Reviews: Marisol Maxi Dress, Poema Lace Dress, Embellished Drop-Waist Dress, Midnight Romance Midi Dress, Expressionist Sheath, Mitered Stripe Dress

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Trying on the Poema Lace Dress ($228) and more in-store.

It's been awhile since I'd been to an Anthropologie store for more than a quick in-and-out run. On a few recent trips I tried a bunch of stuff on, with more trips to store this weekend! Inside we begin with dresses.

Marisol Maxi Dress ($228) by Sachin + Babi, TTS
Style No. 4130200892121, black motif (009)

Note: My sizing is currently floating -- I started a muscle-toning exercise regimen back in June! For reference I am currently sitting at 34-29-38, size 6/M in sweaters, 6 in dresses and 29/30 in pants, 34D. I am 5'8".

In my humble opinion Anthropologie's catalogue shot of the Marisol Maxi Dress ($228) hides all of its best features while the product shot does a great job of highlighting those features! This polyester maxi has a cut-in halter top along with a pleated long skirt and a defined black waistband. I love the way the diamond shapes are one size on the top portion and another size down below though if we're being honest for my body type I wish the bigger diamonds were on top.

I grabbed my usual size 6 to try on as well as an 8. In the photos above I'm in the size 6 for the left two shots and the 8 for the far right detail shot. I've grown so frustrated with Anthropologie's short bodices as of late. This dress is the closest I've come in months to finding a dress where the waist actually hits right about at the waist. Thank you Sachin + Babi!

Although entirely polyester with a poly lining this dress feels pretty luxurious on. It's long and flowy with a skirt that moves brilliantly through the air. I noticed that on the production version the front-most pleat seems to be set slightly higher, bringing it forward visually. Notice how one panel in my pictures seems to stand out? It looks a little weird but after fussing with it at home I got the skirt to settle in a more pleasant way. There's one photo review on Anthro's site and I noticed her dress did the same thing.

The length is great for my 5'8" frame. It's somewhat difficult to zip all the way up alone but I managed OK in the fitting room. The only difference I felt between the 6 and the 8 was that the 8 had some extra room between my bust and waist, so I feel my usual size 6 is the better fit. Both are tight across the bust but this is always how this brand fits me. The waist is also pretty small -- delightful for an hourglass like me but perhaps not comfy for everyone. I wish the skirt had a slit. Easy enough to add I suppose.

I was so delighted with this dress that I decided to buy it right away! It's in my closet now and I'll be wearing it an event tomorrow night, with a blue sweater slung over it and a pair of almond suede booties. I can also see wearing this to work with a blazer. The bra I was wearing is clearly not the right match for this dress; I'll be wearing this bra underneath it tomorrow -- love the way the back can clasp into an adjustable racerback!

Poema Lace Dress ($228) by Moulinette Soeurs, TTS
Style No. 4130335968402; ivory (011)

The Poema Lace Dress ($228) is getting pretty rave reviews on Anthro's site. I felt less impressed. Online this dress looks white with a slim skirt. In real life it was more of a dirty ivory (seriously, does this dress not look like it already needs a wash?!?) and the skirt was poufed way out, thanks to the bottom tulle layer which I guess didn't have time to settle before it went to the rack. When I saw it I was thinking this cannot be the same dress. Yet it is.

I'm in a 6 here which felt fine. The top part is sheer and the bodice isn't completely opaque either so I would not recommend wearing a blue bra underneath it as I did. But I did like the overall length of the dress, hitting an inch below my knees and the sleeve style. It's a pretty dress with lots of lovely details to admire up close. The back is particularly beautiful. It's made from an unholy mix of rayon and nylon.

That said this dress isn't really my style. With a shrug, back to the rack it went.

Embellished Drop-Waist Dress ($228) by Hemant & Nandita, TTS
Style No. 4130337191616; yellow (079)

It amuses me to no end that Anthropologie, masters of the allusive product name, chose to name this dress the Embellished Drop-Waist Dress ($228). Perhaps rectangular dress would have worked too. This dress is printed silk with a lining and plenty of embellishments. The colors were sadly drab in real life compared to what the product shot online promises.

I'm not sure there's a lot for me to say about this dress aside from it's not for my body shape at all. It hides every curve. It's obviously pinned back in the product shot but in reality you can't walk around like that. (Or maybe you can...the next trend!) The neckline is very wide which isn't super flattering for a larger bust and it's too high anyway. The shape of the skirt is very cute though the dress overall is quite short; mini length at best. I've noticed Anthropologie has gotten more honest about calling dresses mini dresses what they are -- this one belongs in that category too.

I'm in a size 6 for the photos above. That's my typical dress size and it was fine here, though not especially pretty on me. No thank you -- back to the rack you go! This dress would likely be very cute on a straighter body shape.

Midnight Romance Midi Dress ($565) by Zimmerman, size down
Style No. 4130241187947; black (001)

I was seriously delighted to find the Midnight Romance Midi Dress ($565) as I've been coveting it since the holiday season. I just wish I had better news to report on the look and fit. All this served to do was remind me that high necklines and tea length are not my friend most times. Oh well.

Let's start with the material because for five hundred sixty-five dollars I feel like this stuff needs to sing. It's cotton-silk with a cotton lining which mystifies me because it looked like shiny cheap shellacked poly in real life. Did not look quality at all.

Fitwise, I've found Zimmerman runs large and this dress was no exception. I'm in my usual size medium here but it was loose all over -- a small would have been better. I keep looking at the model shot of this dress and then back to my photos and just laughing. This dress is nothing I'd hoped it'd be. It's too long and the skirt is too big to work on me; the neckline is too high as mentioned before. Also the top half has no layering cami so any bra is going to show through.

I'm thankful Anthropologie had this dress in-store for me to try on (it was the Fifth Ave store in NYC in case anyone is wondering, home of the worst fitting room lighting ever). I just wish it had worked as well as I'd dreamed. Instead, pass.

Expressionist Sheath ($168) by Tabitha, size up
Style No. 4130015125729; black motif (009)

Ah, Tabitha. Thank you for being reliably wonderful! The Expressionist Sheath ($168) has a cool pattern that's so awesome it even manages to hide the ugly exposed zipper by way of all the colors and the slashes and the boldness of the pattern.

The dress is lined cotton and unlike some sheaths that are just straight, this dress has a nipped waist. It's awesome. Of course that made for a really close fit. I'm in a 6 here and yes I'm totally sucking in my belly for these shots. I'd need an 8 to breathe. That's totally fine with me though -- this dress is work-appropriate for less conservative offices like the one I'm now working out of. It's a little short though for work -- hitting a couple of inches above the knee. Argh I do wish it was just a little longer.

Lovely, tailored, impeccable fit. One star off for exposed zips and wanting the dress to be a little longer. SO close, Anthro, so close. Wishlisted!

Mitered Stripe Dress ($168) by Maeve, TTS
Style No. 4130335960498; black & white (018)

Anthropologie usually has one (or you know, seven) cute chevron dresses for the warm-weather seasons. It's getting the ball rolling early this year with the Mitered Stripe Dress ($168). This dress is a thick sturdy cotton that's fully lined. Right in the waist is a cinched-in design detail that makes the skirt slightly pregnantly poufy from the side. Overall though between the v-neck and the perfectly pleated skirt this one's ultra-flattering for most body types.

I felt great in my usual size 6. I can see getting a lot of mileage out of a dress like this! It can easily be dressed or up or down, it hits me at the perfect spot across the knees, the neckline isn't too deep and it's about as comfy as a dress can get.

No complaints about this one, I just already own something really similar. Back to the rack with this one but not for any other reason!

Quick review of the Emerald Facet Flared Dress ($168) -- see it on me here: I ordered this dress atthe last minute to be my New Year's Eve Dress. It was a case where I was actually impressed by Anthro's order fulfillment -- I ordered it early on the 30th with UPS overnight and it made it to me on the 31st early in the morning. HOORAY!

The dress fits like a dream. It's very sequiny and sparkly yes. The bow in back is beyond adorable. The top black part is a little sheer, but everything is placed perfectly so you can still wear a regular bra with this dress and I love that! It's short for everyday but a great party length, hitting me about 2.5 inches above my knees. I'll rewear this dress next year at holiday parties galore! A great full price buy.

Dresses I'm excited to try on next: the Flared Jacquard Dress ($248) even with its low back; the Bloomline Shift ($178); the Gathered Ponte Sheath ($198); the Elisabeth Ruched Dress ($178) which I'll be ordering in the next week or so if my size pops back; the Pianosa Dress ($148); the Cross-Plaid Silk Dress ($298) which might also be part of my next order.

What dresses have caught your eye lately? Which ones would you like to see reviewed next?