Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Reviews: Amalia Tulle Skirt, Emeline Tulle Skirt, Hexprint Maxi Skirt, Minted Terra Skirt, Geoblock Midi Skirt

Whatever, Anthropologie.

In this Anthropologie skirt reviews set, the Amalia Tulle Skirt ($188) and more go for a whirl! I wish I could say this set contains raves and grandeur...I'm saving the really good stuff for later this week.




Amalia Tulle Skirt ($188) by Seen, Worn, Kept, size down
Style #: 28700730; orange (089)
★★☆☆☆

The Amalia Tulle Skirt ($188) was like something out of my romanticized dreams, a skirt for all seasons that would be neutral enough for work and fun enough for after-work frolicking. It was on my wishlist before it was even available in the USA thanks to a preview when it appeared on the Anthropologie EU website.

I checked the store inventory repeatedly until it was finally listed at the Chelsea Market Anthropologie. Faster than you can say American Express card I was on the A train and trotting west from 8th Ave over to Anthro's Meatpacking home. I fretted about finding the skirt but I shouldn't have -- it stuck out clearly. Literally. As in, piles of tulle overflowing their hangers on a window-backed rack. Hmm, I thought, this seems rather...voluminous. But I happily grabbed my usual size 8 and went downstairs to try it on.

The photos speak for themselves, right? That's the 8 you see on me above. This skirt is really loose at the waist. So if you have an hourglass like me or similar shape you can size down very easily. Aside from that this skirt is HUGE. Upside down cupcake wrapper. Bundt cake pre-pan removal. Opened umbrella. Hugemongous. That's because there's about 50 layers of tulle under the outermost double-layered shell and no I don't think I'm exaggerating.


Nine hundred million, seven hundred sixty-seven thousand, twenty-three layers of tulle.
I counted.

And underneath all of that is a viscose lining. Okay, okay, I wondered, but maybe it's because after shipping these skirts are super poufy and they'll settle down. But after seeing online reviews start to appear on the product page I see that's not the case. This skirt just wants to be big. Not only that, I don't think it would be very easy to flatten the skirt via a tulle surgical removal because the tulle is connected under the waistband, and that's where the weird poufiness starts.

On a hunch, I decided to try sizing way down, so I asked for a size 4.



The 4 you see on me above was somewhat better. The waist was more in line with my usual 29" circumference. And the body of the skirt was somewhat more under control. But still much too much pouf. My frustration stems from the fact that this skirt looks so sleek and chic on Anthropologie's website in a clear case of unreality. I want the skirt from that parallel universe! Not this one, which is rounder than a mushroom on top and poufier than my hair after a sudden thunderstorm.

Our girl Chloe styled the skirt to perfection. But let's be real. As awesome as Chloe looks in the skirt I don't think that's a realistic outfit for most of us. Certainly not something I could wear to work.

And so this fairytale ends with a pumpkin rather than a horse-drawn carriage. Raspberries all around, Anthropologie. Pass.


Emeline Tulle Skirt ($188) by Yoana Baraschi, TTS
Style #: 28439511; ivory (011)
★★★☆☆

After all that melodrama I was concerned about the similar-looking Emeline Tulle Skirt ($188). I'm happy to report that this skirt has its volume under control, though like the Amalia it's not quite the skirt we're shown online. Look at how high the skirt on the model's waist yet it still clears her knees. I wore this skirt low on my waist and it barely cleared my knees. (I'm 5'8".)

This polyester-nylon skirt has an opaque lining, a layer of tulle and then the mesh-embroidered outer shell which has a more literal pattern than what I'm used to seeing from this brand. The waistband is very generous and my usual size 8 was slipping down from the waist a bit, but I think a 6 would be tight on me. So I'd stick with my usual size. There's a concealed back zipper and the print mostly lined up on the skirt I tried which is a wonderful feat!

The Emeline has more volume in real life than the online product shot shows. It's very A-line. In general I like my A-lines without pleats because they create a more streamlined shape. This is still a lot of volume for a curvy gal like me. It almost requires a tucked-in top and as a short-waisted person with a generous bust that can end up making me look totally out of proportion.

Here's a full-length shot:



There's a lot of potential here. This skirt seems well made and it's certainly pretty. But I wasn't feeling it for myself. Back to the rack.


Hexprint Maxi Skirt ($128) by Maeve, size down
Style #: 27194174; orange (089) or blue (040)
★★★☆☆

Although outside of my usual comfort zone I decided that the Hexprint Maxi Skirt ($128) looked fun and worth a shot. This elastic-waisted polyester maxi comes in either the orange print you see on me or, curiously, a solid blue. It's very lightweight but opaque in pattern form.

The skirt runs large. A medium was very roomy so it's down to a small I went for these fitting room photos. Additionally, it's pretty short for a maxi. It hit me above the ankles. That's great for the shorter in stature but a turn-off for talls like me -- and at 5'8" I'm not statuesque or anything. I liked how the skirt swished and waved as I walked around the dressing room area. But I think the length is a dealbreaker for me.

Here's a full-length shot:



On the plus side, this skirt's pattern is fun and not overwhelming, and it's pretty subtle for how strong the print is. But on the minus side, it's too short for me. So this skirt went back to the rack.

The top here is Dolce Vita's Eyelet Peplum Blouse ($148) which was reviewed here and is one of my favorite Anthro pickups of 2013. Highly recommended!


Minted Terra Skirt ($168) by Anupumaa, TTS
Style #: 28070407; green (040)
★★★☆☆

Crinkly silk gives the Minted Terra Skirt ($168) a confectionery feel. Purposely mismatched stripes appear to make this skirt move even when you're standing still. It's lightweight with a minty lining. All of this sounds lovely, so why didn't I like this skirt more?

First, the stripes. They are meant to alternate I think, but that effect is only realized on some of the panels. In the far left shot above, you can see the right-most panel and the one next to it seem to alternate up near the waistline, only to settle into something that looks merely offset. The middle two panels just look mismatched like a production mistake. I dunno, I understand what the effect is supposed to be but I'm not in love with the execution. I do however really like the pink piping between each panel, which gives the skirt an extra dose of whimsical fun.

In terms of sizing I felt comfortable in my usual size medium. I loved how this skirt moved as I walked around the fitting room area. It seemed to catch invisible breezes even there. So I think that if I were constantly in motion I'd love this skirt! But standing still I was not enamored.


Here's a full-length shot:


This skirt is prone to wrinkling which bugs. I think that if you love this skirt you'll be willing to overlook these quibbles. The love wasn't there for me so this was another pass.

Real quick, I just want to take a moment to thank the Soho staff who has been extra accommodating lately! They've pulled a bunch of items for me to try from backstock, helped me locate a bunch of stuff at the local Anthros with their mobile POS devices and are great about allowing me to pull 20 or more items from the floor to try on for these review sets. And I should point out that this isn't special treatment -- this is just what they'd do for any customer because they are awesome. They don't have to be so generous, especially when the store is busy, but the team there has been super wonderful and I just want to publicly say thanks!


Geoblock Midi Skirt ($188) by Myne, TTS
Style #: 26932525; multi (095)
★★★★☆

I adore the regatta-inspired geometric design on the Geoblock Midi Skirt ($188). This online-only skirt randomly showed up at Anthropologie's flagship Rockefeller Center location. During a weekend visit I grabbed it for a fitting room try-on. The skirt's pattern varies on each individual item so I spent some time combing through the options before settling on this particular one. Most of the skirts I saw had good pattern placement. It was more about deciding whether I wanted a darker-based pattern in front or a lighter one. It's weird that this skirt is online only...I'd think most people would want the ability to choose their pattern placement.

The skirt is polyester, lined, and has a side zip. I noticed that the waistband was fairly loose but I felt most comfortable in my usual size medium. I was trying on a blouse at the same time (Edme & Esyllte's Beckett Buttondown ($68), review upcoming) but this overall look is frumpier than intended, even if only for fitting room shots rather than an actual outfit suggestion. The skirt creates some nice visual lines vertically and sits low enough that I'd feel confident tucking something in. The hi-low hem is shortest at the sides and hit me mid-shin at the longest points. I would probably go with wedges or heels over flats.

A cool design and fun summery colors have me liking this skirt! I probably wouldn't order it online though, I'd seek it out in a secret store location like Rockefeller. One interesting note -- I tried calling customer service and doing a store search for this item once I knew one of the local Anthros had a full size run. And CS told me it wasn't in any store. So it looks like once something gets the "online-only" designation the national customer service team can't locate it, even if a few stores do in fact have the item.

More reviews tomorrow!