Thursday, November 29, 2012

Notes from the Dressing Room-Madewell, Dress Edition

Madewell is currently offering 25% off dresses, so this post is right on time. I've mentioned before how I love a Madewell dress. They always offer an array of different shapes, colors and prints. I usually can't resist something in their new arrivals. Here are a few reviews from a recent store visit and an order with the holiday 25% off deal.

Colorblock Sequin Dress, original price $198.00 (on sale for $149.50), available here

I circled this dress in the store debating if I should even try it on, but I couldn't resist the call of the sequins. This dress is so festive and perfect for a fancy or even a not so fancy party or event this holiday season. It has a simple shape, but the light to dark (silver to navy to black) sequins give it lots of character. I sized up in this dress due to the zipper and the fitted waistband and that was definitely a good call. It still has a bit of shape, but there is room to feel comfortable dancing the night away or eating some yummy food without feeling constricted. The hemline isn't obscenely short, the sequins seemed well made and it has a lining. My only issue is the band around the waist. The ribbon on the website blended better into the dress, but this one just felt off to me. I think it might be the curve under the bustline. It would look better if they were both straight across or if the ribbon was moved a few inches higher. Despite that, I give this dress a big thumbs up and with the sale going on, a must buy.

Silk Multiprint Dress, on sale for $109.99, available here
I saw this dress online and instantly fell in love with the print and colors. I had to see what it was all about although I knew the shape would be iffy. When I pulled this dress out of the package, I still loved all of the colors in this dress, but I want to note that the blue sections down the front aren't as vibrant as they seem online. Then I tried on the dress and I just don't know what to think. Now this is a simple shift dress with very little to no shape. I threw on a simple belt with it to give it some kind of shape, but it didn't really work right because it created bunching and made the dress even shorter. It could definitely look better with a fitted cardi over it, but it would be a shame to cover up this dress. Sizing down might make the body fit nicer, but I have a feeling that it would be tight underneath the arms or across the shoulders. The length is about 2-2.5 inches above my knee, so it could definitely work for the shorter ladies (I'm 5'4). One thing I didn't like was the sleeve length. It isn't quite full-length and not really bracelet length. On the plus size, this dress is lined and it has pockets! The colors in this dress make it extremely versatile with a variety of colored tights for winter, but it would totally work alone in the warmer months. Truthfully, I would be inclined to keep this for the print/color alone, but I would love to hear your opinion. Keep or return?

Long-Sleeve Tunic Dress, original price $155.00 (on sale for $114.50), available here

I saw this dress in the last batch of new arrivals and instantly loved the color (also comes in black), how could I not with the name majesty purple? This particular dress doesn't have a defined shape like the dress I reviewed above, however the fact that it would work better with a belt and the button-up part at the top that allows some skin to show makes this number a bit more flattering. I tried this on in my normal alpha size (sames as above) and it fit well. If I sized down, there would be some serious button gaping going on, so I would stick to my regular size. The color is lovely, a rich grape purple shade (but like the crayon and not the juice, lol). The length works perfectly as a dress for me, but I suppose the taller ladies would find that this is more a tunic or mini-dress like it is on the model. I also want to note that the hemline is longer in the back, but it isn't as pronounced as it is shown on the website. I little disappointing for me, but not a big deal. This dress also has a neither here nor there kind of sleeve-length that I'm not crazy about, but this one works better at showing off the arm parties. Now this dress isn't lined and doesn't have pockets (serious sad face), but it has more potential. It would work so well with lots of other colors and it has a all-season quality. I'm certainly inclined to keep it, I can't resist the color, but I haven't made up my mind. I would still give it a thumbs up.

Any dresses at Madewell that you are eyeing? Are you going to take advantage of this latest promo?
Weigh in on the last two dress--should I keep or return?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Notes from the Dressing Room- J.Crew Quick Review

Are you guys all shopped out from the whirlwind holiday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that went around the past week? Share your goodies so that I can live vicariously through you!! I stayed clear away from the malls minus a trip to Target on Thanksgiving night and the few purchases I made were before Thanksgiving.

So today I wanted to share with you a very quick review of an item I tried on during my last visit to J.Crew. I saw this top online and was definitely intrigued, so I was quite happy to see it in the store.

Silk Boy Shirt in Windowpane, $135.00, available here
No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Double Serge Wool in Spicy Gold, on sale for $99.99, available here

I love a good windowpane design. Whether it is on a top, a pair of pants, a chic looking blazer, or a nice skirt, I find myself instantly intrigued. I think it's a timeless kind of print and a bit more refined than some of those color plaid prints. I love plaid, but windowpane has an element of simplicity that I like better. Anyway, this top is essentially like the Blythe blouse that comes in lots of delicious colors but in a very bright pink and black windowpane design. I'm not afraid of color, so I love how vibrant and bright the pink is in this top. It might be too much for some, but it is a very pretty color. However, pink and black together might create limited outfits. Of course this would work well with black pants/skirt, perhaps something in cream or gray, but other than that, I'm not sure. Any ideas?

I tried this on in my normal number size, but based on the Blythe I knew there would be gaping issues. Sure enough, those bust line buttons did not want to stay closed. The fit on the body was a bit loose, but not in a bad way (it skimmed the body, but there was a bit of room in the torso and arms). It didn't feel tight in the shoulders and I'm broad across the top, so that's always a plus with button-ups. The length was a tad bit long reaching my hip area, but it wasn't overwhelmingly so. I would say stick to your regular size unless you have a larger chest size. Overall, I really loved this top and would have gotten it if it wasn't so pricey. It's going on my wishlist.

If the color palette of the J.Crew shirt doesn't float your boat, there are definitely other options out there Here are a few:

Gap Slim Cropped Windowpane Pants, $49.95, available here

Absolutely perfect for a day at work. Slim leg line, a subtle print and completely versatile.

Oversized Grid Print Shirt, $19.80, available here
I actually own this top and really like it. The fit is loose and it's borderline cropped, but it still works without looking bad. If I was the type to buy multiples, I would get it in the cream/black version too.

CashTouch Windowpane Scarf, on sale for $9.99, available here
Would this not make a great Christmas gift?

Tibi Windowpane Silk Shift Dress, $450.00, preorder here

Oh, how I love a Tibi dress, including this one. I would totally be on board with getting this, but I think I can recreate it with the F21 top above.

Joie Elan Sequin Windowpane Blouse, on sale for $111.30, available here
How awesome would this be for a holiday party or out for New Years Eve? I love this top and think the sequins are done just right, plus the color is different.

Do you like windowpane, its cousin plaid or both?

Monday, November 19, 2012

OOTD-I'm Watching You

Happy Monday guys! For once, I'm going to be happy to see Monday because I am one step closer to stuffing myself silly with food in just a few days, lol. I can't wait!!

While heading out for the evening this weekend, I decided to show off my new jeans. They certainly are bright, aren't they? I tried them on ages ago at J.Crew and immediately wanted to take them home with me, just for the color alone, but that $125.00 had me cringing. I have a good selection of designer jeans in my closet, but I don't recall ever paying full price for the majority of them. I stalked these suckers like a hawk, but this color never went on sale...until two weeks ago. The crazy thing is I took them off my radar because I had lost hope on getting a good deal, plus I really don't need more jeans. But all bets were off when they came down in price; I made these babies mine in a hurry. I couldn't help it, bright colors make me happy. And happy I was prancing around in my bright new denim and high heels, that I only wore them because I would be sitting down. I'm such a high heel wimp. ;)

What's your denim purchase persona? Do you like to buy designer or the more budget friendly options? If you buy designer, do you generally pay full price?

Outfit Details:
Marled cardigan- J.Crew (similar here, here and here)
Abstract top- Forever 21 (similar here and here
Jeans- J.Crew "Toothpick" in neon violet (color available here on sale and similar here)
Black pumps- Yesstyle (similar here, here, real deal designer version here)
Black handbag- Foley + Corinna (same designer, almost the same style here and take an additional 20% off today with code MERRYDAY)
Black watch - Michael Kors (similar here, more budget friendly version here)
White bracelet- ILY Couture (available here)

Friday, November 9, 2012

OOTD-She Shoots, She Scores

I posted a pic of last weekend's activities on Instagram which included hopping in the car with my good friend and heading out to Lynchburg, VA to the shopping mecca that is the J.Crew clearance center. I went earlier this year with my mother and made out like a bandit. This time I wasn't so lucky, but this scarf and blazer were among the goodies that I did score. Do you know I actually tried on that scarf when it came out and really wanted to buy it but never did? I also tried on this blazer when it hit the Madewell stores and loved it but didn't buy it. Lady luck was definitely on my side, minus the fact that I didn't find any boots which is what I really wanted. Oh well, cie le vie!

I hope you guys have a fabulous weekend! There might be some shopping in my plans, hopefully for holiday presents, but I can't guarantee it will work out that way. The retailers have been way too tempting this week already and my wallet needs a break.

Outfit Details:
Scarf and turtleneck- J.Crew (similar scarf available here) (similar color top available here)
Orange blazer- Madewell (same blazer in other colors here and in ivory on sale here, wool alternative here, velvet alternative here)
Burgundy skirt- Forever 21 (pencil version available here, sweater skirt here on sale, cord mini alternative here, faux leather alternative here)
Burgundy bow patent flats- Shoemint (available here in very limited sizes, alternative designer version available here, cute smoking flat alternative at a good price here)
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