Fashion, Retailer Reviews

Spring 2023 haul review: Anthropologie Petite

Happy May! As the weather gets warmer, I find myself reaching for some new, fresh items to wear. Spring is, after all, the season of renewal.

So one day a couple of weeks ago, I found myself browsing on Anthropologie’s website, and inspired by the pretty, lacy, feminine chic styles that seem popular this season. I decided to use my birthday discount code to pick up a few new wardrobe items

Anthropologie has been a hit-or-miss brand for me. On the one hand, I love that they’re one of the few brands with original designs in petite sizes. I’ve had good luck in the past finding special occasion dresses there for weddings and special events.

On the other hand, I find many of their oversized, bohemian, unstructured styles difficult to wear with my body type, and I think most of their clothes tend to be overpriced for the quality range. I also am frustrated at the lack of petite sizes in Canadian stores, and the need to shop from the US and pay extra shipping, taxes, and duties, not to mention the exchange rate. As a result, I shop there pretty infrequently.

How did I fare on this haul? Read on to find out.

I picked up five items this time. First, this cute ruffled v-neck blouse, which is normally a great silhouette on me, given my narrow shoulders and short torso. It was available in three colours, a soft white, a ballet pale pink, and a navy blue. Since pale colours wash me out, I opted for the navy:

Blouse: Anthropologie Ruffled V-Neck Blouse, size XSP, $62.40 CAD (reduced from $78)

I ordered it in size XS Petite, since in my experience, Anthropologie’s sizing runs generous. Here it is on me:

Okay, so it’s a lot of ruffles. But I actually don’t mind. It’s putting me in the mood for spring with all the floral-inspired fashions. The fit is pretty good, the length short enough for my short torso (actually even a tiny bit too short, if you can believe that), and I feel like this would be easy to dress up or down. Keeping this one.

Next, I picked up this navy blue eyelet minidress with a ruched waist, split neck, and tiered skirt:

Dress: The Somerset Eyelet Minidress, size SP, $128 USD (reduced from $160)

Yes, if you’re keeping track, that’s a lot of navy. It’s one of my favourite springtime colours, and is very versatile for dresses. I figured this was a piece I could wear through the summer:

I’m a bit torn about torn about this dress. I love the eyelet fabric and the navy blue colour. The fit, in a petite small, is actually not bad. It’s comfy. And it has pockets, which is always awesome.

On the other hand, it’s short. Really, really short. As in, so short that I could end up flashing the world if I lean over too far. I find this super mini length not as flattering on us petite pears as a slightly longer hemline, preferably just above the knee. It shows a bit too much leg for my comfort level. I am also wondering if the style is just too cutesy at my age. Not that there are any rules, exactly, but I’m starting to feel a bit silly wearing tiered minidresses in my 40s.

If it were a little longer, I’d say keeping this would be a no-brainer. As it is, I’m going to have to think about it a bit.

Next, I picked up this pretty embroidered flutter-sleeve blouse:

Blouse: Tiny Flutter-Sleeve Embroidered Top, size SP, $78.40 USD (reduced from $98)

Flutter sleeves are in style right now, which is great for me as I love them and they can be hard to find. So I’m taking full advantage of the opportunity to shop for items like these. I was a bit concerned that the off-white colour wouldn’t look good on me (I’m usually better in pure white), but I decided the blouse was so pretty that it was worth the risk.

Here it is on me:

The cream colour isn’t the best on me, making me look at bit dull and washed out. And it’s too big, making it a bit boxy and loose on me in the small petite. The XS probably would’ve fit better, but it was out of stock. I might be able to take it in slightly at the waist, which may help a bit, but probably not enough.

I’m really tempted to overlook the flaws of this blouse because it’s just so light and breezy and I can see myself getting a ton of wear out of this. But the combination of the colour, the bagginess, and the high price point is making me think I should return it.

Fourth was this long black crochet-knit cardigan with a tie waist:

Cardigan: Anthropologie Pointelle Cardigan Sweater, size SP, $118.40 USD (reduced from $148)

Now, this is usually the kind of boho piece that overwhelms my frame and winds up looking awful on me. But, lately, I’d been inspired by the need to add more visual interest to outfits by layering on *something* else with simple jeans and a t-shirt. I figured that in a petite length, this might not be too long or visually heavy for me, and could serve as a way to wear summer outfits when it’s just a little too cool for summer.

Here it is on me:

If I had visions of being Stevie Nicks, pulling off a glamorous enveloping flowy cardigan, well, I was sadly mistaken. This is the type of piece I really ought to know better about by now. Too long, too heavy, too… something. Too much. It looks like a bathrobe on me, honestly, not a cardigan. The tie-string at the waist is too low, the shoulder seams are too low on my shoulders, the sleeves are too long, and the horizontal knit is doing absolutely nothing for me:

I think that if I want to pull off this look, I need to find a finer knit item in a more sheer, less heavy fabric, and probably opt for a shorter length since this is just dragging me down. This one’s going back.

Finally, this cute printed minidress, because I find that dresses like these can be so easy to just throw on in the summer and feel put together:

Dress: Anthropologie Robin Tiered Mini Dress, size SP, $110.40 USD (reduced from $138)

I was a bit concerned that the dress might be too short on me, and I wasn’t sure that the colours would be quite right on me either. But I was inspired by having something fresh and flirty and felt different from anything I already owned in my closet.

Unfortunately, when the dress arrived, I could immediately see the problem: It’s a shapeless bag with no defined waist, which has never done me any favours:

What’s more, in my size of petite small, the armholes are enormous and come down way too low:

See the problem? This is what a petite size is supposed to avoid. Petite sizing, when done properly, should adjust for these fit issues by raising the shoulder and having the armhole fall at the right spot. Unfortunately, the fit on this dress leaves much to be desired.

I tried adding a belt to the dress, which was an instant vast improvement:

Belted, this dress becomes much more wearable, which just illustrates how important waist emphasis is when you’re dressing a petite pear body. It’s night and day when it comes to this piece. However, even with a belt, the fit issues don’t entirely go away: The shoulders are still too dropped, the armholes are too low, and top of the dress is too baggy. Also, I’m not loving the high-low hankerchief hemline, which, in my opinion, is a bit too short in the front to be flattering.

I’m a bit of two minds because I actually love how this looks on me once I style it right. But the fit is off. It, too, will probably be sent back.

Haul summary: My fit struggles with Anthropologie continue. The oversized, baggy pieces are both generously sized, and oddly proportioned. I’d expect these fit problems on cheaper items, but at Anthropologie’s price points, I find the poor quality disappointing.  I do love all the florals and pretty lace for spring, and I did pick up a cute blouse and, depending on what I decide to keep, maybe a new dress.

And while I applaud Anthropologie for continuing to carry a robust petite section online, I find it so frustrating that they don’t stock petites in store, which means I can’t try before I buy. Given how expensive it is to shop online from the US, with the exchange rates, taxes and duties, and long shipping times, it’s difficult to shop with them. Which makes me wish I had better success with this haul.

At any rate, happy spring to all my Canadian petite readers. Enjoy the longer days and warmer weather, whatever you choose to wear.


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