Friday, November 9, 2012

Lady in (poppy) red and November new arrivals at J.Crew

Sometimes you live your whole life without some iconic, everybody-needs-one, no-closet-is-complete-without item. And you never notice that you were missing it. Until one day you do.



This is how I decided I needed a red dress.

OK, so maybe this is not the same as not owning a Little Black Dress. I am always looking for The Elusive Perfect One but sadly, I will most likely be buried in the Almost Good Enough One. At least, I already own my snakeskin red Valentinas shoes to go with it. 

The Red Dress is an epitome of feminine confidence and sexiness and suddenly I wanted to try it before I officially transition into the grouchy old lady mode. Btw, thank you wellfedfred, for opening up this possibility for me, it is a godsend. But however appealing this transformation may be, grouchy old ladies do not wear pretty frocks, do they? I am probably wrong, I bet they wear whatever they damn please. I am really starting to look forward to it...

But before I get there, I had my office Holiday party to attend. It is a nighttime even with 'festive attire' dress code. Most women come in in all out party dresses, there is always plenty of sequins and cleavage. The event is in a country club type setting with music and dancing and plenty of booze. I always donned a black dress but this year I wanted to wear something different. I wondered if the Emmaleigh dress in poppy grove may fit the bill. I like the shape of this dress and I have owned three of them (in gray, black and camel). In neutrals, they are not party appropriate but I though that the red color could make a difference.  

Size 8
My cotton gray version of this dress is size 6 and a perfect fit but the wool ones did not have any room to spare, so I decided to try an 8. In 8, this dress is very comfortable if a little too big all over. Still, I think this is better size and I wouldn't have to worry about eating too much.   


The fabric is 120's wool. If I ordered it for the office wear I would have complained that it is very thin but for a party wear it is actually an advantage. It does not even feel like wool.
 

The color is beautiful soft red, definitely more pink/coral than orange. I think it works well with my complexion. Overall, it is a pretty dress and it could be dressed down with a cardigan and a pair of boots. It would be a nice option for a dinner date too. 

I am just wondering if it is 'festive' enough for a party. I have to say I quite like it. What do you think?

***

On another note, J.Crew new arrivals are online today.

Here are some items I already reviewed:

Collection cashmere Tippi sweater in stripe
Review HERE


Lady jacket in blue tweed
Review HERE


Lace-printed sweatshirt

Review HERE


Items I already tried on but have not reviewed yet:

No. 2 pencil skirt in dot brocade

This skirt fits TTS, my regular size 4 was a good fit. But fabric is stiff with no give and I did not like it. It is 97% polyester, 7% nylon, lining 100% polyester. It is longer that double serge wool pencil skirts. Dots are not lined up on the sides but it does not look terrible because of the small color contrast. I was underwhelmed. Sorry, but not even on sale.


Velvet tee
 I really liked it on a hanger and thought it would be perfect for the Holidays. But it is very boxy and short on. And this is coming from a short torso person, I rarely complain about too short length. Fits TTS, I tried a 6 and it was good with the boxy fit. Unfortunately it is not cotton velvet but 82% rayon, 18% silk. The color is also much duller irl than in pictures. It was also a pass  

If you are wondering why I don't have pictures, it is because the manager in my store asked me not to take them. She said she was asked by corporate J.Crew to tell me. She said clothes are property of J.Crew until I buy them. OK then, it is definitely not like those pictures are flattering.  I am not easily intimidated but I also don;t want to fight with them. So I am sorry if you are disappointed, but no more fitting room pictures. I am disappointed too. Not necessarily because of the pictures but in the way they handled it. It would be more classy to send me email through my blog. Oh well...

***

Have you tried Emmaleigh dress from J.Crew?

Do you think this can work as a party dress or is it too chaste?

What do you like from the new arrivals?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

44 comments:

  1. Beautiful and very classy, I can't bear the sequins and cleavages that come in hordes out at this time of year, I think it's such a tacky look.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is festive and perfect for your office party. I agree with Tabs, no cleavage, no sequins most especially at an office party, you'll be the classy one.
    Honestly it looks amazing on you and perfect with your skin tone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's amazing on you and the color looks great! Is it more of an orange or a red? I can never tell from pictures or descriptions when it comes to red/modern orange/poppy shades. I think it's party-appropriate in this color and you can dress it up or down with accessories and shoes. It seems like a very versatile dress. I recently ordered the Emmaleigh to try in a different color but it hasn't arrived yet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. AJC - wow to both how jcrew handled their issue with reviews of merchandise and the fact that they have an issue at all. I won't write a novel regarding my thoughts on the issue, but I think that it's pretty obvious that if you truly stand behind your product you would be glad to see reviews posted by loyal customers.
    I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and thank you for your hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a firm believer that J.Crew is purposely trying to eliminate existing customers in favor of a whole new demographic. Not necessarily a younger generation demographic but more like a lateral conversion from the more upscale brands. I feel that the recent separation of J.Crew Factory from the J.Crew website is a purposeful step in that theory. Send the existing J.Crew customers down the hallway to check out the new J.Crew Factory then lock the door behind them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks so much for reviewing this dress! I may have need for a holiday work party dress, and this looks perfect! (Sometimes I'm too lazy to look for something until the last minute.)

    Other than not wanting the items leaked out to the public before they debut in the catalog or website, I can't imagine why they would prohibit you from publishing photo's from the dressing room. If this is the case, they should not release items to the public via the concept store. I'm sure you're blog has helped create a buzz for many items previewed on your blog. They should be grateful for the exposure!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The red is definitively a festive color and definitively appropriate for an office party. I would maybe try different shoes instead of black if you want to make it even more festive? Are your red or coral Valentinas an option? Or maybe silver sandals. I am sure you will look smashing even without sequins (I am afraid I will be one of those sequined ladies this holiday season, wait to see!)
    You know how I feel about the whole fitting room pics situation and I stand by you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is a shame that they have requested this. I do not have a store any where near me so I rely on bloggers to illustrate how items look on "real" people. A negative review does not always deter me from making a purchase because we all have different body types and we know individually what looks good on us. I shop way more on line with the help of bloggers reviews than I ever did before I read reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so disgusted by J.Crew's reaction to this. Like LizT, I do not live near a B&M, so I don't have the option seeing things in person/trying things on before I make a purchase online. How are we supposed to know what we're buying when there is not even an option to review purchases on the website? What is going on? This website and Gigi's are helpful to large number of men and women who shop at J.Crew.

      Delete
  9. I've been rebuked when I took out my iPhone in JC stores, too. I guess the answere is to bring - or shipeverything home, snap away, and then bring everything back. Quelle pain.

    Photos or not, the red dress is made for you.

    I'm in London right now, my feet are telling me they're ready for Grouchy Old Lady time. Now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. fred, I know, is that what they want us to do? Make a huge $1000 purchase, take home, take photos, inevitably get dog hair on items, then bring back the next day to return? I think not. But it is kind of tempting, just to prove a point.

      Delete
  10. "She said the clothes are property of J.Crew until I buy them"...or until they decide to send them out c/o to select bloggers who are all under 25 and no bigger than an XS in hopes that they'll get some tightly controlled publicity shots. Yes, J.Crew, clothes generally do look better after you've styled them on models, which is why many of us troll the internet for pics of the clothes as worn by non-models so that we can see how short/boxy/wonky the fit might be irl. Since you refuse to offer online reviews and all. Ugh, I'm over it.

    You look great in the Emmaleigh dress, ajc. I have it in black and have worn it to work, cocktail parties, an evening wedding reception - it's definitely worth the price.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm interested to see if this "crackdown" on fitting room pics will happen to other bloggers. I think that this will come back to bite JC, because IMO, the bloggers are better than creating buzz for the clothes than JC is. Personally, I've passed on items with no reviews in the blogosphere and I'm probably not the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As someone who works in merchandising at a national women's fashion retailer with 750 stores across the US, I just want to point out that J.Crew's policy on no-photos in the dressing room, store, etc is not likely to have been put in place to deter bloggers. Rather, it is more likely done to deter competitor's from undercover comp shopping their merchandise in a manner that is not uncommon and is unwelcome from most retailers. HTH!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am surprised that J.Crew requested no more fitting room photos. I found those to be really helpful, and I will sadly miss them. :(

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think it looks lovely on you. The color is gorgeous. I can see it dressed up with some pretty jewelry for a party or dressed down; just as you suggested.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, I would have been so mad/embarassed to realize that J.Crew corporate was reading my blog and did not want me to take photos anymore. How terrible.

    I agree with silver lining that if I can't find a review on an item, I usually will not buy it!

    Finally, love the emmaleigh dress for party wear! A friend of mine wore one to a wedding, and it was very classy. It's all in the accessories!

    ReplyDelete
  16. First of all, the dress look fabulous on you!
    As for the no fitting room pics...Ridiculous! I agree with some of the others, you would think they would welcome the publicity. I don't know how many times I've seen a review of an item that I'd never noticed before and then decided that I needed it. Not to mention, that so many customers who don't live close to b&m depend on these reviews for the "true" details...color, fit, etc. Sorry that this happened to you! Shame on you J Crew!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. How did they even know you were taking pictures? I mean, can't you mute your phone so it doesn't make a noise when clicking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they knew because ajc shows her face on her blog. Even if they didn't see her taking the actual photos, someone at J.Crew must have run across her blog and passed it onto the store management at the concept store. Just a guess, but seems plausible to me.

      Delete
  18. That's a perfect office party dress and the color looks great on you! I am surprised when I see women dress down in short short skirted dresses and low cleavage and strapless at a work event. I usually dress fancy more-covered-up at work parties -- for me that includes dressing as the female Liberace in ruffles and velvet and brocade and jewels. It's shameful for JCrew to ask you not to take photos. The photos and reviews I see are often what I use when deciding whether or not to buy something. Otherwise I end up with a bunch of returns.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is unbelievable!
    Your great work has always been appreciated and will be missed. I just don't understand why jcrew can't see it helps there business.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I honestly don't understand what J. Crew's policy of no dressing room pictures is. I rely heavily on bloggers' reviews on items. I'm in Canada and we don't have a whole bunch of stores around and it would be hectic to send items back and forth. I'd rather make sure the item is exactly what I would have imagined it on before purchasing. Thanks to many of your detailed reviews, I made smart purchases.

    ReplyDelete
  21. J. Crew has lots its ever loving mind. It's too bad the sales you (and other bloggers) have driven with your dressing room photos can't be quantified. It's free advertising, it's created a community loyal to the brand and always interested in what's new. Your blog is always respectful, too, I just can't believe they've taken issue with this. I am mad on your behalf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cate, smiling through the grimace and advising you "JC has lost its ever loving mind" may get re-used again soon I'm sure.

      Delete
    2. I just saw my typo lol! "lost", not "lots"! Feel free to re-use, minus typo :-)

      Delete

  22. I think your blog and lovely. I hate their new policy and it just doesn't make sense. Idiots.

    ReplyDelete
  23. You look great in the dress. I think it is perfect for a work party and if you want to dress it up I'm sure there are lots of accessories you could work in. I have a similar cut LBD from another retailer that has lived in my wardrobe for years and is a trusted friend.
    I'm sorry that the Crew has had a store manager ask you not to take photos in the fitting room. I can see both sides of the argument-but it is a drag for those of us who appreciate your time and ability to offer excellent commentary on garments.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Everything about the dress is perfect on you. Fit, color, very flattering. I appreciate the time that you take to photograph and review J Crew clothing. I have made purchases based your dressing room reviews and you are always fair and polite. I'm very surprised that they would ask you to stop.

    ReplyDelete
  25. First of all, the dress looks fabulous on you!
    As for the fitting room pics, Ridiculous! I agree with some of the others, J Crew should be glad for the publicity. I don't know how many times I've seen an item in a review that I hadn't noticed before and then decided to purchase it. Also, I know that those who aren't close to a b&m depend on reviews for the "true" details...color, fit, etc. I'm sorry this happened to you! Shame on you J Crew!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. The red Emmaleigh dress is a fabulous choice for the office party - very elegant and chic.

    I am very surprised by J. Crew's move, and it makes me feel almost as if they are trying to police the JCA crowd. It's disappointing to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love the dress and I think it would look perfect with the snakeskin valentina shoes you have. As far as taking dressing room pictures I don`t understand it as I shop online and make my purchases with the reviews from the bloggers. With your help I have purchased great additions to my wardrobe and I would be lost once again.My advice to J.Crew is to hire you as our Ambassador with perks of course.

    ReplyDelete
  28. AJC, think this frock is a merry, classy and wise holiday party choice in a colour that flatters you. As for the "cease and desist," the fact you thoughtfully profile a concept store, giving us "sneak previews," likely has something to do with JC's stance. Regardless, the way their request was addressed coupled with the inaccuracy and limitations of their own online efforts (extreme pinning, photoshopping, inaccurate colours, inconsistent descriptions and the copywriter from space, no site reviews or Q&A, no chat feature outside US) make this a big miss. You are gracious and please don't let misguided corporate shortsightedness deter you from these valuable and much appreciated reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks AJC! BTW - please tell Tabs she will have to pretend not to notice my sequins over the holidays, LOL! I will offer her extra bourbon and that should take the edge off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WMM: in the olden days my wardrobe looked like the Pearly Queen's!

      Delete
  30. I for one will miss your fitting room photos. I can't tell you (and Jcrew ) how many pieces I have purchased after seeing your reviews. I have learned to choose my perfect size based on reviews from others that have similar body shapes to mine and not the 6 ft 105 pound catalog and web models.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you ladies for your advice, I think I will wear the dress to the party!

    As for the fitting room picture business I just wanted to make few points to clarify:

    I did not want to make waves. My conversation with J.Crew managers happened couple of weeks ago and I was wondering whether to post about it all. However, I felt that some of my readers were here specifically for those reviews and not because my interesting personal style or brilliant writing. I thought it was only fair to tell them that I am not able to do it anymore. Of course I would love for everybody to stick around but I understand if you don;t. I have also discussed this topic with few of the other JCA bloggers and they have encouraged me to post about it. I was a little terrified when Alexis made a whole post about it (I did not know that she was going to do it). But I decided I am OK with it because it seemed like a good discussion to have after all.

    I will respect J.Crew's request because I acknowledge that they have a right to ask me not to take pictures, like any private property owner. I never thought about it this way and I have hoped my reviews were helpful, created some buzz over the new releases and save them on some returns. But I understand that they want to have their own spin on it and that the clothes don't look on me as good as on models and/or the picture quality is bad.

    I said that it would be more 'classy' to send me email through the contact info posted on the blog not becasue I believe emails are in general classier method of communication but because this was related specifically to the blog. I have a good relationship with the manager of the store, my personal shopper there and many other, always helpful SAs. Approaching me in person was imo like J.Crew using my customer email that I provided them. I understand that I show my face and I can be identified, but it still felt like Big Brother saying to me 'we know who you are and we are watching you'. If it was just enforcing the policy they could send emails to every blogger posting fitting room pictures and has blog email listed about their policy. I don't think they want to do it and they probably don't mind the exposure in general.

    I think I irked them off spedifically because of reviewing items that are not yet on the website and they did not have a chance to present it their way. I get it, although I think they could also use it to get some feedback which I think is always beneficial in business. The concept store is absolutely public and most shoppers don;t even know of any special status.

    So all in all, I will move on and continue blogging (without the fitting room reviews) when I feel I have something to share. In some ways, I have to admitt I am relieved. All those fitting room reviews were taking a lot of my time and put a lot of pressure on me. And realizing that I can actually be recognized I am not sure if I am totally comfortable with them. Of course I should have thought about it before but I didn't. This confrontation gave me a chance to reevaluate it and for that I am grateful to J.Crew. Frankly, it was embarrassing to be approached in store but who knows, maybe they saved me from bigger embarrassment in the future?

    As silly and fluffy in content as this blog may be, I have learned more from it than I ever thought possible. This is mainly thanks to you, my readers and commenters. Thank you! I hope some of you will still visit.

    ReplyDelete
  32. ajc, I really enjoy your blog and although I will miss the previews with the photos and especially fabric content and construction details, I really like your styling posts the best. You can be sure I will continue to follow your blog, it's one of my first clicks of the day.

    I have some thoughts on the topic that I posted on My Blog today since it's really too long to be a comment. I do think it was more professional to have the manager approach you directly, particularly since you said she was very nice about it and that you have a good relationship with people at the store. It seems they want to preserve that relationship and it probably wasn't so easy for her to have that conversation either.

    BTW, although open to the public, retail stores and shopping malls are private property.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made many good points in your post. And lol, it does seem like i tend to write a small novel in my comments.

      Delete
  33. ajc, you are a class act, and that has been obvious from your blog all along. I do not subscribe, but I check in quite regularly because I enjoy your writing and fashion style, and I will continue to do so. This red dress is perfection on you. I actually spent considerable mental energy yesterday stopping myself from ordering it after seeing your pictures. I may still give it a try with the next promo...

    >> I have to admit I am relieved. All those fitting room reviews were taking a lot of my time <<
    Ah, I completely understand. I have always admired you and other JCA bloggers for the time and effort you devote to helping us out with your IRL pictures. Thank you so much. And congratulations on the time now reclaimed!

    As far as JC's policies and behavior towards you, I think few of us are surprised, although we seem to mostly agree that they are shooting themselves in the foot. Together with xoxo's essay it makes for a frank reminder that the retailers are after our money, not our friendship. They are thoroughly manipulative, and that is just the nature of the beast; not to be taken personally.

    Wishing you a wonderful rest of the weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I check your site nearly every day, and my favorite posts are when you style a purchase. I used to do a lot of fitting room photos (with the shop's permission) at small boutiques, and after a while I found myself enjoying shopping less and less. So I completely sympathize with you! Thanks for a great blog, and I look forward to seeing more of your real-life styling posts!

    ReplyDelete
  35. No worries, ajc! I agree with others that the styling posts are really helpful. I don't subscribe to any blog (I don't even know how, I just bookmark ones I like), but I'll keep stopping by and I hope you'll still post often.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I bought a really nice velvet t shirt last year from Zara for half the price, that is a little longer (and not boxy at all). I had the bright pink one pegged to buy but will pass as I hate the boxy look (this is what ran me away from Talbots). Also will pass on the skirt based on your comments. Too much money for bad fabric.

    Love the dress on you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love your choice of the red dress. Such a beautiful color on you and can work with so many occasions depending on how you accessorize it. I can never understand cleavage for business-related events even if in social settings. But don't ask me about sequins, you know I'm inappropriate about them. ;)

    Though I may miss your IRL preview pics, I will of course continue to visit you. And really, I have enjoyed your posts so much more once I learned of your personality and thoughts rather than thinking you're good for the look ahead on J.Crew rollouts.

    As for the interactions with J.Crew ... I suppose they have to do what they do to follow what they believe to protect themselves. I can't speak for the thinking behind how they chose to communicate with you, however, thinking of this possibility, it could be they thought it better to speak to you personally rather than through an email that could come across cold and impersonal.

    You absolutely have much to share besides the fitting room reviews and I'm looking forward to them!!

    ReplyDelete