Saturday, July 3, 2010

"My Love Is..." (Side-by-Side Fitting Room Reviews)

When Kathryn and I were teenagers, we spent a lot of time together, talking about our respective crushes. The objects of our affections were discussed and considered in minute detail - their qualities, their drawbacks - we'd seek out and gaze at photos of them for what was probably dozens of hours on end. We bemoaned the fact that these paragons of girlish adoration seemed more or less indifferent to our fascination. We wondered and planned and plotted ways to inveigle ourselves into the range of their awareness and affection.

Kathryn here! One day, while discussing the objects of our affection, we even composed a song in their honor which bore a not-so-subtle resemblance to "A Bushel and a Peck" from the musical "Guys and Dolls" - the musical that our school was performing at the time. We can still remember some of the words to this day..."My love is at...the basketball game...and the track, at the field..."

We've always been passionate souls, I suppose. These days, we may not write songs about the clothes we love, but we do blog about them. Don't rule out the possibility of a song, though. *grin*

Not much has changed, hm? ^_- (Can a dress feel affection for its wearer? Hmmm...a question for the ages, I'm sure. Right up there with, "If a tree falls...")

This is the Grosgrain Peaks Dress ($138). In all honesty, my eyes had kind of slid past this dress, until Kathryn pointed it out to me, online. That's when I noticed the super cute and preppy green and navy stripes and the playful and girlish silhouette. When we spotted it in the store, we were both pretty excited, but trying it on, some of my enthusiasm fizzled. There were just so many things you had to do...fasten this little interior belt and then the top of the side zip, and then somehow get the side zip up...once the dress was on, I noted that the size 2 I was trying was a wee bit big for me. I might be able to size down to a 0. In fact, I commented to Kathryn that I really felt I wasn't holding up the bodice of the dress - the boning in the dress was holding itself up. This dress seemed well constructed and the fabric, which really did seem like it was made up of grosgrain ribbons, was sturdy and somewhat on the heavier side - definitely not a "summer weight" dress.

Kathryn here! So, I have to confess that I kind of love this dress. I have to agree with KrameyMartin - this dress feels like it was made out of ribbons. I'm wearing a size 4 for the photos and it fit me oddly. First off, you have to "fasten yourself" into the dress with an interior belt hook. Then you have to zip yourself into the dress. I'm pretty small-chested, so the 4 fit me very loosely on top and somewhat loosely through the waist. I could theoretically size down to a 2 in this one. The material of the dress makes it feel like it could be a party dress, but I love the bright colors and stripey pattern. I also love me a strapless dress with a poofy this one's wishlisted for now. I'm going to nominate it for co-ownership consideration.

Here is the Traced Twirls Dress ($158) in the blue colorway. I'm wearing a size 0 because there wasn't a 2 in the store, and Kathryn is wearing the 4. This dress fit true to size. While I was able to squeeze into the 0, I would absolutely go with the 2, because I don't like looking or feeling like a sausage in my clothing. Again, I loved this dress - though it's still a little long for me. If I really did buy this, I'd definitely have the skirt taken up. So pretty and so fun! If I needed a couple party dress, this would be a definitely be one of them.

Kathryn again. LOVE this dress. The fit is un-freaking-believably flattering and I feel so pretty and girlie in this! Carol and I never did pull the trigger on the Traced Twirls dress, so maybe we could pop for this one. The color is a soft, teal-like blue and the fit is heaven. Look at that full skirt (see the photo below)! And yes - Carol really did do a spin in the dressing room!

This is the Secret Treasure Dress ($118) again. I already reviewed the dress here, but Kathryn hadn't tried it on, and I wanted to see if I liked the navy (it's really more purple to me than blue, I gotta be honest) as much as I liked the green. I do like the green a wee bit better on me, but for the sake of variety in my closet, I'd definitely go with the navy, as I already have so many other green dresses. Love and absolutely wishlisted!

Kathryn: "Secret Treasure," indeed! I thought I'd be underwhelmed by this dress and boy was I ever wrong! I guess the secret was how much I'd end up loving this dress once I got it on. While I love the first two dresses we tried on, I feel like this one would get the most usage. However, I feel like I have the same dilemma as Sara of You, Me & Anthropologie - how on earth do I justify another shirtdress?? Especially if I'm leaning toward the navy, and I already have a navy Reed and a Two-Wheeler Shirtdress?

Answer: I can justify getting the blue one because I don't have a blue shirtdress like
this one. Like Carol said, this one's less of a blue and more of a "deep purple." And that makes it totally different.


...yeah, that's it. Sure.

Here's the Pencil Eraser Dress ($118) and I'm wearing a 2 and Kathryn is wearing a 4. I think this is more or less true to size, though the fit was a little roomy. I don't think I'd size down, because then the waist might be too snug for comfort. There was room to spare in the hips and in the bodice, though. Kathryn and I were both dubious about the vertical stripes going across our hips, and in the fitting room, we both sort of hated it (especially when I was trying to get it off. I think I actually exclaimed, "I hate this dress!" while stuck with it half on and half off). There's a side zip on the dress, but I felt like it didn't open up quite as much as I needed it to. The top half of the dress is made of a really light knit material - sort of like a flimsy t-shirt - and I kept feeling afraid that I was going to stretch it out terribly, while trying to pull it off on or off of me. The top felt too big on me, but I am smaller chested - so if you have a similarly petite top half, you might want to avoid this dress. In the side-view shot (photo, above right), you can see that on both of us, the top half of the dress is sort of loose and bunchy ("blousy" seems the wrong word, because the fabric is too light to have any shape on its own). The photos don't look terrible, but I felt like this dress was all sorts of wrong on me. Back to the rack!

Kathryn: While we were in the dressing room, this dress did absolutely nothing for me. In fact, I kept thinking back to In Living Color with Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier, when they'd turn to the camera and say, "Hated it!"

Looking at the photos now, I guess it doesn't look all that bad, but the zipper pull on the side was such a pain in the arse and the material was so thin and cheap-feeling that I still put this dress in the "pass" pile. Three snaps in Z-formation.

Here is the Dagmar Shirtdress ($148), which I am wearing in a 2 and Kathryn is wearing in a 4. This runs a bit small, but it might feel that way more because of the restricted sense of movement around the back and shoulders, due to the lack of give in the fabric. The color of this dress is incredible - the deep blue-based red is just beautiful, but Kathryn and I were both underwhelmed by the way the dress looked from the front. The funny this - we loved how it looked from the side and the back! I might consider this one when it goes on sale - though, if I follow the advice of Fr. (Tim) Gunn, I know that I should just let it pass quietly out of my life.

Kathryn: Oh, how I wanted to love this dress after seeing it on the lovely Cat of Anthrosdottir. Unfortunately, I didn't love it on me as much as I loved it on her. Unlike the Reed Shirtdress, there's no smocking on the back of this dress so there's zero give in the fabric. I tried on a 4 and it felt like I'd need to go up to a 6 in order for it to fit me comfortably. The fabric is more substantial than the Reed, Beda, Tiny Windows or Secret Treasure Dresses. I'm not exactly sure why, but I like the view of the dress from the side much better than I like it from the front. I love the deep red color of the dress, but I just don't love this dress enough to pop for it at $148. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I'd pop for it at half price. This is one of those, "I like it but don't love it" dresses. Pass for now.

**EDIT: DH just saw the photos and commented, "You guys look like employees in a tropical resort." Hahaha!

Here is the darling Sugar and Cream Dress ($158) and I don't want it to pass quietly out of my life! I tried it on for fun at first, but once I got it on (they didn't have it in Kathryn's size, which is why she wasn't able to try it with me) Kathryn exclaimed, "Oh, that'd be perfect for Kate's birthday party!" And it would! I love it! There's something so wonderfully Alice-Mad-Hatter-Tea-Party about this dress, and ladies with small chests - this dress makes you look like you have one! Silly, but every bit counts. The skirt hit me right under my knee, so it was a reasonable length on me. I didn't buy it right away, because that's my new rule - if I want something, I have to go home, look at the photos and think about it, and then, decide if I really need/want it still. I'm home, I'm looking at the photo, and I'm thinking I want this dress. I even announced to DH last night, "I want a tea-cup dress." He looked at me in that cautious way you look at crazy people when they say weird things. I have to show him the picture, and then hopefully he'll get it.

Kathryn: Ah, the Graces Tank. The blogosphere wasn't lying - this baby is sheer. It's a little ridiculous! What, didn't anybody in Anthropologie's production office notice how thin the material is..? Especially in the light colors? I'd need to find a cami to wear with this, just so I don't expose my underthings to the entire Western hemisphere. I do like the concept of this tank with its cascading ruffles, so I might be willing to actually seek out a cami to wear with it because I like the idea of this tank so much. Wishlisted!

(Dear Sara - if you're reading this, your eyes don't deceive you. Yes, I tracked down the Scalloped Dots Skirt. =))


  1. What a fabulous reviews set! You ladies tried on 3 or 4 things I was looking at. My little preppy heart is dying over the Grosgrain Peaks Dress, and while I hear you on how hard it is to put on I must say that you've only deepened my love for it. And the Sugar and Cream Dress -- need it!!

    I love that you try on both colorways simultaneously when they're available. I guess I need to clone myself?

  2. Kathryn-The Scalloped Dots Skirt looks great on you! How did you manage to track it down so quickly?

    Carol-You have to get the Sugar and Cream Dress! It would be a perfect party dress. I can't wait to try it on! I'm also cracking up at your husband's tropical resort comment. Too funny!

    My favorite dresses on both of you are the Grosgrain Peaks Dress and the Secret Treasure Dress. You can never have too many shirtdresses....right?

  3. you two are so darling, dressing up together :) it is very helpful to have side-by-side comparisons and these are great reviews!

  4. I love when you two do side-by-side reviews! I completely agree with you on the Dagmar dress. I loved it from the side view, but not so much from the front. I felt a little matronly in it, but my gosh, the print is so beautiful.

    You both look great in the Secret Treasure dress. And I was LOL when I read the justification for the blue one. Hilarious! Sounds like something I would say. Great post!

  5. Aww how cute. Carol, I think the sugar and cream dress will be perfect for the party! :)

    I love the secret treasure dress on both of you. You both know I'm a huge fan of that dress. And I do agree now that looking back at the photos of the pencil eraser dress, that it's a little boring. I'd still get it if it went on sale. Lets hope it goes on sale fast!! :)

  6. HI!
    love your side-by-sides and had a question about the secret treasure dress.... did you find the blue one to fit slightly different...perhaps longer waisted??? I was in UTC store the other day but still have not seen that dress, I did take the Odille flowery halter on sale in both the 2 & 4 as I could not decide between the 2 and wanted to also see how it worked with my other things.... also I may need a "professional opinion."

  7. Carol: The sugar and cream dress...yes, yes yes! It's perfect on you.
    Kathryn: The pencil eraser dress looks fantastic on you.

    Thanks for the shoutout :) For the record, you both look lovely in the dagmar dress!! Have a great 4th!

  8. Carol - I love the sugar and cream dress on you and it's the first thing on my wish list - question: is it a true empire waist? I'm a larger size than you - between an 8 and a 10 and have a 34DD chest - an empire waist would look terrible on me - I have a tiny waist, so I need my dresses to be waisted.

  9. I love the Graces Tank on you Kathryn; it looks lovely with the Scalloped Dots skirt.

  10. I like all the dresses on you two! I really love that vibrant green in the first one. And I'm so excited to see a review of the Sugar & Cream dress. Carol, you need that for your party! :-) Kathryn, I love the picture where you showed the full skirt of the polka dot dress!

  11. Love the Grosgrain Peaks on both of you - ack! It's CUTE!

    And the Dagmar dress is on it's way to me, and even though you two aren't feeling the love - I think you both look DARLING in this dress, and it's giving me hope that I can pull it off - your picture makes me even more excited for it to arrive!

    Carol - you really do need that dress for Kate's party, it's just too perfect!

    Kathryn - love the scalloped dot skirt on you - it's one of my favorites - hooray that you found one!

  12. I love your side by side reviews!!!!

    And I'm laughing out loud at the resort employee comment. I never considered that dress very tropical but now I guess I kinda do!
    you two can do no wrong-everything always looks good on you both!

  13. Awesome post, as always! The sugar and cream wearing a regular bra possible? I lo-o-v-e the look of it, but a pretty frock gets a pass from me, if I have to don a special contraption to wear it!

  14. The Sugar and Cream Dress looks great and I think it would be great for Kate's party, if I do say so myself! I liked this post, with being able to see the same item on two different people side by side. It really seems like you two have an amazing friendship.

  15. You two are so adorable with the side by side reviews! I just love them. And both of you ROCK the Anthro dresses! Why, oh why can't I get any that work for me?

  16. When you belt the dagmar it looks really good! Sorry it didn't work for you but I did like your husbands comment...LOL!

  17. Hi Carol and Kathryn! I just found your blog and I have to say, I LOVE it! I love all of your reviews and opinions on all of the Anthro products! Especially the side by side reviews! I think your blog is my favorite of all of the Anthro blogs! :)

    And Carol I think the Sugar and Cream dress looks absolutely adorable on you! In fact I didn't really look twice at that dress but now that I've seen how cute it looks on you, I might have to pick it up! I hope you get it--it looks like it would be fun to wear to a party!

  18. Hi guys,
    Did you buy the Traced Twirls Dress? WIll you be willing to sell it? Contact me at

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