it as a single gal. Someday.

In honor of our canine friends Anthropologie will be making October a doggy dog month:

This October, we'll amp up our doggie-loving ways, as 70 stores hold pet adoptions, food drives and yappy hour parties. See your store for details, or you can always keep up with what's happening via Facebook Events.

The newsletter doesn't mention whether any proceeds from the tee are going to an animal charity but there are thousands of great organizations nationwide devoted to the cause. In this rough economy animal welfare groups are hurting as donations and in some cases volunteerism drop. I volunteer for the NYC Shiba Rescue and was actively involved in FFA and with the ASPCA as a youngin. I think it's great that Anthro is getting involved.

Reviews: Mise-en-Scene by Ruffian, Revere Blouse, Full Twist Tee & Slant-Striped Sweater

Ruffian's Anthropologie line Mise-en-Scene wasn't due to arrive in store until November. (Read about the line in this post.) Lo and behold though I saw a few pieces last week. And I got excited! I am a big fan of Ruffian's clothing; I own a dress by them that I love love love. I chose the dotted grey blouse you see above to try on. This is the Flocked Chiffon Blouse ($148) that was in the September catalog.

I really like this blouse but I feel like it was made for someone with a smaller bust. I had to size up two sizes to a 10 to even get the blouse on. Does wonders for the ego, let me tell you! This top is quite short. Even those with a smaller bust will find it hitting at high hip due to the elasticized waist. It's a sheer blouse once again yet I wouldn't want to wear a cami underneath it. This is getting into silk chemise slip territory. I'm quite sick of ruffles yet I adore them on this top...the way they cascade and tumble softly is romantic and feminine.

In spite of the caveats I plan on purchasing this blouse. I'm probably going to size up even further to see if it helps the length any more. Rather than pairing it with jeans I'll wear it with a high-waisted pencil skirt or wide leg slacks. It makes me very excited to see what else the line brings.

I can always rely on Odille to make beautiful things and the Revere Blouse ($68) is no exception. The two ruffles by the collar weren't steamed to life in the shots above so they're laying a bit flat. But otherwise this blouse is everything I expected. With a few of the top buttons left undone the lace placket takes on a romantic vaguely revolutionary era feel while buttoned up it looks like something the lead singer of a band might wear ironically. Menswear as women's wear done right. And slightly sheer for some reason. My true size 6 fit comfortably.

I grabbed one.september's Full Twist Tee ($68) for laughs only, fully expecting that it would look like hell on me. Joke's on me because I really liked it! The front twist is nothing less than crazy but I can stick my phone, keys and small wallet in there and not worry about a purse. This top comes in two colors: a grey that looks like blue and a deeper, dark sapphire blue. I tried on the grey in size medium. It's form fitting but not tight so this is the size I'd stick to. I decided this top would be best as a layer...

...so I grabbed the Slant-Striped Sweater ($128) by Moth to try on over it. This sweater is so warm and I just want to bundle myself up in it everyday at my freezing cold office. I did not find this sweater to be itchy. It's a wool mix. I sized up to a large because it just seemed like the right thing to do to swaddle myself. The sweater also has a slight flair at the hips which thank goodness because if there's one thing I need to accentuate on myself it's mah hips. Snarkiness aside I like this sweater. A lot.

The Trade Market

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All transactions listed within are conducted independently of this blog and as such I have zero involvement. If you have a positive experience you're welcome to leave a comment stating such. If you have a negative experience please send me feedback directly via email to snapsparkchik (at) gmail.com. Please make sure to read The Trade Market Guidelines before posting. You can also view past Trade Market posts by clicking on the "trade market" button in the sidebar. Cheers to a wonderful community!

Reviews: Dress-tastic

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The dress above is the Recollections Dress ($148). Made by Maple, it's 100% silk. The pattern is kind of a smoky damask or medallion that looks like flowers from far away. I like the keyhole detail and the lace ruffle detail on the sleeves is handled lightly. I regret not taking a photo from the back now. Beginning and the low shoulder blades the back is sheer lace. It's very pretty albeit maybe a bit impractical.

I tried on the medium and found it fit pretty well. I was highly annoyed with the skirt -- it was very static-y and is completely stuck to my legs in the photos above. It doesn't look like it but the skirt is actually a-line. The proportions of the dress look kind of off as a result but take my word for it, this dress is lovely.

Moulinette Souers have done it again with the Golden Light Dress ($188). Pretty fun fall party dress anyone? The color is delicious but I must warn that my iPhone didn't photograph it's golden hue very well.

Again, ignore the color. The product shot is much more accurate. This is the size 6 which I found to be a bit roomy. It fit over my chest which is the hardest part so that's a win right there. But there was some extra room in the tummy area. I tried sizing down to a 4 and that eliminated the extra material but I couldn't zip it up all the way. The fit is going to depend on your chest size.

The length is appropriate for a party frock. The skirt tiers are longest in the front middle and to be honest, I don't love it. They're almost chevron-style. I wish they were just straight across. I am undecided on this dress at the moment. I think I love it. I'm just not 100% sure yet.

On to the Texture Study Dress ($148) by Sparrow. The boiled wool is quite a bit softer than untreated which makes this dress altogether pleasant to wear.

I tried on the small and it worked well. Despite the stitchwork on top my vote is that this is a casual dress that can be dressed up. I would wear this to work. The skirt is form-fitting but not uncomfortably so. Unfortunately the dress I tried on had an issue. At first I thought it was a feature of the dress. How odd, I thought to myself, that they have disconnected the skirt from the top portion so. Then I realized it was big ol' hole. Yikes! It gave me enough pause to say no to the dress for now.

A few more quick hits:

I really like the color combination of Moulinette Souers' Sabine Dress ($158). The pintucks and ruffles on top are quite cute. This dress desperately needs a belt but otherwise I really loved it on. I tried on the size 6 and found this dress true to size.

Anna Sui's Pepper Plant Dress (now $99) is no longer online but I've seen it hanging out on the sale rack of the NYC Anthropologies. A close cousin to the Corby Shift ($199) I tried on recently, this dress was different enough from its cousin that I had to have it. Though a 4 would have been best only a 6 was available -- I have the 6 on above. The sleeve flutter is a fun detail and the pattern is simple yet stunning. I rocked this at an art gallery opening and it was a hit.

The Caranday Dress (now $90) is hidden on the site and only available in a 10 at the moment. This dress was high on everyone's list it seems. Another hit from Corey Lynn Calter. I tried on the red motif but found it washed me out a bit so I decided to invest in the green instead. The 6 fit like a dream. I love the sash on this dress. I got one wear out of this already but I'll be packing it up for next spring soon.

Note: This post was updated on 10/1/2009 to add the proper name of the Recollections Dress.