Tuesday, December 23, 2014

JCrew Collection Black Silk Jumpsuit

Sizing: I took my new normal 00 in this. Go for your new normal.

Pros: wonderful drape, full sleeves, layerable, chic without yelling for attention. 

Cons: deep v-neck.

I love this jumpsuit. I got it on sale in the grey green and this black. I love the drapey fabric and how it helps deal with my midsection. I like that I can later it, so the v-neck doesn't feel awkward. Overall a great well-made garment at a great sale price!

The drapeyness of the pants means I can wear it with flats too and it won't look awful.technically though, the inseam is just long enough for the lower half to look like nice full length trousers on me with heels.

A loosely draped backside, which I prefer in semi-formal or formal wear and which makes this a versatile piece.

For what it's worth, the jumpsuit in hibiscus floral from last spring is exactly the same cut, in a light papery silk, but of course it's a really loud print and looked clownish on my frame. "Absurd" was the word my husband used...so I'll stick to black and grey-green.

Monday, December 22, 2014

J Crew Quilted V-Neck Vest, B6344

Sizing: definitely size down one in this vest. I went down from XS ( my JCrew size last year) to XXS (apparently my resized JCrew size now), and the vest was still a loose fit.

Pros: good pockets; I got this as a layering piece and the pockets are great for dropping keys, phone, wallet, tissues, passport, etc, into. Shaped right, sized right. Double zipper. Warm, I can testify to that (see below). Great for layering. Cut long and straight. I'm wearing it with pixies, a plaid shirt and a light merino swing sweater, and knee boots. The effect is very Briton-in-the-country-for-a-walk...

Cons: some might find it a boxy fit. Zipper is a bit hard to open.

So I ordered the vest in navy and took it along on my international flight, during which I'm typing up this post. It's just me and my six year old and two year old. It's the younger one's first time on a plane. Proud to say we have both survives with minimal tears. And three carry ons and a stroller and a baby bjorn. So this is my warmest layer, which I've worn through two airports and two flights now. Security doesn't demand that I take it off. When I'm physically exerting a lot, I feel positively boiling in it. But it's been great through the night with odd-aeroplane-temperature-choices, etc. Not heavy or at all bulky either. The pockets are a Godsend bc I don't have pockets in my pants or on my person otherwise. 

I'm just really pleased with the fit, function and colour!

Ignore the technicolor outfit, if you will. This is me in home-doing-chores-regalia. Nothing like the picture-perfect DaniBP! 

I worried it might be too loose, so I'm stretching it out to show you the space.

And again. Note the pockets.

The zipper is lined in this odd stretchy-fabric ribbon. Not very high quality but not a deal breaker for me.

I'll try to get a selfie of my travel outfit if I can, before I end this post. Overall, thumbs up!

Here's the travel outfit. Sorry about the questionable lighting! 

All JCrew. Boots are oiled suede Dixon moto boots (old; I was selling them but finally decided to wear them).

Love the monk strap and front zipper and the oiled suede is super sturdy!

Happy holidays, y'all! I'm going to Geneva to spend quality time with sibs, parents and kids, sans husband. Have a merry and safe holiday break.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wool Melton swing coat: redux

This coat is oversized and drop shouldered and huge. It's also beautifully paneled, has a gorgeous collar, and an elegant strap across the back.

I have previously reviewed it and regretted my decision to return it. So I hunted it down and rebought in 00. That's the smallest I could go. If you can, you should also try on two sizes down, though I think that might get too snug.

I can actually fit another coat under this one very easily. Or a person, like in the catalogue....

So the most important thing to make it work? Sleeve length. I have folded my sleeves in, in the pictures below. I will have them tailored thus, in order to keep it. Your thoughts?

Sleeves without turning up

Sleeves without turning up.

Bomber in buffalo plaid wool + wool tuxedo pant

Buffalo plaid bomber:

Sizing: size down one. I show sizes 0 and 00. The 00 fits snugger and looks way better.

Pros: wool: lined beautifully inside in deep blue satin, with a little chain for hanging. 

Cons: major drop shoulders.

This jacket treat appeals to me, somehow. I liked it with the contrast of the colour block wool tuxedo pant. Would never actually wear them together, but it gives one styling ideas. I loved how they paired it with a sleek navy pencil skirt in the Norway photo shoot.

A trim silhouette, incl the fitted seamless shoulders, in size 00.

Size 00. No slouching or extra fabric over the back.


Size 0: definitely extra fabric across the back.

Size 0: shoulders look more exaggerated and the whole jacket is boxier. Arms are bunching.

Wool tuxedo pant:
Sizing: TTS. It is exactly ankle length on me, so is have to get it hemmed to wear it.

Pros: excellent fabric, woollen, warm. Lined. Well-constructed.

Cons: a tight fit in the seat and waist, as many of the cafe Capri fit pants can be.

I am unsure of this pant. The most unique thing about it is that it's woollen. Previous iterations if tuxedo pants have been thinner fabric, either silken or with silk content. I actually think the cropped tux piping is a bit of a hazard, because it can give the legs a strange shape. The pant looks best if you hide your hips with a tunic top or wear a graphic colour-blocking top. I was really chuffed with how it contrasted with the buffalo plaid bomber. Would be interested in reader opinions on this one.

The odd framing....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wool side zip cable sweater

Sizing: this sweater is very oversized so I went for XXXS.  That made the sleeves the right length, though snug.

Pros: love the cabling and designs in the knit. The heft and size of the sweater and the abandon of the design make it look like a designer piece to my eye. 100% wool.

Cons: drop shoulders.

I love this sweater, two sizes down. It's tunic-y, but chunky and very textural. Very warm. Absolutely worth the sale price!

Chunky turtleneck sweater. UPDATED

Sizing: I sized down one size on this, based on reviews. I think the correct thing to do is to get your true size.  I'm going to be looking for a black in XS.
Correction: I tried on XS and it wast half as pleasant. The shoulders are too big and make a strange shape, and the body is wider but the ribbed hem is still narrower. The sweater is best worn one size down.

More pics of me in XS below.

Pros: cropped, but a really terrific chunky turtleneck; good chunkiness overall

Cons: very cropped and the sweater tends to cling to the midsection creating an awkward overall shape. A touch more swing is what I am looking for, or a square shape. Hence the need for XS, rather than the XXS I'm trying on here.

Styling: most people have been severely disappointed in the cropped length of this piece. I blame JCrew for not styling it well, in a way that clearly shows how cropped it is and what to do to make that a great thing.

So,even though I'm petite, I actually love the length of this: it is perfect to complete the illusion that high waisted jeans offer. Top it off with a cool leather (or other jacket) and you have a clean look: chunky turtleneck that doesn't stick out from under your cool jacket And highlights your legs and/or butt in high waisted jeans. 

Wearing: chunky turtleneck in XXS, hthr silver; point sur high waisted jeans in Evansville wash (size down one, if your midsection can take it); madewell biker leather jacket (current, TTS).

UPDATE: I put the XS And XXS one on top of each other. You can see the sleeves are an inch longer, and the XS is an inch wider in the body and the shoulders. 

The sweater has a triangle shape, to overcome which one must wear one size down. So I'm keeping the XXS. Also, I noticed that one XS (grey) was more tried on than the black I was sent. The worn sweater was a bit looser than the unworn one.

Bad shoulders, sleeves and general sloppiness.

Worn XS under XXS. That difference you see in width is mostly due to wear.

JCrew Collection Calf Hair Metro Boots

Sizing: TTS
Quality: well-made, leather everything. Calf hair is terrific quality and I ordered two pair out of risk-aversion; both have perfectly matched patterns.

Pros: great pointy toe, supportive heel, albeit slim, easy on and off. They definitely look expensive and feel we-made.

Cons: takes a lot of guts to wear pointy cheetah print boots. Fashion victim?

Styling: I definitely see these working with black leather leggings, camel coloured pants, skirts and also dress pants.

They are definitely va va voom. My casual styling choice would be a standard creme chunky cardi, white/cream tee, black leather leggings and these shoes. 
To dress up, a camel coloured sweater dress (cashmere or cable) or with skinny dressy jeans and camel topcoat.

Don't wear anything else cheetah on when approaching these shoes.

In artificial light, last night.

Low light in my room this winter morning.

Covered seams with a velvet ribbon.

Still the natural light in my room, but angle makes a difference.

Your thoughts, sil vous plait?

(And we'll talk about that coat in just a minute...)

Friday, December 12, 2014


I adore this skirt. I have bought it in all four colours, but couldn't wait to wear the red!!

The sweater is one of my very first sale buys from JCrew, some 10 odd years ago. Cashmere, boat-neck, very Audrey. Love the buttons at the back of the neck.
Wearing JCrew woollen tights in navy; Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots in black napa. Kate Spade watch; Tiffany rings; JCRew bracelet and Macy's pearls in my ears. The first two pictures accurately depict the red shade of the skirt.