Reviews: Valley Breeze Tunic, Take Two Tee, Graceful Drape Top, Blooming Goldenrod Dress, Paraiso Dress

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valley Breeze Tunic ($98) by Floreat, TTS
style #20447231, green motif (038) or blue motif (049)
★★★★☆

It's a tunic that for the petite among us might work as a dress. Floreat's Valley Breeze Tunic comes in two intense prints. The green motif is so eye-catching (and a little headache inducing) that I pretty much stopped in my tracks. How could I not try something like that on? I think this top would look great under an army-style jacket, paired with a pretty long necklace and jeans. I did notice it's dry clean only which is a bummer but not unexpected given the bold colors. Also worth noting is that though this top is thin I didn't find it sheer, thank goodness.

It's clearly too short to work as a dress on me. I tried on my usual size 6 which fit without any button pulling or stretching. I felt nicely nipped in at the waist and the shoulders have a bit of structure to them without going off the 80s deep end. I love the tie waist on this top -- the sash is the perfect length for a subtle bow. The sleeve length is also excellent. It's between a 3/4 and I dunno, a 7/8 sleeve? I ended up pushing it above my elbows but it can also naturally rest about halfway down your forearm. While I like the print neither the green motif on me or the blue motif struck me as being quite right, so I knocked a star off my review. Aside from that this top is great in my book! Wishlisted in my true size 6.


Take Two Tee ($98) by Left of Center, size down
style #20329678, navy (041) or brown (020)
★★★★☆

I swear I owned a top just like this as a wee tot. So much so that I started combing through my childhood pics just to see if I could find my 5-year-old self in that top. Couldn't find the photo but you get the idea. This top is a big ol' piece of 80s nostalgia as far as I'm concerned, or I guess 70s daydreams if the top was a hand-me-down from my sister. Colorblocking is great in my book and I like the tonal touches on the Take Two Tee ($98). The top has pockets at the side -- a great choice considering I was expected a pocket over one side of the chest. The tonal section starts above the neckline which will help trick the eye to seeing narrower shoulders but could have the unfortunate effect of widening the waist and hips. I think this top got around that issue successfully with the darker color below and the gentle a-line shape. I decided the navy version was worth trying on.

My usual size medium was very loose, so much so that I asked for a small instead. The photos above are the small. It's a casual top in my book but one that could get a lot of use. The silk material is breathable and works well to present the colors in their richest state. Lots to love here, just the price that's holding me back. Wishlisted for now!


Graceful Drape Top (now $50) by Bailey44, TTS
style #20014627, turquoise (046) or grey (004)
★★★★☆

I first noticed the Graceful Drape Top (now $50) in a community member-submitted eye candy photo. I either missed the initial delivery to my stores or they came this past weekend, just in time for the top to hit sale. Bailey 44 usually does well in my book so I expected to like this top. I wasn't disappointed.

My usual size medium fit like a charm. The length is perfect and the ruching around the bust is well-done for a flattering look. Turquoise is a color that works very well against my skin tone and I like the idea of layering a cardigan with touches of darker pink, purple or blue over this. It's worth noting that even at full price this top was under $100, which is nice to see after last year's triple digit pricetags on Bailey 44 at Anthro. $88 still would have been better; $40 would be nice now. Still worth a shot! I'm looking to pick this top up sometime this week.


Blooming Goldenrod Dress ($138), size up if curvy
style #20431276, yellow (079)
★★★★☆

This pretty dress from Edme & Esyllte is the Blooming Goldenrod Dress ($138).The bodice portion is from textured, slightly shiny gold poly mix and the skirt has a similar sheen with a silvery grey base and a scattered flower print. Joining the two halves are a wide black waistband and a silvery sash. The dress has a fairytale quality to it that I love. It just seems darling.

From the available choices, I reached for a 6. That's my normal size but I've had to go to an 8 in Edme & Esyllte since last year. So the 6 was pretty tight on me but I'm sure an 8 would be fine. This dress fits like a shift so while the top portion worked well on me it was closest around my hips and tush. I can't decide if this is a dress I'd wear to work or not, but I do know that I like it quite a bit. Once it's online this dress will be wishlisted.


Paraiso Dress ($148) by Maeve, size up if busty
style #20473351, turquoise (046), also in petite
★★★★☆

Oh Maeve, thank you. Thank you for the high neckline on the Paraiso Dress ($148) and the skirt that is full but not overly voluminous. Thank you for the big, awesome sash and the fun print (even if it does kind of look like the awning at my usual Cape Cod hotel). Thanks for light boning and a zip that's actually easy to zip. Thanks for being machine washable and made from sturdy cotton at a price point that's acceptable.

I sized up in this dress to accommodate my 34D bust. A size 8 (one size up for me) worked perfectly. Ilove the high, straight bustline on this dress so much. It means that come summer when our casual work attire relaxes a bit further, I can wear this to work with a light cardigan over it. The colors in this dress are amazing and I love the way the skirt falls. I noticed a few dresses were missing their sash in-store which is a bummer so make sure to double-check yours. I have no complaints about style or fit here, but since it is strapless to me that's a star down. Wishlisted!!