Reviews: Tie-Neck Sweater Dress, Spangled Moderne Shift, Connect Forty Dress, Even Flurry Dress, Marian Flapper Chemise, Pilar Maxi Dress, Aubergine Sky Dress, Straightaway Jacquard Mini Dress

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tie-Neck Sweater Dress (now $100) by Charlie & Robin, TTS
style # 23452212, green motif (038)
NOTE: If you're looking for today's SALE POST, it's right here.

This reviews set could be subtitled "these items went on sale before I had a chance to run the review..." The Tie-Neck Sweater Dress (now $100) appealed to me as a stylish winter work dress. I knew that as a sweater dress with a body-skimming fit it was unlikely to work on me, though that didn't stop me from loving the design. The dress appears as wool -- there is wool in this dress but polys make up more of the material proportion. A bummer but it makes the dress a bit friendlier for the wash. The color is called green motif online, though I felt the top was more blue. A center band defines the waist and then a long red cabled skirt falls below.

I tried on a medium which would be the right size if I chose to buy this dress. I recognize however that it's not the right shape for my body. The material doesn't feel itchy against the body. It does feel a bit rough though. The skirt ended about two inches below my knees and the waist hit right under my bust like an empire rather than the high-waist position Anthropologie intended. I wish there was another knee-length variation of this dress. Since there is not this one is a pass. Pretty dress that's not for me.

Spangled Moderne Shift (now $100) by Carnation Lily/Lily Rose, size up
style # 23302938, ivory (011)
Although the Spangled Moderne Shift (now $100) went on sale over a month ago I've still seen this dress floating around the NYC stores, and it pops up frequently. So hopefully this review isn't too late! Flapper stylings at a modern length is how I'd describe this dress. Like something Marion Cotillard's character in Midnight in Paris would have worn perhaps? I like the thick v-neck and the way the skirt looks almost like a curtain rising in an old theatre. Plus it sparkles. Who can resist?

I found this dress to run very small. I started with a 10 (on me above) before swapping it out for a 12. A 10 is what I normally wear in many designer brands so in this case Lily Rose runs even smaller than, say, Helmut Lang. The dress was tightest around my thighs but also hugged my midsection. If I were purchasing this dress I'd get it in a 12. It's also much shorter than I'd like. Just a few inches longer and this dress would be a true winner for me. Back to the rack it went instead.

Connect Forty Dress (now $100) by Bailey 44, size up
style # 23749781, green motif (038) 
Like the Tie-Neck Sweater Dress above Bailey 44's Connect Forty Dress (now $100) has a vague Mad Men vibe with a body-hugging fit and a longer length. Against the right body I'm sure the result would be quite statuesque. Throw curves into the mix and it can be another story altogether. I was impressed with how Bailey 44's Layered Column Dress sucked everything in and wondered if this dress would do the same. The rayon material is very thick -- I thought this might help a bit.

I grabbed a medium for these fitting room shots. I think a large would have been the better choice. The dots pattern is tough! It shows every curve, lump and bump. With some spanx this dress might work but I'm not sure it's worth it. I like the neckline, the sleeves and length. I'm not a huge fan of the pattern or how bodycon this dress is. Cute on a model I'm sure but not meant for me! I prefer dresses that flatter curves. Pass.

Even Flurry Dress ($168) by O by Organic, size down
style # 22939458, black & white (018) or blue motif (049)
I've tried on the Even Flurry Dress ($168) twice -- once in each color. The first time (not shown) I tried on the blue motif. To my shock, the top was completely sheer! I had no layering tank with me so there was no way I was taking photos of that. Sigh, another pretty dress that's oddly sheer. It's a sad choice on Anthropologie's part, made worse by the fact that it will be hard to find the right layering top to wear under this. Instead of the scoop cami you see on me above I'd recommend something that matches the high neckline of the dress. Good luck finding anything like that in stores right now though!

I found this dress to run large. The small I tried on still felt generous over my usual medium -- I would consider an x-small in this dress which means the more petite among us may be sized out. The skirt of this dress is thankfully lined (unlike the top) but I still found it to be rather sheer. See my layering cami clearly showing through about half the skirt? Nice, Anthro. A cute dress made from recycled materials is laudable...but only if the dress is wearable. Pass.

Marian Flapper Chemise ($148) by Saturday/Sunday, size up
style # 23992027, turquoise (046)

I was prepared to give Anthropologie a hard time about how short the Marian Flapper Chemise ($148) is! When I first saw this in-store I didn't know it was part of the lounge collection. Knowing that now I am more willing to forgive the length. The price is another story. Nearly $150 for a chemise? For that price it should make me breakfast in bed. It's due to the material -- a nice shiny silk that crinkles ever so slightly in movement. A drop waist sits over choppy pleats. There's good layering opportunity here.

Or there would have been had the fit not been an issue. The waist part of this dress is very tight! In my usual size medium it was much too small. You can see the back puffing up on me in the profile shot above. But in the large the top portion was entirely too big. So I fall somewhere between sizes and this not-quite-dress becomes a definitive no at full price. Maybe on deep cut -- 3rd cut. For now, pass.

Pilar Maxi Dress ($398) by Carolina K, size up
style # 23535545, black (001)

No fair Anthropologie. The product shot of the Pilar Maxi Dress ($398) shows the top portion flowing down to the waist. But even on the hanger I could tell that wasn't the case with this dress -- the top is more like an empire halter than a full torso-covering bodice. I love the colors in the bodice and the open crochet knit. The skirt is a crinkly chiffon that spills down in sharp pleats. It's very pretty to look at.

To wear it is another thing though. This dress seems to be made for someone with a smaller bust. I went straight for a size large. The shape of the top does me no favors -- skinny shoulders and a too-short sweater portion do not flatter this chick. I sigh for what could have been, and shake my head as yet another dress goes right back to the rack.

Aubergine Sky Dress ($168) by Girls From Savoy, TTS
style # 23593205, dark purple (051)

A touch of gold and a bit of origami elevate the Aubergine Sky Dress ($168) from your everyday strapless dress to your more special day strapless dress. The color this dress is intense! Deep purple is situated on a black base in a smoky fashion, creating depth when up close. It's downright regal. The dress sturdy cotton with two side panels and a back zip for just a touch of stretch. Normally Girls From Savoy puts a wide elastic panel in the back with a side zip -- perhaps in response to complaints that the dresses stretch too much? I prefer the old way, though the point is pretty much moot since I'm not about to buy another strapless dress that I can barely wear.

It was off to the dressing room for the heck of it, where my usual size 6 slipped on easily. I do love how tiny this dress makes my waist look! If only it were a tank dress instead of strapless. I had no fear of the top spilling down but I did fear the discomfort of a strapless bra all day. If a strapless shape works for you I recommend this dress! But for me it's another pass.

Straightaway Jacquard Mini Dress ($168) by Moulinette Soeurs, size up
style # 23463631, multi (095)
One more strapless to cover and I think this dress comes closer than the Aubergine Sky to being workable even with a large chest. This is the Straightaway Jacquard Mini Dress ($168). If only every mini dress came to the knees! The pattern is maybe a bit awning-reminiscent but I love both the large bow on the chest (why yes, it is a present!) and the bias cuts on the top portion. The mix of lighter blues and yellows are a bit challenging to wear but I was up to the task.

I tried on my usual size 6. While it zipped it felt tight all over so I think I'd be better served by a size 8. The cups were large enough to fit over my chest. I did find the zipper a pain to work with though -- it kept getting stuck at the waist, where a button keeps everything secure. Annoying! Once on this cotton/poly dress is very cute. OK, Anthro, I'm swooning a bit! Wishlisted for further consideration at sale time.

Coming up tomorrow I'll have reviews of several of Anthropologie's newest dresses, including the Otta Dress, Cloudrose Dress and more! What do you think of the dresses in today's set?

Anthropologie's SALE sneaks up on us!

What's on SALE at Anthropologie for the week of January 31 2012 :: Effortless Anthropologie

Anthropologie's SALE is sllllooowwwllllyyy appearing on the website. Thanks to the community here's a list of what we see so far. Not quite the sale I was hoping for but I know a few long-awaited gems are here, like the Embroidered Mirabilis Dress (now $130), STYLE #23543812 or the  Smocked Blouson Tank (now $80), style # 20105631, which only took 385 days to hit sale!

This list is likely to be updated later this morning. Anything for you this AM? Any 2nd/3rd/etc cuts to speak of? Let us know in the comments. As always, Happy Hunting!! Accept no imitations.

Eleonora Flight Shift (now $70, review here), style # 22865158

Embroidered Mirabilis Dress (now $130), STYLE #23543812

Fine Point Dress (now $90), Online Exclusive

Geneva Dress (now $150), STYLE #23523061

Goji Plaid Dress (now $90), style # 23546005

Halvah Maxi Dress (now $200), style # 22774350

Reduce & Reuse Dress (now $100), style # 22939557

Sea Lines Dress (now $80), style # 23589435

Swing Away Dress (now $80), style # 23287097

Traced Trimmings Dress (now $80), style # 23589328

Tropica Jacquard Mini-Dress (now $100, review here), style # 23463334

Twist & Refresh Dress (now $90, review here), STYLE #22608822

Vicia Wrap Dress (now $150), STYLE #23522816

Frosted Boucle Pullover (now $50, runs TTS), style # 23405574

Goffered Front Cardigan (now $40), style # 23179633

Iced Garland Cowlneck (now $70), style # 23403751

Orchard House Cardigan (now $40), style # 23467244

Playground Toss Cardigan (now $70), style # 23694466

Vinalhaven Cardigan (now $80), STYLE #22926133

Windswept Cardigan (now $70), STYLE #23492028

Cassia Jacket (now $60), style # 23628928

Clipped Cities Blouse (now $80, review here), style # 22948681

Complementary Hewn Top (now $50), style # 23666670

Gather & Give Top (now $30), style # 23541519

Gauzy Gale Peasant (now $60), style # 23495062

Hoshi Blouse (now $70), style # 23437635

Jaglion Blouse (now $100), style # 22816300

Iced Foliage Top (now $70), style # 23629678

Irina Blouse (now $80, review here), STYLE #23168354

Parted Peasant Blouse (now $100), style # 22948608

Plentiful Grace Top (now $40, review here), style # 24016222

Pthalo-Blocked Blouse (now $100, review here), style # 23419617

Smocked Blouson Tank (now $80), style # 20105631

Suki Sleeveless Top (now $100), STYLE #23177934

Swept Pintucks Tee (now $30), STYLE #23533102

Trace The Stars Blouse (now $50), style # 23393861

Beaufort Gale Skirt (now $130), STYLE #23180433

Clipped Cities Skirt (now $100), STYLE #22948871

Snowdon Skirt (now $60), STYLE #23107774

Holding Horses High-Rise Flares (now $70), style # 23407661

Joe's Cavalier Ponte (now $90), style # 23773294