Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reviewed: Two Maxi-Dresses and a Not-so-Maxi Dress

Good afternoon, Readers. I hope you all have been keeping warm. Truth be told, I've been away from my blog for a bit. I wear a uniform to work and I have not been dressing up because in New England, the weather has been brutal. A couple of days ago, it was in the single digits and it can't seem to stop snowing. We have had a storm every week for a while and we are running out of places to put the snow. I definitely have a little bit of the winter blues. I have been keeping up with other bloggers and seeing their cute outfits and I'm stuck wearing ugly snow boots and jeans. Driving in this muck isn't a picnic either. To top it all off, it's snowing again today and I will have to get to rehearsal in it. I think I will take public transit tonight, even though it will take much longer.

Anyway, I went to Anthro today to scope out the new arrivals. I also found a Peggy Sue Dress on the sale rack in my size and I am sick of waiting for a sale on the Laced With Grace Dress, so I grabbed it. I had been thinking about it ever since it went on sale and I regretted not picking it up because I so fell in love with it when I tried it on in the beginning of December. Plus, it's on my recital dress list since I booked a date in late April! I'm very excited! It's been a few years since I sang a solo recital and as soon as my lutenist ok's the date, we are on!

However, there are a few more dresses in contention now...

I have been eyeing this pretty ever since it appeared on the website after Christmas. I love everything about it, I love the color, the's amazing. I had been scared to try it on. Honestly, it's way too long and it would need to be hemmed, but's turquoise perfection.

So, if you have tried on or own a Dreamy Drape Dress (aka Speckled Ink Dress), it is the same soft, drapey jersey. I will be perfectly honest with you and say that this dress is like singing A Capella. It will expose any bumps or imperfections on your body that you don't want highlighted. So, if you will be bothered by this, this dress is not for you and will frustrate you. I found the dress to be very flattering and with a price point that didn't scare me (*I'm looking at you Spinning Lace Dress*). Plus, this is a maxi dress that didn't seem to overwhelm me. A maxi dress is a tricky situation for a petite. I am only 5'1, but I didn't feel short in this. Wishlisted for further consideration.

Botanical Crossway Dress $188 Moulinette Soeurs

Not only was I surprised about how much I liked this once it was on, I was also shocked that it wasn't too long. I am very grateful that a petite size is offered which is 3.5" shorter. There was a lovely pouf of a dress beneath the bodice, but it felt light and summer. The bodice, which I got a close-up of on the last photo, is beautiful. It's well-fitted and seems like something that would be perfect for a Caribbean vacation. I don't know if it's right for the stage, since the pattern may be very distracting, but it's under consideration. I would pay full-price for this one and not feel bad about it. Well done, Moulinette Soeurs!

Eva Franco and I are not friends. She is always making cute dresses that don't fit me at all. The Mullany Dress just about broke my heart and now this. This is just a little too big. It's a cute idea and the fabric is gorgeous. The little belt is actually denim which is cute, but this dress is not for a little, little gal like me. Price point is high, wait for the sale. Pass for me!

I tried on a bunch of sale items on too, but only left with the Peggy Sue Dress because that's all that was left on my merchandise credit. I am still intrigued by the idea of the Laced with Grace Dress, but it has to go on sale for me to buy it. NO EXCEPTION.

Lastly, I'm putting the Closet Challenge on hold until Spring! Stay tuned until April when I'm ready to collect entries again!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Some Quickie Reviews and an unexpected Exchange

After trying on my Easy Keeper Skirt for a third time, I decided the waistband was way too big and that it just didn't much as I actually liked it. I just didn't like it enough to put the investment into having alterations done. I also had to convince myself that the Delancey Boots were actually too tall. Everytime I tried them on with a skirt, they made me look stubby since most of my skirts and dresses hit me at the knee. I tearfully packed both of these items up and took them back to Anthro after work. I also tried on a few new arrivals for your amusement :)

D'Armee Dress (new colorways) $138 Parameter

This is my second time trying on this dress (previous review here). I actually really like's VERY comfortable and well-made. The material is very soft and the zipper front is superb. I love the military look and the new colors are awesome! I cannot convince myself fully that I should ever own this dress, however. I already own a Mary Shirtdress and even though I like the navy, it reminds me too much of the Refined Cord that I also already own. We'll see how reasonable I am come sale time. I recommend the dress, highly!

Garden Party Dress $168 Isabella Sinclair

Hm.*** Okay. This is not something I would normally be drawn to, but it is cute. The silk is very soft and the pattern is all kinds of gorgeous. I can't see myself personally ever wearing this as it takes away any hint of shape I may have. Being such a little gal, it doesn't help if I look like I'm wearing a potato sack - even it's a super gorgeous, soft, flowy potato sack. It's very pretty, just not for me. Pass.

Emerging Leaves Dress $138 Weston Wear

I feel like Weston Wear has been hitting it out of the park lately. This dress called to me on the hanger and it's just adorable on! If you are a small-chested girl, you will love this dress. It is, however, very snug on the top. The girls were very pressed in and I'm a 34B. How cute it is, overrides how I feel about the bodice. You may want to also line this with a tank or a chemise, because not only is the bodice tight, it's VERY low cut.  My husband would enjoy this feature, but maybe not so much for the office. Having said all that, I really like this dress. I can see myself wearing it to death in summertime and with a cardi and boots in fall. It's not the kind of dress I *need* (which is a dumb thing to say, b/c I don't really *need* ANY more dresses), but I would pick it up if I had extra funds on me come sale time. Wishlisted, hard!

So...I also ended up trying on a few more sale items, but I took home one very special item with most of my merchandise credit...wait for it...

SCORE. Most impractical, non-warm, stunning coat ever. I can't figure out for the life of me, WHY this coat is not warm at all. I mean, would it be a stretch to line it with some down or something? Especially at this price point...but it's so stunning, I took it home anyway. I won't be able to wear it anytime soon (I'm thinking there's a 40ยบ minimum on this baby), but the Karelia "Coat" is in the house!!

I have about $60 left on my credit, which I am saving toward the sale price of the Laced With Grace Dress when it goes on sale. I am OBSESSED with owning this pretty...come on, sale!!!!

Happy Saturday, Ladies! I'm off to work!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Making up for Lost Time in B-minor

It's January and I'm a teeny bit behind on my Audition Applications for 2011.

In the Boston Metropolitan Area, the Organization called Boston Singer's Resource has an annual regional audition for a panel of auditors who may or may not be able to offer you a gig, but you only get 4 minutes to sing. Since this audition is only once a year, the last time I did this audition I had come down with a bad cold and refused to cancel. I had made up my mind that I could sing through the sickness, even though I was sick enough to call out of my retail job that morning. I was so out of it, I drove all the way to the audition location and realized, I left my music at home! I drove ALL the way back to grab it and got there just in time. I sang pretty poorly and received scores and comments that reflected it. My self-confidence took a huge hit from it and I did not have enough chutzpah to sing it again in 2010. Even though I am having a hard season, I promised myself I would attempt it again...but not if I was sick, which is rare nowadays anyway. was the first one I filled out.

For today's rehearsal, I pulled out my Lost Time Skirt. This sits in my closet and I always forget how cute it is until I put it on.
Skirt: Anthro Lost Time Skirt, Cardi: J.Crew Jackie Cardigan, Shoes: Bare Traps
 My hubs hasn't quite got a grasp on the camera yet and caught the very white couch arm in every photo. I was quite pleased to wear this skirt to the first rehearsal of the Bach B-minor Mass which I will be performing in March. I actually always love March because it's Bach's Birthday and that always means lots of Bach concerts! If you haven't guessed yet, Johann Sebastian Bach is my very favorite composer with Francis Poulenc being a close second.

I am so excited about this rehearsal process! All Bach all the time is a very awesome thing! Here is an aria from the end of the piece. The melody is so hauntingly beautiful. If you have never heard a Countertenor before, you're in for a treat. I know a lot of people get freaked out when men sing and it sounds like a "woman", but to my ear, a countertenor sounds nothing like a woman. He just sounds like a countertenor, like a viola and it's a beautiful sound. I LOVE Countertenors and Andreas Scholl is a pretty popular one right now:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

OOTD, Thrifted Anthro and Blizzard Craziness

So, it's no secret that there was a impressive blizzard across New England yesterday. We are buried in tons of heavy, wet snow which caused power lines to collapse and trees to fall down. Unfortunately, my husband's car was a victim of a downed tree branch. The branch fell from a very large tree taking out the sideview mirror, part of the frame and windshield which is cracked. As if we haven't had enough car trouble in the past 6 months! The insurance company is coming out to see if the car is totalled on Friday. Nightmare! Aside from that, I was actually relieved to have a snow day. I had a rehearsal scheduled in the evening, but since the Governor declared a state of Emergency, it was canceled. I did a little looking through my calendar and realized it was my first "day-off" since the 28th of December. Yikes. I've been very grumpy and overtired and I think I needed this day to recuperate. Back to the grindstone today though!

I have been non-impressed with Anthro's January additions, which is bittersweet, since I'm on an Anthro ban until my credit card is paid off. I allowed myself to go treasure hunting at Second Time Around, which always seems to have old Anrtho pieces. I scored an adorable little cream cardi with cherries at the snaps (Moth) and a GORGEOUS red and gray cardi with ruffles at the bottom (Guinevere). I scored them for a song and I threw on the little cream cardi over the Waffle Weave Dress Monday night!

Dress: Anthropologie Waffle Weave Dress
Cardigan: Anthropologie Cherry Cardigan (don't know name or year)
Belt: Anthropologie High Prairie Belt

Somehow, this photo doesn't do very much for the Waffle Weave Dress, which is adorable and totally comfortable. I was very pleased with how the two pieces worked together. And of workhorse Marley Boots from Payless. When it's cold and wet and snowy throw these on with every dress with some legwarmers. You gotta be cute, but at the same time...winter in Boston is no place to wear cute shoes. Especially when you're a city dweller like me.

Sorry for the delay in posting, but I'll announce full details of the Anthro Flux Closet Challenge tomorrow! Hope you are all having a great week and aren't snowed in!
Sunday, January 9, 2011

OOTD and the Anthro Flux Closet and a giveaway spoiler...

Good afternoon readers! It was snowing yesterday in Boston and I was working instead of staying at home and drinking hot cocoa, but I gotta pay the bills, right?! Friday, my husband and I went to dinner at a local place in our neighborhood. I ran into two of my co-workers there! How fun is that!? Here was what I wore!

Cardigan: J.Crew Jackie Cardigan 
Top: Anthropologie Wildflowers-in-Flight Top 
Skirt: Anthropologie Tria Sweater Skirt

Before dinner, I also spent 4 hours working on the disaster that is my tiny closet. The closet was previously not very functional with awful built-in shelving that didn't move and there was no long hanging space for dresses. I have already redone the closet with Elfa shelving about a year ago (with landlords enthusiastic OK of course), but I have tweaked the design a few times to accommodate my changing needs which is the TERRIFIC thing about Elfa! We currently rent our condo but I have made a promise to myself that the first place my husband and I actually buy, will have a walk-in closet for me...whether I have to build one or not. All I need is 6' x 8' and I think I'll be happy.

Here is the finished closet which seems to be FULL of Anthro!

This is probably 8 hours of work total, but now it's totally awesome! Over one half dresses!!!

Are you inspired to get organized now? How orderly or disastrous is your closet? Stay tuned later this week when I host my very first blog will involve your closet! :)

Please tune into The Dereck and Kay Show tonight at 5:00pm! We have over 400 downloads this week! So...tune in and hear what the buzz is about :) Have a great weekend all!
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Refined in Red and Anthro Website Magic

I think all of my days should be like all day long from morning until late night. I had a meeting for my music outreach program in the morning (which I'm SO excited about doing again! 4th graders writing their own songs?! So fun!!!), a voice lesson in the afternoon (I love my teacher!), and a rehearsal at night. Perfection. And I made music all day long in my Red Refined Cord Shirtdress. I also got a chance to try on my new Delancey Boots that arrived yesterday!

Look at DEMON CAT in the background!!!!
 The Refined Cord has been my favorite thing to grab all season so far. I know, I know...I said the same thing about the Sugar-coated Shirtdress, but I end up reaching for this one much more often. I promised myself that if I bought another one, it would have to be on sale and not at full-price. The moment I spotted a red one in the store on Tuesday, I grabbed it. It's so cute! My husband says he likes this color more than the navy, although I think I actually like the navy a little more. I am wearing the Delancey Boots and the Pony Prix Tights as well.

Sorry for the crappy pics. The Delancey Boots (Lucky Penny, sale price $149.95) which I scored on a popback are really nice! I can tell they are going to be a pain to break in, but I think they are cute! The quality is really nice and the little sweater bit at the top is a nice touch.

I logged on to the Anthro Website this morning and took a look at my wishlist and it was showing BOTH: "web style #" and "Retail Sku#" next to the product!!! I thought this was amazing and a great change, then POOF!!!! It was gone!!! Maybe they are experimenting, but I liked it. I hope this little feature comes back! It would make searching for items though CS and calling stores a lot easier!

In all good news, I finally am going to get my car back today! I am very excited, although a little nervous to drive it back! I am scared someone else is going to hit it again!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Spending the last of the Giftcard! (Plus, Reviews)

I am a spoiled only child. With terribly indulgent, amazing parents.

My amazing mom, who is also a fashion addict gifted me a very generous Anthro Giftcard this Christmas. I have been having a really cruddy few days. I still don't have my car and taking the MBTA home and to work is SO DUMB. I live 5 miles away from my job and it takes nearly an hour and a half to do it on the T. The old saying: "You can't get there from here." is accurate. They tell me they are going to have my car ready by Thursday.

I have also overbooked myself for the next few weeks between my retail job, teaching, rehearsals, my outreach teaching job and the radio show. I have very little downtime which is causing me to to very grumpy and overtired. To boot, I still have to keep up with all the housework, cooking, and we have a leak in our bathroom, which isn't really being tended to. There are about a billion unanswered emails and I'm just about to scream. After work today, I decided to head to Anthro for some much deserved retail therapy since so many things went on sale today! It's almost too good to be true! There are also TONS of second cuts, so check your wishlist carefully ladies!

So I tried on some things today! Lots of old and new things! Let's get to the reviews, shall we?

I was so excited to see the new green color in the store (sorry it looks brown. The white balance setting on my camera was on "auto" at the time, which...never looks honest). It's absolutely lovely and soft. Much thinner than I would have thought. This is NOT a substantial cardi at all, but it's very pretty. I had high expectations for it, but I was disappointed. I am a very patient button-er, but this cardi was trying my patience to the Nth degree. This is the size small and it was well-fitted with the exception of the shoulders. They were a little big for a munchkin like me. I will pass on this unless someone hands it to me on the street because it really is gorgeous.

This did not disappoint! When this appeared on the website, I was immediately drawn to it. It is the embodiment of cuteness and fabulousness in one. It's hard to tell from the website, but the birds are green and cream, just like the green sash. They are ADORABLE and I nearly walked out with this dress. The fit is great and I didn't worry about it falling down once the sash was tied. I would definitely wear a more padded bra with this if you don't have a lot up top. I could have used a little more va-va-voom in the bodice, but it was so cute. I didn't really have anywhere to wear it immediately and I had other things I wanted to buy, but wishlisted for sale! (or for when I cave)

Esmerelda Dress $158
Girls From Savoy has been amazing for me this year at Anthropologie. Here is another really cute dress. The print is REALLY pretty. The dress is flowy and very, very comfy and great fitted and wonderful to wear. I don't think I will ever by this dress because I think it makes my petite frame look ultra small, but if you love this, you should snap it up! It's a great dress!

Mystery Chemise $68
*Identified as the Camera Obscura Chemise by Eloise. Special thanks to Mich from The Top Drawer!

 Anthro Boston's personal shopper, Jeanne Mooney (who is AWESOME and super sweet) grabbed this for me to try on. I don't think it's on the website yet and we think it's going to be in the sleep and lounge area, but it's super cute and I wanted to share it with you. The bodice is well-fitted and the straps are silky and wonderful. It's amazingly adorable and cute, but I have to be honest. When I stuck my hand in the pocket, it already had a hole in it and it came straight out of the stockroom! There may be some quality issues, but it might be a bad batch or something. There would be nothing to stop you from wearing this as a dress in summer and at $68, the price is right.

I passed by this several times on the website and in the store, but today I thought I'd try it on and I was very plesantly surprised! I find this dress to be very flattering and amazingly well-fitted TTS. It was the sleeper hit that looks better on than on the hanger. The price is on par with Corey Lynn Calter pieces, so it's a little out of my price range at full price. Better wait for the sale on this one, but it's just darling. Wishlisted for sometime when I have money!

I ended up picking some pieces I never thought I would buy:

Easy Keeper Skirt $79.95

Norwegian Woods Skirt $49.95

Naturally Sweet Sweater $89.95
...and a Refined Cord Dress in Red. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the navy one, so I promised myself, I could only buy a red one if it was on sale. The gray is awesome, but too much like the navy. I have been waiting for that little adorable LiaMolly cardigan to go on sale forever and it's just so cute and well made. The Easy Keeper Skirt I'm still unsure about. I love Tracey Reese and I love this skirt, I'm just confused about how to style it. We'll see...

I'm spent! OOTD return tomorrow! Did you guys score any good deals today??! Happy Tuesday everyone!
Saturday, January 1, 2011

Twenty Eleven.

Happy New Year, readers. I have been hemming and hawing about what to publish on this blog with the coming of the end of the year. I have only been writing this blog since August, so a retrospective would seem a little silly. But, I still might do it :)

Aside from Anthropologie purchases and swooning, 2010 was rather odd. Fashion-wise, it was VERY good! I replaced 90% of my wardrobe over 7 months. I love everything in my closet now. Getting dressed is a joy and I have begun to appreciate how much looking good makes you feel good!

There could be definite improvement in other areas of my life which took a hit this year...musically, I fell apart this year a little and I need to use 2011 as a stepping stone to get back to the great place I was before. Next Wednesday, I have my first vocal coaching of the year and I will have my first meeting of the year with the colleagues from the outreach program I'll be working for. My lack of motivation has caused my artistry to suffer. The high point of the year was my two-week stint at Vancouver Early Music Festival where I met 11 other AMAZING early music singers, with beautiful voices, and lovely souls. I also met and worked with the amazing Ellen Hargis, who inspired me to think a little more of myself artistically but also see myself as human. It was a cleansing experience, but I somehow lost my way after my first car accident and the horrendous audition. I stopped actively practicing and my motivation to audition again for anything or take any coachings waned.  I did as much work as my remaining gigs needed and that is all. But 2010 is over.

My car is still in the shop from the last accident, but I am looking forward to getting it back. I'm also looking forward. Looking forward in general. Everyone has New Year's Resolutions and my only resolution is to find my way. I will keep posting about Anthro, I will keep doing reviews, I will keep taking pictures of my clothes, but my blog will also change in 2011 as will I.

So, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year! I rang it in, quietly with friends at a small private dinner party, wearing my brand new Wightwick Manor Dress (which I didn't photograph!). I actually found one that seemed to run TTS (not big) and scooped it up! I also bought a pair of Delancey Boots on a popback and they are due to come on Wednesday! I'll let you know how they fit as they have popped back in lots of sizes! I am not impressed with Anthro's latest new arrivals, but I'll try 'em on anyway.

Wishing you peace and happiness and popbacks for the New Year! Thanks for reading!