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Life of Colleen: Sundance Catalog Corte Madera store and skirts reviews

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Sundance Catalog Corte Madera store and skirts reviews
posted by Colleen Shirazi on Monday, October 20, 2008 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

I journeyed to the Sundance store at Corte Madera this weekend. Actually it's not that far, and I'm beginning to warm to the Corte Madera mall itself. Yesterday I sighted a buffed security guard with a bicycle in the parking lot. I felt gratified, not only because he was buffed and had a bicycle, but because of the visible security.

There's a tower where you can climb up (endless, at my age) flights of steps--to a spectacular 360-degree view of azure sky, sparkling Bay, rangy Richmond Bridge, and dark hills.

The Sundance store itself is lovely. Friendly service, no pressure to buy. They don't have the full range of online items, but that's to be expected; they did have the skirts I'd come for, to whit:

sundance carnegie skirt
sundance carnegie skirt

I'm including both images because the skirt is a cross between the pure green-olive of the upper one, and the olive-dusted brown of the lower. Basically it's an olive green skirt with a brown undertone. The construction...I can admit I was hoping it would be lined, which it isn't, but the construction seems sound. The cut is forgiving for middle aged figures. And the fabric is as soft as you'd imagine.

The red version of the skirt was quite orange. On the site it appears strong red with an orange tone, but I feel it's almost as much orange as it is red.

The sizes for this run a tad large; you might go a size smaller. The 8 fit me, where on the chart I would have dithered between 10 and 12.

I also tried the corduroy one, which is currently on sale:

sundance long-lined corduroy skirt

The green was of more interest to me than the deep chocolate brown or the butternutty golden brown one. The green was a fantastic blend of celadon and grey, with a subtle hint of blue...sighs. It really would go with just about any top or sweater in my 'drobe. But it just wasn't right.

It was long, as described. I'm 5'5" and on me, this was officially a long skirt. Not sloppy-long, but the right length for someone that height seeking a long skirt. I wouldn't recommend it to someone much shorter than that. (I don't wear heels, which could be a mitigating factor.)

The fabric feels washed, totally flexible, with none of the stiffness corduroy is prone to--so color, fabric and price are good.

The cut though, imo you need a nice butt to fill it out, otherwise you look as straight as a ruler. If you've got the butt for it, you might want to try it. I was afraid it would be too casual, what with the back pockets and front buttons, but it isn't. The fabric and colors are nice enough to make it office-appropriate, at least for a business casual workplace. If you wore a sweater with it, in fact, you wouldn't see either anyway.

The sizes are truer here and the 10 fit me.

They had the black and espresso brown versions of this one (they might have had the olive green, but I didn't catch it):

sundance nightfall cargo skirt

Argh? I'm too old for this length of skirt. It's too bad; I love the idea of practical cargo pockets paired with lush cotton velveteen, and the shades offered were useful.

I didn't bother trying it on, because of the length...these aren't inexpensive clothes, so "almost right" won't do it.

Finally, this:

sundance twill skirt

This isn't as green as in the image; it's as much grey, if not slightly greyer than green. The twill isn't thick and stiff as I'd feared, but rather thinner and soft. I hesitated some and didn't buy it Saturday, because I wondered if it wasn't too casual for the office. I wouldn't pay this price for a casual-only skirt. But it bothered me all night that I hadn't gotten it. I checked the site and saw only sizes 4 and 16 remaining (in this I need a 10).

Its charm lies in the godets...I barely recalled what a godet was and had to look it up, but it's the triangular piece of cloth sewn in at the bottom of the skirt. It's different from a gore, which is a tapered piece of cloth rather than a triangle; many skirts are gored, including this one, but godets aren't as frequently used.

Here it all just looks engineered, and the cut is flattering and even subtly sexy (at least it is if you're an engineer lol ). Grey is one of the more ideal neutrals: not harsh like black, easier to maintain than white, a bit more versatile than brown, more formal-looking than khaki.

I ended up getting the Carnegie skirt on Saturday and the Twill on Sunday. Which concludes my fall/winter skirt shopping, at least in this price range--hopefully for some years.

It's more money than I'd normally drop, but these are not impulsive purchases. Cheapskates seldom impulse-buy, and will spend money only if they think it means spending less in the long run.

I didn't buy wool skirts--much as I crave a stylin' wool plaid skirt--because the weather here is temperate enough to make wool moths an issue, as well as negate the actual need for wool skirts.

Machine washability is key; the cost of drycleaning should be factored into the cost of the item, and most wool is dryclean only. I went out of my way to find office-friendly clothing I could wash myself.

And, I feel a skirt should be special. If you have a suit job, it makes sense to regard skirts the same as pants: "I need a pencil skirt" or "I need a black skirt"--and then buy the best-quality one you can afford. But non-suit skirts are parallel to dresses, in personality and individuality.

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