Thursday, March 12, 2015

J. Crew Review: Spring New Arrivals!

It's amazing how one day of warmer weather and melted snow will change your spirits. Ahh... it was so nice to be outside and have a light jacket on, and sun on my face! My poor baby barely knows what the outdoors is at this point. I took her to the library the other day and I think it almost blew her mind - she pretty much knows the inside of our car and the four walls of our house :)

Anyway - J Crew was certainly reflecting spring and I think they are starting to do some things right!

Photo Floral Tank Top (XS)
I was immediately drawn to this top in the most recent rollout. It's very cute but the pink is rather blah with my skin tone. The fit is right on in my usual XS. Liked a lot but would prefer on someone with a darker skin color.

 Indigo Stripe Floral Baseball Tee (S)
Love a good baseball tee. This one is fine and onsale but nothing to get excited about. Somehow felt the floral stripe section added weight to my arms.

Same tee, different name, grey. I would probably take an XS in this (my usual size) in anticipation of the eventual weaning and return of normal bosoms. I liked it a bit better in grey.

 Aquatic Floral Silk Dress (size 4)
Ok. So this is absolutely lovely. The silk feels REALLY nice and the colors are so sweet - slightly minty. I'm almost sure this was a size 4 and it fit perfectly in the waist and bust which means this dress might run slightly small in the waist but probably fairly big in the chest. The neckline is perfect and the waist hit me exactly at the right spot. This dress is really special and would be great for a summer wedding/event/cocktail party whatever. I am not personally so drawn to the print but if you are this dress is fabulous!

 Double-Stripe Cap-Sleeve Dress in Black Natural (size 2)
This dress is more my personal style. It is very snug in my usual size 2 but I think that's the unrehabbed abs and breastfeeding talking. I think it's super cute and I even like the slightly longer length. The little cap sleeves were adorable. The material had a nice linen-y feel to it but not thin at all.

 Martie Pant (size 2)
My other pictures of these got messed up. This are great. I don't feel like they are like the minnies at all - they are fitted but not TIGHT like the minnies are on me. Very flattering. They are not quite a match for me at this point in my pregnancy recovery because they have a small waistband and that is not working for my mummy tummy. There is also a bit of extra material in the crotch area which I am finding with lots of pants right now. Not sure if it's me or them. Ha ha.

Striped Side-Zip Tee Dress (XS and S)

Size XS above. Size S on the left. I soooo wanted this dress to work. The Xs felt a little snug for this type of dress. The S did weird things along the zipper line. It's like the dress needs to be a little tight so the zipper doesn't bulge out along the side. On the right I am trying it as a slightly unzipped tunic. Me no likey.

XS again. I love the shoulder detail but that darn zipper kept on bulging a bit. Plus the snugness. Plus that zipper is heavy and COLD. I knew I wouldn't reach for it in my closet. Why couldn't they do this but with small zippers like the maritime dress. Boo.

I also tried on a really lovely skirt but my computer didn't want to download the images. I'll try again and post later.

Anything from the most recent rollout that you are loving?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

J. Crew Review: Chunky Trim Cardigan, Ankle-Zip Cargo Pant, Cuffed Lightweight Chambray Pant, Floral Sailor Tee and Soaring Birds Tee

Excuse the exercise pants in these photos - time is scarce these days and I try to fit as much in as possible when I have a babysitter and I'm not working. Had the privilege of going to the gym AND having some time for shopping. Dare a girl dream? Here are a few things I found:

 Soaring Birds Tee (XXS)
I love birds so I couldn't resist trying this on. It's your typical J Crew t-shirt fare but I really liked it. The shiny birds are a cute touch. I thought it was visually slimming yet not grabby so I did end up taking this one home. We'll see how it fares after a wash in the machine.

 Floral Sailor Tee (XS)
I was actually surprised by how cute I thought this was. Excuse my frog legs in the left picture. It took me a while to get over my fear of exercise tights but they are super comfortable to work out in. On the whole I try to work out in them and then change into something else but did not have time. I adore stripes and was tempted by this but it is a little cropped. Not sure I need something cropped right now.

 Chunky Trim Open Cardigan (XS/S) in Wet Boulder?

There are pockets on the side and while this is super cool it also adds some bulk. We've seen this cardigan from J Crew a lot - I think I would have preferred no pockets and slightly longer. That being said, it's a nice thick cotton.

 Ankle-Zip Cargo Pant (size 0)
They didn't have a size 2 to try on which is my current J Crew size. Post-baby I went back up to a size 2 and I'm not sure if it's those extra 4 pounds or if it's a permanent hip widening. Realllllly hoping for the former not the latter :) I couldn't even bear to include the butt photo. Non bueno. I would go with your regular size for these. I felt super diapery up top.

Cuffed Lightweight Chambray Pant (size 2)
These are so crazy. I think some people are really enjoying them but they were terrible on me. OMG that back view - grandpa butt. The rise is super high for me. Lots of extra material in that area and then the legs slim to the ankle. The elastic at the bottom is a turn off for me. The material flows nicely - has sort of a silvery color to it. The flap pockets also don't work on me.

I couldn't even believe the amount of new arrivals in the sale section! Everything firework floral related plus many many more. Not needing anything right now but hoping for some spectactular prints for the summer.

Monday, March 9, 2015

J. Crew Review: Dutch Floral Pant

This was pretty much the only thing I was interested in during one of J Crew's releases earlier this year. I love me some crazy print pants and this print is to die for. I kept on meaning to order these when final sale wasn't around but never remembered to. Then, they came back in my size + 40% and I wondered what to do. I pretty much never gamble on final sale any more (although I've been lucky on the whole) but I couldn't resist with these. I had a gift card so technically they weren't costing me anything (ha ha) and since they weren't too pricey I could easily take them to my tailor and not feel too bad. After reading reviews I decided to size down and here are the results:

J. Crew Dutch Floral Pant (size 0)
 Ok. Whew. Not a disaster. In fact I really like these and am glad I sized down. The only weird thing (which I don't know is because I sized down or not) is that the rise feels slightly low and the seam sort of pulls a bit underneath me. I feel like these pants want to be worn slightly higher but that seam makes me wear them lower on my hips. Just fyi. There are pleats and I wish they weren't there but they are not a disaster. If you look at the side view you can see a little bump on my quad. That's the result of the pleating up top. I'm going to try to get that fixed by my tailor.

 Pockets that don't add bulk - yahoo!
 With heels - SO much better. I actually think they're pretty flattering. In the right hand picture I am pulling the pants back on the left side to make the leg slimmer. I don't actually think it needs this but for reference.

Side view with heels. A bit of pooling of fabric at the top of foot but not bad.

I tried to tuck the right side under so that the pant hits more ankle length (did not do very good job).

Foot to the left has tucked pant leg, other leg is the normal one.

So here are the big questions. Do I try to get the pleats taken out? Do I just try to sew them down a bit so I don't get the poufiness on the front of the leg? Do I just leave them alone? The other thing I'm struggling with is whether or not to leave them a bit long and slouchy like pajama pants or to have them cuffed to the ankle to make them a bit sleeker.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

J. Crew Slouchy Merino Sweater Review

I definitely like the slouch these days. Anything to cover up the parts I'm still working on post-baby. I never noticed this sweater when it was new but was drawn to it in the sale section. It's a lighter knit and yet a tight knit. Drop shoulders aren't as noticeable since it's thinner and drapes better.

Slouchy Merino Sweater (XXS) in Shoreline Ivory
 I've been wearing a LOT of gray and navy and thought I should at least try a lighter blue. This is a pretty color for sure but not as pretty as it looks on my monitor. You know that shade of blue that every man who works in an office has in a button down shirt? It's sort of like that shade. I wish it looked more like the color on my monitor. As you can see this is an XXS and there is still plenty of room. The nice thing about that band at the bottom is you can push it up and make the sweater look more like a crew or pull it down and have it be a little more tunic-y. The sleeves are tight but not in a bad way. I actually like tight sleeves when you are wearing a sweater with this much volume.

 Slouchy Merino Sweater (XS) in Pewter Sandstone

The dolman sleeves are not my favorite. I don't know why it's impossible to do slouchy with normal sleeves. It doesn't bother me a ton because I don't go around posing with one hand on the hip all the time but I like to have the option. Now that I see these pictures I almost prefer the XS but I think it's just the way I have it on. I think you could go with your actual size or size down or even size down twice depending on how slouchy and how long you want this thing. I would love to try the petite version on as I'm looking for more of a slouchy crew rather than a tunic.

What do you think? Do you own this sweater? What size did you buy?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cabled Sweater Craziness - A Conundrum in Cable Knit

I've been mentioned before that I've been on the hunt for the perfect, cozy, slightly slouchy cable sweater in ivory this winter. I don't know why exactly - it just seems like it would be a nice addition to my wardrobe. Clearly I am not the only one feeling some nostalgia for a good ol' traditional aran style sweater because they are EVERYWHERE this season. Here is my roundup of choices. I'm really not sure which one to keep (or none).

If you have a moment, would you mind weighing in?

Cabled Boucle Pullover in Neutral (XS)
 This is sort of a bonus review becuase I put this in a different category of cable sweater - not traditional but oh so cozy. At first I thought it added too much bulk but now I am really loving it. The color is more tan than ivory (thus the color name neutral). I love the design down the back and the big cowl. It even smells good. I think it runs pretty big so keep that in mind.

 Gap Boyfriend Cable Knit Sweater (XS) in Cream
 Grabbed this on the sale rack the other day for $19.99. Pros: tunic-y length, open neckline, side slits Cons: maybe not enough cabling? Runs a little wide (middle pic) and the color is a bit strange. It's hard to tell in the photos but it's sort of a greyish white as opposed to a warm ivory. Nonetheless, it is quite comfortble - not sure how it will hold up over time. Then again, every single Madewell sweater I have has pilled terribly and cost a lot more!

 Jack Wills Boyfriend Cable Knit Sweater (US 6)
This is from ASOS. I think it's the most traditional of the lot. The 6 runs a little wide but I like that it buys me a bit more length. The color leans a little more tan/grey but I like it. Love the cable down the sleeves and the interesting neckline. The drop shoulders make me look a litle hefty in the shoulder area. 

 Same sweater in grey 2 sizes smaller. I think this makes me look less bulky but I am losing a little length. The grey is fairly dark and I like it but don't love it. If only I could get the cream in a 2 or 4 I think this may be the one.

 Gap Cable Knit Sweater in Ivory Frost (Size S)
 Then again... this little one from the gap is so cute! It's definitely not slouchy or boyfriend style but the cabling is cute and I like that the sleeves are neither raglan nor drop shoulder. I supposed I could try sizing up so it was more slouchy but I don't think that would work with this one.

 Barnegat Pullover (XS) in Ivory
 The open stitch is so beautiful on this one. Slightly more cropped than the others. All cotton which also makes it different. The ribbing at the neck is quite thick - not totally loving that but not minding it that much either. Cute, but is it the more traditional look I'm going for?

Mixed Cable Sweater (XXS) in Antique White

This one I'm just adding in because it's cable and ivory-colored. This thing runs HUGE. This was an XXS! I like the thickness of it but the neck was too high and thick for my taste. Also those weird drop shoulder arm bands. Bummer.

This one at Banana Republic looks intriguing but the reviews are all over the place.
I love Autumn Cashmere and wish this one was lighter colored and less expensive :)
I don't have much experience with Club Monaco or I might be tempted to try this Maebel Sweater.

There's my roundup. I like different things about each of them and in the end I probably just want one that is flattering whether it's traditional/boyfriend/ whatever.

What do you think? Please weigh in or feel free to tell me where you got your own cable sweater!