Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sometimes It's Hard To See Past the Dresses (Fitting Room Reviews)

At least, for me, anyway. I walk into an Anthropologie store or go onto a website, and the first thing that jumps out at me are the dresses. Lovely, beautiful, pretty dresses! I'm partial to a good dress, in case you couldn't tell. Here are a few of the latest:

I'm wearing the Garden Party Dress in a size 0, and I was really pleasantly surprised. I saw it on other bloggers, as well as on Anthro's website, and was frankly underwhelmed by its lack of...shape. Oddly enough, I found myself liking this babydoll-silhouette (I don't know what else to call it - I'm sure there's a more appropriate name for it), and I think I would wear it even without a belt! Still, when you're on a shopping ban, and have a limited budget for your shopping hiatus, you've got to be really, super picky. So I'd definitely pick this up on a second cut. But can't and won't unless that happens. (Fingers crossed!)

City Touring Dress ($138)

I'm wearing the City Touring Dress in a size 0, and while I was able to zip it up, wow, was it tight in the bodice, and I'm not really all that gifted in that area, if you know what I mean. I'd say this one runs a little small compared to other Anthro dresses, so I'd recommend definitely sizing up one, for comfort. This dress has a side-zip, a small button closure at the back of the neck, and an attached tie in the back at the waist as well. It's hand-washable, which is nice. There are definitely some pretty details on this dress, and it's a great piece, if you're looking for something that's fairly basic. It didn't really wow me, though, so it's a pass for me. 

Contemporarian Dress ($128)

Here's a dress that completely caught me by surprise. I'm wearing the Contemporarian Dress in a size 0, and on the hanger, I thought, "hm...okay, I guess I'll try it." But once it was on, I really found myself loving it! The front of the dress is nicely structured and gives you some defined shape that's really evocative of the late '50s/early '60s time period (very MadMen, if you know what I mean). The fitted bodice, nipped waist, and full skirt are just terrific. Here's the thing - it's kind of like a mullet: business in the front and party-party in the back. You turn around and there's this crazy strappy-thing going on, which isn't bad, in and of itself - just sort of unexpected. Seriously - it's a great day-to-night number, as you could wear it to the office with a cardigan thrown over it, and then, if you go out in the evening, the cardi can come off and well...there you go. I think it'd be hard to wear a normal bra with this dress, but otherwise, I like it! Hoping it hits sale in April! 

Take Action Dress ($168)

Ah, the Take Action Dress! I'm wearing it in a size 0, and it's wonderful! Really, really great. I was a little dubious at all the excitement over this dress, when it first started showing up on blogs and of course, Anthro's website. You see, I could tell right away that it was basically the Twinkle, Twinkle Dress, in a different print/color, and I wasn't really a fan of that cut, because I thought it didn't do enough to define my waist, and left me feeling sort of like a tree trunk. Well, I'm not sure what happened - whether it's that I finally lost the last couple pounds of pregnancy fat, or they made a slight change to the cut of the dress, but I really found myself liking my shape in it a lot more than in its earlier rendition. The colors - teal blue and lime green - are fantastic. I'd be willing to buy this one full price, so I'm really hoping that it's still around in April. I mean, I won't complain if it's on sale, mind you, but even if it's not, I'm hoping to make it mine. Wishlisted for the shopping-ban hiatus!

And last but not least, here are my little people - holding me and my phone's camera hostage as they stand in front of the mirror (squeals of, "Take a picture of us, Mom!" Followed by lots and lots of giggling). They're really quite patient and well-behaved when I'm trying stuff on, so I can't complain. I'm glad they're able to manage to have a little fun, even when I'm just trying on clothes. They're so sweet, I could just eat them up! (Sorry! Just having a doting-mother-moment.)

I also wanted to add my thanks here, for your outpouring of support to Kathryn and the blog, during this time of transition. As she mentioned in her post yesterday, she's still going to post from time to time, but I'll be filling in the bulk of it - or trying to, anyway, for the foreseeable future. I am definitely more than a little sad to lose Kathryn as a regular contributor - I agree with all of you that her humor and style really enlivened In Pursuit of Pretty Things in a terrific way and I hope you'll let her know that she's not a bad writer (which she insists she is, despite the fact that she regularly has me laughing out loud or grinning stupidly at my computer screen, when I'm reading her posts). I have my fingers crossed that she'll be here more than we expect, but even if she's not, her tweets will be in the side-bar (hey, they don't call it micro-blogging for nothing!) so make sure you're following her on Twitter or at least checking the sidebar for her updates. 

As always, we really appreciate all of your time, support, and even friendship, and thank you for reading.


  1. Your kids are adorable! I love when you include their commentary; it always makes me laugh.

  2. Thanks so much for these reviews Carol! Dress reviews are my fave. I really wanted to see the Contemporarian dress on few more bloggers, so I am glad you reviewed it. I LOVE it! Online reviews have said it runs small, but I think the 0 is the most perfect fit on you.
    Your kids are so adorable as always - it's funny how they wanted to be in the spotlight too!
    Hoping all is well with Kathryn.

  3. Thanks for the awesome reviews, Carol! All the dresses seem to fit you perfectly! I hope you will be able to grab a few after your shopping ban. I think you should make an exception for one or two if they should happen to go on sale.
    As always, loving the kiddies!

  4. I really like the Garden Party Dress but even with a birthday discount, justify buying it now when I know I can't wear it for months. I'm hoping there are plenty in stock to make it to sale.

    I also really liked the Contemporarian Dress. I intended on buying it, but once it was on, I realized the colors really reminded me of my Crop Patterns Dress. Now, that doesn't mean if that dress, too, hits sale I won't be tempted to purchase it!!

  5. Dresses are my weakness too! This entire batch looks adorable on you! I hope it's April SOON. And those kiddos are total cuteness, I'm glad they are troopers in the fitting room for you!

  6. I have to agree, the majority of the time I'm in Anthro, it's to try on dresses. Sometimes, I will try on some tops, but never have I tried on bottoms! I just like the dresses best. I really like the Contemporarian Dress, but am a little intimidated by the strappy back. I need to wear a regular bra, and I'm afraid that wouldn't work with this dress. Also, the Take Action Dress is dynamite! I hope it's still around in April so you can buy it, it looks fabulous!

  7. I love that Contemporarian Dress on you Carol - it's phenonmenal!!! I also adore the Take Action!

  8. LOVE the take action dress. I'm really craving some polka dots right now, and that is perfect!!!

    Adorable kiddos.

    Meggy from Chasing Davies

  9. I LOVE the Garden Party Dress on you. The babydoll style really suits you, especially with your hairstyle!

  10. Great reviews, Carol! I think the little baby doll dress is just adorable on you! I thought it'd overwhelm lots of people too but I'm glad a lot of people are liking it. Also, it's so sweet what you said about Kathryn. I really admire your guys' friendship. It's something really rare to find nowadays. :)

  11. I go straight for the dresses too! Maybe I feel as though I'm getting my money's worth on an almost complete outfit? The back on the contemporarian dress is divine! And the kids are the CUTEST!

  12. Thanks for these reviews, Carol! I know you're not crazy about the city touring dress, but frankly your picture sold me on it! I also love the back of the contemporarian dress. I haven't seen that shot before, and it's really quite beautiful. I'll have to try this on next time I'm in a store.

  13. Ooh, I'm so excited by the Contemporarian Dress now! I too worry about the bra issue... but it's so prettyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

  14. My fave is the Contemporarian dress! I didn't think much of it until I just saw your review.

  15. I love that your children aren't camera shy. They're adorable :)

    I really like that first dress but no surprise, I own an Ann Taylor one that is REALLY similar. See pictures here:


    And you can see all my belted combos here:




  16. The Contemporarian dress is stunning on you! I thought the bodice looked weird online, but it looks so flattering on you!

  17. Thank you for the reviews!! I have to say that Contemporarian Dress looks amazing on you :)

  18. Your kiddos are intensely adorable! You could just drown in your son's dimples, and your daughter's cheeks look just TOO downy soft. Cuteness runs in your fam for sure.