Reviews: Carlow Tank, Forever Hooked Cardi, Fateful Espejo Tank, Ethereal Pointelle Sweater, Rearward Cardigan, Avril Thermal Tee, Entangled Gleam Tank, Macrame Argyle Tunic, Ribboned Rocket Cardigan, Rain-Dotted Anorak

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Carlow Tank ($98) by Yoana Baraschi, size up
style # 24293102, dark grey (005)

Note: We're discussing the March 2012 Anthropologie catalogue in this post if you'd like to join the conversation!

I find lately that Anthropologie is at its best when it elevates basics, giving them a special twist that makes an item worth full price. Continuing in that vein is the Carlow Tank ($98), a polka-dotted shell made special by adjoined tees meeting at the tip of the top. As an added shape-defining feature a small triangle of ribbing creeps up from the hemline. It's a subtle touch that I like a lot.

The shell is mostly cotton with nylon mixed in for stretch. It seems to run small. I held up my usual size medium and immediately declared "no way." I tried on a large for the photos above and even that was a very close fit. The top is nice and long and the tank straps are thick enough to conceal a bra underneath. I'm not sure how I feel about ties across the's a cute detail but I doubt this would feel work-appropriate for me. Wishlisted while I decide.

Forever Hooked Cardi ($88) by Rosie Neira, size down
style # 24207094, sky (045), cream (012), navy (041) or orange (080)

I am consistently excited by Rosie Neira's designs for Anthropologie but in every case I feel like there's an execution issue that keeps me from truly loving the items. In the case of the Forever Hooked Cardi ($88) it's the tissue-thinness that troubles me. Sure the barely-there linen material means you can wear this into the late spring and on into summer but the quality of said material is lacking. The cardigans I saw on the rack already seemed tired-looking. This will pill for sure and it just didn't seem to hold together very well, as though it would fall apart from the body to the floor.

Given the looseness I was easily able to size down to a small for the photos above. Be warned that the lighter colors are slightly sheer. Some of the fit details, such as the ruching in the back, are nicely done. Not as great is the vertical lace panel at each side. The sleeves are very long and I found them especially loose on the upper arms. I can't see buying this at full price but there might be potential on sale. Wishlisted for reconsideration come sale time.

Fateful Espejo Tank ($98) by Leifnotes, TTS
style # 23870330, black & white (018)

What I thought where grommets are actually embroidered circles with tiny mirrors within. The Fateful Espejo Tank ($98) has very nice handiwork along the neckline with a few splashed across the top too. Down at the bottom a needless tie lives -- for those of us whose hips deserve more attention perhaps? I decided to get my Shakira on and give this top a shot.

I expected to size up but a 6 fit just fine, my usual size. I love everything about this top except that weird hip sling tie thing. And the sheerness...cue the broken record sheerness ridiculous what are they thinking blah blah blah. Not at full price, Anthro. Wishlisted for sale.

Ethereal Pointelle Sweater ($78) by Angel of the North, TTS
style # 24189458, dark grey (005), sky (045) or red (060)

For those days when you don't want to wear a sweater but still want another layer consider the Ethereal Pointelle Sweater ($78) from Angel of the North. The pointelle knit means this top is semi-sheer as I found out the hard way (apologies for the visible bra). You wouldn't want to wear this without another layer anyway; the top is open and joined at hem and neckline only. Backflash!?

I tried this top on in my usual size medium. It was slightly loose though I would not be able to size down -- the medium was just right across my hips. I hate this sleeve length -- when the sleeves end right at the bottom of my chest it makes me feel wider. I'd prefer either slightly longer or shorter. That's a quibble though. My other issue is the neckline. The gathering ends up making the material spread at the chest which I also found widening. Not a fan. This top is well-made but likely a pass for me.

Rearward Cardigan (now $50) by Charlie & Robin, TTS
style # 23960420, yellow (079) or orange (089)

I like the idea of the Rearward Cardigan (now $50). A cropped cardigan with stripes would be so cute over a dress shirt for work! I was startled by the completely open back when I pulled this off the rack.

What is the point of a sweater that's going to leave your shoulder blades and spine freezing? I know open backs have long been Anthropologie's thing...I'm just going to go on-record saying that while I have occasionally given in myself (and am thus a hypocrite) I really don't like this style. It's silly! Impractical. And looks funny.

Anyhoo, a medium was the right size but I wouldn't call the fit great. The open back made the front boxy and too long. Such a sweet idea. Such boo-worthy execution. Pass.

Avril Thermal Tee ($88) by Pure & Good, TTS
style # 23952799, ivory (011)

One of my favorite winter work tops is the Cashmere Olivia Shell from J.Crew. It's a tank-style sweater shell that is perfect for those days when the office heat is cranked. After several good years though it's starting to show wear. I think I may have found its eventual replacement in the Avril Thermal Tee ($88). It's not the same luxurious cashmere (try viscose, wool and spandex, how glamorous) but it does share the body skimming and waist-defining properties of my beloved shell.

I found a medium to fit closely but nicely. I love that you could throw different colored tops underneath this shell to create different looks. A denim shirt underneath would create a style apart from a camisole that's an alternative to a tee-shirt. Lots of possibilities here. The price point makes me balk a bit ($68 would be the magic number for me here) but I've wishlisted this tee and may cave at full price.

Entangled Gleam Tank ($78) by Papier, size down
style # 24382848, gold (070)

If you liked the Frosted Pointelle Tank (now $70, review here), STYLE #22958862 but not its close-to-the-body fit, give the Entangled Gleam Tank ($78) a try. It's basically the same top with a released bottom hemline...or a ladylike wifebeater? Your choice. A low v-neck in front and lower scoop in back mean you'll want to layer under this for sure. I like the idea of wearing it over a chemise as I've done here with the Stand-In Slip (mushroom variety). I also think it would be super cute over a suede-like buttondown and dress shorts. Oh the styling ideas! They are already a-flowing.

I found a medium to be loose on me, especially around the stomach. Note however that the bottom is supposed to flow away from the body. On me it does not because of my waist-to-hip proportion. So I think most people can size down easily. Curvy ladies like me should stick to their true size. This top is currently tops on my wishlist. Love! 

Macrame Argyle Tunic ($248) by Fiets Voor 2, size down
style # 23964125, navy (041)

Seems like the Macrame Argyle Tunic ($248) came out online ages ago but it's only now hitting stores. I was excited to try it on in person; I feared risking an online order with a brand I'm unfamiliar with. This woven top has plenty of airholes and loose fringe down at the bottom. It's so cool! Exactly the kind of piece I expect to find at Anthropologie.

I found my usual medium to be really loose so I swapped it for a small for the photos above. Like the item previous I think the Macrame Argyle Tunic will look nice over a dress, though a skirt or jeans will also work underneath. The neckline is beautiful and the color choices are great. This is a beautiful piece and though fragile I think the price is justified. Wishlisted!!

Ribboned Rocket Cardigan ($128) by Field Flower by Wendi Reed, size up
style # 23957384, ivory (011)

Gah! I want to give the Ribboned Rocket Cardigan ($128) 5 stars so badly. Field Flower by Wendi Reed makes its triumphant return! After being rescued from inferior fabrics and oversized patterns the brand is back with its typically cropped cardigans. (Sigh, I liked the long ones Field Flower! It even had turtles!!) This crocheted cotton cardi is a little rough to the touch but fantastically fun with its pinwheel of green and cobalt blue. Swoon!

As usual I had to size up to a large in this one, and I would not have minded going to an XL for additional length and give in the bust. I foresee this over dresses instead of paired with pants. I love how one of the blue pinwheel streamers bleeds onto the back. This cardigan is adorable! I didn't wait -- it came with me at full price. OOTD upcoming.

Rain-Dotted Anorak ($168) by Daughters of the Liberation, size down
style # 23838709, blue motif (049)

Don't let the name fool you. The Rain-Dotted Anorak ($168) is not waterproof. Curiouser and curiouser Anthropologie. The hood is there to protect from wind I guess? Instead this jacket is a polyester mix with a drawstring waist tie and golden zipper. It falls mid-thigh and has a casual laid-back vibe I like.

I found this jacket to run huge! A 10 (my usual coat size) was ridiculous, so I changed to an 8 for these shots. And I was still swimming. So don't be afraid to size down perhaps even 2 sizes. There is much to love here: the gilded tips of the hood drawstrings, the buttoned-front pockets, the snap placket over the zipper front. If only this jacket truly repelled rain. I don't get it but I like it anyway. Wishlisted!