Reviews: Ruffled Clipdot Dress, Aveline Lace Dress, Enid Sheath, Botanique Maxi Dress, Villanelle Lace Dress

It’s time for more dressy delights, like the Villanelle Lace Dress ($178)!

Time to bring on more reviews! I’m working my way through some of Anthropologie’s latest dresses, inside…

Ruffled Clipdot Dress ($158) by Eva Franco, size up if busty
Style No. 4130210696294; blue motif (049)
★★★★☆

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″.

Eva Franco usually makes fun, flattering dresses and the Ruffled Clipdot Dress ($158) is no exception. This halter fit-and-flare dress is navy with red polka dots and has a cascading ruffle down the front. Yay ruffles! There’s a small triangular window in the back (no danger of bra reveals thankfully) and a half-zip below that. The polka dots are actually ‘textured clipdots’ — they looked like little chicken pox to me. Adorable, quirky chicken pox.

The material here is all polyester, including the lining. I had read the online reviews so I knew that this dress runs tight up top. Because of that I’m in an 8 here instead of my usual 6. I was impressed that the waist hits just about at my natural waist, even with my elbows and in a very flattering spot. The dress hits me across the knees and feels very lightweight and pleasant on, with fun movement when I twirl about.

I’m not a fan of high necklines, but if the neckline has to be high this is a good way to go — the soft triangular cut above the bust and from the neckline is more flattering on me then, say, a straight up-and-down cut. My racerback bra was still a little visible in front below the straps.

The only detail I’m not sure if I like on this dress is how the skirt below the ruffle has a slightly different pattern to it. This wasn’t nearly as noticeable online. It bothers me somehow, like the overall flow of the dress has been interrupted.

I would love to see this dress in mint, or golden yellow, or a pretty cobalt blue. For now this version is wishlisted, but likely waiting for sale to re-evaluate.

A photo posted by riley s. (@cestriley) on Mar 9, 2016 at 8:13am PST

This beautiful sketch from cestriley (which I assume is supposed to be c’est riley if Instagram allowed spaces and apostrophes) made me want to try on the previously unnoticed Aveline Lace Dress ($158).

Aveline Lace Dress ($158) by Floreat, TTS
Style No. 4130580815695; raspberry (062, on me) or black (001)
★★★☆☆

A year or two ago Anthropologie resurrected the Floreat label in what seemed like name only, yet here is the Aveline Lace Dress ($158) which would fit right in with the dresses we used to see in Floreat’s heyday. (Man I feel old saying that!) This beautiful swingy peasant dress has a delicately embroidered stretch panel around the bust along with two openwork panels, one on each sleeve. It hit me a little above the knee but was not unpleasantly short.

Those sleeves though, oh my god. The open panel is so tight! I can see the catalogue shot featuring the black dress shows that model having the same issue, and you can see the tapering of the sleeve in this detail shot. Yet the raspberry version is very loose on the model’s arm online, so I’m going to go ahead and guess that this is a production inconsistency; some dresses will be tight in the arms like mine was and others will be fine. So, so weird.

Aside from that my only other complaint is that this dress seems wrinkle-prone. I’m in my usual size 6 which fit great aside from that sleeve issue. The dress is pullover style with a single button closure in the back at the neckline. It has a healthy amount of give to it and is fully lined.

It’s quite lovely really! Great with boots for spring. Wishlisted!

Enid Sheath ($158) by HD in Paris, size up
Style No. 4130348692176; black (001)
★★★★★

The Enid Sheath ($158) is one of the loveliest dresses I’ve seen at Anthropologie in a while. I’m delighted by it! This work-ready sheath is a polyester-spandex jacquard and it’s clear that the designer paid great attention to fit and shape with this dress. There are two darts down the front of this dress, three more in the back and two down each side.

What most impressed me is that this dress looks great both on my friend M who is a more petite, slight woman and tall curvy me! I am nearly always a 10 in Anthropologie sheaths and that’s what I’d like here, you see me in an 8 above which was the largest size left at the Rockefeller Center Anthro that day. This dress is form-fitting but comfy. The sleeves are a cute cap style with just a little overhang. I love the dark black bust and sleeve detail, and the length is good too, hitting along the top of my knees. Don’t expect to take long strides walking in this dress. You can move, but smaller steps are a requirement. You get in and out of this dress via a back zip.

One note, this dress does not have a lining, and you definitely need an underlayer because the texture is scratchy. At first I was upset about this…Anthro’s cheaping out on us! I thought to myself. But upon further mental review, I realized that I’ve cut the lining out of nearly every Anthro sheath I’ve ever bought, because they never cut the thighs wide enough for me. It’s always too tight, even when the outer shell of the dress is fine. So if Anthro decided it was better for us each to secure our own underlayer, and dropped the price of the dress by $20 accordingly (because this is totally a $180 dress to me) then I’m cool with it.

Not that I speak for everyone of course. But I love, love this dress! I’m going to buy this one next paycheck.

Botanique Maxi Dress ($228) by Bhanuni, TTS
Style No. 4130360688003; red motif (069)
★★★☆☆

I’ve been excited about the Botanique Maxi Dress ($228) everytime I’ve seen it on Instagram, but in real life it was kind of a letdown for me. I love that Anthropologie commissioned this design from India, and I love the idea of it. But the fit was not ideal for me.

This maxi dress is a soft viscose outer shell with a rayon lining. Although it looks sheer in the catalogue shot, in most lights it’s nearly opaque. The bodice has beading over the pretty pattern and this dress grazed my toes, making it a great length for us talls. There are no pockets.

Problem #1 with this dress: the zipper. Good lord that zipper is so tiny it’s hard to grab, and then it’s one of those cheap ones that constantly gets caught up in the material and stuck at the waist. After cursing at it for a few minutes I finally asked for help zipping it up. The zipper moved easily but the teeth are so small and pliable, I really worry about the longevity of it. This is not a self-zip dress!

Problem #2: the bodice is too short for busty women like me. After awhile this just becomes vaguely insulting. Anthropologie, how the effy effy did you guys forget that part of your marketability, and what elevates you above so many other retailers, is that you used to design to flatter women? So many of the designs now seem made for model-type bodies, which represent less than 10% of the female population. So my friend K who is a model totally loves Anthro now, while I’m rolling my eyes and crankily yelling at clouds.

Anyway, waists Anthropologie. Find the waist. This dress was a waste for me. Back to the rack.

Villanelle Lace Dress ($178) by HD in Paris, size down
Style No. 4130580813122; mango (083, on me) or black (001)
★★★★☆

I had seen the Villanelle Lace Dress ($178) in several Instagram shots from the various Anthropologie store feeds recently, yet everytime it was on a person with a very lithe, straight body shape. So taking this dress into the fitting room I didn’t have high hopes for it. My expectation was to say something like, ‘lovely, but not for curves.’

Well, surprise surprise! This was one of my favorite dresses of the day! Although the medium I tried on was too big, I was delighted by the design details that allowed this mostly straight dress to hint at my curves that lie underneath. The ‘mango’ color you see on me read as golden yellow to my eyes. I love the length too, this dress hit about mid-shin on me, slightly shorter than tea length. And that yellow shirred panel, though just a bit above my natural waist, was close enough. I do think another layer on top — most likely a denim jacket such as this one — will help to further define my waist.

Let’s talk about the dress itself. It’s polyester, with a rayon lining. The lining ends at the knee, creating a sheer look below the knee that’s very cute. The back of the neckline has a button closure though I have to note that several dresses in-store — including the one I tried — were already missing the button which had been very poorly sewn on.

As noted two paragraphs above I tried on a medium, which was large on me. I’d go down to a small to buy. Intriguingly, this is one case where a petite version of the dress might be better length-wise than the regular version…and no one would ever call me petite! I plan to head back to the Rockefeller Center Anthropologie to see how the petite fares…

Update…

I went back to Rockefeller Center on my lunch break and ended up purchasing the small petite, which you see on me above. The dress is still kinda big…I would have loved to try the XSP but it was not in-stock in the store and I’d like to wear this dress to an event my boyfriend and I are attending on Saturday evening. The length is much better, hitting just below the knee. I bought it!

The wonderful shoes I’m wearing here are also from Anthropologie, I bought them along with the dress but they don’t seem to be on Anthro’s website yet. They are also available via Amazon. I found them to run a half size large; I purchased in an 8.5 instead of my usual size 9. I do like this similar pair that is on Anthro’s site now, but it’s much more expensive.

I plan to pair this dress with the Natori Feathers Front-Close T-Back Bra ($68) and matching hipster underwear ($30) in yellow…though I guess I won’t be buying it from Anthropologie because they’ve chosen not to stock that color in DD sizes. Not cool, Anthro. I also loooove this kimono that’s right next to the bra in Anthro’s intimate section layout. Le sigh.

I may be able to get another reviews set up today, but no promises. I have about 8-10 more dresses to review and then we’ll move on to tops and skirts!

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