Reviews: Jacinth Sweater Dress, Vapor Rise Dress, Corset Sweaterdress and a few mystery dresses

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm too cool for eye contact.

I should preface this review by noting that sweaterdresses aren't really my thing. The Jacinth Sweaterdress ($148) is a beautiful color and the overall length is right. Plus it's about the softest dress I've ever tried on, thanks to a soft cotton-wool-angora-other crap mix. The sleeves have tiny vents in them and the skirt is softly pleated.

But none of that really matters if the fit is off, as it was here. The medium was the best size. My usual issue with sweaterdresses is that they just aren't made for 34D chests. And really most dresses aren't but at least with some structure you can make them work. With a soft stretchy fabric it just looks all chest, with the waist riding up to flood levels and the neckline taking on a clownish appearance. Nothing against this dress but it is a no-way-in-hell for me. Back to the rack.

Sparrow's Vapor Rise Dress ($158) looks comically proportioned on the hanger -- the skirt has an outward jut at each hip. Then again, that means it should fit perfectly over curves, right? I grabbed a medium and headed downstairs to try it on.

Wrong. For a dress that's supposed to flatter curves this dress didn't make me feel beautiful at all. The halter portion is chic thanks to chiffon pleats. But the bottom houndstooth portion wasn't very impressive to me. It hugged but in odd ways -- it cut into my thighs while being loose in the butt. While this dress has a classic silhouette the length is a bit too long. Right at the knees would have been perfect. Below the knees it makes my long legs look stumpy. Not the look I'm aiming for. Pass.

A similar option worked better for me. This is Leifsdottir's Corset Sweaterdress ($298). The design is questionable -- who is going to wear this and where the heck is she going? But the overall fit was better for me than the Vapor Rise Dress.

The waist placement is a bit off. An inch or two lower would have been better. Otherwise though this dress held me in nicely in my usual size medium. The trim around every appendage and the thick vertical strips drop this dress from mod frock to perhaps too overt for me. Can't wear this one to work. Another pass, but I like this one better.

As the British Anthropologiest noted in her review, this Mise en Scene by Ruffian dress isn't really a very "Anthro" dress. But I have an affectionate weakness for all things sparkly so I grabbed this dress to give it a whirl. It's not on the website yet but will most likely be called the Silver Cloud Dress as it is in the UK. It's $188.

I tried on my usual size 8 and ran into a problem that's becoming more prevalent at Anthropologie: the outer shell was just fine but the lining was way too tight on me. Especially over the hips. So the dress ended up looking wrinkly. There's an impossible side zip on this dress (it would take an hour just to unzip and re-zip it properly I fear). So I went for the pullover style instead. I dug this dress -- it's got a bit of an a-line to it and tapers in nicely at the waist to create a flattering shape. This would be quite the knockout holiday party dress and the price is actually pretty reasonable. I'd have to size up to a 10 to cure the lining issue though which may cause the dress to lose its shape. For now I'm undecided but I'd wait for sale either way.

At this point, I dread seeing the Moulinette Soeurs tag on a dress. This brand is cut so narrow through the hips's lame. You can get dresses that are cut narrowly at any store. What I'd always loved about Anthropologie was the understated cuts that fit curves so well. I'm thisclose to just casting the label aside entirely. It's crap.

This dress isn't on the website yet. It's $188. It has a gorgeous floral pattern running down the front and a cute non-functional red sash that's pinned into a button bow on the front. My usual size 8 was of course too loose on top and way too tight on the bottom. I could barely pull the thing down. It's sad because this dress would be great for work -- the v isn't too low at the neckline and the dress length is good (though side slits threaten the demure qualities). But a 10 would require serious tailoring so I'd only consider this on super sale.

Moulinette Soeurs again. Kate from Vurbanity tried this dress and looked fantastic in it, but for me it was another meh. The dress, which isn't on the website yet, is $128 and alpha-sized. It's got a sheer chiffon overlayer, a tiered confectionery hem and a sash with two roses pinned on it.

I was pretty dissatisfied in the medium. Without the sash this is just a sad sack. With the sash I feel like this is the dress Taylor Momsen wears to go buy groceries. It has a certain grungy quality to it but is supposed to be beautiful...overall it just looks messy to me. And this is coming from someone who loves the grunge rock look! At $58 I'd consider this one but the price is overboard. Pass. And thus ends an underwhelming set of Anthro dresses. You can do so much better, Anthropologie!!