Saturday, April 19, 2014

J. Crew Review: Puff-Sleeve Blazers and a Crystal Leaves Necklace

All of these confusing sales at J Crew have been pulling me in a bit. It's almost a surprise when I type in the promotion code what percentage I will get off. Is it 50% ? Is it 40% now? Wait, it's 25% off of full-price, right? Anyway, with many items available without the dreaded final sale I thought it might be a good time to try a few things.

Crystal Leaves Necklace 
 I've been looking for a "bling" necklace to spice up some pretty plain dresses I have and I liked the look of this one. It's really nice - has some weight to it and the typical J Crew clasp.

 Close-up of the jewels. I don't wear tons of jewelry so I can't tell if I'm going to feel self-conscious about the crazy sparkly nature of this piece or if I'm going to love it.

 I really like the necklace when it is worn on it's shortest chain. I think it looks beautiful against the skin.

Merino Tipped Side-Panel V-Neck Sweater (XXS) in Cloud White
Ok. I NEVER risk final sale anymore. Like never. But it must have been some crazy hormone cocktail rattling around my brain that made me bite on this one. As soon as I did it, I just prayed I would not regret it. And luckily, for $17 I figured it would be a lounging around the house on Saturday sweater. Well, much to my pleasant surprise... I actually like this sweater! I'm glad I sized down - it has just the right amount of drape "boyfriendy-ness" without looking sloppy or adding on pounds. If I lift my arms above my head, it is a little short and does ride up, but luckily I don't do that a lot. The merino is super lightweight and soft. Huge thumbs up!

 Puff-Sleeve Blazer in Pinstripe (size 4)

 I love a good blazer and I like this new shape. The puffiness I could sort of due without but the shape of the blazer is very nice. The schoolboy shape has never worked for me - I think it looks really awkward and shapeless, but this I like. The pinstripes may be a little formal but the overall looks is nice.  The puffs seems to be slightly less pronounced on this iteration of the blazer. I went a size up and I think this was the right choice (although it's hard to say since pregnancy is causing everything to be about a size up).

 Puff-Sleeve Blazer in Stretch Cotton (size 2) in Navy

I prefer the feel of the stretch cotton for some reason. It's thick with lots of stretch and very form fitting. The 2 buttons and gives a nice shape and would probably be fine but I'm glad I tried a four as well. If you are smaller-boned/chested I think you'd be find in your normal size.

 Puff Sleeve Blazer in Stretch Cotton (size 4) in Black
 Here's the 4. I don't see much of a difference in the pictures but it definitely felt a bit more forgiving. As I mentioned the material is stretchy but in a way that makes the blazer fit quite snugly. I prefer the navy color but that's because I am a total navy whore. Half my closet is navy. I can't help myself.

What do you think of these pieces?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

J. Crew Review: Photo Flora Dress, Cotton Pique lace Dress, Eyelet Shirtdress, Skinny Sweatpant and Sailor Tee

I went into J Crew the other day solely to find the Long-Sleeve Sailor Stripe Tee. I LOVE this tee. The weight is just right and the extra length is good for covering tummy right now. Luckily I found both the grey one and the navy/cream one and took both home for about $15 each. Yahoo! There were lots of new arrivals so I thought I'd give those a go to.

Photo Floral Dress (size 2)
It's a lot of look but overall I think it's a nice dress. Don't be fooled by how tight it looks, if I wasn't preggos it would be perfect in my sizez. The bodice is beautifully fitted and the waist really nips in. I don't normally love poufy, overly full skirts but I think this one worked. Very feminine. I want to go to a Garden Party.

Pockets! And they lay very flat. Huge plus.

Cotton Pique Lace Dress in Light Citron (size 2)
This is also a nice summer dress. I do wish J Crew would start doing slightly lower necklines. Nothing scandalous, just a little room to let the girls breathe, please? Again this looks tight but would fit fine normally. I do think this fits slightly more snug than the photo floral dress. The subtle pleating in the front is nice but I couldn't get it to lay as nicely as I wanted.

 Eyelet Shirtdress in white (size 2)
Oh how I love a good shirtdress - especially in white and eyelet! Yum! Usually these dresses run on the big side (at least that's my experience with some of their shift dresses this year) but this one ran pretty TTS if not slightly small.

The pockets on this one are not quite as perfectly placed. Still cute though. I like the contrasting eyelet patterns - it's a fun detail that works. If I thought there was any hope of fitting into this in the coming months I might be it but alas... :)

 Long-Sleeve Sailor-Stripe Tee (XS)
Oh this tee! Everyone should own this tee. I have a high hopes that it will not end up with holes all over it like every single other JCrew tee I own. Loveth. And at $15, what's not to like?

 Side-Stripe Skinny Sweatpant (XS)
I'm not a real sweatpants girl except when I'm lounging at home in the evening (I tend to pull my Mr. Rogers routine of changing into comfy clothes when I get home from work), so I would probably not spend more than $20 on these. I think they're fine. The butt shot sort of scares me but I'm hoping it's the angle. They are definitely skinny. Comfy enough but skinny. I think the grey ones would show too many lumps and bumps.

What do you think of J. Crew's new arrivals?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anthropologie Review: Francophile Tee, Melanie Dress and Fara Layered Tunic

Just a short set of reviews today. I'm still trying to look for pieces that will work during and after pregnancy but I don't want to go crazy so I'm mostly chilling out on the shopping. I did "treat" myself to a new pair of maternity pants but I'm not quite there yet so they are just sitting there in my closet. I think this phase is the hardest when you are sort of in between.
I think Anthropologie will be a good resource for clothes that will work before and after so I keep on checking out their latest offerings.
Here's a few things I tried.

Francophile Tee (size XS and S)
Yes, I've reviewed this before but I couldn't remember if I tried on XS or S. The XS is on the left and the S is on the right. It's a little hard to tell but the XS is definitely the right fit - loose but not baggy (even on my more voluptuous pregnant top half) so I would definitely recommend sticking with your regular size. A lot of the reviews said to size up but I don't think that's at all necessary. Did I mention the color is gorgeous and the material is so soft I just want to wrap my whole body in it?

 Melanie Dress (XS)
This just went on sale. It's sort of a nothing dress in my opinion. The fabric is sort of interesting but the style seems so 80's/90's to me. The drop waist, ruffle hem, pleating at the bustline. It's very comfortable and forgiving but not terribly exciting.

 Fara layered Tunic (XS)

I was intrigued by this one. There's a lot going on - gems at the neckline, shirt hem, shoulder patches - maybe too much. I think I would prefer it if it was just a little sweatshirt dress. That being said, it's sort of cute and definitely comfortable. It runs big. This is an XS and I felt like it was pretty loose even considering my expanding body. I'm not sure how I feel about that, "Look I'm wearing a button down shirt dress under this sweatshirt" look. What do you think?

That's it for now. I'll have some J Crew reviews coming over the next few days.

Anything grabbing your fancy at Anthro right now?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Madewell Reviews: Outbound Jacket, Mercado Shiftdress, Casita Shiftdress, Seaside Sweater, Structured Sweater and Silk Pleated Maxidress

Thank you so much to all the lovely people out there who read my blog and have posted congratulatory comments on my blog. I really appreciate it! This 1st trimester has been sort of a slog so I'm hoping that my 2nd will be an improvement...
I thought some of Madewell's new summer dresses looked promising for both pregnant and non-pregnant me and wanted to stop in to try a few. I found some very cute things!

All-Weather Outbound Jacket (XS)
 Ok, so this is not a summer dress but it was on sale but by the time they took 30% off and 15% off for teacher discount it was $40. And it's weatherproof. I had actually bought this jacket before and returned it. The XS just felt slightly snug and was squishing even my pre-pregnancy breasts. The material is quite stiff because of the weatherproofing - great for the jacket holding its shape but not good if it is slightly snug.

All-Weather Outbound Jacket (S)
 I was afraid the small might look too big but actually I don't see much difference at all. But it sure felt different! I could button it up without feeling constricted (plus there are some inner ties to bring the waist in) and the shoulders still lined up exactly. Even if I was preggers, I probably would have decided to size up in this jacket. It is currently sold out online but my store had a few still lingering in the sale section.

 Seaside Side-Zip Sweater (XS)
 Stripes! I just can't quit you! This sweater is PERFECT. It's a nice dense, thick knit that holds its shape beautifully. The little zippers on the zide are super cute and the boatneck is executed perfectly. My usually XS looks a little snug here but that's just because of my body changes. TTS. Absolutely a perfect sweater that I will purchase when it hits sale. Also comes in a lovely black stripe.

 Structured Sweater (XS)
 I love the slouchy sweater looks but because this has some stiffness to it, it just sort of sticks out funny. It's certainly cozy and soft but I can't imagine doing my body many favors. I would definitely wear super skinny pants with it but even so. I feel a bit too "sponge bob" in shape with it on.

 Casita Shiftdress (S)
 This is something that I'm hoping might work this summer for me, even with a big ol' belly. They didn't have a size XS so I tried on the S and it was basically fine.  The top part with the embroidery is stiff and very heavy. I sort of had trouble getting over my head for a minute. I like the front view but am not sure about the side view. I do love a nice easy cool dress for summer but the heaviness up top concerns me.

 Mercado Shiftdress in Pure White (XS)
 This was an adorable surprise. I thought it would look shapeless and dumpy on but I think it looks pretty cute! The material is very lightweight (but not see through since it is lined) and the embroidery is lovely. The neckhole is pretty small so I did have to tug it a bit over my fairly ginormous noggin. TTS.

 Silk Pleated Maxidress (size 2)

 I had to really lighten my pictures up so you could see the details of the dress. The last shot is me taking a "how would this look if I pulled the waist over my belly" picture. First of all, I would say this runs pretty big since I'm wearing my normal size 2 and I feel like I'm drowning in it. Second of all, the static that was generated by this dress was insane so I couldn't really get it to flow properly. The good news (for me) is that there is plenty of room to accomodate the ever-expanding chest but the bad news is that it looks sort of shapeless. I think it needs a belt to give it some definition.

Overall, I liked some of what I saw. Do you have any Spring favorites from Madewell?