Reviews: Silk Blooms Eternal Top, Les Fleurs Rouges Top, Delicate Corps Blouse, Freckled Blouse, Cross-Back Blues Top

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thank you for the fantastic layering idea, Anthropologie.

More flowy tops in this reviews set. I want to begin with a bit of a I've stated (and will continue to state) this super flowy shapeless shape doesn't really work on me and my reviews will reflect that in the scoring. However, this doesn't mean that you should ignore these pieces altogether! We're all made of different curves and so if these tops look great on you don't let my reviews hold you back from purchasing them. Additionally, please don't be offended if I'm harsh on an item. I buy items that have one star for designs sometimes too -- we all have different shapes, we all have different tastes. Case in point: later this week I'll have an OOTD with a top that averaged two-star reviews on Anthro's site. But guess what? I don't care, because I love it.

On to the reviews!

Silk Blooms Eternal Top ($88) by Fei, TTS
style #20402616, blue motif (049) or sky (045)

This reviews set is all about the differences between shapeless flowy and shapely flowy. We begin with the shapeless option -- Fei's Silk Blooms Eternal Top ($88). I loved the print of the blue motif version immediately so hope springs eternal that this top would somehow work on me. In store, I admired the vibrant colors that are splashed across this blouse but was impressed that it still feels like a winter top.

Taking the flowiness into consideration I decided to try on my true size 6. While the top was very loose on me I don't think a 4 would have maintained the correct shape. So I'll say this top is TTS. Unfortunately, the blue motif made me want to play Canasta or Shuffleboard and maybe die my hair blue. Anyone with a larger chest will likely have the same issue that I did: this top finds the largest part of you and hangs down from there. I felt like I looked three times bigger than normal, which is a pretty impressive feat. I would love to see this print on another top.

Later in my Anthro store rounds, I tried the other print (sky) not realizing it was the same top...

...and while we still have the same shapeless issues, I like this version a lot better. I'm still not in love with the top but the more modern abstract leaf print on this version seemed to trick the eye into streamlining me more. The collarless v-neck lends a casual feel to this top and the drop sleeves feel lazy. I have a feeling that come 90 degree weather something like this would be fun to wear. This version helped save the shirt from no stars. I liked it enough to bump my rating up to 2. I might consider the sky version on 3rd cut but I am not into it otherwise. Pass.

Les Fleurs Rouges Top ($148), size up if busty
style #20042917, red motif (069)

Leave it to Anna Sui to show that tops can be flowy and still have a shape. The beautiful Les Fleurs Rouges Top ($148) has a print that is kind of tempting online but truly alluring in real life. I kept telling myself no, this top will not work on you, but every time I saw it on a dress form I liked it a bit more. Finally I could resist no more. A SA recommended that I size up in this top which was good advice.

I tried on an 8, one size up from my usual but two sizes up from what I usually take in Anna Sui. This helped me set the waist lower and helped the overall look of the top. It's crafted from beautiful silk and is sheer, so you'll need to layer something below it. The front has a soft diagonal seam that seemed unnecessary to me but it does not detract from the overall look. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the attached back cape which you can see better in this detail shot below.

Hmm. I have always wanted to be a superhero. Maybe this could be part of my vacation costume? That way the baddies know I'm still super, even when on a speedboat tearing it up between two islands chasing after criminals. Or maybe I could wear this for my 70s revival trio. I imagine the cape would do beautiful things on stage as I swing my arms to and fro in time with the music.

I'm making fun of the cape but in truth I don't hate it. I do think it puts this top smack in trendy territory which limits its longevity. For that reason, I will wait until sale to consider this top. And like with the Silk Blooms Eternal top reviewed above, I would not mind seeing this print in another incarnation. Wishlisted in an 8 for now.

Delicate Corps Blouse ($88) by Maeve, size up for hips
style #20291035, gold (070) or sky (045)

I love it when military gets softened with feminine touches. Maeve's Delicate Corps Blouse ($88) is a perfect example of this. I think Anthropologie did a fantastic job on this top and I like that there's a more obvious military color with the sky and a more subtle version in the gold. Plus yellow is one of my favorite colors and this blouse immediately brightened my mood. The shoulder epaulettes are without a doubt executed to perfection.

I sized up to an 8, noting the straight cut of this top. Unfortunately even that didn't seem to help much -- the bottom button was pulling. So I left it undone for these photos and knocked a star off my rating. I'll likely have to size up to a 10 in this top and get it tailored, which leaves me seriously grumbling. The abandonment of curves continues in Anthropologie's design room and it fucking sucks.

Fit issues aside I found this top to be wonderful. The front pockets and button choice add to the military feel without being overt about it, and the front darts would make this top a perfect fit if only the bottom was a bit more a-line. Sigh. Love this top but the fit issue has me pretty mad. And it is dry clean only. Wishlisted for now.

Freckled Blouse ($98) by Moulinette Soeurs, TTS but short
style #20294138, navy (041)

Here's a top that looks beautiful online but didn't work out in real life. The Freckled Blouse ($98) by Moulinette Soeurs is a georgette top that feels surprisingly rough to the touch. I love the way the front ruffles are pinned and tucked ever so slightly. In-store I knew right away the length would be an issue.

I grabbed an 8 to try initially hoping for more length but it was just too loose. So I went to my usual 6 which you see on me in the photos above. The fit is still somewhat off -- I need the waist to come in a little more and two or three additional inches of length. If I could have those elements fixed the top would fit perfectly and the front ruffles would flatter. Instead this top is kind of a mess on me. Too bad, because the print is pretty and I love the front ruffle. The idea has me swooning but the execution once again falls far short of my expectations. It's aggravating. Back to the rack.

style #20053583, blue motif (049)

Annoyed with blouses, I turned to a tee for my last top of this set. Tiny's Cross-Back Blues Top ($89) has an odd price point ($89, not $88?) and a funky look to it. If this is what Anthropologie does with its fabric remnants, bravo! The top has a cotton base with two different silk patterns on it. I love that this top is slightly longer in the back. I found it to feel very comfortable and it didn't look like wings from the front. Because really, the tush does not need wings! Another well-executed detail are the shoulders. With straight-cut shoulders my neckline looks broad, and I feared little flutter tips on this shirt. But it has neither. The roll shoulder is just long enough to hew everything in nicely.

My usual size medium fit well. I have one quibble: I wish the floral panel got a bit more narrow at the bottom of the shirt to help the eye shrink the hips. But the top is fine as it is and quite pretty on. I love the model shot at the top of this post because it shows a way to let this top peek out without making it the main star. Great styling idea! Also, this top looks really cool from the back...

...all of which adds up to a winner in my book. Except of course for the price. Wishlisted to wait this one out for sale.