Monday, December 21, 2015

JCrew Review: Nordic Parka, XXS

I got this in the blue colour way, though I quite like the olive too. I think the orange lining on the olive was a bit off putting, it resembles my 6yo's jacket. 

Anyhow, great, hefty, warm jacket. Ordered the kids' parka to try on, side by side. That is flimsier. This one is quilted on the inside, with thinsulate too. 

It has a soft inner collar, that rests against your neck and adds insulation. See picture: 

It has similar ribbed cuffs inside the sleeves to keep the sleeves and arms airtight. 

The front has a two way zipper, with a woven zipper pull and also buttons for style. I doubt I will ever do up the buttons.

There are a gazillion pockets: there's boob pockets, for the keep-your-hands-in-pockets while you stroll. There's the large front patch pockets. Those open at the top, where you see the buttons, and they open at the sides in case you want to stick your hands in there rather than boob pockets.   All pockets are lined on the inside with fleece. 
There is a zipped pocket on the inside lapel of the coat:

And there are those parachute pull things on the inside, to define a waist, if you feel the need:

The inner lining is quilted in large diamonds, as visible here. The outside is a nice dark navy, and the inner lining is a contrasting brighter steely blue, above a "skirt", which is dark navy.  The skirt is large open pockets, too, on the inside lapels, in both sides, like men's coats.

The inside of the hood is lined in navy fleece. Feels good on. The faux fur trim 
Is really high quality. It spikes out and separates just like real fur. It's got these shaded tips, which complement my skin and hair tone. It's a thick, luxurious fur trim, like I spent last winter admiring on other people's jackets in Europe. So I think it's a great budget friendly piece for a really stylish and warm parka.

Definitely warmer than the standard long puffer jacket from JCrew, which I also own.

I got the XS and the XXS to try. The XXS is a nice trim fit. The XS wasn't awful, and would be an easier thing to wear if I had on one of my ghastly all wool chunky knit cardis or smth (remember the first iteration of the bonfire cardigan in chunky knit lambswool? In creme? That one.)

 But other than that I prefer the XXS. It fits true to size to a touch large, then. I always get 00 in blazers and 0 in overcoats. Unless the overcoats are oversized, in which case I get 00.

Final verdict: great piece! My husband loves it too. Which is huge for him to admit bc he officially detests JCrew bc of my addiction to it.  :)

JCrew Collection Silk and Lace Blouse, E6141

This is a gorgeous silk blouse. I noticed it just recently, and caught a 0 on popback.  It is currently sold out, but we all know that the religious Stalker will be rewarded. 

The fit is slim: I felt it sit tighter across the bust, but not tight. The arms hit me just write at the wrist bone, whereas with the regular sized silk Blythe blouses, they always drape over the top of my hand. I'm petite, you may remember. So I think that the blouse does run a bit small and if you can catch a size up, too, you won't be disappointed. 

Pros: beautifully stitched. The lace is lovely, delicate, spidery. There are well placed pin tucks on the front and back of the shirt. It has a covered button placket, with only the top button visible. The whole thing is very tasteful. You don't feel naked bc of all the lace. Tailored. 

Cons: a slimmer fit. This does mean that you might want to size up.

I love the top. It is quite versatile and will be an investment piece . Provided my December 5 lb don't become permanent!

 Sorry about my layered tank top showing underneath! I was too cold to take it off!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Madewell reviews: corduroy flared jeans, herringbone mock neck top

Review 1. MADEWELL HERRINGBONE SWEATER TOP, XS, $98/- before promos. Fits TTS. The cut is boxy. Funnel neck. The topside of this top is a lovely brushed furry felt. The underside is soft sweatshirt-y cotton. Not terribly warm. This is more about the silhouette than anything. 

Close ups:
That's not a blurry picture, it's fuzzy top in hi-res!


And cut of the top:

So you know all these oversized baggy coats everyone's offering these days? You can accommodate your boxy, deep arm cut tops under them. So it all works out. You just need to be super efficient getting dressed. 


I love the quality of the thin wale cords. Silky, nice, with a bit of stretch. The jeans are high waisted. They do bag out at the knees and legs a touch , but I think that's ok, given I've been lounging in them a bit.  Very comfy high waist, fits true to your regular jeans size. Don't size up. I love the fawn color. Especially with the bagging, it will stand up to wear better than the wine. FYI, Shopbop is also offering these in blue! 


Today, I wore the flares with an older JCrew top, layered with a Vince turtleneck. Just to shop my closet.

Compared to the herringbone top from Madewell's current offering, which do you vote for: fiscal responsibility or extravagant variety?

Thanks for reading! Subscribe to my IG feed for more frequent updates, and to my blog for detailed reviews!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

JCrew Review: Collection blouse in graphic peony

Here's the best price I've seen on this blouse. 

It's a nice silk. But I didn't love the print. My cut and paste IG review:

Collection peony print silk blouse. Runs small-TTS. I think this blouse is meant to be super drapey, so you cd get your regular size if you can. I grabbed the 00 on popback, which is one size down from my usual size 0, and had to return. The fit was good, but there's a seam that runs on the sleeves, diagonally from your tricep to your armpit. It's constricting and uncomfortable.  The deep V neck requires a cami under. Mostly, I just didn't like the print. It photographs way better than it looks IRL, for me. The fabric etc were fine. I returned this, so you can expect a 00 to popback or ping me and I can ask them to hold it for you at my store. #jcasofinstagram #jcaforlife #review

Overall, based on others' comments, sizing down is not a bad way to go!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sophia Webster for JCrew Jaquard Caged Shoe, with a tangent on Birkenstocks

I'm sorry I can never remember exact names... You'd forgive me if you knew the life I lead. If you do need an item number, just drop me a comment.

Sizing: run half size small. I picked up the last 36.5 and it fits perfectly. Normally I wear a 36 in European sizing. 

(Which reminds me that Birkenstock 36 posing as a US 5.5 or 6 is totally misleading. If you're a US 6, you need a 35 in the Birks).

Pros: lovely craftsmanship. The glittery gold is a jaquard fabric, backed in leather, leather sole, suede piping, buttons, and suede covered heel. The heel is 3", not more, and supremely comfortable.

Cons: these are statement and mildly space-y shoes. Heck, Princess Leia might wear them to a space-bar. So the question becomes, where would a mom living in a small suburb (albeit full of social events, that she does not partake in) wear them? The other con is that the shoe-models for most caged shoes have cankles or smth.  Never do I find a well-fitted shoe that has a zip opening. It's like the knee high boots that don't fit exactly on scrawny calves (another of my personal crosses). 

So, gorgeous as these are, what should one do? Trust me, I already have a shoe museum, that I giddily add to in moments of insanity. When sober, though, I'm beginning to feel appalled and a little suffocated. 

Help me, my friends.

And some styling inspiration from Net a porter:

Talk about expertly dressing them down!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

JCrew fishtail anorak in PXS and the skinny cargo pants, Spring 2015

Fishtail anorak:
I love the whole fishtail look and saw a really cool trench on someone at a mall last year, so I was excited about this one. 

Pros: well-made in terms of attention to detail e.g. Inside of zippers is covered in matching twill tape, double zipper, buttons and zippers to fasten. The coat is also cut to fit the current oversize trend, and the coat has drop shoulders. The cuffs of the sleeves have no openings, and are sewed with a slight a scrunchiness. I don't like it, but Intermix is featuring an anorak with identical details by Rav and Bone in their current catalogue. The whole thing only looks really cool if you scrunch the sleeves, or maybe if you pair it with leather or very short shorts. Oh great - I just thought of pairing it with my white leather jeans and now I'm more inclined towards the coat! The colour is nice, but...

Cons: the fabric is oddly shiny and makes me think of nylon a bit, thought it is actually cotton. The coat is whisper thin and light, bring entirely unlined. I have no idea how it would do in a downpour. No question the swing trench will be a better raincoat. It is also a bit balloony, given the oversized silhouette.

Sizing: if you're petite, definitely order petite. I did my usual XS in the petite, which felt right and will allow for layering.

Verdict: now I'm thinking of pairings with things in my closet and I'm tempted to keep it. But it's otherwise an expensive "statement" piece.

Easily accommodates very bulky layers underneath.

Not the cool fishtail hem I saw in that person in the mall. Hers had buttons or zippers and the fabric was more substantial. The whole vibe was tougher and cooler, of the order of Chloe.

Fabric details 



Skinny cargo pants, size 24.

Sizing: I took my normal size this year in jeans, which has been 24 for basically all jeans. I tend to think I'd still take a 25 in jBrand, for instance, so this night be vanity sizing at it's best. Just go with your normal JCrew jeans size.

Pros: amazing stretch, amazingly soft fabric; truly skinny cut. Most skinny pants are still not skinny on my chicken legs - but these are terrific. The material is so soft and gripped the leg so well that I actually felt very warm wearing them. They were instantly comfortable and I didn't want to take them off.

Cons: another generation of awesome casual pants that I now think I should hoard in all colours!

I'm wearing them under the anorak in almost all pics above. Here's two more detailed shots.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

JCrew Collection Wool Jumpsuit, hthr carbon - redux

So, if you recall, I only managed to get the regular size in this jumpsuit, way back in the Fall. But if there's one rule with JCrew, it is: nothing is ever altogether lost (except perhaps your dignity and sleep as your eyes automatically flutter wide open at 4am so you can troll for pop backs). 

So I did, and I finally got my hands on a P2.

Sizing, then, has to be TTS in your general physical category. Choose petite if you're petite - because proportions are everything in jumpsuits.

The other stuff is the same as before. It's a great understated piece. Easy to wear; woollen; layer with turtleneck; pockets; band collar. Love.

Please ignore the over abundance of leopard print calf hair shoes in my closet. It's the crewlade...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Norwegian Reality Show Sends Fashion Bloggers To Experience Sweatshops In Cambodia

What an amazing, scary, thought provoking and depressing thing.

Article and clips at:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

JCrew Collection French Tweed Coat, 00 + styling ideas added!

Sizing: though this coat is supposed to be a classic cut and fit, it's oversized. The shoulders, in particular are a good 3" wider than usual. I'm not sure why. So I'd recommend sizing down 1-2 sizes. If you're tall, the coat will fit very differently on you. See stock photos from a department store, below.

Pros: excellent fabric, excellent craftsmanship; chic colours. Awesome and roomy for layering: blanket scarf heaven.

Cons: you have to be regular sized to have a hope with the fit.  Unless youve got the flair to pull it off even when petite. Why not, I say?

I cannot bring myself to part with this one. It's just all that and more.  Trรจs chic. A grown up coat, for sure. 

You see there's room inside for layering.

The pattern is perfectly matched *everywhere*.

I couldn't go lower than a size 00, bc that's the smallest size made. Your thoughts?

The back. Told you it is perfectly matched.

Inside breast pocket and lining in navy. 

This is a true collection piece. 

You can see how the shoulders are made too wide. It's bc of the body of the coat, being wide, and the structure of the coat: a large rectangle with sleeves.

For inspiration:

High heels, skinny outfit, loose hair.

Topknot, chunky turtleneck, eyeliner, very French chic, roll/pull/zhuzjh up the sleeves. Closest to my idea of chic.

Oddball in her loafers and wide pants in the middle of winter....

And that's not all: navy leather skinny pants and fur top peeking out from under, or bulky tipped blazer and large scarf . High heeled boots.

If you're tall, the coat will fit differently: still loose, but a more trim length. The model is 178 cm or 5,11: