Reviews: Volante Tee, Soldierly Sparkle Top, Corinthian Top, Sleeve Pitch Blouse, Floral Frappe Top, Crossing Paths Top, Raining Lines Henley

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just when I thought I was done with bows...

You win, Volante Tee ($58)! Just as I was swearing off of ruffles, bows, and crap adorned to tops along you came and ruined everything. When I caught sight of this top at the Rockefeller Center Anthropologie the bows were wrinkled to heck but I tried it on anyway.

I initially grabbed a small, which you see on me in the shots above. It was pulling so I asked for a medium, and found that to feel smaller than the small. Then came a large which was of course too big. Another medium finally did the trick. I felt terrible about having to use the runner 3 times but it was worth it to get the right fit! Anthro's QC is somewhat lackluster lately and I find it truly disappointing. This is not the first time where I've had sizing inconsistencies.

The top itself is lovely. It's a heathered dark grey with a slight cowl at the neckline. For people that are not chesty, I have heard that this top pulls down at the shoulders and can reveal bra straps. That wasn't an issue for me. The material is thin but not see-through. I decided not to wait on this top and bought it home with me immediately. If you plan to buy this top I'd recommend going to a store if you can to ensure the fit is right.

C. Keer's Soldierly Sparkle Top ($68) wasn't impressing me online. In person though I found both the ivory and the pink versions alluring. I love how the pink is a more muted tone, making it fall-appropriate.

I tried on my usual size medium which fit comfortably. I like how this band tee takes on an almost winged effect from far away. The sparkle is softly provided by tiny sequins sewn into the pattern. Like the Volante Tee this top is heathered but is not sheer. This one lands on the more casual side of the clothing spectrum but could be dressed up for work with the right cardigan, blazer or sweater over it. It was tempting to bring this one home too. In the end I decided to wait it out and put this one on my wishlist.

Deletta's Corinthian Top ($78) caused me to run the gamut of emotions. ("I love it! I hate it. I want it.") In real life I spent a few minutes carefully looking over all the shirts on the rack, looking for loose sequins, threads or beads. After finding only one top with loose threads out of nearly 20 I was satisfied that the quality is OK on this top. I brought both the navy and pink versions to the fitting room.

I quickly discarded the navy; I feel like I own 100 blue shirts. It was on to the pink which I tried in my usual size medium. The pink reads varying tones of pink or taupe depending on the light. I think the shoulder decoration also stands out better on the pink -- and really, don't you want it to stand out as much as possible? I tried on the medium which was a close fit but a good one. The shirt's pintucked neckline pleats are strange. The bra I was wearing in the fitting room was causing all sorts of pulling. At home a minimizing bra solved that issue.

I have to say I wasn't bowled over by the fit in the fitting room. So I left without the top. Then I went home and read the online reviews, which reported both that the shirt stretches and that over the course of the day it can pull off your shoulders. Armed with that information I went back the next day and picked up the pink in my usual size medium. I am happy to report that the shoulders didn't fall down for me, but I can confirm that the top does indeed stretch and loosen over the course of the day. I fear for the long-term viability of this shirt. For the meantime though I love it. Below is a detail shot of the shoulder.

A closeup of the shoulder on the Corinthian Top ($78).

Saivana has released several incarnations of this top style. The latest is the Sleeve Pitch Blouse ($128). This time around the top is a light blue (called green on the website, maybe we could settle on aqua). I like that there is a jersey panel in both the front and back center of this top which lowers the sheerness factor significantly.

Still, even in this third version I have the same fit complaints I've had all around. A small was pretty big on me. I felt schlumpy in this top. I can see potential for it but not for my body type. Pass.

More adornments! Deletta's Floral Frappe Top ($58) has a small mountain chain of sorts erupting from one shoulder and covering one side of my chest like an embellished shield. I like how everything is one color. It quiets the adornments somewhat. You can still show them off up close without alarming anyone from across the room.

My true size medium worked well in the navy version. The ripples across the shirt were somewhat annoying. I kept trying to smooth them out before realizing they'd never go away. Once I'd settled from that I noted the nice long length of the top and its sleeves. I appreciate the high neckline as well. I did not love this top but I liked it enough to wishlist it for sale time.

Bordeaux's Crossing Paths Top ($68) looks like a top that is one half very cool, one half production error. As someone who is all about draping and tucking and ruching and whatnot I still scrunched up my face into a "Is this shirt supposed to be like this?" look of confusion. After confirming that yes indeed that panel in front is intentionally set that way. OK.

Down to the fitting room I went with a medium. I found the fit to be just right across the hips but pretty loose up top. The cowlneck wasn't quite cowling correctly. I wouldn't size down but if you are less curvy than me you're safe grab one size smaller than your usual. I loved the blue color I tried on but again I am trying not to buy any more blue. Neither the lilac nor the brown are really calling to me so this top will probably be a pass. I have it wishlisted just in case.

Pilcro has won me over with its easy-to-wear, soft as anything clothing. The Raining Lines Henley ($68) is another entry into this brand's playbook. I chose to try on the grey.

I had previously purchased the Brass Band Tank (now $20, no longer online, review here) and was shocked by how much it stretched out over the course of the day. Unsure if this top would do the same I tried on a small, one size down from normal for me. It was a bit close-fitting but not too bad. And it insures me against any loosening. The button tab sleeves on this top are a nice touch and the neckline is interesting. I've been looking for some nice solid long-sleeve tops and this one fit the bill. I brought it home with me. I plan on wearing it to work on Friday and will update on the stretch situation. Update: the medium was the right choice. Not much stretching to this one.