Reviews: Creased Swirls Corset Top, Twisted Birch Shell, Eyes Have It Cardigan, On The Agenda Shell, Recurring Theme Skirt, Sculpted Blouse

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A loose interpretation.

 Creased Swirls Corset Top ($88) by Floreat, size up if busty
style #20511762, "online exclusive," yellow (079)

Online only? Pssh! Doesn't mean much in NYC, where most of those "online exclusive" Anthropologie items still manage to make their way into stores. I was happy to see the Creased Swirls Corset Top ($88) at the 5th Ave Anthropologie. This top interested me -- I hoped that the high line of the top would somehow make it workable for me despite being strapless. I was also confused about why the dress form shot shows definite pleats while the model shot makes the top look more wavy. In real life, they are sharp pleats.

The colors on this top are beautiful -- it's a mix of orange-y yellows and a bit of black. I have an Odille skirt in the same palette but more black-based. I want to note that the product shot makes this top look true yellow, but in real life it's closer to orange than yellow. It's mustard.

A 6 never works for me in strapless tops so up to an 8 I went. In predictable fashion the 8 was loose everywhere except around my 34D bust. There's no doubt about it: this top doesn't work on me. The pleats could not reconcile against my curves and the sash kept trying to slide down. I think that hourglass shapes will have issues with this top while straighter shapes will find it easier to fit. A pass for me, but a well-crafted top that deserves some kudos.

Twisted Birch Shell (now $80) by Leifsdottir, TTS
style #19319003, dark grey (005)

Leifsdottir's Twisted Birch Shell (now $80) hit sale before I had a chance to run my review. The waffled herringbone knit of this sweater makes the otherwise boring grey more interesting. I like the twisted neckline with its occasional tendrils of crinkled knit. It's nice and long, another bonus for us talls.

My usual size medium wasn't available so I tried a small. In my hurry I threw it on over my jumper and it was almost the perfect fit -- the hips were stretching too much. Later I tried on my usual size medium and it worked perfectly. The top itself is nice and thick but the problem of course is that only goes so far on a sleeveless sweater. Still, for the transitional period between winter and spring this has potential. Just be prepared with a cardigan to throw over it. Now that this top is on sale it's sitting in my cart.

Eyes-Have-It-Cardigan ($128) by Moth, TTS
style #2002734, brown motif (029)

Now that I know the name of the Eyes-Have-It-Cardigan ($128) it's kind of creepy to me, but before I loved the pattern on this unusual cardigan. It sold out quickly online and I understand why. It comes with a cool belt; the pattern is funky but in neutral colors that will pair well and it looks good either open or closed. The cotton-linen material is of medium warmth.

My usual size medium fit well, though I found the belt big. The belt is removable which is great -- you can pair anything from leather to stretchy with this cardigan and make it work. The sleeves hit me at the perfect spot and I liked how the pattern lined up from wrist to hip. It's nice how the cardigan is body-skimming without being too tight. Hip and interesting, I love this piece! It's still floating around stores...watching you. Eep! Wishlisted.

On The Agenda Shell ($88) by Trovata (Isabella Sinclair), TTS
style #20101598, blue motif (049)

A fondness for polka dots meant I loved Trovata's On The Agenda Shell ($88) as soon as I saw it. I have to admit this top looks a bit like bathroom tile to me but I like it anyway. There's a fun little faux tie accent at the neckline with button-down closures below it. The sleeveless ends sit at the perfect spot on your shoulder -- not too far out, not too far in. There's a slight flare at the hips to accommodate curves.

I tried on my usual size medium. There was looseness on the sides but not enough for me to size down. I initially thought of this top as a great layering piece, with a cardigan in yellow, navy or black thrown over it. Now that we had a warm weather day (our first over 45 degrees since early December!) I think it would work on its own too once the temps stay above 60. Since this top is silk it's dry clean only. For work it would still be worth it to me. Wishlisted!

Recurring Theme Skirt (now $50) by Edme & Esyllte, TTS
style #19429737, blue motif (049)

One of the must-have items on my spring shopping list is a pleated skirt. I wasn't really considering a printed version until I saw the Recurring Theme Skirt (now $50). The pattern seems vaguely Native American to me and I like it! The hem especially has three or four different lines of detail work that are only noticeable upon close inspection. The waistband is comfortable, stretchy and easy.

Some reviews complained this skirt floofed out at the hips. I had avoided the skirt for that reason, figuring it would never work on my curvy shape. Happily the medium sat just fine on me. The key on a pleated skirt is getting the pleats to sit straight which they did here. As I walked around the fitting area on a test drive the skirt moved and undulated in delightful ways. I decided to send the skirt back to the rack for now because there's plenty of stock left both in-store and online. At 2nd cut this one's coming home to momma.

Sculpted Blouse ($78) by Odille, TTS
style #20290227, gold (070) or white (010)

Odille's Sculpted Blouse ($78) was one I wanted to love. The gold color, the cool twisted shoulders and the pleated front looked interesting on the hanger. A single button at the meeting of the v-neck is cute as, well, a button. A hint of stretch makes this easy to get into pullover-style. I can't say it enough -- I love architectural pieces. The construction of this top is so interesting! Kudos are due to the designer behind this piece.

My usual size 6 was sadly not as flattering as I'd hoped. The main issue for me was that the twisted sleeve made me look broad. I need something to balance against my hips and instead I think hips are the first thing you see here. I tried an 8 on for kicks and found the same issues. This top, while pretty, just doesn't work on my body. Too bad but I can't knock it too much. I have seen this top look beautiful on others. Give it a shot. For me, pass.