Reviews: Nava Cowl Tank, Smocked Eyla Buttondown, Patchworked Lace Tee, Gia Tunic, Floriated Cowlneck, Melia Peplum Tee

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Floriated Cowlneck ($68) hints that spring may soon be in the air.
As I type this I'm wearing three sweaters and wrapped up in a faux fur blanket.
But you know...someday. Spring. Maybe.

Note: No new sale this morning -- maybe tomorrow? We'll play the Sale Guessing Game again later today! Today is the last day for extra 25% off sale.

Anthropologie's March 2015 catalogue is filled with shorts and light, flowy dresses which can mean only one thing: winter is being firmly denied and pushed out of retailers minds. I'm willing to play along I suppose. Tops can be layered; tights can be worn under skirts for now.

Inside, the latest round of reviews from Anthropologie's cavelike 5th Ave (NYC) and decently-lit Rockefeller Center fitting rooms.

Nava Cowl Tank ($68) by Deletta, TTS
Style No. 4112336414035; grey (004, on me); blue (040)

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".

Each year since about 2012 Deletta fits me a bit differently -- this year is starting off consistently at least. On me above you see the Nava Cowl Tank ($68), a cute textured cowlneck that from afar looks wavy chevron and up close is line upon line of tiny 3-D pleats that stand up off the base material. This tank is rayon-spandex-poly and normally I'd complain loudly about the materials but for this top they are exactly the right choice -- it's forgiving in every way it should be and body-skimming without going overboard. So nicely done, Anthro, if you're going to deploy synthetics this is the way to do it!

The cowl portion of the top is small, which leaves it layered in small pools of fabric as opposed to going overboard the way some cowlnecks can. The top is so nice and long, hitting even with my wrists for a very pleasing sight. Via a combo of pattern, print and stretch this top highlights all my curves while concealing any lumps and bumps I don't want to show off.

I am wearing my true size medium in the grey above and it fit great! The top is machine washable though I do fear it may shrink a bit, which would be a shame since it's the perfect length for me. My back was fully covered. This top would get so much use! Tuck it into a pencil skirt for work or slacks with a blazer over it; wear it over a leather/faux skirt for a night out...just about anything really. I only saw the grey version in-store but the blue looks like a beautiful deep oceanic gem that I'd be more likely to buy.

A winner for me -- I can't give it 5 stars because I wasn't totally dying over it, but I do like it a lot and will probably buy it this month in the blue. For now, wishlisted!

Smocked Eyla Buttondown ($88) by Meadow Rue, TTS
Style No. 4112317999706; grey (004, on me); rose (065)

The Smocked Eyla Buttondown ($88) is indeed by Meadow Rue, though I was sure this was a Tiny top when I first saw it. Although this version you see on me purports to be grey I'm going to have to note that it has definitive lavender undertones. Periwinkle might have been a better color descriptor. It's pure cotton textured and embroidered in different ways along its western bib neckline and the placket. Speaking of the placket, good lord I could not get it to sit straight! Any time I moved it pulled apart into the annoying waves you see in these photos. Initially I assumed it was a matter of sizing but I noticed on the rack that all the shirts were doing the same thing. So if you plan on not moving at all this shirt will be fine, but otherwise be prepared for wavy placket bliss.

I am wearing a medium here, which is the size I typically wear in tops. It was very loose in back and comfortable through the front, shoulders and sleeves. The sleeves have button tabs so you can make them a little longer than the 3/4 length I have them in. But they do not make it all the way down to the wrist. Since this shirt is cotton it's nice and soft, and you can leave the top couple of buttons undone as I have here to make a very flattering small v-neck. I wish it were an inch or two longer, as long as the layering tank I'm wearing underneath.

I can't get past the button pulling issue on this top though. A likely pass for me. Back to the rack this went.

Somewhere during Anthropologie's production process, someone in their design or buyers department decided that this seriously cute 3/4 sleeve tee...

Patchworked Lace Tee ($68) by Meadow Rue, TTS
Style No. 4112265747747; ivory (011, on me), light grey (004), blue (040), medium pink (068)
☆☆☆☆☆ because I'm angry; but really ★★☆☆ 

...should become this way less-appealing short-sleeved  Patchworked Lace Tee ($68). Alright, fine, I still liked the short-sleeve version OK. I'm so mad that Anthropologie teased us with 3/4 sleeves though! Each one serves a purpose -- this short-sleeve version I tried will look fantastic paired with shorts for instance. I'm just grumpy because I like the 3/4 sleeve version and wanted that one instead.

Serious miscalculation on Anthropologie's part, both to chop the sleeve length and to put up a product shot that doesn't accurately reflect the item. Big time boo for that!

Rant over, let's move on to the top itself. This Meadow Rue tee has a beautiful scalloped v-neckline with a lace panel around it, a basic heathered front that's decently thick and a very cool lace and swiss-dot paneled back. The short sleeves are a little shorter than I'd like but workable. The top overall is shorter in front and longer in back (whyyyyyyy?). The front is too short -- my layering tank is a good 3 inches longer and that's where I'd want it to hit.

The back is fine...

....and it does make for a cool tail effect. I'm wearing a medium here, the size I normally take in tops. It fit well. You can see my dark grey layering tank showing through -- the back is part open knit and though there is a layering panel below it, it too is sheer. And the front is heathered so it's a bit thin. I doubt a nude or white bra would show through but dark grey sure does. (You can see the layering panel on the product page by clicking on the light grey version of the tee.)

Admittedly, even with short sleeves I dig this top. I wish the color options were better -- omnipresent ivory, sleepy grey, dull blue and red aren't exactly doing it for me. How about sunny yellow? Or vivid blue or red? Like the next top I'm about to try on...

Gia Tunic ($88) by Akemi + Kim, TTS
Style No. 4112336417756; red motif (069)

I adore the Gia Tunic ($88) -- the colors, the length, the waistband. (If only that waistband hit in the right spot -- it's very close though!) Hourglass shapes rejoice as this top defines the waist and has juuusssstttt enough room to go over my hips. There are lots of brilliant design elements on this tunic, from the way the pattern up top meets center and side neckline to the sleeves which end right at the waist to draw the eye inward to the simpler black and white design over my hips to slim. Very nicely done! Unfortunately this top is an unholy mix of rayon, nylon, spandex, polyester and who knows what else. It feels slippery on and the top has a coat of sheen to it, though it's not overpowering. Certainly not ideal but likely done to saturate the bold blues and red on the top.

I'm in a medium here which fit perfectly -- I'm relieved this top fit over my hips as I feared it would not. There's a small paisley pattern on the red part which is hard to see in these photos, though it does not fight for attention with the other patterns. It's very thin but opaque, and a fantastic length. I doubt this would be long enough for a dress on even the most petite in our community though I'm sure someone could prove me wrong. (As mentioned in the top review I'm 5'8".)

This top is beautiful and would look great over either leggings (for now) or a pair of embellished black shorts (later). Thinking about it -- wishlisted!!

Floriated Cowlneck ($68) by Meadow Rue, size down
Style No. 4112211814354; yellow (079)

Although the lighting makes the Floriated Cowlneck ($68) look kind of sloppy, I was very pleased with this top on. It has all the elements of a top that should not work on me -- namely the overly fluttery sleeves, soft cowlneck and huge print across the front. And yet somehow it all came together in a sorta pleasing way.

When I first saw this top I thought it looked short, however once I got it on I was surprised to discover how nice and long it is! I love the way that the longest part of the flutter sleeves connects to the body of the shirt right at the waist. The huge flower print takes up just about all of the front. I am in my usual size medium here, however it was pretty roomy through the shoulders and I think I'd size down to a small to see if that works better.

I notice that the product page notes that this top has a cinched back and a banded hem. I can tell you for sure that it does not have a banded hem. However, the cinched back I'm not so sure about. I don't think so...I'm a very bad blogger and I didn't check which makes me think it didn't, because that's the kind of detail I'd notice. However I can't remember for sure. Next time I'm in the store I'll double check.

Here's how the sleeve looks:

Cool right? I wish this top was cotton jersey instead of rayon jersey, but it's still pretty cute. Wishlsited for reconsideration at sale time. (It'll be awhile before this top hits sale, trust me.)

Sometimes I see an Anthropologie product photo and immediately get an idea set in my head of how an item will look in real life. Take the Melia Peplum Tee ($58) for example. After seeing the photo above I assumed it was going to be a thicker cotton on top with a chiffon peplum, with a somewhat defined waist and a pleasing peplum.

Whoa boy, was I ever wrong.

My nemesis model (who I'm sure is lovely in real life, it's just that anything that looks good on her looks awful on me) sums it up pretty nicely -- vacant stare, smile slowly turning to confusion and despair, wide waist, wtf peplum.

Melia Peplum Tee ($58) by Meadow Rue, size down
Style No. 4112264363738; white (010, on me), nude (013), dark grey (005), mint (102)

I can see why I missed this top on my own -- it is much thinner than I what I was expecting, not at all what I'd hoped it'd be. Especially with such favorable reviews online, I'm totally bummed out by what the Melia Peplum Tee ($58)  is in real life. It's very thin slubby cotton with a wrinkly peplum (wrinkly mostly because this one came from backstock to be fair).

Good points: the deep v-neck is beautiful but not too revealing, I love the chiffon trim along the neckline and the bib down the front of the shirt. Also, although this top has a high-low peplum I was delighted by the side silhouette -- a top that somehow does not make me look pregnant from the side! Relief.

In fact this top does have many thoughtful fit details, it's just so thin and fragile I can't help but feel let down. I'm in my usual size medium here, however it's very loose across the waist and I think I'd go down to a small to buy, assuming a small fit me in the sleeves. I think it would. Still, I wouldn't buy this top at full price.

Some better color choices would also be appreciated. Deep teal, kelly green, maybe a golden orange? You can surely do better than nude and grey Anthro. For now, this top went right back to the rack.