Hey there. I was of course intrigued by the print of this classic silhouetted dress from the new Karen Walker line at Anthropologie. The fact that it's called the "Architectural Shift" clinched my interest. So I was pretty pleased to see it in my local store and I thought I should post some review information since there isn't much info online!
I'm usually a pretty safe size 2 at Anthropologie, and that goes for this as well. I tried a 4 too, since the waist looked quite small. The 2 fit perfectly- perhaps a mite snugly- but the 4 had a lot of extra fabric in the bodice (I'm 33-26-38, the Golden Mean, right?) At 5"4, this fell exactly at knee length.
The Good? The print is great, the polyester weave is nice (I'm very picky about poly! It's thin but has a nice 'hand') and the cut is very well proportioned.
The Bad? The bodice is lined in very cheap fabric and the skirt is not lined at all. I know this is an attempt to offer Karen Walker designs at a more affordable price, but I can't accept this lack of craftsmanship and tailoring. The skirt really requires a lining. I have been surprised by some nice dresses at Forever 21 with well-constructed linings in the $30-$40 range. There's no excuse for a $160-$190 dress to cheap out on such essential elements. Especially when also compared with the beautiful lace-hemmed linings Anthropologie dresses are known for, even at lower price-points.
The even worse? The belt included with the dress is so awful that I think they should actually throw them out, as they actively detract from the value and beauty of the dress. It's made of very thick, heavy plastic, with rough edges that catch and snag on the fabric. I have a lot of cheap belts from Forever 21 that I enjoy for colour and detail, and they never cost more than $5-$6 at full price. This belt is very cheap and poorly conceived for the materials.
My verdict- a very pretty dress, but for me the high Canadian price and cheap details means waiting at least for sale pricing. I would much prefer to find a similar print in silk, and I'm fairly certain that's not a difficult proposition!