Reviews: Slow And Steady Cardigan, Dimpled Cardigan, Masked Stripes Cardigan, Holmes' Lens Tank, With-A-Twist Henley, Sheer Inspiration Top

Monday, August 16, 2010

I was instantly in love with Field Flower by Wendi Reed's Slow and Steady Cardigan ($128), owning to a long-standing fondness for turtles that can be traced back to my elementary school days. (And a certain group of pizza-loving turtles that were on one of my favorite TV shows as a tot.) In college I practically lived in two turtle-based ringer tees, one of which said "Just call me turbo" and the other which said "speed kills" in that infamous college wit way. The star of both tees? A turtle.

The graphics are a bit more 8-bit than 16-bit which lends an appropriately whimsical feel to this otherwise preppy cardigan. It has faux cuffs at the bottom of the sleeve for reasons unsure. I like them, though it would look silly if I layer an actual cuffed shirt underneath. The cardigan is mostly wool but has just enough angora mixed in to itch mildly. It's thin but warm thanks to cashmere blended in. There are two coin pockets on the front, normally a dealbreaker for me, but here they blend in enough that I could live with them.

I tried on the medium which was pretty loose in the back but just right across my hips. I love the longer style of this cardigan. It's not ridiculously long like many sweaters are currently but it's also not cropped, my other qualm. It wins the just right prize in my book. But as with many of Anthro's cardigans this fall I'm left scratching my head (and occasionally my arms) over the price. I can't understand why the $128 price point is so prevalent among the fall sweaters but I do not like it. I think about sweaters I've paid that much for in the past...the Armana Jasmine Cardigan and Wildflower Cardigan come to mind. Both of those cardigans are extremely intricate. I hate to keep harping on this but I am getting frustrated. The Precious Materials Cardigan (review here), a mostly cashmere cardi with delicate embellishments is $118 but a mixed materials cardi with turtles on it is $128? Something doesn't add up. I hope Anthro reconsiders this pricing strategy before their winter stuff rolls out. Wishlisted this one, but waiting for sale.

In need of a base layer, I'd selected Deletta's Sheer Inspiration Top ($78) to wear under the cardigan above. Oddly enough, though this top actually has sheer in its name it's the less sheer than many tops I've tried recently. I really like the swooshing paint design splashed across this top. The black lacey trim beneath the bust is a cool detail, though I'm not as fond of the look across the back -- I think it makes the top look heavy. Luckily my hair would cover that up.

I tried on my usual size small and it was far too tight across the hips and bust. I think I'd need at least a medium here. The top feels silky though it's actually a mix of synthetics. This top has work potential written all over it. Though the size was wrong this top is a delight. Wishlisted!

I like the vestlike underlayer Anthro has added to several of their cardigans this fall. It adds an extra touch of visual interest. They've mostly been striped and that's the case again with Sparrow's Masked Stripe Cardigan ($98). I tried on the purple version, which has a tan base with purple trim and stripes. I liked the muted colors a lot though the dark grey version wins out over this one in my wishlist. The sleeves on this sweater are very long. It's not itchy against the skin, in fact it was almost soft.

This cardigan looks very cute online but in real life my hips were all it took to throw the balance out of whack. With a few closures in the middle this one might have worked but it's meant to sit open and so the medium sadly flared out at my hips, making me look wide. I did get a good laugh at how the stripes on the tee matched up with the stripes on the sweater. And then I sent this cardigan back to the rack.

That striped tee beneath was Ric Rac's With a Twist Henley ($58), which I tried on in the purple motif in a medium. What makes this henley special is the twist placket. In this case it was a grey polka dot pattern. Cute!

Like the Slow and Steady Cardigan this top appeals to my preptastic side and so I was smitten. The little puff sleeve is a darling detail and I like the laid-back fit of the top. I can see layering this under a military jacket or over a turtleneck. Versatile, promising, and wishlisted!

The Dimpled Cardigan ($98) looks very cool online, what with the multiwrapped tie waist criss crossing to and fro. I hardly recognized it in real life though. It's much shorter than it looks online and the style seems more wrap than cardigan.

Still, I grabbed the large and headed downstairs to try it on. Sadly I was not feeling this sweater. The large was too big but also way too short. Any cool and unique dimple details were lost in how bulky this sweater looked and felt. It's because the ties sat not at my natural waist but a good two or three inches above in a wider part of my ribcage. And so the detailing was all for naught as I had to pass on this sweater. Boo.

Underneath the sweater was Odille's Holmes' Lens Tank ($68). This silk top has pintucks over tweed and looked irresistibly cute. I tried on the 8 which hung loosely on me. Should have stuck with my normal size 6.

I'm not sure the size would have mattered much here. For this top to work on me the waistband would need to go all the way around. As it is the top fluttered out to my widest parts, creating an unflattering silhouette. From the side, the midsection poufed out. Not really the look I'm going for. So while the pattern and pintucks are wonderful this top didn't quite work on me. Pass.