Friday, January 29, 2010

Guest post: Reviews by Hometown Queen (from London!)

Proving that Anthropologie is a brand with fans worldwide, this morning's guest post comes from London. Meet Hometown Queen, who visited Anthropologie's Regent St store and sends us some reviews. She also just started her own Anthropologie blog dedicated to the UK perspective. Check it out (after you read this post of course).

I made my weekly trip to the Anthropologie store on London's Regent Street just yesterday and it looks like some of the new pieces have already been out for a few days: here's the British scoop! Right away though, I must apologise for a few things: a) the shocking quality of the photos - I blame it on not having eaten anything. b) the fact that I never take my boots off, I actually have a phobia of trying on clothes without a pair of high heels on to back me up. c) The pained look on my face most of the time, just chalk that one up to the whole British thing. And just before we crack on, a word about my sizing: I'm using the American standard to make things easier. I'm a size 6, generally, with a 36-27-36 set of measurements and, ahem, a generous amount of "bosom". And on with the show.

First up was Odille's Swathed Gingham Blouse ($78/£48) in green; they had the black and yellow variations which I might try on next time. I'm afraid I did actually have front shots of this top, but I just looked like too much of a prat to live, so you'll have to satisfy yourself with this! The shirt feels like cotton so I was surprised to find it's actually a blend - but it is machine washable which is a definite thumbs up in my book. It doesn't feel as though it'd get too warm in the summer.

I was impressed with the coverage, usually wraps like this are a no-no with any amount of boob. It ties comfortably, and more importantly, securely - my chances of accidentally exposing myself seemed slim. I found this to be true to size, but recommend pairing with a pair of formfitting jeans or a pencil skirt as it's slightly voluminous around the middle, not enough to drown your figure but enough to cause a missing waist alert if you wore it with a full skirt (like I did).

Next was the oddly named Fragmented Pipevine Dress ($148/£118) by Maeve. This was seriously cute. It fastens up the front with snaps, no zip or anything - rather terrifyingly you can take it off with one great, downwards pull in a bodice ripping move, so I might be a little nervous about something coming undone, but then it's so pretty... It ran true to size and fitted nicely around all the curves. I have to say that I'm not hugely taken with the print - it doesn't exactly scream "Spring, Glorious Spring!", does it? However, again, it is machine washable, so woo. Weirdly, I'm pretty sure that the belt (which you can hardly see) was a loose fabric belt whereas on the website it seems to be part of the dress... hmmm, maybe I'm just losing my marbles.

The Lime Juice Dress ($138/£128) by Girls From Savoy looked very cute on the rack but doesn't seem to do much on anyone, does it? It's very mumsy, would be my complaint - the only bit of skin the dress shows is a small v at the neckline which is then hidden by the excess frills around the neck. And that neck tie - a safety hazard! I had a potentially very embarrassing situation when I tried to yank this off over my head but forgot to undo the neck and spent the next two minutes flailing around like a dying fish trying to shuck it off. Fits true to size but think you need to have a leaner frame than I do and a big belt in order to make it work.

The Optimist Dress ($148/£118) from Moulinette Soeurs was tried on earlier by Ali but thought it would be helpful to see how it looks on a different shape. This is another adorable dress - but, dare I even say it, too adorable? I can't stress how lovely the belt and the fit of the dress are. There's an exposed zip, which I think is an attempt to modernise it, which doesn't bother me but might bother some. But at the end of the day, I felt like I'd just waltzed out of the von Trapps and, unless you're Julie Andrews, that's not necessarily a good look.

Lastly we have one of the more contentious pieces on the Anthro website at the moment, RicRac's Rising Vapour Dress ($118/£88). Firstly, the material is simply lovely, the jersey soft and stretchy and the chiffon very floaty and slightly ethereal. The colour of the dress is a mid-tone grey whilst the chiffon is a slightly smokier, almost brown tinted grey. I thought this dress fit great, I wouldn't have any other size. Now the contention: the ruffles don't go around the whole dress. This seems to have caused some people great distress, going by the Anthro reviews, and I must admit I was a little taken aback when I saw. I took it off and relegated it to the "no" end of the rack but then felt compelled to try it on again. And you know what, reader? I bought it. Now I'm still ever so slightly on the fence - a toe on the fence, if you will. I thought I'd leave it to you lot to see what you think.

Well it's been a pleasure, and who knows, if this goes down a treat I may be back with a second batch (including the Blooming Sapphire Wrap Dress ($148), Emmer Corset Top ($78) and the Four Petal Cardi ($88)).


Pamela said...

Great reviews and witty commentary! Thanks for providing some great insight on some of the new pieces Hometown Queen! I look forward to more of your contributions!

Jennifer said...

Love the reviews!! The more the better, and it's great to get the perspective of different women. Hometown Queen has a charming writing style too!

Jennifer said...

What a great review from across the pond - informative and funny! Since you asked for reader opinions, I vote in the negative on the Rising Vapor Dress; the unfinished ruffles impart a strange discontinuity and just look odd from the side.

Kat said...

There is a butterfly called the Pipevine swallowtail (which happens to only feed on the Pipevine plant). I think the dress is an abstract interpretation of a butterfly wing. Check out the third and fourth photos down of this butterfly:

I could be totally, completely off though! It's just the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the dress and its name.

jacquelyn said...

I'm one of the people who left a bad review on the Rising Vapors dress. The discontinuity of the ruffles really, really bothered me---to me it looked like racing stripes. My husband said it looked bad, bad, bad. I was kind of sad because the dress in theory is pretty and very soft and a a nice fit except for the ruffles.

Bronzi said...

Loved the reviews and the commentary Hometown Queen!

Taryn said...

Loved your reviews! I'll be following your new blog. :) I'm torn on the Rising Vapor dress.. it fits you really well but I personally don't like the unfinished ruffles.

Athena said...

Hi Hometown Queen and thanks for all the great reviews!
I may be the odd-one-out so far, but I like the Rising Vapour Dress on you. Just my opinion, but I feel if the ruffles continued on the sides it might give attention to fuller/wider hips - and no woman wants that! LoL.

Glenda said...

What a fun review! Your "flailing like a fish" moment made me laugh--I've had a few of those when caught in garment halfway off my shoulders, practically blind, thinking "How embarressing if I have to call an SA to pry this off."

I think the Pipevine and Rising Vapour dresses are very flattering on you, though I see what you mean about the side view of the Rising Vapour. I'm afraid that might be a dealbreaker for me.

I'm looking forward to more of your posts!

goldenmeans said...

Very nice reviews Hometown Queen! I really like the Fragmented Pipevine and the Optimist Dresses on you, though LOL, I had to smile at your von Trapp analogy, it is kind of true I guess. And can I just say I visited the Regent St. Anthropologie a couple days ago and am *envious* that you get to access it so regularly! It is about 10x nicer than any of my local Anthros!

Look forward to reading more from you on your blog :)

Stephanie said...

Love your reviews!! I actually like the Rising Vapour Dress and the Fragmented Pipevine Dress on you. I also like the bracelet you were wearing :D

Anonymous said...

Hi HQ,

Thanks for the reviews!

Also, to help with dress length reference, how tall are you?



Rachel said...

Hometown Queen, many thanks for the wonderful reviews. I think the Rising Vapour dress is gorgeous and looks smashing on you!

Anonymous said...

I *love* the British reviews!

Nell said...

Lovely, I have a UK Anthro blog to read now! :)

Hometown Queen said...

Kat - I think you might be right about the butterfly! That definitely makes a lot more sense than any other ideas I had!

Goldenmeans - I can't believe we were so close! I think two huge Anthropologie fans too close together, though, might cause the universe to implode - or at the very least, our bank balances. I hope London was to your liking?

Stephanie - Aw, thanks! The bracelet was a present from my grandparents bought from a really great vintage store in Brighton (my home town on the South coast) called Wardrobe. It's bakelite from the 1950s which is very cool.

Anonymous - I'm 5'5, and wearing three inch heels in the pictures, hope that helps!

As for the Vapors dress, I'm going to post a pic, a bit later, on my blog with a jacket which might help decide either way!

Sharon said...

Great Reviews! I love the dress you chose-it's by far the most flattering fit and it's also just plain cool! I think that the fact that the ruffles don't go all the way round (there's the bare parts under the arm/side of the dress) is actually a good might be too bulky looking otherwise.

Caroline said...

I loved your commentary! And it was all the more charming due to the voice in my mind reading the entire post in a British accent :) I like the Rising Vapor dress on you. I can understand the thinking behind not placing fluffy ruffles down the sides of the dress. And if it fits well and is comfortable to boot, I say it's a winner!

Lola said...

Hi Hometown Queen,

I really like the Swathed Gingham Blouse on you. I wasn't terribly excited about it before, but you've inspired me to add it to my wishlist!

I'm a little sad that you had such a negative experience with the Lime Juice Dress. I think it can be really amazing if you wear it differently (try tying the top sash into a bow on the side of your neck and tie the waist sash in the back). My body proportions are similar to yours and I've found this dress to be really flattering.

I'm also undecided about the Rising Vapor Dress. I love it from the front/back, but I'm not sure how I feel about the profile view.

Anonymous said...

the fit of the fragment pipevine dress is really superb on you. i quite like the print as well, 50's looking.

looking at these photographs really reminds me how different the same body can look in different silhouettes and fits of clothes.

Anonymous said...

i feel obligated to stick up for the poor Lime Juice dress as i bought it in sale and get loads of compliments. i can see it is a hard dress to wear, i just got lucky with it. viva la lime dress!