Reviews: Lila Frock, Blurred Calendula Dress, Glinting Persica Sweater Dress, Winter Tree Shirtdress, Pixel Impressionist Shift, Alary Shirtdress

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Let's shift gears from tops and toppers to dresses for a bit, shall we? Right after an important message.

If you have been affected by the Anthroholic Personal Shopping services issue (meaning if you either waited several months before getting your item/refund, did not get a full refund because Anthroholic kept the finder fees, or are still waiting for items/refund) you should contact the Illinois Attorney General – Consumer Protection Division and FILE a complaint. Doing so will allow the IL AG to aggressively pursue legal action against her, the outcome of which could include not just restitution to her victims but her permanent ban from online solicitations and profitability. The link to the IL AG’s downloadable complaint form is: http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/filecomplaint.html.

You can also register a compliant with the FBI's internet complaint center (aka iC3) If you are an international victim this is the link you should use, though USA victims can also use it.




Lila Frock (now $80) by Tabitha, TTS
style # 21281779, yellow (079)
★★★☆☆

By now Anthropologie has released 7 or 8 different versions of the Lila Frock (now $80). Some with sleeves. Some without. Some with tweed bottoms, others with wool or viscose. But always the same -- structured, pocketed skirt and silky top. Why mess with a good thing? I once again found myself drawn to the design. Every fabric Anthro has picked for the top has been a winner. It's always come down to whether I like the skirt portion or not. As of now I own one version of this design, the Tweedy Leaves Dress from last fall.

I debated between an 8 and a 10 (one and two sizes up for me). The skirt portion is cut straight through the thighs which compels me to size up. For this dress an 8 worked just fine. The only design flaw I see is that the skirt creates a paunch in my belly nearly every time. This dress was no exception. Other than that it's a pretty frock that works for work now and later (with a cardi or blazer thrown over it). I wasn't interested at full price but sale has me tempted. If this makes it to 2nd cut I'll give it another look.


Blurred Calendula Dress ($378) by Mongrels in Common, size down
style # 23454192, green motif (038)
★★★☆☆

It looks like Anthropologie is getting into the holiday spirit a little early this year! The velvety Blurred Calendula Dress ($378) has Christmas family gatherings written all over it to me. I thought this was a silk dress when I first saw it on the website so touching it in real life was quite a surprise! The dress is very soft to the touch and slightly plush. Luckily the material doesn't add too much bulk. What does add bulk however is the cut -- specifically around the hips. The drape and gather style comes together nicely at the waist, but then whether by a product of design or my shape the hips flare out more than I'd like.

This dress only runs up to a 10. That's the bad news. The good news is that it runs large. I was able to fit into a 4 with no issue. I tried my usual 6 as well to see if the hip situation improved but it did not. So this isn't the dress for me. If you try it be sure to try both your usual size and a size down. Online-only shoppers, you're safe to order one size below your usual dress size (i.e. if you're an 8, order a 6).


Glinting Persica Sweater Dress ($188) by Knitted & Knotted, size down
style # 22853139, neutral motif (015)
★★★★☆

The mysterious Glinting Persica Sweater Dress ($188) is tricky: no zipper meant it took me a minute or two to gain the confidence to pull this over my head. I kept expecting to hear that dreadful rrrriiiippp sound if I stretched the material too much. But then, like magic, I'd pulled it on without any injury to the material. Magic! (Well, rayon/poly. But you get the idea.) The main material here is wool that didn't bother me but will cause those with low itch tolerance to squirm. Maybe a turtleneck underneath will fix that issue?

I find these wintery wool dresses to run large. True to style, I was able to size down to a small in the Glinting Persica. This is one of those dresses that you have to see in real life. It doesn't look like much on the website and I could see you being unimpressed by these photos. But in real life it's pretty, with hints of sparkle and a frosty beauty emanating. This dress will need a belt for sure to finish off the look. For cold weather it's a winner. Wishlisted!


Winter Tree Shirtdress ($178) by Maeve, TTS
style # 22646962, blue motif (049)
★★☆☆☆

Maeve has typically been a line cut for straighter, boyish figures. A couple of years ago that all changed, much to my delight. Unfortunately for me (but good for many I'm sure!) the line has reverted to its former ways. The Winter Tree Shirtdress ($178) is one of many Maeve pieces giving me fits because it doesn't fit. The dress is made from beautiful silk with a soft arbor-y print. The shirtdress style is very versatile and I like that this one isn't as long as some of the others I've seen. Knee-length is perfection in my book.

What a pain it is to put this dress on. Put the sash through here. Unbutton this button. Oh wait, unbutton that one too! Step into the dress. Rebutton. Wrap your arm around your body and button the other. Take the sash and wrap it. Blargh. Too much work! And for what result? My usual size 6 didn't fit right and felt uncomfortable. An 8 was no help and neither was a 10. The dress is not cut for my body type and no amount of sizing up or down will help that. And so for this beauty it was back to the rack, and a saddened stride away.


Pixel Impressionist Shift ($158) by Maeve, size up
style # 22770259, yellow (079)
★★★☆☆  

I had slightly better luck with Maeve's Pixel Impressionist Shift ($158) which has disappeared off the website but still has nearly full stock. A modern take on Monet, I was struck by the vivid colors in a recent outfit set featuring the frock. It has a gentle v-neck and a useless sash and is made from silk with a poly lining.

I had to size up a couple of times in this dress to make the shift shape work. Above I'm in an 8 but it's still pretty tight across the hips. I would purchase this dress in a 10 which is more or less what I wear in shifts (thank you thighs!). The sash is nice and thick but I wouldn't wear it with this dress. Instead I'd let the dress hang loose like in the model shot and wear a blazer over it for work. It's a cute dress but not worth full price for me. Waiting for sale.


Alary Shirtdress ($128) by Girls From Savoy, size up
style # 22897748, green motif (038)
★★★★☆

One of the Soho SAs pulled the Alary Shirtdress ($128) for me to try, noting that it reminded her of last year's Southward Stop Dress by Maeve. I could not agree more! This dress hasn't made the website yet but deserves a review now. I expect it to be a hit with the community. We start with a light beige base, upon which a green print of upside down flowers are placed. On top of that flutter large birds and butterflies. At least I think they're butterflies -- Maria of Infinite Whimsy asked if they were moths, and honestly I'm not sure. Of course this comes from the girl -- me -- who thought my building's lobby wallpaper was butterflies for months before someone informed me they were moths. I have a fear of moths after one of my college houses had a huge moth problem. Hundreds of them inside the house every night! Thank goodness I lived with boys who would kill them all for me. Shudder. So I really hope these are butterflies.

Like the Southward Stop this dress feels like fine-wale cord in a shirtdress shape. In this Girls From Savoy version I had to size up from a 6 to an 8 because the 6 was tight across the chest. I would compare the fit to the beloved Refined Cord Shirtdress. If you had to size up in the Refined Cord you'll likely need to do the same here.



Here's a close-up of the pattern. Happy to see the price ($128) is consistent with previous versions of this dress. I will update this post once the dress is online. Until then, it's wishlisted in my head!