Reviews: Epoch Blouse, Bespoke Yoke Tee, Crochet Caricature Blouse, Victorian Treasure Tank, Undersea Exploration Tee, Superfluous Bellows Hoodie, Light On Petals Cami

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Epoch Blouse ($118) by Anna Sui, runs short
  style #20245858, neutral motif (015)
★★☆☆☆

Anna Sui is one of my favorite designers. I rarely have anything negative to say about the brand's designs. Unfortunately I didn't like the Epoch Blouse ($118) very much. The design itself is wonderful -- a ditsy floral with beautiful ruffles populate a regal-shaped button-down. There's amazing tailoring around the waist that should have left me feeling like a Victorian queen on the royal equivalent of casual Friday. This cotton top has already sold through one run on Anthro's site!

This top looked pretty terrible on me. I started off by discovering that this top is cut narrow through the bust, which is no big surprise given the amount of seaming and tailoring. So I went up to a 10 for the best fit. But even that 10 was so oddly short on me. I checked to make sure I hadn't picked up a petite version (I hadn't; this top does not come in petite) and then was forced to wonder if I'd experienced a growth spurt somewhere on the way to the fitting room. As far as I know I'm still 5'8" so my conclusion is that this top runs very short. Which meant the waist hit me far too high, which meant I looked simultaneously wide and stumpy. Neither is on my list of attributes I strive for and so this top was a pass. Back to the rack.


Bespoke Yoke Tee ($78) by Tiny, size up for curves
style #20293874, white (010)
★★★☆☆

I love how Tiny finds new and interesting ways to construct neutral tops. The Bespoke Yoke Tee ($78) is made up of combinations and white and ivory yet still manages to be interesting by mixing materials. There's lace and crochet and piping and it reeled me in for a shot in the fitting room. The top is notably sheer, especially when one is wearing  black bra underneath. (Apologies.) Though there's a vintage feel to this top it's not as obvious as some of the other styles in Anthropologie's spring repertoire. In fact it recalls vintage while being modern in its execution. This is what I hope for when Anthro interprets trends!

Tiny's fit is normally very consistent, so I was surprised by how tight my usual size medium was. The bottom hem seemed to like my butt a lot -- it kept hugging it no matter how many times I tugged it up. I'm...flattered...maybe...? Believe it or not I love the lace detailing around the shoulders. Unlike plain sheerness, which I do not understand, the lace strikes me as a feminine touch that helps this top feel delicate and ladylike without me worrying about it actually falling apart. Stars off for sheerness and fit, but I do plan to pick this top up on sale. Wishlisted!!


Crochet Caricature Blouse ($138) by The Addison Story, size up for curves
style #20180196, ivory (011)
★★★☆☆

Like the window of a beachside resort cabana, the Crochet Caricature Blouse ($138) is not totally opaque. In fact the open-medallion strips seem perfectly placed to show off areas I'd rather keep hidden outside the bedroom. Still, it's made from silk and the shape is fun so I liked this top in spite of myself. I would have given this another star if only the top came with a removable layering tank.

I tried on my usual size medium which fit loosely everywhere except across my hips, where the top was tight instead. I would size up to a large to buy. I imagine this top will end up hitting at the edge of my shoulders so to wear this for day I'd need to layer something underneath anyway. I like the ivory tone but would love to see this top in a bright color -- pink perhaps? Something to think about. Wishlisted to wait for sale.


Victorian Treasure Tank ($198) by Ranna Gill, TTS
style #20518098, green (030)
★★★★★

Hey, there's my waist! I'd started to wonder if it had migrated north towards my bust, or south to combine with my hips in some kind of odd mutation. Ranna Gill knows right where it is and helps me show it off! The beautiful Victorian Treasure Tank ($198) has exquisite detailing that is sure to flatter anyone. The thin, offset pleats of the top half combined with the thicker, vertical pleats below the waist make my midsection look nice and tiny. Meanwhile, jewels encrusted around the neckline draw the eye upward to show off the collarbone. I love the back off this top too -- the pleats crisscross and the neckline has a chain to keep it from slipping down. Nice design touch!



Fitwise, my usual size medium was perfect. From the front, side or back I liked the view. I know this top is expensive but it seems worth full price to me. I love the design; I love the details; I love the fit. If those three elements don't justify full price, what does? I suppose the cost per wear deserves a mention too. I'm well on my way to lowering it -- I snapped this top up right away.


Undersea Exploration Tee ($68) by We Love Vera, TTS
style #20232880, green (030)
★★★☆☆

I guessed that the pattern on the Undersea Exploration Tee ($68) was meant to evoke leaves, but I was wrong. The name reveals that coral was the inspiration for this decidedly spring-hued top, which is long and comfy although also kind of shapeless. The material is rather thin here. It's not sheer but I do wonder about how this top will hold up in the wash. The hem is supposed to be asymmetric but I guess as a result of the fit across my hips that detail was lost.

I'd size up to buy this top though realistically I'm not going to purchase it. The large pattern felt overwhelming on me which is too bad because I like all the colors used. I tried throwing a blazer on over this top to see if I liked it any better. I did not. The reviews for this top seem to be good online so I think this is a case of the top not being cut for me. Back to the rack.


Superfluous Bellows Hoodie ($68) by Pure & Good, inconsistent sizing
style #20237970, sand (016)
★★★★☆

The Superfluous Bellows Hoodie ($68) is a review by request. I hadn't given much thought to this pleated and ruched hoodie from Pure & Good, though I instantly loved the feel of it. It's very soft and a nice feminine twist on the usual college staple. "The dancer's top layer," my friend the dancer commented. She's not wrong in my opinion.

I found myself sizing up to a large and even that seemed to be a bit tight on me. Oddly, a week later a medium fit me just fine. So either I was carrying a bunch of water weight/bloat (which happens) or the sizing varies on the production run I tried. That was the bad. The good is that the length was great, I liked the poly mixed in to keep hoodie light (when do I ever say that?) and I think it's overall pretty irresistible. I'm probably going to wait for sale but this hoodie is wishlisted!


Light On Petals Cami ($58) by Lili's Closet, size down
style #20393997, multi (095) or white (010)
★★★★★

I first tried on the Light On Petals Cami ($58) late in February, and decided to leave it behind. Silly me! The multi version that you see on me above has been selling quickly online and reportedly it's going fast in stores too. So come mid-March I sought it out again, this time to buy. This cute top also comes in a solid white version. The top has a double ruffle layer and fits very loosely! There's a racerback and spaghetti straps, and though technically a loungewear item this piece is begging to be worn outside the home.

The shots above are a small which was still rather big on me. I found the x-small to be too short in front so I settled on oversized rather than under-long. Normally I'm against super flowy, I think the pattern in this case has my inner flower child pushing me to like it. The potential is great with this top and I'm happy with how it looks. Afraid of missing out, I decided to buy it at full price.