Reviews: Amelia Dress, Wrapped Stripe Column Dress, Colorblock Shift Dress, Picotage Sheath, Arcata Patchwork Dress, Maia Crochet Tunic

Trying on some Anthropologie dress delights, including the Wrapped Stripe Column Dress ($148).

Dress season has kicked off at Anthropologie and my local NYC stores are stocked to the gills with frock upon frock. It was hard to choose just a few to try on…so I tried on as many as I could squeeze in during a work lunch break!

Here’s the first part…

Amelia Dress ($148) by Maeve, TTS
Style No. 4130336414274; green (030, on me) or black (001)

Note: For reference I am currently sitting at 34-29-39, size 6/M in tops & sweaters, 6 in dresses and 29/30 or 8 in pants and skirts, 32DD. I am 5’8″.

My iPhone didn’t quite capture the green beauty of the Amelia Dress ($148) accurately; in person this dress is a lovely, lovely shade of green. It’s very long, falling about mid-calf about me and has a panel design down the front that looks sort of like a same-color beauty queen sash. The v-neck on this one is pretty deep by Anthro standards — I love that shows a hint of cleavage in that Joan Holloway/Mad Men-esque way. For ladies with curves to show off this dress is a delight!

Materialwise it’s an unfortunate mix of rayon and spandex that doesn’t feel heavy on but did have me feeling warm in the fitting room. The cap sleeves are cut at a good angle that’s more flatting than a straight cut on the upper arm, and the mid-calf length is awkward but workable. It’s not lined which I find very odd.

I tried on a medium, the size I usually go for, and it felt great on. This green color is a terrific shade on my pale skin-dark hair combo, and in fact it looks great on many skin/hair combos. I love how it emphasizes my tiny waist and height.

This dress would be borderline appropriate for work for me. I’d wear a bra that smooshes my chest a bit so the decolletage isn’t quite so grand. This dress would be fantastic for an elegant after work event. I wish it were knee-length though I understand the overall design aesthetic it’s going for. Not a full-price buy for me but certainly worth consideration on sale.

Wrapped Stripe Column Dress ($148) by Maeve, runs small
Style No. 413033641006; blue motif (049)

Of all the dresses I tried, I was most excited about the Wrapped Stripe Column Dress ($148) before I got to the fitting room. Once inside the fitting room my delight at finding the dress at the Rockefeller Center Anthropologie (NYC) quickly turned to disappointment. This dress looks like it would be idea on my hourglass shape…but it’s not, not on the way my curves are distributed anyway.

Perhaps this is the material’s fault. A textured cotton with multiple synthetics mixed in, the dress has a slightly bumpy texture but it’s not structured the way I expected it to be. It feels like one of those knit dresses that you can pull and stretch to fit over your head — and in fact this dress is pullover style. The material makes it machine washable yet I found myself wishing for something with a little less give; a lightweight wool or something like that.

Or perhaps the failure on me comes in the stripe placement. The skirt in particular has several vertical stripes which struggled around my thighs o’thunder (and I use that term affectionately) and plentiful rump. The bias stripe below the waist also had a weird effect of making my hips, pelvis and thighs look larger. Even up top, the faux wrap effect does me no favors. I’m surprised by how much boob this dress put on display.

I’m in a medium here, which felt smaller than mediums usually do on me, and I did try on a large too to see if it would be any better but it was not. So this dress was a bust. Literally, and figuratively.

Colorblock Shift Dress (now $100) by Amadi, TTS
Style No. 4130461056048; grey (004, on me) or black & white (018)

I do love Anthro’s colorblock efforts like the Colorblock Shift Dress (now $100), which tend to be modern, fun and sleek to wear. This one just missed the boat for me, due to the waist being too high. I am shocked by how quickly the dress made it to sale! Then again, maybe not due to the way the proportions are just a little off.

Let’s start with the good. This dress is mostly modal (yay!) with polyester, spandex and such mixed in. Most of that goes into the skirt, which feels silky and has very fun deep half-moon pockets. On met the skirt portion falls more like a tulip than it does on the product model, but it still passes the fingertip test. I wish the scoop neckline came a bit lower and that the sleeves were full sleeves rather than 7/8ths of the way to my wrist. I’ve got them pushed up a bit here.

I’m in my typical medium here and it was a good fit, aside from the waist sitting too high on me. Is everyone in Anthro’s fit department short torso’ed? I ask because I too have a short torso and yet this is a repetitive problem for me with their dresses. Make the waist lower Anthro! No woman appreciates looking like a 12-year-old girl in a dress.

Lovely idea, but another pass for me.

Picotage Sheath ($158) by HD in Paris, TTS
Style No. 4130336418181; red (060)

I was rather blown away by the Picotage Sheath ($158)! I’d hoped this dress would look good, feared it would not fit me right, and felt elated when it in fact worked well on me. A frock with just the right balance of give and hold, this one’s a real winner.

This dress is a thicker polyester-cotton combo that is lightweight despite its thickness, with a defined waist that falls in the perfect spot, a hem right below the knee and very soft feel. The design placement on this dress is exceptional. Someone paid attention to all the details with this one and it shows — kudos, kudos, kudos to the designer(s) behind this beautiful piece! From the filligree on the cap sleeves to the wider frond placement up top to the narrower (and flattering) placement below the waist, this dress catches the eye for all the right reasons.

I’m in a 6 here, which is my typical numero size, and I felt like I fell between a 6 and an 8. This is a dress I want hugging me, and the 6 felt perhaps just a touch too close while the 8 was a touch too loose, especially across my back. I’d buy the 6 because it felt better overall.

I would love to see this dress in the same pattern, but other colorways. For now this one’s in my cart, likely to come home with me at full price sometime soon.

Arcata Patchwork Dress ($148) by one.september, runs large
Style No. 4130211061080; red motif (069)

The Arcata Patchwork Dress ($148) is yummy! I do love a good patchwork dress and this one has a beautiful mix of red, black, lavender and a few blue accents. It’s lightweight and easy to throw on (I’d wear it with tall boots now and cute sandals come spring).

The dress is rayon, hits a few inches above the knee (just above my fully stretched fingertips) and has a tunic style. That means there isn’t much definition along the body…which on a curvy, large-busted gal like me can easily fall into muumuu territory. I think this dress avoids that pitfall.

It runs large. I’m in a small here instead of my usual medium and it’s still plenty roomy. A good take on boho with this one, Anthro. And it doesn’t fall into too-Free People feeling either. Nicely done! Landed in your own niche.

I wanted, I saw, I purchased this one. I’ve already worn it once.

Maia Crochet Tunic ($229) by Suboo, TTS
Style No. 37146362; sky (045)

I tried all of these dresses on right before leaving for Mexico. Before I saw the price of the Maia Crochet Tunic ($229), I thought, ‘Oh, this dress would be lovely over my bikinis as [BF] and I stroll about town!’ Then I saw the price and I was crestfallen.

I’m not usually one to complain about prices; I get the designer game and I’ll pay more for crisp design and good materials. However, this dress is rayon and if you slapped a Zara or Forever 21 tag on it, would anyone really be surprised? No. They would not be surprised. 

It has a boxy and slightly oversized shape, which my curves manage to negotiate into more of a fit-and-flare. Go curves! I love the cleavage this dress shows and I really like the crochet elements too. It’s short, hitting mid-thigh but completely workable for a beach/about town summer day. It is a pretty ideal summer dress in my mind! I adore the color. I’m in a size 6 here, which felt pleasantly oversized. That’s my usual dress size.

But I can’t get past the price tag. I would be hard pressed to pay $60 for this, let alone $230. $30 seems more appropriate. Sorry Anthro.

More dress reviews on the way this week! What should I look for on my lunch breaks this week?

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