Monday, August 29, 2011

J. Crew Silk Elodie Blouse Review

J. Crew has released a number of silk blouses recently and I am really biding my time to figure out which one will a) look the best on me and be in style the longest and b) make it to sale. I have already professed my love for the Silk Blythe in Extravagant Green but I'm a bit concerned about the longevity of that color.

Silk Elodie Blouse (XS) in Grafitti Green. In my pictures the green almost looks like the Dark Slate color of the Blythe or Sophie blouse. In real life, it is definitely green but darker, more forest, than the online picture. The XS was definitely a generous fit but I'm not sure I could have sized down on this one. As the online description states, the silk is slightly different - washed silk. I would call it 'sueded' as it has an almost suede-like feel to it. I have a feeling that this silk would wrinkle less and stand up a bit better than the Blythe Blouse silk. I like the ease of the collar, the buttonless pockets on the front and the extra buttons on the cuff. I think the cuff adds a more feminine detail to the blouse that is necessary since the rest of it is a bit plain.  However, I wish it had the subtle shirring at the shoulders that the Blythe has - that detail is very flattering. I did notice that in the new Blythe blouse description that J Crew comments that they added two more inches to the length - an added bonus over the old version.

The last picture is the Blythe blouse in Black in a size 0 for comparison.

Which silk blouse is your favorite this fall?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

H & M 60's inspired Dress

I have not visited H & M in forever but was inspired by Gigi's Gone Shopping in this post. Who can possibly resist a cute little 60's inspired shift in an adorable print? I'm also a sucker for gold buttons and just a touch of frill at the neckline so I had to go check it out.

Well, this dress does not disappoint. It is really quite lovely for $39.95. The print is great and will go with a lot of different things although I mostly see wearing this dress with some brown boots and thick, nubby tights. I ended up buying a size 6 even though I liked the width of the 4 better. The dress is straight up polyester and there is absolutely no give. I didn't feel comfortable with arm/back movement in the 4. I'm really glad I bought this dress when I did as it seems to be selling out in a lot of sizes. It also comes in navy. Plus, it will make a great travel dress - polyester doesn't wrinkle when it's this thick!

I did splurge and take it to the tailor to be taken in on the sides a bit. I'll post a pic of that when I get it back.

Excuse the pants around the ankles - I was tired!

Looking forward to some more fall pieces to arrive from H&M. There is an adorable Horse Print Tunic (pictured below right) that I can't wait to try on.


Anyone else find some goodies at H&M this season?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Follow Me!

Just a short post to say that for some reason my followers sidebar is not working in Firefox but does seem to work in Safari or Internet Explorer. I have no reason why this is going on. I would love for you to follow my blog so if you are having trouble let me know and perhaps I can find a way to fix it. On my own computer it is fine. Sigh....

Thanks and stay safe in the hurricane!

More J Crew Fall Reviews

I had a few returns at the mall and decided to hit J Crew to try on some of the most talked about fall pieces. I did manage to walk out of there empty-handed but I have definitely added a few things to my sale wish list. I don't know what it is about the fall collection but I just don't feel like there is anything I MUST have. The colors are definitely a welcome change from the drab taupe, provence pink and other washed out colors they have been offering as of late.

First up is the Tippi Sweater in Heather Dark Grape in size XS. I think it is a perfectly nice merino sweater in an absolutely divine color. I literally want to paint myself this color it is so gorgeous. But... I find the fit to be fine on me - nothing special. The skirt is the Origami Mini which I finally tried on in a  size 6 - that is 2 sizes up from my normal bottoms size at J Crew. LOVE it in a size 6. Definitely on my sale list.

No. 2 pencil skirt in Double Serge Wool - Vibrant Flame Size 2. This skirt has been talked about aplenty and it is lovely. The wool is soft and substantial and the fit is fantastic. I am actually not a fan of the Vibrant Flame color because it is too orange and not enough red for my skin tone. TTS as far as pencil skirts go. The tank is currently on sale for 19.99 - I thought it was the vintage cotton tank but now I can't remember. This is an XS which was huge. I also tried on an XXS and the fit was much better.

This blouse is a new item I have not seen on the website yet. There is a heavy duty exposed zipper on the back. This is my normal size 2 and although it fit fine in the shoulders it was too boxy at the waist and tight at the hips. It's a shame because I think it's adorable but I don't think it's a nice shape for me.

Cowlneck Poncho in size XXS. The pictures make this look better than it was IRL. It is super cozy but as I am trying to show in the second picture - it runs VERY large. I know that a Poncho is supposed to be relaxed and loose-fitting but I thought it was too much. Not worth the price tag in my opinion and the color was a bit blah/sweatshirt-y for me.

Okay - I still have reviews of the Silk Elodie blouse, Hacking Jacket, Schoolboy blazer and Dream Ribbed Yoga Cardigan but that will have to wait till later.

Stay safe in the storm!

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Anthopologie Reviews - Sale and Fall

I have spent the past year obsessed with J Crew. I feel like I kind of rediscovered them. But, I am feeling like the fall collection is a little too work oriented for my current needs (and a little too expensive) so I've found myself scoping out Anthropologie's current offerings. I think they have some beautiful, vibrantly-hued fall offerings so here goes:

First the sale items:

First the Horkelia Shift (I can't remember if it was a size 2 or 4). The lace is beautiful and I am really enjoying this trend right now. Unfortunately it was a bit shapeless on me. I do think sizing down would help tremendously. I was a bit worried that I would be constantly snagging the lace on things as this one already had a few pulls.

I'm sorry, I don't know what this dress is called. Thanks to throughkseyes for pointing out that this is the Meyer Meringue Dress. It was a hot mess on me. Too long, ill fitting at bust and too many lemons! I ADORE fruit prints but this is a really bright yellow and a lot of it. I believe it was a size 4.

This is the Cuernavaca Maxi (size 2). I love maxi dresses but unfortunately they do not love me. This only emphasized my (ahem) ample bosom and then had little waist definition. I added the belt which helped but the "waist" line is falls at an awkward place - not quite your waist, not quite empire.

This is the Arboreal Blouse. The print is absolutely darling but I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the collar. It is marked down to $19.99 making it a steal but it was a bit snug in my usual size 2 so I left it behind. Sadly...

On to Fall Items! I'll have a few more to post over the weekend too....

This is the Liquid Acres Skirt in a size 2. It is everything a pencil skirt should be: perfect fit, sturdy material, interesting print that could go with a myriad of options. This skirt fits very similarly to J Crew pencil skirts (the material feels similar to the Watercolor Garden pencil skirt) but sits slightly higher on the waist - which I think is quite flattering. Love the seams down the front. Gorgeous.

Dots Within Blouse (size 2). I am loving the whole "secretary chic" thing that is going on right now. I think this blouse does it well. Love the green color, love the tie neck that can be left slightly undone, love the tight wrists with many buttons to give it a slight puff at the end of the sleeve.

Tokonoma Tee in size 2. The colors are delicious although I think the fit is slightly big. I actually just ordered myself a size 0 to see if this would improve things. I don't mind the slight boxiness as the material drapes nicely. This is definitely sale-wishlisted.

I do have more reviews but that is all I have energy for.

Has anyone picked up something gorgeous from the current sale or fall offerings?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Banana Republic Mad Men Lace Dress

Banana Republic's Mad Men collection has been generating some buzz so I thought I should check it out. The collection seems to be geared to those of us with more curves and that is definitely a good thing for me. I love a lace dress (hello lace blouson dress that I am still agonizing over after trying it on HERE) and was intrigued after seeing the BR Lace Dress on Rose at 1 more Shopping Blog HERE . Although I think the dress is basically flattering it was a definite no go. The cream lace version that I tried on had a golden/metallic thing going on that made it look cheap. Plus the entire dress is lined in t-shirt material - which although super comfortable makes it seem a bit less dressy. The size 2 was a little snug but not indecently so.

Banana Republic Mad Men Collection Lace Dress Size 4:

Size 2:

I don't know what it was but all I could think of was Winona Ryder and the 90's. I swear she wore a dress like this in one of her films.  

The last picture is just for comic relief. Talk about 80's! I am doing my best 80's flashdance pose. It is a sweatshirt dress that I cannot find online. Poufy sleeves, drawstring waist. Oh my Jennifer Beals...

Anyone found some BR must-haves for fall?

Monday, August 22, 2011

More Anthro Reviews

The following are 2 items I really liked with my recent Anthropologie order but I'm still not totally sold.

First is the Embroidery Pattern skirt (size S). It is really vibrant and beautiful. The silk is lovely and I think it is quite a bargain for $39.95. Most reviewers have found that it runs big in the waist but I found the opposite - but maybe that's a summer of beer and BBQ talking :)
Anyway - the pattern is slightly reminiscent of Grandma's couch fabric but I'm intrigued. It does satisfy that need to be on trend with the whole midi-length thing. What do you think?

Next is the Pointilist Pond Blouse (size 2). The print is absolutely charming and it is an easy piece to thrown on and look pulled together but be super comfortable. It is sheer but not to the point where I would feel the need for a camisole. Love the button/split sleeve detail. I also did a charge-send for a size 0 as I felt I could size down on that one. Will review that when it arrives.

Anyone else find some real gems in the current sale offerings at Anthropologie?

Fall arrivals from J Crew

So, although my first post was about Anthropologie, I would say the majority of my clothes come from J Crew. I have found that they are a great way to still look like you have a clue fashion-wise but not be trying too hard. Especially since I am mostly home with my daughter... won't be busting out the stilettos to go playground-hopping.

Please excuse the quality of the photos. I think next time I will just bring my camera.

First up, the Cailey Cord Blazer in Cedar (size 2). The corduroy is fairly wide wale on this one which I think gives it this weird 80's/90's vibe. I am also seriously short-waisted and actually don't love the slightly longer silhouette. Fit is TTS.

Next is Origami Mini which I am in love with (Size 4) although after seeing the photos I don't know if it is super flattering. If you are standing still the front pleats lay flat but as soon as you move (as seen in the photo) they can create a little pouf. I usually size up to a 4 in fuller skirts at J Crew (i.e. not pencil skirts) but I think I would prefer 2 sizes up for this one. The colors and pattern are really lovely.

Blythe Shirtdress (size 2). LOVE. So flattering and TTS. Now, the idea of wearing a silk dress for my lifestyle is insane - it would inevitably have some greasy hand print or fruit roll stuck to it within about 30 minutes of putting it on. Gorgeous but not prudent.

The Lace Blouson dress (size 2) is not so new but I thought I'd review it anyway. I adore lace and I also adore a really easy throw-on dress like this. I would probably prefer it with a belt. I can't imagine how someone with a long torso would wear this dress as my torso is short and I still felt like the waist was quite high.

Boy Shirt in Quincy Tartan (size 2). Lovely colors, fit is TTS. I just have too many plaid shirts. Way too many.

Last but not least, the silk Lucinda Blouse (size 0). I think this must be an in-store only navy color. You can definitely size down on this one. I found the same to be true with the newer version of the Blythe Blouse. It's a lovely blouse but I'm looking for something more casual.

Will post more Anthro reviews tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcome to ShOperaRach!

After many months of stalking other people's blogs, I figured it might be nice to start my own. I mostly shop at J Crew but never turn down a chance to try on some good sale items at places like Talbots, Lands End Canvas, Anthropologie, Banana Republic or The Gap.
Even though the majority of my new items come from J Crew, my very first review is of some Anthropologie items I ordered during the recent free shipping promo.

For reference I am 5'4'' and usually wear a size 2 at J Crew

So... here goes....

This is call the Pruned and Flourishing Blouse (XS) but I think it's a bit over-flourished for my taste. I LOVE a good peasant blouse. I had a thing for hippie clothes in high school and as much as I try to extricate that need from my system I always find myself gravitating towards clothes like these. Unfortunately, curves and unstructured flowy tops are not a winning combination.

This is how wide the blouse is. Not good. Weird because it received many positive reviews on line.

This is called the Point of View Peasant Blouse in XS. This is an improvement over the other one but as you can see from the 2nd picture, the back is pretty transparent and the material in general is pretty thin for $88. It's fine but not really for me. Especially since the back view emphasizes my shelf butt.

Next is the Calliope Dress. It is a nice silk with a pretty pattern but there are some problems.
The pockets were pressed funny and really emphasized my hips. Yikes.

and the buttons on the top are heavy and as you can see from the side view they pull the dress into a weird shape. No, that is not a 3rd breast down there.

I'm posing with my hands on my hips here to show that if the dress were ironed properly, it might look okay.

Excuse my neck in that last photo. I am desperately trying to keep my face out of it and I haven't quite mastered the fine art of the self timer.

I have some more Anthro reviews but I'll post them later. Thanks for stopping by!