Friday, March 16, 2012

New Spring Dresses (Anthro Fitting Room Reviews)

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you're all doing well today. Happily, I have a day off, so I'm enjoying some fun time with Kate (Rowan's in school during the day). In fact, I'm going to try and write up this post really quickly, while she's busy watching her favorite show (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) as she eats breakfast, eats lunch, has her afternoon snack (sigh - this is the life of a mother. LOTS of unscheduled interruptions...) so that when she's done, we can go out and have adventures (ahem...none of them including things like searching for $14.95 floral print pants at H&, nothing like that...*innocent whistling*).

Last weekend, I stopped by the store and tried on some dresses, you know, as research. Here's what I found.

I'm wearing the Sincerely Paris Dress in a size 0. I was really excited when I saw this, because I feel like I've been longing for Girls From Savoy's halter dress for years (starting with the Traced Twirls which I reviewed here, in the early days of our blog - don't you love how I put the camera directly in front of my face, like I'm hiding something? Yes, good times) but because I'm so short, those dresses have never quite worked for me. So, while this dress is not exactly the same silhouette, it's close enough - and short enough - for me to feel happy to wear it. The dress is made from cotton, has a back zip, a smocked panel in the back to provide a bit of give, a removable halter strap (which converts it into a strapless dress) and pockets! I think it's love, and this may be one of my "birthday month" purchases in April. Wishlisted!

Montcada Dress:

Color-blocked dresses are hot this spring, so the Montcada Dress caught my eye as I walked through the store. I'm wearing it in a size 0, and I have to say, I liked it despite a couple things to consider. The first is the cut of the shoulders - because they cut inward, in that athletic work-out top-like fashion, you can't wear a normal bra with it at all. I know, because I made the mistake of putting it on over my bra, and yeah...that's not a recommended styling strategy. Also, I was surprised by how short the front of the dress was - as you can see, it hit at the top of my knee, which will make it shorter on taller women. This wouldn't be such a huge concern if it were a straight-across hem, but with the asymmetrical styling...I don't know. It's almost as if my knee caps are being framed and featured by the dress, and I'm not sure that's the look I'm going for. The dress is made of silk, is dry-clean only, and is pull-on. I love the fuchsia and navy color scheme, but would need an occasion to wear it. Pass for me.

Konza Dress:

I picked up the Konza Dress for its soft, springy color and pretty eyelet details. I'm wearing it here in a size 0, and oh, I liked it better than I thought I would, to be honest. While I love sweet, light, airy dresses (which this one is), I don't always love having to deal with 2 separate layers (aren't dresses supposed to be easy?) as you must with this one. The top layer is pretty sheer, so though you can't tell from the product shots, there's a slip, and well, I find having to wrangle slips while getting into a dress just annoying. Minor complaint, but there you have it. Otherwise, I liked it quite a bit. It's got a draw-string waist, which allows you to wear it different ways, adding to the versatility of this dress. For instance, in the photos above, I loosely knotted the drawstring without cinching at all, creating a shift-like silhouette. In the photo below-left, you can see that I tightened and tied the string just a tiny bit, which gave the dress a little bit of definition, while still retaining a very laid-back vibe. In the photo below-right, you can see that I pulled it tight, to my true waist, which shortened the dress by a couple inches and created a very different sort of dress. I really like this aspect of the dress, and it nearly made me walk the dress directly to the register. However, I do have to admit I think the dress is a little pricey and the cotton is so light, I imagine it will wrinkle easily. The dress is a pull-on style, dry clean only (boo!), and I think it's definitely wish listed for sale-time, maybe at FP during my birthday month...*innocent face.*  

 Blooming Whin Shift:

I couldn't walk past the Blooming Whin Shift. I just couldn't. It's like a Carol-electromagnet. I'm wearing it in a size 2, because my store was sold out of 0s, but I think it fit okay, even though with its shifty-shape, I could probably have sized down. I thought this was silk (and really, the pricey-price seems to call for it), but it's actually a synthetic, according to the product page. Anyway, I don't care. I have nowhere to wear it, really. But I will invent an occasion for it. I will throw a party, just to get to wear this dress (what are you doing next weekend?). There's this interesting non-cape thing going on in the back of the dress - it's like fabric origami or something. I don't know. Am I nuts? I really think I love it the way I love Blue Bottle coffee, which is saying quite a bit. 

Because I love Blue Bottle coffee. 

Wishlisted. (Until this afternoon, Until my impromptu party next weekend Until April. My birthday month.)

And two notes before I sign off for today - first, I've decided to revive my long defunct Material Good blog, where I'll be posting more frequently (I hope) about a range of non-fashion related topics, though mostly having to do with education, I think. I hope you'll all take a look, but especially if you're an educator (I know there are a lot of you out there). For those of you who weren't aware, I work in the field of education (though no longer in the classroom), hence my interest in that topic. 

Also, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was hoping to start up our next book club read: Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style). I'm going to put up the book club post within the next two weeks, for those of you who are interested in discussing. This book is a really great read (I found it both entertaining and informative) and I hope you'll join us, to chat about your take on Mr. Gunn's perspective on style. (Hint: It goes beyond, "make it work.") 

Have a great Friday and thanks for stopping by!


  1. FUn reviews! I love the Konza dress on darn cute! I say it's birthday purchase worthy, for sure! =)

  2. All of the dresses look fantastic on you! I especially like the Sincerely Paris Halter Dress! Definitely b-day month worthy :)

  3. You in the Sincerely Paris Halter - gorgeous!!!!!!

  4. The halter and shift are my favorites!!

    I tried those H&M pants you mentioned. I was inbetween sizes and couldn't make them work. For the price, I hope you are more successful!!!

  5. oh goodness how I love fitting room dress reviews! The blooming whin looks bloomin' amazing on you- like some kind of high fashion elixir of spring. I would love to try that one on! and the sincerely paris? sincerely perfect! sincerely! I think it's time you got one of these lovely savoy dresses, I mean, in april!

  6. The Sincerely Paris and Blooming Whin are gorgeous on you! Not a big fan of the Konza color, but it's a cute dress nonetheless! Love the reviews as always :)

  7. I love the Blooming Whin Shift dress. I would add a pink statement necklace or pink pumps or a pink clutch, not all three for a little color blocking. I think you can totally rock this with sandals for brunch or with nude pumps for date night. I just started a blog and posted my first post. I'm curious, do you guys find that you shop more because you have a blog or did you start a blog because you have too much in your closet? I am interested in starting a swapping club of some kind like your borrowed feathers. I've been to swapping parties but at least being part of the blogging community you have more like minded people so swapping can be a success. Anyhow, I love reading your blog.

  8. Ah! I love the Sincerely Paris Halter Dress! I am also considering a birthday splurge on it! It looks perfect on you! The Blooming Whin shift is GORGEOUS on you! OMG!

  9. The Sincerely Paris Halter Dress looks absolutely perfect for spring. I love the crisp white cotton and that print is super fun. I've never been a big fan of halter dresses but that one is really changing my mind about them. BTW, I never got to thank you for your kind words on my last post. It's comments like that that make me reconsider my rash decision to stop blogging. I'm really missing it already, but at least I have more time to comment now.

  10. carol--have you been to SF MOMA coffee cafe? you can have blue bottle coffee AND stare at art!!

  11. Carol! I will plan an internet party JUST so you can wear that fabulous blooming win shift dress. It is just so stunning! All the dresses are great, but oh the lines of that shift...It could totally work at soccer practice, right?! :)

  12. I love the Sincerely Paris Halter Dress and Konza Dress on you!! btw I love love Blue Bottle Coffee too :)