Monday, April 29, 2013

Zara Floral Printed Dress Review

As soon as I saw this dress in the April Lookbook I was in love! The shape was so chic, the length age-appropriate and the print! Flowers, birds and butterflies, oh my! I waited for it to come into stock for forever and when it finally did I pounced!

Zara Floral Printed Dress (size M)

Sadness. Oh Zara online site - how you make everything look so modern and fun and fashionable. D*mn you. First the good: the print is absolutely lovely and very subtle. The white is more of an off-white which is good for the skin tone. The idea is there but the execution is so so bad. At least on my body. As you can see it is t-i-g-h-t on top and the neckline wouldn't really lay flat. The waist was very fitted but then there was at least an extra inch of material on both sides of my hips. This wouldn't matter with a more flowy fabric but with a stretch cotton it just stuck out.

I don't even think a more straight figure would look great in this because of the aforementioned hip bubble problem. 

Size Small
I thought the size small might be a little better in the hips and it was but they were still sticking out. Plus now we are verging on the obscene with the top. Bonjour underwear, thanks for making an appearance in my classy cocktail dress. I'm so so sad about this one but clearly it ain't gonna work!

I did put in an order for a few of there flowy tops which I can get to work for me sometimes. Now I am always careful to check the material first - if it's polyester I just say no but now they are making many of their tops out of viscose which I find more palatable. Plus some are actually out of cotton! Woo woo!

Anyone else have some luck with Zara this spring?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Anthropologie Reviews - Spring pretties!

This week is "Arts Showcase" week at my school and being the resident pianist, that means a lot of work for me. It's fun and so inspiring to see all the girls get up and perform, sing, dance and act. I'm always completed shocked by a quiet girl who gets on stage and wows me with her poise and stage presence. You never know what amazing creative beings are lurking behind all those crazy hormones!

Anyhoo... I had a little break and decided to completely remove myself from the craziness of it all to try on a few things at Anthro. Please excuse the color of the photos - my dressing room had particularly bad lighting.
Here's what I found:

Maes Silk Kimono (XS)
The print on this is absolutely lovely. I was immediately drawn to it. The fit, however, is off. This is an XS and I felt like I was drowning in it. I know it's "kimono style" but I don't think it should look this sloppy. The vee in the front is also quite low. Overall, meh.

 Seaside Blouse in Green Motif (size 2)
Birds! How I love them. Can't resist trying on anything with a bird on it. I was surprised to see that this shirt was made of silk. You know how sometimes the silk just feels a little off, not as luxurious? I think the fit is off on this one. I look like a big box. Makes me think of David Byrne in that crazy shouldered suit he wore during his SNL (?) performance years ago. I may have dated myself by that comment. Anyway, very boxy and although I adore the color and birds, I think it looks a bit cheap.

 Caraiva Maxi Dress (size 2) in Blue
This is what I would consider a wedding maxi dress - feels more elegant and dressy than a daytime number. The fit is very flattering and nipped in at the waist. May have been slightly snug on my large chest. It has pockets! How darn cute is that?

 Ribboned Quilotoa Dress (size 2)
I never ever try on strapless dresses because of the aforementioned large chest problem but I couldn't resist this one. So sunny and cheerful and well.... summery! The size 2 fit really well but was a bit snug in the chest. There is a stretchy smocked panel on the back which certainly helped but I still felt like I was spilling out of it. Has that nice sticky stuff along the top so it won't fall off. LOVE it. Maybe I'll go back and try it with my strapless bra on?

 Banded Totem Shift (size 2)
What else do I like almost as much as birds (and foxes)? Rainbows! This was very fitted which I appreciated. You need a clean silhouette when there is this much going on. I feel like it could have been better without the design on the front - just stick to colorful stripes. I bit snug in shoulder/chest area. Not loving the high neck on me. At all.

Byron Lars Twist-Front Camp Shirt (size 4)
I can't seem to find the name of this shirt. Thanks to greatbleuheron I found out this is the Twist-Front Camp Shirt by Byron Lars. I tried it on because I already own a Byron Lars shirt just like this that I bought at a consignment shop. I love the idea. The shirt I own is a bigger size and still extremely snug while this one is quite roomy in my normal size 4. I supposed he vanity sized for his anthropologie collection. I think it's a wonderful twist on a classic white shirt.

 Empire Day Dress (XS) in Blue
I'm always hoping maxi dresses will look on my but I often find they don't. The shape of the front does nothing for me and I'm not sure why. Showing the back because it hangs very low, i.e. too lower for bra. Maybe this one was just stretched out from being on the hanger.

 Spring Stripe Midi Dress (size 2 or 4)
Cheerful stripes! Who can stay away from them? I'm not sure what to make of this dress. Is it a nightgown? Kidding but that's how I feel in it. I almost liked it (especially when I imagined how cool and comfortable I would be in it) but I don't think it's flattering.

 Petaluma Peep Hem Dress (XS) in Black
Ya know, this dress isn't so bad for $78. It's sooooo comfortable, basically cute and has pockets. It seems so easy to throw on and wear to anything. I'd love to see the other motif. There is no zipper so you have to pull it over your head. I was nervous at first but it wasn't really a problem. Cute peekaboo hem.

MYSTERY SALE SHIRT  Tandem Henley (size XS)
Can someone please help me identify this? Thanks to greatbleuheron again! It's by Le Phare de la Bateine and called the Tandem Henley. It's basically a glorified sweatshirt but I looooooves it.

That's it for now. Hope you are getting some spring time weather where you are! We had our first beautiful day here and it was so glorious to be outside!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Anthropologie Reviews - Spring Lovelies

Just some quickie reviews today!

Swiss Spritz Blouse (size 2)
 I rather loved this although I'm not sure it was super flattering. My usual size 2 felt like the right size, I think this blouse is supposed to be a relaxed fit. I'm a sucker for anything in navy and I really liked this particular shade of navy. The sleeves are a little poofy for my taste but the open lace work is gorgeous. Very cute and reasonably priced.

Daytrip Buttondown (XS)
I was immediately drawn to this shirt when I saw it in the catalog. The color is vibrant and so summery but the fit is not flattering at all. The shoulders feel to big and the overall fit is sloppy. You can see from the side shot that it is almost a swing shape and less of a fitted buttondown shape. Looks better tucked in but still too big. The material is a very lightweight cotton which would be great for the warmer months. Insert sad face.

Edelweiss Tulle Tunic (XS)
Hmm. The pictures do not make this look good but it is a beautiful piece. I love all the lace details along the front. The fit in the top is snug but in a flattering way - otherwise you would have a big shapeless hunk of lace. The gathering in the back is nice to give it some shape but sort of pulled the whole thing out of balance. I particularly noticed this in the side view. Sort of maternity like. I do love the top portion.

 Cereja Dress (size 4)
I sized up in this dress because I usually find Karen Walker to run a bit small. The cherry print is so cute and cheerful. The dress was a bit challenging to get into. It's a wrap style but the inner wrap is fixed so you have to wriggle your way in without breaking it. I would prefer my normal size 2 in this for sure. One adorable detail is a snap at the bustline so you don't have to worry about your bra peeking out. Love that. Overall cute but a bit too ruffly for my personal style.

First Blush Dress (size 2)
I thought this was going to be a shapeless mess but it was quite the opposite! It nips in beautifully at the waist and the print (the word LOVE printed in different orientations all over it) is charming without being overly cutesy. I wish it came in a more playful color and the neckline wasn't quite so closed at the top (I would be tempted to cut off the little ties). Overall cute and flattering and a nice, appropriate length. My usual size 2 felt slightly snug but good.

Accordion Midi Dress (XS)
This is sort of an odd dress - a little too Morticia Addams for me - but it is vaguely flattering. Very comfortable and comes with its own inner knit slip. I don't like the way it makes my hips look - something about the way the pleats fall adds pounds.

I really feel like this would be more successful as a mini dress. Breaks up the black black black and the pleats everywhere. This, of course, would require some tailoring, but just an idea...

 Evening Chill Pullover (size S and XS)

Sorry about the weird blurry boobs but I tried this on without a camisole or shirt and didn't want to flash my bra to the world. I adore this little pullover. Great color, sexy and sweet. I think I preferred the fit of the XS but if you want a slightly looser shape size up. This sweater is on the shorter side but I think it would look great layered over a long shirt. One thing to mention - almost all of them had pulls so check yours carefully!

A lot to like at Anthropologie on this round. Anyone else indulge in this week's latest sale?

Monday, April 15, 2013

J. Crew Review: 2 New Dresses and some Chambray

I've gotten into the habit of only perusing the sale section at J Crew but have been trying to expand my horizons to full price as well. Of course, I can never quite bite the bullet on full price but at least when the item goes on sale, I know what size I should be stalking. Especially during final sale. Blech. It needs to go away soon. Rumor has it that it should disappear as new arrivals hit the stores/website next week. Let's hope so. J. Crew would probably get a lot more of my money if I could return (hello, Anthro).

Multistripe Dress (size 2)

I tried this on because the shape reminded of the Sparkle Dot Dress (review here) and it is quite similar. J. Crew is doing a lot of high-necked sleeveless dresses this spring and while they are cute I the fit is a little bit tricky. Much like the Sparkle Dot, the chest was slightly snug on me. I wouldn't size up though because the darling fit on the rest of the dress would be off. The main difference I noted was the length! This dress is pretty short! I don't mind it that much but if you are anything over 5'4" you might feel a bit naked. The cotton is quite thick and structured - good for the way the skirt looks, not so good for my boobs.

 Lace-Stripe Dress (size 2)

Again with the high neck and sleeveless shift shape. The size 2 was snug on my breasts but the hips were huge! I'm trying to show how much extra material there is in the first picture. It's a shame because I like the idea of the dress but you must have a normal/small size chest or a very pear figure to wear this well. The lace in stripes is quite a cute idea. High necks are not always the cutest on me. Also fairly short.

Short-Sleeve Chambray Shirt (size 2)
I feel like this shirt has gotten a lot of love but I found the fit super awkward. It was almost pulling across the chest but really it was pulling across the armpits! The armpits hang sort of low (you can sort of see it in the RH Picture) which cause a tightness and a distortion of the proportion (say that 10 times) of the shirt. It looks very cute with the June's Meadow toothpicks which I did finally decide to purchase with the 30% + educator discount.

Anyone else loving/hating these high-necked short spring dresses?