Coastal Creations

a detailed fit review for the Maine Women MagazineMaine Style” column

By Amy Power | Photos by Amanda Whitegiver
June 26, 2018

Maine has something of a siren song that lures many to our rocky shores. People from “away” tend to want to stay, and many of us who leave with sights set on the great unknown, eventually return home (myself included). Designer Beth Bowley, the creative force behind Studio 412, a clothing line designed and made in Rockland, is originally from Maine. After 25 years designing for labels such as Anthropologie and Nordstrom in New York City, she knew she wanted to come back home. When asked why she came back, Beth shares,“My family is here. My parents aren’t getting any younger and I like them!” That was 11 years ago and Beth still feels like she made the right choice.

Beth started sewing as soon as her mom dared to give her scissors, and, the call of Coastal Maine aside, she ultimately left her design job in New York because she wanted to work in the the world of fashion on her own terms with a closer relationship to the end user. She states, “working for other brands is a great way to learn the ropes… I called it designer boot camp.”  

Beth is a woman designing for women. She has an innate understanding of women’s bodies, and how styling needs to have shape and flexibility. She tries her designs on everyone and solicits feedback from every source –including her fit model who is a real woman with three kids, not a mannequin! Beth describes the Studio 412 collection as being inspired by “a desire for effortless style and a love of the creative process. Each design must be timeless, uncomplicated and demand to be worn every day.” She accomplishes this goal flawlessly.

We tried out three items from her spring/summer 2018 collection for the July issue of Maine Women Magazine. You can click through to check out the column, and continue reading below to find our detailed fit reviews.

Stripe Tunic Dress

Outfit Details

Dress: Stripe Tunic Dress by Studio 412 | size small | $290
Shoes: Candice Crisscross Wedge by Eastland | size 7 |$49.99 (reviewed here)
Earrings: by Keith Field of Brunswick, ME  | $88

This boat-neck tunic dress is 100 percent linen with a nautical stripe and finished with a raw edge and side seam pockets. Also available without the stripe, we found this dress to be effortless. I love the heavier density of this beautiful linen and the drape of the sheath cut. On me, the sleeves are between ¾ and bracelet length, which (given my petite frame) probably means they’re intended to be ¾.  Regardless, the longer sleeve is perfect for chilly spring days, windy days on the water or summer evenings spent by the fire. The relaxed fit of this dress made the size small a viable option for me, which helped the proportions lay nicely on my petite body. My bust was *slightly* too large for the small to be comfortable for daily wear, however, for our purposes at the photoshoot it was the correct choice. If you’re vacillating between sizes, I would generally suggest ordering down for a more fitted look (unless you are busty), or stay with your regular size for a more relaxed and classic look.

 

Wrap Jumpsuit

Outfit Details

Jumpsuit: Wrap Jumpsuit by Studio 412 | size small | $290
Shoes: Candice Crisscross Wedge by Eastland | size 7 |$49.99 (reviewed here)
Earrings: by Keith Field of Brunswick, ME  | $88
Bag: Navy Polkadot Tote, by Erin Flett | $95

Always a fan of jumpsuits and never bold enough to don one, I was dubious that this would work as we added it to the pile in the dressing room. The moment I put it on, I was an instant convert. This jumpsuit felt magical. A bonafide petite apple shape, I struggle with waist definition and proper proportion, especially in one-piece garments like dresses, swimsuits and jumpsuits. This jumpsuit provided both of those things through the beautiful, simple design. We were shopping at Gingham (a boutique at 90 Main St. in Yarmouth) and at the time they didn’t have any of these in a size medium in stock, so we grabbed the small. The jumpsuit fastens with a side tie wrap, which allows this garment to accommodate a wide range of bodies. Without this detail, I’m not sure the small would have fit through my torso, despite it being a perfect fit everywhere else. I will also note, I have since sewn in a snap at the neckline. As we’ve firmly established, I’m busty. The gentle wrap of this jumpsuit is lovely, but didn’t provide adequate coverage for me. The simple snap addition allows me to easily cover my cleavage (we used a safety pin in these photos to accomplish the same thing). I have worn this jumpsuit at least twice a week since I purchased it in May, and it is easily my favorite piece of any spring/summer 2018 line.

Embroidered Flounce Top

Outfit Details

Top: Embroidered Flounce Top by Studio 412 | size small | $275
Pants: Prima Crop, by AG Jeans (available at Bliss) | $188 $131
Shoes: Candice Crisscross Wedge by Eastland | size 7 |$49.99 (reviewed here)
Shoes: Squam Ankle Strap Wedge by Eastland | size 7 |$49.99 (reviewed here)
Earrings: by Keith Field of Brunswick, ME  | $88
Bag: Navy Polkadot Tote, by Erin Flett | $95

Again, this is an example of “Amy should have worn the medium, but it wasn’t currently in stock.” The fit of this refined embroidered cotton top is similar to that of the stripe tunic dress. It’s cut in a body-flattering shape with a boat neck. Depending on how fitted or loose you want it, you can play around a lot with the sizing. As always, my bust is the determining factor for me, and the biggest reason why the medium was my preferred choice. So as with the dress, we’d recommend ordering down for a more fitted look and up for a more relaxed silhouette. In terms of styling, we chose to brighten this dark navy top with these AG Prima Crop Jeans in “high white tangelo,” available at Bliss Boutiques, 58 Exchange St. in Portland. It would also pair nicely with a white jean for a more classic look or your favorite brightly colored or denim shorts. I found these AG jeans to be slightly more generously sized than the Isabelle High Rise we reviewed during our body image campaign. I wore a size 29 in the Isabelle and a size 28 in the Prima Crop.  

 

By |2018-06-26T09:20:31+00:00June 26th, 2018|Casual, Spring, Summer|

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