Monday, January 16, 2012

A Cycling We Will Go (Fitting Room Reviews)

I admit that I was a bit disappointed not to find the Bike Lane Dress at the Fashion Valley Anthro when I was there, last weekend. So, one evening, I slipped out after dinner to see if the UTC Anthro might have it in stock. They did. But of course, if I was planning to head to the fitting room anyway, I needed to check out a few more things (it's only reasonable, don't you agree?).

While browsing the sale rack, I came across a lone Madero Hoodie, in an XS. I love it! The hood is pretty big - not your small-just-for-looks-will-barely-cover-the-back-of-your-head sort of hood. Oh no, it verges on capacious, and it's lined in a soft sherpa-like fleece. It should be noted that the body of the jacket is not lined, so this isn't going to be a particularly warm layer, if that's what you're hoping for. It's got functional pockets on the front, a tie-waist sash, and a fitted silhouette. Totally came home with me that night.

 Top of the Line Chemise:

I'm wearing the Top-of-the-Line Chemise in an XS, and it's funny, because it was hanging with other normal clothes in the store, and not with the lounge things, so I thought it was a dress. As you can see above, it'd certainly work as one - if you can get past it's rather boxy shape. A belt might help in that regard, but as it's already a little on the shorter side (hitting above my knee by an inch or so), a belt would definitely shorten it further. It's cotton, machine washable, and super comfy. I can totally imagine it being the perfect thing to pull on over a bathing suit, as evening falls at the beach. Or, just to lounge around the house in, on weekends. Wishlisted for sale time.

 Sweet Enticement Dress:

When I saw the Sweet Enticement Dress show up online, I was immediately interested. It has pretty details, a silhouette I love, and a reasonable price! So, when I saw it in the store, I grabbed a size 2 (I'd just eaten a pretty big dinner, and thought I'd play it safe - see photos above) and added it to the pile of things I was taking with me into the fitting rooms. Well, sadly, this dress - while it had so much potential, has fallen far short of the mark for me. The size 2's bodice was just too big on me, and made the whole garment look...well, frumpy. The skirt hit at the top of my knee, which was a decent length, but everything else just didn't quite lay right. I thought maybe it was a sizing issue, so I asked the very helpful SA if she might bring me a size 0. She did, and it was a tiny bit better but also a little bit worse (see photos below). 

The size 0 fit me better in the bodice, but still didn't lay as nicely as I'd prefer...the lace back on this dress is beautiful, but I almost wish it had one of those smocked elastic panels, as that might improve the fit. Also, on the size 0, the skirt was definitely shorter, hitting a couple of inches above the knee. There's an attached slip, that gives the impression that you've got an actual detachable slip, when you don't (basically, only the back half exists). This, I think, is actually more convenient than having a fully separate slip, as there are fewer straps and things to get twisted up in when you're taking the garment on and off. The dress is made of cotton, has pockets, and is hand-washable. Overall, I found it to be very disappointing, and back to the rack it went. Pass for me.

 Detail of the lace back of the (size 2) Sweet Enticement Dress.

I tried the Bike Lane Dress in the size 0, and suffice it to say, it fit like a dream, except for the length. The dress is a winner for me on a number of points - adorable print, great fit, cotton, machine washable, and it's got pockets. There's also a side zip, and some boning, which held the dress up, though I can't vouch for it staying up should I start jump-roping, or some similar activity. The big drawbacks here? The length (it hit me beneath the knee) and the fact that it's strapless. Do note that there is a petite version of this dress available online, but the 0P is already sold out (gosh, my fellow shorties are fast!). It does come with removable straps, but having dealt with those on other strapless Anthro dresses, I know that they're basically useless. Were I to buy this dress (and believe me, I'm sorely tempted), I'd consider taking it to my tailor and asking him to remove the bottom two inches of the dress, then use the extra fabric to sew in actual shoulder straps. Imagine how cute and easy to wear this dress would be, then! At any rate, it's definitely wishlisted, preferably for sale time, though I don't know how long I'll hold out...

Grass Court Dress:

Here's the Grass Court Dress, which I'm wearing in a size 0. It's funny, I didn't realize, until I was in the fitting room with it, that the eyelet fabric of this dress is actually made up of crossed tennis rackets. Absolutely fun and whimsically sporty. I've mentioned it before - I've got a weakness for greens, so even though I wasn't really drawn to the cut of this dress (I was worried that the narrow-cut shoulders and full skirt would contrive to make me look more pear-shaped than I already am), I decided that I'd give it a spin, anyway. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The bodice fit beautifully, and the waist hit at my true waist. The skirt was on the longer side, hitting me below the knee - I'm not sure if I could try shrinking it a bit to shorten the length (it is cotton, after all), or if I'd be willing to fork out the extra dollars to have it taken up. The dress has a side zipper, pockets, is made of cotton, and is machine washable (yay!). It also comes with a removable multi-colored braided belt which sort of reminded me of a summer-camp craft...not totally keen on it, but I don't hate it either. I'd probably opt to wear other belts I own, over this one. As I mentioned before, the shoulders are cut inwards a bit, and the back is almost (though no quite) racerback, so a normal bra would probably not work with this one. Overall, I like it, and have wishlisted it for consideration at sale time.

Well, that's it for now. For those of you who have MLK Jr. Day off, hope you're having a great time. And for those of you that don't, hope your Monday is going well. Thanks for reading!


  1. You look lovely in all the dresses. I'm a bicyclist so when I saw that dress, I was tempted to try it on but then realized it's strapless and I try to stay away from those kinds of dresses. Anyway, I too am a fellow shortie at 5'1" and it's great seeing your try on all the Anthro dresses.

  2. I love the Madero Hoodie on you and glad you got it.  I really appreciate your reviews because you are a similar size to me (I'm 0.5" shorter, same weight but have a longer torso and shorter legs than you).  I tried on the Sweet Enticement in 0 (made me look like a kid with a short poofy skirt and a bodice that was slightly too big -- total pass), Bike Lanes in 0 (strapless bodice slightly too big and falling down, would need to straps or a 0P), and the Grass Court in 0 (love it).  Since I am partial to the Grass Court dress (I love green dresses too...I have the green Beda, the Emerald Cut, and the green-ish Sunrise dress which I wear a lot) in my opinion I think you should get it!  Thanks again for your reviews.

  3. I absolutely love the Madero Hoodie on you, it looks so warm and cozy! I'm also a big fan of the green dress - it looks like it was made for you!


  4. I was gonna get the Madero Hoodie for Christmas (from Mom), but noticed that you couldn't put it in the dryer...have you tried?

  5. carol_prettythingsJanuary 16, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Thanks, Christina!

  6. carol_prettythingsJanuary 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Haha, I tried to find one in a local store in time to get it for Mom's birthday too. There weren't any available nearby, and I didn't have time to get one shipped by her birthday. You know, I haven't tried washing it yet. I'll probably just throw it in the washing machine and pull it out to hang-dry it afterwards. 

  7. carol_prettythingsJanuary 16, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Thanks! I know, it's SUCH a bummer that the Bike Lane Dress is strapless. I'm seriously tempted to do what I mentioned, which is buy the regular size 0, and have it altered. =) Otherwise, I know I won't wear it enough to justify the price.

  8. carol_prettythingsJanuary 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    The Sweet Enticement really is a disappointment - it could have been such a great dress. I'm glad you enjoy the reviews. =)

  9. your plan for the bicycle dress is perfect (and since none of the other dresses are tempting you, you don't have to feel bad about the purchase, right?!).  I also think you scored with the sherpa hoodie on sale- it looks adorkable!

  10. I love the Grass Court Dress on you!  I follow your blog because I believe we have similar physical builds :)  32-25-34 and i figure that if pieces that I'm eyeing look good on you, then I'm willing to make the trip out to Anthro and try it on.  Thank you for a very through blog!

  11. Great idea to cut the excess length and make shoulder straps! Never thought of that before, going to keep it in mind the next time I spot a cute strapless dress. :)