Reviews: Lasercut Fleur-De-Lys Sheath, Pleated Skipper Dress, Brigantine Regatta Dress, Petaluma Peep Hem Dress, Pakpao Maxi Dress, Silk Mabel Dress

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hey, look what I found in-store! The Lasercut Fleur-De-Lys Sheath ($228).

The good news is that Anthropologie is releasing a whole bunch of dresses that I really want. The bad news is that I have not budgeted for this much pretty! Help a girl choose, after the jump...




Lasercut Fleur-De-Lys Sheath ($228) by Beguile by Byron Lars, TTS
A Made in Kind design
Style #: 28537975; blue motif (049)
★★☆☆

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

Backordered in perpetuity online, the Lasercut Fleur-De-Lys Sheath ($228)  mysteriously showed up in a full size run at the Chelsea Market Anthropologie. None of the other Byron Lars dresses are there. Just this one. Curiouser and curiouser? I wasn't about to pass up the chance to try this one on.

The dress has lots of lovely details that justify the price in my opinion. The top portion is thick but unlined lace in button-down fashion. The buttons are thick and pretty hard to unbutton. Budget some time in for opening them, as there's no other way to get into the dress. The skirt is a damask with laser-cut circles all over it. When you walk certain circles will catch the breeze and fly open, revealing a nude underlayer. There's a grey sash acting as a belt and for once I'm happy to say it's functional. The dress is lovely to look at if nothing else. It's cotton and polyester with a poly-lined skirt. For obvious reasons this dress should be dry cleaned.

Unfortunately, fitwise this dress was trouble for both me and my shopping companion Audrey. I tried on my usual size 6. This size was loose up top, much looser than the photos above convey. Meanwhile the skirt was very tight. There are two stretch panels on the skirt and this helped, but really I would have been happier had the skirt been more of an 8 and the top been more of a 4. Audrey had a similar opinion -- loose up top and tight on the bottom for her too. One more issue with the skirt: there is a vent in back but it's really just a kick pleat, so this dress is a little tough to walk in. It falls right across my knees.

Here's my take: if you plan to stand around all day in this dress it's a winner. However if your day requires movement I think this dress will be a challenge. I think it's beautiful but reluctantly it's a pass for me.


Pleated Skipper Dress ($118) by Leifnotes
Style #: 26737767; red motif (069)
★★★☆

Rock on Leifnotes, rock on. The Pleated Skipper Dress ($118) has the perfect shape and length, plus a defined waist! It's so easy and flattering. Swoon! This simple viscose pullover has tiny little sailboats all over it and a neck tie complete with end beads. (The beads are not shown online for some reason.) I am all about knee-length dresses and this one hits perfectly. The top portion shape is oh so flattering, with tank-style shoulders on a slight inward cut and a waist that's just a little long, allowing the top to blouse a touch. It's a nice effect.

A medium fit me wonderfully and had me twirling around the fitting room. I love skirts that twirl as you do! The downside? I'm really not a fan of the pattern. It's too small. And I'd choose another color over this brown-infused red. I hope to see this dress in other colors or patterns. Because I love it!

Although I don't love the pattern, I might cave on this dress anyway since the fit's so good. Yea or nay?


Brigantine Regatta Dress ($168) by Leifnotes, size down
Style #: 27231067; blue motif (049)
★★★☆

Hello perfect summer date dress! Leifnotes' Brigantine Regatta Dress ($168) is a cute knee-length frock with a sweetheart-style tank neckline and a poufy skirt. Sparkly orange beads at the waistband form a sash of sorts, and those same beads show up above the bottom two regatta stripes on the skirt. This dress didn't impress me much on the hanger but it looks fan-friggin-tastic on!

This frock is mostly cotton with a touch of spandex and some polyester thrown into the skirt lining for the same effect tulle would give. When you sit the skirt kinda crunches and stays voluminous. That got a good giggle out of me. I like the back of the dress too -- it's got a criss-cross that still allows for a regular, supportive bra. Thank you for that!

I started in my usual size 6 but the dress was too big. It was mostly noticeable around the bustline, which was standing up off my body. So it was down to a 4 I went for these shots. It's still a little big but there's no planet on which I'm a 2 (well, really there's no planet on which I'm a 4 but that's vanity sizing for you).

One other thing to love...


...the dress has pockets! And as longtime readers know I love just about any dress with pockets. So this one is of course a winner in my book. Between this dress and the Pleated Skipper Dress ($118) above, which one wins? Hold that thought because down below is another option I really liked.


Petaluma Peep Hem Dress ($78) by Porridge, size down
Style #: 27931534; red (060) or black (001)
★★★☆

I invite you to try saying the name of this dress 5 times fast -- I can't even get it once! The Petaluma Peep Hem Dress ($78) is the first sub-$80 dress I've seen at Anthropologie in a long, long time. It's not a chemise. This dress is actually thick enough to be worn outside without any layering piece underneath. Well done, Porridge.

The material at this price point won't be silk of course. It's polyester that feels like silk instead. The material is thin but opaque. I love the double-layered hem on the skirt. This red version has a navy-striped piece down at the bottom. It's almost like Anthropologie saw how Molly wisely layers slips under her dresses to make them longer and took it one step further. Without that second layer peeking out this dress would be far too short on me.

In terms of fit this dress is meant to be loose. A medium was downright swimmy on me. The dress is a little shorter than I'd like. The medium hit me a good 2-3 inches above my knees and as you'll see in a moment the small another inch or two above that. No matter how much weight I lose I'll always have thick legs and my quads seem to be the most stubborn spot of all. So any knee-baring dress becomes an issue. Sometimes it's OK, the skirt is voluminous enough to hide my trouble spots. On this dress I'm not so sure.

Anyway, it was down to a small I went for overall sizing reasons...


...at which point I discovered this dress has pockets! Bonus. I also tried on the black version in a medium....


...which I liked, but not as much as the red. Too many horses running in surrealistic fashion for me. I think a belt is a good way to finish this dress though it's not required. I envision this as a great warm-weather weekend errand dress, when I want to just throw something on before I run out the door.

With a price point so fair I invested in the red right away but now I'm wondering if I should have picked one of the Leifnotes dresses above instead. If you were me which dress would get your moola? Or dresses? I'm stumped.


Bottlegreen Dress ($148) by Meadow Rue, TTS
Style #: 26539619; blue green (105)
★★☆☆

Apologies for the nightmare lighting; the 5th Ave Anthropologie fitting rooms are worthy of my continued scorn. This dress is the Bottlegreen Dress ($148) which comes in 'blue green', not to be confused with aqua or teal or turquoise or any other combination of blue and green. The dress has a silk-like polyester cousin in the Lace-Yoke Dress ($138, review). The Bottlegreen Dress is cotton with a poly lining and side pockets! Hooray for side pockets. The bodice embroidery is beautiful and I also like the strip along the skirt, which looks like lattice or tilework.

It's hard to figure out the fit of this frock. My usual size 6 was just right across the chest but then there was all this extra room in the neckline, causing the top to stand away from my body. The skirt portion of the 6 felt roomy but not unmanageable. When I tried a 4 (not shown) it seemed too tight across the bust. So I'm recommending you stick with your true size. I'd have to tailor the top if I purchased this dress.

With cute embroidery ad a nice summery color this dress has potential. Wishlisted, waiting for sale.


Pakpao Maxi Dress ($168) by Maeve, TTS
Style #: 26531038; blue motif (049) or blue (040)
★★☆☆

I might be going to Hawaii again this year and the hunt for maxi dresses has begun. Could the Pakpao Maxi Dress ($168) make my suitcase? This vibrant hibiscus version stands in sharp contrast to the Mediterranean feel of the blue version. (This floral take is called blue motif.) It's polyester, a pullover, and has a racerback-style top complete with cut-in shoulders on the front. There's a waist tie that I like though I don't love how the dress folds in on itself when I tied the belt.

I tried on my usual 6 which felt great. Comfortable, not too loose and flowy perfection. I was wearing heels when I tried the dress. They're 3.5" heels so that'd make me 5'11.5" in these shots. Ha. Without my heels the dress hit just above my feet. I like maxis that almost brush the ground; this one is a little short for that. Sometimes in maxi dresses I have an issue where the skirt will catch my curves, showing the outline of my thighs or hips. I'm so glad this dress did not have that issue. The skirt portion may be short but the shape of it is perfect.

I think I prefer the blue version to this blue motif. Either way I like the dress so on to the wishlist it goes! My poor, overflowing wishlist.


Silk Mabel Dress ($168) by Moulinette Soeurs, size down
Style #: 26513036; blue motif (049)
★★★☆

Admission time: I didn't get what all the fuss over the Silk Mabel Dress ($168) was about until I saw it. This dress looks cute enough online but also pretty standard. And I'm not sure my review photos really do it justice either. Because in real life -- WOW! This dress is so pretty. The perfect base of blue with beautiful buds and blooms upon it. Sleek silk in a knee-length rendering with a gathered waistband and a pleated bodice. Maybe I love this dress because it feels like a few designer scarfs brought together in a singular piece. It's tremendously flattering.

I started off in a medium, my usual size. The generous cut of the pleated skirt and a nicely-sized bodice meant the medium was big on me. Not unworkable by any means but I felt the top especially sliding down.

So it was down to a small I went...


...for this regrettably headless shot. If you can't tell the difference I won't fault you. All I can say is that the small felt better on.

From not on my radar to top of my wishlist. The Silk Mabel Dress is coming home to me as soon as it hits sale! If it hits sale.

What do you think of the dresses in this set? I have 12 more dresses to come, plus a few rompers on the way too. Between the Pleated Skipper Dress ($118), the  Brigantine Regatta Dress ($168) and the Petaluma Peep Hem Dress ($78), which one would you invest in if you were me? If you own any of these dresses how are you styling them?