Thursday, May 16, 2013

Land's End (Review)

So, it's summer. Officially. Because it hit eighty degrees yesterday, I wore a tank top and sunscreen (when my arm started to burn through the open window as I was driving), and tomorrow, Maggie, Elizabeth, Allen, and I are heading to the amusement park (since Maggie's and mine beach trip got cancelled. boo.).

I need some new clothes, y'all. :) I'm trying to think really purposefully about the clothes I buy, since a) I'm trying to save money (who isn't?), b) I'm about to have less room to physically store all my stuff, so everything I own I'm gonna really have to love, and c) I admit it, I've bought stuff before that was gorgeous, that was cute, that I loved... but I never wore. Because for whatever reason, it just doesn't fit my lifestyle.

Maggie and I went up to the mall yesterday and I got a chance to visit the Lands' End outlet, which was great, because I'm always getting coupons for Lands' End, but I'm hesitant to order stuff online because their fit and quality seems to be all over the board. :( Plus, everything was 30% off, which was nice! :)

They didn't have all the pieces I'd wanted to try on in stock, but they did have quite a few!

This actually wasn't on my list of pieces to check out, but I loved the look of it on the rack and added it to my pile. I was surprised to find out it was a coverup - the fabric was definitely thick enough and the style cute enough that I'd wear it as a dress! I'm also surprised by the photo, because when I tried this on, it came to my knees (I'm 5'3"). The material is soft (and, as I mentioned, thick, without being too stiff) and if they'd had it in stock in another color - I love the heather gray and opal green shown on their website - I would probably have bought one.

Two years ago, when I was in Alabama, I bought a polo for $3 at a Dirt Cheap and wore it with flippy skirts, long denim skirts, denim pencil shirts, maxi shirts, etc. It fit perfectly, was a great weight, etc. And then last summer it got a stain that I couldn't remove, and I've been hunting for a replacement ever since.

This isn't it. The material is thick, but stiff. The cut has a lot going for it - shorter sleeve length, skinny placket, banded sleeves - but it's still boxy. The stiff material means it doesn't drape. The placket is too short, so no matter how many buttons you unbutton, you still feel "buttoned up." Not a fan.

Ooh, I really really really thought I'd love this dress. I lovelovelove maxi dresses, I love tie-shoulders, and this looked just up my alley.
It wasn't. :( Much like the coverup, the model in this photo has got to be at least 6'3", and the waist hit below my hips. The armholes were cut much too large, which meant that I'd have to put on a tank underneath (thus ruining the easy-one-piece-outfit concept), the slits cut too high, the neck too low.

I've been hunting for the perfect T-shirt dress, and this is by far the best I've found! In fact, this is the only thing I bought then and there. :) I like the higher neckline (no need for a tank!), the fact that I could wear this with or without the belt, and the slightly flared skirt (which comes below my knees, so I can chase Abigail or get down on the floor without any worries). The material is the perfect weight - no worries about clinging or sheerness, but not so heavy I felt constricted.
I went with navy, but I wish they'd offer this dress more colors - a nice orange, or turquoise, maybe? - or a print. T'would be awesome. :)
What would also be awesome is if they decided to offer this same dress, except sleeveless. Cuz I also want a tank dress this season, and that would be perfect.
I saw this dress on Gwynnie Bee and I so wanted to like it. I mean, it looks so cool, right? And easy to wear!
The material was too thin. The neckline sagged oddly. The sleeves were really odd - they're much shorter than the picture shows, and I could see my underarm and bra every time I moved.
Sadly, my hunt for the perfect striped T-shirt dress? Still on.
I love tanks with extra details - ruffles, ruching, etc - for modesty's sake (a looser fit) as much as for style's. I was excited by the gathers around the neckline on this shirt (you can't really see them in the picture, but they're there) so I decided to give it a go.
And I loved it.
Except I could have belted it and worn it as a mini-dress, had I been so inclined.
I liked it so much, I even thought about buying it and having it hemmed - but even at 30% off, with tailor fees I couldn't justify the cost, so back it went.
I tried this on in two different colors - white, and french walnut - and I gotta say, I loved them both. And if they'd been about half price, I probably would have bought both. They're a great length - just at or below the knee. Also a nice shape - not too boxy, not too pencil-y, just a great knee length skirt.
The white was light but not sheer (I wasn't wearing nude undies and I couldn't detect them), and I'm still thinking it'd be a great addition to my summer wardrobe. The walnut color was awesome - weathered and had lots of character; it would go sooo nicely with leather sandals, or boots (come fall).
I wouldn't be surprised if I bought either of these skirts on sale in the future.
Some other pieces I have my eye on (but that weren't available yesterday):
I'm thinking a polo dress would be the ultimate easy outfit - cute sandals, a little jewelery, and you're good to go. 

This is essentially the same dress that I bought yesterday, with a pleated skirt instead of an A-line. I like the more structured silhouette, and I'm thinking it would make a great outfit for more formal occasions (church, etc).

I had one of these blouses (from another retailer) a couple of years ago and loved it. The only reason I haven't bought one of these from LE yet is because I'm seriously ambivalent about the prints. :( Solids, please?

Um, can you say "easy party dress?" Love the surplice neckline, and the fun glittery skirt means minimal accessorizing required. I only wish it came in black. :(

I love mandarin collars and roll sleeves, so naturall I love this top. :) I have two very similar tops right now from Old Navy, and while I love them, they're so cheaply made that I know they won't last much beyond the season. I would love to replace them with a couple of these tops - so please, please, LE, how about a nice dusty green and black? Pretty please? *bats lashes*
So... what's on your "wish list" for warm weather clothes?

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