Saturday, February 15, 2014

Spring Arrivals - Part II

50% off! I don't think I remember a time that J Crew has offered 50% off online. Ever. I don't remember so many 40%'s either. Shocking. Unfortunately, at this point, I don't think there's anything I really want/need but it's fun to poke around. Might end up stocking up on a few t-shirts although I'm determined to swear off J Crew tees. EVERY single one I have develops holes in the armpits after a few wears! What is up with that? Anyway, here are a few more spring arrivals.

Flutter Crepe Dress (size 2) in Haven Blue
This is not a dress I need in my closet right now but it's actually quite cute. I'm not big into flutters or ruffles or whatever they call them but these are fairly subtle and sweet. I have trouble with J Crew dresses of this type because they tend to be tight on my bust and then loose at the hips. That was the case with this dress but not terribly so. If you have a more proportionate chest to hip ratio I think it will fit great in your normal size.

 Crepe Shift Dress (size 0) in Deep Violet
First of all, the color is way off in this picture. I sort of like the color of the dress here but it is definitely more blue and slightly muted in real life. I don't understand why they've made their shift dresses so wide. And long. With a slightly oversized dress like this, I actually prefer a shorter length. The cut down the front is low enough that a cami is probably required or at least recommended. It's just too sack like which is a shame because I had high hopes.

 Embroidered Stripe Tunic (XS)
I don't know why, but I love this! On the website it truly looks like a shirt, but on me it was almost a dress. Almost, which means it's sort of an awkward length. Nonetheless - the stripe material is light and lovely and the embroidery is a fun punch of color.

The nice yoke in the front and back saves it from looking like maternity wear. It gives it a nice shape. I sort of love it, I won't lie.

 Perfect-Fit Long-Sleeve Tee (S) in white
This is not thrilling but I thought I would show it since it's a nice basic t-shirt and I didn't find the white too see through. I always have to size up in these tees.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

J. Crew Spring Arrivals - Part I

Finally got a chance to check out some new offerings. Sale section is sadly depleted at both of my local stores. As much as I would like to get excited about spring, it's hard to do that underneath more snow! It's great to see the return of color and print, now if only I could find one that I loved.... can't wait until some more fabulous liberty prints come out. Until then, here are some reviews:

Not on website yet? (XS)
 I couldn't find this on the website for some reason. It's a very lightweight embroidered swing sweater. The lightness of it was delightful but the swing shape is terrible. When you are busty, this shape just adds pounds. The top of it was attractive and the embroidery was fine but the shape, no no no.

Flower-Sleeve Sweater (XS)
 Interesting. The weave is very dense and the material "rougher" than your average J Crew sweater (although certainly not itchy). The sweater definitely hold its shape. Unfortunately, that shape is not super flattering. Makes you look a bit broad-shouldered and thick-waisted.
 The side view is much more attractive. In fact, I think I would consider sizing down on this one - might help the overall shape. I'm not sure what I was expecting for the appliques but it wasn't this. They are sort of cute, quirky and charming. I think my husband would think they look like grandma doilies.

Lightweight Merino Tunic Sweater (XXS)
 There is something quite lovely about this sweater. The knit is veru fine and feels very soft on. The slits at the side are fun and the overly shape is tunic-y without being sloppy. I did size down on this one and I think I would keep with my decision on that.

Bristol Trouser in Stretch Cotton in Dusty Dune (size 0)
 I liked these pants a lot - great for work. Nice straight leg, moderate rise, extremely comfortable. The back view was T-I-G-H-T. I guess I would size up in these? But then the waist wouldn't fit as beautifully. Might be better for those with less of a bum. Nice, straight leg trousers. Finally no taper!

 Campbell Capri in Abstract Wave Print (size 0)
 I have a become a big fan of the Cafe Capri. I own several pairs of them and they are my go-to work pant. Comfy, the right length, great with flats. I am not loving the Campbell capri so far. The leg is less tapered which I don't like. I think if you're going to go capri, you gotta taper. The rise also seems higher which does not work on my short-waisted self. But lastly, the back view. I hate to even put this picture up but I think I have box butt. Too high rise in the back. Blech.

 Love-sleeve Sailor-Stripe Tee (XS)
 Ok. I realize this tee is nothing groundbreaking but I LOVE IT. It is a perfect sailor tee. The little notches on the side, the nice wider neckline, a thick material (but not too thick) and a nice fitted shape and longer lenght. Love love love. Yes I have an entire pile of striped tees in my drawer but I will buy this one anyway. It's that good. TTS.

Overall, not needing anything from J Crew these days. What are you excited about in the spring arrivals?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Athleta Reviews: Rabbits Ears Full Zip, City Limits Jacket, Tranquility Cowl and Ashtee Sweater

As I recently mentioned, Athleta is a new discovery for me. They opened in my local mall around this summer and it never even occurred to me to go in there. I think skirting the line between athletic gear and actual street clothes is tricky. I don't want to turn around and realize I've become one of those moms who dresses solely in Lululemon and Athleta. I don't mean that in a judgy way - you've gotta do what's right for you - but I really try to put some sort of "outfit" together every day. It makes me feel good about me. Plus, I always think of Clinton Kelly from What Not To Wear who always talks about how it's the same number of pieces! Sweatpants, t-shirt, sweatshirt OR jeans, button-down, nice sweater. I'm trying to opt for the latter :)

Anyhoo, the sporty look is sort of trendy right now so I don't mind trying to engage in it a little bit. Here are a few things that I found that I think skirt the line pretty well!

Rabbit Ears Full Zip by SmartWool in Deep Sea Heather (size XS)
The color on this is beautiful. It's definitely a more casual version of the moto style but it's so cute. The SmartWool is a magnificent invention as this is warm like wool but not itchy. I wouldn't wear it with nothing underneath but a thin t-shirt is fine. I think the length - I don't love the cropped moto jacket style on me - accentuates my chest and hips too much.

There are little magnets in the collar so you can pop it up like a little cowl neck. Very cute.

 City Limits Jacket in Gray Heather (XXS)
I have been searching and searching for the perfect casual moto jacket and I think this may be it. The inside is sort of fleecy and SOOOOO cozy. The darting on the seams cuts the perfect hourglass silhouette. The XXS was slightly snug.

 City Limits Jacket in Black (size XS)
Same jacket, black, my normal size XS. This fit perfectly. Slim enough to be flattering without being restrictive. Again, the length and seams are awesome. I think I may want to own this in every color.

 Tranquility Cowl Neck in Teal Marine Heather (XXS)
Clearly I need a XS or S but I was too lazy to go back and get one. I wish I could describe the material - it is not super thick or fleecy but it is the softest freakin' stuff ever. I want to make a big blanket out of it and wrap myself in it all day. The cowl is perfect - just enough without being overwhelming. I am a sucker for thumb holes, which this has, and the length is perfect for covering up a bum.

 Ashtee Sweater in Black (XXS)
This is on sale and while I liked the idea it did not feel particularly modern to me. The zipper on the front is such a cute idea but it looked a bit funny. Then again, I really need the XS so overall the whole thing is pulling.

I also liked the look of this jacket - another take on the moto.

Love the slouchy ease of this little sweatshirt-y number. Almost reminds me of something from

These remind me of the MacCallister wedges at J Crew but slightly sportier.

What's your take on Athleta's non-workout clothing offerings?

Madewell Reviews: Some New Spring Arrivals

So far spring is not exciting me like it usually does. The latest arrivals at J Crew where basically a bust for me - everything odd on the fit or weird in the color. Madewell is looking a bit the same. Not as bad, but not as thrilling I had hoped! I can always find at least some basics at Madewell and I'm sure that will be true as I dig a little deeper...

Slub V-Neck Pocket Tee in Dusty Green (XS)
Ok. The shade of green is that perfect yummy military green. LOVE it. But, coupled with the very oversized nature of the shirt, I looked like I was in scrubs! This is a great t-shirt for when it is really hot and you don't want any material sticking to you. The vee is low but not scandalously so (although almost).

 Essential White Boyshirt (XS)
Love how basic and straightforward this is. Cute crisp cotton. The XS was really pulling across my chest - I usually have to size up in the boyshirts. Unfortunately, once I do I find that the body looks too big. If you have a normal sized chest, this will be an adorable shirt in your normal size.

 Back-Zip Sweatshirt (XS)
I know it sounds boring but this was my favorite thing I tried on all day! Madewell knows how to do a great basic with a little twist. Love the trim on the bottom and sleeves and the zipper down the back. Turns a boring sweatshirt into something funky, fun and modern. The knit is quite dense so I think this sweatshirt will really retain its shape.

 Silk Peplum Veranda Top in Scarborough Red (XS)
Truth be told, my cups runneth over these days so don't total;y judge this top by the way it is fitting me. Even if they were there normal voluptuous size, I still think I'd want to size up on this one. The red is bright but a pleasant cool shade of red. I think it's an adorable top. Madewell does peplums right. Not too much gathering, enough length to drape well.

 Mainsail Tee in Stripe (XS)
I was drawn to the colors in the stripes. Madewell's really been churning out this little ponte, zip back tops. It's fine but didn't really get my motor going. The fit is boxy but not overly so.

Silk Blouse???
For some reason I can't find this online. It reminds me of the previously released Silk Poet Blouse.  It's a little billowy from the side. The color is lovely and I've always been a fan of Madewell's silk.

 Silk Ivy Cutout Tee (XS)
Cute. Very cute. The length is weirdly short so this would be a hard one to tuck in which is a shame. I'm glad the neckline is a little more open. The cutouts are very eye-catching. Overall, I like this one. I think the sleeves could be a bit shorter.

 Modern Blazer (size 2)
This seemed like a new item to me but I think it was released earlier. My usual size 2 felt a bit snug. The material is really thick and holds its shape beautifully - love that in a blazer. Having no lapels is a bit strange but was virtually unnoticeable in black. Quite slimming I think but a bit manly overall for my taste.

 Skinny Skinny Ankle-Zip Cargos in Loden (size 26)
I was immediately drawn to these but the fit was totally off. The color and material are awesome - so soft. The crotch was crazy - all that wrinkling is not just because of my pose. The worst part, however, is the bum. I've never seen my bum look quite that bad. It turns it into a bumbox. Yikes. The SA said that these were sort of supposed to be more boyfriendy so you either have to size up to get some slouch or just go super super skinny so you don't get the creasing in the crotch. Hmmm, no thanks.

 Silk Paisley Tunic Dress (XS)
Some color, at last! This run very big. I'm into loose and laid-back but this felt like a sack. In the right hand picture, I am holding the back of the dress in to show you where my body is underneath. Good for hot weather and hiding food babies but otherwise not doing much for me.

Other things I saw and liked:
Washed Cotton Boyshirt - again with the perfect shade of green and the crisp cotton

Baseball Sweater - keeps selling out online. So cute.

Inlet Cardigan - cute, basic, nice length. Nuff said.

Linen Tee in Colorblock Mountains - obsessed with the colors on this one

Ponte Swivel Skirt - love a good ponte knit on a skirt. Nice bell shape.

D'orsay Flat in Spot Dot - There was an SA trying these on who said she couldn't get over how ponty they were. Clearly not a child of the 80's! I think I owned at least 5 pairs of Nine West pointy toe flats.

What are you liking from Madewell's most recent rollout?