Wednesday, April 30, 2014

J Crew Collection Cropped Sweatshirt, Spring 2014

Pros: just cropped enough not to make one feel uncomfortable; good material; comfy, I like the colour.

Cons: exposed zipper at neck (this means hair-zipper snagging galore); the sweatshirt reeked of a chemical smell.

Sizing: TTS

Verdict: this works with high waisted jeans and BF jeans. I like that it's a substantial piece of cropped clothing. Seriously considering keeping it.

With the factory boy jean; Coach penny purse; TB loafers

With the white toothpicks

"Say something, I'm giving up on you..."

"Yesterday" I had 551 page visits! I got two comments out of the whole lot. Does this happen to y'all, who write your own blogs too?

Incidentally, the yesterday is in speech marks bc Blogger can't seem to adjust it's stats counters to my timezone. So I have to go per Pacific Time. "Today", by the same token, I've had 83 visits already. 

OOTD: a chilly spring day

Jacket: JCrew, old, 2P to make sure it was cropped enough. Made of good wool. Shoes: Tory Burch loafers. Andie chinos in 2P.  Drapey sailor stripe boat neck tee.

Rag & Bone: a newbury love affair...

Recent acquisition: blue suede. 

Older version: t'other..that's printed leather, btw. Craftsmanship. 


    That's a scalloped leather insole and a matching indigo heel I'm trying to highlight in the bottom row.

The thing I find remarkable about these is that they give a surprisingly refined and feminine shape to the forefoot, rendering the chunky heel and general cowgirl vibe of the shoe entirely doable, even for the likes of me.  I love the cuff, love the seaming and the almond shaped toe.

What do you think of the Newbury boot?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

OOTD - Saturday coffee, shopping, early dinner

A Saturday with kids in tow. It's cold again. We're having an incredible number of opportunities to dress in light wools and transitional garments. Which is just as well bc I have a million such items to wear.

JCrew Collection coat, size 0 (TTS for me, though Ema at "My Closet, My Baby and I" sized up); JCrew toothpick jeans in ecru, size 25, TTS; Madewell Bien Fait sweatshirt, S (one size up from my usual XS); Tory Burch patent quilted loafers, navy, Fall 2013, navy, size 6 (TTS).

Coach: High waisted leather trouser, Winter 2013/2014

HI got these at the Factory Store, once they made it there. They are still stocked at Coach stores, but not on the Coach website.

They were shipped to me from a store, I think.

Stock photo from the sale ongoing. You will notice that the offers move around a little. All sizes are currently in stock, running from 00-12. 

They are definitely high waisted and they have actual pockets built in under those zippers, resulting in some tragic bulk around the midsection. 

The inseam is 28". 

I chose a size 00, my regular size at J Crew, so I'd say they are TTS. Also got measurements for the size 0.

The 00 is 26" at waist, ~34 on hips. The size 0 is 26.5 at waist and the same 34" on hips. 

Even though size charts are elusive at Coach and non-existent at Coach Factory, the CS team are really helpful and called the store for me several times to get garment measurements. I was finally connected to the store, too, and barring inexperience with terms like "rise" for the pants, the SA was helpful and measured both pairs for me, per my questions.

Fit: they fit like a glove *everywhere*. The leg opening at the ankle is very tight. Those zippers are functional and necessary. I have really skinny legs ( you can compare with the fit of the moto leather pants in white that I'll post soon), and the pants were skintight on my a good way.

At first, I balked at the high waisted poofiness up top followed by the skin-tight scrawniness at bottom. Then I realized the pockets and not my own midsection were to blame, and felt slightly better. Then I went into "make it work" mode. Then I fell in love with them. 

What sort of top does one wear with these if one is not a beautiful slender blonde model? I think a tank or tee shirt with drape would work very well, tucked in. One may not want to feature ones backside so prominently encased in leather and logos. So, one could do a tunic with it, going for a clean MiH vibe, or a BF blazer - the cool girl fallback. 

I'm wearing the J Crew Thomas Mason leather striped tunic with it. I liked the combo.

Those are two snap buttons at top; the zippers at the hips and ankles are all functional with matching gold Coach solid tablet-shaped pulls.

The leather is good quality - not the softest I've seen in pants, but I think that too soft is too fragile. The look is matte.

I realized that the angle of the zippers makes my hips look more shapely. That's a good thing for me, but it definitely makes a person look very hippy.

A different way to pair with a long top, rather than blazer: trying to straddle the line between tucking into a high waisted pant to show off the high waist, and yet not show off too much of one's shape/butt, etc.

What do you think?

Friday, April 25, 2014

JCrew Blakely Suede Pump vs Etta Pump

I got the Blakely pump in black suede to try. Size 6. 

Etta in calf-hair leopard, the design of which is different from the first iteration of this pump. This is black flecks on a brown base (more like a tortoise print) rather than the large cheetah "medallion" spots you see on the Martina wedge in calf hair.

Sizing: both are TTS, with the Blakely pump being a tad loose.

The Etta pump is gorgeous. It's strength is the clean line of the heel, perfectly straight, and the arch of the foot. It's weakness is the very stunted toe box. 

The Blakely pump borders on matronly. The toe box is a touch more long than the Etta, but the scoop of the vamp is deeper: there's more toe cleavage. The Blakely is cut to fall away more from the foot, giving more of a sculpted, sexy look. It's weakness in my opinion is the extreme chunkiness of the heel, which slopes from the back of the shoe and from the interior arch. 

Overall, the Blakely is analogous to a voluptuous woman with big hips, while the Etta might be petite and sexy  woman and a bit of a rod-shape. Both are desirable; both can look terrific with the right outfit on.

One on each foot.

Blakely on its own.

J Crew Chambray "embroidered" tunic, 0

Pros: flattering design: I don't think a tunic with band collar (correction: no collar on this one) and some sort of pattern around the "button placket" (imaginary or real) can ever go wrong. Another pro is the shade of blue: perfect for pairing with white jeans, or khaki shorts. Fabric is thick enough to wear in a North American (ok, Midwestern) "spring". Especially if you intend to layer  under it.

Cons: mislabeled as embroidered: this is not embroidery, it is looped ribbon work, a name I made up, but those familiar with embellishments will at least know what I'm talking about. Worse, the ribbon is nylon while the fabric is a chambray veering on denim. So, while I love that the chambray will wash and age well, I'd be willing to bet that the ribbon will start to look the worse for washing and wear. And whatever you do, don't iron on top of the ribbon. Deep v-neck.


Verdict: I like it, but it's not a concept I can't get in different colours and embellishments elsewhere. This is not an original idea, shape or design. I see no need to pay anything north of $35.00 for this. Return; extreme sale watch.

Please excuse the PJs. It's my day off! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Crewcuts Factory: boys' Thomson suiting trousers

And now for something different!

I took advantage of the factory promo in store to pick up some summer weight clothing for my five year old this weekend. 

Last winter, I got him the corduroy jeans from factory and retail - and the factory ones never fit right because the elastic at the waist was just too floppy to actually tighten the waist at all. This is the adjustable waistband elastic I'm talking about, of course.

So I purchased these Thompson suiting pants in cotton with great hesitation. 

The cut is very similar (if not the same) to the retail crewcuts Bowery pants. The material is exactly the same. There may be different quality stretch in it, so I am hoping it washes and dries nicely, but overall, I see no difference between retail and factory in the quality of these pants. The waistband elastic still wasn't as sturdy, but it did its job just fine (big sigh of relief!). There is a hook and bar closure. 

Fit is TTS, and I'm going to order more colours and multiple pieces tonight.

Here's my little guy wearing them.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Collection Rylan Blazer in Harris Tweed & Natasha Pump in Fresh Creme

A double billing (again)!

This is showing up in the current sale in limited sizes. Initially, the ridiculous price of this blazer caused me to ignore it altogether. Plus, the wierd colours were ... Wierd. Then, it showed up, on sale, in a size 00 - weeks after the initial launch and immediate selling out (how does that really work?). So I decided to try it on.

Pros: excellent quality fabrics, with a little touch of Bodenesque emotion; good construction; non-standard colours.

Cons: boxy fit, which is the design offered by the Rylan cut of blazer. 

Sizing: I sized down one, due to the oversize fit. 

Verdict: quality worth keeping. Not sure whether I am.

Natasha pumps: 
Pros: lovely colour, beautiful leather; good construction. Amazing price in sale. 
Cons: potentially loose ankle strap, depending on your ankles.

Sizing: TTS

Verdict: pretty amazing ... They are a creamy white, though. ;)

Whimsy: "made with love" - it actually got me, too!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

J Crew Collection Cubist Print short sleeve shirt, 0, navy

I was dismayed initially when the cubist print was released and I discovered that the collection top was the only one where the fabric/colours matched the capris. Yes, I am not afraid of wearing the matching pieces together, if it's the right print.  So when this top went on sale a few days ago, I scooped it up, all the while hoping for further decrease in price.

Well, here's my prediction: it will fall more.

Pros; well-made in parts (e.g. Lined, perfect collar, print matches up perfectly down the button placket);
Same fabric (silk-twill) as the capris.

Cons: the fabric is a heavy one, both visually and actually. Not the best suited for a top.
Lining is poly.
The stripes across the top of the shoulders and down the sleeves accentuate a squareness of that area, made infinitely worse to my eye by the geometric print on the top. 
Too long on my frame;
The print is silly at the bottom hem of the shirt: they were so busy lining it up right, they forgot to make the bottom hem line up with the large navy triangles in the piece I got. This might vary (one can only hope) from piece to piece in this design.
Square, unshaped, corners at bottom. This shirt would have benefitted from small side slits, a little shaping at the bottom. 

Sizing: TTS, fitted, but odd length given the print and the short sleeves.

Verdict: I think this looked awful on 
me. I could try to make it work out of sheer love and devotion to JCrew (and Collection, to boot) but then I'd get laughed out of the real life room into which I wore it. (Embarrassingly true story, with another piece I once took a stand for...sigh). Return. Don't look back.

L: print lines up on button placket & shirt front well. R: bottom hem chaos - excess print and square corner, no slit.

Sorry about the overexposure in the top row. 
Top L: bottom hem print issues; top R: perfect collar, lovely tips; bottom L: stripe along sleeve, which continues across shoulders, in navy silk shantung; bottom R: true to life colours & obligatory top down view.


Trying to make it work. L: shorter length; R: pull a Jenna on it (too masculine and broad for my taste).

Friday, April 18, 2014

JCrew Collection Lace Print Secretary Blouse, 0, Navy

Nice print;
Well-made, with the usual pleats in front, over the button placket and 2inches on either side of it;
Good length: tuckable but can also be worn untucked
Comes with cami - the cami is off white; 
Bra and cami-keep buttons.
Bow is removable as usual. Band collar under it.

Silk: dry clean only, sigh.
Cami is 100% poly. Luckily I bought a few silk camis on sale in the winter, so I can always swap it out if I need to.
Sleeves are long on me.

Sizing: TTS

Verdict: love the navy, love the silk, always appreciate this design of shirt. But somehow I'm unsure... I mean how many ethereal secretary blouses does a girl need? Not sure what I'll do, but at least it's worth keeping...

True colours.

Those Martina calf hair wedges: question mark for me...

Tory Burch Sergeant Pepper Leather Jacket

Here is the review that I promised to Clotted Creame, a dear reader, a couple of weeks ago. Thank you for your patience, CC! 

This leather jacket is one if my best clothing investments to date. I have many leather jackets, all good brands and pricey, but I have really grown to love and, indeed, respect the craftsmanship in this one. 

The jacket is a slim fitted piece, with lots of blingy buttons. I didn't wear it for the longest time being worried about the bling - but it's actually a great contrast to the dark colour and doesn't come off as too flashy at all. 

Features I love (all pictured below):
Band collar;
Chain inside collar for hanging;
Beautiful piping in Tory orange, and exquisite lining in Tory logo silk inside jacket. 
Three button closure at wrists;
Perfectly proportioned pockets;
The softest, sturdiest leather I own - no scratch, no signs of wear, other than some very slight wear at the top edge of the sleeve openings, which adds just the right touch of character.
Patent leather lining inside sleeve openings in a gorgeous red!
Patent leather piping INSIDE. The button holes! Stunning.
A great length for petite me;
Perfectly fitted and perfect length sleeves.

This was the very first Sgt Pepper jacket TB made. Listed at 895/- I think. I combined a rewards card and a New Years promo to grab it on New Years Eve, precisely at midnight! ;)

Total tangent: should I keep the Martinas in calf hair leopard or get the pumps or neither. The wedges feel on the edge of dowdy to me...

Patent leather lining.

That red piping of the button hole is patent leather too.

Button detail: 3D.

Shoulder lapel thingies - the sergeant pepperness of it (together with the pockets and the band collar).

So, overall take: this sergeant pepper jacket is special because of the craftsmanship and the materials. TB is doing other materials in it now, and I would expect to see a close fitting garment with the same pockets, sleeve details, etc, but, of course, different finishing touches, depending on the material used.