Reviews: Loungewear pulling double duty

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


When Anthropologie's dresses are out of reach at full price, their loungewear section often offers acceptable substitutes at 1/3 the price. Over the summer I wasn't thrilled with the chemise options -- they were too thin to wear outside, even with a slip underneath. But in the last couple of weeks several suitable options have appeared in-store.

This is Eloise's Distant Chirping Chemise ($58) on me above. It's made of lightweight cotton with a chiffon ruffle on the front and a beautiful bird print. There are also several lines of contrast stitching woven in. It's more detailed than some of Anthro's dresses! Since this is a chemise it's unlined but it does have some features that make up for it, like adjustable straps and an elastic waist ready-made for belts. It's not sheer but if you wear dark colors underneath they will show through the fabric a bit. To be safe wear a slip underneath.

I tried on both a small and a medium. The small fit me better but was too short. The site lists this slip as 36.5" but that is not how long it felt. I think 34" is closer to reality. So it was on to the medium, which was comfortably loose. Such a winner! I had to buy it. I plan on pairing it with a lightweight blazer for now; once fall comes around this dress will look great with tights, a scarf and a cardigan. The British Anthropologiest gave this one a go last night and it looks fab on her!!



I have been trying to will Fleur Wood's Picnic in the Park Dress ($128, review here) to the sale section. Since the powers of my mind don't seem to be working I was excited to see the Meadow Dreams Chemise ($68) by sister label Fleurette for a wallet-friendly option. I was immediately enamored by the gorgeous green color. Jewel tones are a real rarity at Anthro and I was ready to love this precious gem.

Once again I tried both the small and medium and once again the medium was the size I needed for length. Like the Distant Chirping Chemise this chemise has adjustable straps and you will want to wear a slip underneath since it's unlined. The dress has a drawstring waist with two gold beads on the end of the ties. The large ruffle up top makes this an ideal picnic in the park dress. The site amusingly lists this chemise as being 26.5" inches long. But once again I think 34" is about right. $68 is pushing the limit of a steal but it's still a great price by Anthropologie standards. So like the chemise above this one came home with me.

I have only one question. Where were these dresses two months ago Anthropologie???



Anne Pinkerton commonly straddles the line between lounge and streetwear. The River Delta Shift ($58) is another great example of this trend. This dress comes in two appealing colors -- a soft graphite green with grey undertones or the rose color I tried on.

I grabbed the medium to try on. Unfortunately that was a size too small in this cotton-modal-spandex mix. It looked too tight on top. So I'd buy this in a large. My one concern with this dress is how it would hold up to laundering. Would the color stay as nice or fade? Would the material start to fuzz? At $58 I think it's well worth a shot. Wishlisted!



This final dress juuuussst makes it from tunic length to dress on my 5'8" frame (and really if you disagree I would not be offended). It's the Hanging Hibiscus Chemise ($58) from Eloise and the beauty is in the details. The "skirt" portion of this dress has multiple tiers, each edged with darling white lace. The shoulders also have a touch of lace on them and the overall effect is fantastic. The color is labeled as brown but in the faint dressing room light it read as lavender to me.

I went straight for a large since this item looked more close-fitting. It worked but if an XL was available I would have preferred it to accommodate my 34D bust. (There's no XL for this item sadly, only XS-L. Boo.) I would wear this chemise over leggings and maybe with a striped top layered underneath. It's got tremendous potential and if I hadn't already splurged on two other chemises this one would have come home with me. Wishlisted!!