Monday, January 10, 2011

Dresses, Dresses, Dresses (Fitting Room Reviews)

Hi everyone! Hope you're all doing well on this lovely Monday. Yesterday, I made my brave, bold way into my favorite Anthropologie store (hello, Fashion Valley Anthro!) in the face of my shopping ban, because 1) I had returns to make and 2) I was meeting up with Maya, and she's so super fun, I hate to miss an opportunity to hang out with her. I'm not sure how it happened, exactly, but I picked out four "new arrival" dresses, you know, to do "research" for the blog. You'd think that out of the four I tried on, I'd find one that fit me well and really loved, right? It's just my luck that I loved all four of the dresses I tried on - while on a shopping ban. It's what I get for even going into the store. SIGH.

 I was so excited when I spied this dress in the store, because it's been making my heart beat a little faster every time I laid eyes on it on the website. I made a beeline for it, and ooh-ed and aah-ed over it, for a good two minutes, before even taking it in hand. I'm wearing the size 0 in these photos, and it fit me to a tee. It's a lovely, lovely dress - the sort I adore (fitted bodice, natural waist, full skirt) that's got all the features of a perfect dress - machine washable, pockets, pretty-pretty-pretty! I decided that this was absolutely going to have to be one of the things I buy when I make it to April (which is when I'll take a brief shopping ban hiatus - it's my birthday month). So wishlisted for sure, right? Without a doubt! At least, until...

 Pom Flower Shift ($158)

Um. I...I think I love this dress even more than the Sun Shade Dress. Which, now that I think of it, is an awful lot like the De Chelly Dress, in terms of cut and silhouette. I mean, I still love it (the Sun Shade Dress). But...I think I love this sheath dress more. When I saw it in the store, I picked it up in the size 0, just because I thought it'd be good to try on for the blog. Seriously. It's not really my sort of thing. I'm not really a sheath/shift dress sort of girl. Even the print and colors - can't say they did anything for me.

At least, that is, until I put the dress on. It's really, shockingly flattering. It manages, despite, - or maybe because of? - the giant potato-stamp-like print - to be sophisticated, chic, and playful all at once. The sturdy, almost canvas-like fabric is incredibly forgiving, generously hiding any less-than-desirable lumps or bumps. There's a perfectly placed pleat right at the neck, and the skirt hit me just above my knee (which means it'll run a little shorter for taller women). There are no pockets, and it's dry clean only, but I'd still take this dress home in a heartbeat. This is a year-round dress - it can be worn as is for the spring and summer, and with tights and a long-sleeved-layer underneath for the fall and winter. It's totally work appropriate, and easily accessorized for an evening out. And, most importantly, I don't own anything like this at all. No sheath/shift dresses in my closet, thanks. Could really probably use one. Would love it to be this one. Have already come up with several different ways to style it, were I to buy it.

I hate it when things like this happen. >_<

 Sing Sweetly Party Dress ($148)

 Yet another pretty, pretty dress. This one's been getting a lot of love on the blogs, and I'm going to chime in here with the chorus. It's just lovely, with it's sweet bird print and the sage-green sash belt, and the origami-like folds at the bodice. I'm wearing a 0 in these photos, and it fit well overall - but I will say that I found the bodice was a wee bit big for me on top - nothing that a strapless padded bra wouldn't fix, but something to keep in mind, if you're smaller chested, like myself. Anyway, it's an absolutely adorable dress. I don't really have a need for something like this, but if someone were to gift it to me, I wouldn't say no. It's got pockets, a side-zip, and is dry-clean only.

 Gull Wing Dress ($168)

Here's another dress I didn't expect to love but really really did. I'm wearing this in the size 2, and it fit me well. I know a lot of petite women haven't been loving this dress, because of the loose top-effect that happens when you're smaller-chested (as I totally am) but I really, really liked it! In fact, for me, this dress would be contender #2, after the Pom Flower Shift. I was delightfully surprised by how cute this dress is on, as I really expected it to be terrible on me, from the way it looked on the hanger. Yes, there is some extra fabric and room in the chest-area, but it didn't bother me at all - I thought it sort of went well with the flowy feel of the dress - and it really does feel flowy! I loved the nautical details (navy with white piping! What's not to love there?) and I think this is just going to be perfect in the summertime for all kinds of occasions. Beach picnics, backyard bbqs, Fourth of July parties...need I go on? Totally and completely wishlisted and I'm really really hoping it doesn't go on sale soon. Please wait 'til April, please wait 'til April...

Oh, and two quick pieces of news to share about giveaways happening on other blogs: Sandra (of Miss November Studio) is giving away a beautiful sterling silver ring on her personal blog, Closet at Capacity! C@C is actually a brand new blog that she started as part of her New Year's resolution to shop less and remix-more, so I encourage you to check it out. Also, Pamela (whom many of you already know) is giving away a $25 CSN giftcard at her blog, Ginger Girl. If you've never taken a peek at Pamela's blog, make sure you do - she's fabulous and fun!


  1. Carol, you are so funny! I TOO am on a shopping ban for a few months (or until I cannot resist something) because it's almost tax time.

    When I saw the Wing Gull dress on the website, I was like; "Meh", but it looks adorable on!!! I kind of want it. *cries*

  2. I am DYING (a slow and painful death) for the Sing Sweetly and Gull Wing dresses, for me it's a matter of not buying them now because it would be utterly ridiculous weather wise (we're due for more snow tomorrow). I know I can't wear them for months and that by then surely they will be marked down (hopefully???) so I'm waiting. But, I WANT THEM!!! So cute! You look great in all four that you tried on - they all fit you so well!

  3. Oh, the Gull Wing Dress looks fabulous on you! I love the back of it! Maybe it will go on sale just when your shopping ban is over. I've reinstated my shopping ban by the way. Yesterday I tried on two sweaters at Jacob that were each 50% off and decided to (painstakingly) pass on them. I thought *just* trying stuff on would help, but it doesn't. I might have to stop going to the shops all together.



    They are too fabulous and make me long for summer sunshine and warmth.

    Seriously, Carol. I don't know how you do it. I would have walked out with at least one dress because they fit you to a T and each one is so unique and just too damn cute on you! Thanks for 'taking one for the team' and doing the research!!

    And thank you for the giveaway mention! You're awesome!

  5. The Gull Wing dress looks fantastic on you. I'm supposed to be on a budget right now so I'm going to use every ounce of my will power to not immediately put it into my shopping cart. However, I see no harm with adding it to my wishlist and waiting for a sale. Like you said, baby steps.

  6. It was SO much fun shopping with you! You look fabulous in all of them, but the Gull-Wing needs to make its way into your closet :)

  7. I had the same reaction as Kay to the GUll Wing dress - it hasn't jumped out at me online or in the store, but it looks great on you. I didn't realize there was a tie in the back; thanks for that detail shot!

    I'm sure these will still be available in your size come sale time/end-of-shopping-ban-time.

  8. great blog "research"! my fave is probably the Sun Shades Dress as i love the beautiful yellow color and casual cut. hopefully these items will still be around come sale time!

  9. Carol - You truly are so brave & inspiring. I am on a shopping semi-ban. Can only buy 3 things that I am conveting & will have to search really hard to find & may never find them ; )

    One of these dresses may be my first no ban celebration. But only one ; 0

  10. I love all of these on you, it would definitely be hard not to snatch up 1 or more of them once they go on sale. You are a brave soul for tempting yourself, but I am glad you shared these with us!

  11. You look beautiful in ALL the dresses. Btw, did you try on the Sun Shades Dress in a petite or regular size? I reviewed it in a size 2 regular and the skirt looked poufy on me, but on you, it looks perfect :)

  12. oh, I spy your lil daughter in the fitting room! She's too cute 4 words :)

  13. you look great in all four, and I have been coasting on your successful shopping ban adherence so far, so go Carol! I have to say, I buy sheath dresses but I never reach for them in my closet, they're just kind of constricting and not as easy to wear as, say something like the Gull Wing dress. just sayin'
    Thanks for doing some great old fashioned reviews

  14. I'm loving the dress reviews! the sun shades dress is the most perfect fit and flatters so well! it's high up on my wishlist right now.
    Also love the sing sweetly dress as I have on other bloggers. The Pom Flower shift is something i wouldn't normally go for, but i'm starting to develop a liking for it....

  15. You are very brave to not only enter, but try on things during your ban. I am on one as well and broke it last week during the Anthro sale. I'm back on the wagon though. I had wanted the Waving Grains Pumps forever and they finally went on sale and another pair of shoes that went on sale. I'm going to have to stay away from the stores. I can't be trusted......

    You look fabulous in all 4 dresses and I'm another that thought "meh" about the Gull Wing dress, but it looks fabulous on your petite frame.

  16. All of the dresses look great on you, but my favorite is the Sun Shades Dress. It really pops on you and the color looks great against your skin tone. Definitely worthy of being a birthday month splurge :)

  17. Oh my-- I admire your dedicated to your shopping budget. These pretties must have been hard to resist. I too am majorly loving the Sweetly Singing dress. Maybe someone I know will invite me to a spring wedding, so I'll just "have" to buy a new dress. Anyone wanna get married, please?

    These are such great reviews, Carol. Thanks so much!!!

  18. whoops -- "dedication to your shopping budget"...

  19. Oh man. I'm on an unofficial shopping ban, but when you try stuff on like this... I have a similar shape to you and its super helpful to see your fitting room reviews, but... BAN!

    That aside, I really, really love the Sun Shades dress on you. The shape is so pretty and perfect! I think yellow stripes are pretty awesome and unique too! Plus they speak to my secret French obsession. xD

    I LOVE Kate's little cameos! She's so cute!

  20. I spy a little cutie in these photos!

    I know you are on a semi-ban right now but that Pom Flower Shift dress MUST BE YOURS! It is beautiful beautiful beautiful on you. They all look great but I think this one is really special.

  21. I love the yellow striped dress, and I think it looks lovely with our black hair. I didn't realize it had pockets, so that's another big bonus. Sadly, I don't think it would work for me as I'm your height and I think it would fall midcalf on me. My calves a little bulkier than yours, so it is not a good length. :(