Reviews: Openwork Army Jacket, Double Back Jacket, Dot Range Peacoat, Striped Spinnaker Blazer, Soutache Lace Bomber Jacket, Jojo Blazer

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Openwork Army Jacket ($148), reviewed.

I know it's summer but Anthropologie already wants us to think about jackets and blazers. Perhaps you work in an office with full-blast air conditioning or maybe the climate you live in is a little bit cooler. Maybe you need something to keep the chill off. Or maybe you're in the Southern hemisphere. Whatever the reason I've given in and picked out several options for this reviews set.

Openwork Army Jacket ($148) by Daughters of the Liberation, TTS
STYLE # 24541922; moss (031)

Back when the June 2012 Anthropologie catalogue was unveiled, I declared that the Openwork Army Jacket ($148) was likely to be a failure. Happily I was wrong. Though the jacket looks very cropped in the model shot it's a decent length in real life, brushing my hips. (I'm 5'8".) The material is medium-thickness poly-cotton, with a crochet backing. Some of the online reviews describe the jacket as looking 'post-apocalyptic' which I can't figure it out. Is that because the jacket lacks a collar? Or the boxiness of it? It's certainly modern. It looks very Rag & Bone from the front to me with a hearty dose of Anthropologie from the back. Seeing as how I love both stores I'm happy.

In this brand I often size down to an 8 but in this case I found my usual size 10 worked best. You see a 10 on me above. This jacket is certainly boxy; don't expect any other kind of shape here. But it's easy and comfortable to wear, and the way it settles when open is flattering. I found the sleeves and shoulders to be very roomy in this jacket. I felt like I was wearing shoulder pads. The sleeves are also really long. My guess is that if I'd stuck with the 8 the sleeves would have been better but I felt the 8 was too close-fitting around my hips.

Here's a shot from the back. The crochet is obviously see-through but a nice feminine detail which I appreciate. This jacket is pretty much sold through in regular sizes online yet I'm holding out for sale anyway. If you're looking for some outfit ideas for the Openwork Army Jacket ($148) Melina from The Caffeinated Closet recently posted two wonderful OOTDs featuring it here and here.

The top underneath the jacket is the Ruffled Racerback ($78) which I reviewed in this post. You can also check out an OOTD on my tumblr.

Double Back Jacket ($148) by Nicholas K, TTS
STYLE # 25490368; beige (024)

I love jacket that have a funnelneck collar that can be opened up, portrait-style. Anthropologie comes out with at least one of these jackets each year it seems. Last year it was the Scarborough Jacket (jog your memory here) and this year it's the Double Back Jacket ($148). This double-buttoned down jacket wants to be a trench but isn't waterproof. It wouldn't matter anyway because the back is a double-tulip layer of mesh. I can't help but think of moths for some reason, whether it's because the mesh reminds me of those moth lanterns people use to zap bugs on their deck or if it's just straight up due to Arthur from The Tick. Spoon! (I know it's not the first time I've mentioned this either. Was someone at Anthropologie an active Fox TV Kids watcher like I was in the 90s?)

Whatever the reason what's most important is that this jacket is great. Practical? Perhaps not. But modern and fun with that little Anthro twist. The buttons are time-consuming. I'd hoped to slip the jacket on pullover style but that wasn't happening. As you can see I gave up about midway for the review photos. I am not a big fan of the half-cuffs on this jacket; I wish they were longer. But otherwise I like it quite a lot, and the only thing that stopped me from buying it immediately was the temperature outside.

How does the jacket look from the back?

Something like this. The panels don't even fully cover your back. I do like the look however and Anthropologie's interpretation of the trend is much less expensive then the designer versions I lust after. I expect this one to end up in my closet soon. I'm happy I chose the khaki version of the Scarborough over the beige last year, because it leaves room in my wardrobe for this jacket. For now: wishlisted!

The shirt underneath is the Trina Slub Pullover (now $40), which I reviewed in this post

Dot Range Peacoat ($228) by Karen Walker, size down
A Made in Kind design
STYLE # 24954588; puppies neutral motif (015)

Is someone channeling their inner Cruella Deville? Oh sure it's all fun and games while the Dot Range Peacoat ($228) is made from poly/cotton but what happens when all the poly in the world runs out?!? What then I ask you. 

In all seriousness polka dots are all the rage right now and it's great to see Anthropologie put their own fun spin on the trend. This coat is mod and fun but the fit is sadly off. It runs very large. You see me in a 6 above which is two coat sizes down from my normal 10. And still the back is plenty poufy. It's like the design team couldn't decide whether to make this a swing coat or a peacoat so the result lands somewhere in the middle.

The sleeves are bracelet length which is not my favorite, though it is better than those odd 7/8 sleeves I'm seeing elsewhere right now. Big black buttons are fun details and I like the large front pockets. The collar looks very rounded in the online product shot but did not sit that way in real life -- it was like any other collar to me.

This one's likely a pass. Back to the rack.

Striped Spinnaker Blazer ($98) by Cartonnier, TTS
STYLE # 25078742; white (010)

The Striped Spinnaker Blazer ($98) was both a victory and a defeat for me. Primarily a win though. I keep thinking striped blazers are dunzo only to see cute new versions continue to roll out. Anthropologie has been down this road before with the Hello Sunday Blazer from 2010 (reviewed here). This time around the blazer is a cropped silhouette with thinner stripes and collar set on the bias. The sleeves are set to almost match the body -- good effort, Anthro.

I am usually a 10 in blazers and that's what I took here. I found the sleeves to be roomy, especially at the elbow. The blazer didn't strain over my bust which was nice but there's no denying that the button placement is tough for me. It nips the waist perfectly but sits right under my chest, and it felt a little uncomfortable. But while I didn't love the blazer when closed... totally rocks when left open. It emphasizes my waist perfectly and flatters my shape nicely. I do wish this blazer came in a solid rather than stripes but I see the potential here. Wishlisted!

The shirt underneath is the Trina Slub Pullover (now $40), which I reviewed in this post

Soutache Lace Bomber Jacket (now $90) by Elevenses, TTS
STYLE # 24475428; navy (041)

I can't say that I've been searching for a lace bomber jacket, but when I saw the Soutache Lace Bomber Jacket (now $90) I was intrigued. The familiar floral lacework (also seen in black on the Dilated Lace Skirt ($148, reviewed here)) spreads like a vine around a base of navy cotton. But unlike the Dilated Lace the Soutache Lace Bomber has no lining under the floral making this less of a jacket and more of a solarium for your shoulders and arms. Could you imagine the tan lines from this jacket? The mental image is not pretty. A front zip is classic bomber styling.

I tried my usual size 10. The jacket is very narrow at the bottom and didn't want to cover my hips. The sleeves are very roomy and billow around the upper arms. Overall the shape is really boxy. Here's why that boxiness works on the Openwork Army Jacket from the top of the post and not here: length. The Soutache Lace Bomber is a good two or three inches shorter, so the result of the boxiness is that I feel wider. Not the look I'm going for. This jacket is certainly a pass.

The top underneath is the Urubamba Tank ($78) in neutral motif. I reviewed the red version of the tank in this post.

Jojo Blazer ($168) by Corey Lynn Calter, TTS
STYLE # 24577264; navy (041)

I love polka dots as much as the next gal. When it comes to blazers I prefer a solid color so that I can layer my stripes or dots underneath. But Corey Lynn Calter has me tempted with the Jojo Blazer ($168). This blazer was a big hit at the last EA Shopping Day, especially since there's a coordinating pair of shorts.

This blazer has a nice lean, tailored shape. The arms and shoulders are cut close so if you're broad across the back I recommend you size up. A dainty coin pocket in front has a contrast brown trim that I love, and the jacket is paneled to nip in nicely at the waist. For people like me with larger chests the narrow but deep v-neck opening in front is incredibly flattering. The two front buttons allow for a better fit across my tummy. I'm so happy to see a piece like this at Anthropologie! The attention paid to the design and fit details is exactly what I've missed.

The only bummer for me is again the dots. They're very intense white off a dark navy. Maybe if they were only on parts of the blazer I'd like it better. Fitwise I found a 10 to be impeccable. I am not-so-secretly hoping this jacket comes out in a second solid variation. (Maybe tweed?)

Here is how the blazer looks open. This is one of the more flattering blazers I've tried in a long time, right up there with J.Crew's Schoolboys for me. Alas I'm not a fan of the polka dots so I'm holding out hope that there's another variation of this just waiting to debut.

I'll have more reviews tomorrow, plus we'll talk about Anthropologie's website in an open discussion post. If you have any review requests please let me know in the comments! What do you think of the items in this set? Any favorites? Too soon to think about jackets and toppers?