Friday, October 3, 2014

Boden Review: Carnaby Cardigan

I rarely buy from Boden anymore. I love their clothes for my daughter but I always feel like their clothes on me look dowdy. The prints are a little too overwhelming and the fit in their bottoms is awkward and too high-rise on my frame. I love their clothes on other people, just not me. Nonetheless, when I placed a little back to school order for my daughter, I couldn't resist ordering this little cardigan for me.

Carnaby Cardigan (size 6)
I vascillate between a 4 and a 6 with Boden so I sized up on this one. I also ordered a 4 which I ended up keeping but looking at these pictures, I think I probably should have kept the 6! First of all, the colors are SO GORGEOUS. OMG. Just love love love the shades of blue and the little funky mustard colored trim.

The color on the back is yet another shade of blue - sort of like a turquoise. So beautiful... The only think I don't love is the fit. It is totally inoffensive, but it is not the fit I was going for. I was really hoping for more of a longer, boyfriend style cardigan and this fits just like a regular cardigan. Of course the 4 is even more so that way but I liked the way the arms fit better. I like my cardigan arms SLIM because I think it helps the cardigan look a bit more polished and helps slim the body. Just my 2 cents.

Overall this is an adorable sweater - yay color - just wish the fit were a bit more slouchy. Also, weirdly, I paid $39.20 for it and now it is back up to $78.40. Hmmm. There are only a few sizes left but I've often found that if I call there are more sizes available then are listed on the website.

We'll see how this wears, it will be good to see how it looks closed in (hopefully) a matter of days!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Brooks Brothers Review: Gingham Dress Shirt

So, recently this shirt was on sale for $40-something and some change. Now it is suddenly sold out. I'm not sure what happened. Anyway, it might turn up again so here is my review :)

Gingham Dress Shirt from Brooks Brothers

I ordered both a 4 and a 6 in this one. I own one other Brooks Brothers shirt and it is a size 2 but it is VERY fitted and sometimes a bit snug after an indulgent meal. Add that fact in with my pregnancy boob and I knew I'd have to go up at least 1-2 sizes. Anyway, the fit is lovely and slim, as is mostly the case with BB shirts, and the color is much more vibrant in person. Good length. Didn't love the teensy pocket on the chest - not a great look for a large busted gal.

My favorite part is the contrast cuffs and collar - pink!!! Makes the shirt feel like something special. The material is all cotton with no stretch so also consider that if you buy one. I prefer a little stretch just to accommodate monthly fluctuations and such.

Overall, it is a well-made, nicely shaped little gingham shirt with a few fun touches.

Do you own any Brooks Brothers shirts?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

J. Crew Review: Flannel Shirt in Brilliant Sea Check

About 1 week to go for me so this one is a stretch... literally. I've been enjoying previewing some of the new fall arrivals at J Crew and Madewell while knowing that I can't possibly purchase anything yet. I love a good button-down and I know I'm going to have to buy a few new ones for work since my old size isn't going to quite make it over my hormonal boobs any time soon. Of course, this shirt is not exactly work wear but I was drawn to the gorgeous color and wanted to give it a go.

Flannel Shirt in Brilliant Sea Check (size 4)

 I've been going up a size in shirts for the aforementioned reason. This one was still a bit snug in the bust but not terrible. The material feels nothing like flannel to me. In fact, it feels almost summer-weight - sort of gauzy. It feels really nice but doesn't scream "fall" to me. The fit through the shoulders and waist is great - really nicely shaped. I think you need that with a fairly masculine looking shirt like this.

 Cute and cute. Excuse the hand. There was no way this was getting buttoned and I don't think anyone needs to see my stretched out belly button right now :). I was surprised by this shirt. I thought for sure it would feel too lumberjack-y to me but I really liked it. The fit is so feminine that it balances the other elements out. I could do without the buttoned pockets across the chest - adds extra bulk that I don't need.

Here's my quality issue - upon unbuttoning the shirt, several of the buttonholes snagged on string and left this lovely mess. For $89.50, I would expect better.

I did order a shirt from Brooks Brothers during their friends and family and I can bet the quality will be far better (and the price unbeatable - around $33.75). I'll review that when it comes.

What do you think of the "Flannel" shirt in Brilliant Sea Check?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Madewell Reviews: Silk Gardengate Dress, Jumpstart Sweatshirt Dress, Sculptor Cardigan

Hopped into my local Madewell the other day and was very impressed with the fall offerings. There is a lot to love. Here are a few quickie reviews:

Silk Gardengate Dress (size 0)

First off, let me say that I am shocked that I could get into a size 0 being 38 weeks pregnant - so definitely size down on this one. I am really in love with this print - so sweet without being childish. I'm not sure how the drop waist would look without the belly. I did drop waists in the 80's/90's so it's hard to go back. There is some give in the fabric and overall this dress is well made and comfortable. Wish the sale price would drop a little.

 Jumpstart Sweatshirt Dress (XS)

I really have too many shift/sweatshirt style dresses but man are they practical! I love the little contrasty sleeves and the seam going across the middle. The material is a nice soft terry and I love the "cuff" hem and the length. This might be on my post-preg wishlist since it will hide post-baby tummy but still look cute.

 Sculptor Cardigan (XXS)

It's hard to see how cool this sweater is from the pictures but it's really different and interesting. Makes me feel like a groovy art teacher or something. I sized down which I think was the right decision, but with this style it probably doesn't matter that much. I would call it a cocoon shape - definitely has the batwing thing going on - but then also has these nice "lapels" in the front. The knit is thick and soft. Definitely a winning piece.

Cleanline Crop Sweatshirt (XS)
For some reason I forgot to take pictures of this one but I loved it. I would layer it over a cute buttondown or striped tee. Currently on sale for $49.99.

There is a lot to love at Madewell right now but I'm trying to wait until the baby comes out :)

What are you loving at Madewell these days?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Brooks Brothers Picks - Liberty shirts

I don't shop at Brooks Brothers that often but I like cruising their sale section every once in a while. I certainly feel like their clothes are well made and they always do a few liberty prints that catch my eye. Here are some cute things I noticed the other day including some J Crew liberty prints that you may have missed out on!

Calfskin Gladiator Sandals in Navy

Love a good navy sandal - not easy to find. The price is decent and I bet these are well made - fully leather lined with a leather sole - yes please.

Tailored Fit Cotton Shirt

Brooks Brothers shirt fit wonderfully. Really accentuate the curves and have just the right length. If I'm not mistaken this print is the same as the "Floral Eve" print from J. Crew. I was always a little sad I missed out on this one although I defintiely prefer the Brooks Brothers shape to the popover shape at J Crew. The starting price point is about the same as the J Crew one.

Tailored Fit Cotton Shirt 

Here's another look alike to the Strawberry Thief Floral, although again I prefer this button down as opposed to the popover shape of the J. Crew one.

Wool Cape

This is still pricey, even on sale, but it sure is cute. I've never owned a BB sweater but I imagine it does not pill as much as some others. The shape is so cute and of course I love a good navy.

Long-Sleeve Cotton Black Watch Dress

How cute is this? I am such a sucker for black watch plaid. Yum. Plus love that this is cotton and has its own little self-tie belt. Adorable. And because it is their Red Fleece Line I know the fit will be more modern and less "ladies who lunch".

Overall, I'm impressed with some of Brooks Brothers offerings. I will definitely be keeping my eye on that liberty shirt and hoping for a sale. Do you ever shop at Brooks Brothers?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

J. Crew Review: Endless Shirt in White

I know lots and lots of bloggers have reviewed this shirt but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. After la bebe makes her arrival, I will eventually have to go back to work and look somewhat presentable. And will have to find some sort of shirts to fit over the new lady parts up top. So, I ordered up a size on this one knowing that I have already gone up a cup size or 2.

Endless Shirt in White (size 4)

I do have a love affair with J Crew buttondowns. I really really love them. They make everything look good. The top of this is lovely - nice crisp collar, buttons at the correct intervals, good fit in shoulders. I'm not sure about the crazy length. Since I'm not prone to wear tunics to work I'm not exactly sure what to do with all those extra tailfeathers in the back. I love the idea of a shirt peeking out from under a sweater but this is a lot of shirt. Anyway, the fit was good in size 4 so I'm sure this would be TTS.

Love the crispness. The material is slightly thin and quite stretchy which can be a bit of a problem with bra showage. The sleeves are also extra long but I love that. I have long arms for my body so I always appreciate a little extra coverage and the option to roll.

* Thanks to Gigi who suggested I post my height - 5'4". Average so you can see the shirt is quite long!*

I may consider this as workwear later but will have to see how it fits without the belly. Overall, nice.

What do you think?

Monday, August 25, 2014

J. Crew Review: Military Shirtdress

I'm sort of in shock that this dress has already "sold out". Of course there are popbacks almost every day, but still... The reviews are all over the place with people saying they love it but the back fits poofy and that overall the fit is a bit snug in the shoulders. Here's my take:

Military Shirtdress (size 4)

First of all, this is one size up from what I usually take. It's hard to say if I would still need that post-preg but I did feel like this size fit quite nicely in the torso. The shoulder seams lined up with my shoulders perfectly and the top fit close to the body without being constricting. The material is sooo soft - like a sueded cotton? Love the shirttail hem - I always think that elevates a dress from simple to cute. The color is a perfect army green (the green looks more green in these photos than IRL). Also love no pockets. I know, I know. Pockets are useful but they are also dangerous. If they aren't perfect than you have a big ol' hip problem.

A close up of the button neckline. It's hard to tell but there's a grosgrain ribbon lining on the button placket which I really like. As you can see the back is not poufy at all on me but that is because my tummy is taking up about a foot of material on the front :)

Overall I really really like this dress. I think it would be easy to layer with a stripe tee, tights and booties in the fall. What do you think?