Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Frocks (More Fitting Room Reviews)

Happy Monday, everyone!  Hope you're all doing well.  The weather in San Diego has improved somewhat - overall, we're supposed to have weather in the mid to low 70s this week, and I'm absolutely thrilled.  I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, heat is only acceptable on weekend days, when I'm at the beach.  

Truth be told, every time I see another blog in which the author is bedecked in layers of cooler-weather fare, I positively seethe with envy.  I'm so impatient to pull out my tights and boots and sweaters and coats! Soon, I hope, soon.  

Meanwhile, here are some dresses I tried on recently:

Here is the Braque Bodice Dress ($158) by Plenty by Tracy Reese.  I'm wearing it in a size 2, and it fit me true to size.  I'm not really sure why I picked this dress up while browsing the store - when I saw it on Anthro's website, I was underwhelmed, and on the hanger, it's not a whole lot better.  Maybe I was hypnotized by the deep, dusky greens?  I have a soft spot in my heart for deep, dusky greens (for those of you who've been following this blog for a while, you'll know there was a green dress in my past that I loved and lost).  Anyway, suffice it to say, I did not go into the store planning to try this dress on, nor did I expect to like it, once I had it on.  But...I did.  I really, really did.  I liked it enough that I carried it out to my husband, who was waiting for me with the kids outside of the fitting rooms and asked him whether he thought I should get this one, or the Refined Cord Shirtdress.  (Don't worry - he counseled me wisely, and told me to go with the Refined Cord Shirtdress.  A good man, that one).  This is pretty lightweight jersey dress - it would have been comfortable on during that heat wave last week (if anything can be comfortable on, when it's over 100 degrees), so aside from its colors, it's not terribly cold-weather appropriate.  I mean, I can surely layer a thin long-sleeved shirt under it or a cardigan over it and tights, etc, to increase wearability in colder months, but I don't know that I'd recommend it for something living in the Northeast, for instance.  Still, it felt super comfy, I didn't hate the black corset design in the bodice, and felt girly and pretty in it.  Overall, I found it oddly appealing, and if I sound ambivalent about it, it's mostly because I'm still surprised by the fact that I liked it that much.  It's fairly different from my other dresses, so I think it may be my next dress purchase, whenever that is.  Wishlisted...for sale?

Hmm...I don't know.  It may not get away so easily, next time....

This is the Matilija Burnout Dress ($188), which I'm wearing in a size 2.  There's something about velvet that just cries out, "holiday!" to me.  It makes me think of winter weddings, holiday dinners, and yuletide parties.  This dress would be appropriate for any of the above.  This dress is a study in contrasts to me, because there are some very conservative, even demure elements to it (slightly longer skirt length, black sash that ties in a bow in the back, sheath-like silhouette) and then there's the slightly subversive and sexy peak-a-boo lace shoulder, and deep v-neck line.  On flat-chested me, the v-neck isn't too bad.  But Heather (Fashion Valley Anthro Personal Shopper extraordinaire) noted that there's a possibility of some va-va-va-voom going on at the neckline with bustier women.  The burn-out velvet is a gorgeous, gorgeous teal blue color and while the dress isn't exactly my style, I still thought it was very pretty and liked it very much.  

Close-up of lace shoulder and burn-out velvet fabric.

Continuing the holiday theme is the Evening Enchantment Dress ($188), which I am wearing in a 2 as well.  This strapless, velvet dress is classic and simple, but not dull.  From the tiny diagonal pintucks on the bodice (see below for detail) and the folk-art inspired embroidery at the waist, I found this to be a wonderful exercise in the understated but not underwhelming category of dresses.  It's got a slightly longer skirt, as it hit me just below the knee, has pockets, and it comes with detachable straps.  I don't anticipate having an appropriate occasion to wear a dress like this, but if you've got a swankier variety of office party to attend (you know, the kind that's hosted at a location other than your office building), you might want to give this dress a go.  

Pintucks in bodice and close-up of embroidered waist.

This is the Bouquet Toss Dress ($168) in a size 2 (photo above).  It was huge.  I was swimming in it.  I had no idea what was supposed to be going on...

And here it is in a size 0. Aaahh...much, much better!  (Petite ladies - please note that this dress runs big and some of you may be sized out of it).  You know, this is one of those dresses that I kept walking right past, every time I was in the store.  For some reason, it just did nothing for me on the hanger.  But then, one day, I decided that I might as well give it a go, and you know what?  I really really liked it.  It was a bit of a surprise, to be honest, but I found myself really pleased with the colors, and I liked the sort of blousy (for lack of a better word) 3/4 length sleeves, and the neckline was modest and easy...I found myself looking in the mirror and thinking, "I could do this...I could totally do this..."

I admit that I do have a few problems with it: 1) it's not a dress I can breastfeed in - the neckline doesn't scoop low enough or wide enough to push off the shoulder, so if I bought it, it'd be a strictly non-Kate function dress for the time being.  Second, it's dry-clean only, and as much as I love silk dresses, I hate my dry-cleaning bill.  Third, I'm in a bit of a quandary as to what color belt I should wear with it - the cognac color of the Three Beacons Belt I was wearing that day doesn't seem to be quite right.  In spite of these strikes against it, I like it enough that I'd strongly consider it at sale time - and if it actually made it to a second cut, I'd snap it up without hesitation.  Wishlisted for sale!

So...I got my October catalogue in my mailbox last Friday...was there anything in it that's tempting you?


  1. Hey Carol
    You look so cute as always!
    I actually like the Bouquet Toss Dress (in the size 0 and with a belt) on you the most. Even though it's probably not practical when breastfeeding (now), you could always wear it later on. I think the colour is really pretty.

    I usually love Tracy Reese dresses, but i'm just not feeling it with the Braque Bodice Dress. I think it looks abit strange with the black fabric at the bodice. It's almost like you're wearing a black boob tube on top of a green dress!
    The Matilija Burnout Dress is OK, i actually thought it was a blue leopard print at first! The Evening Enchantment Dress is great fit, but you're right, you need an occasion to wear it to!
    I've seen the october catalog, and there isn't much that caught my eye (what a relief!!). The only thing i want is the CLINTON TRENCH (in the navy)! hmmm...this could be a money-saving month for me..
    Aussie Anthro Addict

  2. Braque Bodice looks amazing on you!!! I agree with Jen's comment above, but I think the fit is really flattering...

    I also love the Bouquet Toss on you, fits your personality. The Evening Enchantment is def a solid holiday dress... may have to check it out myself :)

  3. I agree with Miss Hayes- love the Braque Bodice Dress, actually. I'm seeing it with black tights, pretty black booties, and some girly/feminine drop earrings, and maybe a colorful ring in purple- it'd be a super fun one to accessorize!

  4. I love the Bouquet Toss Dress on you. We have the same body type so now you are forcing me to try it on. I also walked by it not even thinking of trying it on.

  5. Love, love, love that first dress...hmmm...may have to go try it on myself now! Didn't get my catalogue yet but am waiting patiently for it...any day now!

  6. I wasn't tempted by a lot in the new catalog as much as I am by seeing these reviews!!! I love the Evening Enchanment dress so much!!! We are hosting a holiday get together and i think I would be the hostest with the mostest if i wore that.

  7. I thought the Braque Bodice Dress was hopeless, until I saw it on you - you really DO look cute in the dress! You have a way with pulling off corset styles! I really love the Bouquet Toss Dress too, it's just adorable! Totally different feel from the other one - it's very sweet!

  8. You guys are too cute. I want to start a blog with my bestie now too!

  9. Hi, Carol
    May i ask where you get that bow necklace?It looks very nice. Thanks!