Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Dresses from Anthro and a Diaper Trick

Hi everyone (all two of you)!  Hope you all had a great weekend and are having a happy Monday.  So, let me explain the odd title of the post...just to be clear, there are no diapers involved with spring dresses from Anthropologie.  Haha, in fact, that's fairly disturbing, in a conceptual sense.

No, the diaper trick has to do with my daughter Kate, spilled coffee, and the ingenuity of my brilliant husband.

Yesterday morning, I was at my desk, checking email, with Kate sitting in my lap.  Kate's 7 and a half months old now, and getting into anything she can reach.  And boy, can she!  With this one, it's not enough to have things out of arm's reach.  She extends her whole body towards whatever it is she wants to grab and check out.  And what was it she had her laser-like focus concentrated on yesterday, while her mum was distracted by sale notices in her email inbox?  That's right...said mother's half-filled coffee cup.  Suffice it to say, my reflexes were just a few milliseconds too slow to stop her, as she threw her body towards my coffee mug, grabbing it by the rim, and yanking it from the surface of my desk.

The contents flew about 3 feet, splattering all over our light beige carpet.  Disaster!  I've tried to get coffee out of carpet before, and this is no mean feat.  In fact, I've never been entirely successful at doing it.  I've bought all kinds of carpet cleaners, tried steam-cleaning, and any number of things, but have never been able to entirely eradicate a coffee stain.  Imagine my dismay, as I looked from the carpet to my husband and called out to him, "Wipes!  Quick!"

He sprang into action, but instead of grabbing just wipes, he also came back with...a clean disposable diaper?

Now most of us who have infants or small children have experience with diapers.  They are, at times, notoriously ineffective (like the time my son - sorry, Rowan.  I'm sure this will be horrifyingly humiliating for you when you're old enough to read this - had a giant poop which escaped out of his diaper and smeared all the way up his back to his neck, during a transcontinental flight when he was about 5 months old) and also at other times, incredibly absorbent (like the time when I ran out of diapers with Kate, and couldn't change her for several hours.  Wow, that diaper swelled up like a balloon but remarkably kept her clothing dry).  I watched, somewhat aghast, somewhat amused, as he blotted the spilled coffee stains with the (Pampers Cruisers brand) diaper, explaining his theories regarding absorbency and eventually holding the diaper up for me to look.  The stains in the carpet had faded substantially, and the diaper was...well, brown from the coffee.  "I'll wipe it down a bit now, with the wipes," (Huggies brand, this time), "then blot some more with a new diaper," he explained.  He did.  And bless his heart, but that coffee was completely out of the carpet!

Yes, that's right Woolite, Hoover, Stanley Steemer, Folex, Bissell, and ChemDry - two Pampers Cruisers diapers and a handful of Huggies baby wipes (wielded with panache by my husband, of course) made short work of what you've all collectively been unable to accomplish for me in the past.

Okay, now on to the dresses.

This is the Traced Twirls Dress which was reviewed on Effortless Anthropologie by guest poster Betsy, and purchased by my friend, Sarah.  I was intrigued, so I tried it on.  Let me say that if I was just a few inches taller, I'd be all over this dress.  It's cut wonderfully, to fit and flatter (just about anyone, is going to be my guess).  I love the way the bodice nips in to give me a nice waist, without cutting into me, and there are some really charming origami-like folds at the chest, which gave a pretense of volume (a good thing for me).  There's a little bit of a crinoline under the skirt, which holds it out, and I have to admit now - I actually twirled around in this dress, just to see the skirt swirl and fly.  The eight year-old in me loved this dress and the 33 year-old in me liked it quite a lot as well.  The only con for me was that the skirt was a little long on me - nearly tea-length - and it made me look a little short and stubby.  I would have had to have it taken up a couple inches, and well...too much work.  But if you're more than 5'2" and in an Anthropologie, do give this one a try!

Here is the Reed Shirtdress in blue plaid - it's also available in a red plaid, a solid green, a solid navy, and a solid orange.  I love this dress.  It's comfortable, cotton, and so flattering!  My figure is trim and cute in this dress, and the darling thing is Duckie-proof!  (machine washable)  I bought it in the red plaid (in my OOTD at the bottom of the this post) and it's such a great, easy piece.  Today, I'm wearing it with tights and boots, but you can also wear it with flats or heels.  And it's got pockets!  I know I'm going to get a lot of wear out of this one.

This is the Rising Vapor Dress.  This weekend, I'm attending a birthday party for my husband's grandmother, and well, for me, it's a reason to wear a cute dress.  At first, Kathryn and I thought we might co-buy and co-own the Drifting By Dress, but decided that while both of us loved it, it didn't really love us.  As pretty as the dress is, the color isn't the most flattering on either of us.  Therefore, we're going to wait on it, and hope that our size is still around when it goes on sale.  Meanwhile, I still need a dress for this weekend, so we decided we were both interested in co-buying and co-owning the Rising Vapor dress (more about co-owning later).  You know, I really like this dress.  It's super comfortable and very slimming.  The body of the dress is made up of some type of spandex blend, and it has a lot of give, which makes it ideal to wear to a Chinese banquet-style dinner (= lots of eating).  The ruffles will camouflage any belly-bulge, while the dress itself will comfortably accommodate your overindulgence.  

Some of the reviewers for this dress on the Anthropologie website complained about how the ruffles don't go all the way around the skirt.  I included a detail of the side of the skirt above, so you can see how the ruffles sort of stop for a bit, then continue.  Personally, I'm okay with the lack of ruffles at the sides of the skirt - it allows for a slimmer silhouette, and doesn't appreciably diminish the charm of the dress itself.  Kathryn asked me if I thought it might be appropriate as a day dress.  The ruffles definitely make it feel more like an occasion dress, but the way it was styled by Anthropologie (see photo, left), with the oversized blazer and the flat sandals make it appropriate for a weekend brunch, and even work, if you already tend to wear ruffles and similarly dressy-details a lot.  I wouldn't recommend wearing it to the office if you don't already dress this way.  

Next in line is the Monukka Dress.  I know a lot of other bloggers reviewed this dress too, and as a group, they seem disappointed by it.  You can see a similar response from the reviewers on Anthropologie's website as well.  Therefore, I went in with low expectations.  And as often happens, when you go in not expecting much of anything, you emerge pleasantly surprised.  I felt that way about this dress.  I see what everyone is complaining about - it is oddly sacklike, and when I started with my usual size 4, the dress was pretty much awful.  However, when I went down one size to a 2, I found that it's something I could work with.  I love the playfulness of this dress, from the bunch of knitted grapes that swing from your shoulder, to the "wrinkles?  Am I wrinkled?" attitude of the fabric.  Admittedly, I wouldn't buy it for full price ($168 is a bit steep for a dress I have to "work" with), but when it goes on sale, I'll happily give it a go.  And I have a hunch it'll be on sale sooner than later.  It's just that unpopular.

My last offering is the Grasslands Dress paired with the Landmarks Jacket in the moss color.  The dress seemed so sweet on the hanger, I decided to try it on.  I found it underwhelming, for my body type.  I don't have enough of a chest to really fill out the top of this dress. The straps are adjustable, and the look would probably have improved had I tightened them, but this was the last one I tried on, and I didn't want to exert the effort.  Overall, it seemed a bit young and romanticized-milkmaid-ish to me, on its own.  However, once paired with the jacket, I found the ensemble to be surprisingly cute, especially with the tall brown boots I was wearing at the time.  The jacket fits well and is well constructed, but unlined.  Also, the asymmetrical ruffle, while an interesting detail, makes the jacket seem oddly lopsided.  Pass for me.

My outfit of the day.
Dress: Anthropologie Reed Shirtdress in red motif
Belt: Anthropologie, fall 2009
Boots: Appepazza tall brown wedge boot, Nordstrom, fall 2009
Tights: Nordstrom brand Fashion Hosiery, brown, diamond-patterned (SKU# 6281591385990) 
Necklace: Oh , Hello Friend Calm Summer Day pocket watch necklace
Jacket: J. Crew Twill Bomber Jacket in fatigue


  1. Whee I'm blog famous! And you mentioned something that I think is important to note about the Tracing Twirls dress--it will probably flatter anybody. Seriously. I actually feel even better about my purchase knowing that I might loan it to a friend to wear to a daytime wedding this summer. We're not quite the same size (she's a bit smaller in general, and much smaller in the bust), but she will have just had a baby and the "nipped in waist" section is a bit stretchy (and stretched out on me), so we're thinking it will fit her just fine, even considering our figure differences. And yes, I've twirled in my living room a few times. =)

  2. these all dresses are fantastic.I love this sixth dress.These spring dresses are really fantastic.I like to wear long dresses.