Reviews: Ajo Applique Shift, Vera Lace Dress, Astrid Dress, Jadeite Dress, Geranium Crochet Dress

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Detail work is returning to Anthropologie and I am delighted!
Exhibit A: the Ajo Applique Shift ($358).

It's a challenge for me not to grab every dress in Anthropologie's stores these days, which can only be a good thing! Sometimes the stuff I'm drawn to looks great and sometimes...well...

Inside: some of Anthropologie's latest dresses, reviewed.

Ajo Applique Shift ($358) by Rinku Dalamal, size up
Style #: 28906162; white (010)

The Ajo Applique Shift ($358) is not as short as the website model makes it look, thank goodness. But in my experience it also wasn't nearly as loose as the model's dress looks either. I think this dress went through some production changes after the photos were taken for Anthro's site. The model looks to be in an a-line dress, but the dress I tried on has a cinch at the waist and is more like a sheath. It's still a beautiful dress; it just may not be what you expect.

Leather is used to make each of the creeping floral leaves on this dress, with some sparkly beads in small flower patterns for good effect. Then there's a double layer of polyester. The torso of this dress is opaque -- thank god -- but the sleeves are sheer. It's very slippery material with a viscose lining underneath. In a cursory exploration everything seemed to be well-attached. Nothing came off with a few good shakes as I've experienced in the past with other Anthro dresses. Make no mistake however, the dress is delicate and will require special care and cleaning.

I tried on my usual size 6 and that was a mistake. The dress was really tight around my midsection, especially my butt. I was pleased that the top portion fit over my 34D chest fine, so I think this dress is friendly to larger busts, but if you're curvy on the bottom too like me you'll want to size up. On my 5'8" frame the dress came to rest about two inches above my knees. It passed the fingertip test even while sitting. Barely.

This dress is really lovely with lots of fun details. I think I would have liked it even better in an 8!

Vera Lace Dress ($98) by Maeve, TTS
Style #: 28616597; yellow (079)

This Vera Lace Dress ($98)  dress is like a doppleganger of the Bergamot Lace Dress (now $80, review). In my estimation this Vera Lace Dress is the much better dress. It's longer, more flattering and I like the lace used here much better.

A diamond-patterned cotton skirt is topped by a beige cotton underlayer upon which floral lace is attached. The tank-style dress has a fit-and-flare shape with pockets. I love pockets! The neckline comes up pretty high, the scoop barely cleared my collarbone. The back has a long oval keyhole that doesn't reveal much. This dress hit perfectly at my knees.

I'm in my usual size medium for these shots. The skirt was loose but the top portion fit perfectly so I would stick with my true size. This dress is very sunny yellow. Not neon, but certainly not mustard either. Think sunshine.

Here are those pockets I mentioned:

The color works well for a brunette, even in the caves of the 5th Ave fitting rooms in Flatiron (NYC). This dress is cute and flattering and a definite wishlist item for me!

Astrid Dress ($178) by The Addison Story, TTS
Style #: 28520633; black (001)

Apologies for the dark quality of these photos. This shadowy figure is the Astrid Dress ($178), a cool faux-leather and polyester dress by the Addison story. Basically this is a skater dress with a leatheresque top. It's a cool idea and well-executed. Among the things these cave shots do show better than the website are the diagonal lines across the skirt, there for no other reason than to create movement I suppose.

Since we're not dealing with real leather this dress is an unholy mix of nylon, polyurethane, viscose, elastine and polyester. The top portion is shaped like a tank top with a visible but monotone back zipper. It nips in considerably at the waist and speaking of the nips there's a dart over each cup of the bust. The skirt is pure skater, with triangle pleats and a flowy finish. The dress hits above the knee, about two inches on me. (I'm 5'8".)

My usual size medium fit pretty well. I always have an issue with leather tops sitting up off my chest and back and this dress was no different even though the leather is fake. The material doesn't bend well. But there is ample room for larger busts and I consider that a win! There are no pockets sadly. I am short-waisted and the torso was just long enough on me, hitting right above my natural waist.

A fun feminine shape gets a tough makeover. I'm digging it, but I'm not sure how Anthropologie this dress is. What are your thoughts?

Jadeite Dress ($198) by Leifsdottir, size down
Style #: 28615607; green (030)

Green Giant jokes come to mind in the Jadeite Dress ($198) which seems like a potentially fun holiday dress a few months early. There's not much to this dress -- nylon lace over a polyester shell with a rayon t-top. There is a pretty bow in back! As simple as this dress is and as much as it reminds me of AstroTurf, it's also really fun. It hits me an inch above the knees.

If you're preggo this dress is a good maternity option. It doesn't skim of sit close to any part of the body. I tried on a 6 which is my usual size. I'd go down to a 4, which is typically what I wear in Leifsdottir. The 6 was big all over and while it looks good I think the overall shape would be better in a 4. Don't be afraid to size down.

The loveliest green may be a bit much when it's the only color in a dress. Still, this dress is another addition to the wishlist!

Geranium Crochet Dress ($88) by Lilka, size down
Style #: 28886588; red (060)

Although the Geranium Crochet Dress ($88) belongs at Free People and not Anthropologie in my mind, there is no denying its summery appeal. A double-layered top stands off the body while a rayon jersey base layer spills into a gently pleated skirt.

For me, the biggest difference between what's online and what you get in real life is that the top appears much freer and larger than the skirt online. But in real life they're about equal width and that leaves potential for looking just a bit boxy. Or rectangularly.

Like most Lilka dresses this one runs large. I'm one size down in a small here and it felt very comfortable. The red is a nice and vibrant like a cherry. Will it fade with washings? Perhaps. The dress hit me just above the knees. My one real complaint is that the top seems to emphasize the bust. I'm not really into that.

Cute, comfy and cost-effective. Can't ask for much more from a late summer dress!

Have you tried on any of the dresses in this reviews set? Purchased any of them? Share your thoughts in the comments! Looking for more dress reviews? I've tried on many of Anthro's current assortment -- click here or the "REVIEWS" link in the top navigation bar.