Sunday, August 22, 2010

Unseasonably Warm (Clothes...Fitting Room Reviews)

Happy weekend, everyone!  It's a warm, sunny, summer day here in SoCal, and I'm itching to go to the beach or find myself a pool to park myself in. Yesterday morning, we actually found ourselves in Hollywood, attending a birthday party at the El Capitan Theater (happy birthday, Rigel!).  Toy Story 3 is currently playing there, and if you're in the area and you have kids, I highly recommend the experience.  Not only is the theater's 3D excellent (it blew the "digital 3D" at our local Regal Cinema out of the water), there's also a pre-screening live organ player (I know, sounds odd, but think early days of American cinema - the music is so nostalgic and fun!) and afterwards, you get entry into the Toy Story Funzone, which is like a little amusement park that they've set up a short walk from the theater on the fields of a local nearby high school.  It's terrific, with huge tented areas with games (video, arcarde, and boardwalk games), craft centers, a ferris wheel and bungee bounce, tricycle racetrack (with both child and adult sized trikes!), toys, mazes, and playground equipment.  It was really fun, and we got to take photos with costumed characters (Woody, Buzz, and Jesse), who also performed a little song-and-dance show for the kids.  Disney does this sort of thing well, and we were not disappointed.  

On Friday, I received an email from Heather, the personal shopper at the Fashion Valley Anthropologie store, letting me know that they had received the Ha'Penny Cardigan and did I want to come in and try it on?  She had remembered that I had been looking for it a couple weeks back, and I was super excited to go see it in real life.  When I got there, I found that she'd pulled a few things for me to try out, and without further ado, here they are:

Here are the Changing Canopy Dress, styled with the Ha'penny Cardigan and the Banded Together belt in brown.  The dress (pictured above left) was one I'd completely overlooked on the website, but was pleasantly surprised by.  I'm wearing the size 2, and it fit me really well.  It's silk and feels light enough for these hot summer months but is totally fall-and-winter appropriate, with the changing-leaf print. (Please note that the product shot's print (here) is slightly different than that of the dress I'm wearing - I think it's an instance of, "how the fabric is rolled out and cut."  If Cat from Anthrosdottir were to order this dress, this would probably be one that she'd need to order several of, to get the one with the print-placement she liked best). The skirt came right to my knee, so was a great length for me, and the waist nipped in nicely.  The top of the dress wasn't too big as can be the case on narrow-shouldered, smaller-chested me, so I'd say this is a great item for petite women to consider.  There's a side zip, pockets, and the brown silk sash can be removed.

The Ha'penny Cardigan ($128) is great.  I'm wearing the XS, and I think it runs pretty TTS, as I think it's supposed to be a more relaxed fit. I LOVE this sweater! I had ordered and tried on the Alice in Autumn, and as you may realize if you're a regular reader, I didn't even bother to blog it.  It was that underwhelming for me.   But this!  I want this sweater in 2, maybe 3 different colors!  Heather had paired the reddish dress with the purple Ha'penny, and I thought this was a really successful combination, despite the fact that it evokes the purple hat ladies (who almost always seem to be wearing red with said purple).  I can't say enough about how cool this sweater's collar is!  The outer edge of it runs along a long tie, and you can push or pull the collar up or down on the ties to get different styling effects.  It's like having multiple sweaters in one!  The sweater is great belted (I found myself really liking the Banded Together Belt that Heather pulled for me - may need to add that to my wishlist) and as I stood there looking at myself in this outfit, I could only think, "Drat.  My lists are getting longer by the second."

That's a "my-wallet-is-groaning" expression.  Horrible, just horrible.

Here are the Muted Lavender Top ($58) and AG Stevie Cords ($158) in the wine color.  This is another outfit that Heather pulled for me.  The top is a very pretty, "fall" version of the Curated Tee, but instead of stripes there were leaf prints in various shades of lavender and lilac.  It has the same boat-neck and ruched sleeves.  I'm wearing the XS and it was TTS.  The AG cords were amazing!  I'm wearing the size 26, and they fit perfectly, though were long in the inseam (typical for 5'2" me).  I love these - they were comfy and so flattering for a skinnier silhouette.  The color was also the deep, gorgeous wine color, and will go with so many different fall/winter hues beautifully.  The length on these are too long for 5'2" me - for these photos, I folded them up and in, so they look closer to how they will when hemmed.  Sadly, they're not offered in petite sizing, but I think they're worth the hassle of taking to the tailor to be altered.  The top, while pretty, didn't inspire love me in, but the cords?  They're now on my "Buy at Full Price" list.

Here is the outfit topped with the Ha'penny cardigan in the yellow color, which is rather more of a mustard.  I don't think this was my best color, so I think I'm definitely leaning towards the purple over this yellow.  Note that in the shots above, the sweater is unbelted and the collar has been pulled down loosely on the ties, to drape in a shawl-like manner.   The back of the sweater has some smocking, to give it more shape when unbelted.  That way, it avoids being sack-like, as it's fitted in the back, even when it's looser in the front.

And just for fun, here's the Ha'penny again, this time in oatmeal, and this time with the collar gathered high on the ties, and the ties tied in a bow together, to close the top of the cardigan.  One more detail - there are no closures on the cardi, aside from the two ties at the top.  I'm not sure which color I should buy first - purple, oatmeal, or maybe even gray (I didn't try that one on).  I like the purple best, but I'm not sure if I'd find as much to wear it with in my closet as the oatmeal color.  Gray is always a practical color for fall/winter, and I'd probably get a lot of wear out of that...sigh.  What to do? 

I decided to try on the Kirklees Sweater Coat ($148) too, just to be fair (can't let it be said that I didn't give other longer cardis a try).  I'm wearing the XS, and found it to be TTS.  The fit of this body reminds me a lot of the Alice in Autumn - fitted upper half, looser lower half, and pretty collar.  The collar is different from the Alice in Autumn, and of course, the Kirklees has the print, but as for the rest of it, it's pretty much the same.  The sleeves are pretty slim in fit.  If you do get one or decide to try one on, check for strange puckering at the waistline - if you look at the photo above right,  you might notice a weird bubbling effect in the sweater, right beneath the waist seam, under my left arm (your right side).  I don't think it's supposed to do that, and rather thought it was an error in construction.  If it's intentional, I think it looks awful.  I can't imagine it was...

Meanwhile, it's 82 degrees outside here in San Diego - totally appropriate weather for sweaters of the longer and coat-ish variety.  *clears throat*  Or something...  ^_-


  1. I love those cords on you - LOVE! I hope you get them.
    The Kirklees Sweater Coat is definitely not supposed to do that weird bubbling thing - I think maybe you got a defective one. Mine doesn't do that! I know you're not crazy about it - but it's super cute on you.
    I love the purple Ha'Penny Sweater on you the most - it's so flattering with your skin tone. I tried it on and it was way too big and overwhelming, but it's so pretty on you!

  2. Thanks for a great review post!! I now must absolutely have the outfit consisting of the cords, muted lavender top (which was a LOVE for me :), and now I'm so excited about the Ha'Penny Sweater it's the perfect topper! Love all the colors...too. Maybe I can buy the purple and convince my hubby to get me the mustard (which is his fav color).
    I hope it doesn't overwhelm me like it did Kim (I'm 5'8)-sometimes my larger bust makes ruffly/voluminous tops just too much. I'm running to the store this week to try it out. Everything looks adorable and perfect on you, btw :)

  3. Lucky you that you can wear those awesome cords........... I look like a walking butt on sticks and I am only a 2-4P!! Heather is great!!! She helped me last week....hugs!!!!

  4. I love the mustard color of the sweater coat. If given a choice, i tend to gravitate towards the golds/yellows so to see that style in that color gets me very excited!!!

  5. I love the ha'penny in purple on you!

  6. i really love the mustard ha'penny cardi on you! maybe you saw something we're not in the photos though. but i really think it looks amazing on you - especially with the cords and the muted lavender tee - what a great ensemble!

  7. I love the cords on you! They are so flattering and how perfect for fall. I know you didn't care much for the top, but that outfit is sensational. I may just get the whole thing for myself.

  8. Hmm, I just looked back at the pictures I took in the Kirklees and I can totally see the puckers now that you pointed it out! I think it must have to do with where the pleats fall when you have it on/which probably depends on your frame. While it's disappointing that didn't work out, the Ha'penney can surely fill the void ;) I LOVE you in the plum color, really that shade is just awesome on you - hands down it gets my vote!

  9. I'm really loving this sweater and I can tell I'm going to wanna get it so I'm scared to try it on. Haha...I love the lavender the best with the mustard a close second.

  10. My Kirklees Sweater Coat did the same thing! I hated it!

  11. Hi Carol!
    I was skeptical about the Ha'penny cardigan, but I love the looks Heather pulled for you (Yay Heather!!!) You should know...AG makes the most AMAZING cords. Buttery soft, stretchy and comfy, and they last FOREVER. I have some Angels from about 4 years ago I pull out every fall/winter, but I am definitely looking forward to this fit for boots. At the factory (I have been there!) they start out as white fabric and they dye them all as finished cords so the color is perfect. They also make them in small batches, cutting in short stacks and their fabric is rolled (instead of being pulled) and relaxed for a minimum of 24 hours. The pockets are slightly angled for a rounder booty look and stitched on by a machine using a template so they are always perfectly placed. The quality standards are the best in the industry and they are 100% worth full price. You will own them forever. You have my blessing, buy the cardigan AND the cords. LOVE them.

  12. I loved the Muted Lavender Top so much when I tried it on last week that I bought it. I've been trying to wait for sale recently but it was just too flattering to pass up. You look terrific in it and I love it with the cords!

  13. haha... You are absolutely right. This would be a dress that would cause me to add 10 to cart. I really need to seek help for this disorder I have. You MUST get those cords!!

  14. I just came back from Anthro and tried on the ha'penney cardigan. I also then had to come back here and see your blog entry again. The cardigan looked horrible on me! And in the dressing room I was thinking how did Carol look so cute in it? I must have worn it wrong! Hhaa.

  15. Wow, the Ha'penney cardi is so nice on you carol. I think out of all those things you tried on, that is the best. I loved how you wore it with the belt - does wonders to define the waist! the purple colour is my preference, and i can see this cardi as a timeless piece.
    i don;t like the kirklees sweater coat - its NOT you, it's the print of it. the print is to busy for my liking.
    thanks for a great review..

  16. Oh, wow, those AG Cords look fabulous on you!!! I probably would never have looked twice at them before, but now I have added them to my wishlist! I wonder if I would have to have them tailored too, though...I'm only 5'4".

    I just can't get on board with that Kirklees Sweatercoat...I think the print/color scheme is very polarizing, and I've noticed that people are either loving or hating it. I'm with the latter! But I do like the Ha'Penny Cardigan on you a lot! I also think the Muted Lavender Top is really cute on you, even though it's not the most exciting piece ever :)

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