Friday, August 31, 2012

Anthropologie Reviews - Sahuarita Blouse and Scattered Buttercup Blouse

School just started this week so these are just some quickies:

Sahuarita Blouse (size S)

The back of this is DIVINE. OMG. So sexy and yet understated at the same time. Unfortunately I find the overall shape a little boxy and shapeless and the colors quite drab. This is a size up from my normal size because it's what they had but I think it fit pretty well. I'm not sure I could fit in the XS because of the lack of give in the fabric. Love the back view, snore from the front.

Ugh. Polyester. And woah tight. If you look at the back view you can see how it is PULLING on my back and I am not particularly wide. The general shape is cute and flattering but maybe a little too Little House on the Prairie for me. I think this top would look nicer on someone a little less busty. The pattern is lovely and the color will be very nice for certain skin tones. I can do polyester when it imitates silk but this felt like good ol' slimy polyester so it was a pass!

Sorry for the brevity - so much to do!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Boden Review - Soho Shirt

Another Boden review from the fall collection:

Soho Shirt in Petrol (US4)

I like this blouse. It's actually quite lovely and pretty comfortable. the slight shirring at the sleeves and cuffs makes it feminine and I even appreciate the collar. It's a mix of viscose and silk which makes it feel not entirely like silk but also makes it machine washable - yay! The colors bum me out - they are either too basic or electric shocking red. I thought petrol, which is turning out pretty true to color in these pictures, was the nicest. 

One word of warning - I am very short torsoed and you can see that the shirt barely reaches my low hip. Taller ladies might find this troubling. Even I didn't love it because I think this shirt looks better tucked in. Plus it's a smidge snug on the hips. Overall, a lovely piece.

Anyone else try this top?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anthropologie Review - Dakota Dress

Oh how I wish this dress would make it to 2nd cut and I could find another one. It is so lovely but I'm really not used to paying $80 for a dress (which I know is ridiculous but one gets used to these super sales). I think I probably need to stop buying navy clothing items but I can't help it - like a moth to flame.

Dakota Dress (size 4) from Anthropologie in Navy

The bi-level hem will not be for all but for a shorty like me, I like the short in front long in back. Plus I have a substantial rear so a little extra length in the back never hurts.

I... on ... my... posture.

The little sash that comes with it is darling. I am not usually a fan of girly bows at the waist but this has just enough menswear elements (nice collar, button front, striped sash) to not make it over the top. If you are busty definitely size up. Even if you are not busty I think sizing up is important. Granted my waist is not what it used to be but this dress fits PERFECTLY, and by perfectly I mean I'm not sure I should gain an ounce if I want to wear it. I would have loved to have tried on the size 6 to compare but it is sold out now (normally I am a 2 in just about everything Anthro/JC).

I like this dress because it is a fun twist on a shirtdress and work appropriate for my lifestyle. Neckline is just low enough to be flattering without revealing too much and same with the hemline. The top button does seem prone to popping open but I may just add a little hook and eye or something.

Anyone else own this dress?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ann Taylor Review - sale dresses

I almost never shop at Ann Taylor. I like their clothes but I'd rather wait for something special at J Crew or Anthro to go on sale. Still, I think AT has workwear down. I wish they would stop making stuff out of polyester however. I mean everything. Not good. I did find some really cute clearance dresses although I wouldn't say they were work appropriate at all :)

Poolside Shift Dress (PXS) in Ocean Dive
Okay this is the worst pose ever. I look constipated. If I wasn't so lazy or had any extra time I would retake it but alas here it is. I think I'm trying to show how it really is a straight up and down shift dress.

The color on this is DIVINE. I love love love it. And although many people are not fans of the exposed zipper I sort of secretly love them. The fabric is a THINK ponte knit and it feels great and retains its shape well. it's sort of weird to wear that sort of fabric with no sleeves. I'm not sure where I would wear this or why I would need it but because it is both comfortable and colorful I'm a little in love. The length is perfect (as petite length in dresses always are for me at AT and LOFT, pants not so much).

I bought this because I am a pianist and always looking for comfortable non-constrictive clothes that are black for concerts. I thought this would fit the bill perfectly but my husband thought it might be a little too "sexy-time" for playing. He might be right. I love the ruching although I think it looks a little pregnant from the side and it bugs me when something is ruched on the front and then all plain looking on the back. I returned it but might regret it.

I have been finding lots of cute things at Ann Taylor lately and am welcoming the idea of shopping somewhere to shop besides J Crew and Anthropologie. Their pieces are classic and the fit is pretty good. Sale prices need to come down a bit more (IMO).

Anyone else find Ann Taylor attractive for clothes?

Monday, August 27, 2012

J. Crew - the Workwear Edition

I'm starting a new job in about a week although it is exciting it is also super stressful! I just got my schedule and now running around like a proverbial chicken with its head cut off to find care for my daughter. It's hard to remember how excited I was when I was offered the chance to work at a new school what with all the logistics! To reignite that flame, I decided to try on some workwear at J Crew. I NEVER try on this stuff since it is sort of ridiculous for my lifestyle but I think I could work something like this into my life once in a while. Here's what I tried:

Tippi Cardigan in Colorblock (XS) in fuschia burgundy
Okay clearly this is not limited to workwear but I find myself sort of obsessed with cardigans in the fall/winter. The tippi is a really lovely basic cardigan. A wardrobe staple if you will. Certainly not super exciting but has a nice fit and tight weave and comes in a huge array of colors.

Emmaleigh Dress in Super 120s (size 2) in black 

This dress made me want to quit my job and become a lawyer! It is divine! My usual size 2 did feel a bit snug in both the chest (notice it sort of rippling in the side view shot) and the waist. I was too lazy to size up and have a feeling I might not like it as much if it wasn't as fitted. That being said, do I really want to worry about how much I've eaten all day so I can look good in my dress?

Love the sleeve details - so cute! This is a very flattering and comfortable dress. I almost felt like I could size down in this one because of the extra room around the hips but am thinking perhaps a petite size might work better. Lovely and comfortable!

Very cute and the neckline is fun but I thought it looked too prom or formal to me. I mean the material says work but the color and neckline say something else to me. Plus The stitching over the folds was already coming undone. Boo. I can see why it's sold out though - a fun take on traditional work wear.

And so ends my inspiring visit to JC :) Later this week... Boden, TJMaxx and Anthro!

Monday, August 20, 2012

J Crew Reviews - A few new arrivals

I can't believe the summer is over and fall is quickly approaching. I live for the long lazy days of summer but fall fashion certainly eases the blow of returning to school and a more active work schedule! Slipped into J Crew to return a few things that didn't work and here is what I found.

French Hen Sweater (XXS) in Acorn Blue
Granted this sweater is a size smaller than I usually take but it is quite a tight weave so felt particularly small. The wool is also quite scratchy. I am in the love camp of animals on sweaters but the acorn color is a bit off. I would call if sort of caramel but whatever color it is it is not good on my skin tone. See if on Gigi here.

Paisley Applique Top (XXS) in Ivory 
Again, this is a size smaller than I would usually try on but there were no XS. The neckline is too high for my taste and although the applique is interesting the shirt felt sort of cheap. In the right size it would be fine but nothing too extraordinary.

Sandwashed Silk Tee (size 2) in Festival Blue
I had such high hopes for this! I'm a little obsessed with silk tops these days. I think the cut is maybe too plain. Plus the fit is a bit too loose. I don't think sizing down will help as the shoulders would be too tight. The silk was very soft.

Tie-Neck Top in Dot (size 2 or 4)
It's a sweet little top but I find it annoying you can't unbutton it and wear the tie a little more loosely. You can really only wear it with the tie up around the neck. Would look great tucked into some wide-legged trousers. 

Jules Dress in Colorblock (size 2) in festival blue navy 
Oh the Jules Dress! I am determined to have it work for me in one of its many iterations but so far... no success!! The silk is lovely and I actually think this might have worked if the pockets had been on the front instead of on the side. They simply added too much bulk on the side and I know I would spend the day sticking my hands in my pockets to make sure they lay flat.

jules dress in colorblock (size 0) 
Definitely liked the fit of the 0 better although I have to remember to suck in my mommy gut when I take pictures of myself. Geez.

Okay for some reason I can't find this on the website but it's definitely a casual cutie. I'm really not into denim except as jeans but I dig this style. I think I would probably belt it. It was pretty TTS/maybe slightly small.

That's all I found for now. I'm praying that the Jules Dress in Silk Scarf Foulard actually gets marked down low enough to purchase at some point. I think that may be my Jules!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Boden Review - Fall Arrivals

Hard to believe fall is around the corner and I have to say it is a relief! I LOVE summer but do not love it as a time for fashion. I basically end up bumming around in shorts and t-shirts or maybe little light dresses but that's about it. No use in getting gussied up to get dirty at the playground. Fall, however, is another story. Layers! Button-down shorts! Cute cardigans! And real shoes! Ahh.... love it. Feeling inspired a tried a few new items from Boden.

Martha Dress in Navy Cosmic Spot (Petite 4)

So, I think this dress is very cute although the price tag is a bit high for rayon. It is fully lined which is a bonus. I really like the length of the petite because I prefer to show a little leg but I did feel like the underbust seam barely fit under my bust. In general, it was quite tight through the shoulders even though I am not particularly large up there. I'm not sure if this is a problem with the petite or if it means I should go up a size to US6 (which I often have to do with Boden). The print is quite charming and not quite as -in-your-face as other Boden prints which I really like. 

Swishy Jersey Skirt in Charcoal Spot (US4) 

I am generally not a fan of polka dots or midi skirts but this one is SO cute AND comfortable. I didn't it put it on too carefully so that's why it looks like it's riding up in the 2nd pic (okay, and also because I have a bubble butt...). I actually find this skirt to be quite flattering and it goes with anything/everything.  Do wish it came in a navy but the Charcoal is nice. I did reorder a US2 which I have never worn in Boden because the waist on this one is running big. Will review that along with a silk shirt when they come!

Anyone else find some Boden fall must-haves?

This weekend I will be hitting the Boden Warehouse Sale in Boston - so excited! We'll see what I can turn up there...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Boden - Big Button Tunic Review

Oh big button tunic, if only your colors were not so bright and your pattern not so bold. This shirt is so beautifully made and very flatteringly tailored. The price is so right - $20.40!!! But, for me this print is just too much. It seems like a good idea and then I can just see it sitting in my closet forever. But, if big prints are your thing - rush to get this shirt! The cotton is crisp and the fit is lovely - slightly tapered at waist, really beautiful.

Big Button Tunic (size US 6)

Big button tunic in Ocean Spring Flowers (US 4) 

 Big Button Tunic in Ocean Spring Flowers (US 6)

I thought both the 6 and the 4 fit fine. The 6 was a little more comfortable throughout the shoulder/chest area and both were shaped nicely through the waist so I'd say you could go with either of your Boden sizes but maybe the bigger if you don't want to feel constricted.

LOVE it just wish they could make it in a more subtle pattern.

Anyone else able to make this shirt work?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Anthropologie Reviews!

I've basically spent the past year being obsessed with Anthropologie but I think I may finally be burning out! I love the idea of their clothes but I've been having so many fit issues I'm starting to get frustrated. what kind of body can wear a big shapeless sack? I don't know, but it's not mine. I'm excited to see more of their fall/winter offerings, however, because I usually find them more compelling than summer offerings which are a bit too floral/whimsical/vintagey for me.

Marbled Blouse (size 2)
It is shocking to me that this blouse has gotten so many good reviews. I LOVE the print and colors - absolutely gorgeous - like you're underwater. But, the fit is terrible. Short and boxy. I could have sized down but I think I would have needed more than that to make this look good.

Gazania Blouse (size 4) 
I think the colors in this are to die for. I mean I am IN LOVE. I had tried this on before in a size 0 and size 2 and both laid oddly. This definitely felt like the right size but the cowl neck is so weird! It looks okay in the photo but it sort of just lays flat against you in stead of draping like a true cowlneck. So sad because I just adore the pattern on the silk.

Print is adorable. Obviously super sheer. Like the details at the neck. Just too drapey and shapeless. Do I detect a theme here?

 Aerial Terra Top in Blue Motif (XS)

It's cute, especially from the back. Just not special enough for me to take home. Plus the whole racerback thing is hard for me to do since apparently no one wants to make racerback bras for the more amply endowed.

Glimmered Pointelle Pullover (XS) in Coral
 Now this me likey. I'm sort of loving this open stitch sweater thing that seems to be going on right now. And the color is gorgeous! plus I love a little sparkle in my sweater. Fit is very flattering and TTS. Wishlisted for sale.

Sky Trails Maxi Dress (Small Petite)

 The petite size is great for 5'4" me. I think it needs a belt for sure. It's really interesting but I found that a) the way the fabric had to overlap just right under my arms to hide my bra was strange and b) the top portion just wasn't that flattering. It was very comfortable and the color is great.

Stone Harbor Dress in Turquoise (size 2)

Oh my. I don't even know what to say. The waist came up way too high and yet was in between an empire waist and a regular waist. Quite strange. I felt like I should be in a big tub stomping grapes to make wine and some remote European town.

Anyone else try some of these items? Anyone able to make the Gazania blouse work?