Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fitting Room Reviews: Spring Swings

In this installment of reviews: DRESSES!

Tippi Dress, $268 here

This Anna Sui dress seemed to captivate a lot of Anthro fans upon its release.  I can see why: the cool mint green color, the fun bird print, and the airy style make this a great dress for spring and summer.  Not to mention the delightfully not-immediately-apparent Hitchcock reference (Hitchcock's classic film, The Birds, starred Tippi Hedron, seen here rocking the mint green).

Despite its objective qualifications, I was not a fan of the Tippi.  For one, it's price tag is utterly insane.  Utterly.  Certifiably not happening for this girl.  For two, the fit was just a little TOO loose and breezy for my structured taste.  The one thing I most definitely loved about this dress, though, was the hoop skirt portion; it swooshes delightfully when you move and it made me want to just stand in place and twist my hips for a while.

I'm wearing a loudly-patterned bra and I didn't find the dress to be see-through.  It was quite comfortable, and I sized down from my usual size 6 to a four and felt perfectly comfortable.  I can certainly see the appeal of this dress, especially in the warmer months, but I doubt it will ever get enough cuts for me to justify the purchase.  A pass for me for personal reasons (unless I can find it on second or third cut); it's certainly a great piece otherwise.

En Plein Air Dress, $258 here

That sound you heard---the one that sounded like a series of plates dropping---was the sound of my heart shattering into thousands of pieces after looking at the price tag on this Eva Franco dress.

I absolutely loved the fit of this piece; it was well-cut, flattering, classy, beautifully-printed, and spring-ly colored.  The included belt fits well and is a truly amazing pop of ketchupy-coral.  I had to size up from my normal 6 to an 8, but the 8 was extremely comfortable and seemed to fit me very well.

The negatives: it's quite long, which may be too modest for some.  The fabric is also very heavy, despite being sleeveless.  I think this may be too heavy for the dog days of summer, which may limit its year-round wearability.  Also, wah, no pockets.

For $258, I'm going to have to pass despite my love for this dress, and then continue passing until (and if) it gets a second cut.  However, if money were no object, this would have come home with me immediately.

Tied Down Dress, $98 here

This simple dress by Maeve also comes in navy blue.  (See it styled by Anthro personal shopper Jeff in my last post, here).  The dress gets its name from the little ties on the shoulders.

The dress didn't bowl me over, although it was comfortable and the "red" color (really a coral) was fun and vibrant.  I liked the striped detail on the bottom hem (pictured).  As you can see, the waist on this one is pretty high, which may have un-adorably emphasized my adorable paunch a bit.  Then again, I sized down to a four (my normal six was definitely too big), so perhaps that's part of the problem.

I was happy to see a more reasonable price on this dress than on its companions, but it just wasn't special or different enough on me to warrant a full-price purchase.  This seems like the type of dress that will, most likely, make it to sale eventually.

Gathered Hemlock Dress, $148 here

I wanted to love this dress SO badly.  This piece was near the top of my wishlist, and I was having doubts about whether I could restrain myself from buying it until sale.  It looks like such a fabulous spring and summer dress; the impressionistic floral pattern and vibrant colors are nearly irresistible to me with warmer months approaching.  (Note: it also comes in navy/white and green).

Unfortunately, the cut of this dress was just off for me.  As with its cousin the Soft-Structured Dress, I needed to size up to a medium in this piece (from my normal small) to compensate for the clingy fabric.  It seems to photograph well, but in reality it made me feel broad-shouldered otherwise wide.  Also, the top is see-through and would require a slip or cami, which is NOT what I want to be donning in 90+ degree temperatures.

I still adore the print---the colors are even more vivid in person---but I don't think this dress did my figure any favors.  I'm very sad to say that this is a pass for now.

Summer-Grown Dress, $138 here

After loving this dress on photos of others, I figured I'd give it a try myself.  I loved the silkiness of the fabric (which is not silk), and the muted colors felt very sweet and romantic.  The mesh detail on the chest is lovely, but the cut of the neckline feels too weird and unflattering to get over.  The dress fit nicely, but I just can't get over the triangular neckline; it doesn't agree with my eyes.  In case it's not obvious from the pictures, you need a strapless bra so as not to show through the mesh.

I took my normal size six and it zipped comfortably.  Length was just below my knees.  A pass for me, despite its comfort.

Sail Shapes Dress, $158 here

MEH.  Just all-over meh-ness here.  On the plus side, I appreciate the pockets and the soft silk fabric.  On every other side, the dress was underwhelming.  I'm wearing my usual size six and it barely fit around my waist but sagged in the bodice.

I think this would look very cute with the proper accessories, and it felt like a nice, simple all-day frock, but it wasn't particularly flattering or well-cut, both of which are requirements for a dress with this pricetag.  Pass for me.

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