Reviews: Stripeswing Skirt, Ayaka Embroidered Skirt, Drammen Pencil Skirt, Camo Pencil Skirt

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


As I look through my ever-dwindling skirt collection one thing becomes clear: I am less and less tolerant of skirts above the knee. For whatever reason trends and designs over the last 5 years have taken us far below and far above the knee while the classic length I long for remains a white whale of sorts unless it's a body-hugging pencil, which isn't always what I want. On a recent trip around the NYC Anthropologies I tried on a few of the most recently released skirts including the Stripeswing Skirt ($88), above as my hunt continues.




Stripeswing Skirt ($88) by Greylin, TTS
Style #: 4120237432162; blue motif (049)
★★★☆

Note: For sizing reference I am 34-29-38, size 8/M in skirts and 29 in pants. I am 5'8".

Although it hits above the knee, Greylin's Stripeswing Skirt ($88) is at least voluminous enough that it looks nearly knee-length from further away. I've seen this skirt on several SAs around the various NYC Anthropologies, usually paired with a simple shirt and a denim jacket a la the Pilcro Avie Denim Jacket ($128). I'd probably do something along those same lines. Just don't do it with ankle boots a la the model shots online. Ankle boots with skirts, aka stubmakers, need to die. Wear them with slightly rolled jeans...not skirts. Interestingly, Anthropologie declares the color of the skirt to blue blue motif, as in navy stripes, but to me the skirt looked dark grey and white in person.

The material is a thick cotton with polyester mixed in. There's a side zip and a single gold button at the top of the zip. This skirt sat just below the natural waist which is a perfect spot since I have a shorter torso. The stripes aligned pretty well at the side seam on the skirt I tried. They are in a slightly curved frown shape. I was very pleased with the pleating on all the skirts I saw in-store. Gentle and generally in a good spot.

I tried on my usual size 8 which fit wonderfully. Because of the thicker material this skirt isn't very swingy but it does have a pleasing circular shape. I like it! As always, I just wish it were a little longer.

Here's a full-length shot.


So the eye can be fooled into thinking this skirt is knee-length, giving it more possibilities. I don't think I'd pay full price for this skirt. For now, wishlisted! The shirt I'm wearing here is the Micaela Tee ($68, review upcoming) and the necklace is from Free People.


Ayaka Embroidered Skirt ($148) by Maeve, TTS
Style #: 4120317994170; neutral motif (015)
★★★☆

The Ayaka Embroidered Skirt ($148) looked short online so I wasn't surprised by how short it is in real life. This pencil mini has a double-lined cotton shell with lace and then floral embroidery. Along the hemline there is a thick border of medallion lace with tiny pom pom trim. It's completely adorable. The waistband is somewhat thick and there is a back zipper. Best of all this skirt is somehow machine washable. (I'd wash it inside out to be safe.) There is a back vent that is sewn closed in-store; once opened it will make the skirt a little more open at the bottom. It's an ivory color with flowers in peach, pink, yellow, red and purple, plus green stems and leaves.

I tried on both my usual size 8 (shown above) and a 10, hoping the latter would be a little longer. The 10 was maybe a half-inch longer but it was too loose at the waist which I did not like. So I'd stick with my usual size 8 to purchase. The pattern on the skirt does not vary so what you see here is what you'd get. There is a space in the pattern at the side seams. I noticed that on sizes 4 and below there is less white space, I suppose this makes sense but on my 8 the white was almost too plentiful.

Although short, I think this skirt is about the perfect length. If longer it would seem too old-fashioned. The length lends a more modern feel. Here's how it looks in a full length shot:


Pretty good! I'm very tempted to buy this as a weekend skirt. Another one on the wishlist for now. The shirt I'm wearing here is the Micaela Tee ($68, review upcoming) and the necklace is from Free People.


Drammen Pencil Skirt ($188) by La Varenne Sarl, size up
Style #: 4120349891234; black and white (018)
★★☆☆

The Drammen Pencil Skirt ($188) is that skirt that looks ideal for me online, and then doesn't translate in real life. Ah, thighs. You do bedevil me at times. I love the flounced hemline of this pencil and I must say that the pattern is ingeniously deigned to minimize the wider parts of the leg and show off the narrowest spot. I am not sure you can actually walk in this skirt though. It is made from rayon, nylon and spandex. The pattern lines up almost perfectly at the seams. In the back there is a contrast vertical panel where the zipper is. No hiding it! I noticed that the spade pattern right above the knee tends to look stretched out  and blurry from far away no matter what your size; it's doing the same thing on the model online.

This skirt has a very interesting architectural feel that I adore. Sizingwise it's a challenge though. I'm in a large here, one size up from my usual medium. If this skirt stretches over the course of the day a large would be OK -- it was tight but not undoable. However, I'd be more comfortable in an x-large I think. Unfortunately, this skirt only goes up to a large. So...gee, thanks, Anthro.

Here's a full length shot.


I would probably have to wear the skirt with a longer top like the Adoria Buttondown ($118, review upcoming) which sort of defeats the purpose of the skirt. Love the idea. I just need a bit more room. So this one is likely a pass for me.


Camo Pencil Skirt ($148) by Maeve, size up
Style #: 4120265414381; green motif (038)
★★★☆

I hate, hate, hate camo clothing so it's a shock for me to say that I love the Camo Pencil Skirt ($148). I am pretending like it's some kind of animal print instead. And to be fair the bronzy moss-tinted print does sorta look like a funky leopard. This cotton-poly pencil skirt has a back vent, thick and somewhat stretchy waistband and two side stretch panels. There is a concealed rear zip, though you can also pull the skirt on easily.

This skirt runs small. I felt uncomfortably hugged around the butt and over the thighs in my usual size 8. So it's up to a 10 I went for these photos. The skirt cuts across just below the knee, and the waistband is perfect for tucking shirts into. You can adjust the set of the skirt anywhere from above the waist and perhaps down below, though I have a feeling it would slide up with time. I don't think this skirt will stretch much as the day wears on. So size up for sure.

Here's how it looks full length.


Shown here with the Crocheted Heirloom Pullover (now $50, review). This skirt is very impressive! I might even buy it at full price. In my cart as we speak.



Here's a sneak preview for my next Anthropologie dresses reviews set! This maxi dress by Vanessa Virginia isn't online yet but is starting to make its way into stores. There is a black ikat print with splashes of teal. I love the defined ruched waistband and the v-neck that doesn't plunge too deep. Plus, pockets! It's $128. I am in a small here but would probably buy my usual size medium. Full review to come...

What do you think of the skirts in this reviews set?