Reviews: Ric Rac tops! (Carrot Flower Cutout Top, Twirled Tiers Tee, Petal-Packed Tank, Beaded Abraxas Top, Caravan Patchwork Top, Twirled Crepe Tank, Eliza Racerback)

A cute outfit from this month’s return-to-form Anthropologie catalogue.
In this look: Carrot Flower Cutout Top ($68), Pilcro Rolled Stet Slim ($118), 
Vivid Beginning Oxfords ($79).
(Shop the July 2012 catalogue here.)

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Ric Rac is back! Ric Rac is back!!! One of my favorite Anthropologie brands had dwindled from regular releases to sporadic releases to very few releases to sadly missing from Anthro stores altogether. I pined for the tunic lengths and fanciful adornments the brand was known for. Then all of a sudden like a dam bursting Anthropologie is once again plentiful with Ric Rac releases. I couldn’t be happier!

Over the past few weeks I’ve tried on enough from the brand to give it a dedicated reviews post. Grab some ruffles, trim and patchwork and join me as we cruise the Ric Rac offerings.

Carrot Flower Cutout Top ($68) by Ric Rac, size down
STYLE # 24708471; orange (089)

When I saw the Carrot Flower Cutout Top ($68) online, I assumed it was a rough hewn silk. In real life I was surprised to discover the top is a soft viscose, very cotton-y. The orange color is a nice midtone that’s not too red, not too clownlike and a perfect Pantone for this summer’s trends. An open caged neckline wisely terminates before the sleeves so no bra straps are visible. The bottom of the top is two motif panels joined cathedral style, with a slight triangle leaking around to the back. A central embroidery of floral shapes is echoed on the sleeves. Love!

I am usually able to size down in Ric Rac. I tried on my usual medium in this top and it was loose down at the bottom, so I’d size down to a small to buy. Orange is a tricky color for me as I have so much red undertone in my skin. I think this top works, though I’d surround it with blue family colors to keep myself from looking like an under-ripe tomato. I feel like this top could pull either casual duty or slightly dressed-up duty. Of all the tops in this reviews set the Carrot Flower is my favorite. Nicely done Anthro — wishlisted!!

Note: this top has been sold out online for a week or so but keeps popping back, in an XS this morning for example. So keep checking that product page and the weekly popbacks thread!

Twirled Tiers Tee (now $30) by Ric Rac, TTS
STYLE # 24678138; blue (040), dark grey (005), white (010) or pink (066)

I feel as though the Twirled Tiers Tee (now $30) is one of those tops that should be flattering on everyone. So what the heck happened to me? I was immediately reminded of my beloved Ambling Twists Tank from 2010 (reviewed here) which is sadly getting kinda holey now and needs to be replaced. I thought the Twirled Tiers was the ideal candidate. It’s a rayon-spandex mix that’s body-hugging above the waist and flared below. Should be the perfect shape on me! Two twists in front add shape. The top twist it should be noted creates a really deep v-neck. Might want a cami under this for the office.
I tried on my usual size medium. I expected to feel great in this top but I did not. I felt bumpy. And lumpy. And kinda dumpy. I’m not sure what went wrong here, but I feel it’s me and not the top that’s kindling disappointment. The top feels light and easy and billows slightly from the hem as you move. The shoulders are that sucky cap-sleeve length that is perfect for showing off my upper arm pudge. So like a date that ends with no goodnight kiss, instead of coming to my apartment this top went back to the rack instead.

Petal-Packed Tank ($68) by Ric Rac, size down
STYLE # 24732752; black motif (009)

I know that Batman already has a sidekick in poor underloved Robin and a rotating cast of Batgirls, but if he needed another Batgirl and if I somehow got chosen for that role despite Batman being fictional and if I wanted to cover my secret identity with clothes were sorta-batlike (you know, just to make people wonder if I could somehow be Batgirl but no way not really but maybe) then the Petal-Packed Tank ($68) would be in my closet for sure. 
This top is incredibly long. I’m 5’8″ and it’s almost a dress on me, so for you petite ladies out there I would not begrudge you if you simply belted this and called it an outfit. If the motif pattern on this top looks familiar it’s because the same motif lives on the Carrot Flower Cutout Top ($68) in orange. It’s much longer on the sides for some weird reason and has a split v-neck that kept rolling out like a 70s collar on me. The top is rayon.
I sized down to a small in this top. The armholes are ridiculously long. They almost extended below my bra strap! The fit in the small was somewhat close to my body but with so many pleats and so much extra material in back that I felt swarmed. 

I kind of love how long this top is. I envision it over leggings — purple ones maybe — with knee-high riding boots and and a thick belt. Blogger by day, bat by night? A pass at full price. Wishlisted for sale.

Beaded Abraxas Top ($58) by Ric Rac, TTS
STYLE # 24712333; black (001)

How lovely to see such a cute, detailed top for under $60! The  Beaded Abraxas Top ($58) is a studded, tiered, peplumed, beaded tank. And true to form Ric Rac makes every detail work nicely. This is a fantastic summer evening-out top. It looks like an expensive top but is light cotton. Thick straps in front give way to a fully covered back. It’s so rare to have a tank with a covered back these days and I love that choice here!
I got a little overconfident and grabbed a small to try here. But I should have stuck with my usual size medium. This top is very fitted which creates a sexy silhouette but necessitates room to breathe. The front of the top does come down pretty low. This wouldn’t be a day top for me — it would be strictly evenings. But even with the lack of day-to-night versatility this top is a winner in my book. Wishlisted!

Caravan Patchwork Top ($88) by Ric Rac, size down
STYLE # 24706137; ivory (011)

The  Caravan Patchwork Top ($88) is classic Ric Rac. If you told me this was simply a reissue of a top from 2008 I would believe you. And I’m happy with it! This tunic has a drop waist, an embellished floribunda and lots of lace. Of course the lace is also exactly where my bra sits and there is no lining so a cami will be required. The back too has a large rectangular sheer panel. But no lining, even though the top is nearly $90. It’s made from light, thin cotton. This top is somewhat fragile and will require tender care.
Your sizing will depend on how you want this top to fit. For me, I like the more streamlined look (it will be great as a layering piece) so I sized down to a small. But if you want a larger, freerer fit with the drop waist down than size up. I like this top a lot but there is no way I’m buying it at full price. Wishlisted for reconsideration at sale time.

Twirled Crepe Tank ($98) by Ric Rac, size down
STYLE # 24538118; ivory (011)

Sometimes I take photos for reviews, and sometimes I really don’t want to share those photos. That’s the case with the  Twirled Crepe Tank ($98) which is…depressing. Depressing on me at least. Poor sad tuxedo pleats, cascading and drooping over me. This rayon top was created to accelerate the work of gravity and remind me that in 10 years or so even a push-up bra will no longer be enough to fake perkiness. Thanks, Anthro. The beaded finials at the hemline, along with a bottom strip of unfinished chiffon make this top feel like a theatre you can wear. Except in my case it’s less divine comedy and more Shakespearean tragedy. Parting is not such sweet sorrow for me and this top.
I tried on a medium which was loose. Would a small be any better on me? Likely not. The top drapes straight on the dress form online. Not so much on me! I am too depressed to look at this one any longer. Back to the rack with this one!

Eliza Racerback (now $40) by Ric Rac, TTS
STYLE # 24732489; blue motif (049)

I have a fondness for stripes and a weakness for lace. Put them together in a top like the Eliza Racerback (now $40) and I am sold! The top two-thirds of this top is basically your everyday tank but then below the waistline it’s like a  skirt decided to join the party. A mix of lace and bias-set stripes are lovely and fun. This top is pretty thin; most bras will show through. And the back is a racerback.
I initially tried a size small, and I was in such a rush when I took these photos that the top isn’t laying well at all. But even in my haste I could tell this top is a delight. I love the multiple panels of the bottom third, and I think this top would be super cute over a pencil skirt. Once I got it home and saw these shots…
…I took one more so you could see how the shirt is supposed to lay. This is me in my usual size medium. Love it, bought it on sale!!
Are you happy to see Ric Rac back at Anthropologie? Have you purchased or tried any of these tops? I’ll be back later today with a set of skirt reviews! If you’d like to read more reviews click here or the “REVIEWS” link in the navbar. Is there an Anthropologie item you’d like to see reviewed? Let me know in the comments!

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