Reviews: Belle-Of-The-Ball Dress, Mod's-The-Word Dress, Rosettes-And-Ruffles Dress

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Anthropologie at ShopStyle

It's an all-hyphen review post!

If the Belle-Of-The-Ball Dress ($188) by Floreat was 5 inches shorter, I'd expect to find it at Urban Outfitters. It has that carefree, youthful feeling to it. It's cool seeing a dress like this at Anthropologie even if I find it a bit outside the sphere of their style. The dress is also a bit outside my style sensibilities so I tried it on mostly for the blog.

The velvet bodice is a bit thin and also pretty roomy. I tried on my normal size 6 which was OK for the fitting room but I'd probably size down to a 4 to buy this dress so I wouldn't have to pull it up all night. There's no boning or support of any kind in the bodice and the low back means I would need a corset-style strapless bra with this dress. It does come with removable straps.

The skirt is all kinds of fun! I am not in love with the cream underlayer -- it strikes me as a bit odd. But the lace overlayer is beautiful and that's what really makes the dress. I think Floreat did a great job of making a youth-inspired dress that's whimsical yet age-appropriate. Not bad at all.

I have to say that Ruffian's Mise-en-Scene line is confusing the heck out of me. The sizing has not been consistent at all for me. That trend continued with the Mod's-The-Word Dress ($248). It's a gorgeous, velvety number that is very 60s reminiscent as the name implies. The bodice has diamond quilting on it and the white collar is a nice touch. Unfortunately I had some fit issues.

I started in my true size 6 but it was too close for comfort. So I moved up to the 8 for the photos above. My biggest issue was extra fabric around the midsection. I would say this dress fit sheath-style. I don't have good luck with them so I'm not entirely surprised the dress didn't work. I was disappointed though.

Yoana Baraschi's Rosettes-And-Ruffles Dress ($168) is a purple pleasure. The color is so rich! I grabbed an 8 as Yoana Baraschi tends to run small for me. But I would have been fine with my true size 6 in this dress. I like the idea of tying the thin sash in the front as the product shot shows though I kept it in back for these shots. The back zip on this dress was a real pain to zip up. Side zip please!

One thing I didn't like much was the rayon material. It seemed cheap. The neckline is just as pretty in real life though. On sale I'm all about this dress, but at full price it's a pass.

Happy Halloween! Stay safe out there.

Email: anthro in our own words

Friday, October 30, 2009

What a great email this month's anthro: in our own words is! I see Anthropologie has switched over to CheetahMail and I'm wondering if this will alleviate the delivery issues many devotees are having.

First Anthropologie officially announces Free Shipping for anthro members living in the United States on orders over $150. Hmm, I think some crafty community members beat them to the punch on that one!

For United States residents who are not anthro members, the promotion will expand on November 2:
We’re currently offering complimentary standard shipping to our anthro members on domestic orders over $150, through December 23. This promotion will be open to everyone on Monday November 2nd. If you are an anthro member but haven’t linked your anthro number to your existing online account, you can do that now to qualify for advance access to complimentary shipping.

The newsletter also teases their holiday ornaments. Kim did an excellent teaser post for these on Anthroholic, check it out if you want to know more. From there, the newsletter turns its attention to the stunning, five act November catalogue which I highlighted this morning. I noticed the catalogue doesn't seem to be loading at the moment but I'm sure it will be back soon.

I just love this picture they chose to highlight above. I did not include in my stream of consciousness this morning because the associated product page wasn't loading but WOW! What a stunning shot.

From the email:
The fifth and final section of our catalog opens with an image that almost never was -- a photo that our art director coined "a favorite of (my) career." (Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that it was shot a stone's throw from his hometown in Yorkshire.) As the story goes, our crew was on their way to another location when they came across this barren stretch of road, which turned out to be the perfect, serene backdrop to our red sweater dress.

Gorgeous. Beautiful photos abound in this month's catalogue.

OOTD: October 30, 2009

Well, here I am! Still trying to find the best spot in my apartment to do these things and waiting for my gorillapod tripod thingy to arrive so I can use my real camera. Thanks for all the photo tips so far -- keep 'em coming! It's tricky because my apartment gets indirect sunlight only so while it's much brighter than my first apartment it's not exactly sunny.

On to the outfit. I have some detail shots below to better illustrate. I am so in love with my Many Moods Skirt ($78, review here). I wear it all the time. Today was a great opportunity to pair it with Ruffian's Mise-en-Scene Flocked Chiffon Blouse ($148, review here), these awesome Chevron tights from Target (detail shot below) and a pair of Nine West Mary Janes that are seriously about 10 years old. And still in great shape! Nine West has let me down with their quality lately but I have a couple of pairs of shoes from them that have lived in four states with me. That's impressive. I threw an ivory cami under the blouse as it's very sheer, added some pearls and I was all set. For work, I'll throw on J.Crew's Pointelle twilight-stripe V-neck cardigan over the blouse. In one outfit I managed to have dots, stripes and chevron. Yet somehow it all works.

I don't watch "Mad Men" (I really should, I know). But the fashion is apparently rubbing off on me anyway as my doorman told me I was wearing my second sexy secretary outfit of the week this morning. I'll take that as a compliment!

Stream of consciousness: Anthropologie November catalogue

Want to flip through the November catalogue on your own? Here it is. (Thanks to Kim and Christina for the tip.) This catalogue is stunningly beautiful -- and the longest all year. I wish every Anthropologie catalogue had 70+ pages. Some highlights below.

Smiling because of the pretty goods inside?

Cascading Tulle Cardigan ($198)
...Bet she wishes she hadn't thrown that pillow
at the fan now!...

Blushing Faille Dress ($188) &
Floating Lace Blouse ($128)
...I would not have thought
to put this outfit together myself,
but I'm intrigued...

Plumed Peacock Cape ($178)
...sure it's cold and snowy, but she's fine
with bare legs and short sleeves!

Plaza Cardigan ($128) comes in cranberry? Perhaps another
rufflepotamus try-on is in order...

Sweeping Frills Sweater ($128)
...grabby hands towards the sweater...

Ternate Boots ($525)
...a pair of over-the-knee boots
I can get on board with...

Scalloped Dots Skirt ($98)
...the top is like an amoeba
and the skirt is Pacman-esque.
I'll take both please...

Season-To-Season Shorts ($78) &
Flowering Plaid Cardi ($148)
...I always sit right in front of the fireplace
in flammable things too!...

Snowscape Tank ($148)
...another J.Crew-reminiscent piece
yet I'm drawn to it...

Repurposed Dome Clock ($998)
...I love the exposed innards of this fascinating clock...

Glimmering Magnolia Dress ($198)
...a very cool photo series's best shot...

One-Of-A-Kind Fobot, Betty Bot ($298)
...anthropomorphic steampunk is awesome...

Skirted Peacoat ($168)
...wait! before you go, I'll need that coat...

Painted Cottage Sweater ($128)
...this sweater charms me. I want it!

Reviews: Sweater skirts, a tulip and a mini

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I know I'm an Anthropologie addict because something I wouldn't normally go for, in this case a sweater skirt, still manages to cast me under its spell. The Snow Flower Skirt ($148) above tempted me with its 3-dimensional chiffon floribundas (my favorite kind of rose).

I can't decide if I like the skirt on me or not. Since Knitted & Knotted has run large on me I grabbed a small and I think it fit well. The chiffon roses are what have me undecided. I like them but don't love that they're mostly on the sides. I wish the largest floribunda was more in the front. The skirt is meant to be pencil-shaped and it sat that way on me. But yet again I found myself wishing for an extra inch or two in the length. Unable to decide if I liked it or not I left it behind.

Pretty, pretty skirt. And the tights? Sold out (online at least), but to die for. I had high hopes for this skirt.

But like the Snow Flower Skirt, I'm left undecided. I was really disappointed when I tried on the Always A Lady Skirt ($148) but as I look at the pictures I'm feeling a bit better. I tried on my true size medium but found it big -- I'd buy this in a small if I purchase it. Maybe with a pretty off-the shoulder sweater and delicate tights I'd like it better. It just felt...not special to me. The wool is pretty delicate and I noticed some rubbing already appearing on the back of the skirt I tried on. The flowers were not as lifelike as I remembered them from the product shot. And the lacey lining barely peeked through.

I think this may be a case of needing to see it styled. I may buy this yet, bring it home and try it with some outfits to see how it looks.

It was clear I needed a change of pace from sweater skirts so I moved on to Idra's Bowtied Mini ($98). Love the way Anthro styled it with the Web & Loom Cardigan (148).

They call it a mini so I was prepared for the shorter length. This skirt has a significant waist and considerable volume so I don't think you can really wear it hipslung to make it longer. I tried this in my true size 8 and found it comfortable. It's a bit heavy, not to the degree that I felt like I was wearing weights though. A cute winter skirt for sure.

My final temptation of the day was Floreat's Scalloped Clouds Skirt ($98). It has a close cousin in the Scalloped Dots Skirt ($98). Cute as a button on, I have to mention that this skirt is very fitted. The result for me was that since my thighs are big I had some extra room around my waist (note in the side view shot the weird poofiness above my bum and the same in front). I think this would smooth out over the course of the day. My true size 8 fit like a glove. I hate the exposed zipper. Can those please go away? But it's very cute and a good length. I think I love it. But to the wishlist it goes for now.

Effortless Anthropologie turns 1! (And a contest.)

Today is Effortless Anthropologie's 1 year blogiversary! I got myself a cupcake for lunch to celebrate. No embarassing phone call from my parents this morning though.

I know a lot of you are new to this blog's community and I want to take a moment to welcome you! I don't work for Anthropologie but I'll try to answer any questions you have here in the comments or via email. Thank you for tagging along. Another huge THANK YOU to each of you that has this blog on your blogroll or that reference it in your online writings. Quite simply you rock.

I also want to use this post to announce two new series: first, the IRL outfit series that debuted with the Drenched Helenium Tee earlier this week and second I will be posting outfits of the day in the near future. I've had several emails requesting this so that peeps can see my style (or lack thereof) and I feel it's a fair request. It won't be every day and...well I know this is hard to believe but...not everything I own is Anthropologie so there will be some Anthro-less OOTD's! But I think it'll be fun and encourage me to dress better.

I'm in a celebrating kind of mood so it's time for another contest! It's the Happy Blogiversary Contest. In honor of 1 year the prize is a $100 Anthropologie gift card. Let's get the not-so fine print out of the way....

THIS CONTEST IS NOT SPONSORED BY, ENDORSED BY OR AFFILIATED WITH ANTHROPOLOGIE OR URBAN OUTFITTERS. This contest is void where prohibited. This prize is not transferable. This prize may not be exchanged for cash. International entrants welcome! Anthropologie employee entries welcome! Winners of the last two contests on Effortless Anthropologie are NOT eligible for this contest (sorry ladies).

You may enter via any/all of the following methods:
1. Tweet about the contest. Please leave a comment to this post with a link to your tweet.
2. Blog about this contest. Make sure you include a link back to this post so peeps can enter. Leave a link to your blog post in the comments of this post.
3. Write a haiku in the comments. I heart haikus. After the haiku please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Followers get an additional entry! Just leave a comment with your email address or shoot me an email to let me know you're a follower. To become a follower of the blog! (Click the "FOLLOW BLOG" button in the top translucent bar, or scroll down to "Kindred Spirits" in the sidebar and click the FOLLOW button.) If you're a follower, you're already entered once!

The winner will be announced on Friday, November 6. The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize. If the prize is not claimed in that window I'll draw a new winner.

I will now slip into a sugar coma from the cupcake. Good luck!

Update 11/6: Congrats Blondmoma! To minimize spam, comments on this post have been hidden.


No email yet (the photo above is from the last promotion) but Free Shipping has returned to Anthropologie's website. Certain criteria has to be met in order to qualify for free shipping (guesses in the comments, email from Anthro will clarify). This post will be updated with details as soon as I know more. Thank you so much to Anonymous and Diem for the heads up!

Email: We're doing you a party favor

It's almost P-A-R-T-Y season and as Anthropologie reminds us via email that means you need dresses and jewels. Funny, no mention of promotion codes or free shipping though...strange, I'm sure this was an oversight.

Anthropologie at ShopStyle

The hardest part about saying no is that Anthro is flooding their site and stores with really cute stuff right now. Take their highlighted jewels for example. I would love to add the Fascinator Comb ($38, above) or the Tweed Touch Necklace ($168) to my ever-growing collection of adornments. But I'm trying (and failing) to hold out.

I've reviewed some of the party dress options already and have a few more coming up. Oh Anthro, you temptors. Caveat emptor; more fabulous temptations always await.

Quick Hits: Sweaters

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If you're looking for a last-minute component to your Little Red Riding Hood costume, look no further than the Juxtaposed Sweater Jacket ($98) by wenlan. All joking aside this is a seriously cute piece. As I guessed from the product shot it is boiled wool, eliminating all itchiness. Major points for that. The bracelet sleeves are an odd choice considering I'd want to use this as a jacket but I suppose it's the better to wear long gloves with, my dear. The off-center zipper is pretty cool but the placket was like a double-breasted jacket and with the shortness those two effects combined to make me look wider than I am. Pass at full price but sale possibility for sure. I tried on the medium.

Charlie & Robin's Squeezebox Hoodie ($138) has a neat harmonic cinch, but I was getting a definite "These are not the droids you're looking for" vibe. It comes in other colors (like red! Everything is red this year!) and black to downplay that feeling a bit. I tried on the medium which fit OK. I don't really do well with tied cardigans. Plus, it was really itchy. And I'm pretty itch-resistant. A wash with Woolite will fix that but it won't fix the sad sash, which once again Anthropologie exaggerates in the product shot. Very thin in real life. Boo.

This Moth wrap is called the Folded Wings Wrap ($78). It's basically a blanket with buttons. There is one button in the center and one under the each arm. I liked how it looked a lot from the front but wasn't as taken with the side view. I have no idea why it's short-sleeved either. Believe it or not this is sized (I tried the medium).

A long time ago a reader asked if I would review the Settling Pedals Cardi ($168). Sorry it's taken so long but my local Anthros just restocked! Guinevere's work is always stunning and this is no exception but I didn't like it much on me. I found the sheerness a bit annoying and the front barely covers me, defeating the purpose of a cardigan. I liked it a lot better from the side, but not enough to want to buy it. I had slight itch twitch from it as well. I tried on the medium.

This marled number is canary's Graceful Point Cardigan ($88). This looks so much cuter in the product shot. Again, tie cardigans are not my friend so take these photos with a grain of salt. The fabric is significant and I hate how the front center was so much longer than anywhere else. It was also itchy. I tried on the medium and could not wait to get it off. Not a winner for me. See it on Gigi here.

New arrivals: Dresses

Anthropologie unveiled a bevy of beautiful new dresses this morning. More than one of these has me drooling...check out all the new arrivals here.