Saturday, April 30, 2011

Some Birthday Fun (Anthro Fitting Room Reviews)

Hi everyone! Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes. I did have a very nice day, and it did include a visit (just for a quick glance and a try-on as "research") to one of our favorite stores, Anthropologie!

So, because I can't help myself, I'm going to share what I found there (some new arrivals! Yay!).

Sagebrush Skirt & Loosened Shelby Blouse:

I gasped out loud, when I saw the Sagebrush Skirt online the other day. And you can only imagine how thrilled I was when I saw it lying in a neat green-blue pile of embroidered loveliness on one of Fashion Valley Anthro's display tables. I grabbed the size 0, and took it back with me, picking up the Loosened Shelby Blouse along the way, also in a size 0 (a girl needs to have something to wear on top, after all...). I absolutely loved the skirt, but think I'd be more comfortable in the size 2 (might have had something to do with the giant birthday meal I'd just consumed a few minutes before?) as the banded waist has no give at all and I want to be able to eat a huge meal and still be comfy. The skirt hit right at my knee, so was a good length for me. The embroidery has a wonderful folklorico feel, with the heavier thread, and is accented with wooden seed beads. There are no pockets and it's a dry-clean only item, but despite these flaws, I will purchase this skirt eventually. Yes, I love it. I love it quite a lot. I may have to wait for sale though.

The Loosened Shelby Blouse was a little small on me in the size 0, so if I were to purchase this, I'd definitely size up to a 2. This blouse is basically a sleeveless version of the popular Bianka Blouse from the past fall/winter selections. I liked this blouse a lot, especially in the yellow, and will probably pick it up on sale. Wishlisted!

Detail shot of the embroidery and beading on the Sagebrush Skirt.

Mompos Dress:

I have to admit, when I first saw the Mompos Dress, I wasn't terribly impressed. But after all the buzz the dress was getting online in the Anthro community, I decided that I should at least try it on and see what all the excitement was about. I'm wearing a size 0 in these photos, and it fit me like a glove. No complaints there. I loved the overall shape of the dress - the full skirt is just yummy and the color is very sweet. I totally felt like Quinn Fabray. You know, without the blonde hair and blue eyes and all that comes with those attributes. I have to admit, I like the dress a lot. I do. But do I love it? No. If it was on super sale, would I snap it up? Yes, in a heartbeat. Will I buy it for full price or even after a first cut? No, seems unlikely. But if you love this dress, I highly recommend it. It's wonderfully constructed (as all Tracy Reese generally is), and super pretty to boot. The only thing I didn't like about it was its surprisingly sticky zipper, but hopefully that's not a general problem. 

My actual OOTD changed twice - we went to a Padres game during the afternoon, for which Rowan had won tickets, through his school's Jog-a-Thon. It was the first time we've been to see the Padres play, and it was pretty fun, despite the loss. I had on shorts and a tank top for that part of my day (it was warm and sunny) which I didn't get a photo of, though I did snap this one of Kate and Rowan, which you may have seen if you follow my Twitter feed:

Afterwards, we all came home, showered and bathed and changed for dinner. I didn't wear anything terribly exciting - after all, it was just dinner out with my husband and kids after an active and tiring sort of day. And I apologize for the poor quality of the photo - I snapped it really quickly as I was leaving the fitting room at Anthro:

Top: James Perse Panel Top (similar here and here)
Skirt: Old Navy (old - 2008? Similar here and here)
Belt: Oh Hello Friend (similar here and here and here)
Shoes: Me Too Ruffled Flats (similar here and I want these!: here)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Carol!

It's Carol's Birthday!

Just a quick little shout out from me today, wishing my dear friend Carol a very happy birthday!

Back in the day - and we're talking way back in the day - Carol used to take lots of pictures and cut them up and paste them to a poster board that she would lean against her bedroom wall. This collage dated all the way back to junior high school, so it was fun to go to her house after marching band practice (yes, we were those kids) and look at it, to see what she'd added to it recently and compare all the faces (and fashions) as time went by. This poster board grew and grew over the years until it became known as the Giant Collage.

I always loved that Giant Collage.

I thought it might be fun to make a miniature one for her today using various photos of us throughout the years, and share it with you all.

Carol, I hope this birthday is the best one yet! I feel so blessed to have had you in my life for over twent--er, for...a...long time. ^_- Our friendship is one that I cherish more than you know.

I love you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spins Around a Star (OOTD)

How many times have you spun around the sun? I'm celebrating a birthday tomorrow, and while the idea of being 30-something years old is...well, just a little bit disheartening, the notion of having spun around a star 30-something times - well, that's not so bad at all.

When I think of it that way, I feel more like I'm part of some fantastic piece of inter-galactic choreography - dancing bits of stardust, swinging in graceful, lilting rhythm through space to the beating of a universal pulse.

So much better than, "getting older," don't you think?

 Sweater: Climbing Trellis Cardigan, Anthropologie (similar here and here)
Dress: Pezza Dress, Anthropologie
Belt: Looping Lanes Belt, Anthropologie
Necklace: Umbrella Necklace, Miss November Studio

On a recent customer survey I filled out for a local restaurant, I noticed that this was the year I'd be moving into a new age category. A decidedly "middle-aged" sounding category. And despite knowing that age is really more a state of mind, that people generally assume I'm younger than I am, and that I'm well on my way to hitting a good number of the major milestones of the life-I-hope-to-live; despite wanting to feel more...well, evolved, I find myself slipping into a blue funk whenever I think about how old I actually am.

So I'm distracting myself by enjoying the Pezza Dress that I was able to buy using a gift card from my sis and brother-in-law combined with birthday money from my mom and dad. After all, if one is going to spin around a star a time or two or more, what better to wear than a pretty dress?

Oh, and speaking of spinning around stars, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my dear, much older friend, Lisa. She had the (mis)fortune of being born a day before me, and has heard about it ever since I found out, way back in the 3rd grade.

P.S. If you're planning to attend the In Pursuit of Pretty Things Anthropologie Shopping Event coming up in June, please let us know your availability by filling out the poll at the top of the right-hand sidebar. Thanks!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Works For You? (In Pursuit of Pretty Things Anthro Event Planning!)

Hi everyone! Hope you're all doing well. I apologize for being absent here the last few days. I've been caught between some interesting and challenging work as well as some family stuff (nothing bad - just busy, if you know what I mean), which has meant that I've had very little time or energy left at the end of the day to come up with good content for you.

But that doesn't mean I've forgotten you!

Today, I got a chance to chat with the lovely Fashion Valley Anthropologie staff, and we're on for an In Pursuit of Pretty Things Anthro shopping event, here in San Diego! I can't be more excited, as I'm really looking forward to meeting all of you - but to make sure that we pick a date that works for as many as possible, we're letting you weigh in on when it should take place.

We're definitely planning on a Sunday afternoon in June. Let us know which Sunday will work best for you, by voting in the poll in the sidebar to the right. Please mark each Sunday that you'd be available to attend. Once we choose a date, we'll issue the invitation officially, with exact date and times and how you can RSVP.

Edit: Oh, and for you OC/LA folk who voted for doing something in Orange County, we're planning on coordinating an event for that area too. Just hang tight - we haven't forgotten you, I promise! ^_^

June can't come soon enough! Here are some things I'm eyeing (and hoping will have hit sale for that super fun day!)

Garden Accoutrement Bag

And this WHOLE outfit:

What about you? What are you thinking you might want to pick up, in the company of your fellow Anthro-lovers?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When Work & Blog Collide

A common concern for bloggers - in particular, style bloggers - is whether or not they should reveal their blogging to family, friends, and co-workers. It's ironic, that on the one hand, style bloggers who on a nearly daily basis photograph and publish their own images for the world to see, judge, and comment on, are also terribly self-conscious. There's a brashness to what we do - a willingness to make oneself vulnerable and put oneself out there with the underlying hope and confidence that we have something of value to share in our words and photos and our desire to connect with others. Simultaneously, it's terrifying to imagine what our family, friends, and colleagues might think of what we're doing - and that they might take advantage of that vulnerability to take us down a peg or two. 

In this ever evolving virtual world full of anonymity and shadowy characters with the power to cut us down with their cruel comments and harsh words, it's those who are closest to us - those with faces and names and histories - who we often fear the most.

Sweater: Happy Morning Sweater, Anthropologie
Necklace: Idesia Necklace, Anthropologie (sold out online, but still available in some stores)

The tension between blog and work can sometimes be the most nerve-wracking. This is especially true for professional women. The fact is, most of us work really hard in our jobs and many of us have invested years of education and training to do the work we do. The vast majority of us still struggle against gender inequity in the workplace, even when it's not always obvious and overt. And for better or worse, fashion just isn't something that's taken very seriously, and that apparent lack of seriousness can be perceived as damaging to a woman's status at work. And while no one objects to someone having a non-work-related hobby, a blog is a pretty public thing. It occurs to me that there's a bit of a double standard here, that often applies to a female-centric issues or interests. It hasn't escaped my notice, for instance, that male-centric interests like sports are much more openly embraced in the workplace. Fantasy football, anyone? Or better yet, how about the office pool? What doing about doing deals over a round of golf? great would it be to do deals while browsing Anthropologie or the latest offerings at Nordstrom? Yeah, I know. I like to dream.

Anyway, these pressures and fears can lead to a compartmentalizing of ourselves, where we adopt varying personas, depending on which compartment of our lives we may be inhabiting. Necessary? I'm not sure. Holistic? No, not so much. 

It seems to me that this isn't the only way to see things. Nor is it the only way to respond to being a style blogger and a professional woman. Being a blogger isn't easy. It requires commitment and creativity. There's a measure of risk-taking involved, and written communication skills and a willingness to grow and get better at what we do. It requires discretion (because going public with your outfits is one thing. Going public with everything is something else entirely, if you understand what I mean). For a lot of us, there's a steep learning curve - when we start blogging, it's something new. We've got to learn to use the platform (Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, etc.), take the photos, design the layout, create content, find a readership, make time.

We are incredibly resourceful. And even brave.

So, a couple months after I started blogging, I did the thing that's taboo to so many bloggers. I told my co-workers. And yes, it did cause some confusion at first. Most of my colleagues didn't read blogs or do any blogging themselves, and they didn't really understand why I would be interested in this or be so into clothes to start with. I'm sure there are still a few who continue to be confused by it, and it's possible that the fact I do this has changed the way they see me (possibly in not the best light).

The good news though? Most people didn't really care after a while. It became something that I just happened to do, the way playing with a community softball league was something that person did, or refereeing youth soccer was something this other person does. And better yet, there was a small but discerning minority who recognized that I had and was continuing to acquire some very valuable skills through my personal blogging.

And this eventually led to a new assignment: to start a blog for one of the projects on which I work.

So, here I am, going public in a whole new way, this time, with you. I work in the field of education research, for a great organization called WestEd. WestEd does all kinds of work, and chances are, if you live in the state of California and have children in the K-12 school system or recently graduated from the K-12 school system, then you or your kids have come into contact with us or our products at some point in time. Specifically, I work with topics of health and well-being, school climate, youth development, violence and bullying prevention, and career technical education (CTE).

We've launched a new blog on that last topic, which I edit, coordinate, and co-author, and I'd like to share with you here, if you're interested in taking a look. It's called The CTE Central Blog, and for those of you who aren't familiar with career technical ed, it's about the programs and ideas and policies that allow kids, young people, and even adults to explore careers, develop skills, and see the long-term relevance of their educations as well as the wide variety of options and pathways they have to meeting their career goals. There are some really cool things happening in K-12 schools, community colleges, and at the university level that are and will be featured there. I hope you'll take a look, and if it's of interest to you, follow it.

We, as human beings and as women, are complex, layered, and varied creatures. We play lots of roles; we wear lots of hats. And sometimes, it's hard to know if the hat we're wearing is the one that fits us best, or if it's just the one that's in easy reach. And sometimes, a hat that fit us really well just a little while ago ends up suddenly being too small or too big or just out of style. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, except to say that I strongly hope that someday, it'll be okay - really and truly okay - to go bare-headed. To be who we are, as we are, without fear, without judgment and be valued for it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Again (OOTD)

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was good overall - the weather was lovely, I got to hang out with Kathryn (yay!) and I finally found some time (and the general health) to take an OOTD photo. 

The skirt you see here is a purchase I made from Calypso St. Barths, almost nine years ago. I picked it up off the sale rack (and it was still an enormous splurge for me, then) during an epic shopping trip to Boston with Kathryn, when she came to visit me in New York. I haven't worn it in years - at least four, maybe five, now - but always hung onto it, because I just loved it so much. Back then, the big trend was those maxi skirts (ball skirts?) that were being made in satins and silks and worn with tees and tank tops. Anyone else remember that? I liked those skirts, but remembered thinking that it was just ridiculous for me and my lifestyle to buy and try to wear a floor-length silk skirt. So, I was super excited to see this striped cotton version on the racks of Calypso, right next to the silk ones! And now, with the return of the maxi skirt, I'm giving it an airing. Old is new. Again.

 Sweater: Halogen Cardigan, Nordstrom (similar here and here)
Camisole: Facile Camisole, Anthro (Summer 2010; similar here and here)
Skirt: Calypso St. Barths (spring 2003/4? similar here and here and here)

What things do you hold onto, hoping for a chance to wear again? Or what things have you found yourself reaching for, year-in and year-out, trends or no trends?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Blue (Dress Review)

Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you're all having a good Saturday. First, I want to say that I'm overwhelmed by the positive response to the shopping event poll, and that I'll work on organizing something, and hopefully have some ideas to run past all of you local ladies in the next week or two. I think it'd be super fun to meet you all, and am looking forward to it.

Also, I'm pretty happy because I'm getting together with Kathryn today for some Anthro fun! It's been far too long since we've hung out in person, and I can't wait to see her. Whee!

Okay, and because it's been a few days since I've posted anything pretty, I thought I'd share this dress I tried on at Nordstrom a couple weeks ago. The color caught my eye, and it's so vibrant and perfect that it cut right through the poor lighting and my less-than-perfect iPhone camera:

Elie Tahari "Malia" Sleeveless Dress:

Okay, even so, I encourage you to check out the model shots on the Nordstrom website, so that you can get a cleaner sense of this blue. It's just so gorgeous, and takes what might be a very nice-but-unexciting sort of dress and make it eye-catching and perfect for any number of occasions, from work to brunch to dinner parties - classic yet fresh, right? I'm wearing the dress in a size 2, which fit me comfortably, though if there were a size 0, I'd totally go for it. As it stands, were I to buy this dress, I'd want to have it taken in a little, both on top and bottom, to get a cleaner fit. The silhouette is right out of MadMen...or even Breakfast at Tiffany's (if she was wearing blue instead of black). The details, like the pleats at the neck and the banded belt add interest while remaining un-fussy. There's a back zip, and the fabric is sturdy but still comfortable. I really loved it, and while it's already on sale (yay!), Elie Tahari doesn't come cheap, so I'm going to cross my fingers that it might make it to a second cut. One never knows, right? ^_^

So, that's it for now. What are your weekend plans? Anything fun in store for you?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wanna Go Shopping With Me? (Reader Poll)

Hey everyone! Hope you're all doing well. As many of you probably did, I read about Roxy's EA Anthro Shopping Day, with a mix of envy (I wanna be in NYC to shop with Roxy and the others!) and excitement (oh, so cool!). Which made me remember that, well, there was nothing really stopping us from organizing something similar here, in San Diego. Or even Orange County. In fact, this is something that Maya of Kinzie Says and I have discussed doing on and off for a while, but have never moved on, partly because we weren't sure if there'd be any interest out there in the San Diego/Orange County communities to hold one of these.

So here's my question - for you readers in San Diego or Orange County - if we were to coordinate something like this, would you want to come? If there's enough interest (and I'm thinking we'd need at least 7 or 8 "yes, I promise to be there" responses, I'll take steps to organize a shopping and lunch get-together. So, let me know by answering the poll and leaving any thoughts or suggestions in the comments below:

Monday, April 11, 2011

On the Cutting Room Floor: Shopping with Kids

From time to time, someone will ask me what I do to keep the kids calm and happy while I'm going shopping. I've been meaning to write a post answering this question, and as some of you noticed the kiddos in the background of my last couple of fitting room review posts, I thought this was as good a time as any to do it. First of all, I'm not always successful. Sometimes, for whatever reason, the timing is just wrong and an otherwise playful, cooperative, and happy Kate and/or Rowan will just be too tired or too hungry or too cranky to handle a shopping trip. I've had to cut shopping trips short, so don't be too stressed if this happens to you. Also, kids are different, so what works with Kate & Rowan may not work with your little people. You know your children best - think over what will best appeal to them, and use those things instead.

That being said, I rarely get time to shop by myself - non-work hours are almost always time spent with the kids, so if I've developed a handful of strategies that seem to work well for us. 

This is what a lot of my photos look like, before I crop them to post on the blog. Yes, Rowan is making faces at me (he's trying to make me laugh, mid-photo). I have to admit, that when I first started blogging, I was worried that people would find the photos with the kids hovering in the background annoying, or unbecoming of a proper style blog. And maybe it is, but overall, you've all been nothing but kind about Kate & Rowan's "guest appearances" and I'm grateful for the forbearance and goodwill you've shown us.

So, here are my tips for preventing melt-downs at the mall:

Tip #1: I've noticed that when they're together, it helps because they entertain each other a bit. If you've only got one, this won't be of much help for you. (Sorry!)

Tip #2: Feed them. Hungry kids = cranky kids, and cranky kids = miserable shopping experience. Lately, I've been timing our trips around a meal - lunch or dinner, and we'll grab the kids' favorite foods from the mall's food court as an extra treat (corn dog for Rowan from Hot Dog on a Stick, and a Rubio's fish taco for Kate). It's best to feed them before taking them into a clothing store fitting room environment. Incidentally, this can work with husbands and other friends of the male persuasion as well, though you might need to offer better fare. For instance, a trip to the Carlsbad Anthro always coincides with a visit to The Counter for yummy burgers.

Tip #3: Make it fun! I try to make them feel like it's a fun thing to go into a fitting room. In fact, if we visit the Fashion Valley Anthropologie, and I don't go into the fitting room, Rowan will ask me why. He feels like it's a little club house or something, haha. The wonderful staff at the Fashion Valley Anthro always put us in the same large corner room (the one they usually reserve for people with strollers or wheelchairs) and the kids love it. Of course, that means the two of them can get a little noisy, so I'm forever shushing them - so much laughing and playful shrieking going on (sorry to all the other Fashion Valley Anthro customers!). If it gets to be too much, I cut it short, because the last thing I want is for my family to become a nuisance. 

Tip #4: Create special shared experiences (rituals/traditions). Anyway, if the fitting room is "fun," there will be a whole lot less resistance from the kids to you spending some time in it. I've created small, really easy "games" (almost like rituals) that we do - peek-a-boo from the various corners of the room, impromptu "shows"from the bench or seat in the room (they'll get up and dance or do a "ta-da" pose, with their hands in the air, and I act suitably delighted and impressed). Good times. (Note: my kids are still pretty young - I don't know how well this will work with older children, but they say kids thrive on routine. Keep that in mind.)

Tip #5: Be prepared. I bring along snacks and drinks (can't emphasize enough that keeping them fed and well hydrated is super important to maintaining a good attitude), some games & activities (coloring pages, a handful of colored pencils, my smart phone apps, etc) and a favorite toy or two. I also intersperse visits to "my" stores with visits to "their" stores - the Disney store or the Apple store (so they can mess around with the kid computers or the iPads), the small toy store, pet store (to look at the animals) or book store. These visits are usually not for buying - just for looking, and they know that ahead of time. Also, I'll sometimes throw in a stop for a treat like ice cream or a small handful of Reese's Pieces or M&M's from the candy store. If there's a play area at the mall (Westfield malls are particularly good for this), I'll usually let them stop for a few minutes to play there too. It's a small thing, but it keeps them looking forward to coming back (and it's free!).

Tip #6: Let them know the plan. One of the things I've noticed works well with Rowan, is letting him know what I've got planned. On our way to the mall, or when we get there, I'll go over my schedule and stops for the trip. It lets him know what to expect and also allows him an opportunity to make his own suggestions (nearly always a stop at the Disney Store or Geppeto's - a local toy store chain - to browse). 

And whenever time and weather permits, we'll end a trip to the mall with a trip to the park. This way they can run and shout to their hearts' content. And it's only fair - they come with me to my favorite playground, and I'll come along with them, to theirs. ^_-

So to those of you who have kids, how do you entertain them on shopping trips? Add your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And Some More... (Fitting Room Reviews)

Hey everyone! Hope your weekend is going well. This is the last day of my "spring break" and while I didn't get to do everything I planned and wanted (mostly owing to a cold I came down with on Thursday), it was still a nice time with my family and I really enjoyed the time off to recharge with them. Some of you must be having your spring breaks around this time too (for those of you who have school-aged kids or are students or teachers yourselves). Do any of you have anything fun planned?

Here are the last handful of reviews of some Anthro dresses that I peeled off yesterday's post. My favorite B&M Anthro hasn't yet received some of the newer pieces, but I'll keep an eye out for them, if I get a chance to swing by, later this week.

I love green dresses, and this one seemed promising. I'd seen it on a couple other bloggers, so thought I'd give it a try too. I'm wearing it in a size 0, and overall, it fit well. I did find, however, that the top half was surprisingly short-waisted, since I'm short-waisted and petite already, and this hit a little high on my natural waist, unlike the model shots.  Longer-waisted, taller women may find this fit problematic. The cut-away shoulders were very summery, but won't allow you to wear a normal bra with it - a racerback or strapless bra is necessary, unless you're willing to commit to wearing a cardigan over it the entire time you have it on. I also found the skirt to be a touch too long on me - I'd want to have it taken up an inch or two, I think. The three buttons on the front placket are functional and the dress has a side zip and attached sash at the waist. Overall, I thought the dress was okay, but not really what I was hoping for. I think I'll wait to see if there are other green dress offerings, as the season continues. 

I love shirtdresses, so I had to try this one on. I'm wearing the XS, and I think it was too big on me - smaller women may be sized out of this one. The length was okay, hitting at my knee, but the skirt was weirdly shapeless and sack-like on me, and the top was also too blousy on my short-waisted upper half. This wasn't helped by the fact that the button placket was stiff and sort of held itself out, away from my body, in an odd way (see sideview shot above). I'm sure it'd fit much better on taller, longer-waisted women. The buttons are functional and the dress is a pull-on style. A pass for me. 

I'm wearing the Gathered Hemlock dress in an XS, and I loved it! The brightly colored print made me feel like I was wearing a celebration of spring right on my dress and put a smile on my face - it's like a treatment for Seasonal Affect Disorder that you wear. The fabric is really comfy and I found the fit flattering - the gathered waistline and draped skirt are forgiving of figure flaws and the dress has pockets!   I really had no complaints about this dress - totally wishlisted for sale time!

This dress has been around for a month or more now, but I'm only just trying it on. I really really love it! I'm wearing it in a size 0, which fit pretty well everywhere, except for the length of the skirt (petite sizes are offered in this style, but just a note - I did try on the 2P and found the top to be a tad blousier than I wanted, though the rest of the dress was fine. I think the 0P might just be perfect for me). There's not much to say about this dress except that it's pretty and made of silk, and I didn't want to take it off. There's a side zip and a removable sash tie, and it's fully lined. It even has pockets. The only drawbacks of this dress are that 1) it's dry clean only and 2) it's not going to be convenient if you're a nursing mother. That being said, totally wishlisted for sale time.

After the luck I had with the fit of the Pom Flower Shift Dress, I decided I shouldn't be so biased against shift dresses anymore. So, when I saw the beautiful colors and photographic print on the Blooming Bulbs Dress, I thought I would give it a try. I have on the size 0 in these photos, and apologize for the strange yellow tint in these pictures - do take a look at the actual dress form pictures on Anthro's website, because mine don't do justice to the gorgeous silvery grays, rich plums, and gentle browns that make up the dress's print. Beautiful color and print aside, I was underwhelmed by this dress, and remembered why I wasn't a huge fan of shift dresses to begin with. The bateau neckline was nice, and the length is good, but if you take a glimpse at the side view photo above, you'll see how the dress adds extra volume right over the belly. I have a little pooch, but honest to goodness, that's not all me! ^_-  The dress has a back zipper, is dry-clean only, and is a pass for me. 

Thanks so much for reading!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Various & Sundry (Anthro Fitting Room Reviews)

Hi everyone! Happy Saturday to you all! I've somehow managed to get sick again, so wasn't able to write up these reviews as quickly as I'd hoped. But, better late than never, right? The following include some sale picks from this past week as well as some things that have been around awhile and some that have just arrived in stores. It's been a while since I've let myself try on a lot of stuff so, I kinda picked up a little bit of everything while walking through the store. Here's what I saw and tried on:

Pom Flower Shift Dress (on sale!):

You've seen this one on me before - I tried it on and fell in love with it, way back in January, when it was first released, and have patiently been waiting for it to go on sale. My patience was duly rewarded this week, when it finally went on sale this week, during my birthday month! Still, I hadn't seen the dress in store for quite a while, so I was doubtful that I'd be able to find it. Can you believe that when I got to the store, there was only one Pom Flower Shift Dress hanging in the sale room, and it happened to be in my size? The Anthro gods were smiling on me. Yay! The DH is buying this one for my birthday gift, so it's getting put in a box and wrapped up until the day of, but I'm still super happy that I was able to bring this one home. Whee!

 Buttondown Cowlneck (now on second cut!) & Plaited Brushstrokes Skirt:

I'd been eyeing the Buttondown Cowlneck for a while, but found even its original sale price ($49.95) a little too much for my restricted budget, so I was thrilled when I found there'd been a second cut on the price already. Sandra helped me track down a size 0 in this top, and it fit wonderfully. The fit is flattering - slim but not snug - and I liked the way it sits on me. The cowlneck adds interest, and the colors are a great way to add some pop to your outfits. I liked the green (which is bordering on yellow) quite a lot, though it was a little on the sheer side - but would be willing to wear a light cami underneath it. The magenta and the blue didn't seem as sheer as the green color. This one came home with me - I'm looking forward to finding ways to incorporate it into my wardrobe.

I'm wearing the Plaited Brushstroke Skirt in a size 2 - and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and flattering I found this skirt! It's a true circle skirt (see photo below), and it hangs around the hips in wonderful folds of fabric. It's all cotton, with a cotton lining and it has pockets! It has back zipper closure and the length was great, hitting me right above the knee (which means that it may hit higher on you, if you're taller than me). I would have taken this home with me if my budget allowed it. As it is, absolutely wishlisted for sale.

Detail shot of the Plaited Brushstroke Skirt - this is a true circle skirt, with lots of fabric involved.

I was struck by the bright and vibrant color of this skirt, so had to try it on. I'm wearing a size 0. It's a terrific pencil skirt - well constructed for a flattering and comfortable fit. It sits well on the body, without hugging it too closely, the way some J. Crew pencil skirts can. It was a little long on me, I thought, so if I bought this, would probably have it taken up an inch or so. Otherwise, I had no complaints about it at all. It has a back zip, and is fully lined. Wishlisted for consideration at sale time. 

Happy Morning Sweater (on sale) & Highland Hiking Shorts:

This acid yellow and gray striped sweater caught my eye in the sale room, and my fingers itched to pick it up - so I did. I am a total sucker for stripey sweaters, and when I put on this one, I was instantly transported to casual weekend days and watching the sunset on the beach and sitting by a campfire roasting marshmallows. There's something so effortlessly chic about this boatneck sweater with the boxy cut and the gold-and-gray buttons on the shoulders. Did I mention that it's super soft and cashmere as well? Love, love, love. I'm wearing the XS in these photos.

I grabbed these shorts just for the purpose of pairing with the sweater, and I really liked the way their rugged details (zippers, seams, and faded finish) contrasted with the more finished and expensive feel of the sweater. The shorts were surprisingly soft and comfy and a good length - not too short, not too long - and while I usually buy my shorts when they're on sale at Old Navy (some things just aren't worth the splurge for me) I may keep my eye on these for further consideration at sale time.

 Jeweler's Choice Cardigan (sold out online, but still available in stores) & Plaited Brushstroke Skirt:

I actually tried this sweater on when it was first released, but never posted my review of it, as there were quite a few of them on other blogs rolling around. Still, I will mention that I'm wearing the size Small in these pictures, which gave me a slightly roomier fit that I preferred and that it's a really well made, unique item. The beading around the neckline is so interesting, as it stands up away from the fabric of the sweater, evoking living coral, and the mottled color of the knit is quite nice too. It's heavier, so not something that I'd get a lot of wear out of in warmer temps, but will probably be great for cooler spring days and evenings, and of course the fall and winter. Even on sale, it's a bit pricey, so I'm mulling this one over. It's already sold out online, so it makes me wonder if it'll even make it to second cut....

In these photos, I paired it with the Plaited Brushstrokes Skirt in the orange colorway in a size 2. I love this skirt, and would actually consider getting both colorways when they make it to sale. 

Pezza Dress:

Kathryn reviewed this dress in a previous post, which made me really want to try it on. Um...can I have this dress now? At full price? Could I love it any more? Hmm...I don't think so. I'm wearing it in an XS in these photos. It's a heavy jersey fabric, pull-on style, with no pockets. The cowlneck and wide-set straps frame the collar bones beautifully and the fitted bodice, nipped in waist, and full skirt are flattering and perfect. I just won a gift card from Molly's blog, My Closet Travels, (thanks, Molly!!!) and I'm seriously thinking of applying it to this dress as a full-price purchase. Absolutely wishlisted. LOVE.

Thanks for hanging in there with fairly long and rambling reviews post (believe it or not, my original draft was longer, including 5 more dress reviews, which I decided to break into a second post for tomorrow). How did the rest of you do this past week? Did you pick up anything at the sale? Have you tried on any of the new arrivals? What's caught your eye lately?