Monday, May 26, 2014

J. Crew Review: New Arrivals: Gemstone, Feather Paisley and Metallic Wave (plus some sale)

I actually had more than 10 minutes and decided to really go for it with the new arrivals. I'm liking some of the new prints and colors and while I won't be purchasing much until after baby, it was fun to try some stuff on.
On a random side note, can we talk customer service? I've been getting some really awesome customer service lately, even at places like the Gap where I generally don't expect much. It makes me so happy. I find if I am generally pleasant, patient and kind that SA's are willing to be super helpful. I feel like this is a real turn around. For years I was bitching and moaning about the dismal decline of customer service at any retailer and now I suddenly feel like it's "en vogue" to try to be helpful. TJ Maxx even has their SA's greeting you and asking if you need help. Ah. Love it. Basking in it. Please continue. Behaving this way does actually make me want to shop at your store more.
Anyway, I digress, on to the new clothes!

Keeper Chambray Shirt in Dark Rinse (size 4) $59.99
I don't know what it is with me and denim/chambray tops. I never like them on me. I always feel like a factory worker or an 80's reject. This shirt if very cute, just not so much on me. I would say it fits true to size since this is one size up from my usual and it 'basically' fits. The denim is a bit stiff and thick which I didn't mind except for the way the collar looked. Love roll-tab sleeves.

 Embroidered Buttoned Top (size 4) $69.99

I knew this was going to be a disaster but I fantasized that it would work as a maternity top. If you have smaller bosoms, it would be more flattering. The pleating right below the embroidery just emphasizes the things I don't want to emphasize. The cotton is crisp and the embroidery is cute.

 Feather Paisley Top (XXS)
I was surprised that I liked this. I would say it runs a bit big as I am almost certain that this was an XXS and it totally fit. The blue color is qutie striking and I like the way it goes with the yellow (complementary colors, right?). There's nothing super fancy about it but it feels like a nice airy sort of beachy shirt.

 Knit Tunic Dress in Navy (S) $59.99
This is too big on me so I'd say go with your regular size or possibly size down if you want a sleeker look. The cotton is very thick and inside the neckline is lined with a little chambray. Besides that, it just sort of looks plain and frumpy. Ho-hum.

 Silk Stripe-Sleeve Dress (size 2) $129.99
I've never even seen this dress before. As with other shift dresses at the Crew, I'd say this runs a bit big. I usually wear a 2 in dresses because of my bust but almost always size down to a 0 in the shift dresses. The top half of this dress felt proportionately very strange. Oversized with droopy armholes and too long sleeves. J Crew sometimes has issues with sleeve length. I just don't find it flattering. Looks like a football jersey on top and a lady who lunches on the bottom.

 Gemstone Floral Silk Dress (size 2)
This print is super fun. Bright colors, pattern mixing, silk - all things J Crew does well (most of the time). This runs a little truer to size. I fit into the size 2 but there was not a ton of room to spare.

 Drawstring Pant in Cove Floral (size 0)
I'm a little bit obsessed with these pants. I've been wanting to try on the size 0 (my usual pant size) and here they are. They definitely felt tight but so do all my normal sized pants! The really pulled across my bum but my hips have definitely already expanded so I'm not sure if I would take my normal size or a size up. They are so darn cute and look great with a navy top. And my yellow ballet flats!

 Gemstone Floral Silk Tee (size 2)
A good way to do the gemstone pattern if you don't want to go full on dress. I always wish the necklines on these little silk tops were a bit lower. Or wider. Something. The sleeves felt a bit billowy on this and stuck out a bit. Might be improved with some steaming.

 Metallic Wave Jacquard Sweater (XS)
Short. Really super short. The wave pattern is interesting and the metallic threads are super fun but I'm not sure I love seeing a wave roll across my chest. TTS just super short and I don't think that's just because of my belly. Slightly scratchy because of the metallic thread.

 Embroidered Tassel Top in Arrow Print in Navy (size 2)
This top is not doing me any favors. So boxy. I just look like a big ol' tasseled box. Boo. So squarely cute. The embroidery is cute but that's about it. I can't imagine this being super flattering on anyone.

 Maxi Tank Dress in Stripe in Heather Blueberry (XS)
SO comfortable. Love the side slits. Material is mega soft. Decent bra coverage (although I would love to hike up the straps a bit). This is currently on promo for $88 - 25% off which I don't think is so bad. It feels good on the skin and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tempted. Trying to be good and just enjoy trying on the clothes instead of guessing what's going to fit in a month or apres bebe.

Have you taken advantage of the 30%/40% off?

J. Crew Factory Review: Printed Pencil Skirt, Pull-On Short, Stripe Tee Dress, Crinkle Tunic and Butterfly Petal Necklace

I don't think I've been inside a factory store in years. Once I figured out I could get retail items for as cheap if not cheaper than factory if I just waited for the right promotion I just dropped going to factory altogether. It is fun to see them bring back prints that I missed out on but I rarely feel like the quality is there and the stuff is still pretty expensive! Anyway, I had the luxury of a day off of work but a child in school the other day so I decided to check it out.

Factory Butterfly Petal Necklace 
You have to choose carefully with factory jewelry. Some of it has the weight of cheap plastic and looks about as nice. This piece felt most like a retail item - had some heft to it. It's quite attractive and I probably would have bought it except I just purchased the Crystal Leaves Necklace from retail which I love so I'm probably good with bling right now.

 Factory Printed Crinkle Tunic (XS)
I'm not sure about the "punk floral" print but thought I should give it a whirl. The fit is nice - skimming the body and lots of stretchy room because of the crinkle fabric. It's pretty long so I guess i would wear it over skinny jeans or maybe tuck it in with cute little shorts. The vee is a bit low but sort of passable for summer wear.

Sold Out Tank (S)
There was one of these lingering in the clearance section. Stripes and flowers - 2 of my favorite things - mysteriously combined into one somehow pleasing print. I liked it. The cotton felt sturdy enough and the length was fine. It's gapping at the sides because of my new cleavage but would fit better post-pregs.

 Factory Long-Sleeve Stripe Tee Dress in Navy (XS)
Easy breezy and cute, however... the material is so thin and crappy. I can see holes forming after about 1 wash. I was tempted by this because it fits now and would fit later and was relaly comfortable and basically flattering but even with 50% off I thought it was too expensive. I realize it's "summer" wear and you might not want a thick knit but this felt like tissue paper.

 Factory Pull-On Short (size 2)
I'm a little obsessed with this print. I own the silk dress from retail but unfortunately I will not be able to wear that this summer ;) I think these will be my little substitute. I did size up to a 2 but that's probably because of the birthing hips that have already made their appearance. I tried on the size 0 and it just felt tight on the bum. These are much shorter than I usually go and I think if you go short, you should definitely NOT go tight. Elastic waist shorts are usually a no no for me but I think these were adorable and could work now and later. Purchased.

 Factory Printed Pencil Skirt in Stretch Cotton (size 2)
I think this is my favorite punk floral item. the size 2 I could actually get on so I'm imagining you could stick with your normal size. The material is fine but feels a little cheap and of course there is no lining. I would buy this on super sale but not before. I do like the length which is absolutely perfect on 5'4" me.

I also liked the Factory Lightweight Long Printed Scarf in Blue Cove. Looked it woud go with just about everything and was a nice breezy cotton. I have A LOT of scarves so I've made myself promise to go through my current ones before purchasing any more.

Did you buy anything with the 50% off?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Madewell Review: A few sale tees: NY and Beachday

My spidey sense had been telling me that an extra percent off was coming and it did! Finally made me bite the bullet on a few sale items I had my eye on but needed a little push to actually purchase. 30% off is not so shabby for Madewell. Although they recently did a 40%, I feel like they offer 20% off more often than anything (which, let's face it, is not a real incentive). Combined with free shipping, I think this is a good deal. Anyway, I ran into the store to see if there was anything else I wanted to get my hands on. Here are a few cute tees you may want to consider for summer.

Beachday Shift Tank (XS)
 The color is so beautiful and I love just imagining I'm actually AT a beach. The fit is cute and TTS. There is something slightly weird about wearing a picture on your body. Just sayin'. I always want to be into these type of prints but I think I like looking at them more than I like wearing them.

 Linen NY Stencil Muscle Tee (XS)
 I lived in NYC for 11 years so I felt like I had to try this on. It was baggy on me at 21 weeks so if you are small this will be pretty big on you too! The linen is fairly see-through but not terrible and the New York bar sort of covers your bra. I'm feeling a bit too old to do logo tees but I think this one is pretty cute for slouchy weekend wear.

 NYLA Art Deco Tee (XS)
 This t-shirt was far more substantial. A nice, soft, thicker cotton. It's really long which is great now but if I wasn't pregnant, I probably wouldn't like. Way more of a TTS fit. Overall cute with a hint of slight blah.

I really ran into the store to snatch their last Dover Messenger on sale. I had spied it the other day and was quite drawn to it. $99.99 -30% - 15% - gift card but it very affordable. When I get a moment I'll do a more in-depth review. The leather is very soft and it is big enough but not huge. Probably not great for a work bag but awesome for tooting around the city and keeping a purse off my arm.

Are you shopping Madewell's 30% off sale?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Madewell Review: Zipline Minidress, Skyward Skirt, Shirred Popover in Turkish Garden, Vignette Top and others

Ah, back again. I have not been trying on non-maternity clothes that much. At this point it is better just to give up and give in to the elastic waist! I am half way through my pregnancy and generally feeling pretty good but I am oh so tired. Thus I'll often walk into my favorite stores with the intention of trying on clothes and by the time I've picked a few things up I think to myself, "It's really going to be too much effort to get undressed right now". Sad but true.

I was really surprised by how many things I could still wear at Madewell which speaks to the fact that they are still going for the slouchy slightly oversized thing. I'm into that to a degree, but teensy tiny people might be sized out of some of this stuff.

V-Neck Slouch Tee (size S) in Heather Teal
I love this color. Even at 20 weeks I think I could have used the XS. It's a really long tee. I guess it would be good to wear with skinny pants. The vee comes pretty low so beware.

Cutoff Tee (size XS)
 I just don't get this one. It's an XS and it's pretty big and short. And see through. It's certainly soft and comfortable though.

Baseball Tee (size XS) in Heather Blackbird
 This is quite cute and fit well enough that I thought about purchasing it. I'm just starting to get tired of grey because I own a LOT of it. Comes in a white/ecru color combo too. I appreciated the longer length on this one.

Vignette Top (XS) in Pure White
This is not my usual style but I liked it. I think I pregnant liked it. Not sure how much longer it would last but I am seriously debating going back and getting it. Only bummer is that you can see through the little crochet panels - not as badly as you would think - but enough so that I think you'd have to wear a cami.

Shirred Popover in Turkish Garden (XS)
The little gold metallic threads running through this shirt initially drew me in. Otherwise I find the print a little ho-hum. Overall the fit is nice and I always like a slightly longer hem length in the back.

Skyward Skirt in Deep Navy (size XS)
Tee hee. This is just embarassing. I'm not even sure how I got this over the bump. Even though there is a drawstring waist it does not endlessly extend. I had a lot of trouble getting this over my rump/hips. Not sure how this would look if it actaully fit. Has a light airy feel.

Cropped Rivington Trousers in Camo (size 26 or 27)
The fit is odd on this. Really long crotch. I believe that's part of the look but since I couldn't get the waist to go up where it should have gone I just felt like I had man bits. I did like the color of the camo and the light cotton. These were on sale for $19.99 and at the time an additional 30% off.

 Linen Heathered Infield Tee (XS)
 Cute. Lightweight. Slouchy enough. Grey. Must not buy gret.

 Zipline Minidress in Pencil Stripe (XS)
 Super cute and comfy. Not sure I understand why you would need a zipper running down the full back of the dress. Feels a little dangerous to me. I would completely love this dress except for the darn pockets which add about 5 pounds to the hips. Bummer. Am having high hopes for the Sketchpoint Tee Dress  which looks like a similar idea but without hip lumps.

That's it for now. Thanks for hanging in with me. I realize I will not be able to squeeze into these clothes forever but it is (sometimes) fun trying.

Am predicting some sort of percentage off come Thursday for the Memorial Day, but who knows?