Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Notes from the Dressing Room- All in the Fabrics at J.Crew

I had a few hours to roam around the mall on Sunday before I got trapped in the house by hurricane Sandy. I certainly caught up on lots of sleep, episodes of Law & Order:SVU and the best part is the power didn't go out. I hope you guys on the East Coast managed to stay safe and dry.
You know I had to stop at J.Crew and check out the goods. Here are a few reviews:

Dream Colorblock Elbow-Patch Sweater in Flax Cabernet, $98.00, available here
Cafe Capri in Red Tartan, $168.00, available here

I've been a bit leery of buying sweaters lately because I want good quality ones that don't get the fuzzies soon after its first wearing, but there was something interesting about this sweater that made me give it a try. It has one color in the front and a different color in the back, it has a trim around the wrists and the best part are the elbow patches. I have a thing for elbow patches, lol. I get the smart professor vibe from them. Overall, I would say this is certainly a fun piece to have in the wardrobe. The length is good, it's something different, the elbow patches actually fit at the elbow and this particular color pairing would work well with lots of colors. BUT, the fabric was itchy (not overwhelmingly so, but still itchy and that's never good in a sweater) and I hate the cropped arm length (they couldn't shell out for a few more inches of fabric?). I tried this on in my regular size for sweaters (L) and it fit pretty well. There was room and it wasn't form-fitting, so size according to how you want it to fit. Overall, I like the concept of this sweater, but its feel and "short"comings did not make it worth the price for me.

It must be time for the holiday-esque pants. I felt cocktail party ready in these pants. Now I love the cafe capri pants and these are essentially the same pant in a print, but I am so tired of capris at J.Crew. Am I the only one? Can I get a full-legged pant one of these days? These pictures make me look like I'm wearing pants that aren't the right length. The wool felt soft, I didn't have the itchies when I put them on, the print is great and it would be perfect to dress up and down depending on the top. Sadly they weren't perfect. I feel like the pattern makes me look wide around the hip area, the fit was a bit baggy in the back and it would be much nicer if it was more tailored. I tried this on in my regular size and it felt too big. There was almost an inch of extra fabric in the waist and you guys can see the extra room in the leg from the picture above

Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral, $138.00, available here
Toothpick Velvet Jeans in Rustic Brick, $110.00, similar here in other colors available here, tall version of this color available here

This blouse is getting a lot of love in the Crewniverse and it is certainly a lovely top. The vibrant green color mixed in with the darks make it great for fall/winter and there are several different colors that you can pull from the top to match with your skirts and pants. The blouse fit very well by skimming the body (not tight, not loosey-goosey), but there was a bit of an issue for me. The subtle pleating details at the top made it not lay right in the bust area for me, so busty gals be cautious about sizing. I tried this on in my normal numeric sizing, but I have a feeling if I sized up, the fit would be too blousey. Although taking it in would be a relatively simple thing for the tailor to do, I just didn't love this top enough to buy it and make it work for me. It is nice though!!

Velvet pants?? Don't mind if I do!! I absolutely love the velvet Schoolboy blazer, but have never added one to my closet, so I thought these velvet pants would certainly make a nice substitution. This color is a nice rusty orange, mainly orange but with undertones of red. Similar to the modern red color but not as vibrant and the darker tone made it much better suited for the fall/winter season. Even though there is more red in the blouse, I still thought the color of these pants worked with it. I tried these on in a size up, but I also tried my normal size in a different color. I would say sizing up worked better for me in terms of fit in the waist and hip area. There was some pulling across the front in my normal size, but it's hard for me to say whether they would end up stretching because I've never worn velvet pants. Again these are cropped, but they don't seem to look so high water like the plaid pants. These are a thumbs up and will be going on my wishlist.

 Long-Sleeve Tweed Dress, $215.00, available here

I've waxed on poetically (or not so poetically) about how much I like tweed, so I decided to try on this lady-like tweed dress. I had visions of looking Jackie O classy, but the real outcome was not so good. I love this tweed, it has a metallic sheen to it and all of the details definitely make it a pretty dress, but I seriously felt like I was wearing a straitjacket. I think the light color and the fact that it is fitted with no give helped to even put that thought in my head. The tweed is pretty thick on this dress, it has a fitted and defined waistband, the sleeves are bracelet length and the hem is at a modest point on the leg. All great qualities! It just didn't look right on me. I think it needs to show a hint of skin somewhere because it feels too mature. I sized up in this dress to accommodate my bust and waist. That was a better call because as I mentioned before, it is designed to really fit. Overall, very pretty, but not quite right. I'm sure it would look fabulous on some lady out there.

This shopping trip ended up with no purchases although I was tempted by a pair of shoes in the sale section. A big part of that is the fact that I haven't been enamored with the latest rollouts, but I've been trying to be good about not buying because I'm headed back to the J.Crew Clearance center this weekend! I've hoping to encounter some fabulous goodies (fingers crossed). If not, I see some velvet pants in my future!

What do you think of these items? Do you have any holiday outfits ready to go or will you be headed to the stores for the right outfit?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sprinkle On A Little Extra

Whether you're a southern Cali girl who enjoys mild temps during the year, an east coaster getting a taste of all seasons or somewhere in between, one thing that unifies our wardrobes are the extras. I'm talking the scarves, hats and other fun stuff that works with or without a coat or jacket. So whether you are freezing your butt off or there's just a warm breeze blowing in the middle of December, here are a few great items that would work layered or not:


Hat: Rag & Bone, available here There's nothing more glamorous than a fabulous hat
Over the Knee Socks: Madewell, available here Wear alone or with tights, these would add a touch of warmth and interest to your outfit
Snood: ASOS, available here Snoods are incredibly cozy and I'm actually looking forward to the weather being cold enough to wear mine again
Cardigan: J.Crew, available here I so love the texture of this cardigan and this is by far one of the easiest pieces to layer
Tweed Jacket: Forever 21, available here Add a fur vest on top, pair it with another blazer that's not too bulky or keep it simple and wear it alone, but there are plenty of ways to make a jacket work for your style and weather forecast

Shop this Post:

And if you need any more convincing that you should add each and every one of these items to your closet, I can definitely vouch that you would look stylish and feel comfortable with just a little help from your wardrobe friends.

original post here

original post here

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Monday, October 22, 2012

OOTD- A Part of the Tribe

Layers, how I've missed you!! This is one of the reasons why I love Fall so much, no need for a jacket/coat, just some nicely thought out pieces to layer and you're good to go. I couldn't resist getting this dress when it popped up for sale at StyleMint. The print was totally my style and I just loved the colors (darks with a pop of color). Surely, it could stand on its own, but I was itching to mix things up a bit and added a touch more pattern and relished in the fact that the weather was perfect and wore boots sans tights.

I hope you guys had a great weekend! Between getting a teapot and having a cup of tea outside for breakfast, scoring a few goodies at Target and Last Call Neiman Marcus and watching (some of) the game with my guy and having him explain what a punt is while I totally didn't get it, I could say there were some enjoyable moments. Sometimes, it's the simple things.

What fun things did you get into this weekend?

Outfit Details:
Chambray shirt- J.Crew Factory (alternative here and here in polka dots)
Aztec print dress- StyleMint "Vaneza" (available here, alternative here and here)
Pink studded belt- old Mathew Williamson for H&M
Black buckle boots- ebay find Loeffler Randall (alternative here)
Black quilted handbag- thrifted (similar here, cool alternative here, larger alternative here)
Blue leopard scarf- via South Moon Under (pretty alternative here)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Notes from the Dressing Room- Someone's Smoking at J.Crew

That's not technically true, but something is in the water at the J.Crew office because I had to do a double-take at some prices more than once.

As I was out and about last night, I thought I would take a peek at Anthropologie, but J.Crew was on the way, so of course I had to go there first. Now to be perfectly honest I love J.Crew, but the latest offerings have not been leaving me overly excited and ready to buy (Madewell, on the other hand, has me filling up my virtual cart). That doesn't mean I don't still love the 'Crew and I was more than happy to see what was new in stores since my last visit. Take a look at a few items I got to try on:

Striped Caftan in Navy, $445.00, (not available online, Style#75634)

This top was in the front of the store with the new arrivals, so it's very possible this will be online with the next new rollout. I'm all for comfy, cozy and at times oversized tops. This looked interesting so I figured I would try it on. The sales lady helping me raved about how everyone in the store was loving this top and it is just so perfect and she can't wait to buy it. I put it on and thought it was nice, I could even possibly seeing myself wearing it, but it wasn't love. First of all, this piece is much better suited for spring rather than fall because the knit is a bit thin. Not see-through thin, but close enough. Another sales lady in the dressing room suggested putting a tissue turtleneck or a thin top underneath, but I find it a bit silly to have to layer a sweater. Second, this thing runs huge. Not big, huge! I am wearing an XXS/XS and you can see there is still plenty of room. When I belted it, there was lots of fabric gathered on the sides. I thought to myself that I would put it in the maybe pile, but then I actually took a look at the price tag and balked. This top is almost $500. Are you kidding me?? Who at J.Crew thought that was the appropriate price for this simple top with basic stitching. No sequins, special details or a basket full of puppies in sight, yet it was high three figures. My sewing skills are rather basic, but I'm sure I could create this myself. Now I was silly and forgot to take a pic of the fabric content, but even if this is made of 100% cashmere, I give this a thumbs down on price shock value alone. Sigh, really!!??

Collection Cashmere V-Neck Sweater in Neon Fuchsia, $188.00, available here
Toothpick Ankle in Geometric Print, $135.00, available here

I only wanted to try on the jeans and the sweater was an item the sales lady brought me to try on with them. I kind of love the print of these jeans. They are partially polka dot with a small hint of Aztec influence, or something like that, lol. The fabric isn't thick like a regular pair of jeans, but they are soft and still holds its shape. These jeans run small, but that's because they are meant to be tight/fitted. I really like these because the color combo can lend itself to plenty of different colors for a top and the pattern isn't too out there. I sized up in these and they fit well. I give these a thumbs up, but it was only like and not love, so at the store they stayed.

This cashmere sweater is so freaking cozy and I love the vibrancy of this pink color. I sized down and it still fit well, it followed my shape without being clingy. If I hadn't already bought a sweater in this color recently, I would definitely give this one some consideration.

Lady Jacket in Corkscrew Tweed in Dark Grape, $258.00, available here

I love a good blazer that's different, lady-like and/or a pretty color. I thought this little number would fit the bill, but I had some hesitation because J.Crew sometimes makes boxy blazers that just don't work for my figure. This one would fall in that category and then I actually looked at the details and wasn't so enthralled. The tweed material has a pretty interesting pattern, but it's thick and feels a bit bulky. I like the dark trim around the edges, but this material reminds me of a rug or something I might find on old, fancy curtains. And lastly, it has these big gold buttons and when I tried to close up the jacket, they didn't want to go through the buttonhole without problems. I sized up in this to get more length and because I have broad shoulders, but I would say it is tts. Overall, this jacket gets a thumbs down. The texture is great (although it has a fuzzy appearance that might get worse with time and wear), but the execution just isn't right for me. Oh, and the new catalog (aka style guide) shows that it comes in two other colors, sweet tangerine and vibrant fuchsia.

Other than a few sale items, that's it for my new arrival try-ons. I can say that it was an interesting visit for sure, but nothing that I absolutely loved, so I'm curious to see what's in the next batch of newness. Please J.Crew gods, do not let it include more $400 tops. My wallet might go into shock again and I don't want that happening.

What do you think of these new items? Would you ever spend $400-500 on a top?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

OOTD- Mom, Let Me Borrow Your Jeans

Omg, I'm wearing my mom's jeans! Okay, that isn't true, but I snatched up these boyfriend jeans from Madewell last week partially because I've been dying to try this style and most definitely because they were about $15. When I was in the dressing room, I had the fleeting thought that I was probably wearing mom jeans, but that price seduced me and I thought what the heck, I'll rock them the best I can without looking like a style disaster. In my mind, this would look way cooler with a spiky pair of Christian Louboutin heels and a leather jacket, but a girl has to work with what's in her real closet. Even if it isn't filled with bad ass shoes. Oh well, maybe in my next lifetime, I'll be that girl who can manage in 4-5 inch stilettos. In the meantime, I'll be wearing shoes that don't have me dying to kick them off after a few hours. You guys, I'm totally turning into my mother! I'll blame it on the jeans.

Outfit Details:
Striped blouse- Old Navy (same top in different colorway and limited sizes here and different stripe top available here)
Cardigan- old J. Crew
Boyfriend jeans and ankle boots- Madewell (available here, similar jeans here on sale, darker wash available here) (cute boot alternative here, here and here)
Patent leopard belt- J. Crew Factory (alternative here)
Handbag- Rebecca Minkoff MAC (cool alternative here and  here by same designer)

Get The Look:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

OOTD- Busting Out of the Box

It's all about the small victories sometimes. I actually put on an outfit today! After living out of boxes and wearing pretty much the same thing on repeat, I'm slowly coming back to the world of fashion (creating an actual outfit and putting on jewelry) and blogging, both of which I've missed. Gotta get my mojo back. I think a scroll through Pinterest might be in order. Pics of Olivia Palermo usually does the trick for inspiration. Besides that is much safer than heading out to the mall...which is now up the street from my new place. Such bad temptation, so close. I need someone to take the credit cards away, quick!

What's one thing you like to do when you're feel in need of inspiration?

Outfit Details:
Sweater- LOFT (alternative here)
Pants-ASOS (wool alternative here and skinny leg alternative here)
Leopard handbag- thrifted (alternative here, here and beautiful designer version here)
Pink velvet shoes- Marc Jacobs (alternative here and it comes in a pretty ruby color)
Blue crystal necklace- Forever 21 (older version but re-released in other colors here)

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