Reviews: Rosette Skirt, Scalloped Leather Skater Skirt, Vegan Leather Mini, Ponte Bell Skirt, Peplum Snake Skirt, AG Stevie Cords, AG Farrah High-Rise Skinny Jeans

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Peplum: Woman's best friend? Or arch nemesis?
The Peplum Snake Skirt ($278) reviewed  -- shown here with the Aida Cowlneck ($78, review).

There's no point in having a closet full of amazing tops if you have nothing to wear on the bottom. So this reviews set is all about Anthropologie's Fall 2013 skirts and jeans, with another set on the way soon.



Rosette Skirt ($158) by Yoana Baraschi, TTS
Style #: 29473311; green motif (038)
★★★☆

Note: For sizing reference I am 34-29-38, size 8 in skirts, 29 in pants with a 34D cup. I am 5'8".

One nice thing about Yoana Baraschi is that the brand fits very consistently. If you've tried on one dress you're confident that's the size you need in all YB dresses. Same with skirts. Here we have the Rosette Skirt ($158), the latest in Ms. Baraschi's long line of pencil skirts. Like the Embroidered Fiore Pencil Skirt ($158, review) this skirt has an elastic waist with a bit of give through the hips and a slightly tapered pencil shape cascading to just above the knee. It's not nearly as short as it looks on the statuesque Anthropologie website model! A scalloped hemline is a cute touch; the skirt is also fully lined. There's a side zipper to take the skirt on and off. The pattern is a pretty gold woven in metallic thread set off of a teal base. This pattern may look old-fashioned to some. For me, it feels luxurious.

This skirt has just a touch of stretch to it. I felt great in my usual size 8. With pencil skirts my main concern is always how I'll feel after lunch. Will the waistline dig into my digesting stomach? Or will I be able to breathe? With this skirt the answer is day-long comfort and that's much appreciated! The polyester material (with a poly lining) is a letdown but understandable. My one knock is that the pattern is completely mismatched at the side seams.

Here's a full-body shot:


I think this skirt is beautiful, mostly due to the color. I already own two blue pencil skirt but this one has a spot on my wishlist anyway! Tempation, temptation.


Scalloped Leather Skater Skirt ($398) by Leifsdottir, TTS
Style #: 29177938; green (030)
★★★☆

Every Anthropologie item has some kind of a twist. With the Scalloped Leather Skater Skirt ($398) the twist is that the leather is green! Green...? A green leather skirt. Somehow it works. Don't think Kermit green. Think dark conifer needles. No light will trick the eye into seeing this skirt black, but it's not obtrusive either. It's a really cool color choice.

Leifsdottir has been making fun leather skirts for years. My beloved Rosewood Leather Skirt (OOTD) has been a 4-season workhorse but it's too big on me now. I'm looking for a replacement. Would this Scalloped Leather Skirt be it? Called a skater skirt it has that fluted shape via four box panels on top of a scalloped peplum bottom panel. There's a side zip. This skirt is definitely a mini. It hit me about 3-3.5 inches above my knees. The leather is soft and buttery but will need tender care -- I'm sure it will be susceptible to discoloration if, say, you scratch it up against a hard surface. It is unlined. I reached for my normal size 8 which fit perfectly.

Here is a full-length shot:


This skirt is lovely and I believe leather is worth the investment. Still, I'm a little unsure about the cool green color. I can't imagine wearing dark green in the summer. So this skirt is wishlisted while I mull it over.


Vegan Leather Mini ($88) by Vanessa Virginia, TTS
Style #: 29302668; blue (040)
★★

I'm sparing with my five-star reviews. If ever a skirt deserved it it's the Vegan Leather Mini ($88)! This skirt is everything I'm skeptical about: 'vegan' leather (aka pleather), not black (it's blue that reads as either inky navy or purple-y blackberry to me) and it's above the knee. Still it's perfection! The thick waistband, slant pockets and slightly curvy shape make this skirt a real winner. The sub-$100 price point helps too.

This skirt doesn't feel anything like leather but it sure looks like it. It has an acetate lining and a rear zip if I'm remembering correctly. The skirt lands a few inches above the knee but because of the shape it seems longer.

You see my in my normal size 8 here which I felt was just the right size. How fun is this skirt?? I wanted to walk right out the door in the outfit I was trying on. (The shirt here is the Creature Feature Top ($48) which I will review soon). There is no back vent in the skirt but it's wide enough at the bottom that it did not slide up as I walked. However, it may twist sideways because the lining is a little slippery. That's a very small complaint though.


Here's how the skirt looks from a little further back:


Oh so sweet and in my cart as we speak!


Ponte Bell Skirt ($128) by Girls from Savoy, sizing questionable
Style #: 28923480; blue motif (049) or 4 other colors
★★☆☆

My streak of good luck with Anthropologie's skirts came to a grinding halt with the Ponte Bell Skirt ($128), a piece which confounded me so. It feels like I might be stuck between sizes but the two sizes (XS/S and M/L) are so incredibly different that it's hard to compare them.

Before we talk sizing let's talk material. The skirt is polyester with a stiff elastic waist. Though it's elasticized there's not a ton of give to the waist; it wants to hug you as tightly as possible. I feel that's a good thing, especially if you have a tinier waist to larger hips proportion like I do. So many skirts want to run up my ribcage or slide down onto my hips, but this one stayed solidly in place on my waist, waist, waist. That is so nice! I also love that this skirt is machine washable. Not enough of Anthro's pieces are right now. That would be OK if there was more silk and such, but all the poly without the machine washability is a travesty.

But then there is the sizing quandary. I'm in the medium/large in the photos above and I think that's the right size. A little pressing is in order to get this skirt less cupcake wrapper and more pleated petals. But I like how it hits just above the knee and sits nicely at the waist. I also tried on the xsmall/small which fit better on my waist but was obscenely short on me. At first I thought maybe I'd just gotten a bad skirt so I asked for another XS/S and that's when I noticed that the smaller size is one ring shorter than the M/L. Why? No clue. It takes the skirt from workable to WTF in an instant. The shortness is fine for evening but this strikes me a as more of a day skirt.

The short story: love the waistband, love the idea of this skirt, unconvinced by the execution. I'd love to hear the community's thoughts on this skirt. What has your experience with it been?


Peplum Snake Skirt ($278) by Nanette Lepore, size up
Style #: 27863190; black and white (018)
★★☆☆☆

I feel selfishly relieved that even Anthropologie's website model is having a bit of trouble with the Peplum Snake Skirt ($278), a skirt that looks so cool on the hanger but has a tricky fit. (No offense meant, Ms. Model.) I like faux snakeskin heels a lot (these Rachel Roy pumps are the top of my shoe wishlist right now) but in clothing it's more difficult to pull off. Still Ms. Lepore has done it right by me. Print screens are ever more popular, especially when symmetrically mirrored. This skirt has just that type of pattern and the result is a cool Rorschach of chiaroscuro.

Someone recently asked me about brands that have been letting me down and sadly Nanette Lepore is among them. I love that the brand is Made in the USA, it makes me want to buy so much more! But everything from this brand has been so short lately. This skirt is supposedly 18 inches long but it feels shorter. Not only that, there's no back vent so it's a pain to walk in and it hugs thighs oddly. I feel the peplum detail is well-done and the pattern placement is good. My normal size 8 felt tight so I recommend sizing up.

I wish this skirt fit better and was four inches longer. Sadly, as is it's a pass. If you are a size 6 or 8 (remember, size up) this skirt is currently on sale at Neiman Marcus for $166 before taxes and shipping. For me, back to the rack.


AG Stevie Cords ($168) by AG Jeans, TTS
Style #: 28757557; wine (061) or 5 other colors
★★★☆

Consistent with last year's pricing (but up $10 from 2 years ago), this year's AG Stevie Cords ($168) is the same dependable winter workhorse it's always been. AG kills it with their color assortment. I'm deeply in clothing love with this burnt red wine color -- although interestingly wine used to be much more purple a few years back.

The Stevie fit is tricky for me. It's mid-rise but the back ends right where I'm likely to muffin top so no matter what my size as the pant loosens over the course of the day and slides down from smaller waist to plentiful hourglass hips I often find myself tugging at the back. No belt fixes the issue; no tailor can fix what a higher rise would. Raspberry to that. Still, it's easy to be allured by the beautiful hues and longer length of these pants -- 31" my butt. They have to be at least 33" inseam and 34" seems more likely to me. My petite friends report their version of these pants are also perfectly inseamed. Nice job, AG Jeans!

I know most of the reviews say to size up but I strongly disagree! These cords stretch considerably over the course of the day by a size or more. So even if your normal size requires shimmying, or feels constricting, or makes you suck it in just to get that button done, DO NOT SIZE UP. After a few hours you'll be sorry. Stick with your usual size and trust that it will be the right fit after 10 minutes of sitting down. I'm in my usual 29 here.

You can see a full-body shot of these pants in this recent reviews set. Muffin top be damned -- I'm probably buying these pants.


AG Farrah High-Rise Skinny Jeans ($178) by AG Jeans, TTS
Style #: 28844439; rav (001)
★★★☆

I'm a big fan of the Citizens of Humanity Rocket High Rise Skinny Jeans ($178, review) but it's always nice to have options. Here you see the AG Farrah High-Rise Skinny Jeans ($178) which come in at the same price and have an equally comfortable fit.

Anthropologie's website lists these as having a 29" inseam to the COH's 30-inch inseam. I don't believe it. What I do believe is that the higher rise of these jeans, combined with a nicely tapered fit around the waist, makes these AGs both comfortable and easy to wear. There's something so nice about not fearing the muffin top or bending over. Because while it's fun to flash undies in the privacy of your own home, I'm not a fan of public viewings, you know?

The Farrahs are super soft and have over 90% cotton content with poly and lycra for stretch. These will loosen up over the course of the day, just much less so than the Stevie Cords you just read about. I'm in my usual size 29 for these photos and they felt amazing on.

For comparison, here are the COH Rockets (left) and the Farrahs (right):


The Rockets are slightly darker. Both seem to be equal dust magnets. The Rockets have black stitching to the Farrah's slightly more metallic stitchwork, though both are nearly invisible unless you're very close up. Which pair wins my heart?

...whichever pair hits sale first most likely. If I have to invest at full price my heart is with AG. They are my favorite jeans brand!! Which pair would you go with?