Friday, April 16, 2010

Insolently Beautiful Views and Fitting Room Reviews (Primula Dress, Orange Blossoms Dress, Knotted Poppies Dress, Anchors Aweigh Dress)

Hi everyone!  Hope your Thursday passed uneventfully, if not wonderfully, and that your Friday is rolling you blissfully towards a happily unspent weekend!  I meant to write this late Wednesday night and post it early Thursday morning, but I totally passed out while trying to put Kate to bed last night.  But better late than never, as they say...

After work, on Wednesday, I decided that I'd check out the Anthropologie in Chula Vista.  I had no idea it even existed until Sandra pointed it out to us a few days ago, in the comments of one of our previous posts.  Intrigued, I decided to take advantage of the longer days and make a drive out to the fourth Anthropologie store in San Diego County.

That's right - four.  Oh, and by the way, I had heard from several different places that "Chula Vista" means beautiful views, but I couldn't remember anything like the word "chula" meaning beautiful from any of my Spanish classes, so I looked it up.  Apparently, "chula" actually means, "insolent" or "rascal." Hmmm..."rascally views?"  Makes me wonder if back in the day, these hills were home to someone like Tuco, from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." (Cue iconic spaghetti western music...)

The store is located in the Otay Ranch Town Center, which is a bit like an outdoor mall and has the feel of a rather sprawling outlet center.  The Anthropologie store is gorgeous, with a corner lot, like the Carlsbad store, allowing for lots of natural light to pass in through windows in the front and side.  The ceilings in this particular store are really high, giving a light, airy feel to whole place.

I really loved the vibe of the store - it was so quiet and big and felt full of beautiful things without feeling crowded.  If it was closer, I'd make this one of my regular haunts for sure.  As it was, I drove for a little over half an hour to get there, and I had to pay a total of $6 in tolls (shocking, for California with its "freeways").  Still, this location is close to where my kids' hair stylist works (yes, I drive half an hour to take Rowan and Kate for haircuts with Roxy, but she's so great with them - got Rowan over his fear of haircuts - and a super nice person besides!) and there's a comic book store in the mall for my husband, as well as a Best Buy and Apple Store, so I could see this being a weekend "Let's drive out to the mall" destination.

While there, I had to take the opportunity to try on a few things, so here they are:

This is the Orange Blossom Dress ($138).  I was attracted to it by the pretty orange blossoms and sash, but once I got it on, I felt sort of like a creamsicle.  The dress is well constructed, and the size 2 fit me well, but I had to think a while and play around with the sash before ultimately tying it to the side that didn't have a giant flower right beneath the sash, but did have the orange splotch right over the sash and behind the sash.  My other issue with this dress was that in spite of the sash, I still felt like I had no waist - like my torso was a tree-trunk - very up and down.  So, pretty, but not super flattering on me.

Here is the Knotted Poppies Dress ($158) that Kathryn reviewed earlier here.  It's a size 2, and it fit me like a glove - to the point that I sort of had to struggle to get it on.  The bodice was snug, yet still remained comfortable.  I really liked this dress - lovely colors, nice deep-blue sash, and fun pops of yellow embroidery at the neckline and on the skirt.  It's a party dress though...I'm pretty sure I couldn't just wear it to work, so unless there's something to wear it to, I don't know if I could justify the expense.  Still, on my wishlist.  If it goes on sale, I'll definitely exert myself to snag it.

The Anchors Aweigh Dress ($148) is a dream dress for the summer!  On the hanger, it doesn't look like much, which is why I totally overlooked it, until I saw Hometown Queen from British Anthropologi(e)st wearing it here.  She looked so adorable in it, I was intrigued.  Once on, I found myself smiling.  It's the perfect dress for a golden summer day.  I'm wearing the size 2, as usual, and it fit pretty well.  It's a just the teeniest bit loose on top, but that's really because I'm small-chested - not the dress's fault at all.  The halter straps button together, rather than tie, so it's not adjustable, the way most halter-tops manage to be. Still, super cute, and if it's still around come June, I'll be sure to try and get it.  Wishlisted!

Here is the Primula Dress ($138.00).  This is another really cute one, though I'm not sure I liked it as much as the Anchors Aweigh dress.  I'm wearing the size 2, and again, it fit me well, so I'd say this is true to size.  It's shorter than the Anchors Aweigh dress, hitting above my knee, whereas the AA dress hit at my knee.  On the website, they styled it to have the halter straps tie in a bow over one shoulder, but as I hadn't seen the dress online, I didn't know to try that.  Again, cute, but nothing that makes my heart beat faster, so back to the rack it goes.

On the drive home, I had the opportunity to watch dusk settle on San Diego, with K.D. Lang crooning to me in her rich, contra-alto voice.  It was such a keen and painful pleasure to witness something so beautiful that I was reminded that for all the gorgeous dresses in the world, there's nothing like the one the earth pulls over herself every nightfall.


  1. Aw, I'm glad you liked the Anchors Aweigh Dress! And thank you for the link!
    I tried on the Primula Dress (does no one else think the print is slightly Space Invaders-esque?) and I think the problem is that there are so many nicer 50s style halter dresses this season, so why settle for that?

  2. You are sooo adorable in Anthro dresses, Carol! I have tried many, many Anthro dresses and can't get them to work for me. I actually love all of these on you, but that Anchors Aweigh dress really made me smile.

    And that Anthro in Chula Vista is gorgeous! We're spending a week in Carlsbad in May and I will definitely have to hit up the Anthros when I'm down there - we're going with my parents so hopefully I can get them to watch the kids while mommy goes shopping!

  3. Oh, Michelle, when you're here, we should totally meet up! I'll email you about it. =)

    @HQ - totally agree about the Primula dress. There's nothing wrong with it. There's just no zing, right?