Friday, July 26, 2013

J.Crew Stretch Suiting Tank and Helmut Lang Slouchy Blazer

Stretch suiting tank
Stretch Suiting Tank

Well, I am pleased to report that it is as expected. Not a see through and it can be worn with a regular bra. It is double layered and not tight in the mid section which helps cover the lumps and bumps. It is not too low cut and actually have a very nice neckline imo. I wish they would do it with different sleeve lengths as well, I would be first in line to order.

Nice length too, And it looks fine from the back. I have ordered it in Small and Medium but I did not even take the Medium out of the package because the Small was perfect.

It is not exactly cheap but it is so hard to find a white tank that it is not see-through so I am keeping it. I do think it should not be that hard, lol.

I wanted to review the tank for you, but the purchase I am really excited about is not the tank but my new blazer. I have been looking for a black boyfriend blazer for some time. I tried the one from Theory some time ago but I eventually returned it since it was too much of a suiting blazer. What I was looking for was a blazer I could wear outside of work, over the jeans, tank top and a pair of heels.

Well, after my recent disappointing visits to J.Crew, I decided to stop at Bloomingdales to look at the latest offerings from Vince.  I am a big fan of Vince and the 'minimalistic cool' but it tends to be very expensive and out of my budget. Nevertheless, I tried on few t-shirts and blouses. I really liked this one, which actually looks more like something from Tory Burch except for the colors.

Vince's blouses are very slouchy and oversized and although I liked the idea of them, they were not that flattering on my figure.  The t-shirts were nice but not enticing enough to pull the trigger.  There was a lot of offerings mixing leather with other fabrics which made me glad I bought the Regan tee from Club Monaco some time time ago.

I was browsing trough the Rag and Bone collection (which btw has a lot of cool stuff that I would gladly wear, if I had the budget for it), when I spotted this blazer in Helmut Lang section:

I was just going to try it on, it is not going to hurt, right?  Well, it turned out not so easy, because it was exactly what I was looking for...   

A blazer that feels like cardigan but with the structure and chic factor I love. It is slouchy and cool, lightweight and effortless. 

Looks good open and closed and has just the right length. 


I love the scrunched up sleeves. They are sewn like that, so you dont have to worry about them coming undone, but I suppose you could remove the stitching, if you'd like to control it yourself. For me they are perfect.

I also love the super narrow faux lapels and the single button and perfect pocket placement.


The fabric is lightweight 77% wool blend, which feels great in warmer weather and drapes well.  I took my regular size 6 and it fits me with a just right amount of slouchiness.

I love the blazer but it wasn't exactly in my budger so to fund my purchase I decided to return everything that was still returnable and get the extra money from my ebay sales. I was still off but it was now under $100, which I was OK with.  This was something on my list for a long time and I know that I never regret buying things that I really love and I would probably regret more if I did not get it.

I think I am going to wear the blazer tonight, for a night out in the city, including some live music.  It is supposed to be around 75 degrees, so it should be perfect.  

What do you think?

Do you like the suiting tank?
Was I right to splurge on the blazer?

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

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Musing on J.Crew newest arrivals and Free People OOTD

Have you checked the new arrivals at J.Crew?  I went to the store yesterday, checked the website and browsed the newest catalog.  I liked some of the looks, but have nothing really on my wish list.  Sure, I liked some of the new button downs, but I already have way more that I am able to wear. I also like some of the jeweled sweaters but it is too much pain (and money) to get them cleaned, I'd stick to providing my own jewelry over the regular sweaters.

Crepe racer tank
Crepe racer tank

In the store I tried on the Crepe racer tank in Brilliant Fuchsia and I quite liked it. I would say it fits big and still had plenty of room in size 4.  I have noticed that recently I have been taking 4 in tops and 2 in bottoms (as opposed to 6 & 4) but still, I would say size down or take the smaller of your sizes, if you are in between.  The exposed shoulder silhouette has been going strong recently and it works well for me but I am getting saturated on this front. The fabric does feel a little stiff but it did not bother me.  It is not a see through, even in ivory I think, a definite plus. The brilliant fuchsia is a very nice berry toned shade, not to bright or neon-y.  You will need a strapless bra with this one. 

Pleated chiffon blouse
Pleated chiffon blouse
I also like the pleated chiffon blouse, its clean lines remind me of something from Vince, at a better price point. I will wait for sale on this one, I don't really need it, but it may be a good buy eventually.

Tipped gamine dress
Tipped gamine dress
Since I was in the store I also tried the Tipped Gamine Dress. I wasn't really interested in it but I thought I would give you some feedback. It fit TTS, I have tried a 6 and it was a little big but they did not have a 4 to compare. I thought it would be better in 4, which seems to be my size these days in dresses and tops.  I don't like pointe fabric for summer and it felt too heavy and thick. it also had a weird and unflattering puffing in the back which was an instant deal breaker but maybe it is just my body. The length was just before the knee in regular size. The dress felt very preppy but not in a good way, more like some kind of costume I would wear to a party at a place with a swimming pool, gardens AND a private tennis court, not exactly my usual crowd, lol. 

Gwen dress in colorblock
Gwen dress in colorblock
The Gwen dress in colorblock looked good on a hanger but I really do not need it. My new office seems to be very casual,  most people were in jeans, sleeveless dresses and sandals so I don't think I would get to wear a suiting dress, plus I will be working 2-3 times a week from home. This is great because outside of the convenience, I discovered that almost all my pencil skirts and slacks are too big and hang in unflattering way on me.  I am a little torn about what to do about it. Should I alter some of my clothes to fit better and hang on to them in case I gain my weight back?  I have been lucky to be very consistent with my sizes over the years and this is something new to me.  Of course, this is a great excuse to buy some new things but I don't want to replace everything.  In any case, at least I don't have to immediately rebuilt my work wardrobe. I think I will wait through the winter and see where I am then...

No. 2 pencil skirt in double-serge wool
No. 2 pencil skirt in double-serge wool

In the meantime, I tried on the double serge wool pencil skirt, to confirm that I need a size 2. I thought it was cut very straight and it was still a little too big in the waist and not tapered enough towards the hem, I did not think it was flattering at all, just really blah. The wool seemed plush and substantial and finishing same as last year. But the fit just left me cold and I think I may prefer altering my older skirts and having them actually follow my curves (or lack of them).   

For now I am enjoying the last days of freedom from work. Here is my OOTD: Free People top (how appropriate), Paige boyfriend jeans, Kate Spade purse and Steven sandals.  

I did buy something from J.Crew recently and I will review it next. I also got a new blazer, that I am VERY excited to show you, but I need somebody to take my pictures and my 10yo is at the camp until mid August. I will try to get my older daughter to be the photographer.  She has been taking the recent pictures but she is always running around during the day...

What are your new arrival favorites?

How do you deal with weight fluctuations when it comes to your wardrobe? Do you alter or do you keep multiple sizes?


Friday, July 19, 2013

Webcam interviews and embracing pink

I am enjoying my last couple of weeks before starting a new job. It has been nice to be home in the summer and be able to bask in the hot weather and wear casual clothes all the time. I have to admit that when I am not working I have very little motivation to get properly dressed, especially in the heat.  I seriously don't know how some of you do it when staying at home.  I am full of admiration, because I found myself in shorts and t-shirts every time when I wasn't interviewing. But nowadays so many companies, at least in my field, do the phone and webcam interviews, all the way to the final one.  So I am glad I did not invest in getting a new suit, which I was contemplating, because, in the end, I did not wear it that many times. Actually I had this funny dilemma, whether to wear a suit to a webcam interview.  It is often advised to dress like you were going for an in-person interview but it just seems silly and unnatural to be sitting in your own home dressed up in a suit.  So unless I was directly advised by the recruiter to wear a suit, I usually opted for something like a blue button down shirt and non jeans trousers.  Yes, you do need to dress your bottom half,  you may have to get up at some point during an interview, lol.
Now that I have an office job back I will be reunited with my pencil skirts, which did not see the light of day recently, with a few exceptions. One of them is this linen skirt from JCrew.  It is lined with cotton, which is great for summer and I wore it couple of times. 

Skirt and tee J.Crew, sandals Boden

I never used to wear pink when I was younger because it seemed too cute and girlish for me.  But somehow, in my forties I decided that it just has to be the right shade of pink. I admire pale, ballet pink on others, but usually it makes me look like a 'death warmeth over'.  For some reason, neon pink  has the same effect on me but medium pink is another story and I actually like it a lot.

I remember than when I bought this inkblot skirt couple of years ago I wasn't sure what to wear with it, other than obvious white/ivory. Then, I discovered that this perfect v-neck in flamingo pink was a nice match and I think I wore it together eve since.

I thought this outfit was perfect for something like a lunch time date, comfortable but put together and pretty without trying too hard.

Have you done webcam interviews? Did you dress like for an in-person interview

Do you wear pink?

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

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tipped Silk Pocket Tank Review

When in doubt, you can't go wrong with black and white. Or can you?

Tipped silk pocket tank
Tipped Silk Pocket Tank
I never noticed the Tipped Silk Pocket Tank until it was featured by the lovely ABC in one of her red, white and blue sets in this post.  

Even though I think it is overpriced, I decided to order it to try it on.

Jeans by JBrand, rest J.Crew

I ordered my regular size 6 and it fits well, so I'd say it fits TTS.

It is definitely very sheer, at least in white and you would need a cami to wear under it.

The cut is boxy but I think less so than in the silk pocket tee like the Mai Tai I tried here. I like the boxy shape as it gives it a relaxed, easy vibe.

I like the tipped detail, it looks great in the back. It will also work nicely under a blazer to wear to the office.

I don't have a picture but the armholes are slightly big, but not too bad. I like the neckline and that it is not too high, like some of JC crewneck tops.

Overall, it is a nice top but the sheerness may be a deal breaker, if you don't like the idea of wearing a cami under cami.  It is priced too high at full price imo and I am not sure if it is worth it with the 40%.  I am glad I ordered it at full price because I am not even tempted. Maybe once it goes on sale, plus percentage off?

That's all folks!

What do you think of this tank? What would you consider fair price for it?

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

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Coral Red Obsession: Boden Macrame Top

There are some colors that we simply cannot resist. For me, it is coral red.  Now, blue is my favorite color, I love certain shades of (blue based) green and I own plenty of neutrals.  But coral red is the color that can make me forgive other imperfections or justify a splurge, especially when it comes to a top or a dress.  How about you, do you have a weakness for certain shades?

I ordered this Macrame linen top from Boden quite a while ago.  However, my initial order never arrived, so I have to call customer service to get a replacement. I finally received my order and I love this top.


I don't buy much from Boden these days but what originally attracted me to them was exactly this style items, fun, easy to wear, casual and feminine without being too sweet.  When I saw this top I immediately wanted to wear it with denim,  I thought it would make a perfect outfit when you want to look casual but still pretty. 

Sorry about the hair, I was on my way to the hair salon, lol

The color did not disappoint me, the print is lovely and the neckline flattering.  It is linen, so it is quite breezy, despite longer sleeve length and it feels very comfortable.

It is just long enough to fall to the hip on me.  I love this length, enough to give me some coverage but short enough not too look like a tunic.

Overall, I think it is a great top.  I would recommend it if you like this style and it is now now sale and still available in many sizes.

Do you have a color that would make you buy something for the sake of it?
Have you bought anything from Boden's sale?

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review of Frances dress in watercolor floral

Frances dress in watercolor floral
Frances dress in watercolor floral
For some unknown reason J.Crew did not offer us many pretty summer dresses this year to chose from.  In fact, their offerings were dismal in the dress area, which is really a pity because they always did quite well in this category. But most of the dresses this year fell into 'too short, too twee or too blah' category.  Sure, there are some nice suiting dresses but I don't need any of those, I am talking about summer dresses to be worn either casually or as a date/dinner option.

The only dress that picked my interest was Frances dress in watercolor floral that seemed very pretty and wearable. I liked this dress and it reminded me of designers like DVF or something from Kate Spade before they went all Hello Kitty.  So I was definitely interested but it was just priced too high for me.

Last week however, I was browsing the sale section and I noticed the dress, in my size and with the 40% off discounted price, quite reasonable.  I have ordered it through my personal shopper (not a final sale).

My regular dress size 6 fits well with a little bit of room to spare, but because I lost some weight, I would say it is definitely TTS.  

It has a dramatic, plunging neckline that may be too low for some but I personally like it. I would stitch it up to keep it in place though, no big deal.  

The color and print are beautiful. I am also a big fan of crinkled silk fabric and it feels nice in the dress. Lining is poly, but feels nice and silky and it does not bother me at all but may be a deal breaker for some.


I also like the deep v in the back and the high-low hemline. The back drop is not too low for a regular bra. The straps have bra keeps but there are no pockets :(

Of course it can easily be a special event dress with some heels, nice clutch and a pearl necklace. Here I tried to 'casualize' it with a belt and a pair of gladiator sandals and I feel like it would be appropriate for a date or dinner and not too fancy. Black accessories would be a good option too, and they would toughen it up even more.

Overall, I really like the dress. My only reservation is that I don't really need it and have some other dresses with a very similar function like my Banana Republic knit dress I wore here.


What do you think?  Is it flattering enough and distinctive enough to justify or should I save my pennies? 

How do you like the dress in general? Do you think it can be worn casually or is it more of a special event dress?

Do you agree that there is no enough pretty dresses at J.Crew this year?


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Trying on Trends: Bodycon Midi Dress

We have been talking about longer hemline for a while.  Lamenting over too short hemlines and longing for a more ladylike silhouette. Yet, when it comes to actually pulling off the below-the-knee length, it is not always as easy as it sounds. I personally have tried it multiple times in the past, only to always somehow end up in the frump zone. I pretty much gave up on attempting to wear anything midi, deciding that it just does not flatter my figure and I that  I am better off sticking to right at the knee or slightly above length. 

So when the bodycon midi dresses started to pop up at every (European) designer this year, as tempting as they looked on models, I kept ignoring them. Well, leave it to my mother to try to make me current and on-trend.  Lo and behold, she mailed me this navy heart print bodycon midi dress.        

I tried it on and, magically, I think it works. What makes it different from other midi dresses I tried in the past?  I think most important factor is the length. This is not technically a true midi dress falling to mid-calf, it just covers the knee.  This shorter length does not hit at the widest part of the calf, which usually makes the legs look short and stumpy.  I think couple of inches below the knee length is much more flattering and I will encourage you too get your midi dress tailored to that length if needed.

Then there is the body conscious fit than sets it apart from the midis I used to wear in High School or the 'tea dresses' that just reminded me of some of my fashion-challenged older relatives.  Midi dresses that have full skirts or even a-line or just loose fitting shape tend to overwhelm me or look like shapeless sacks. Close fit tends to elongate and accentuate the curves. 

Of course, the thin jersey is quite unforgiving but, on the other hand, you can get away with it much better than with an above the knee length.  Same goes for heels, although my heels are only 2.5 inches high, if you are shorter, or if you like high heels, they would look much more demure with midi dress and overall, this style is pretty resistant to 'slutification'.    

The print is a good option to distract from some imperfection and I like the scale of the print here, it is not too small to be twee and not too big to draw too much attention to itself.  The navy hearts are fun and modern without being too sweet.  I like it better than the abstract monochromatic that can read too cold or animal prints that can read too hot.
Since the print takes a lot of real estate in a midi dress, I prefer to keep accessories to minimum, but that is usually my preference anyway. I also thought keeping the shoes and purse in the same color looked better than any 'pop of color'.

The dress is quite versatile as it also worked well with my jean and leather jacket and booties. I have seen women wear them with Converse or flat gladiator sandals but I haven't tried it yet (and I am skeptical if it would work for me).

With a cardigan or a blazer it would make perfectly acceptable office wear as well.  It could double up as office-to-dinner outfit if you ever need one (despite the appeal, somehow I never do, lol).  With an oversized sweater you could add a dress-as-a-skirt option, which I am quite found of.  And yes, it folds to next to nothing and it does not wrinkle, so it will travel well.

Thank you Mom for sending me the dress! 


So what do you think? Do you like midis? 

Have you tried any of the bodycon midi dresses? 

Do you agree that the shorter length and closer fit makes it easier to pull off the midi?     

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth (plus review of Boden's T-Bar Demi Wedges)!!!

Just a very quick post today to wish everybody who is celebrating Happy Fourth of July!!!

I've always liked the Independence Day, such a fun holiday. We have parade and fireworks in the evening here and will have some BBQ on the deck in the afternoon, all fun and games and usual Fourth of July fare, I never get tired of it.

Of course I had to wear red, white and blue! And pewter.

My sandals are from Boden. I ordered them after I did not like J.Crew Allies (see my review here).  These are perfect.  I sized down one size after reading reviews and it was a good call. They are all leather, including the lining, like all Boden shoes.  Pewter is somewhere between gold and silver (but closer to silver) which makes them very versatile. I like the wedge and they are very comfortable. Price was reasonable too, about $73 with the discount.

I am off now to put something on the grill, have fun everybody!!!

Are you celebrating today?