Reviews: Colorblock Lace Mini Dress, Honeycomb Lace Dress, Oxidized Medallions Dress, Illustrated Silk Tunic, Twisted Crepe Mini Dress, Embroidered Tulip Dress, Intarsia Dotted Sweater Dress, Pleated Ponte Dress, Tactile Newsboy

A rare reissue from Anthropologie, the Pleated Ponte Dress ($158).

My last few trips to Anthropologie have been somewhat aimless wandering. In September I wasn’t motivated to do many reviews, mostly due to the lackluster product. As the calendar turns towards fall the offerings have improved somewhat and I found enough dresses that interested me to cobble together a reviews set. A few nice surprises after the jump.

Colorblock Lace Mini Dress (now $60) by Leifnotes, TTS
STYLE # 25219353; blue motif (049)
★★★☆☆

It is fall right? Not December? I’m not surprised that the Colorblock Lace Mini Dress (now $60) hit sale so quickly because it’s a dress out of season to me. The black and navy color palette is just too dark for October! I suppose that makes it all the more appealing on sale — a dress you can actually pre-buy on sale to wear in the future!

The dress is lace laid over black spandex jersey. Can we please just banish spandex? The punchline of the 90s has somehow been incorporated into our fabric lexicon as though it legitimately fits. I’m sick of my jeans being too stretched out at the end of the day and I’m sick of dresses that sag as you wear them due to the cheap elasticity of spandex. I’d rather just size up if something’s too tight. Bring back cotton jersey!

One wonderful thing about this dress is the shape. It’s a simple fit-and-flare with thick (but not too thick) shoulder straps. There’s a nip in at the waist with a gentle a-line skirt that flows right to my knees. I’m delighted to see this shape returning to Anthropologie and only want to see more dresses like this. Super flattering! I found a medium to work fine, it was a little loose around my shoulders but the right fit over my hips. I’m not a big fan of the twisted jersey waistline. I know it’s meant to showcase the waist but I felt like it made my hips look bigger. And I find it odd that the back of the dress has a jersey skirt.

The shape here is a winner, but the spandex fabric is disappointing and the waistline needs some tweaking. Pass for me.

Honeycomb Lace Dress ($288) by Yoana Baraschi, size up
STYLE # 25744988; gold (070)
★★★☆☆

The perfect color for a fall dance, the Honeycomb Lace Dress ($288) is a little mustard-y for everyday life. This year Anthropologie has carried quite a few of Yoana Baraschi’s mesh overlay pieces. This is probably my least favorite of all them. I find some of the design choices odd. For example, the beautiful neckline is missing the mesh between the tendrils. It looks like a production mistake. Same deal for the round medallions.

I’m happy that there is a lining slip for this dress but once again it fits a full size tighter around the hips than the actual dress does. So I found myself squeezed in a 6. I sized up to an 8 for these dressing room photos. Sizing up didn’t affect the outer shell to much, but it’s annoying to have to size up due to the underlayer. I like the low scoop of the back of the dress — it doesn’t sweep low enough to expose your bra which I appreciate. I also quite like the skirt’s hemline. I don’t like how the embroidery seems to shed thread. I can imagine this looking fuzzy over time.

I’m just not a fan of the mesh and I wish this came in a rich purple like the Embroidered Lace Pencil Skirt ($148) which I’ll cover in an upcoming reviews set. One can dream of second wave colors! For this mustard version, back to the rack.

Oxidized Medallions Dress ($148) by Girls From Savoy, TTS
STYLE # 25554593; blue motif (049)
★★★☆☆

And here we have yet another strapless dress. With a higher bustline I hoped to wear the Oxidized Medallions Dress ($148) with a blazer over it, a la the catalogue shot. Any such dreams were dashed as soon as I touched the dress. If you had to guess what would you think this dress was made from? I wished for silk. I figured polyester. The dress is in fact the latter but it’s some kind of treated poly that feels like a bathing suit. Slightly rubbery with a sheen. Most likely this was done to protect the saturated hues. If this dress was machine washable the trade-off might be worth it. But no, it’s dry clean only.

Let’s look at some positives. This dress is nice and long, with a skirt rendered straight enough that the extra length doesn’t make me feel like a stump. There’s a layer of tulle under the skirt which gives it some flounce. The bustline does indeed come nice and high, and has some side ruching to accommodate chests of varying sizes. A well-defined waistline makes this dress a great candidate for belts. I love belts!

I wish the bust portion of the dress had biased the pattern. The horizontal lines are tough, and on me they were warping a bit. I was impressed with how minimized my chest looked — compare these shots to me in the Intarsia Dotted Sweater Dress and it’s hard to believe the same person tried them both on! The Oxidized Medallions is so slippery though that I constantly feared a wardrobe malfunction, even with a strip of elastic at the top of the dress.

A better fabric choice was needed here. Pretty dress in a great shape, but another pass for me. (Maybe on super sale I’d reconsider.)

Illustrated Silk Tunic ($118) by Made in China, TTS
STYLE # 25685694; neutral motif (015)
★★★★☆

A few admissions. I had my ranty typing fingers all ready to go about how ridiculously short this dress was! Then I got home, searched for this item and discovered it was in fact a top. Ah. So now I’m just embarrassed that I tried it on as a dress. Please forgive the lack of bottoms here. To modify the wisdom of The Fug Girls, just as they say tights are not pants it turns out that tunics are not dresses. Lesson learned.

Second admission. The brand here is not actually Made in China. The logo of the designer is a cloud and I don’t recognize it. But right below it is a big ol’ Made in China tag, so it’s so christened until I find the real name of the brand.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about this top. It’s a black and almost-white print featuring birds, shrubs and water, with some cursive down near the hemline. Turns out the scrawls are a song called “Scottish Winds” by Frightened Rabbit. There are some odd lyrics but it’s appropriately poetic.

I found my usual size 6 to fit well. The front placket has tuxedo pleating and buttons that go about three-quarters of the way down. The bottom third of the shirt is almost skirtlike and would look good over either a skirt or pants. Or perhaps with a sweater layered over it? I like the little collar and the sleeveless cut.

Cute top! Nice and long, with a flattering fit. Wishlisted!!

Twisted Crepe Mini Dress ($188) by Leifsdottir, TTS
STYLE # 25175316; red (060)
★★★★★

Here’s a lovely dress that’s ready for date night! Leifsdottir’s Twisted Crepe Mini Dress ($188) is so flattering I wanted to take it home immediately. Slightly low-cut with a front twist, the shape is sure to be rocked by a range of body types. I love fit-and-flare!

This dress is crepe — not wool crepe or silk crepe mind you — with an exposed back zipper and skirt pockets on the bias. Skirt pockets which are sewn shut at purchase. Online the red color looks muted but in real life it almost punches you with boldness. I love red but I would like to see this dress in another color. Another color that isn’t black or navy blue — how about a rich aubergine, or a dusty gold?

Fitwise a 6 was just a top loose in the shoulders, easily fixed with tailoring. The straps are a little too long for me. But I just love how this dress looks on. Perfect for a night out dancing! It drops too low to be work cocktail party appropriate in my opinion. The skirt grazed my knees nicely. I don’t know why they call it a mini when it’s not. I’m no shorty at 5’8″. Although the website says this dress is lined I don’t remember there being a lining in real life. I could be mistaken.

A few small quibbles but this dress is too flattering to ignore. Wishlisted!!

Embroidered Tulip Dress ($168) by Meadow Rue, TTS
STYLE # 25037649; black (001)
★★★★☆

Since every dress can’t be a fit-and-flare, the Embroidered Tulip Dress ($168) creates an equally flattering shape courtesy of a long tulip skirt and a simple crossed v-top embellished with fern delights. It’s another polyester frock with a defined waist and a black base.

Although this dress is low-cut like the Twisted Crepe Mini above, I’d argue that the neutral color and more demure shape would allow this to be cocktail party appropriate. I see myself wearing it to the ballet or perhaps an opera. And it’s another great date dress.

Once again my usual 6 worked well. My one knock on this dress is the material, with a second quibble being that from the side this dress bunches at the midsection. It’s not a huge deal to me because the overall shape is great but it is worth noting. The waist on this dress could be a little lower.

Almost perfect, a sure fit in my closet on sale. For now, wishlisted!!

Intarsia Dotted Sweater Dress ($148) by Sparrow, size down
STYLE # 25941899; blue motif (049)
★★★☆☆

Stella McCartney has a dress that’s pervasive in Hollywood, with a front that has an almost chestplate-like appearance. The Intarsia Dotted Sweater Dress ($148) seems to be the Anthro-fied version of that dress, with a front chestplate made of polka dots instead of luxe silk. I thought this dress looked super cute online and couldn’t wait to try it!

Once again I love the silhouette here — pretend this was just a solid blue and it’s a cute tee-shirt dress with a perfectly done skirt. While I love the idea of the patterns on top it’s problematic for me for a couple of reasons. First, the red pattern continues too wide on the shoulders, making me look like a linebacker. Check out that side view in the middle! Put me in coach, I don’t even need pads. Secondly, the polka dot portion makes my chest look a bit droopy. Not my favorite look.

But perhaps the fit issues are because the medium I tried on was much too big. The back had a hunchback of extra material. I’d size down to a small to buy and hopefully that would be better. On the plus side the material is not itchy (though I am very itch-tolerant) and though not soft it’s not rough either.

There’s promise here but not enough to make me spend full price. Wishlisted for reconsideration at sale time.

Pleated Ponte Dress ($158) by Girls From Savoy, size down
STYLE # 25452939; blue (040)
★★★★☆

Anthropologie seems to have heard our cries! This is actually the second coming of the Pleated Ponte Dress ($158). Last year this dress came out in a yellow version that was lovely but tough on many skin tones. This year Anthro went for a more versatile blue. A lovely, deep, rich blue!!

I owned the yellow version until recently, when I decided to part with the sadly underworn dress in my closet. I wondered if the blue would tempt me into reinvesting. Like its predecessor this version is a poly-rayon mix with a crossed velvet waist sash, an exposed back zip, and a skirt that hits an inch or two above the knees. I can say that last year’s version held up well.

And just as last year, I found this dress to run large. A small fit me much better than a medium, though the small was still quite loose through the shoulders. In seeing these shots I also recognize now that I look all chest in this dress, such that I’d either have to smush myself in a minimizing bra…or pass altogether. I think I’ll opt for the latter though this is a lovely, lovely dress.

A great move by Anthropologie to bring this winner back. Not for me, but recommended for others! 

Tactile Newsboy ($38) by ???, one size
STYLE # 25069568; black (001) or orange (080)
★★★★★

Last winter I remember being mystified by the lack of cute hats at Anthropologie. This year they’re already making up for it with delights like the Tactile Newsboy ($38). For the longest time, my fall hat was a cute engineer’s hat I’d found at H&M with a cute little bow and a cute little brim. And then I lost it at the movies last year. I headed to Anthropologie where I’d seen similarly cute hats in the past and found nothing.

Then last week I saw this wonderful hat! The slightly oversized shape is perfect for my long yet round face, balancing out my fivehead and jowls nicely. The sad floppy flower would pick right up with some steaming. It’s comfortable and not too heavy on. The “black” version is really more dark grey in my opinion. Which leaves me wondering. I’m more interested in the “orange” version online which looks pink to me. But I couldn’t find this other color in any of the NYC stores. Has anyone in the community seen it? I’d love to know whether you thought it more orange or pink.

In addition to this cutie, I’m also loving the Ribbed Bloom Hat ($38) and the Folded Tweed Newsboy ($38). I think Anthropologie may have underestimated the importance of stocking awesome hats. I’m glad to see some great ones back!

39 Comments

  1. Christine
    December 12, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    Would you consider selling your Anthro frightened rabbit tunic? I adore it!

    • December 12, 2018 / 6:48 pm

      Hi, I don't own the tunic — these photos were all taken in the store, I didn't buy the items, just tried them on!

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