Sunday, September 14, 2014

Altuzarra for Target Reviews, Part II: Tops and Bottoms

I am continuing my reviews of Altuzarra for Target. (If you haven't checked out my previous reviews, be sure to read Part I: Dresses.) This time I will be focusing on tops and bottoms. At the time of posting, all of these items are still available online at in a full range of sizes.

For reference, I am 5'4", 110 lbs, 32C-26-34. I usually wear XXS at J.Crew. I have slim hips and broader-than-average shoulders. 

Satin Orchid Print Oxford Shirt (XS), $34.99
I wasn't interested in this shirt from the get-go but decided to try it on anyway for the blog. Overall I was unimpressed. The style is a strange mashup of business (banker shirt collar and cuffs) meets artistic (digital orchid print). I don't really understand the concept, and I can't imagine how to wear this in real life. The fit was also off. The shoulders were too broad, and the sleeves were too long. Furthermore the left half of the blouse with its bold print carries a lot more visual weight than the right half, making the entire top look visually unbalanced. On the plus side, the polyester fabric wasn't too staticky, like the polyester material seen in previous collaborations.

Verdict: Dislike, not worth the money

Velvet Tuxedo Ankle Pant in Ruby Hill
(Size 2), $39.99
I want to apologize for pairing the previous blouse with these pants in the first few photos. The resulting outfit was a hot mess. Anyway, what can I say about these? First of all, they are some of the worst pants I have ever tried on. The construction was fine, and the velvet felt plush, but the fit was way off. They were baggy in the stomach and thighs (see back view in the orchid shirt photos), creating an appalling silhouette. I couldn't figure out if the length was designed to hit at the ankle or calf. In general the pants just looked very dumpy instead of the intended sleek and tailored effect.

Verdict: Hate, not worth the money 

Orchid Print Sweatshirt (XS), $29.99
Out of all the orchid pieces in this collection, I was most intrigued by the sweatshirt. I love sweatshirts for their casual versatility so I figured this one would be a definite keeper. At the store I was a little surprised to discover it was mixed media, using sweatshirt material for the back and a thin silky material for the front. While the print is pretty and the quality is good for the price, it's ultimately not a must-have for me because of fit issues. The sweatshirt is too long in the torso (almost tunic length), and the sleeves were ridiculously long (covers my whole hand!).

Verdict: Meh, good value if the length works for you 

Sleeveless Sheer Bow Blouse (XS), $29.99
Jacquard Pencil Skirt in Black (Size 2), $34.99
I love love love bow blouses. I find them to be incredibly feminine and sexy. This black and white bow blouse was no exception. It's difficult to tell in these photos because I'm wearing a nude bra, but the top is quite sheer. If you're too modest to wear a sheer top out and about (like I am), you can layer a nude or black cami underneath and/or cover up with a cardigan. If you're more daring, you can just wear a pretty black lace bra. I like that the blouse wasn't too boxy in the torso, and the contrast of the white bow against the black top is visually stunning.

I grabbed the black snake embossed skirt seen in this review (and the next two reviews) at the last minute to simulate how I might actually wear these tops in real life. I hadn't noticed it online, because the jacquard pattern is understated and doesn't photograph well. From afar this knee-length skirt looks like an ordinary wardrobe basic, especially in contrast to the bolder patterned pieces in the collection. Upon closer inspection, the construction is excellent. It fits like a dream, and the fabric disguises all flaws. There are also unexpected details like a thigh slit and gold exposed zipper in the back. I typically don't like exposed zippers, but it really works in this skirt. Overall it feels much more expensive than it is. Both of these items came home with me.

Blouse verdict: Like, worth the money
Skirt verdict: Surprise love, my favorite piece from the collection, worth the money

Python Bow Blouse (XS), $34.99
Of course I had to try on all of the bow blouses, including this snake print one. I think it probably has the same silhouette as the black swiss-dot blouse, which I didn't see in store but ordered online. I'm not a huge fan of snake print but thought this blouse was well done. It used a slightly heavier fabric than the previous bow blouse, and the strong print made it mostly opaque. The bow is also much longer, providing the freedom to tie different shapes. The fit was slightly big though. Again the shoulders were too wide and the sleeves too long, I'm hoping that it's a one-off issue and that the blouse I ordered online fits properly.

Verdict: Like, worth the money
Sweater with Crane Embroidery (XS), $49.99
This is the sweater version of the popular gold crane dress (limited sizes available at the time of posting). I was very optimistic after I saw it in the lookbook. In real life this sweater leaves something to be desired. It was much larger than I had expected and looked very dated. The length is so long as to be tunic-like that I could wear it with only leggings. The top is very large with almost batwing sleeves and cinches below the hips. The gold crane appliques are still gorgeous, but the placement emphasizes the width of my shoulders too much. The oversize nature of the sweater makes it look like a big slouchy black sack. It reminds me of Dynasty (with those big shoulder pads) meets the 80s (oversize top, leggings, and legwarmers). Not a fan.

Verdict: Dislike, not worth the money

Hope you enjoyed these reviews! There will be a few more coming your way in Part III: Blazers and Outwear. Hopefully I can get that up later tomorrow. As always, let me know what you think in the comments!


  1. Ooooh! Thanks for continuing the reviews! I'd already stalked your dresses post and was hoping you'd get to the tops shortly. I feel I ought to snap up the blouses before they sell out but am really all thumbs when it comes to styling bow blouses. Best bang for my buck would be the python? Or do you recommend the black and white one better? I love prints and am not afraid of sheer either. I, too, have broad shoulders. Also, is the slit on the pencil skirt work appropriate? I'm 5'1".

    1. Personally I like the black and white one better, but my style is classic/preppy and I don't wear prints very often so I may be biased. In general I think bow blouses pair nicely with pencil skirts or trousers. As for the black embossed skirt, the overall length of the size 2 I got is 22.5", 13.5" from the waistband to the top of the slit. The appropriateness will depend on how conservative your work environment is. Hope that helps!

  2. Awesome reviews! I decided to obsess over the sweater today, but couldn't shake that it was a throwback. You nailed it with Dynasty. Obviously it will look different on different body types, but I have a feeling I'd look like a pudgy Grace Jones. I'm excited that my swiss dot bow blouse might be nice. And we'll see about the sweatshirt. Looks like the print is pretty, but the fit might not work for me. We'll see. Thanks again:)

    1. Thanks, Gigi! It can be hard work writing all these reviews. I don't know how you do it!

  3. Great report! I really rely on honest reviews, like yours. I ordered my items online. I hope I made good choices.

    1. Thanks, Heather! I really appreciate your encouragement. Hope your items work out!