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?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ann Taylor Loft Review: Crochet Trim Tank, Doubleweave Cotton Zip Jacket and Lou & Grey Striped Chambray Dress

Popped in to make a return and a few things caught my eye. I have always liked Loft tees. They are super soft and I find that they hold up very well over time. Other items there have been hit or miss for me but I really think they're trying these days and I want to give them a chance!

Crochet Trim Tank (XS)
So adorable. I love any sort of tank that actually covers my darn bra straps. I would imagine this runs a little bit on the big side since I'm wearing an XS and it fits fairly well. The crochet trim is a darling detail and I love this color of steel grey. The crochet part stood up a little funny but I think that's because I'm really pushing the top part of that tank to capacity. Ahem, if you know what I mean.

 Lou & Grey Striped Chambray Dress (XS)
So super cute and summery. I love it. The material is super light and the stripes going in different directions are so cute! It was clearly tight but I'd imagine you could go with your normal size. A great throw on and go dress for summer.

 Doubleweave Cotton Zip Jacket (size 2) in Soft Teal Wash
The material of this jacket was so delicious. Stretchy but not overly so and soft yet structured. The little pouf sleeves were not too much and the whole thing felt well constructed. I always think I'm going to wear blazers but really don't that often so I passed but if you do wear them - this is a nice one.

The 40% off sale continues. Have you picked up anything?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ann Taylor Loft Review: Racing Stripe Maxi Tank, Wallpaper Floral Sweater Tee, Sheer Pointelle Cardigan and Striped Sunwashed Tank

I rarely even go in Loft but I probably should. They are churning out some cute clothes these days. My main turnoff is from an experience I had years ago where every single pair of pants I bought there stretched out beyond recognition. I just felt like I couldn't get my size right so I crossed them off my go-to list. They had a crazy 60% off sale items the other week and I thought it might be time to give them another try. I had seen the Wallpaper Floral items on other bloggers and was intrigued. Here's what I found:

Racing Stripe Maxi Skirt (XS)
 I keep on trying to get maxi skirts to work for me and I think I finally have to face facts and admit I just don't like them on my body. As far as maxi skirts go, however, I think this one is pretty cute. I love that it fit straight and the little racing stripe adds a bit of interest. The material is very soft and stretchy and very forgiving of lumps, bumps and panty lines.

 Petite Racing Stripe Maxi Skirt (PXS)
 The petite was a little too tight and short. Even though I am only 5'4", I would go for the regular on this one.

 Sheer Pointelle Cardigan (S)
 This one is so lovely! I love pointelle when it's done right and this sweater feels well made and adorable. Normally I would be an XS but with the pregnant breasts right now I sized up to a small and I think that was a very good decision. I didn't want the sweater to look overly precious so the bigger size helps with that - more length and not such a buttoned up 1950's look. Great summer piece.

 Wallpaper Floral Sweater Tee (XS)
 This sweater is quite thin but very soft. I think it would be good for work. I can't decide if it's sort of interesting and fun or heinously ugly :) The background is definitely more white than it appears on the website (which I like since cream/yellow tends to make me look ill). I think the fit is spot on and I like the interesting vines in the pattern. Still, do I want a sweater that looks like wallpaper? I don't know. Thoughts appreciated.

 Striped Sunwashed Tank (XXS)
 I ordered this tank because it was $6 and it's hard for me to find plain, not transparent tanks that hide bra straps. I own the maternity version of this and wear it all the time. It is thin but not overall so and I like the stripes.

 Striped Sunwashed Tank (XS)
 Not a huge amount of difference in the two sizes. I went with Xs because I like a little length and if it ends up being too big later on I can always shrink it. For $6, I'm happy.

Did you participate in Loft's crazy 60% off sale? What are you liking there right now?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

J. Crew Review: Gold Star Ecru Shirt, Popover in California Poppy and Feather Paisley Top

I am behind as usual and in full on nesting mode trying to prepare for the baby. This, of course, is a bit difficult considering I am home with my 5 year old all the time and she does not exactly enjoy games like, "Let's clear out the baby's room" or "Let's see what toys you can give to the baby". I'm sort of kidding but I am starting to feel like the baby will arrive and she will have to sleep in a bag by the side of the bed if I don't get my butt in gear :). Anyway, here are a few quick reviews to distract myself from my own lack of efficiency.

Popover in California Poppy (XS)

I like this print. I do not love this shape so so much. I tried it on because I spied it in the sale section while the 50% off was going on. I bought the feather paisley top which is the same shape so I passed. I definitely think you should size down on this one. Even at 8 months pregnant, there was some room on the side. I have a feeling I would like this a bit better loosely tucked into some jeans or something. The print is cheery and I adore the colors.

 Gold Star Ecru Shirt (XS)

I love stars almost as much as I love stripes so was very interested in trying on this top. First of all, the material is THICK. Reminds me of the same material as that military pocket shirt that was in the sale section FOREVER last winter. The stars look a little cheaply printed onto the material to me. They are slightly shiny but not that much. I was shocked to find that the XS fit perfectly which probably means you should size down on this one. It's pretty roomy. It's sort of cute but I definitely felt a little butch in it. That thick material - I just don't know how to wear it. Is it a jacket? A sweater substitute? Not sure.

Trying to work it in all my pregnant glory.

Feather Paisley Top (XXS)
I've blogged about this before. The colors and print are so lovely I just had to go for it. This is an XXS which is tight right now but will be the perfect amount of blousiness post baby. The material is rather thin but I think I can get away without wearing a cami. I love the contrasting trim at the neckline. It's those details that make this piece special.

I think I'm finally shopped out now that 50% off is gone - but I'm really looking forward to being able to wear some nice new clothes in a few months.

How are you feeling about J Crew's dwindling sale section?