Reviews: Taryn Crepe Shift, Peach Blossom Dress, Zola Shift, At Dusk Dress, French Stripe Column Dress, Elizabeth Zebra Dress

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Bailey 44 cascade shows no sign of abating. And yet, I love each and every dress!
The French Stripe Column Dress ($178) gets its turn in the review wringer.

As much as I enjoy whining when there's not much temptation on the racks of Anthropologie stores, the truth is that it's far more dangerous when I like everything I try on. You may not want to click into this reviews set -- there's a lot of goodies coming out of Anthropologie's dress designs right now!

You have been warned.

Taryn Crepe Shift ($118) by Maeve, TTS
Style #: 27011758; blue (040), black (001) or pink (066)

Let me start this reviews set by lulling you into a false sense of security with a dress that may not look like much in these photos but is a simple amazement in real life. This is Maeve's Taryn Crepe Shift ($118), a dress I'd been ignoring since March. Originally the only color the stores near me carried was the pink. It's a very pale pink, one that is way too close to my skintone to draw much attention from me. But just this month this berry blue appeared and it stopped me in my tracks. Adorable! I cried. I guess the Anthro community at large agrees with me as this color has since sold out online. It's still plentiful in stores though, so a quick call to customer service can help you locate it.

This dress is viscose and rayon but acts like linen. Which is to say that it wrinkles very easily. In-store the dress I tried was crumply and a little fussy. I knew that once I got it home to the steamer we'd be alright. The dress has two panels falling from shoulder over bust and a split v-henley placket. There's just a hint of decolletage, nothing too revealing. The sleeves fall just below your elbow and the dress fell a couple of inches above my knees. I'm 5'8" for reference. This dress would be fantastic for work.

I found myself between sizes in this dress. You see my usual 6 on me above and it's roomy. But when I tried on the 4 the fit was closer but my arms felt constricted. Although the sleeves are puffy the attachment to the body of the dress is snug. So I decided to stick with my usual size. There are side pockets on the dress and just enough material under the hem to let my tailor make this dress a bit longer for me.

This would have been a 5-star dress had it been knee-length. Although the pictures may not tell the tale this dress is really lovely in real life. With the blue selling so quickly I took this one home! I'd hoped to see it on sale this past Monday. It didn't make it yet but hopefully next go-round.

Peach Blossom Dress ($258) by Eva Franco, TTS
Style #: 27750363; peach (067)

The last Eva Franco dress I tried on was such a disappointment. It's great to find redemption in the Peach Blossom Dress ($258)! It really is peach perfection and better yet it's a modern update of the classic midcentury party dress. Ms. Franco wisely chose to make the skirt less floofy than you'd expect and the result is a contemporary winner. This dress features a polyester lining onto which a mesh and embroidered pattern are placed, with a nude ice skating-style neckline. A rear zip makes getting in and out of the dress a cinch and there's a belt that thankfully has a good range of sizing options. Many times my tiny waist has been left uncinched by a belt too big for my dress size. Not so here and I think people at the opposite end of the spectrum will be covered too.

Sizing wise I found my usual size 6 a winner. It had room enough across the bust, darts in nicely at the waist and has a gentle a-line skirt with a few inverted pleats. It spills to my knees and the top mesh has a beautiful v-neckline in back. The bra potential here is limited to a strapless. The dress does have some support but not enough that I could go braless.

There is one issue with this dress. At the seams (and there are many) the spade pattern does not line up. The main offender is at the waist, which is covered by the belt. But on the bust the dress I tried had one side seam where the spades kinda lined up and then one side seam where it wasn't even close. I like this dress enough that I can overlook this but it's an annoyingly common refrain. For $258 seams should line up!

I sat in this dress for awhile, trying to think of some event I could wear it to. Nothing came to mind but this dress has already earned itself a spot on my wishlist!

Zola Shift ($98) by Maeve, size down
Style #: 28557700; navy (041), black motif (009) or blue motif (049)

On the day I tried the Zola Shift ($98) it was 97 degrees outside in the overheated Meatpacking District (NYC) and I was lamenting my lack of lightweight summer errand dresses. Was it kismet that led me to the dress? One can't be sure but this cute dress sure seemed like what I was looking for. Normally shapeless dresses are not for me. I have curves and I want them acknowledged in design! Otherwise I can end up looking like a sack. But even I admit there are days when I want as little fabric as possible touching my body, something this adorable frock easily accomplishes.

This dress comes in three designs. The radiographed polar bears on this navy version -- which by the way, reads as black on pink in real life -- held the most appeal for me. Think of this as a tee shirt dress with front cargo pockets. There is a seam below the bust but it does little for the shape of the dress.

Sizingwise I reached for my usual 6 but it was pretty big. I'd size down to a 4, which would still be roomy but less so. The dress hit about an inch above my knees while the sleeves land at standard tee shirt length. A shallow scoopneck makes the perfect frame for collar bones or perhaps a necklace like the cameo I was wearing on this day. (I was conveniently color-coordinated with this dress!)

I will say that for July humidity this dress is a little thick. That will be nice come fall but may cause some overheating now. It's rayon and machine washable but in a slightly thicker knit than true summerweight. I do like this dress a lot but left it behind for now. Wishlisted!!

At Dusk Dress ($298) by Yoana Baraschi, TTS
Style #: 28810513; pink (066) or black (001)

With this dress previously backordered online I was surprised and delighted to find it in the Chelsea Market Anthropologie last week! The At Dusk Dress ($298) is a familiar design for Yoana Baraschi and yet every version of this dress is just a little bit different. This time around it's like something out of a fairy tale, with delicate floral vines trailing up and down panels of mesh on this v-neck dress. My inner 6-year-old loves this dress for its ethereal qualities; my adult self appreciates it for its beauty. The color is pretty close to my tanned skin (yes this is tan for me) but come winter that won't be a problem.

The dress is fit-and-flare style that ends right above the knee. There is a side zip and the underlayer is just a little shorter than the outer shell. Why, I don't know. I felt great in my usual size 6! It's gorgeous, it fits curves perfectly, and it's exactly what I hope for in an Anthropologie dress.

Needless to say, this one is on my wishlist.

French Stripe Column Dress ($178) by Bailey 44, TTS
Style #: 28650877; blue motif (049)

Although the chances of seeing another crisscross-striped column dress on the street increase with every incarnation, I can't help but love the French Stripe Column Dress ($178). Or really, all of these Bailey 44 dresses! They are so flattering to curves without being overwrought and each dress has a slightly different neckline or sleeve style or color combination and well, I'm smitten. This latest dress has a bold blue stripe set upon an otherwise neutral mix of black, brown, yellow and cream. There's another mainly black version of this dress but I much prefer this new variation.

In a medium I felt great! That's my usual dress size for Bailey 44. The dress hugs each and every curve in wonderful ways. I felt a little like Wonder Woman in this dress, needing only a nice brass cuff to polish things off. The dress hits a little below the knee and is tapered. That makes it a little hard to take full strides. I guess I won't be chasing any foes in this dress but I think I might be knocking them out!

As usual my complaints with the dress are all the raw hems. (Whhhhyyyyy?) But there's nothing else bad to say. Swoon! Wishlisted.

Elizabeth Zebra Dress ($198) by Peter Som, TTS
A Made in Kind design
Style #: 27496223; blue motif (049)

One of the Rockefeller Center SAs, Jen, knows me well from her days first in Soho and then on the Upper East Side and now on my rare trips to midtown. During a recent visit I came downstairs to the fitting rooms with my arms already full of clothing. She asked if I'd like to try on a few more items. How could I say no? A few minutes later she was back with several online returns made in-store that were around my size. This Elizabeth Zebra Dress ($198) was one of them. It's an 8, not quite my size, but close enough to get the gist of the fit.

This zebra print has appeared on previous designs by Mr. Som. It fits right in at Anthropologie! The profile shot looks like a family tree of clones or perhaps a herd running across the white base color of the dress. The sleeves are a little longer than tee-shirt length, hitting right above the elbow. The dress comes down to the top of my knees on my 5'8" frame and the waistline is crying for a belt. A shallow scoopneck keeps everything looking proper.

The 8 I tried was loose but based on how it felt I'm confident my usual size 6 would have been right. The dress is light silk with a back zip (not side as the website indicates) and nearly hidden side slant pockets. It is slightly stiff, just enough to keep it from blowing up in a gust of wind. But it's altogether pleasant to wear. Just a light, easy, feminine frock with a fun print!

I think this dress is adorable and on sale it would come home to roost. For now, it's wishlisted!

I've got a metric ton of dress reviews to share so I'll be back this evening with an all-Lilka set! That brand has been killing it lately. What do you think of the dresses I've shared here? Have you tried any of them? Do you own any of these? If so tell us what you think!