Wednesday, August 24, 2011

No Anthro Zone Review: Taiyo Stalks Dress by Anna Sui on Sale - The Tippi's Half Sister

Taiyo Stalks Dress Size 2 - by Anna Sui - Anthro Orig $298 2nd Cut $80 - Aug 2011
Woven Buds Belts - Anthro - Aug 2010
Roadways in Natural Linen - by Bobbi Blu - Zappos $83 with Free Ship - Jun 2008

What's the scoop on the Taiyo Stalks Dress by Anna Sui?  Do you like it?  Not like it?  Did you notice the initial Reviews were both 1 star? When I added my review this morning there was a new 5 star.  

When this dress popped up on Anthro's site months ago, naturally I was intrigued.

Read all Reviews for the Taiyo Stalks Dress by Anna Sui HERE

Why was I intrigued by the dress?  If you happen to remember the Tippi Dress, also by Anna Sui, look carefully at the Taiyo Stalks Dress.  It's essentially the same dress, in Cotton, without a tiered skirt, with additional detail around the neckline and hem. So what went wrong with the Taiyo Stalks Dress?

See me wearing the Tippi Dress HERE and HERE

Tippi Dress - by Anna Sui - Anthro Orig $268 Sale $140 - May 2011
According to the first 2 reviews, there were at least two issues.  The fabric was too stiff and the fit was similar to a Potato Sack. The Silk Tippi Dress draped very nicely.   In my opinion, a dress must be unwearable or actually falling apart to net 1 star.  So far quality was not an issue. Personally, the cotton is absolutely wonderful, but it's true that it doesn't drape like Silk, Jersey or Rayon.  Anna Sui only uses natural fabrics. Silk may have been a better choice.  Normally if a dress fits like a Potato Sack, that is a clue to size down.  That was suggested by both reviewers, however they don't suggest that sizing down made any difference in fit.  Part of the problem could be, if you are smaller than a size 6 you are sized out. I'm wearing a size 2.  The smallest size available.  I normally wear a size 6 in Anna Sui.

Product Shot Front - Taiyo Stalks Dress - Aug 2011

Product Shot Back - Taiyo Stalks Dress - Aug 2011

This is my take on the Taiyo Stalks Dress. If you need further elaboration please leave a comment or email me at

Anthropologie Taiyo Stalks Dress by Anna Sui  - Orig $298 2nd Cut Sale $80 - Aug 2011

SIZE: All my Anna Sui's are size 6.  Except the Tippi Dress (size 4).  I went with the suggestion to size down two sizes. I am 5'5" Tall, 130 lbs, 35-28-36, 34C, Narrow across the shoulders.  I'm wearing a size 2.

FIT:  The dress is slightly tight through the chest. However, there is no pulling across the front. Fitted looks best for a pleated bodice if you are busted. A loose fit would not be flattering. The length is right at the knee. The separate under slip is 6 inches above the dress hemline. Snaps at the shoulders are provided for slip straps. The tie at the waistline hits me an inch above my natural waist.

Taiyo Stalks Dress 2 - by Anna Sui - Anthro Orig $298 2nd Cut $80 - Aug 2011
Woven Buds Belt - Anthro - Aug 2010

NECKLINE: There are two cinch ties.  Try adjusting the fabric by sliding it along the tie and distributing it evenly. If you pull the fabric along the lower neckline out to the sides and square off the neckline, it will remove the excess fabric that tends to bunch in front. Note that the neckline in the above photo is squared off. In the Product Shot it's rounded and the pleats cause the neckline to bunch if you are busty.  Bra straps are hidden much better with the Taiyo Stalks dress than the Tippi Dress.  Bra straps are hidden under the triangular detail that runs across the shoulder straps.

Taiyo Stalks Dress 2 - by Anna Sui - Anthro Orig $298 2nd Cut $80 - Aug 2011
Woven Buds Belt - Anthro - Aug 2010

FABRIC: Beautiful Ivory Cotton Sateen that is very Sheer and Dry Clean only. BTW, this fabric is not Eyelet. Eyelet has holes cut through the fabric surrounding the embroidery. Taiyo is the Japanese word for Sun. There are dozens of Stalks that start at the hemline and travel up the skirt. Why not give this dress a fun name along the lines of the Tippi Dress?  Something like the Jack and Bean Stalk Dress. 

Bows decorate the stalks. Wreaths travel around flowers. Once ironed you will see a transformation take place.  The dress begins to look less like a night gown and more like an enchanted frock.  Something befitting Tinker Bell perhaps.  I was surprised how little the fabric wrinkled after a long day. 

Taiyo Stalks Dress 2 - by Anna Sui - Anthro Orig $298 2nd Cut $80 - Aug 2011
Roadways in Natural Linen - by Bobbi Blu - Zappos $83 with Free Ship - Jun 2008 - Anthro $88 my size OOS
The separate slip comes with adjustable straps and is devoid of embroidery.  You could easily use this slip under other dresses.  However, it is Dry Clean only.  Anna Sui uses delicate fabrics that wouldn't hold up well as pockets.

Taiyo Stalks Dress 2 - by Anna Sui - Anthro Orig $298 2nd Cut $80 - Aug 2011
Jackie Cardi in Radiant Orchid - by J Crew - Orig $62 Sale $40 - July 2011
Woven Buds Belts - Anthro - Aug 2010
Roadways in Natural Linen - by Bobbi Blu - Zappos $83 with Free Ship - Jun 2008
STYLING:  I went with the romantic feel of the dress.  Using soft, light, and bright colors. The temptation may be to add more lace. Try a medium width belt to define and pull the waist down.  I tucked the waist tie between buttons to the inside of the bodice to hide it. Would style well with Tights and Brown Boots for Fall/Winter.  Stay away from statement jewelry around the heavily detailed neckline. Go for a single ring or bracelet.

I can't place this dress among my top 10 favorites.  Perhaps given a bit more time.  Anthro suggests a myriad of accessorizing possibilities.  I wish they would have given us just one.

Recommended - Size down 2 sizes.  Very small gals are sized out.

Shop the Taiyo Stalks Dress by Anna Sui at Anthropologie HERE on sale.

What do you think, now that you have seen this dress in action?  Is it do-able, or did the previous reviewers hit the nail on the head with 1 star?  Any suggestions to style the dress in a different direction?

Anthro Sister Love from my No Anthro Zone, Laura (