Sunday, June 22, 2014

J Crew Collection Silk Paisley pant, 00

Pros: great silk, fluid, unwrinkly, light. Lovely symmetric print; easy comfy pants. Pockets.

Cons: that odd new silhouette again: I.e. Pajama dressing.

Sizing: TTS

Verdict: I bought these to merely try on, having actually fallen in love with the green medallion print pants. But these are gorgeous. They have bazzazz! They say glamour with ease. And it's all bc of the print! And the blue. I don't do tanks or sleeveless tops, so I only tried them on with tunics (cotton eyelet tunic by madewell for dressing down; drapey crepe Henley by JCrew for dressing up). I do kind of love them, notwithstanding the odd silhouette. For this print, this piece, it all works.

Dressed down: cotton eyelet tunic (awesome, madewell) and kolapoori sandals (the mission to truly bring sub continental fashion to the world continues). 

Drapey crepe Henley and Tory Burch flats

True to life colours

No tuck.

If you're at all tempted, give the piece a try!


Friday, June 20, 2014

J Crew Collection Linen Slicker

Pros: it's totally coated in plastic of some sort, making it really waterproof; offers petite sizing; a glamorous and light-coloured, hence luminous, rain coat, which is quite possibly a holy grail for raincoats, good pockets, easily accessible; HOOD!! 

Cons: the hook fastenings are large and heavy and near impossible to close. The lobster clasp is very miserly in the width of its opening and is wound so tight that I found it impossible to have my finger operating the clasp and the hook trying to loop into it nearly impossible to be present simultaneously. And I have small fingers! The zipper closes smoothly. Giving the illusion that the clasps are closed, but it's still clunky.  
Another con with the clasps is that the gold finish will definitely rub off or get scratched over time. I don't know if that's noticeable unless you look closely at them, though. The coat is unlined; it is strictly a summer piece.

Sizing: I got the P2 and my usual size 0 for outerwear. I would say it fits TTS, because both fit fine in the body. Size 0R was definitely longer in the arms. See photos.

Verdict: again, in quite conflicted. I love the functionality of a hooded raincoat that's properly waterproof. However, the disfunctionality of the hooks is irksome. Everyone lives it in "the community" and at my store, so they urge me to keep it. It doesn't punch me in the gut when input it on.

This is petite.


Petite: good sleeve length and my right leg is showing you wear it hits, relative to my knee.

Size 0R: long sleeves (by a hem width, see below) and front length being demonstrated by my leg.

I put the two together to find differences in shape or construction or both. The construction and quality are consistent. The 0R has longer sleeves and front length, by a hem width, each. Funnily enough. The armhole depth is the same and the *petite* is wider at the hips and low waist than the size 0!

P2 on top of 0R. See difference in length.

P2 on top of 0R: sleeve length.

0R on top of P2: petite is a touch wider in the body!

What are your thoughts on this piece?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

J Crew Collection silk Medallion pant, 00, and medallion print dress, p2, mark alary tee, linen tee with metallic scoop neck

Silk pants:
Pros: I love the print, it's scale and colours; lovely quality silk, doesn't wrinkle easily, feels floaty, drapes well. Pockets.

Cons: pajama dressing; unlined (not necessary, though, IMO); straight leg, which feels a bit incomplete as a wear-out-and-about pair of trousers to me. Potentially diapered bottom effect if you try to stuff a tunic in there.

Sizing: TTS, I got 00.

Verdict: I just don't know! I love the print. But this whole straight leg pajama feel is too incomplete. It occurs to me that perhaps this is jcrew's conservative take on swingy, drapey, wide leg pants that are now en vogue. Just as it is calling "culottes" those ridiculous too-long-to-be-Bermuda-shorts, too-short-to-be-pants, and too-narrow-all-around *things* just released in hibiscus print,JCrew is potentially offering a more middle class customized version of floppy pants to us here.

For JCAs from the Sub-Continent, I tried them on as a shalwar qameez of the 1990s (short tunic shirts) crossed with the 2000s (no-paincha pajama) combo, using the medallion print dress, which has the same print in a larger scale at the bottom. The effect was a bit blah. 

For those of you wondering what the heck that last paragraph means, I have two pieces of advice: 1) look at the photos below and 2) did you see the latest "collection" by Chanel? It featured the shalwar qameez, completely undisguised. Hailing from the sub-continent myself (which is the part of Asia where shalwar qameez is either a national or ethnic dress, namely in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, respectively), I have decided that I do not object to western designers copying our modes of dress and using our traditional embroideries and embellishments by the ton. But I will do my part to make sure everyone knows their correct origins. So, my advice is to take a look at the Pakistani and Indian couture and fashion houses and see for yourself. Vive la internet!

So, on to the photos, and apologies for the diatribe.

But wait! The other items in this review? 
I like my tees drapey, so I never size down, even for linen. Both tees fit TTS. The mark alary tee is nice, but mannish (crewneck & too-long sleeves) and basically cut square like a man's undershirt. I decided to pass.

 I love the scoop neck tee though! The neck doesn't dip too low and doesn't show all when you bend down to pick your toddler up either.

The medallion print dress. So tempting from afar. I even took the special measure of ordering a petite to wear it as a tunic if desired. But, I'm trying to spend wisely, and it felt like another fashion trap. Incidentally, the colours on the pant and the dress border are identical, but the difference in scale plays up the green base more in the dress. The dress is fully lined in navy poly. It has a slight a-line cut, which makes it feel more hippy.

Ok, phew. Four in a post, that's a record for me.

The mark alary for JCrew tee; close up of the pants, colours true to life.

Linen scoop neck tee, gold trim. 
nice (L) butt not nice (R)...
Shoes are Tory Burch, Spring 2014, navy/cement.

J Crew Collection Bonded Linen-Merino Tee & Linen Drapey Pull-On Pant in Stripe

Bonded linen-merino tee:
Pros: good length, amazing colour; well-crafted

Cons: boxy style, which most regular JCAs hate (I don't mind it and didn't dislike it here); exposed zipper at back of neck (but it's a high quality, smooth running and gold-coloured zipper. You need to open the zipper to get the top on and off. 

Sizing: the website warned that this is oversized. I sized down one to XXS. That was the right call.

Verdict: the biggest question mark about this top is which weather if is best suited to. With consistently late-blooming summers, though, I think I'll find sufficient use for it. I adore the colour, which is a flattering soft "neon flamingo" pink. Also it's super discounted, which makes if easy to accept. Keeper!

[review of pants after the photos]

Notice how the backs of the shoulders wing out because of the boxy cut combined with the stiff material.

Linen pants:
Pros: beautiful cotton upper, lined inside; easy cut, well stitched; pockets

Cons: pleats under the elasticated waistband! Questionable print/pattern.

Sizing: TTS, I took my regular 00

Verdict: these pants are quite photogenic but borderline laughable in person. That doesn't stop me seriously considering them. The pleats (why are they there??) make the front puffy. I like how they're styled rolled up in the style guide. I will try that out tomorrow. They are so easy and the cloth is do beautiful that I'm very tempted by them. My worry is that my natural predilection for tailored pieces will clash with this current trend of pajama dressing. Plus it simultaneously reminds me of a circus tent stripe and a pillow cover stripe. It's a controversial piece, clearly. And what is the occasion to which this garment speaks? I'm afraid that I don't dress to lounge, nor do I feel comfortable dressing up a lounge-about outfit. This is the sort of fashion quandary J Crew throws one into (although, thankfully far less of late, given the downhill turn they seem to have taken). 

Here are some close ups of the pants.

Pleats at the waistband.

With the tee by mark alary (or whatever his last name is).

Thoughts? Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 16, 2014

J Crew Collection track pant in cove floral, 00

Pros: silk, so the print and it's colours stand out beautifully; love the piping on the side, very neatly done; pockets; very wearable cut and easy material. Very neat elasticated waistband and crotch (sorry!) - I could tuck my shirt in without feeling self conscious or thinking it obscene.

Cons: dry clean only; on the long side (thought the website says it's a 26.5" inseam).

Sizing: TTS

Verdict: this is a new silhouette, especially bc I prefer a tailored look to a studied casual one. If you've tried on and loved the cotton pants in cove floral, there's really little gain over those here. I guess it just depends on whether you want to pay a premium for the silk and the collection label.  I do like these better myself and may keep them. Note that the pants are unlined.

Colours; beautiful sheen


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

OOTD: back to the 80s

I was heading out for a quick errand and had on my striped tee in lilac and ecru from saint-James/JCrew last year. So I put on my standard white jeans ... Then I thought in might be cold and didn't want anything fancy that the little one could ruin, and picked up the light blue denim jacket JCrew released in the Spring 2014 collection. I love this pale blue. Shoes: I thought about flats and wanted smth stylish but comfy and picked up my jack purcells. 
When I looked in the mirro, I felt like I was 8 years old again. I haven't dressed this simply since I was a child, I feel like, and I was never stylish then....

So, for better or worse, it's the 1980s that are back en vogue - and this is as far as I am comfortable about taking it. (Plus some high waisted straight legged pants and a crop top from Apiece Apart. Watch this space!)

Clothing items mentioned already. White jeans are JCrew white matchsticks; watch is Kate Spade and bag is Dooney and Bourke.

Monday, June 2, 2014

J Crew Collection Cafe Capri in Windowpane Floral

Pros: beautiful print in the lovely silk twill that is now standard for JCrew pants like this; cut like they always are at the hip with a slim leg; lovely for spring/summer/Easter 

Cons: dry clean only; unlined (they don't need it)

SiZing: TTS. I took my usual 00

Verdict: keepers. My pictures are from this Easter when I wore them to an Easter egg hunt.

They're an awesome deal on sale right now. Go for it!

I swapped out the shirt. I can never remember which blouse I have that will work perfectly at the time that I need it!