Monday, October 31, 2011

Notes from the Dressing Room-Back in Tops at J. Crew

You guys, I had no intentions of going to J. Crew, but with some time to kill before a party, I got sucked in and tried on a few things. Here are just a few tops for review (because I was being lazy about removing my shoes with laces that are a million miles long):

Stripe Vintage Thermal Tee in Heather Graphite, $45, available here
J. Crew is on stripe overload!! There were rows and rows of these thermal tops right by the door in so many colors and stripe variations. The subliminal message to try one apparently worked on me. This is a step up from just throwing on a regular tee when it gets colder because it has a thicker feel. I could see myself wanting to wear this layered under a cardi or vest, but be warned that it is definitely a more fitted style if you care to wear it alone. I would have to try this on in a different size and in the beautiful bright dahlia color. J. Crew sure knows how to do the pretty purples. Depending on your chest size or body shape, you might want to size up.

Boy Shirt in Blue Vintage Camp Flannel, $78, available here
This is definitely not something I would normally look to wear although I'm pretty sure I owned a black and white flannel shirt sometime in my high school years. I love the colors of this shirt, the blue is wonderfully vibrant. Surprisingly, this got a thumbs up from the guy because although it is not the most feminine top, apparently my lady lumps definitely help it out. :)
The fit is tts, the flannel isn't the softest, but it still feels fine on the skin and I have to say the colors are pretty. This top would lend itself well tucked into some skinny pants or cords with heels and even a skirt with tights and a nice shoe. 

Perfect Shirt in Royal Paisley, $88, available here
I have my heart set on this paisley print in the blouse form, but this was the only top available. I am now definitely on board with this print. It's interesting and has a nice mix of colors (green, yellow, pink, purple). This top is a cotton and silk blend that gives it a soft feel, but it does concern me that the silk would make it susceptible to possible tears and looking worn after lots of wear. These are all hypotheticals though and I think it would make a good buy if you are looking for something other than stripes to add to your closet. 

Shimmer Bow Sweater in Sparkle Pebble, $88, available here

I was all for a gold sweater, but this was just disappointing. There is a cute little ribbon at the back that creates a small keyhole opening, but that pretty much ends the good points. The fabric is itchy, prone to snags and thin; thin enough that you can see your bra through it and that's just a quality no "sweater" should have. It does come in a gray color that might alleviate the see-through issue. The concept of this sweater was good, but the execution was lacking. If this sweater happens to work for you, fit is slightly big

Silk Scoopneck Blouse in Seine Stripe, $98, available here
Just can't stay away from the stripes!! How could I resist when it came in a blouse version? I loved this top. It feels like it could be a thick silk, but it's a rayon blend. It does give the fabric a weighty feel to it. The stripes are placed in a way that is flattering. My only issue would be some seaming on the sides break up the lines of the stripes near the bust. I wouldn't find it a huge deal. I tried this on in a size up and the fit worked for me. I would say it is tts, although the busty ladies might want to size up.

That concludes my unexpected trip to J. Crew. I do have plans to check out some other stores in the near future, so you guys get variety here at Notes From The Dressing Room!!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, October 28, 2011

OOTD-A Wild Card Pairing

This outfit started out rather boring in its idea phase. I was going to pair my new orange skirt with a gray blazer, gray top and gray oxfords. Can you tell how much I love gray right now? But as I was going through my closet I thought why don't I try something else and so I went all out and did some color-blocking. I can't tell you whether orange and pink really go together, but the pairing made me quite happy. Don't you love accidentally wonderful outfits?

**I didn't realize until I was re-flipping through the latest Instyle magazine that I must have been subconsciously channeling an article I saw. Hot pink and orange are a wild card pairing and what a pair they make! If you love hot pink or want to try some color, here are a few ideas of who's bff with pink:

Outfit Details:
Gray tweed blazer and oxfords- Forever 21 (blazer available here, similar shoes here)
Pink top- thrifted (top in similar color here, more casual version here)
Orange skirt- Simply Vera Vera Wang (similar skirt here and here)
Crystal necklace and pink patent belt- J. Crew (similar necklace here and here)(similar belt here
Gray handbag- Botkier "Bryant" (sister bag here, smaller crossbody here)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

OOTD- Night Bird

My photographer called in sick yesterday morning, so I had to work a plan b and shoot at night. Good thing the camera has a serious working flash!!

Do you guys remember my little birdie dress (see here)? Well, this top is its sister and she's been locked in the closet for awhile, like Rapunzel in the tower. I couldn't decide between one or the other, so both made a home with me. I absolutely love how feminine and flowy it is and I don't have to duck when they get close to me. The next time I take all of my feathered friends out, I hope to mix them with a little fur like one of my favorite designers wore recently:

Let's hope they get along!!

Outfit Details:
Bird blouse- Erin Fetherston (similar bird print here, similar here in a horse print, similar here and here)
Black knit vest- Michelle Mason (similar here)
Tan capri pants- J. Crew (similar here and here)
Orange belt- Target
Black shield necklace- Forever 21 (similar here and here)
Black t-strap wedges- Steve Madden
Burgundy handbag- Marc by Marc Jacobs "Natasha" (available here)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

OOTD- Smurfette's Cousin

Do I look like a Smurf?

I figured it would be a good day to wear my sweater dress, but then I got tripped up with what kind of stockings or tights I should wear. The monochromatic look was the intention, but the tights are a bit more royal blue as opposed to navy like the dress. Let's just pretend I wanted to look like a blueberry.

This was the first time that I've tried the whole open shoe with tights thing. I think I kind of like it although I still don't know how I can master such a look when it gets cold. Something tells me it won't happen often, especially considering that my UGG boots are just so much warmer.

Do you sacrifice comfort for fashion (especially when it comes to shoes)?

Outfit Details:
Knit sweater dress- H&M (similar here and here)
Green blazer- Zara
Colorful triangle necklace- Forever 21
Patent leopard belt- J. Crew outlet (similar here)
Tan platform heels- Miu Miu
Burgundy handbag- Marc by Marc Jacobs "Natasha" (available here)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Notes from the Dressing Room-Feeling Cozy at J. Crew

I received J. Crew's November catalog almost 2 weeks ago and I was completely enamored with all of the gorgeous colors and there are so many wonderful looking coats and tons of outfits that I can totally create with my wardrobe. I love it so much that I look at it before bedtime and plan out an imaginary wishlist for when I win the lottery and can buy everything I want. :) I felt a trip to the store was in order to see some of these items in person, but sadly none were to be found. I did see a few other items that caught my eye, so here's a few reviews:

Fisherman Sweater in Heather Honey, on sale $69.99, available here
Cafe Capri in Houndstooth Wool, $138.00, available here

Although sweaters are an iffy thing for me, especially when it has lots of texture, I couldn't help but pick this out. I love the warm golden yellow color and the different textures are fabulous. It adds a nice hint of interest to something so basic. The only issue I had was a bit of itchiness, but not to the point of being unwearable. I tried this on in a size up which I would suggest if you like to have a bit of room in your sweaters. These are now on sale in lots of colors!

If the product description says plaid, I'm instantly intrigued because when plaid is done right, it looks greatly sophisticated. These pants are no exception. They look like something you would find on an old "professor" jacket complete with an elbow patch, but in a subtle way. The great thing about these capris are that they are lined which is definitely a plus for the cooler weather. The only issue is that they are capris. I used to have a co-worker who would wear her J. Crew capri pants and pumps even in the dead of winter and I would always wonder if her ankles/feet were freezing. I'm sure this isn't as much of an problemo for those who drive everywhere, but I'm sure it is still a deterrent for many of us who have to deal with freezing temps. The fit is tts.

Fisherman Sweater in Heather Acorn, on sale $69.99, available here
Cafe Trouser in Maraschino Cherry, $138, available here

I'm on a quest for a tan sweater or top so I thought I would try out this fisherman sweater. Same as the one above, but in a different color and size. I'm pretty sure this is my regular size and it was definitely more fitted. I think this is a great sweater although my search for the right tan continues. Does anyone else find it difficult to get the right shade of tan and/or nude?

OMG, I never knew I could love a pair of pants so much. These get a serious, happy dance, thumbs up from me. The color red is absolutely fantastic and pretty, the leg has a nice fluid line that drapes the body in a good way and they just look like a fun, yet sophisticated pair of pants. The wool was soft; I didn't feel a hint of itchiness. The fit is tts. My only issue is that I would have to order petite size and there are too many colors to choose which one.

Boardwalk Stripe Zipper Tee, $52.00, available here
Elsie Skirt in Nightfall Floral, $98.00, available here

I tried this top on just to pair with the skirt since they shared similar colors. I really like the color mix here and it has a zipper detail on the sleeve. Overall, a nice tee although I'm not 100% sure whether it is worth the full price. Fit is tts.

This skirt was apart of the recent new arrivals and I was really interested in checking out its pattern in person. This is a wonderful fall/winter kind of floral with the dark background with pops of color. The skirt has a nice medium weight to it and the length was great at almost to the knee. It has a little bit of stretch to the waistband and the fit is tts. I don't think most cottons should run you close to $100, so the price point is a bit hard to swallow although it is a very nice skirt.

This one is for Ina!!

Acorn Fireball Bracelet, $38.00, available here
One of my lovely readers, Ina, was curious about the crystal brulee and acorn fireball bracelet, so I tried on the latter for her. I have the crystal brulee necklace in pink (see here) and think it is such a fun piece. I love the color and how it adds a bit of youthful bling. Since it also comes in a blue, clear-ish and a beautiful lilac-gray tone, I would say pick one up for sure.

The acorn fireball bracelet is adorable. It reminds me of a charm bracelet, but with some bling and a hint of color (although it does come in black too). I love the muted gold tone and how the charms and the links are a nice moderate size that doesn't overwhelm the wrist. This bracelet is at a good price-point, so I think it is a great buy.

I hope you enjoyed the reviews!! I hear new arrivals are coming to the stores this week, so I might have to make another trip. I'm dying to see some of the new coats in action (not that I need more coats in my closet, but I just can't resist a pretty color) and there is some paisley that wants to be mine.

What do you have your eye on in the stores?

**Use code OURTREAT for an extra 30% off sale items**

Friday, October 21, 2011

OOTD- Add Just a Pinch

If you are anything like me, you spend way too much time on the computer and you have tons of pictures with inspiration from lots of stylish ladies. Giovanna Battaglia is one chic chica and I don't think there has ever been a look of hers that I haven't completely loved or admired in some way. I came across this picture recently and decided to draw some inspiration:

Although I don't have that innate European flair, I do have a dress in the same color and decided to drag mine out of the closet for a little outfit fun.

What's your favorite place to draw outfit inspiration? Blogs, magazines, someone in your office?

Outfit Details:
Pink dress- thrifted (similar here)
Horse print scarf as belt- H&M (similar here)
Pumps and bracelet- J. Crew
Mixed metal necklace- Target
Burgundy bag- Marc by Marc Jacobs "Natasha" (available here)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

OOTD- A Mix-Up

What do you think of my new haircut?

I'm slightly addicted to my new phone. Words with Friends has become a bit obsessive.

Have you ever created an outfit of random things? I suppose that's what any outfit is, but I'm sure you also have a few go-to looks. This outfit is definitely a hodge-podge of things that I'm not sure if it works well together, but layering random items will definitely come in handy when I get bored of my stuff by January. So be prepared for lots of future mixing and matching. If I start to look like a crazy lady, definitely tell me!!

What do you do to ward off thoughts of throwing out everything in your closet and buying all new things?

Outfit Details:
Polka dot blouse- thrifted (similar here w/o sleeves, similar in black with large dots here, similar in sheer version here)
Tan vest- Old Navy (available here)
Navy blazer- Priorities
Tweed skirt and leopard belt- J. Crew outlet (similar skirt here, similar in pencil version here)(similar belt here)
Pink "Brulee" necklace- J. Crew (available here)
Quilted cap-toe flats- Delman (similar here, bargain version here)
Burgundy handbag- Marc by Marc Jacobs "Natasha" (available here)

P.S. I did not cut my hair, just trying the fake-out bob.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OOTD- The New School Work Suit

I've been slacking on the wardrobe front for a bit and so with the start of a new week, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to pump up the volume. I really think my new magenta pants fit the bill quite nicely. I have such a serious love for clothing and accessories that are pink, so even though I already have a pink skirt and some pink cotton capris, these just wanted to be purchased in time for fall. It is such an exciting season for colors, the perfect element to make an outfit attention-getting and festive. Even if the weather isn't!

How do you keep your outfits "fresh" and fun?

Outfit Details
Gray tweed blazer- Forever 21 (available here)
Pink button down, chain link necklace and belt- J. Crew (similar necklace here, same belt in different color here)
Magenta trousers- ASOS (available here in petites, similar here in wool)
Burgundy handbag- Marc by Marc Jacobs Nylon "Natasha" (available here)
Gray bow heels- (similar style here)

Friday, October 14, 2011

OOTD- A Tough Spot

OMG, I got to break out the tights!! That means fall is really here!! 
Are you the type to plan out your outfits or just go with whatever you feel like in the morning? Despite the fact that I have a ton of outfit ideas swimming in my head, I usually end up right in front of all my clothes wondering what to wear most days. Sometimes I don't want to wear heels, some days I feel like dressing up a bit, there are times when I want to wear something new. All of that's to say, every once in awhile, things are haphazardly thrown on like this outfit. Whether it works or not, fashion is always fun when you experiment.

Have a great weekend!! Enjoy a pumpkin or apple flavored drink!

Outfit Details:
Green cardigan- Madewell
Colorful top- Thakoon for Target
Olive green knit skirt- Forever 21 (similar on sale here)
Olive leopard tights- Kate Spade (similar here)
Pink studded belt- Matthew Williamson for H&M
Black boots- Loeffler Randall (similar vibe here and here)
Burgundy handbag- Marc by Marc Jacobs "Natasha" (available here)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

OOTD-Sheer Fall Goodness

With a day off and 80 degree weather on Monday, I was feeling great; so the fiance and I headed down to the Taste of D.C. to stuff ourselves silly with lots of restaurant samplings. Ethiopian tibs, fried oreos and a parmesan corn on the cob is definitely an interesting mix, but I enjoyed every bite.

Since the weather was so warm, I thought it was absolutely perfect for getting some wear time with this skirt. I haven't worn it since last year (see post here) and although it is such a difficult piece for me to style, I still love it and hesitate to ever get rid of it. To keep it from looking so summery, I decided to ground it with some darker colors like navy and burgundy. I love the ending result. Now if I could find a way to make it work in winter, I might have to break out in dance. The running man would make a great celebratory pick for working fashion magic! :)

What's one item hanging in your closet that you just love but don't wear?

Outfit Details:
Navy "daylong" tee- J. Crew (on sale here)
Sheer pleated skirt- California Girl (pretty alternative here, here and here)
Anchor belt- Madewell
Spike necklace- Forever 21 (similar look here)
Burgundy handbag- Marc by Marc Jacobs "Natasha" (available here)
Sunglasses- House of  Harlow "Charlotte" (available here and here in a taupe color)
Sandals- Loeffler Randall "Lila" (on sale here)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OOTD- Bright Spots

This outfit has been months in the making. I was flipping through magazines or looking at blogs when the idea for this outfit came to mind. But then the weather became way too hot for fabric with the content of wool and so it was put on hold. Don't you hate when the weather doesn't want to cooperate with your sartorial wishes? Since we are in the midst of an Indian summer, I figured I should break out the cream shoes before they go on temporary hiatus. They certainly enjoyed their last hurrah and gracefully tagged in the thicker fabrics. This is just the beginning, I have some orange wool pants waiting for its turn. Oh, I can't wait!!

Outfit Details:
Leopard top and shield necklace- Forever 21 (similar top here, similar here in plus size, tee in lighter version here)
"Bright Dahlia" pencil skirt and belt- J.Crew (same color, different shape available here, same color in pants here)
Cream pointy-toe kitten heels- (thrifted) L' Autre Chose
Black handbag- Foley + Corinna (similar here)

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