It took several weeks of the Flared Caraz Dress being posted on Anthropologie before I paid it any attention. In fact, it wasn't until the site featured a shot of a model wearing it for the catalog that I looked up the item details. After seeing user reviews and photos, I started crushing on the dress. What I liked about it was the creamy, ruffled bottom; the colorful print featuring plenty of pink, my favorite color; the length seemed long enough, unlike the beautiful Minutiae Dropwaist "Dress" (pictured below) I ordered that has become a tunic worn with grey leggings or jeans; plus, it has some semblance of a sleeve. The user pictures were really cute, and it had a couple of good full-figured reviews. I'm always hesitant to order dresses from Anthro because I never know if they're going to fit. But somehow, strangely, I've never ordered something online and had to return it, though I've had plenty of depressing days in Anthro fitting rooms where nothing fits or they've run out of my size.
Well, I finally decided to order the Flared Caraz Dress in an XL (I typically wear a 14-16) two months ago. And it was back-ordered. For two months. After weeks and weeks of waiting, I came home from our Memorial weekend camping trip to find it waiting in my mailbox. As usual, Anthro's packaging was adorable. The gray plastic-y bag had a printed design with big purple, blue, and green flowers outlined in thick black. Cute. Like something from one of their bedspread prints. Anyways, I opened the package to feel the dress and loved the fabric. It's a fragile, soft, airy mesh with a lot of stretch to it. Like many of the other reviewers, I can see it snagging fairly easily, but the print is so busy and colorful, that I think it would be hard to spot a snag anyways.
The dress has a cream lining that also has a lot of stretch to it. The keyhole closure in the back is cute and tiny, so no need to worry about wearing a cami or special bra underneath. Once on, the dress is light and airy and stretchy and comfy. The print does have a faded look to it, which I like, but there's a bit more black and orange in it than I expected after looking through all of the user pictures. While it does have a gathered waist, I think it looks better with a belt. The print is a little overwhelming, so I like the idea of having a belt to break it up a little and to define your waist more. One of the cons is that if you have a larger chest, like me, the printed mesh overlay will stretch and be lighter in color. It's only slightly noticeable and not enough to make me feel self-conscious and return it. Overall, I love how comfortable it is and that you can style it a variety of ways with different cardis, belts, shoes, and even tights and boots in the winter. It seems like a pretty wild piece - but that never scares me off because I love colorful prints - but I think it can be really versatile too.
I hung it up and inspected/admired it before trying it on....hoping it would fit.
First outfit. This is one of the few necklaces I have that can stand up to the print. Most other necklaces got lost in the pattern.
So I really like the pink cardi with it - it pulls out the pink in the pattern. Not so sure about the boots. Poor pink boots. They sit in my closet, cute as they are, waiting for outfits they can be worn with without looking ridiculous.
I think I'll keep the dress...I have enough cardis in different colors that I can wear over it, plus it can be worn without a sweater in the summer when it gets really hot. The fabric is so light and airy that I imagine it'll be quite cool in the summer heat.