Wednesday, July 30, 2014


For J.Crew in Canvas, hibiscus print and shibori tie-dye

For Madewell in black perfed leather.

I have a shoe problem and love them all. Need your votes!
UPDATE - note on sizing:  I did follow the sizing recommendation on the JCrew website (i.e. purchased a 4H in Vans to get my usual women's 6). I tried to tell the Madewell SA the same thing, since I was ordering over the phone, and she just did the calculation herself using my usual women's size. So if you're going to Madewell, they might have it already converted for you to women's US sizes. Go with your true size.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

J.Crew Suede D'Orsay Flat

Sizing: TRS, I took my usual 6, which fit well and didn't slip off the heel as I walked.

Pros: suede; standard J.Crew quality

Cons: this style is now available in many different brands and at various price-points. JCrew's version feels pricey.

Verdict: well-made and nice. I prefer the Madewell version, though, which was introduced at the beginning of 2014. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

OOTD: hot day for a haircut!

So I bit the bullet and went for a dramatic haircut. Paid top dollar, went to a French stylist, a man from Lyon, who was excited that I wanted smth like Ines De LaFressange's hairstyle - and whoosh, next thing I knew, he's combed down the very front of my hair and CHOP! Off came about ten inches at once, right in the front of my head! This brought on nervous laughter and panicked giggles and I let him have his way with me....

I dressed my casual best, to inspire and inform him.

J.Crew crepe Henley (winter 2014); J.Crew medallion silk pants (current); Madewell d'orsay flats in black; Cole Haan hobo in black leather.

I adore this style and bought a backup of the nude colour when they hit sale, as well as springing for the black ones. To my delight, the top/front/vamp is done in suede, whilst the back is black leather. J'adore.

The new hairstyle. Gone are my long locks, which were dragging on me and left me quite uninspired. Now we will see how this goes once I wash my hair and it goes curly. Fingers crossed. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

J.Crew Fall/Winter 2014 Lookbook (Women's)

I know that most of us have seen some version of this, including on the JCrew Aficionada blog.
But here it is, just in case you've missed it:

No, I don't know why they made the layout/image so intractable - probably so that they wouldn't get small independent bloggers posting it... uh. Oh well. I'm a lover, not a hater.

I just wrote my thoughts about J.Crew's recent offerings and this lookbook to my VPS, and it occurred to me that I could also share them here with you.

Overall, I'm a bit disappointed with the lack of heart-stopping designs in the lookbook. They are all solid, but I am not sure I'm seeing anything new. In previous years, I'd want 80 percent of the lookbook - right now, only two pieces are catching my attention: the furry sweater in Look 17 and the pink coat in Look 4.  And I'd never wear a furry sweater like that, I'd get laughed out of my own home. Plus I bought a manly coat in pink last year.

Admittedly I only like two pieces because I'm looking straight past the other 'new' pieces, like the culottes, the silky PJ/track pants, and the dresses (I find them unflattering, other than the tweedy one in Look 16).   But I've always looked only for pieces that appeal to me, and I'd still have come away salivating in previous years, unlike this time around.
Full disclosure, I do like other things, wishlisted from the new rollout, but I think the collection this time is more sparse.
Now for the most important part, though. My take on what this means for J.Crew.  Unlike the JCAs who have voiced outright disappointment, I think that the sparseness might not be a bad thing.          J.Crew has been churning out so many amazing designs for so long and in such quick succession, that we have all confessed to overloaded closets and shopper's fatigue. We've also been hating the overpriced run-of-the-mill stuff.  But, like it or not, J.Crew has trained me to shop in a higher price bracket and see the "rationale" behind designer prices. That is both ridiculous and quite an accomplishment (the former for me, the latter for them). 
Having trained our Pavlovian instincts, to drool, wishlist, scrimp, stretch, save, spend, spend, spend at every new rollout and sale, J.Crew might be ready to move on to the next phase of its master plan, even as perhaps it looks to end Mora's probationary period (surely he has one!) and find the next designing eye of J.Crew.  For now, maybe it's time for a phase of curated, understated, unique pieces. Few and fabulous! And pricey, which goes without saying.  In a brilliant sleight of hand, this should also give those complaining customers, who have lamented the excess of items that ultimately languish in the sale section, exactly what they want: fewer, simpler, but still expensive items.  I'm pretty sure most of us will come around.

As the famous Gigi says (roughly): "J.Crew [we] can't quitchew!"

Saturday, July 19, 2014

JCrew: printed Valentina pumps and Ava pump in tie-dyed leather

Sizing: I can handle going up a half size in Valentinas, if my standard 6 runs out of stock. I do line the heels with a Dr Scholl's heel liner to prevent slippage. Use that information as you will! I'm on my feet a lot in my work day and by the end of it, my feet have swollen enough that a 6.5 fits like a glove.

The Ava pumps run TTS: I took my usual 6.

The Valentinas are just such a nice closet staple and decent heel height.

The Ava pumps are so fantastic and unique! Tie-dyed leather?! Who would've thought?  The heel is a block heel, covered in fabric. I bought these on impulse, but they are really quite amazing on.


Fabric uppers on the Valentinas.

Ava pumps:

The block heel provides excellent support

Ava pumps: close-up of the tie-dye leather upper and fabric heel

Friday, July 18, 2014

Matelasse Campbell capris, Colorbock silk tunic and suede ankle strap sandals

Pants, TTS, I took my normal 00
Shoes: TTS, I took a 6
Tunic: runs large, I sized down to XXS

Surprise love for me. I love white pants and the Campbell capris are quite comfortable in the seat and waist. The Matelasse effect was nice and they look terrific with the tunic. Perfect lightweight fabric for summer. Unlined.

Shoes: gorgeous suede; well made; beautiful shade of navy. I just wish the back was a solid strap over the heel bone, rather than the two strips they've used, which balloon out when the shoe is on. I love these sandals, they are elegant, sexy and classic. My shoe collection is embarrassingly large. 

Tunic: much prefer this silk tunic to the poly offering. There is a drawstring at the waist (rather badly pictured below) which I prefer loose. Loved it!

Drawstring at waist


Sales! JCrew leather tuxedo stripe leggings and Converse embossed leather sneakers

I love both. 

The leggings are true to size (tts), despite being described as very tight in the product description. I took my normal 00. 
The leather is amazing: thick and soft and buttery. The odd thing about these leggings is the unfinished bottom hem. I am wondering if I can cut off the excess length without ruining them for myself. 

The Converse are an #nsale buy. I love them, though they're a bit flashy and very street hipster. The leather is embossed in metallic black snakeskin pattern and the toe caps are dark metallic silver.

Unfinished edges at the ankle

Terrific quality leather

Monday, July 14, 2014

JCrew Hughes Satchel, Grey leather

This bag is beautifully constructed. Mine was inexplicably late in the mail, but I am surprised I got a pristine piece on final sale!

The origami of it works perfectly. They sent it to me stuffed to the hilt with tissue and dustbag, brass bits still covered in plastic. That alone won me over. 

It's a great size to carry in hand or over the shoulder.  A small but very roomy purse. 

The leather is some sort of saffiano leather, and the colour is a perfect light grey. The satchel is light, with an inside zippered pocket and one slip pocket.

I flattened it a bit, so it sat well.

Love the zipper pulls

Side view, flattened along the seams like a paper bag.

Bottom of bag: I love that the zipper (non-functional) detail is continued along the bottom so neatly and with whole hearted attention to quality and detail!

The saffiano texture of the leather.

And to my delight, when I touched a finger to it, to unzip, it puffed up like a puffer fish, back to its original self:

All puffed up.

A bit awkward to wear on the shoulder puffed up.

Easy and preferable to carry in hand.

Squished back down: love the shape!

Squished. Wearable as a clutch when it's this squished.

And works supremely well on the shoulder, while squished. 

Overall, I love the bag, its craftsmanship and quality. I'm really glad I caught it on sale. Well done, J Crew!