Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dresses for Dreaming In (Fitting Room Reviews)

Good Wednesday, everyone!  Hope you're all doing well.  I woke up this morning, as most of you probably did, to Roxy's post about the new August Arrivals, and oh-for-the-love-of-all-that's-good-in-this-world, why, why, why???  I'm on a fairly porous shopping ban as it is right now, so I really didn't need for the Sugar-Coated Shirtdress to appear in my life, honest!  It's like they know that 100% cotton, machine-washable shirtdresses are my kryptonite.  (Yes, and apparently, Anthropologie's catalogue choices are now all about me...blech.  I need a break.)  Here are some fitting room reviews...

This is the Manor Gates Dress ($188), and when I put it on, I felt conflicted.  I'm wearing a size 2, and I'd say this dress is pretty true to size.  It hit right below my knee, so will be knee-length-ish for most women.  There's a side-zip on this dress and pockets as well, and it's a handwash silk.  The details are so beautiful and the fabrics are so gorgeous and's definitely not Kate-proof (can you spy her playing in the background?  In the photo above right, that's her trying to figure out how to crawl through the opening beneath the fitting room door...).  The bit of transparent silk at the top of the dress, framing the neckline, is what threw me off the most, I think - and I say that because I didn't feel love for this dress, even though I really liked various components of the dress.  I think I can honestly say I loved the colors, I loved the print on the skirt, I loved the beading at the waistline...I just didn't love that neckline for some reason I can't put my finger on.  At any rate, I'm not a woman who shies away from wearing a pretty dress to work - but I do feel like it'd be hard to make this one office-appropriate, even at a stretch.  If I had a really nice event to go to, I'd definitely consider this dress. But for now, it's a pass for me.

Here is the Seaside Fields Dress ($138), which I was slightly ambivalent about on the hanger, but felt drawn to because I just like green colors - in this case, a chartreuse.  Also, I liked the look of the ruffles - and when I put this little ensemble dress on, I was really pleasantly surprised.  It really made me smile.  I'm not sure I totally love the print on the skirt - and to be honest, I think that's what's holding me back from giving this one a     five-star review - but it's definitely wishlisted for sale. The top is silk and the skirt is cotton, but it's still a dry-clean only dress, so this would be a wear-it-to-work-then-take-it-off-around-the-kids dress.  There's a side-zip, and the top was a little blousy on me (not surprising, as I'm short-waisted) but still wearable, I think.  I'm in a size 2, and I'd say this dress is definitely true to size.  Fun, fun, fun!

Here is the lovely Violet Gloaming Dress ($268) which lives up to its name ridiculously well.  I don't know about you, but when I'm watching a sunset on a sparsely wooded landscape, and the sky is streaked with these colors, and the horizon is lit with such simmering sweetness, I think of words like, "gloaming," and "violet."  All right, all right, so I think of "violet."  And maybe, back when I was in my late teens and early 20s, aspiring to write poetry, I would have thought of the word, "gloaming."  Regardless, this dress is like a poem.  It really is.  I know we always go on about the details, but this dress does it right - the picture printed on the dress does most of the talking, as it should - and the little ruffles on the shoulders do nothing to distract from that.  The dusky green velvet ribbon that acts as a belt is also very appropriate.  That being said, it felt a touch long on my shorter frame, and it's not something I'd ever want to have hemmed up.  So, if this dress were available in petite-sizing, I'd be agonizing over the price, etc.  As it is, I'll just gaze at it adoringly, and enjoy it that way.  I'm wearing a size 2, there's a side zip and pockets, and unsurprisingly, it's dry-clean only.

Lastly, here's the as-of-yet-unnamed tweed pheasant skirt that's been reviewed on so many other blogs.  At $158, it costs about as much as a dress, but I have to say, I love it.  I'm wearing a size 2, and it fits wonderfully, hitting me exactly at the knee. Also, the colors of the appliques make it really easy to pair things with on top.  It's a wonderful fall-winter piece, and on my personal list of things to buy (possibly even at full price) once my shopping ban's lifted.

So, um, I can tell you that I'll probably be making my way to a brick & mortar Anthro later tonight...even though it's unlikely that these new arrivals online will have already found their way into the stores. can hope?


  1. I am right there with you on the Sugar Coated shirtdress. I want I want I want!

  2. Thanks for a great set of fitting room reviews as always!

    I am so grateful to spy you in these dresses because as a fellow petite one (5'1") I can get an idea of how long they really are. Here's to wishing for more petite options...

    The Pheasant Skirt is just gorgeous on you; perfect fit and length and all the nicer for the baby-Kate-cameo!


  3. Love the skirt on you! If you get it, I'm totally living vicariously through you because it DID NOT work on me! :P

  4. Oh Carol, you look so adorable in everything! I love the pheasant skirt on you, it fits great. Did you try 0 as well?

  5. I am not a fan of the skirt for myself, but you look so nice in it Carol!! Also lovely in the Manor Gates dress, although I know you are not that into it. I feel conflicted with all these new arrivals at Anthro that I don't need per se, or have occasion to wear them to, but they're just so pretty it's terribly hard to let them pass by.

  6. Hey Carol
    Great reviews!! and cute is your baby kate. im getting clucky!

  7. Hi Carol, love the skirt on you! I really think you should considering getting it. If not now, when it goes on sale. How the heck did you manage to shed your baby weight so quickly? How long did it take you? Any secrets?


  8. I love the blue and khaki printed skirt. Looks great pairing with a bright green blouse.

    visit me sometime <3
    Natasha @ twenty-something blog

  9. Ohhh the Manor Gates (the neckline looks goregous to me!) and Seaside dresses are super pretty on you!!! Sadly, I have neither special occasions OR an office environment to justify buying either...Lovely dresses make me wish for church 3x's a week, lol. Your Kate melts my heart every time, she is just too cute.

  10. Love Manor Gates and Violet Gloaming dresses! Let me ask you, do you feel like you could have taken a 0 in either of those? I'm torn between which size to get, a 0 or 2, but I have a pear shape, so will probably get the larger size.

  11. You're all too sweet - and seriously making me want to pull the trigger on that skirt! Though, if I'm pulling triggers, it'll be on the sugar-coated dress first, I think, hahaha.

    @Appgal - are you going to get it? I'm trying to resist and failing, failing....

    @Katya - yes, more petite options, please! I can usually get by with my size 2 and can have things taken up in a pinch, but for things like this dress, we really need those petite sizes, right?

    @Kathleen - awww, I'm sorry it didn't work on you! The good news though, is that there are always other pretty things at Anthro. =)

    @Cindi - Thanks! You too, lady! And no, I just tried the size 2. I generally don't fit into a zero these days...

    @SLC - I totally agree! So many beautiful things, but nowhere to really wear them...hahaha. Sigh. Wearability is an important factor in purchasing decisions.

    @Vintageglamm - aw, thanks! I loves my babies. Is your clock ticking? (I totally remember my clock ticking, haha...) In case you're planning, you should enter the Fierce Mamas giveaway we're running. ;)

    @Anonymous (Kathleen) - my secret was breastfeeding and rigorous shopping. ^_- I just ate normally and the weight came off over a year. It was really sticking around at first, but right around 8 months after Kate was born, it started to come off much more quickly.

  12. I love the Violet Gloaming dress on you. And that pheasant skirt. Gorgeous! Oh, I have to get over to Anthropologie soon to try that skirt on. I'm afraid that I'll love it so much that I have to pay full price, but I just don't want it to sell out.

  13. I see what you mean about the top of the Manor Gates Dress. It kind of looks like the top of an ice skating outfit. The colors are really pretty on you though! I like the Seaside Fields Dress too. I don't think I could pull off that green color but it looks good on you. The bird skirt is too cute and it looks like it fits you perfectly!
    Great bunch of reviews!

  14. Hello Carol
    LOL - yes, after seeing cute pics of your kids, i must say, im getting cluckier each day! Am i able to enter the comp even though im from Oz?

    I think you should get the skirt - it looks so lovely on you and such a perfect fit.

    I've only just put up a profile pic, i havent quite got a blog together yet but maybe American girls inspire me !

  15. Carol and Kathryn, I just received your guys' wedding present. AHHH! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH. It was totally unexpected and you guys really shouldn't have. You guys provide me with such support by being followers of my blog and reading and making comments on a daily basis. I really appreciate your generosity. There's not enough people like you guys in this world. Thank you again and I will be dedicating a special entry for you guys. :)

  16. Carol - you look amazing in every one of these pieces. My fave on you is the last skirt..., but I might be biased because of your accessory. You daughter is sooo cute!!

  17. I love the last skirt most too. I am a bit puzzled by it. Cat had a review at anthrosdottir, and the dress looks pretty long on her and she is tall. I think you are somewhat shorter, and yet it didn't seem long. Was that a petite size you are trying on? Or is it because she wears it low and you wear it high on the waist.

    Your daughter is so adorable. Wait till she is a bit older, she will you be your #1 fashion advisor :-P

  18. Carol, the Manor Gates dress looks amazing on you and I love the Seaside dress. I could totally imagine wearing the Manor Gates dress to a wedding although I do love to wear a proper bra and the sheer neckline would necessitate strapless I guess?

  19. This dress really fits you! You look very stylish and fit! Good luck with your choice!