Reviews: Netted Meridian Top, Jade Blocked Shift Top, Parted Paisley Tank, Gilga Tank, Peplum Ponte Tank, Ruffled Flight Cardigan, Amplified Buttondown, Stripe-Moss Cardigan, Openwork Sweater Tank, Satsuma Sweater Tank

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Satsuma Sweater Tank ($148) gets the EA review treatment.
Also in this shot: Imprecise Graph Skirt ($98), Pompom Petals Skinny Belt ($28).

It may be August but Anthropologie (and many other retailers) have not hesitated to release long sleeves and sweater material in this heat. Let's take a closer look at some of these season-deficient options....

Netted Meridian Top ($88) by Trovata, size down
STYLE # 24699662; blue (040) or ivory (011)

If there is one upside to how long it took me to run my review of the Netted Meridian Top ($88), it's that an ivory second wave color has been released so I can be more complete. (Yay?) When this top first appeared online I was all, lo, Anthropologie has made a work top! And then when I tried it on I was all, lo, Anthropologie cannot stop making sheer tops! If you can feel me seething through your computer screen please let us hope that it is also burning the minds of Anthro's design team to banish sheer materials. Yet another top that will require layering to work...lame. I suppose Anthropologie would defend themselves by saying "Well the top is open anyway so you'd have to layer." Perhaps a layering tank was in order?

This top is cotton with that lace triangle in the back. I love the cute contrasting buttons on the cuffs -- I rolled the sleeves further up my arm for this review so the polka dots are hiding, but they are very cute. The top has a stately collar, oxford stripes and a half-button down style. The buttons are a nice rich brown color on this version, and a matching ivory on the other version of this top.

Fitwise a medium was loose, so much so that I'd size down. The back is voluminous and wants to fly away...this can cause the front to also fly away from the body. The sleeves are set low off the shoulders. On my strong shoulders it's fine but if yours are already rounded this may make your arms look droopy. 

I like this top a lot. I hate the sheerness a lot. So I'm holding out for sale. Wishlisted for now!

Jade Blocked Shift Top ($138) by Corey Lynn Calter, size up
(NON-Anthropologie item)

Although the Jade Blocked Shift Top ($138) is not available at Anthropologie, it's designed by Anthro stalwart Corey Lynn Calter and would fit right in with the late summer-pre-fall stuff in-store. In fact I'm pretty sad Anthropologie didn't pick this top up, though they do have the similar Striped Galao Pullover ($128) which I'll have a full review of in an upcoming set. The Jade top is available through Corey Lynn Calter's website and select boutiques nationwide (check the stockists page for stores that carry CLC).

This top has three patterns: a sheer leopard dot at the neckline, a diamond lace pattern over most of the body, and a darker trail of polka dots at the bottom before a scalloped lace trim takes over. It's truly stunning. There's no lining to this top so you may want to layer something below it.

Like most CLC tops this one is cut very narrow through the hips, forcing one star off the review. My usual size 6 fit fine through the shoulders but was impossible over the hips. So it was up to an 8 for these shots (I also tried a 10 but that was too big overall, there is a 10 for sale in the Trade Market!!). The hips are still pretty tight in the 8 so this top is with my tailor right now adding side vents.

I am so excited to wear this top out! I've already worn it on a dinner date (with dark denim, OOTD here) and also plan to wear it over a simple dress. I've already purchased this top and for anyone else considering it I'd happily recommend you do the same!

Parted Paisley Tank (now $40) by Leifnotes, TTS
STYLE # 24366718; green (030) or blue (040)

Although it looked luxuriously rich in the catalogue shot, the Parted Paisley Tank (now $40) is depressingly cheap in real life. I'm a bit embarrassed this is an Anthropologie item -- it looks like something straight off the racks of Rave. (Children of the 90s nod their heads in agreement.) Online I thought the paisley pieces were made of silk. They're not. This top is a cotton-modal mix.

First issue: the tank itself is insanely thin.
Second issue: the paisley overlayer just kind of hangs there like...well, I'm not really even sure what.
Third issue: the paisley part just ends before the tank straps? The pattern couldn't be continued up the entire front of the shirt??

My usual size medium fit fine. The tank hugs the body and has a slight racerback, so you'll want to wear a bra to accommodate that. And of course, what Anthropologie top would be complete without being sheer?!? The trifecta of anger compels me to banish this tank from my mind. Back to the rack.

Gilga Tank (now $30) by Lili's Closet, TTS
STYLE # 25417049; light grey (006) or sand (016)

Remember the Maryam Tank from late 2010? It's back in and slightly updated in the Gilga Tank (now $30)! And just like last time I am entranced. I'm surprised by how quickly this tank hit sale -- or was it out for awhile and I never noticed it? The top is cotton with poly lace at the neckline, on the shoulder straps and tiered along the bottom. A strip of 5 buttons runs down the front vee.

I know this is a loungewear piece but once again I'd love to wear this out. I tried on a medium for these shots and it's clearly tight. Here's the thing: this shirt stretches a lot over the course of the day. I'd purchased both colors in a large and I'm going to have to exchange them. The large was practically falling off after less than an hour. So even if you normal size is tight go with it! It will be fine soon after you put it on.

This top is worth the sale price to me. Purchased in both colors.

Peplum Ponte Tank ($78) by Ganni, TTS
STYLE # 24603300; turquoise (046) or 4 other colors

By the end of Fall 2012 we'll probably be sick of peplums. They are everywhere! Anthropologie's usual aesthetic overlaps with the trends here -- they seem to release at least one cute peplum top each year. This year it's Ganni's Peplum Ponte Tank ($78) which is the same textured material that we've seen on the Embossed Basket Dress, among other pieces. The top goes on pullover style so there's a bit of stretch. It's machine washable which is always nice.

My usual size medium fit with one big caveat -- this top doesn't seem to be cut for large busts. While the top was plenty roomy I couldn't size down. The medium was already in danger of becoming a wardrobe malfunction for me. Plenty of side-bra visible and some cleavage from the front. So not work-appropriate for me. Sadly.I like this top a lot and I think it's well-designed but it is a pass at full price. I'd buy this on sale and plan to layer something beneath it by day to cover up a little more. 

Wear this top with a nice long blazer over it, or over a pencil skirt. Or...

Ruffled Flight Cardigan ($148) by Leifnotes, TTS
STYLE # 25203019; blue motif (049)

...layer a cardi over it! The Peplum Ponte tank in turquoise works very well with Leifnotes' Ruffled Flight Cardigan ($148). This little cardi is way too warm for August. Still, it's got a lot of classic Anthro design notes which makes me very happy. Critters? Check. Dots? Check. Front pockets? Check. Ruffle? Check, in the back.

Ruffle!! Hooray! And not a super-voluminous ridiculous ruffle! Consider me pleased. This cardigan fit perfectly in my usual size medium. It's a little short, hitting me just below the waist. But that's fine for wearing it over a dress, or with a high-waisted skirt, or over a peplum top like this. I can't justify buying this cardigan now but I do plan to pick it up. Wishlisted!!

Oh, and this should go without saying, but I would not wear this entire look in real life. The top and the cardi? Sure. With shorts? Not so much. It's just a fitting room throw-on.

Amplified Buttondown ($78) by Maeve, TTS
STYLE # 25192949; ivory (011) or black (001)

I like the sleekness of long white buttondowns. Maeve gives it a go with their Amplified Buttondown ($78), which has the long part down, the white part sorta down (it's ivory) but is missing out on the sleek part because the top is so damn wide at the waist. One and a half out of three ain't bad?

Many of the design details on this top are great! I love the shiny grey pearlized buttons. The tuxedo bib has a nice, modern shape. The shoulders are strong without being overpowering. I like the Ironman-style open triangle in the back. (Very throwback Iron Man Anthro, nicely done.) The length is perfect, hitting me just below the widest part of my thighs o'thunder. And yet...there is no shape. The top is sheer. (Of course it is!) There is a waist tie but it's useless.

Here's how the top looks tied. Better...? Not sure. I found my usual 6 to be comfortably loose. I see this being a great layering top but I'm not sure I would wear it on its own. Wishlisted for further consideration come sale time.

This top also comes in a thinly striped blue version.

Stripe-Moss Cardigan ($128) by Tabitha, TTS
STYLE # 25443417; black motif (009)

I was playing around with proportions in the fitting room and threw the Stripe-Moss Cardigan ($128) on over the Amplified Buttondown. The cardigan has thin stripes and mossy blooms that are kind of like epaulets on the shoulders. Colonel of the flowy? Highly decorated quirky? Something along those lines. The cardigan features sleeves that hit just below the not exactly practical for winter. Although perhaps fine in heat-saturated offices. The cardigan is a little short, just barely clearing the waistline of my 5'8" frame. The buttons are a real bitch to undo. So much so that once open, I didn't want to button it back up. My fingers hurt.

I found a medium to work fine. I often have to size up in Tabitha but not in this case which was a nice surprise. It does mean that the smaller among the community may be sized out. The cardigan is cotton but fry clean only. It's medium weight. I think layering a cuffed shirt under this would be great in the winter. Still, I'm not ready to think about cardigans so this one hit my wishlist and went back to the rack for now.

Openwork Sweater Tank (now $40) by Sparrow, TTS
STYLE # 24463770; gold (070) or moss (031)

One word review: meh. The Openwork Sweater Tank (now $40) seemed promising online. Long. Racerback. Cute openwork back. (Again with the sheer though!) But the real life did not live up to the expectations. The problem lies in the back, where the top of the tank has a crochet bib. The bib isn't long enough and this creates two problems. First, the front contracts and the straps push upwards, making me look droopy. And secondly it pulls up the back which makes the sweater tank sit funny. It's just weird.

I tried on a small, a medium and a large searching for a good fit. You see the medium on me above. It was the best of the three but far from perfect. I'm not surprised this top hit sale quickly and I'm not surprised to see it languishing. I'm sure this top looks great on some but not on me. Pass.

Satsuma Sweater Tank ($148) by Edie, TTS
STYLE # 25045105; orange (080)

Why, oh why, does the Satsuma Sweater Tank ($148) look so different in real life than it does online? I love how the flowers are just on the shoulders, with a long column of gold-infused orange spilling below. Somehow the sweater I tried was less flowers and more FLOWERS IN YOUR FACE AND ON YOUR CHEST. I guess production got a little carried away with the pattern. It's made from cotton with some linen woven in, and according to the tag it's hand-washable. Not sure I would chance it but that's nice to see.

The sweater is slightly short with a loose fit. It's also slightly cropped with a wavy hemline. I don't know the flowers are so huge on the sweater in real life, but the medium felt overwhelming because of it. It's so disappointing -- I love the product and catalogue shots! Can I have that sweater please?