Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Caroline, Elsa, Meet Paisley.

Since today is Review day over at JCA, I thought it was time for me to (finally) introduce you all to Caroline, Elsa, and the insanely beautiful Paisley. ;)

You all had a sneak peek at Elsa and Paisley yesterday, as they were both prominent pieces of my dressy Independence day outfit, but as of yet, I have not shown off Caroline.

I have had Caroline the longest, but when I had my (self)-imposed ban on showing or wearing any new J. Crew pieces off, dear sweet Caroline got the ax until this last weekend. Elsa and Paisley are relatively new, but again, I was holding off until I was sure that the debacle with the floral swing skirt was resolved.

This weekend was fab...I had my birthday on Friday, then Saturday and Sunday were fun pool and church days, and of course yesterday, I was able to get my "Go America" groove on with the hues of red, white, and blue. These two outfits you see below are from Sunday church (Miss Caroline) and Monday lunch (Miss Elsa Paisley).

(The rest of the weekend's frivolity will be in future posts.)

And, yes, I will provide more than just pretty photos, I will obviously give info on style, color, sizing, and feel.

Caroline Dress, size 6, safari fatigue color.  I first tried the dress on at the Friendship Heights store in the grey color, and loved the overall fit and feel.  It looked and felt good on...the cotton is lightweight and the fit shows off my tinier upper body and allows the curves of my lower half to look smaller, so I knew I had a winner.  I wasn't going to buy it at the store, so I waited until I had a 20% off coupon and bought it on-line. 

The dress itself is prone to wrinkling, as you can see from the skirt portion in this photo, but like a fine linen, it didn't bother me as it wasn't a wrinkling that I felt made me look sloppy, just carefree.  (Or so say I.  LOL.)

The dress is very plain, and for me, that is unusual, but I LOVE that I can kill the outfit with accessories, which I don't often have the chance to do.

Here is my choice for accessories: the Factory straw trilby hat, the elastic blossoms belt, the flora earrings, and from a few years ago, the Pietra jeweled sandals.

Oh, and lots and lots of trees. Natch.

Just call me Miss Wood Nymph.  My Caroline is the perfect camo for the environment I live in...great for hide and seek..."Mr. Dina, can you find me?"  LOL.

Definitely can't play hide and seek with this outfit on. 

The outfit was meant to be a patriotic nod to our Revolutionary past, but we discovered that while I 100% hit the "blue and white" portion of our colors, the "red" was definitely interpretive, almost like performance art.  Turns out that modern red *can* appear red in some lighting (like the dark...or nearly dark) and *does* appear almost orange the rest of the time.

I just ran with it and declared that I, in fact, was being SO patriotic that I was showing off my state pride by celebrating with the Commonwealth of Virginia's most revered university's colors of orange and blue (wahoowa!).

For those polyvore peeps out there, here is a link to the polyvore set I created to show of the outfit.

The Elsa jacket runs true to size, as my true size of 4 fit nicely.  The fabric is luscious with a faint tonal stripe that is most evident in photos.  The stripes run perpendicular in the pockets, giving the tailoring a bit of a fun.  The belt is lovely, and however belted, looks perfect.  The hook and eye closures are unusual, but in no way take this jacket away from being very lady-like and polished. 

Only beef I have is that the seaming at the back came loose after one wear.  I have a sewing machine and can spend the 30 seconds it will take to repair it, but I am bugged that the thread they chose to use there was so darn cheap.  Clearly they are willing to spend money on the fabric, the style, and the tailoring, but the thread?  Not so much.  Grr.

Paisley Pencil skirt.  There is a reason this is completely sold out.  The pattern is rich, the texture of the fabric is thick, the lining is excellent, the price is great, and the length, exactly right for so many women.  I even lucked out and received a skirt whose pattern is centered perfectly and placed just so to make my hips look smaller than they are (God bless you, lovely people of the warehouse, for sending me this exact one!).

I purchased the size 8, which is the size for my hips.  The 6 would have been a better fit at my waist, but I did not want to have this skirt strain in any way at my largest part.  Plus...I will be able to wear this for many years, regardless of weight gain in the middle.  ;)

I have beautiful company in reviews of these items.  Just this morning, AppGal reviewed the Caroline dress.  Shopwithm has reviewed the Elsa (and it is her who I blame for my purchase--lol).  And of course, Ms. Handbag Aficionado reviewed the Paisley Pencil Skirt.  Let them enable you, not me.  ;)

You all have a great day...

P.S. I have thoughts and feelings about the Casey Anthony verdict, but since I am in polite company, I will not express them here.  Suffice it to say that as the mother of a delightful two-year old girl, I am a bit sick to my stomach over it all.  Ugh.

P.P.S. Boden lovelies, I am doing another roundup tomorrow, so if you have reviews from any of your sale purchases, I would love to publish them.  You all can e-mail me at dinagideon@aim.com.