Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fitting Room Reviews: Bottoms Up

Shredders, today we advance to Level 3!  Usually I would write a leveling up/progress post today, but I am in Atlantic City this weekend with the BF and some friends.  We saw Louis CK at the Borgata yesterday and played in a few poker tournaments; I'm also hitting the J.Crew outlet and returning something at the Coach Outlet (any bets on whether I walk out with something new?).  Since we won't get back into town until late tonight, the Level 3 discussion/progress post will have to wait until tomorrow when I can take proper pictures and measurements.

In the meantime, here are my remaining backlogged fitting room reviews to tide you over.

Americana Skirt, $90 here

(Top: Chiffon Swing Shirt, $30 here) (wearing a medium, which was too big; usually I take a small)

I've gotta admit, I'm kind of a sucker for such blatantly July-fourth-appropriate garb.  Two years ago, I sported this cute dress on the Fourth (at Coney Island):

...And this was TOTALLY purchased with the intention of sporting it on our nation's birthday.  Of course, I only wore it that one time...but still.  BUT STILL.

So really, I kind of liked this skirt in its kitchy goodness as a wearable piece of patriotism.  I also find myself gravitating a lot towards Eva Franco lately, and this piece was no exception.  I tried on my normal size six, which was comfortable due to a bit of give in the fabric, but was also bootylicious to the max:

I tried on a size eight later and it felt comfortable around the waist and a bit less tight around the bum, but the additional fabric took away from the sleek shape of the pencil skirt:

 I prefer the more fitted look of my true size (especially when looking at the side view), but reasonable minds can differ here.  The thing about this skirt is that I'm having trouble visualizing how I would style it for the winter, and I think it might too easily fall into the kitch trap of only being worn on thematic holidays.

That said, it's cute (seriously, I just typed "kute" --- kitchy/cute?), but I don't know how much wear this one is going to get from me.  It's certainly too rich for my blood at $90, but I'd reconsider if the price dropped to $30.  Seeing as how there are only two sizes available online as I type this, that prospect is not looking too promising, but ah well.  Not everything was meant to be mine.

Make a Wish Skirt, $128 here

Top: Billie Shirt, neutral motif, $30 here, reviewed here

This silk skirt by Blue Tassel drew me in with its colorful and lovely embroidered details.  I'm a big fan of elastic waistbands, as well---they add an element of simplicity and wearability to a skirt, making it a great piece to "just throw on" on those days you can't be bothered to think much about your outfit.

Still, something about this skirt just wasn't captivating to me in the way I'd want a $130 (or $70 on sale) skirt to captivate me.  Perhaps it was the bulk or the over-the-knees length that wasn't making my heart sing.  Also, as much as I love elastic waistbands, I remember thinking that this one was just a little too thick and obtrusive.  It doesn't look so bad in pictures, but it didn't resonate with me in person.

Regardless of my opinion, I suspect this piece will be reasonably popular; it's received 4.5/5 stars out of 5 user reviews on the Anthropologie website (4 of those reviews are 5/5 stars, and one is 2/5), so if you're intrigued you may want to try it for yourself.  I took my normal size small.

Courtier Skirt, $130 at Anthro stores, $65 at

Top: Lace Edged Slip, $58 here (wearing a medium, which was comfortable but not as tight as I would want a slip to be)

True story: I've been lusting after this skirt (originally almost $260) for almost six months, just waiting for it to get enough sale cuts for me to justify the purchase.  I love the amazing balance this skirt seems to strike:  it's delicate and feminine with its taupe color, light fabric, and frilly details; yet it has some bulk to it---some edge---that takes it out of the realm of the typical ultra-femmy attire (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not my style).  I think this piece could certainly be styled softly and romantically, but I think it could also go "casual gorgeous" with some chunky shoes and either a very structured or very blousy top.

I found it in a store a few weeks ago and tried on my usual size six, even though I usually take an 8 in Leifsdottir skirts.  Much to my surprise, my size six fit comfortably.  I expected the length to be shorter and was pleasantly surprised when this skirt came only an inch or so above my knees.

Amazingly, as I was assembling this post and hunting around for the skirt on the Leifsdottir website, I noticed that it has received a FOURTH cut at!  (When I saw this, I literally said "WHAT?!" out loud in my externship office.)  Originally $258, and $90-something the last time I checked, the skirt is now marked down to $65 and is available in sizes 6-12 (as of Friday afternoon).  I pounced on it!  I think this may be a challenging piece to style, but it will all be worth it if I can pull together something nice.  We'll see...I hate paying shipping online ($12 with Leifsdottir), but it's worth $12 to me not to regret missing out on this skirt.

Mid-Creation Skirt, now $40 here

Top: Bespoke Yoke Tee, $78 here, reviewed here

Bah humbug.  This Edme & Esyllte skirt made me angry from the get-go.  I sized all the way up to a 10 and it STILL wouldn't zip up comfortably.  I'm too angry at it to write a review for it, frankly, so you just get two pictures.

It's pretty straightforward, anyway.  Simple cotton skirt.  It's hand wash, which for me means I would toss it in the machine and not tumble dry it.

Just size up at least one size from what you usually wear in high-waisted designs (which for me is a size up from what I wear in regular skirts).  You may want to go up two sizes if you carry your weight in your gut like I do.

Ackee Pencil Skirt, $138 here

Top: Bespoke Yoke Tee, $78 here, reviewed here

Now it is a rare day when I get excited about the prospect of spending $70-$80 on a skirt (notice how my mind automatically jumps to the sale price?).  But THIS SKIRT...boy, am I excited about this one.  I suspect I will have no qualms about snatching this up on first cut and ripping the tags off immediately.

This pencil skirt by Corey Lynn Calter hits all the right notes for me.  The color is vibrant but not overpowering.  The pattern is interesting but still neutral enough to be mixable.  I found the shape to be flattering---although certainly curve-hugging---and the fit is comfortable (my true size 6 fit great, even though I usually size up to an 8 in other pencil skirts).  This skirt fits close to the bum and thighs, so if you know those are your bigger areas you may need to size up.

Incidentally, to you fabric experts out there: the instructions say that this skirt is dry clean only, but it's cotton (with polyester lining) you think one could save on dry cleaning (or dryel) and just toss this in the machine for a cold water wash?

This is just about at the top of my skirts wishlist!

Shade Made Bermudas, now $40 here

These Pilcro shorts have gotten nearly unanimous five-star reviews on Anthro's website, but I just wasn't all that enamored with them.  I found them to be unflatteringly clingy and the color looked faded in the "rummage bin" way and not the "cool vintage" way.  I believe I took my normal size 28, although there's an outside chance I was wearing a 27 here.  Sorry, I'm just not 100% sure.  Ultimately, I guess they just did not seem like a $40 pair of shorts to me.  I'd buy these for $20, but the quality/complexity/"wow" factor just was not there, and I wouldn't spend $40 on a simple pair of shorts unless those factors were present.

I suspect I'm an outlier when it comes to my lukewarm feelings towards these shorts, and probably comes down to a question of personal taste as opposed to fit or quality.  FWIW, I also felt lukewarm about the VERY popular Pilcro Cohort Cord pants that went on sale back in December; seemed like the entire Anthro-loving universe was in a tizzy over those and they just didn't do it for me.  If you're a fan of Pilcro, I'd recommend giving these a try.

Breezy Paperbag Shorts, $68 here


These shorts, by Daughters of the Liberation, are a new release featured in Anthro's May catalogue!  They weren't online at the time of my original review, but I edited this segment on 4/28 to reflect its name and to provide a link to the item on Anthro's page.

Regardless, I liked these shorts more than the Pilcro shorts.  The color is an even, mustardy tone of yellow.  They are VERY high-waisted, but the high waist and buttons along the side give these shorts a cute vintage look that is quite different from all the other summer shorts in my wardrobe and creates a curvy, feminine silhouette.  I appreciated that these were a bit less all areas except for one, that is:

I took my normal size six and liked the fit at the time, but the more I look at my butt in the above picture the more I start to think that maybe I should try on the next size up before I take the plunge (if these shorts ever make sale).

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