Sunday, September 30, 2012

On peplums, stripes and being cranky in the fitting rooms...

Today is the last day of the STYLE25 promo at J.Crew. If you spend $150 you can apply 25% off and get free shipping. Also remember, that Shopathome has 8% rebate and if you have a credit card reward program you can get close to 40% off.

This offer also applies in stores and at is valid on both full price and sale items. It sounds pretty good, especially if your purchases were already on you list and you like to wear them the whole season. It may also be a good time to stock up on basics, that rarely make it to the deep sale. Will there be more sales and cheaper prices closer to Holidays? You bet! I would definitely NOT worry if you miss this sale, I am sure there is more to come :)

 Peplum stripe 

But, just in case you are considering Peplum stripe top, I have a review for you:

Size Small
It is a cute top and the fit is generous. I took the smaller of my sizes and it still had plenty of room. I wish it was solid not stripes and that the peplum was a little higher and longer. I still liked it though.

When I tried in on with pants (sorry no picture), the ruffle was hitting me in an off place on my belly. I think it is better with a skirt. It may be just me, and if you have flat stomach, you will not have the same issue. It wasn't bad, but again, I think it would have been better with the peplum starting higher and being a little longer. 

In Black
The knit is nice and substantial enough. I thought I would like the burgundy better, but I liked the black and black and white stripe more. Of course, black and white stripe is the last thing I need more of in my closet...

Vintage Burgundy
Overall, I have to say J.Crew missed the boat on the peplum trend. I am surprised they don't have few other options.

The need must be there, since this top sold out on the very first day (they probably just did not order enough) and it is backordered until late November. I can almost see Mickey in the boardroom (or on the load speaker) asking 'Why don't we have more peplum? Can we put something together really soon? Cut off the bottom of this stripe tee and slap it on as a ruffle? Think fast guys!'.

 I did find a peplum top that I bought, but it wasn't at J.Crew:

Guess where?


Tissue turtleneck tee in stripe

Size Small
This is nothing new and J.Crew has been making those tissue turtlenecks for years. I have several. They are great under (itchy) sweaters. Soft and comfortable, fit has not changed, and it is TTS. The only thing about them is that they are tight around the neck and will definitely mess up your hair when you put them on.

Bohemian red
I wanted to try Bohemian red because it looked very cute in the Lookbook with the pink herringhbone suit. I did not try it with that particular pink but I had a light pink Tippi sweater in the fitting room and the pairing absolutely did NOT work. I kind of like it looking at the pictures now, but I remember that I was not tempted at all in the fitting room.

This may be misleading. Somebody asked me how can I try all those things and not buy a ton. Well, I wonder if other bloggers here would agree, but for me, trying several items on is actually one of the best shopping deterrents. I am usually so cranky from all this trying on and changing that everything seems ill fitting and nothing tempts me. By the time I tried on 15 items in 2 different sizes and photographed everything including tags,  I just want to get out of the store as soon as possible.


Raglan sailor top
Raglan sailor top
Colorblocking and stripes, all in one, I had to try it!

Size Medium
This top looks nice in the picture and great with the crimson maple skirt imo but irl I was disappointed. I know we have been complaining about knits being too thin but this tee had an opposite problem. It was stiff and did not drape well. It was loose in the body and tight across the chest. The sleeves were too wide. I am not sure if I should say it fits TTS, small or big. Probably better if you are pear shaped and usually find the sleeves too tight.  Oh, and I forgot the exposed zipper that I had trouble zipping up.

Boy, I really do sound cranky, sorry. Needless to say it was a pass.

What do you think?
Do you have enough stripes?
How about peplums?

If you are a blogger, does trying things on make you buy more or less?

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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bulldog sweater, Swiss Dot blouse and more

I wanted to post some more reviews before 25% off STYLE25 promo ends on Sunday, in case any of you are considering taking advantage of it. 

The blouse looks really cute in the the picture and it generated a lot of attention. It seems easy to wear, something you can either dress up or dress down and the color looks gorgeous.

Well, the color IS beautiful and pretty true to real life. I did not see the green at first, so I grabbed a navy. Too bad, because this blouse definitely looks more interesting in green.

I tried on my regular size 6 and it was huge. I think it is supposed to fit loose, but I would definitely try sizing down to 4.

Unfortunately, I cannot even show you the full picture, because it would qualify as indecent exposure. The top was completely sheer. There is no way I could use it without a cami.  You can probably easily find a navy tank to wear with a navy one but green would be more difficult. Maybe the green one is different and less sheer but I doubt it.

$128, 80% silk, 19% cotton and 1% other

Personally, I don;t like the idea that you have to buy a cami for a $128 blouse.The fit also did not wow me but I was definitely thrown off by the sheerness of it and the 'yawn' quality of navy version.


This sweater was also spotted by JCAs when J.Crew posted few pictures of upcoming new arrivals on the website. The sweater is not yet online but you can pre-order or call Paramus concept store and order from them.  As you can see when you compare to the picture below, the J.Crew image was photoshopped. IRL,  the colors are less vivid.

Size Small
The sweater runs TTS to big.  I took smaller of my sizes and the fit is good. It fits the same as chicken (aka French Hen) sweater if you had a chance to try it on. For my review see here. There are also numerous reviews by others, check out Gigi's comprehensive post to see more and links to others. 

The colors and and design are less cutesy than the chicken but I was not sure what kind of message I am sending to the world by having a bulldog right on my chest.

Cute but itchy

I think the list of ingredients is also the same and the sweater was also itchy. If you are even slightly sensitive you would need to wear a tee under it.

45% viscose, 25% nylon, 22% wool, 7% rabbit hair, 1% cashmere
Rabbit hair on a dog sweater???

Unidentified (yet) lace top.

Size Small
At first, I was intrigued by this top. It also comes in pink blush but I grabbed a navy. It fits TTS to big and my smaller size was a good fit. Comes with a matching color cami which for some reason I found fussy and uncomfortable but maybe I was just cranky.

The lace is nice but overall, I was underwhelmed. Maybe it would have been more interesting in pink. It would definitely benefit from some styling. At least it is made of natural fabrics.

$138, 100% cotton

What do you think?

Do you think bulldogs are better than chicken?
Do you agree that the blouse should come with matching cami?

Did you get anything with STYLE25?
I have ordered a Liberty shirt and a Sterling skirt to try.

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Polka dots, tweed skirt and Harper boots

Nothing can escape the collective attention's of the JCAs.

A picture of this sequined polka dot tee only appeared on the website for a few hours before J.Crew realized their false start. The pictures were promptly removed from the website and the items did not show up in yesterday's small update. But never fear, I spotted the tee at the concept store last Monday and I have a review for you!

Polka Dot Sequin Tee:

Tee size Medium, skirt size 4, boots 8.5
This tee fits TTS to small, I took a size Medium, which is bigger of my sizes and it was a good fit, with not too much extra room. I think I could have squeezed into a Small, but it would have been a close fit and the tee would probably feel more itchy. I liked that the sleeves are a little longer, almost elbow length, especially if you wear it around Holidyas. The overall length is long enough (on most people) to wear with low rise jeans but not too long to wear with skirts.

It also comes in ivory with black dots.

Fits TTS to Small
$128, 100% cotton (sans sequins)
Inside out

It is not lined, but surprisingly, it did not seem very itchy. It has some extra fabric lining around the neck which helps. I still would have preferred that it was lined. I am not very sensitive but the zigzag sequin dress for example, was unbearable. This tee, I think I could wear, although I would have to try it for a second time to confirm. 

Overall, I really liked the tee. I don't  need any more sequins or polka dots, but the tee is flattering and fun, imo. I can picture it worn with a full silk skirt for a party or with jeans (or black pants) for a night on the town. The sequins seemed securely attached and the workmanship seemed good. The price is pretty high, but if you have places to wear it, and with 25% off, it is acceptable imo.


  Tweed pencil skirt.

It comes with matching jacket which you can see in my last post.


Fabric: 50% wool, 37 acrylic, 9 % nylon, 4% polyester, lining 100% polyester. I took my regular pencil size and the fit was good if a little loose. It sat a little lower on my waist, so it appears longer. The fabric is pretty substantial but it did not seem to add too much bulk in the hips. Then again, it is not usually my concern.

Overall, it is a pretty skirt and it fits well but I am afraid it will pill because of the acrylic. Again, I much prefer the older tweed skirts made of mostly wool. The color is pretty, but I can substitute it with bright dahlia double serge wool pencil that I already own.


Harper leather
Harper leather boots

In black

Harper leather boots were on my lists of 'maybe' items. I liked the smooth leather that is easy to take care of and the minimalistic design.

Size 8.5
Zipper detail

They fit TTS. I took my regular size and the fit was good. They are quite comfortable. The leather is not very thin like it was in some of the boots last year and it is double layered. However, it was rather stiff and cheap looking irl. The zipper is (very) exposed. When I was first putting them on I had a funny feeling that I switched left with right. I even become a little confused when zipping them up.

Then I realized why. The zipper is on the outside of the leg! Most boots (at least the ones I own) have the zipper on the inside of the leg. I was not a fan. In fact, I would always prefer to have pull on boots with no zippers. But since I have a high instep and can never pull on flat boots, I have resigned myself to necessity of zippers, but I still don;t like them more prominent that they have to be.

They were comfortable and medium wide

For the price of these shoes, you can definitely do better. I have passed several pairs of nice black leather boots in similar styles in Lord and Taylor shoe department (which I usually pass on my way to J.Crew store). Most of them were under $200.

I am scratching these of my list.

That's all folks!

Do you like any of the reviewed items?

Do you wear J.Crew boots?

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

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I have tried on numerous Chanel-esque type jackets over the years. It is supposedly something every woman needs and J.Crew have been releasing a few every fall season. Here are some from the Holiday '12 rollout.

Size 10
Yes, this is size 10 because I could not find 8 or 6, but it actually did not seem that big.

I quite liked the fit. This surprised me, because I usually don;t do well with short, boxy jackets. It was not too boxy and draped nicely. Color is beautiful. It was soft and they did not overdo the details. I did not mind the hook and eye closures, in fact I liked it better than buttons. No band and gathering at the waist. Good.

Size 8
My VPS located size 8 for me. I don't see that much difference, but I would go with an 8.

It looks good closed and open.
So far so good. Even the price is not that bad. It is $198 but if you call the store you can get extra 25% off doing a charge send.

However,  the list of ingredients reads like a recipe for witches brew:

61% acrylic, 19% poly, 10% wool, 9% cotton, 1% nylon
I will pass.One of the reasons is the fabric content. For more, keep on reading...


Size 8
This purple number fits TTS. More boxy. Thicker tweed. Regular buttons. Also comes in orange red.

Don't like it closed
I don't like the gold buttons. .I think you can find something similar at Talbots. Or Macys. Or Goodwill. But maybe I am missing something, sorry if you love it.

Nice lining and contrast piping
Lining is poly but it felt very nice.

50% wool, 37% acrylic, 9% Nylon, 4% Poly
The ingredients have different proportions. Does it make a difference? I am not sure. But these jackets seemed already fuzzy. I'd worry that they would pill and shed.


Now, let me digress a little.

Regardless of the current J.Crew fabrications, I cannot think of a place/occasion where I would like to wear those jackets.  I have purchased them in the past. No matter how beautiful they were I never wore them.

I see many bloggers sporting those jackets worn with jeans, statement jewelry and heels, running around the city and hailing taxi cabs. It looks quite appealing and sometimes I can almost see myself in them. But then I try to remember what my day-to-day (suburban) life looks like. Most of the time I am either indoors or I am driving. And NJ weather has little time in between summer and winter.

In general, there are three categories of clothes I need and wear: 
  • office casual and, more formal/elegant but limited, school/family/church functions
  • weekend wear and even more laid back lounge/sports wear
  • date/party/girls-night-out plus more 'festive' occasions about 3-5 times a year

Hmmm. I could wear it to church maybe? In fact, I will fit right in, especially if I go to an early morning mass...  I think next time I am faced with the dilemma  of  "Oh, item x is so beautiful, but will I EVER wear it?", I should ask myself a question: "Was I ever in a situation where I wished I had x to wear?".

And to answer this question, no, I cannot remember an actual occasion in my life when I wished I had Chanel-esque type of jacket to wear. If I bought one, it would end up being one of those items that I try to come up with an occasion to wear. There is always a better alternative and if I finally do wear them, I don;t feel like myself. So I end up selling/donating/tossing out.

Then I buy another one.

What do you think?

Do you wear Chanel inspired tweed jackets?

Will you consider the J.Crew ones?
Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brooks Brothers Or If I Was A Rich Girl

Belted button-front coat made 
from premium Loro Piana® wool 
fabric, woven in Italy. Pockets. Belts along waist and sleeve cuffs. 
Fully lined. 40" center back length. Dry clean only. Imported.
Wool Belted Coat

From website description:

Belted button-front coat made from premium Loro Piana® wool fabric, woven in Italy. Pockets. Belts along waist and sleeve cuffs. Fully lined. 40" center back length. Dry clean only. Imported.

Size 6
This is a pricey coat but it does feel luxurious on. The color is great, true camel but not too yellow. The fabric is 'naturally waterproof' the SA told me. I am not sure if it is something special or is it just wool is naturally water resistant.

The fit is generous and when I tried on smaller of my coat sizes I still had enough room for layering. I like that it is single breasted and that it buttons all the way up. I liked the finishing details like pockets and buttons. I was not crazy about the neckline. In camel color I think it needs a scarf to brighten it up, or at least a turtleneck, like the model is wearing. 

It is longer on  me that it is on the model, which is fine since I understand models are tall and prefer that to items being shorter on me than on models like it happens many times at J.Crew.

The fabric is substantial and it seems warm. It it not the lightest coat but that is also what I would expect. 
The belt is longer than it looks in the pictures, I think the rest of it is in my pocket, you can definitely tie it but it also have prongs to cinch it.

It is an expensive and I don't own anything at similar price to compare the quality but it seems very well made. Even with the 25% off Friends and Family discount,  it is still be too much for me.


Lambswool A-line button-front plaid skirt. Patch pockets. Corozo 
buttons along center front. Fully lined. 23" center back length. 
Dry clean. Imported.
Lambswool Button-Front Plaid Skirt

I love this skirt. The pattern, the lambswool fabric, the berber lining, buttons, pockets, shape and did I say plaid?. Everything but the price :(  Unfortunately, it is a deal breaker, but come sale time, I will definitely keep this skirt in mind.
It fits TTS and very similar to J.Crew sizing. I am wearing my regular J.Crew size and the fit is perfect.

The mirror was awful, sorry
It says a-line, but the flare is minimal.

Fabric matched on the sides and in the back
The pattern is matched, both on sides and in the back, yes! In addition to buttons there are two little snaps to keep the waistband in place, very nice!

I like how they styled it on the website with the lavender sweater. There is some blue in the pattern and I imagine it would be very pretty with light blue top. 

That's all folks!

What do you think of Brooks Brothers offerings?
Do you think they are worth the price?

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