Friday, January 27, 2012

Stripes, Smoke, and Mirrors (Fitting Room Reviews)

Hi everyone and happy Friday! What's a better way to kick off the weekend (we're very nearly there!) than with some fitting room reviews? (Yes, I know. There are probably quite a few better ways, but let's all pretend together for a few minutes, yes? Thanks.)

Anthropologie has, for the past season, been bombarding our inboxes with lots of emails heavily promoting the striped Bailey 44 dresses. I pretty much dismissed them out of hand because 1) the length of the first iteration (the Tiered Stripes Dress) was such that I knew - knew - that I would look pretty ridiculous in it (and I think that conviction bears out in the review below), and 2) I'm not a fan of body-conscious dresses. They make me, if no one else, terribly conscious of my body and all its imperfections, and really, who needs that kind of added pressure? I was, therefore, totally ready to forget the existence of those dresses, despite Anthro's efforts to the contrary. That is, until  I came across Jess's reviews of the dresses (in her blog, Consume or Consumedhere and here) and suddenly, I started to feel curious about them. This is, essentially how I ended up standing in an Anthropologie fitting room, with an armful of striped Bailey 44 dresses. And here's how it went:




I decided that the Pieced Column Dress, with its shorter length, might be the way to go for someone with a petite stature, so started off with that one. I'm wearing it in an XS, and I have to admit - this might be the first body-conscious dress that I'm actually wanting to buy for myself. Ever. In Jess's review, she mentioned how the staggered, almost criss-crossing stripes created a "smoke and mirrors" effect that really disguised body flaws, while still accentuating your curves - and you know, I have to completely agree. At least, looking straight on, I had a really hard time, even with my own gimlet and fairly critical eye, spotting any unseemly lumps and bumps that would normally send me scrambling to get out of clingy clothing. It's a bit harder to disguise a poochy tummy from a side view (and for the sake of honesty, I'll admit I was totally sucking in for that photo, above right, having just eaten dinner), but overall, I think I could live with it. The skirt is shorter - it hit about an inch and a half above my knee, so for women who are taller, it'd probably be substantially shorter. The dress is a pull-on style, made of layered, jersey fabric. It's lined and it's dry clean only. It's pretty much unlike anything else in my closet and I think that alone makes it a great candidate for my February purchase. Totally wishlisted.


Tiered Stripes Dress:


This is the Tiered Stripes Dress, and I'm wearing it in a size Small, because the Fashion Valley store was out of XS on the night I was there. It's big on me - but I think that were I wearing the XS, it'd pretty much be identical to the Pieced Column Dress, except for the additional 12" (give or take a few) of fabric that add to the length of the skirt. As I suspected, the length was problematic on me - it's supposed to be midi, and ostensibly, the XS might be an inch or so shorter, but at least in the size Small, I felt like a little kid wearing her big sister's hand-me-downs, that she still needed to grow into. Like the previous dress, this one is pull-on, and dry clean only. Pass for me.


Sorted Stripes Dress:


Here's the third of the Bailey 44 column dresses - the Sorted Stripes Dress, which I'm wearing in the XS. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting much from this dress, and while it wasn't quite as good as the Pieced Column Dress at smoothing out my figure, I was pleasantly surprised at how pretty the dress is, on. It's definitely too long on me, hitting a good inch below my knee (the dress hits at the top of the model's knee in the product shot), but the variegated striping did a good job of accentuating the body's curves while distracting the eye from other figure flaws. The dress, like the other two, has a pull-on styling and is dry-clean only. If there was a petite version of this dress available, I might totally spring for it. As it is, I still like it enough to have wishlisted it for consideration at sale time.


And while we're on the topic of stripes, I have to share this little jacket that caught my eye, as I passed by the Kate Spade window display. Stripes! Peplum! Love! It's the Kate Spade 'Ari' Jacket:



Thanks for stopping by!

13 comments:

  1. The shorter version is definitely the way to go. It looks fabulous on you!!!

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  2. Yep, the shorter version! It looks awesome on you! I am unsure that I'd have enough guts to do any of these dresses. i'm skinny, but my pooch can sometimes get out of control. ;)

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  3. Ooh, pieced column dress - hot mama! ;o)

    It is killing me to see all the cute striped blazers and jackets coming out now. Sure, I only have one, but does a person really need more than one striped jacket (yes?)?

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  4. Gaw.. I love these dresses sooo soo much. I'm 5 feet and bought the midi! I'm crazy and a rule breaker. I love that dress so much, it's redonks! I wish I had tried on the shorter dress though. It looks great on you.

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  5. The new short version looks great on you, can't wait to try it on myself. I'm slightly obsessed with Bailey 44 at the moment, all of their pieces have been really flattering lately.

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  6. My vote is for the shorter version - muy caliente! (; And I have to add, stylish minds think alike. I also saw Jess' reviews and hobnobbed it to my local Anthro for some dressing room action. I was pleasantly surprised at how good I felt in the Pieced Column. My only concern is that I'm not sure how I would style this dress to make it work appropriate. Your thoughts? BTW, my review of the Pieced Column will be up this Monday - I'd love if you stopped by for a visit.

    Happy weekending!

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    1. I own the sleeveless version and to make it work appropriate I work some suede knee high boots and a boyfriend Cardi that covered by booty :). In the summer when I went out with friends I just took off the sweater. You could also rock a black leather jacket depending on length for work appropriateness.

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    2. Thanks for the suggestions, Bronzi! It's good to know that it can be worn to work. Pieces that are adapatable rate high in my books. (:

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  7. I totally dismissed the first version due to the same reasons as you Carol!! I tried on the Pieced Column Dress and loved it too..I think it's great on us shorties :) And I think you must buy it...soon (it's so pretty on you)

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  8. Voting on the short version too. I didn't want any of the striped dresses, until I saw the navy beauty in my store. It's wonderful and they had it paired with the Cavendish cardigan, so now I want both. Will have to not so patiently wait for sale.

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  9. I tried on the pieced column dress today wishing I wouldn't like it but totally did! I love that it has sleeves and is shorter. I wish it was an inch longer though. I couldn't swallow the hefty price today though. Maybe on a day when I feel richer or more foolish... (: I love the dress and probably will buy before it hits sale which will probably be in forever, if then.

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  10. These look gorgeous! I think the sorted stripes is especially cute- I know you want to be that cute nerd in the hot dress like the catalogue shot! amiright? I know I would! However, the pieced column is also HOT!

    My heart belongs to the layered columnn version for the black and cream stripes, and I am so glad I ordered it before the S sold out online! I guess I'm an inch or two taller, so the midi length isn't so bad...will totally wear it soon!

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  11. Love the first 2 dresses! They both look great on you! I think I would be more comfortable wearing the 2nd one though.

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