Friday, August 30, 2013

Madewell Reviews - Dresses!

Whoopsies. I didn't mean to take a 2 week break but somehow it happened! This time of year always gets me all riled up - going back to work, getting little darling child off to school, getting up before 7 :) Transitions, transitions. Plus I work part time and am always waiting for my schedule, crossing my fingers that it will make sense and allow me enough to time to take care of other life things: grocery shopping, going to the gym, enjoying peace and quiet for more than two consecutive minutes. Anyway, all this being said, I just haven't been thinking about clothes as much. Nonetheless, fall, my favorite clothing season, is on it's way...

Just yesterday I went to the opening party for our new Madewell! I'm so excited as I am increasingly drawn to their designs and am really in love with some of their fall pieces. I'll try to do a few posts on what I found. Here is my first!

** on a side note my apologies but my links do not seem to be working. Hopefully by the time I get this posted they will be better... working on it...

Silk Shirtdress (size 2) in Bloomsbury Blue
Ah, I loved this dress with a few exceptions. The color is gorgeous - one of my favorite bright but not too overwhelming shades of blue. The skirt is quite lovely - pockets and just the right amount of pleats to add a bit of easy volume. The top, however, does not lay quite right. I think it's because I'm a bit too busty - not that it was pulling at all - it just need to either fall over the waistline or be flat and it did neither. The sleeves are also a slightly awkward length. I still love it and am tempted by it but would like to compare it to a size 0 to see if I could eliminate some of the top problems. Very easy to wear.

Gallerist Ponte Dress in Colorblock (size 0 and size 2 below) in navy

The size 0 fit better (a size down from my normal in dresses) although was quite form-fitting in the bust. I really like the side view - very slimming as it hits exactly at my natural waist. The fabric is very stretchy but I was aware of the polyester in it. I'm not a huge fan of this colorblocking and definitely prefer the plain colored version below.

Shirred Silk Dress (size 2)
This is quite sweet and easy breezy. The silk material elevates the style but I still felt a little school girlish. My regular size fit perfectly although those that have less up top may be able to size down. A great little dress.

Silk Pleated Shirtdress (size 2)
This dress was a surprise love and I ADORE this shade of blue. Yum. The waistband is really flattering and the pleats are perfect. I generally don't like knife pleats, I find they add weight, but these are perfect. Unfortunately this size pulled in the bust and although the size 4 (below) was better it still pulled a bit.

Silk Pleated Shirtdress (size 4)
Ballerina chic! Adorable. Besides the fact that it is still a bit tight in the bust I also don't like the darts there. They were sort of lumpy and like fake dress nipples. Dripples if you will. I think I just came up with a disturbing new term.

Striped Gondola Dress (XS)
You can't really tell in this picture but this dress is so lovely. The fit is perfect in my regular XS and there are two seams on either side of the bustline that run down the dress and make it quite slimming. Wish I had taken a better picture. Very comfy. Would love it with a big cozy cardigan, ankle boots and a big statement necklace.

Gallerist Ponte Dress (size 0)
I love this color. Was thinking about this for an October wedding but can't really decide if it is my style of not. Reminds me of some of the Ganni dresses that Anthropologie carries.

My love of Madewell continues, and now that I have a store 10 minutes away I anticipate checking out a lot more of their stuff.

More reviews coming, anyone biting on the extra 30% off of (dreaded) final sale?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Anthropologie Review: A few sale goodies

There are so many lovely thing on sale right now but I'm trying to stay strong! The honest truth is that 99% of the time I wear shorts and a tank or skirt and a tee and that is about it. Although I love the dressier summer stuff that Anthro does, it's just as practical for me. Alas, a girl can dream of her martinis on yachts lifestyle...

Stovepipe Cropped Trousers (size 2)
I thought these looked like cute little linen cropped pants. The fit was spot on but the front pockets definitely added weight to my hips. In the picture it looks fine to me but IRL the pockets poufed out a bit and were placed at an unflattering angle. The bum was also a bit to be desired. Mega dumpy. The legs were cute beautifully however.

 Swiss Dot Shirtdress (size 2)
This is cute. And snug! I fit in my normal size 2 but I probably would have liked to try on a size 4 to compare. The color is very pretty and the style quite flattering but I never find myself drawn to this style of dress when it is hanging in my closet.

 Embroidered Fiore Pencil Skirt (size 4)
This is gorgeous and I probably should have bought it. It's one size up from my normal but I am still holding onto at least 4 summer pounds :) With this type of skirt I find the size doesn't matter is much anyway since everything is stretchy and the waist is elastic. As with other iterations of the same skirt, the waistband had threads that had gotten pulled by the hanger sticking out everywhere. I think this bothered me enough to pass.

At this point, I'm really only trying to buy summer basics at rock bottom prices so I can stow them away for next summer. But the beautiful items are so tempting! What's your end of summer sale tactic?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

J. Crew Review: Fall is Nigh!

Things have definitely cooled off here, and while it is still summer, it is at least possible to think about Fall. Just a little bit. Fall is my absolutely favorite season for clothes. Still warm enough to not have to wrap yourself in a blanket and parka to keep warm, but cool enough to enjoy layers. Ah, how I love to layer. And button-down shirts. I have way too large of a collection and cannot wait to bust them out again in the fall.

Boy Shirt in Green Plaid (size 2)
Speaking of button-downs... I do not like this one. The colors are pretty but I'm not particularly drawn to them and although the concept of the pieced together plaid is interesting, I think it looks sort of sloppy. TTS although it did pull slightly across my bust. I have been a bit zaftig in that particular area as of late however.

 Crepe Cap-Sleeve Dress in Bright Cerise (size 0)

Love. So beautiful. Clearly the size 0 is WAY too tight in the top. This is my current bugaboo with J Crew dresses. The size 0 fits perfectly in the bottom but is way too tight in the top. If I size up the bottom looks sloppy. The style is so flattering and classic. The only weird thing is that the material sort of shows a lot of lumps and bumps. I don't think the bottom half was tight at all (in fact I think that would be impossible since it's a looser style) but you can see the outline of my bum in the back view. Something about the type of crepe they used just seems sort of thin (even though I'm pretty sure it was fully lined).

 Scallop-Trim Mini in Bright Cerise (size 0)

Very cute. My normal size 0 felt like a good fit. Even with my normal size the waistband fit slightly lower than my waist which I like. The scallop trim is adorable. My one problem is the material. The stretch wool is rather thin and even with a lining it shows some stuff (check out back view). The pleats are nice for some movement but I would probably feel compelled to be adjusting the skirt all day to make sure the pleats were laying exactly right and not adding any visual weight. I still really loved it overall and might prefer it in a darker color where the VPL might not be so egregious. 

 Boyfriend Fatigue Jacket in Olive Drab (size XS)
I've decided I really need some sort of in between seasons anorak jacket and thought this might be the one. It is quite cute - you can pop the collar (like in first photo) or where at open (like in below photo) or put the hood up or whatever! So many options. I wish the pockets on the front were smaller. They are so big as to almost look sort of silly. Although this is a boyfriend jacket, I don't think I'd size down. It is slightly oversized but not huge

Sorry for the frightening last picture. I wanted to show what it looked like with the hood up and fully zippered. There are a lot of bells and whistles with this jacket. I really wish they hadn't made those pockets so big. I think this is an almost perfect fall into winter jacket. I appreciate the longer length.

Overall, nothing I have to have yet but I'm liking some of the new stuff. I believe even newer arrivals are coming in another week so back I'll go to plan for my sale stalking...

What do you like of the current offerings?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Boden Reviews: Printed Jersey Tunic and Newquay Dress

I haven't had much success with Boden in the recent past but I do love it when things are on clearance and free shipping and returns comes back. It's a great chance to try some things at prices that seem a lot more reasonable to me. I couldn't even believe the price on this tunic that I tried - $26.40! That almost never happens.

Printed Jersey Tunic  (US Size 2)
I love this print and color - which says a lot since often it's Boden prints that I find unappealing. They all look good in theory but tend to be overwhelming on my short-stack self. This print is lovely - I'm sorry you can't really see how beautiful it is from these dark photos. Anyway, I normally take a 2 or 4 in stretchy stuff in Boden and this 2 is way too tight. I like the shape though. The little "belt" underneath the bustline is quite flattering.

Printed Jersey Tunic (US Size 4)
This size is a much better fit although still fairly snug. I'm a bit over the tunic thing at this point (I think I spent a year wearing almost nothing but tunics and leggings) but I think I could wear this as a dress. This one is still fairly snug but I think pretty cute. I really appreciate the little insert between the vee-neck that serves as a camisole. I did decide to order a 6 as well just to compare. I think I want this to be more casual and less "sexy". We'll see how that goes. The material is divinely soft, stretchy and comfy.

Trying to show a bit more of the colors...

Newquay Dress (size Petite 4)
I want to love this dress soooo badly. The regular was a disaster on me but the Petite is much better. Still it just doesn't lay correctly and I know I would be constantly fussing with the pockets because they make your hips look bigger.

Here it is with a belt which does help the waist look better but then you miss out on the adorable purple waistband. Such a shame because I think it's super cute but the gathering at the waist makes the skirt hang oddly and the pockets add too much weight.

Boo. I'll let you know how the size 6 tunic works out.

There are some good bargains to be had, however. I grabbed a wonderful 100% cotton nightie for my daughter (somethings that is very hard to find in the age of polyester "fire resistant" sleep garments) for about $11.

What have you tried and loved?