Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stripes and Dots still going strong - J.Crew Fitting Room Reviews

I stopped at J.Crew over the weekend to return the Sabrina dress and colorblock cardigans I reviewed HERE. Since I was already there, I wanted to take few items to the fitting room for reviews.

The 30% final sale was still going on and they were some great deals there. I did buy couple of items that I will show you in another post.  I was uninspired by new items that day and nothing looked super exciting to me, but I did find a few items that I don't see online, so they are either coming in the next rollout or are in store only.

Awning Stripe Popover

Size Medium
This one is not online and I think it is part of the May rollout.  I first saw it styled with No2 Skirt in Porcelain Paisley and some of you expressed interest in it,  so I thought I will review it.

More May preview pictures HERE

Btw, I have pre-ordered the skirt and it should be shipping this week. I am awaiting it anxiously and I will review it promptly, as soon as I get it. Maybe I will be tempted to check out the popover again with the skirt.

TTS, like other popovers
The shirt is made of gauzy textured cotton. It should be light and breezy for the summer but it does feel a little scratchy.  Overall nice, regular popover fit, but nothing special imo.

$69.50, 100% cotton

Unidentified Striped Boatneck

Size Medium
This tee also comes in navy and gray but I was looking for the red stripes and on the hanger it looked like it had a potential.  However, the fit was strange. I took size Medium, which is bigger of my two knit sizes, but it was still tight across the shoulders and chest, even if it may not look like that in the pictures. The waist area on the other hand, was big, sloppy and not draping correctly. Maybe I needed to try a Large?  It was a major pass for me, not even on huge sale. 

Runs small across shoulders and chest.

$45, 100% cotton

Unidentified Big Dot Dress

Size 6
I saw this dress in store few weeks ago but I was never compelled enough to try it. I think this one may be store only. 

It looked big on a hanger so I took a size 6 with me to try.

Runs big
It was a right call, as the dress was still loose in size 6, but I suppose this is how it should fit. I think the idea is that if you thought the big shot dress was too hard to dress down or too puffy this dress is much easier to wear casually.  Of course, it is not really casual, since it requires dry cleaning.

Easy (aka sloppy) fit
I did not like the pockets sticking out and over all sloppiness. I would still be much more likely to wear this over the Big Shot dress and this one did not make me feel like a five year old.

$168, 100% silk, lining 100% poly
However, it is still just as pricey, and it seems even more so since it has a casual dress vibe. 


That's all folks!

Are you tempted by any of these? 
What did you spend your rewards cards on (if you got one)?
Do you think this rendition of big dots dress would be easier to wear? 

 I will have more reviews tomorrow, including Lucille dress in silk and Margate purse

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday's OOTD round up

I didn't do an OOTD post for a while. Here are some outfits I have been wearing recently:

Gallerista Skirt
My Gallerista skirt is one of my favorite J.Crew purchases from last year and I was waiting, not so patiently, for spring to be able to wear it again. I like it with denim top to offset the dressiness of the skirt. It was the stock picture of this skirt that made me purchase my black Valentinas.

Liberty shirt and Italian Boucle pencil
You have seen both pencil skirt and the shirt but not together, I think. These are the last days I could still get away with wearing the wool pencil skirt, but the color definitely helps with transitioning to spring. With the busy print of the shirt, I didn't want to add any accessories but I like the belt with it. Those belts (I have the pink one as well, see below) are great, a little wider than skinnies and very soft. 
Merci Stripe tee & Ann Taylor capris
I am very happy with the Merci stripe tee and I have been wearing it a lot. I like it with white Ann Taylor capris. I added black ballet flats and black accessories to keep it from being too summery though.

Superfine cotton pencil 
This was no nonsense all navy outfit to keep it business like. I had a presentation that day and I did not want any distractions. I did add the pink belt to make it more 'me'.

Raj Paisley pencil
Here I got to wear my Raj Paisley skirt to church. It looked good with red . I saw a picture on Rynetta's blog with pink top, I have to try that combo next time.
Cotton v-neck & Silk Indigo skirt

This cotton v-neck is not the best quality or fit but the main reason I kept it was that I saw that I can wear it with my Silk Indigo skirt. The cobalt blue of this skirt is very hard to match and I've been wearing it with navy and black but the sweater is a perfect shade for it, so for 19.99 I decided to keep it and I am glad I did.

Paintbox cardi
The above was my Friday outfit and I didn't think it was exciting but I got a lot of complements, I think people like colorful, cheerful outfits.

That's all folks!

Do you own any of the clothes I was wearing?
Do you like any of the outfits? What's your favorite?

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Altuzarra for J.Crew Patricia Dress Review

I received the Altuzarra for J.Crew Patricia dress. It was one of those things I just had to try on.

Altuzarra for J.Crew Patricia dress
I asked CS for the measurements and decided it runs big, so I ordered a Small, which I usually wear in J.Crew knit dresses, but which I consider smaller of my non numerical sizes.

It was a right call and even in size Small it is still loose fitting which I like, but if you want a close fit, definitely size down full size. The length is good for this type of dress, slightly longer than on a model, but definitely not to the knee, like the description says, and I am not overly tall (5'6).
Size Small
The dress drapes nicely with slight waist definition. I like the fit. The sleeves are longer on me, but I have relatively short arms, so this is probably a good news for most. The colors are very flattering IMO and the red stitching of shoulder patches and sleeves adds some edge to otherwise very plain design. I don't know if this is clearly visible form the pictures but the dress is navy with ivory background but the shoulder patches and lower portion of sleeves is navy and white.  I like the varying width of stripes and they are positioned correctly with darker part around midsection, creating an illusion of a smaller waist. The dress has just enough room in the chest but the shoulders fit me nicely and the hops are not too big.
Good length but not 'to the knee'
The neckline is also nice, not too low and not too high, perfect for long sleeved dress, that would most likely be worn in the spring and fall, but not when it gets hot.
The fabric is slub cotton but the weight is perfect, soft and substantial, not so thin that it would be see through but not sweatshirt weight (like Maritime dress) that would make it too hot in a warmer weather.
The stripes are perfectly matched at the seams. The workmanship seems good to me with all the seams finished but the stitching is not perfect and many pieces of thread endings are left not trimmed. Nothing looks prone to unraveling or developing holes.
Overall, it is a basic shape dress but they did get the details right. For whatever it is worth, it is better than any cotton striped t-shirt dress I tried on recently.

There is of course a question of price.

It is expensive for a basic cotton dress. I was planning to try it on, return and wait for sale but I am tempted to keep it. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that this dress will work for a lot of people and will not get that many returns. Since it is currently backordered until June, I may not get it for months if I decide to return. I hate paying full price and rarely ever do, but I may just suck it up on this one. At least I got it with 7% rebate from Shop at Home.
Cotton feels very nice against the skin
My concern is wearability. Our summers are hot and I would prefer if this dress had short, elbow of even three quarter sleeves, I think I will get more wear out of it. Since it has nautical vibe I am not sure I would want to wear it in the fall. I also have the Banana Republic dress has very similar function. Granted, I only paid $12 for BR dress, but how many navy striped dresses does one need?

If I keep it, I would wear it with a long necklace and yellow/red/navy/pink shoes, it should look good with both flats and heels. I could wear it to work with Madewell Academy blazer, but I can also see it on weekends with ballet flats or sandals. It looks great with red Repettos.
That's all folks!

What do you think?
Are you considering Patricia dress or have you already bought one?
Is it worth the price? Should I keep it?

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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cotton Cardigan in Colorblock and Altuzarra Sabrina Dress

This cardigan was the first thing that caught my attention, when I perused the new arrivals on J.Crew site last Thursday:

Featherweight cotton cardigan in colorblock
I like the colorblock effect and the pink/navy combination is one of my favorites. So I have asked for measurements, decided I needed size M and promptly placed an order. I did not think I would keep it at full price, but I wanted to try it on for the blog and in case I would want to stalk it in the final sale one day.

The colorblock effect did not disappoint me IRL.  I love navy and this is a great way to wear neon pink, since the navy tones it down and separates it from being next to your skin.

Size Medium
I also guessed the size right, I think Small would be too snug.
Fit TTS to slightly small
It looks good open and closed, but I had trouble coming up with styling ideas. The vintage bateau t-shirt was accidental, I just happened to be wearing it, when I received the sweater, but I think it actually works. I can also see it with navy striped top or white top, the way it is styled on the website. I think pink would be a little tricky to match, but maybe a white/natural t-shirt with some pink/navy design in the middle?
Navy tones down the neon
The cotton on this cardi is indeed featherweight, it is very thin and airy which may make it a perfect summer layer, but I think it would also be prone to developing holes quickly.
With vintage bateau (in olive?)
I liked the yellow version of this cardi with the tonal stripes of vintage bateau, that tells me the navy one will look great with navy striped top. But bear in mind the yellow hue is pretty acidic and neon, as well.

Very thin and see through
It definitely is very see through, especially in lighter colorway. It also tends to show any lumps and bumps you may or may not have.

Overall, I am returning it, for now anyway, I definitely think the price is too high for a very thin cotton cardi, you are only paying for the colorblock design here.


I was also curious about  Altuzarra for J.Crew collection and I have ordered both Sabrina and Patricia dresses. Sabrina dress was in stock and I just received it yesterday.

Altuzarra for J.Crew Sabrina dress
When I asked for measurements I decided to order size 8 since the chest measurements was listed at only 36.5", waist 30.5", hips 42" and skirt length 24.75". 

Size 8
This was a good call, as I think 8 is probably the best size for me. Best, does not mean that it fits well. It looks better in the pictures but irl the measurement just under the bust is too wide and because of that my breasts are 'falling in' with not enough support. This would probably be better in size 6 but then the cups will not be big enough. (Full disclosure: for the sake of decency I did pick the most modest looking pictures)

It definitely creates cleavage

The hip measurement is proportionally large but I did not find it sticking out. Nevertheless, I think this dress would look better on those who are pear shaped and small busted.
I think it would be ideal if you are a B or C cup. This dress is meant to be used without a bra as it has a build in corset and boning on the sides. It does have the bra snaps but it seems silly to wear a bra and it would have to fit the mold. I was not able to fit a bra under it. I think this is best if you happen to have right proportions and can wear it without a bra .

The straps were slightly too long on me. The length was perfect, fell right to the knee ( I am 5'6).

Back view attempt
The dress seems very well made and the lining felt very silky.  The top portion of the lining is cotton and the skirt portion is polyester. I thought cotton lining of the bodice was a good choice.

inside out

bow detail

I think you could remove the bow detail if you think it is too cutesy since it seems to have gingham fabric underneath. I think the pencil silhouette and the fitted style prevents it from being too "Dorothy" or too young.  hoesIt you remove the bow that will also give you an option of wearing it with say brown or black belt to offset the Wizard of Oz effect (also, don't try wearing red Glitteratti shoes with it, lol).

I would wear this dress if it fitted me correctly. It does seem well made and the fabric is very nice to touch,
Is it worth the price? Probably not, I would think it will go on sale because it will mot fit most people correctly. So if you are lucky to have the right proportions and you are patient you can probably score it for less. Of course, it will also depend how many of those dresses they made.

That's all folks!

I will try to post a review of Altuzarra for J.Crew Patricia dress tomorrow.
What do you think?
Do you like the colorblock cardigan?
Are you contemplating Sabrina dress?

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Madewell Purchases - Advice Needed

I have decided to order two items from Madewell that I have already tried HERE
So this post is a little repetitive but I need some styling/sizing advice.

Skirt Size Medium
I previously tried it in Small but decided to size up to make it more comfortable since the waist band is elastic. Actually, the difference is not too pronounced and I think I actually preferred a Small, since Medium has more volume but I have bought it with 25% off sale price and 7% rebate from shop at home (so it came to about $57) and it is no longer available in Small, so I will keep the Medium.   

With BR Striped boatneck
I love the skirt but I actually had trouble styling it, as nothing seemed to work. You cannot really tuck anything in, unless your waist is very small and you have super flat abs or it creates unflattering tummy bump. If your top is too long, it squishes the pleats and bunches up around the hips. I did not like it with a belt because with the longer length and my short torso the proportions were off.  

Finally, I settled on a striped boatneck from BR, the length is fine and the shirttail hem looks good untucked. I also like it with my short jean shirt from GAP (as seen here). Color-wise, I only came up with wearing it with white and navy.

Do you have other ideas how to wear this skirt? Is it worth keeping when it does not seem very versatile?

Size 6
I love this blazer and I ordered it in two sizes for comparison (again with 25% +7% discount).  I originally tried it in size 6 and I liked the look, but I have been ordering those bigger sizes recently, I guess to prove to myself that I am not afraid of them.

Size 8

The blazer has a shrunken fit and the sleeves are short. I think they are supposed to be bracelet sleeves because I have short arms and they are borderline.

Do you think they just look too short?

With the skirt (size 6)

Size 6

Size 8
I also like it open, which is a key for me, with the blazers. It is lightweight wool and I think I can actually wear it under the coat in the winter, it seems comfortable when I tried it. I love the buttons in the front and the fact that it does not look so much like a suiting blazer, it has some cool vibe to it.

I still have both sizes and I need to decide which one to return, please advice!

That's all folks!

Have you bought something recently from Madewell?
How would you style the rouge dot skirt? 
Do you think I should keep the 6 or the 8 in the Academy Blazer?

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

Monday, April 23, 2012

Banana Republic new arrivals

Last Wednesday I visited Banana Republic to buy Mini-striped weekend dress that I reviewed HERE. Thank you Gigi for sending me the 40% in store coupons!!! I also had $30 rewards cards so the dress came down to about $12. Yay!

Necklace also from BR
I already have worn it last week and it was perfect. Above I am wearing it with Madewell Academy blazer and last year's Talbots shoes.

Dress size Medium

Since I was there I took a bunch of items to the fitting room to try them on for you but when I got there I realized that I left my phone in the car :(

It was almost strange to be in the fitting room and did not take any pictures, how did I do it before I started a blog? You'd think I would have more fun, not having to take pictures and just having it all to myself but somehow it wasn't as exciting to only try it for myself.

They let me use the coupon for multiple items even if it says one item only, I did not even ask for it but the SA told me that they changed the rules that day.

Since I tried them on, I will review few items for you but I don't have the fitting room pictures, unfortunately.

This was a nice blouse but the square neck is pretty wide. I tried size M and I think size S would be too clingy. Feels very soft and the print is flattering.

This is a great shirt if you are an A or B cup. I really liked it but it was pulling at the chest even when I sized up one size. Size 6 fit me everywhere perfectly, shoulders, waist, hips, length but it was way too tight in the chest (I am 34D). Size 8 was not fitting as nice but still would be acceptable, but the chest was still borderline. I would need to wear a cami.  The fact that I still contemplated buying it tells you how much I liked this shirt. If you are small chested it may the THE perfect chambray shirt, the blue color is beautiful and the cut is very flattering.

This is a perfect summer dress. Nice and easy and falls to the knee on me (5.6")
I tried size 6 and the fit was good but rather close, I would like to try size 8 to see how it fits.

They only had size 4 in this skirt and it was definitely too tight and va-va-voom. I think 6 would have been fine. This skirt has a side zipper and the front buttons are only decorative. I actually thought this was a plus. I thought it was going to be a-line but it had pencil shape. Maybe it would look different in 6, because 4 was definitely too small.

Sunny days skirt

I bought this skirt. I love it. To me, it is a perfect, easy summer skirt, linen and cotton blend and on trend citrus hue. It has a hint of mustard in it but it still reads yellow. I love it with navy, striped tees, chambray, denim, white shirt, floral and polka dots. Super cute and under $50 with 40% off.

I love yellow with gray

Skirt Size 6

Sunny days combo

Size 6 fits me perfectly, so I would say, size up one size from your J.Crew pencil skirt size. The pictures were taken at the end of the day so you can assess the wrinkle factor. It does wrinkle. It doesn't bother me but it is something to consider.

The shape and size of this bag are great if you are looking for a navy bag. the strap is adjustable and removable. I don't like how the handle looks when you use shoulder strap (but this always bothers me in other brands too) and the leather is rather stiff.  But if it goes on sale and with extra 30% off it will be quite attractive. Even with just 40% off on Wednesdays.

I bought this clutch. I have returned the Marc by Marc Jacobs purse that I ordered HERE because it was too small and nothing special. With the 40% off this Claudia clutch was a steal. Not perfect because I would prefer a shoulder strap, but with this price I am not too concerned. 

Just the right size for me
This is small enough to take to coctail party but it will easily fit my essentials: phone, wallet, keys, lipstick and sunglasses.
Front pocket easily accessible

Zippered pocket inside

I tried some of the shoes as well but they were rather uncomfortable with the exception of these sandals:

The Sandals fitted in size 8 and seemed comfortable. I was not thrilled with the way ankle strap looked, but then again I don't really like this shape of sandal. The black patent and color block effect was cool.

I love those wedges on the website but they were disappointing irl.  I mean, they still looked great and fitted me in size 8 but were very uncomfortable. They are narrow and the toe strap was digging into my skin. I have medium wide feet and high instep, so they may work for you if you don't have those issues. For me they were a total pass, not even on deep sale, since they would be torture devices.

That's all folks!

What do you think?
Have you visited Banana Republic recently?
Are you finding things you like their spring rollout?

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