Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hodge-Podge (fitting room reviews)

Hello everyone!  Hope you're all having a great weekend so far. My family trekked up to the OC and Los Angeles to see family and visit the Griffith Observatory.  I hadn't been since I was an elementary school teacher 8+ years ago when I used to take my students on field trips there, and DH hadn't been since childhood. It was fun to go see it and it was really nice to see how it had been refurbished and updated.  All the worn and old looking finishes are fresh and sparkly and there's a whole new floor of exhibit space under the original floor of the observatory.  I didn't get to see the Planetarium show (kids under 5 aren't allowed in after the very first showing of the day, so Kate and  I had to wait it out while DH and Rowan went) so can't really report back on that, but I can tell you that the views of Los Angeles are just gorgeous, the exhibits are really still pretty fun (yes, yes, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm a total geek in many respects), and the food in the Wolfgang Puck cafe was really not all that bad for a cafeteria set-up (I highly recommend the White Chocolate and Cranberry cookies - yummy!).  If you're ever in the area, and wondering what to do, you should check it out.  The next time we go out there, DH and I agreed to come prepared and tackle the hiking trail that opens at the foot of the Griffith Observatory parking lot.  We were tempted to today (had my ergo with me for Kate) but I was wearing the wrong shoes.  

So, over the past 2 to 3 weeks, I've made a handful of visits to my favorite local Anthropologie (hi Fashion Valley Anthro!  I love you guys!) store, and have collected several random reviews, which I've been sitting on, thinking that I'd be able to organize them somehow, and present them to you in some sort of compelling fashion.  This never really happened, so I decided I'd better go through them and get them out there to you before we find ourselves well into the next season.  

This is the Headwaters Tee ($58) by Pilcro, which I'm wearing in an XS, and I'd say it's pretty TTS.  I picked this up thinking it looked like a comfortable and easy top to wear with jeans around the house and possibly dress up a little for work when necessary.  And it is.  It's cotton, it's machine washable, it's heather gray.  It's got a ruffle-like self-fabric ribbon embellishment that adds interest, but isn't really well defined or...terribly inspiring in any way.  I found the sleeves to be an odd length - not quite short, not quite long, not 3/4 or even what I'd call a half sleeve.  It was almost more along the lines of a 2/5 sleeve.  (As of writing time, it's well-past midnight, bear with me here).  Overall, I found the top serviceable but sort of boring, and also without any real identity.  This was a pass for me.

This is the Chilled Ripples Shell ($118) by Floreat and I'm wearing it in a 2 and would say it's pretty TTS.  This pretty silk top has a blousy cut that I found it roomy but not overly so, and with the combined side zip, it was easy to pull on over my head.  With the neck untied, I felt rather like a debauched English gentleman from the Georgian period (think colonial times, for us Yanks).  I much preferred it tied closed, but then, felt like all the details verged on fussy for me.  I find the black mesh florette and the little white lace flowers haphazardly scattered around the collar sort of odd and after-thought-ish.  It's almost as though the blouse was a grade-school art project, and someone gave a 2nd grader a hot glue gun and some appliques and said, "hey, go at it!"  And this causes some serious cognitive, not to mention aesthetic dissonance for me, because the collar and neckline are really carefully and beautifully constructed otherwise.  All of that combined with the fact that this pale shade of dry-clean only silk is totally non-child-resistant left me feeling deflated and on the verge of a headache, so back to the rack.  However, it does look quite lovely on Roxy and Tien, so if you love it, try it out. 

Here are the Falling Folds Pants ($118) by Elevenses, which I'm wearing in a size 2.  I had no idea these pants would be so great!  Apparently, all the other short women in America did, though, because the night I got home from trying these on, I went online to see if it was offered in a petite cut - and yes it was!  But gah, it was sold out in my size (2P) and as of writing time, all the petite sizes are totally sold out! I liked these so much on, though, that I may just suck it up and buy the regular size 2 at full price and have them hemmed by my tailor.  They're a terrific wide-leg trouser that just drapes beautifully and is a wonderful grayish-brown color. I also wore them here, with my puppy-love outfit.  Fabulous! Wishlisted!

The Stormy Paisley Sweater Jacket ($128) caught my eye when it showed up in an outfits set released by Anthro a few weeks back.  I loved the way it was styled with jeans and a soft pink top peeking out from beneath with that pop of turquoise in the Hidden Sun Mary-Janes.  So, when I saw it in my store, I was very excited - until I realized there was no extra small for me to try on.  Instead, I've got the small on here, and it was pretty big on me.  I'd be hopeful that the XS, if there is one, would be a much better fit.  Overall, I liked the jacket, but didn't love it - it's much less structured than I thought it would be - the fabric really sort of flops, and I had to play around with the collar for a while, to get it layered in way I liked.  I wish I could have tried on my correct size, because I think it might give me a nice shape with its cropped and fitted waist, but can't say for sure.  This one is wishlisted for sale consideration.  If anyone has seen it in an XS in their store, let me know.  I'd be curious to try one on. 

This is the Cafe Racer Jacket ($268) by Idra which I'm wearing in an XS.  When I saw this online, I was intrigued, because as some of you may know, I've been looking into leather jackets, trying to find one that is cute on and minimally smelly (I sort of hate leather smell - it makes me a little queasy).  So, on the night I came into the store and saw it, I was pretty excited to try it out.  Wow, was I underwhelmed once I got it on!  The sleeves were too long, the color did not get along with my skin tone, and the fit of the body was off.  When zipped up, I thought it was sort of cute, but unzipped, I hated the way it looked.  I really wanted to like this jacket, but wow, no. And no again.  I kept messing around with it, trying to figure out how to make it into the leather jacket of my dreams, but finally gave up and decided I just needed to move on.  

Next up, you get a two for one - the Finishing School Skirt ($78) by Cartonnier and Showpiece Tee ($58) by Deletta.  So, the day I was in the store, I'd already gone to the fitting room and tried on a ton of things, but on my way out of the store, my eye landed on this skirt, and I found myself with a sudden and terrific need to try it on right away.  I'm wearing the size 2 and it's TTS.  I loved the russety orange-red color, I loved the soft, almost plush, fine-wale corduroy, and the super cute (functionally kick, but aesthetically adorable!) pleats in the back. Was there anything I didn't  love about this skirt? No, and no.  I took it home with me.  I've worn it 3 times in the two weeks I've owned it.  It may be one of my favorite pieces of clothing this fall. I grabbed this top in order to have something to wear with the skirt when I took photos (I was wearing a dress that day), but I have to say, I was still fairly hopeful and excited when I saw it on the hanger.  When I had it on though, I was much more ambivalent.  While I found the details pretty and the top fit fairly well (it was a teeny bit big in the XS), I didn't love the neckline.  It seemed like the designer started at the bottom of the tee and worked his or her way up and then by the time they got to the neck, they just ran out of steam and slapped this on because they were tired and couldn't be bothered.  I still liked it enough to want to add it to my closet eventually, but it's wishlisted for sale.

Just a quick close-up of the details on this tee.

Last but definitely not least is the Lima Lines Skirt ($98) by Sparrow.  I'm wearing it in the XS here, and it's TTS.  I had to try this on after seeing Kathryn wear it in her review, as I have a not-so-secret love of stripes and fun colors.  Once it was on, I was sold.  This sweater skirt fit well, was a good length, and is going to be so easy to pair things with during the fall, winter, and even spring.  My only issue with it?  The higher price tag.     This skirt, along with so many darling fall skirts (the tweed Pheasant Skirt for one) will have to wait until I get a fresh influx of income and/or maybe sale time.  Or at least the actual onset of the fall season.  Wishlisted!


  1. Thanks for trying the Cafe Racer jacket! I loved it online and had seriously considered getting it, but you're right, the color IRL looks off and it reminds me of a Members' Only jacket.

    I do love the Lima Lines skirt on you though - and I think I may just have to buy it for myself, as I'm addicted to stripes too!

  2. I really like the Lima Lines skirt on you. It's very flattering. Lucky for me, I can wait for it to go on sale since it's still very hot here in the DC area. I can't even think about fall clothing right now with the temperatures we've been having --- mid 90's.

  3. the falling folds pants look absolutely wonderful as you! as a fellow petiter I support you 110% in getting them in the regular 2 and hemming them. I was also wondering what white blouse you were wearing with the Lima Lines skirt. the cut is absolutely perfect!

  4. @Lisa - I totally agree with you - like a jacket from the '80s, but not good '80s, right? And thanks - you should totally try the Lima Lines, it's so great!

    @Diem - oh, I hear you on waiting for fall weather. It's been a fairly mild summer here in San Diego, but I just know we're going to be in the '80s and '90s in October. =P I'm trying to wait - we'll see if I can make it.

    @Dianna - thanks! =D The top is actually the Daring Dart blouse, which is on sale now. I think the sizes online are limited, but you could probably track one down in store, if you called CS.

  5. Great fitting-room reviews as usual Carol!

    Both Skirts = love (esp corduroy)
    Pants = love on you (but why are all the petites' sizes gone ALREADY?)

    Leather jacket = not love, wierd cut and colour

    Cameos of baby Kate = love


  6. Hello Carol
    I absolutely adore the Chilled Ripples Shell top with the Falling Folds Pants - its a fantastic combo! How could you not get the top?? its so pretty!
    I also love the showpiece tee - the detail is gorgeous.
    Nothing to be said about the lima Lines - great colours, great fit! go for it!

  7. i really like the finishing school skirt (which i'm buying as soon as i can find it in my store) and the lima lines skirt... both of which look ADORABLE on you. any suggestions on what to wear with the lima lines skirt though? i like the idea of a crisp clean white button down shirt, but i'm afraid of being too one note with it...

  8. The Finishing School Skirt looks fab on you! I'm keeping my eyes peeled for that one now. Lima Lines too, though I'm with you on waiting for sale on that one.

  9. i just found you off google and am looking to get that cafe racer jacket. you didn't like it? hmmm.i have been looking at the gray and tan and wondering which color would be best. do you think it just didn't fit right, or there was something wrong with the jacket itself?

  10. Hi Linda - the Cafe Racer Jacket has a distinctly '80s vibe to it, particularly in the tan. (See this post, where Kathryn notes a striking similarity between this jacket and Luke Skywalker's jacket: I haven't seen the gray personally, so I don't know if it'd be different. So, aside from not loving the look of it, it had a waist band that cinched tightly around my hips and the rest of the jacket sort of bunched funny between the waistband and my shoulders...I can't speak for other body types, but I'm short-waisted and short, so you should take that into consideration too. Hope that helps!