Thursday, July 26, 2012

J. Crew - A luxe silk blouse and a Patricia Dress

Ridealong reviews! Okay, I really hate to order ridealongs to get free shipping but I hate paying for shipping even more - especially if it's an item I'm not sure I'm going to keep anyway. So, these 2 lovelies were added to my cart during the 40% promo so I could get my little cheapies sent to me. I'm not proud but c'est la vie. Actually, I really like both of these items and if they went on sale I might get them anyway so maybe everyone wins in the end!

Altuzarra for J Crew Patricia Dress (XS)

I normally only take photos when my daughter is asleep but I wanted to return these things in the afternoon and had to take photos in the morning. The blue crinkly stuff beneath me is my little princess all dressed up and vying for some camera time. Hilarious. My first reaction when putting on this dress was - ugh, chain gang! But, the shape of it is lovely. Really flattering on the body and yet relaxed and comfortable at the same time. I love the little fabric pieces that look like epaulets on the shoulders and the nice thick cotton. This dress also seems to have a slight waist unlike the maritime. The stripes are still a bit bold for me - the blue is VERY dark like a black and I think I would prefer it in a slightly lighter color. This dress appears to be sold out now.

Collection Luxe Silk Crepe Blouse (size 2) in Neon Azalea 

I feel like this top has been around forever and yet never goes on sale. I also think it's funny that they only offer it in two colors. NEON and NEUTRAL. I don't think I'd pay $200 for a neon shirt. The color is pretty true in these pictures. I think this shape is exactly the same as the Lucinda blouse from last year. The silk is certainly MUCH heavier and has that feeling almost like the Elodie blouse = a sort of sueded silk. I love it and if they came out with other colors and something less than $200 I would be tempted.

Anyone else own these lovely pieces?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

J. Crew Reviews - a few new arrivals

So the red plaid shirt is definitely a new arrival but some of the others might actually be older items. I can't keep track these days! Anyway....

Boy Shirt in Red Plaid (size 2)
This definitely fit a bit snugger than my other size 2 boy shirts. If you look closely it is gapping across my chest. This will not be a problem for smaller busted ladies but others may want to size up. I found the red and blue combo a bit too 4th of July for me. The fabric is a very soft flannel-like fabric but not thick at all which I liked.

I jumped on the bandwagon with many others on this one - it was on strange promo price for $54.90 the other day! Thus, it is basically sold out in promo colors now. The XS is fine and I will keep it if I can't find a small but I think I would prefer a S (my jackie size) for some room. The XS is extremely fitted. It is definitely featherweight but I think that and the 3/4 sleeves make it sort of dressier. Really soft. Also really sheds, over everything but that will probably dissipate with time.

Angular Eyelet Top (XS) in white
This is a cute, dressier version of a long sleeved tee. I didn't find the white totally transparent which was a plus. Although the XS felt slightly boxy in the body I thought it was the right size. Wouldn't want this tight. The arms, however, were quite snug.

Collection Icon Trench (size 2)

I didn't have time to try on the 4 but would probably want that for a coat (my usual JC coat size despite wearing a size 2 in tops). The 2 was slightly snug in the shoulder but plenty roomy enough in the body. I often find this to be the case with coats at JC. It's a lovely piece - J Crew definitely knows how to make a classic coat.

Anyone else jump on some new arrivals? I know the snakeskin pencil skirt is selling out fast (although I personally have to pass on snakeskin print :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Anthropologie Review - Antumbra Dress

Just a quickie to follow-up to a reader request for a dress. I don't recall ever seeing this dress in my store but I had a weekend in Boston and found it at the Newbury St. store.

Antumbra Dress (size 2)

When I first put this on I did not think I would be able to zip it up but... it actually zipped just fine. Even though it is slightly structured on top it felt like there was some give in the fabric. It covered my top half just fine but I did find that the top edge kept on rolling down. The straps attach slightly under the top part so maybe if I just loosened the straps it would not roll. The top also has that slightly sticky plastic stuff to try to prevent it from moving. Looked a little maternity from the side but I think that's because I'm pretty busty. All and all pretty cute and flattering. Would go with my normal size 2 (hope this helps cuckoo!)

Monday, July 23, 2012

J. Crew - New Arrivals and Sale Goodies

My hubby and I were traveling for a night away from our precious little lady (which happens about once a year) and of course I had to take a moment to visit a bigger J Crew! Having the time away was so relaxing - it's hard to realize just how much time and energy you spend focusing on your child. We had perfect weather and a relaxing day of strolling and people watching, what else could you ask for?

On a side note - I had such a funny experience. I had been interested in trying on the double serge cotton mini and found it displayed in the regular price section. Upon trying it on I asked the SA, "Isn't this on sale online?" She said, "Oh good for you - yes it is and if a customer comes in knowing that we are happy to honor the price but otherwise we don't like to advertise it."
I had 2 thoughts:
1) Wow. So glad I know about these things through awesome blogs like J Crew Aficionada and Gigi's Gone Shopping
2) Isn't that unfair that some other person will come in and pay $89.50 for it when I just paid about $30 (with educator discount)?
Left a bad taste in my mouth.
Anyway... on to the reviews!

Tippi Sweater in Heart Me in Cove Dusk (XXS)
Very cute. I can do the XS or XXS in the Tippi Sweater - just depends on how fitted I want it. I really bothers me that the heart is sort of lop-sided. I understand why the design is this way - a straight up heart could be sort of cheesy while a slightly asymmetric one is more interesting or "fashionable" - but it makes me look like there is something wrong with one of my boobs.

The colors are much more muted than they appear on the website. The size 4 was definitely the right choice. I didn't find it too full on the hips and the pleats laid well. It is extremely expensive even with the 40% and I just felt like the print didn't do anything for me.

Classic Mini in Double-Serge Cotton in Natural (size 2 and size 4 respectively) 

This is adorable and so well made. I think it will transition well into fall with some tights and cozy sweaters and boots. I did end up sizing up to the 4. The 2 rode closer to my natural waist making it shorter and thus less age appropriate. The 4 fit slightly below the waist and looked a little less scandalous. Purchased in the Bright Spearmint - will wear with Lustrous Blue Tippi.

When I saw these in a size 2 for $29.99 in store I thought - perfect! But they are seriously dumpy on. I have heard they run big but they fit well - they just weren't flattering to my thighs.

I do see why everyone loves this jacket. The XS fit in a flattering way but also had a enough room for a sweater underneath. It's really cute. I have something similar from LECanvas so I cannot justify it but I do like it. Notice the slim arms? That is a real plus.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I think I'm ready for the promos to stop!

Next up: Madewell Reviews and Anthro Reviews!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Anthropologie Reviews!

I was surprised that there was yet another round of markdowns this week. Still, I'm finding myself on hiatus from purchasing much at Anthro. So much of the summer stuff seems to be of poor quality and poor fit. The sale room at my Anthro is PACKED and some stuff I've seen sitting there forever at 1st cut! Very excited to see some fall offerings rolling in soon. Nonetheless, here is what I tried on:

Blouson Bands Chemise (size S)
I am slowly catching on to the idea that a lot of Anthro's lounge chemises are perfect for a hot summer day. This dress was basically cute but a) runs small - this is a small and I felt like it fit fine and b) felt so flimsy! I read a review that said it pilled all over after one wear and I do not doubt it. Even the elastic waist felt like the size of a thin hair elastic. Poo.

This actually fit quite well which is surprising because of my narrow torso and large chest but I don't like this style at all. The stretchy panel in the back would allow it to fit a variety of shapes and sizes. Too long on my 5'4'' frame but would be lovely on a taller diva who likes the vintage look. Seems well made and basically flattering.

(CUCKOO - this one's for you!) So I promised to try on a strapless dress for fellow blogger Cuckoo but unfortunately my store is not that well stocked and could not find the Antumbra dress or anything like it in my store. This is the best I could do. I will say that the Antumbra dress is by Maeve and so is this one so there you go. Unfortunately this one has a stretchy back panel and the Antumbra does not so I'm not sure about the comparitive sizing. Anyhoo - again I was surprised this fit. I almost think I could size down to a 0 because of the back stretchiness. I lurves a good bird print but I tihnk this one is sort of dark and dowdy. Again too long and too much fabric.

Yeesh. Just bad. Minnie Mouse comes to mind? Neckline lays strangely and the fabric feels like a cross between burlapp and polyester. Bummer.

Tulip Lace Shell (size S)
Tried this on based on Roxy's favorable review on Effortless Anthropologie. I own the Upstaged Tee it's cap-sleeved cousin. It's very sweet. Makes me realize that I probably should have gone with a S in the Upstaged Tee instead of the XS as this gains a little length which is much more flattering. Great layering piece.

Undergrowth Tank in Blue Motif (XS) 
Basically cute. I have a hard time with fitted on top flared out underneath silhouette. Not the best on my shape.

Having trouble locating this one on the website. The fit is better on this one - like the embellishment on the shoulders - helps the top lay well. The pattern is a bit crazy for me but would probably look lovely with some skinny pants.

This has to be at least the third time I've tried this top on. I am equally as obsessed with the Mimeo Magnolia Blouse. So why don't I just suck it up and buy them? Polyester. I still think they are priced highly for things that clearly feel like polyester. When something is poly but masks itself as silk (aka Clipped Cities blouse by Leifsdottir) I can handle it. Also the back of this cardigan is unattractive. Big blocks of reddish brown. I know Neon is big but I don't think I can jump on board. Also why I left a few neon pink things behind at the most recent J Crew sale.

Anyone else get some goodies at the most recent markdown sale? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

J Crew Review - Linen Bow Shorts

Just a quick update on the Linen Bow Shorts which arrived today. I had tried these on in the size 4 in store and then decided to go with my normal size 2.

Linen Bow Short (size 4) in Lustrous Blue

And here is the size 2

So I guess technically these fit better but I actually like the 4's better! They were sort of swingy and drapey and looked dressier. I feel like these look like glorified boxers. Perhaps that is also because I am still wearing my top from the gym in these pictures. I still think they are lovely and to be honest I will probably wear them tomorrow in the 90 degree heat but I wish I would have gone with my gut and gotten the 4's. I think most people are saying to size down in these but I think size up if you want something more blousey. For ~$14 I'm not really complaining.

Am hoping for a restock tomorrow so I can snag a few coveted items!

Monday, July 16, 2012

J. Crew Sale and Brooks Brothers Sale Reviews

It is crazy sale season and my willpower has been broken. The deals are so insanely good that I can't help but to stock up on at least a few basics. Thought I would post a few quickie reviews for items that can still be nabbed in-store and/or online!

9" short in antique paisley (size 0)

 I don't know why but for some reason this looks like a shot of my butt not the front. It amuses me to think this is my derriere but then voila! there are my knees as well. Disturbing.

I usually do not love shorts but I have found that they are basically all I wear this summer. Great for being at the park with my little girl and casual but not sloppy. I think these could easily be dressed up with some heels and a crisp button down. The pattern and color are lovely and slightly darker IRL than on the website. Normally I do NOT wear a size 0 and I think I would have been find in the size 2 but I like these fitting extra slim as I feel that makes them slimming and more dressy. Nabbed for about $23 after educator and 40% off discounts.

No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Double-Serge Cotton in Marrakech Purple (size 0)

Tried this skirt on the other day and left it in the store but found it was on my mind as a) I am perhaps one of the few people that don't own that many pencil skirts and b) I am in love with the color. Apparently I am the only one because this color seems to be the only one left in most sizes. Again, I am wearing a size 0 because I wanted the skirt to fit closer to my actual waist and I've heard it stretches out. It is a little "tushy-riffic" but I think that will give with wear. $20 with discounts. 

Brooks Brothers Cotton Vertical Illusion Print Dress (size 2)

 Unfortunately the pics don't do this justice. It is adorable and I love the shorter length as it helps it retain its youth. This is such a well-made piece - fully lined, keyhole button at back, fully hidden side zipper. Beautiful. My only complaint is that I think it may smush my boobs a little bit so I have the 4 coming to compare. Still the quality is there and I think this is a great for slightly more conservative functions. And pockets!

Brooks Brothers Cotton Liberty Skirt with Tie Detail (size 4)

I was super intrigued by BB's Liberty offerings this spring. I LOVE liberty prints but was not feeling the J Crew ones this year. This skirt is so freaking adorable and has lovely little pockets on the front. It is extremely lightweight and I wouldn't mind it being made out of a thicker cotton but it will certainly be lovely on a hot day. I am also waiting for a 2 in this one. This one fits great but sits maybe lower than I want it. We'll have to see.

Also luckily picked up a Poppy Print Scarf at JC - adorable!

I'm hoping I'm shopped out. Time for fall! What other fabulous goodies did people pick up? Do tell!