Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reviews: Lace Valance Cardigan, Glimmer Collar Cardigan, Felted Flora Cardigan, Lace Channel Sweatshirt, Perlata Jacket, Empyrean Pointelle Sweater, Stacked Latitudes Pullover

The Lace Channel Sweatshirt ($78) paired with the Sailaway Circle Skirt ($148)

Sweaters, sweatshirts and a 'jacket' get the review treatment today. The good news? I liked most of what I tried. See which items made the grade after the jump...



Lace Valance Cardigan ($148) by Yellow Bird, TTS
Style #: 26568220; chartreuse (035)
★★★★☆

Note: If you're wondering my sizing measurements/height/etc, they're detailed on this page.

I've always admired Anthropologie's knack for creating cute cardigans. The Lace Valance Cardigan ($148) is a welcome return to form in a difficult color. As spring clothing starts to trickle into stores (I know) an open cardigan is a welcome sight. Sometimes I want my arms covered but it's still nice to breathe. Unlike tops I don't mind a see-through sweater so long as it's not every sweater.

This cardigan is a green that looks yellow in most lights but when paired with blues will show its true green hue. It's short, hitting above the hips. The buttons are covered by a cute knit purl which makes them difficult to open -- I left the cardi closed and put it on pullover style for this review. The sleeves hit perfectly at the wrist and have a long band at the bottom, much like the hemline. Makes the sleeves easy to roll up. Up at the neckline white flowers are affixed. This is a cardigan that could look matronly if you're not careful in your styling but to me it has plenty of possibilities.

I found my usual size medium body hugging. I think this is the right size but to be honest I'm not really sure. Over dresses I'm sure it would be fine; with pants and a top I'm a little less confident. The material is cotton with nylon and spandex mixed in for some reason. It makes the cardi slightly stretchy and also more tight to the body. It's not so stretchy that it would grow a size over the course of the day but it does seem like there would be some give. Your thoughts appreciated!

I love the design but the color gives me pause. Wishlisted for reconsideration come sale time.


Glimmer Collar Cardigan ($148) by Yellow Bird, TTS
Style #: 26567545; ivory (011)
★★★★☆

Yellow Bird has another open cardigan to consider. This is the Glimmer Collar Cardigan ($148) and it's really, really lovely. The star of this show is the winged neckline, which has a wavy grey base covered by alternating rhinestones and pearlized ivory buttons sewn into place. It's so pretty! Otherwise it's much like its chartreuse cousin above -- open knit made from a cotton/nylon/spandex mix, with thick bands at both sleeve and hem tips. Again the buttons down the front are a little hard to open due to small holes and large, knit-covered buttons.

Once again I'm pretty sure a medium was right, though I am open to the idea that a large might be better. The main issue on this version is that the buttons up near the neckline kept twisting and causing puckering. I think it's less a fit issue and more a design issue but that might be my ego talking! The material is soft and not itchy. I would expect some light pulling because the fibers seem short, especially on the sleeves.

Here's a closer look at the neckline:


This cardigan is beautiful and I would wear it often. I think the price is a little high so I'm waiting to see how it sells before deciding when to take the plunge. For now, wishlisted!


Felted Flora Cardigan ($138) by Tabitha, TTS
Style #: 25911199; neutral motif (015)
★★★★☆

Cute neckline, blah base color. So it goes with Tabitha's Felted Flora Cardigan ($138). Beige? Snore. Flowers? Adore! I like that the floral neckline is understated instead of three-dimensional. The flowers are a little fuzzy like those touchable books you had as a wee tot. This cardigan is a great length, hitting right above the hips. The sleeves hit just below the wrists, teasing your palms. The small scoopneck is just shy of being a gag reflex instigator. I like the soft, light heather cotton material. It keeps you warm but not too warm.

I felt good in my usual size medium. I was trying to be all cool and layer the Entomologist Blouse ($98, review) underneath but if you need any more evidence that blouse is short perhaps only the slightest of tail poking out center front will convince you. The cardigan's shoulders run a little big and were hanging off me somewhat. But otherwise the fit is good, easy to move in yet close to the body.

I'm smitten but I'm taken aback by the full price. (And I would have preferred a more lively base color than blah beige.) Wishlisted; waiting for sale.


Lace Channel Sweatshirt ($78) by Weston Wear, TTS
Style #: 26645200; grey (004)
★★★★☆

My inner mean girl is very tempted to make fun of Anthropologie for selling sweatshirts. But I can't because I'm totally enamored with the Lace Channel Sweatshirt ($78). I know. I know. Is this sweatshirt worth $78? Is any sweatshirt??! Then again two years back I remember being so amused by $200+ sweaties by the likes of Alexander Wang and 10 Crosby so what do I know?

The sweatshirt is thin. I wish it were cotton so hard but instead it's rayon, poly and spandex. Good lord. I get it's for breathability but come on. Sweatshirts are made from cotton. This isn't hard! Despite my whining it's the front design that really does it for me. The lace is like a beautiful architectural detail on the facade of an early 20th century skyscraper. It's part Rorschach, part Aztec and part NES videogame. (I'm seeing Bubble Bobble, what do you see?) I don't like the rather large scoopneck opening but I suppose as a layering piece it's not such a bad thing. Bra straps may be visible though.

I found a medium to be an excellent fit. It landed solidly mid-hip with sleeves that clear the elbow and are comfortably loose. I see the potential to dress this up or down. Pair with pants or skirt. Or maybe over a dress.

Potential, potential. Stalling, hope this one heads to sale. Or perhaps Anthropologie would like to throw another 30% off sweater bone our way?

Update 3/3/2013: I ended up buying this sweatershirt for my birthday in January and love it. But BEWARE! Even though the tag says this item is hand washable I WOULD NOT. Mine deformed horribly after a gentle handwashing and air dry. I contacted Anthropologie's customer service which allowed me to exchange the top. I will be dry cleaning it from here forward.


Perlata Jacket ($148) by Dolan, TTS
Style #: 26594713; blue motif (049)
★★★☆☆

Open jackets are the bane of my existence. Thanks to a combination of breasts, a bouncy walk and a windy home pieces like the Perlata Jacket ($148) by Dolan fly open of their own accord all the time. I do not understand how these celebs caught by the paparazzi keep their open jackets solidly against the body. Sheer willpower? I'm envious. Sweater clips? Double-sided tape? I don't know.

This piece has a very Boy by Band of Outsiders feel to it. I like the tomboyishness in theory but it's not a style I wear much. It's a ribbed cotton base with a poly-spandex design in front. In the back a bone seam helps the jacket stay close to the body. In the front the panels are set on a bias such that they overlap near the neckline naturally. A neat trick.

I was comfortable in a medium, my normal size. The jacket is a little shorter in back. The sleeves end right at your wrists. The neckline is a gentle vee. There's some stretch. It's of a medium to light weight but I don't feel like it would be good against wind. I wish the front had more weight so it would stay set better. I'm sure this would fly open on me constantly.

Appealing but out of my style comfort zone. Back to the rack.


Empyrean Pointelle Sweater ($88) by Moth, TTS
Style #: 26617795; coral (085)
★★☆☆☆

I get easily annoyed with shrunken fit and unfortunately this sweater set wraps up with two. First up is Moth's Empyrean Pointelle Sweater ($88) which is a beautiful orange-y coral color but makes me feel like I left it in the dryer too long. The good news? This sweater is cotton! The bad news? Where to begin. The front and back pointelle panels are both sheer. It's impossible for me to feel comfortable in this sweater because every extremity feels an inch or two too short -- the bottom hem I kept tugging at. The sleeves that seem to inch up of their own accord. The neckline that slowly makes its way up towards my clavicle. It's like some new form of torture.

Fitwise a medium fit but was not comfortable. A large had so much room in the sides I had to double-check to make sure I hadn't grabbed an XL by mistake. This sweater is meant to be tight and a little small and those two words do not mix well with curves.

Whatever. I'm over this sweater. Big ol' honkin' pass. The pants are the Miniflora Charlie Trousers ($118) which will be reviewed next week.


Stacked Latitudes Pullover ($78) by Monogram, size up
Style #: 26568287; navy (041) or coral (085)
★★★☆☆

Monogram!! Where you have been, Anthro brand? Good to see you back, although...

Much like my patience, the Stacked Latitudes Pullover ($78) is shrunken. If you're a mime looking for just the right striped topper to polish off your look you're in luck! This top has a Parisian feel with it's cuffed sleeves, back half-zip and large scoopneck. The evenly spaced stripes will leave you wondering if it's cream on navy or navy on cream until you slip into an existential crisis about our grand insignificance in the universe. (Maybe that's just me.) The hemline is split at the sides for some reason. The sweater is made from -- all together now -- cotton, rayon and spandex.

I tried on a medium but it was really tight. I'm thinking a large would be the way to go. I appreciate a top that hugs my curves so closely but the stripes state my proportions more loudly than I'd like. The sweater looks and feels like terry, with nubby bumps and bumpy nubs. It's not itchy but did feel somewhat rough against my skin.

This sweater is cute but not my speed. Pass.

Want to hear about more Anthropologie sweaters? Check out recent sweater reviews here and here, or click the Reviews button in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. If you have a review request please let me know in the comments! Have you tried or purchased any of these pieces? What did you think? How are you styling them?