Reviews: Traced Twirls Dress (polka dots!), Oratory Dress, Flutter-Flutter Blouse, Alma Shirt, Country Quarters Tank

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This is Anthropologie's high time for dresses. Each year between July and September they release at least 500 dresses that I must have, causing my wallet to sweat and creditors to cackle with glee as the interest charges stack up. Can I admit that this year the tops have me much more enthralled? Lots of longer shapes to experiment with. This time around I threw a couple of dresses into the reviews mix.

I don't know if this dress will be called the Traced Twirls Dress ($158, guest review here) like its predecessor, but it's from the same brand (Girls From Savoy) and has the same cut. This dress is style #18652107. It trades in black with white twirls for aqua with tiny polka dots, as seen here. I tried on my usual size 6. It was a good fit everywhere except the bust, which was pulling at the seams a bit. The halter strap was the perfect length for me though I wish it was adjustable. There is a back zip on this dress -- a rarity at Anthro these days.

I liked this dress but I didn't love it. My main quibble is that the waist is too short. The skirt starts about an inch above where I want it to. I think this makes me look wider. I love how tiny my waist looks but I feel it's out of proportion with my chest. It's hard to tailor a dress correctly for curves. It's hard to make the waist the right length for us tall folk. This dress is close but no cigar. The material is lovely and I'd love either a skirt or a top in the same stuff. Wishlisted, but I'll probably pass.

The Oratory Dress ($98) was hiding on a rack at Chelsea Market. I adore the front of this dress; it reminds me of a music staff. Of course I had to try it on!

Maeve has done right by me this year and this dress was no exception. I started with the medium but found the straps were far too big. So down to a small it was and I was much happier for it. I realize the dress looks a little bland in these photos but I was thrilled. I have been looking for a dress to wear with my Elodie Lily Cardigan forever, and this dress totally fits the bill! On that alone it was a win. Factor in the sub-$100 price tag and the multi-season use and this dress was a total winner. It even has pockets! It's found a home in my closet. And if you are looking for a great styling idea for this dress, check out Ashley's fabulous look.

Though technically a top Weston Wear's Country Quarters Tank ($78) is almost long enough to be a dress on its own. This tunic has an interesting hemline but it was the pretty pattern that drew my eye in-store. It's made of rayon which is a minus, but it's made in the USA and that's a BIG plus.

This top was flowy enough that a small worked fine for me -- I'm normally a medium in Weston Wear. I like the 3-tier looped neckline. It's not quite a squareneck which would be bad on my shoulders. It's more of a lazy scoopneck that flattered. I would wear this top over jeans for a more streamlined effect than my skirt was providing in the fitting room. I just love this top! I almost brought it home with me but managed to resist. Wishlisted!

I was expecting to love the Flutter-Flutter Blouse ($88). It has elements that are right up my alley, like the asymmetric hem and cool green hue.

Unfortunately this top was more of a mess than mesmerizing. First of all it was wrinkled to all heck. If Anthropologie can't be bothered to steam this top then why should I? Secondly the triangle panel at the bottom was present in both the front and the back. I found this bothersome. One side would have been fine but both was overkill. Third, though the shirt is listed to be a cotton/silk mix it felt more like light linen (and wrinkled like it too). It feels a little too short, it looks a little weird and I was left sad. Regrettably, back to the rack.

It must be mentioned up front: the Alma Shirt ($98) by Dolan runs hugemongous. I was swimming in the xs. I realize it's supposed to be a bit oversized but this is maybe a bit over the top? Still I loved it.

The panels of georgette are elegant. The sleeves are comfy jersey that I could almost see sleeping in. This top has modern office written all over it to me. The trim is slightly frayed and I found this endearing. It will need to be sprayed with fabric protector to prevent any further frays. The look is great though. I was in love with this top but not so much with the price. Wishlisted! Hoping the poor reviews drive this one to sale soon so I can snap it up.