Sunday, July 31, 2011

{Sunday Fun!} An Anthropologie DIY project


Ever looked at an Anthropologie item and thought, "With some time, plus the right tools and materials, I could totally make that!" Maureen saw Anthro's adorable Quilting Circle Placemats and decided to create her own fabric pompons just like the ones on the Anthro version!



Which ones are Anthro and which ones are Maureen's? You'll have to read the full post to find out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The weekend in-store community post


Note: New posts run below this one.



I have noticed a lot of community members sharing in-store deals and spots in the comments of various posts. Inspired by the weekly Seek & Find posts started by the lovely Alexis over at J.Crew Aficionada, I think now is a good time to start a similar weekly post here.

This post is for community members to trade information. You can ask for help in finding an item, report back on what you saw in-store at your local Anthro, ask general questions, make a request, or just stop by to say hello. I love how helpful this community can be! Please note that items for sale belong in the Trade Market, as do 'looking to find' requests for past season items. Comments that erroneously get posted in this thread will be deleted.

Some FAQs....
- What does "sub" mean?It means that people are subscribing to the comment thread. You can do this by either clicking the small RSS icon at the top right of the comments section or by selecting either subscribe to "all new comments" or "replies" in the comment box in the comment form.
- Someone in the comments said they wanted to buy an item from me, but it's been x hours and I haven't heard squat. What should I do?I give people 24 hours for the benefit of the doubt. After that move on to the next person that contacted you.
- Someone said they returned an item at the store 20 minutes ago but I just called the store and it's gone. What gives?!?
A store associate might have taken a fancy to it or a customer might have grabbed it. Maybe it's just at the bottom of a big ol'pile. Unfortunately, you're out of luck.

Recommended reading:
Gigi's tips for a successful swap
Ways to find hidden inventory on Anthro's site
How do I find reviews for x item?
Ways to find style numbers on Anthro's site for sold-out items (it's right below the Lilac Ombre Heels photo)

Guide to commenting with IntenseDebate.
How to add photos to your IntenseDebate comment.

**IMPORTANT NOTE** At the moment,  the 'subscribe' feature is not working consistently in the comments. It's only working for people with IntenseDebate accounts, and only sometimes.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reviews: Quantum Blouse, Checked Crops, Drape & Twist Tee, Liquid Acres Skirt, Noon & Night Dress


I got quite a few emails after yesterday's August catalogue preview post. Most of you that wrote me were wondering how I'd combine these pieces into outfits. So after work yesterday -- with the help of the fabulous personal shopping teams at the NYC Anthropologies -- I put together a few outfits for reviews. Though the catalogue styling is more Mad Men then, say, Gossip Girl, you'll find that in real life there are many versatile pieces that look young and both modern and classic. Which is to say, I'm falling in love with Anthropologie's fall collection.


Quantum Blouse ($88) by Maeve, TTS
style # 21239975, neutral motif (015) or red motif (069)
★★★☆☆
paired with
Checked Crops ($118) by Cartonnier, TTS
style # 21257126, turquoise (046)
★★★★★

Let's call this outfit fall classic. We're mixing patterns here -- a bigger polka dot on top with the glenplaid of the crops below. It works because of the consistent grey-brown color story between the pieces. I'd wear this look to work.

The top is Maeve's Quantum Blouse ($88), a connected dots pattern with one teeny tiny ruffle upon one shoulder. Cute on the rack, I was very excited to put it on. The silk is light and slightly shiny and I love the color options for this top. The red motif looks slightly orange in real life, which makes it a good pair for yellows or browns. Lots of options for outfits.

Once the top was on though my excitement quickly drained from "yay!" to "meh." The top is cut very straight. My usual size 6 fit up top but not so much at my hips. And the 8 looked like I was wearing a top three sizes too big. It would be an easy fix for a tailor to add side vents to the 6 to allow room for my hips. I can't help wishing for a little more shape. Aside from straight cut the front cowl didn't sit nicely over my bust. There was an odd whirlpool effect happening in my midsection. I like the outfit enough to take a chance on this top on sale. Wishlisted until then.

I love me a good plaid crop, and when I saw the Checked Crops ($118) online I was intrigued. Usually crops are a no-no for me -- I have thick calves and almost every pair of crops squeezes too tightly around my lower leg. Anthropologie somehow manufactured a pair of pants that is "slim fit" yet still loosens around my ankles. In plaid. That alone deserves 5 stars! They're also an excellent and hard to find length: they hit just above my ankles. Which puts the inseam around 29", meaning petites may be able to wear these as normal pants.

The pants are polyester (yikes!) but feel like wool without the itch. At the risk of sounding hypocritical I think the material choice works. I still prefer organic materials whenever possible. But in this case I think wool would have made the pants more high maintenance then they need to be.

My usual size 10 fit perfectly but I'm so used to low-rise pants these days that I felt like trying a 12 to hipster the pants. Sizing up by one meant the pants sat lower on me which I liked. The waist slid down without leaving the crotch too low. So you have options with these pants. Stick with your true size if you prefer to wear pants at the waist; consider sizing up if you want more length or a lower rise. I have a close-up shot of the pants below.



I had to stop myself from buying these immediately. I adore them. I convinced myself that they're only going to sit in my closet right now. Come September these are mine for sure. (If not before, ahem.) Fantastic design, Anthropologie!


Wrap Around Blouse ($98) by Portrait of a Girl, size up
style # 20283594, green motif (038) or blue motif (049)
 ★★★☆☆
paired with
Foundational Pencil Skirt ($98) by Moulinette Soeurs, TTS
style # 21208046, moss (031) or pink (066) 
 ★★★★☆ 

I have to admit the catalogue styling for the Wrap Around Blouse ($98) left me scratching my head. In real life, I decided to create a tonal outfit in the same color family. Expect to see that a lot this fall -- a darker shade of one color on the bottom paired with a lighter tone of the same color on top. High fashion is doing this mostly with solids, especially brown, but in real life it's just as chic to choose one pattern and one solid. Plus it's a lot easier to pull off if you have curves.

The top has an adorable side tie. Anthropologie really knows how to get me! The tie is fashioned into a large bow which conceals three snaps for easy head-over-pulling to put the shirt on and take it off. Nice touch, Anthro. It's made of silk which makes the thin stripes nice and sharp.

I sized up to an 8 on SA recommendation and I'm glad I did. A 6 would not have fit over either my bust or hips. But the 8 was big in some spots -- specifically across the back. It left material bunching in odd spots on my midsection. Every time I pulled the top down to where it fell straight one movement found it sliding right back into bunches. Sigh. Anthro could have helped me avoid this problem by adding a small cinch in the back. Instead, the top will need to be tailored. It's another straight, shapeless top. Better than being too flowy I suppose. Wishlisted for sale time.

Of course it's worth noting that I wouldn't wear the top full-length in this look. How would I wear it?



Tucked in, maybe with a belt too.

The Foundational Pencil Skirt ($98) makes up for the letdown that was the Higgeldy-Piggeldy Skirt last fall. Made from textured linen, the moss is a fabulous neutral that will work with a multitude of fall hues (gold, navy, browns, black, etc.). The zipper is exposed but it blends in through color. I wasn't as upset about seeing the zip as I usually am. There's also a short back vent which keeps this skirt from riding up. Thank goodness! The skirt is also fully lined.

My usual skirt size 10 fit wonderfully. I'm also quite pleased with the length of the skirt, which found it falling just below my knees. One star off for an exposed zip but otherwise an easy winner. Wishlisted in both colors!


Drape & Twist Tee ($58) by Postmark, TTS
style # 20895173, blue motif (049) or 4 other options
★★★★☆
paired with
Liquid Acres Skirt ($118) by Tabitha, TTS
style # 21339072, blue motif (049)
  ★★★★☆

This is a second pattern mixing look with two bolder patterns. In this case the stripes act to ground the look while the bold skirt looks geometrically similar. The top is the Drape & Twist Tee ($58), which now has several striped versions that join the solid versions already available. I can't say this top tempted me before but in the context of this outfit I am now intrigued. The top is cotton with spandex, which leaves it body skimming with just a bit of give. 

I'm not sure if anyone else is having this issue, but I find myself between sizes in a lot of Anthropologie's tops these days. When that happens I usually buy the larger size though recently this has bitten me in the ass when the shirts stretch over a day's wear. My usual size medium in this top felt tight but I wonder if it would be OK after the first time I wear it. The shots above are the large, which looks fine but felt extra bulky around my chest. I do like this top but will wait for sale.

Tabitha's Liquid Acres Skirt ($118) has bold splotches of color and four lines of blue piping. I love how it's styled in the catalogue so this outfit presents a second styling option. The skirt is structured cotton with a concealed zipper and a back vent. Even with the vent though I found this skirt slid up on me as I walked around the fitting room area.

I liked the fit of my usual size 10. The skirt has a defined waistband and pockets in both front and back. It hits right at the top of my knees, a great length. This skirt has 3 season possibilities!



Here's a closeup of the skirt, which landed right on my ever-growing wishlist.


Noon & Night Dress ($158) by Ganni, TTS
style # 22608699, wine (061) or black (001)
★★★★★

A year ago, this dress would have been different. It would have been two or three inches shorter, or it would have had different thinner straps, or the material would not have been as significant. Luckily Anthropologie listened to its customers and the Noon & Night Dress ($158) is a victory for both designer and customer. The dress is listed as just under 34" long on the website, but I think it lands closer to 35". It's made from textured cotton and it's unlined. The skirt doesn't really move so if you're comfortable without a slip you don't need one here. If you prefer your dresses with sleeves, this dress is a cousin to the Embossed Basket Dress ($168).

My goodness this dress is wonderful, starting with the beautiful red wine color. I love the texture of this dress -- it's sturdy without being stiff. The shape of the bodice is fantastic and the overall dress creates a flattering silhouette. I would make a different bra choice with this dress in real life.

I tried on a medium which is my normal size. It fit great! I couldn't help twirling around a bit in the fitting room! I'd add a thin black or brown belt to finish this look, but keep it otherwise simple. This dress would easily transition from day to night. It's a winner in my book! Wishlisted, with plans to buy this dress soon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eye Candy: Anthropologie August 2011 catalogue

Hold the phone! New arrivals?!?

Sorry, couldn't resist. This morning Anthropologie started officially rolling out the August arrivals (after giving anthro members a sneak preview earlier this week). Along with those new items are some new catalogue shots. Let's take them in and render judgement, shall we?

The outfit above was online earlier this week but is clearly my favorite shot in the bunch. Tie-neck blouses are a favorite of mine! In the outfit: Dots Within Blouse ($118), Liquid Acres Skirt ($118).


In this outfit: Sidebent Tank ($48), Upper Reaches Cords ($118),
Gemstone Ladder Necklace ($48), Catapult Necklace ($48).



In this outfit: Ottoman Poppies Dress ($298); Zinc Zing Belt ($38).



In this outfit: Two Rivers Tee ($68).



In this outfit: Balkhash Shawl ($298), Lavender Layers Dress ($168),  
Wrapped Cocoa Heels ($188).



In this outfit: Peppering Skirt ($128), Twisted Ascot Tee ($48).



In this outfit: Gameboard Dress ($188, reviewed here), Eastward Dress Coat ($288).



In this outfit: Ajisai Dress ($138), Checker Table Cape ($188).



In this shot, from top moving clockwise:
Divided Frond Booties ($218), Belted Booties ($198),  
Anshan Booties ($198), Quilted Peep-Toes ($248). 


This row: Map of the World Skirt ($178) and Golden Gate Cardigan ($168).


This row: Fair Lady Trench ($228) and Diverse Density Tank ($48).


       
This row: Anatolia Dress ($298) and Chrysanthemum Moon Chemise ($68).
   
Oddly, a whole bunch of items I like this time around didn't get the catalogue treatment. Hopefully they show up in outfit sets soon! Overall, a fantastic effort. I'm very excited about all of these items! Hopefully they translate well in real life too. Did you wishlist anything today?

After you've finished perusing the eye candy, check out my tops reviews post from earlier this morning!

Reviews: Tie-Back Tank, Triple-Strap Tank , Ternary Strap Tank, Trapeze Tunic , Expanding Universe Tank, Gallica Tank, Alchemilla Tee

Tie-Back Tank (now $40) by Weston Wear, size down
style # 20918348, grey motif (008) or 4 other options
★★★☆☆

Apologies for not getting this review out before the top went on sale! Weston Wear's Tie-Back Tank (now $40) is one of the brand's classic shapes -- the slightly tented long tank. Even though this shape can trouble for my hips I like it. It's very easy to toss this style of top on over jeans, layer a structured jacket on top and be out the door. Plus Weston Wear is one of my favorite non-house brand at Anthro: it's made in the USA and their items last forever. The material of this top is rayon and spandex which is a a slight bummer, but it does help the top breathe for warm weather. I notice that the variations of the top felt a bit different to the touch -- the grey motif and orange motif feel slippery, the white motif feels like cotton and the other two feel like I expected the top to feel. Perhaps different patterns were treated differently during the production process.

I am almost always a small in Weston Wear tops and this one was no exception. That's one size down from my usual medium. Ironically the motif I tried on (the grey motif) is the version I like the least. The flowers are a little too messy and it drags the style down a bit. The black motif is my favorite with the blue motif close behind. Fitwise this top is easy and loose with a ruched-tie racerback and a flare from the waist down that lies in easy pleats. I would not wear this top alone -- it makes me look even more pear than I really am, but as a layering top this is a good buy at sale price. This top will be coming home with me soon.


Triple-Strap Tank ($58) by Deletta, size down
style # 21311840, brown motif (029) or blue motif (049)
★★★☆☆

I can't resist trying on a good long top, so of course the Triple-Strap Tank ($58) had to come to the fitting rooms with me. The brown motif I tried has what looks like little Japanese blossoms all over it in a pink that makes the brown base look purple. A "blue" motif that looked black to me has a more tribal print. I liked both versions equally. The top has triple straps on either shoulder that converge in the back, meaning a racerback bra or a layering tank will be required.

I grabbed my usual size medium but was swimming in this top! It's clearly made to be loose yet I will size down to a small for a better fit. The medium was an awkward length on me. I think that if I were shorter I could wear this as a dress. At 5'8" though I wish this top were about two inches shorter or that it had some kind of shape around the waistline. On the other hand the looseness means this would make a nice flowy maternity top. On the other other hand, I don't see myself needing maternity wear anytime soon.

I can see working with this with a wide belt over a straight skirt. This is exactly the kind of top where I love the idea enough to buy the top and try to make it work...but I should hold myself back. Wishlisted for now.


Ternary Strap Tank (now $20) by Deletta, TTS
style # 22548697, navy (041), turquoise (046) or ivory (011)
★★★★★

The Ternary Strap Tank (now $20) is basically a solid cousin of the Triple-Strap Tank ($58) I just reviewed above. It has the same three straps meeting in back but in colors instead of motifs. But unlike it's cousin the Ternary is made from cotton! It's also several inches shorter, landing at my hips instead of mid-thigh.

At full price this top is nothing to get excited about, but for $20 I think it's a great versatile top. The fit is spot-on to use this as an exercise top layer, a super casual summer top or a lounging around the house top. A couple of subtle pleats where the straps meet tank keep everything in order and the back falls gently from the center shoulder. I don't want Anthropologie to take this as a signal to churn out hundreds of basic tops, but I do like this one quite a bit for $20. I'll probably pick up all three colors in my usual size medium.


Trapeze Tunic ($78) by Maple by Some Odd Rubies, size down
style # 22209332, neutral motif (015) or purple motif (059)
 ★★★☆☆

At least Anthropologie is honest about this shirt's intentions right in the name. The Trapeze Tunic ($78) is part of a collaboration with Some Odd Rubies, a well-known Lower East Side vintage revival and customization boutique. It's not a style I really wear so I'm less familiar with their wares, but after seeing this top I want to go check the place out. I love the confetti pattern and yes, I even dig the tribal alternative.

My usual size medium was, well, like a tent. Hugemongous. A small was somewhat better. The top is rougher cotton that falls between soft and scratchy. Anthropologie if you're reading I'd love to see your styling ideas for this top. Because I love the neckline and I could get into the overall shape with some styling cues. The only way I can think to wear it is belted or with a cardi thrown over it. I'd love to see what the pros would do. For now, back to the rack.


Expanding Universe Tank ($58) by one.september, size up
style # 21214283, green (030), red (060) or navy (041)
★★☆☆☆

My initial excitement over the Expanding Universe Tank ($58) waned a bit as I saw blogger after blogger relay that this top doesn't quite live up to expectations. Had I attended ComicCon in San Diego last week this would have been a great outfit component. And since my side design/social media strategy business is called Secret Identitie, I'm always looking for clothes that suggest superhero by night and Jane Doe by day. It adds to the allure. Or the delusion.

Anyway, reality was a bit of a letdown. I had to size up to a large in the top as the medium barely squeezed over my hips. But the top of the shirt still has some wonkiness. I'm not really sure what's going on in the shoulders but no matter what I did the top wanted to slide inwards and strangle me. It was like a booby trap. The top would start on my shoulders and then gradually gravitate towards my throat as though it were alive and evil. Evil I tell you! Which is such a bummer because I love the design. I might give this top another shot on sale but for now it's a pass.



Gallica Tank ($78) by Meadow Rue, size up for curves
style # 22592224, neutral motif (015)
 ★★★☆☆

Sweet and feminine, the Gallica Tank ($78) has a softness I can get behind. The pretty ivory base sports small blooms in blue and red with some gold thrown in for seasonal transition. For added cuteness there is a lone button in the back to bring the neckline together. This reminds me of the tops Anthropologie used to issue circa 2003, an era I'd love to revisit in the brand's designs. I hope Anthropologie continues to explore this provincial chic as I'd love to see more. This top is a classic without feeling staid.

Much as I like the design the fit was off for my body shape. This shirt wants to fall straight, and I have curves. So at my chest and hips the shirt and I are fighting each other. The solution will be for me to size up to an 8 and have the top tailored. It's a pain but will be worth it in this case. If your body has a straighter shape to it give this top a try -- I think you'll love it! For me, wishlisted and waiting for sale.


Alchemilla Tee ($68) by one.september, TTS
style # 21272752, green (030), dark grey (005) or purple motif (059)
★★★★☆

I grew up riding and showing horses. I think a little of that showmanship remains in me and attracts me to embellished shirts like the Alchemilla Tee ($68). The top has what feels like a show ribbon set on one shoulder. It's an alternative to the ruffles with just as much visual interest. The color choices of this top are a bit odd and I found myself drawn to the mint version, which Kim from Anthroholic also reviewed recently. The top is thin rayon with silk thrown into the shoulder adornment. The dark grey is not sheer, but both the purple and mint are slightly see-through. Why? I have no clue.

Despite the sheerness issue I delight in this top! Love the mint color, love the trailing silk vine across the front of the shirt. It probably is not the best idea to wear this top over a pleated skirt as I did...it will look great over jeans or a straight skirt though. The length of the top is good and I really like the rolled neckline. My fear is that the material of this shirt will not hold up to steady wear. So I'm waiting for now to see what the feedback is in the community. If you buy this top let us know how it holds up! For now, wishlisted!

I'll be hitting the store a few times this week to shop for a few of my styling clients, so if there's something you want to see reviewed let me know in the comments and I'll scour the NYC Anthros for it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If It's Tuesday, It's Anthropologie Sale time!!


Thanks to the wonderful community, below is the sale list we could cobble together. Anthropologie's site is still all wonky overnight. Some sale prices show; some sale prices do not. I can't wait for this game to be over! Please fix the site Anthropologie.

On the sale front itself, the A-Bit-Unruly Top (now $30, review here), style # 19878826 has gone on sale and is sure to sell out in the next day or two. I'm also excited about grabbing the Ternary Strap Tank (now $20), style # 22548697 in multiple colors. I'll have a review of that top tomorrow, for now I'll pass along that it runs true to size. Finally, many were excited to see the Sagebrush Skirt (now $70), style # 20668505 marked down.

Are you buying anything this morning? See any 2nd/3rd/etc cuts in your wishlist? Let us know in the comments! For now, Happy Hunting!! Accept no imitations.

Note: This post was updated at 8:30 AM to include additional markdowns.


Dresses:
Mementos Maxi Dress (now $100), style # 21387675

Parallel Flights Dress Parallel Flights Dress (now $100), style # 20898243

Readymade Dress (now $70), style # 20750543

Smocked Gauze Dress (now $60), style # 21302252

Wayfarer Dress (now $60), style # 20828638


Sweaters:
Brolly Cardi (now $40), style # 20688214

Hyperbole Pullover (now $60), style # 21019724

Pointelle Pullover (now $40), style # A20837811

Pointelle Posy Pullover (now $40), style # 20837811


Tops:
A-Bit-Unruly Top (now $30, review here), style # 19878826

Alma Top (now $40), style # 20581278

Apparition Shirt (now $50), style # 21118823

Beechwood Blouse (now $50), style # 22597058

Bento Box Top (now $40), STYLE #21215306

Color Construction Tee (now $40), style # 20703716

Confluence Top (now $30), style # 20808135

Gliding Georgette Jacket (now $80), style # 21029293

Hanami Blouse (now $40), style # 20871034

Hanging Gardens Top (now $40), STYLE #20233144

Infinite Garden Tank (now $30), style # 20295960

Kittery Top (now $40), STYLE #22548853

Languid V-Neck (now $40), style # 21030614

Paint The Sky Tee (now $30), style # 20901765

Ruched Hourglass Top (now $30), style # 20920187

Ternary Strap Tank (now $20), style # 22548697

Tie-Back Tank (now $40), style # 20918348


Skirts:
Diamante Skirt (now $70), style # 20624557

Hamatreya Skirt (now $50), style # 20774527

Helios Batik Midi (now $70), style # 21309893

Sagebrush Skirt (now $70), style # 20668505


Jackets:
Gliding Georgette Jacket (now $80), style # 21029293

Striped Crossover Jacket (now $60), style # 20430468

Willowy Lines Jacket (now $70), style # 20752663