Reviews: Ruffled Plaid Dress, Yukata Dress, Soma Cubes Dress, Perthshire Dress, Harbingers of Fall Dress, Snowy Egret Shift, Learning Curve Dress

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's been a game of fit with Anthropologie's dresses lately. I am not sure if their style is changing, if my style is changing or if it's all just a figment of my imagination but I am no longer the consistent 6 I used to be. These days I'm floating anywhere between a 6 and a 12 in Anthro's dresses and it's highly annoying. My main suspect? The diverse production houses Anthropologie is using. Fit is less consistent because so many different factories touch the product. Of course that diversity has its advantages too, namely that Anthro is protecting itself (and us) from price spikes. I just wish their quality assurance process was stepped up a bit.

Let me just come out and say it: yuck. That is what I said once I had the Ruffled Plaid Dress ($158). I was not impressed by the stiff fabric. The flower was very cute though and I did like the ruffled waves across the bodice portion.

The fitting room attendant warned me that others were complaining about the wonky fit and she was right on. I tried on an 8 which was pretty loose on top and miserable on the bottom. There was all kinds of stretching and the diagonal pattern of the skirt was not helping. A 10 would have been unworkable on top while the 8 was unworkable on the bottom, so this was a pass for me. Also worth noting? The belt just barely had a hole tight enough for my waist. Blargh.

Looking for a more laid back party dress? Try Twinkle by Wenlan's Yukata Dress ($298). When I saw this dress there was slim pickings on the rack so I grabbed an 8, which turned out to be a size too big. I'd buy this dress in a 6. I loved the textured silk skirt and the flowy cut of the top. There was sheerness to the top (of course, sigh) but luckily I was wearing a white tank top that day. The obi sash and beautiful and significant, just as I'd want.

The product shot at the top of this post beautifully displays the split sleeves. The details on this dress are beautiful and make it truly special. It even has pockets! The dress is a true winner in my book. Wishlisted in a 6!

I can always count on Anna Sui to come through with a beautiful, well-made piece. The Soma Cubes Dress ($288) is no exception. The beautiful top has a modern print contrasted with a classic cut, while the skirt has a subtle diamond print that almost looked leopard to me.

Better yet, the cut of this dress will be universally flattering. See that, Anthro? Universally flattering! Like all of your dresses once were. The waist of the dress sat higher on me than in the product shot but I found it worked well anyway. The kick pleats of the skirt give some added visual interest. My usual size 6 was comfortable if not a bit loose. I would stick with it to buy. Wishlisted!!

The Perthshire Dress ($168) is just the kind of dress I loved in my mid-to-late teens. Tartan plaid with a bit of a punk twist. I gave this dress a whirl for old times' sake. The rayon mix makes the wool less scratchy and the seams are sewn nicely in this dress. Nothing too messy on the inside or the outside.

Edme & Esyllte has been running small for me recently, but my normal size 6 was fine in this dress. I got a kick out of the asymmetric cut up top and the tucked contrast pleats in the skirt. I chose to tie the sash in back while trying the dress on but would move the tie around front as the product shot shows for real-life wear. My only concern is whether this dress is too young for my lifestyle but I do love it. Call me a sucker for nostalgia. Wishlisted!

Tabitha's Harbingers of Fall Dress ($158) was yet another of the brand's beautiful ensemble dresses that fit like crap on me. The top? Perfect in my usual size. The bottom? Required sizing up 2-3 sizes, making the top way too loose. Not cool.

I sized up to a 10 for the shots above and as you can see there were still some wonky fit issues with the skirt. If I sound upset it's because I am! I quite enjoyed the look of this dress and I'm highly annoyed that the fit was so off for me. The dress seems to be cut for straighter shapes. Which I am not. Pass.

Floreat's Snowy Egret Shift ($168) was on the top of my wishlist. My favorite part? The pink obi sash! I was wondering how this dress would look for work, but after trying it I think it's really more of a party dress.

I tried on an 8 which was loose on top and tight across my hips. This is me waving my white flag. I give up! It was workable though so I'd say the curvy should size up one size while the straighter among us are fine in their usual size. I like the straight boatneck neckline. My one reservation is the print. One of my friends said it reminded him of the art at a fancy restaurant and that was it for me. Now I want dumplings every time I look at the dress! Wishlisted anyway.

For a dress checking in at nearly $250, I was expecting so much more from Eva Franco's Learning Curve Dress ($248). This dress is downright Seussian in real life! Could I wear this dress to work? Could I wear it while reading a book? Would this dress get me by the hook? Let us take a closer look.

I tried on a 10 for these shots. I was hoping for some magical Jackie O. vibes from this dress but instead I was reminded of that one Project Runway challenge where they had to make garden party dresses out of so much floral stuff. The dress was stiff and silly with a poor fit. It started with the bow, which is fluffed to ridiculous proportions in real life. It would take some work to get it to sit down like it does in the model shot.

That would be forgivable if the cut itself was a bit more forgiving. But like the Fine Line Skirt or the Higgledy-Piggledy Pencil Skirt ($148, review here) before it I found the skirt was cut very tight. Strangely it wasn't so much the dress itself as the inner lining, which twisted and contorted itself around me as I pulled the dress on. You shouldn't have to fight with a dress to put it on! I was highly disappointed by this dress, enough to make it a pass.