Reviews: Rosewood Tank, Eyeleted Corset Top, Skylark Blouse, Checkmate Tank, Radler Blouse, Ivory Tower Tank, Sweet Mix Vest, Alstroemeria Tee

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rosewood Tank ($128) by Moulinette Soeurs, TTS
style #20290581, ivory (011)

I have a weakness for tops shaped like this, owing to having many of them as a kid. They were hand-me-downs from my sister who was a tot in the 70s. Even as a child of the 80s I loved the free shape and dresslike quality of this type of type. So my first reaction upon spying the Rosewood Tank ($128) was "awwww." This adorable cotton top has summer breeze written all over it. I love the thick smocking at the top of the shirt and the pretty grosgrain straps. You can probably already guess what I don't like -- the sheerness. I expect a top like this to be a little see-through but this one showed my jeans, bra and pasty white skin a little too well.

A store SA advised me this was running a little big, so instead of reaching for an 8 (my usual size in Moulinette Soeurs) I went for my true size 6 instead. It was good advice. The 6 fit perfectly. I like how the model shot shows this top with two low-slung belts and I would style it similarly (with my Triple Buckle Belt).The back of the top fell a little low on me, and with non-adjustable straps this could be an issue. Still, I like this top in spite of myself. When the temperatures creep above 90 degrees and we're trying to wear as little as possible this top will be a wonderful reprieve. Wishlisted and waiting for sale.

Eyeleted Corset Top by Floreat ($98), size up
style and color information to come
sku #20589339 for size 8

I was trying to wait until the Floreat top I wore in the Soho Fashion show appeared online, but several of you asked for a review now. How could I say no? I've seen the top out at 3 of the 4 NYC Anthros (no sign of it at 5th Ave) so it should be in your local store soon. The top is $98 and made from 100% cotton. It comes with removable straps which are adjustable. It's a brown base with a beautiful pattern of green, orange and yellow. There are eyelet chains around the top and bottom hems, and the ruffle tiers on the bottom are each scalloped. The dark brown sash has some tones of dark green in it and is nice and thick. Update 4/27: finally online today!

Whew! No wonder I like this top. I wore a 10 in the fashion show but by the end of the night it was slipping off of me. So I exchanged it for an 8, which fits much better. I love how high the front is. With a cardigan over this I can wear it to work easily. The sash is sewn in loosely on one side, which I suppose Anthropologie did to keep it attached to the shirt but means you'll have to carefully snip if you want to detach the sash. I was able to hide the sash under a thick belt with no issue. I truly love this top but I had to knock one star off for the straplessness. Anthro's cutest tops seem to be sans straps! What gives? I have already purchased this top and highly recommend it.

I'll have a review of the Ardens Skirt ($128) later this week. I reviewed the dress version of the print, the Kingston Road Dress ($228), here.

Skylark Blouse ($88) by Girls From Savoy, size up
style #20401170, blue motif (049)

Let's do a triple-shot with Girls From Savoy, shall we? First up is the lovely Skylark Blouse ($88), which looks like a floral print to me from far away. Upon closer inspection you realize that the top is in fact covered with little birds -- hence the top's name. I'm a little leery with Girls From Savoy because last year several of their pieces, while beautiful, had serious quality issues. Already this year I noticed the stitchwork on the Nostalgic Asterisks Dress ($158, review here) was sloppy at best. The good news for this top is that there are fewer hems and seams to be concerned about.

In Girls From Savoy's dresses, I wear my normal size or one below. But in this top I tried an 8, one size above usual for me. The 8 felt pretty snug and short still -- I'd go up one more time to a 10 to buy. The fit was tightest for me around the bust. I'm thrilled that the waist hits me in the right spot and the wide band helps emphasize my small waist. The top is very flattering overall. The silk is light and slippery like you want and the brass buttons down the front are a pretty little detail. I'm smitten! I saw a lot of customers buying both this top and the next one I'm going to review. I decided to wait on this one -- wishlisted!

Checkmate Tank ($78) by Girls From Savoy, size up
style #19962323, navy (041)

The Checkmate Tank ($78) is my favorite Anthropologie top of 2011. I know it's early in the year but nothing will be able to compare with this top. It's also going to land somewhere in my Top 10 of all time from Anthropologie. That's how much I love this piece. I am a gingham lover, but I've never had much success with tops that are all gingham. I love how this top starts with a navy base in a beautiful structured shell and adds bits of gingham in the perfect spot. The a-line shape of the the bottom hemline is perfection. The sweetheart neckline is adorable. I could go on and on about how great the design is! Kudos to the designer or team that came up with this top. It's beautiful and well-appointed. It's the perfect balance of function and whimsy. Just what I expect from an Anthropologie item.

After my experience with the Skylark Blouse ($88) above, I knew to grab an 8. It fit perfectly. It's like this top was pre-tailored for a curvy body shape! This is a great example of how Anthro's pieces were from 2006-2008. No wonder I spent most of my money here. There's just a touch of spandex in the top from the back smocking, but you'll barely notice it. Mostly you'll feel the sturdy cotton that is still soft to the touch. I didn't want to wait on this top. I bought it immediately and have already worn it. You win again Anthropologie!!

Radler Top ($88) by Girls From Savoy, size up
style #20400982, white (010)

One more from the same brand. The Radler Top ($88) is another piece of the 70s brought back to life. Once again I'm pretty sure I had a top just like this as a kid. But then again, kid's clothes are cute, so as long as it doesn't make me feel juvenile in the piece I'm OK with the nostalgia. The Radler is another cotton base, though much thicker and more opaque than the Rosewood Tank ($128) that opened this reviews set. Actually the cotton is incredibly soft. The pretty buttercups dance over this top while a softly pleated tier cascades down from the waist. Did anyone else hold buttercups up to their chin as a kid? (I looove butter.)

A size 8 worked well on me. Some of my friends have taken their normal size in this top, but the bust on the 8 was just right for me. Less busty folk might want their regular size. I like this top a lot but it's more casual than the other two Girls From Savoy tops in this set. It would be perfect on the weekends! I'm looking for work clothes right now, so this one will have to wait. For now, wishlisted!!!

Ivory Tower Tank ($88) by L'Affaire, size up
style #20266250, ivory (011)

I came across the Ivory Tower Tank ($88) at the 5th Ave Anthropologie...and passed right by it. A friend convinced me to try it on. I thought I was not really into crocheted lace tops like this. (I was wrong.) I have great appreciation for all the design work that went into this piece -- and I was shocked at the price. I would have expected this top to land around $200. Not that I'm mad about the low price Anthro!! I'm sure the price is because this is imported....lame. I would have happily paid more for a shirt made in the USA. This top struck me as more Free People than Anthropologie and it turns out I was right. Free People carried this top in a brighter white last fall.

The pickings were slim on the rack, so I grabbed a small and headed to the fitting room. I asked for a medium and while I waited I tried the small. It fit me perfectly! (Photos above.) I was super shocked. When the medium arrived it was a pain to put on and tight around the bust...what the...? I thought maybe the piece was just an error, but then I looked more closely at the small. Someone who'd tried it on before me had ripped the side seam down below the bust! You can see the tear in the profile shot above -- the armhole looks way too big.

I was torn. (Heh.) Should I buy the medium, which was looser around my hips but tighter in the bust? Or should I buy the small, which fit better but was damaged? I settled on buying the medium, and plan to carefully open the side seams up a bit -- just not as much as that small. Be sure to inspect this top carefully if you try it on!! The side seams should be sewn up all the way. This top wasn't even on my radar until yesterday, yet it came home with me. Score another one for Anthro!

Sweet Mix Vest ($78) by Tiny, TTS
style #20293031, beige (024)

The Sweet Mix Vest ($78) was a disappointment for me. It looks so cute online! And Tiny is normally very reliable in both quality and execution. In this case not so much. The vests I saw all had loose threads and looked generally sad on the rack. It made me sad too. The ribbing is very stretchy and I felt a bit like I was wearing a gym sock around my torso.

My usual size medium fit fine, it just didn't feel great to me. I love the little sheer tier on the bottom and the way it's longest on the sides. But I do not like the shape otherwise. Open or closed, the fit wasn't quite right. The proportions seemed off on me -- I need a bit of smocking or something in the back to help define my waist. Because right now this feels like a sad sack. This top is a pass for me. Back to the rack.

Alstroemeria Tee ($78) by Deletta, TTS
style #20556783, yellow (079)

Hello gorgeous! Vivid colors coerced me into trying the Alstroemeria Tee ($78) by Deletta. For those that missed out on the Drenched Helenium Tee a couple of years ago this is a beautiful alternative. We know how much I like architectural elements in my clothing design and this top delivers -- it's got diagonal pleats across the left side of the bust and an asymmetric hem at the bottom. My little flair wasn't quite laying in the pleated fashion I wanted, but I could see the potential. Anthropologie, you are speaking my language with this shirt!! It's a step above a basic top with embellishments that are not overdone or out of place. They are perfection.

My usual size medium fit wonderfully, pulling slightly inward at my waist before gently giving way around my hips. The top is rayon so you can wash it (I'd recommend inside-out on the gentle cycle, and I'd probably put it in an intimates bag to be safe). I picture pairing the top with wide leg trousers (or trouser jeans) during the work week, and with a cute navy pleated skirt on the weekends. Oh man I'm done for -- another top I want! It was hard but I resisted for now. Wishlisted!!

Alright Anthro, I'm liking your recent releases a lot better. I'm still bitter about a poor January but we are turning the corner I think. Now if we can just nail the quality again I will be a happy camper.