Monday, June 7, 2010

Summertime Dresses (Side-by-Side Fitting Room Reviews)

Happy Monday, everyone! A few weeks back, we ran a poll asking what you want to buy this summer. The vast majority of you (a whopping 51.7%!) said you were planning to buy a summer dress, and that you were ready to break the bank (well...or at least spend over $100) on it. We decided we'd help out by reviewing a few help you along. Not ourselves...(*cough, cough*).

This is the Time Gone By Dress ($128), and we're wearing it in our normal size 4 (Kathryn) and size 2 (me). As you can see, it's big on both of us - particularly in the top. I sized down to a 0 (sorry! Forgot to take a photo of the size 0), and found it fit me much better. Horribly, I found that I really liked this dress. Why horrible? Because I didn't expect to like it - rather imagined that I wouldn't have to feel bad taking it off and leaving it in the store, and instead, love. Gah. The blush/nude color of this dress is much more flattering than the Drifting By Dress's blush/nude and the black trim grounds this otherwise fluttery confection of a dress. Totally wishlisted. For...heaven knows when....

Kathryn here! For fun, I decided to take the size 2 and the size o for a spin. You can see the 2 on the left and the 0 on the right:

I mainly did this because I wanted to see if this dress would be a candidate for the "Co-Ownership Collection" that Carol and I started earlier this year. As you can see, the 0 doesn't actually look awful. I think the reason I can squeeze myself into the 0 is because I'm just that small on top, and the skirt is full enough to accommodate my bottom. Of course, this might mean that smaller girls will be sized out of this dress...unless they don't mind the bodice to be a bit on the roomy side. Anyway, I also fell in love with this dress. Love!!! This dress was what I'd hoped to find in the Drifting By Dress. Therefore, I hereby nominate the Time Gone By Dress for Co-Ownership!

Bonus outtake shot, which shows Carol in the 0 (and her son playing with the camera - it really shows what it's like to shop with kiddos in tow!):

Wishlisted for Co-Ownership fo sho!

When I pulled the June, July, August Dress ($148) in the navy colorway (I reviewed the purple color way here) over my head, Kathryn said, "You look like Rosa." I laughed - it's true! This dress does make me think of Rosa's style. It's super comfortable, easy, and sophisticated, all in one. I think I might prefer the navy to the purple print, myself. I'm wearing the XS, and Kathryn is wearing the medium, because the store was out of smalls. This dress is a pull-on style, and has pockets. Wishlisted for a sale.

Kathryn: I don't really have much to say about this dress that Carol didn't already say. It's really hard for me to say much about it because I didn't have the right size to try. I'd definitely need a Small in this dress. It's not really my style though, so I'll pass.

Here's a Mystery Maeve dress. (**Edit: This is the Lynx and Leo dress, ($138).  Thanks for the tip, Sara!) The top of it is has a very structured lingerie/corset feel, while the skirt is an interesting patchwork of differently textured fabrics (see detail shot below):

At first, I hoped that this mystery dress would be like a non-itchy version of the In a Twinkling (IaT) dress, and it does have a smilar silhouette. However, I felt that the design of the bodice and the straps made it feel pretty different (for me) from the IaT dress. I thought it was pretty, but nothing to write home about. This dress has a side zip and adjustable straps, and is lined. The fabric is very light and summery, with some gold metallic shimmer that is, similar to the IaT, very pretty and appealing against the creamy base color. It's a pass for me, but I'm sure it'll find good homes in the closets of many others out there.

Kathryn: I have to say, I liked this dress much more on the mannequins and the hanger than I did on myself. Especially now, looking at the photos, I feel like I'm wearing a slip. And the fit just did not make me happy. Pass for me too.

Here is the Cedar Chest Blouse ($98), featured so wonderfully in the June catalog. I was pretty excited to see this top in person, because I'm such a sucker for this type of lace embellishment and romantic billowy-ness.  In fact, I made Kathryn try it on, even though it's not a dress, and we were aiming to try on dresses ("try, just try!")  Well, we did.  And...well...the lace is very pretty?  The top is true to the photos and product shots in the catalog and website.  It's just a lot bigger, in scale, than I imagined.  It's really quite roomy - very billowy, really.  When we pulled them on over our heads and took a look, Kathryn commented that it looked like maternity-wear, and she's right!  I could have totally worn this top several months into my pregnancy.  The shirt is tunic length, and nearly mini-dress length on someone my height.  Another thing to note - the sleeves and the upper half of the back of the top are quite sheer.  I have on the XS, and Kathryn is wearing the small.  I have to admit, I still like the look of it, with the lovely eyelet, flattering neckline, and soft sheen, but I'm definitely going to wait for a sale on this one.  And then, I'm going to try and shrink it a little...and hope I don't destroy it in the process.  

Kathryn: Well, the word "maternal" came to mind when I pulled this top on. Was it Maria who said, "Phantom preggers is not a look I go for"...? Well, I couldn't have put it any better. Then again, this top could be nice for those who are expecting since it's so roomy? The material has a lovely sheen and there's some really nice detailing on the top, but I just can't get over the way it fits.

Here's Yoana Baraschi's Lingering Rays Skirt ($98).  We found this skirt intriguing on the table, so decided to try it on under the Cedar Chest Blouse.  There's a soft gold sheen to the fabric, and it's well constructed, but I feel like the sizing is slightly off.  When I eyeballed it outside of the fitting room, I thought I might need the 0, so I tried that on. The 0 fit me at the waist, but was tight everywhere else.  I think I'd definitely try the 2 instead, which might actually lower the waist on me (not necessarily a bad thing), and then fit fairly true-to size.  The neutral color on this skirt was quite nice, and I didn't dislike the draping, but I didn't really hear it calling out my name either.  If it was on sale, I might consider it...maybe.

I feel like this skirt can't decide what it wants to be - structured or drapey. I tried on a size 4, and I'd definitely need a size 6 for this skirt. It was very tight through my hips. The fabric has some nice sheen to it (kind of funny to me how many pieces have metallic sheen to them this summer!), and it's very nice quality for $98, but it just wasn't for me. Pass.

So, what summer dresses are you eyeing?


  1. you guys are too cute! love the side by side reviews. and yes, the june july august dress is totally my style!!!!! =)

    love the lingering rays skirt too. i'm trying to be good this summer clothes-wise. i already snagged way too much summer anthro stuff, so i think i'm set.

  2. I love the side by side shots, because it really shows how different one piece can look. The time gone by dress looks just awesome on the both of you and co-ownership makes it just that more affordable!!

  3. Eek! The Time Gone By Dress is perfection on both of you! Definitely a co-ownership must. And THANKS (or maybe a sideways chagrin) for trying on the June, July, August dress - that one rocks my world and is totally my style. Wishlisted for sure.

  4. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I need the Time Gone By Dress more than ever now! Thanks so much for the side-by-side reviews! You need to buy this one immediately!:)

  5. Yay, the Time Gone By dress! It looks cute on both of you. It still hasn't shown up in my store yet but I'm looking forward to trying it soon hopefully. Quick question -- do you think a cardigan could be worn over this or are the sleeves too bulky?

  6. The time gone by dress looks super cute on the both of you. I tried this on last friday after work while waiting out the traffic and wanted to like it so much! But it just didn't work for me. Maybe it's a good thing? :)

  7. I love the Lingering Rays Skirt! I just hope it doesn't make me too hip-py. I always love reading your reviews! I can't believe the the Cedar Chest Blouse is so long--it's practically a tunic. I'd wait for as sale and wear it over a vintage slip or a skirt for added length or skinny jeans.

  8. I love the TGD on the both of you. It's super flattering! I actually gasped when I saw the lingering rays skirt on you. Yep, I'm dramatic like that. It looks amazing on both of you (again). I actually like the soft draping. Thanks for the reviews. Love your side by side reviews!

  9. Oh no, I think I just fell even more in love with the Time Gone By Dress after seeing it on the two of you! It's just GORGEOUS. I was going to get the Tiny Windows Dress, but I think I might get this one instead! I hope I'm not sized out of it, though...I'm a 0 or 2 in dresses normally, so I definitely think I need to try this one before I buy.

  10. Is that white dress possibly the "Lynx and Leo" dress? I just saw it today in the new arrivals and it looked similar to the one in your post.

    I really love your side-by-side reviews. Keep 'em coming and I definitely vote for co-ownership on the TGB dress!

  11. Hahaha I love your side by side reviews, ladies! I must find a girlfriend in my relative size range soon that shares my Anthro obsession. Co-ownership is so brill.

  12. omg how cute!! And great visual of th sizes and how they look on you both ADORABLE!