Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cherry Blossom Times Three!

I am sort of addicted now to the cherry blossom print, a GORGEOUS J. Crew print that came out in the spring of 2008.

It was a slow burn to say the least.  I actually have owned the Cherry Blossom Lucaya Espadrilles for almost two years now, in fact I purchased them for $10 at Rugged Wearhouse, which is a local store much like TJ Maxx or Ross, in that it sells overstock.  I just couldn't seem to find a reason to wear it...

I know, I know, kind of lame.  LOL.

Then I saw the wonderful Cherry Blossom dress modeled on shopwithm.  I didn't know if I would find her exact dress, but she, like me, loves the ebay, so I thought I would give it a try.  And lo and behold, a seller was selling a factory version of the retail dress that shopwithm owned.  I ended up winning the auction, and now am the proud owner of the very pretty Cherry Blossom print dress.

I even added to my own cherry blossom fervor (I live in the DC area, I guess I should just accept my fate) and bought the Cherry Blossom necklace when it dipped down to nearly *HALF* of its original cost (love the extra 30% off sales).  I had loved it styled in the catalogs, so to get it for half off felt like the best score!

Finally, just two days ago, I won an auction for the cherry blossom cafe capri pants (the actual retail version, too!) for $15!  YAY!  :)  Cannot wait to model these!

Anyhow, onto the pretty!
J. Crew Factory Cherry Blossom Print Dress, Size 6, Cotton.  It has pockets that are on the front (as opposed to stitched into the seam which is what the retail version has).  The cotton works better for my summer lifestyle, and I have a lot of success with these factory shift dresses, and probably own five of this style.  I don't think I will be hunting for the silk retail version, this one is just fine by me! :)

The shoes are the current retail leather ballet flats.  This poppy color is a very vibrant tomato red and is exactly the right shoe for this dress.  Score!

Close up of the print.  Definitely more muddied than the retail, but still very pretty!

The collar also has no buttons, the tailoring (or lack thereof) is probably what makes this factory.  The retail version clearly has more detail and fine features. 

That said, if you can find this factory version on ebay, go for it!  (And polyvore peeps, I have a pic of it saved!)

This is the outfit that features the cherry blossom necklace.  I wanted to highlight its prettiness, so I chose to wear it last week with the very preppy and perfect for summer heat Land's End Dobby Dress (that I found at Sears!).

The dress is a size 4, and I highly HIGHLY recommend that if you have a smaller bustline to size way down.  I wear a 6 in most J. Crew dresses, sometimes an 8, so I am either down one or two sizes.  The hips are free, so even those of us (lucky) pear-shaped ladies should be in our smallest size.  Unfortunately, Land's End's smallest size is a 2 petite, so many of you will be sized out...but on the other side, this dress goes up into many of the women's sizes, so if you love the prep and get angry at J. Crew for not having anything above size 14, this company may suit your prep desire.  :)  Very very cute stuff!

The shoes are the Lula Ballet Flats in the Liberty print fabric from this spring.  I jumped on these when they went on super sale, with an additional 20% off.  These are so COMFORTABLE.  Highly recommend these flats for comfort.  I am wearing my tts 9.5 in these.

The necklace will be reviewed in a few photos (there's a close-up).

Hands on hip.  This dress has phenomenal drape and the waist sash is a nice touch and really emphasizes the waist perfectly.

This dress is very mid-century Mom, yes???

From the back you can see why, even on me, the dress runs fairly large.  The bodice is pretty loose and the straps are a bit long, so bear that in mind if you buy this dress.

Black and white pic.  The necklace in b&w looks really unique and special. 

Close-up of the cherry blossom necklace in color.  The necklace is not a delicate thing, is it?  In other words, it is so my style.  Love the statement necklace and the beautiful, contrasting pave-style cherry blossom flowers make this necklace truly a conversation piece.  It is heavy, too, so keep that in mind.  Definitely worth it at $75 (and for sure $60), maybe not $150...

CW and I were going to her dance class that morning.  Her ballet costume (with tutu) is so darling.  Obviously we are practicing in this shot.  My dad is going to love this shot.  :)  (Yes, dad, I will make you a copy!)

Above is the polyvore of the outfit I am wearing below.  This shirtdress may be familiar to you old timey J. Crew fans.  :)  It is from Spring 2007 and was from back when the Crew went boating on a regular basis in Italy (it was in the Capri catalog--February 2007).

Dress is not my hubby's favorite.  He far prefers more fitted and shorter.  (Aw, shucks, Mr. Dina, no sister wife fashion love???)  I love this dress and will always wear it, regardless.

That said, I did buy it at a larger, postpartum size (bought when Rex was a few months old), and maybe I would do better with a four or six, but until I find the right size on ebay or the exchange, I will continue to wear this size 8 chestnut stripe version (it also came in a light blue stripe).

It has pockets, love that.  The dress also has a sash (like the Land's End one) but it looked boring that way, so I took my hot pink skinny leather belt (size small) and used that instead.

The shoes are the cherry blossom here, the Lucaya Espadrilles.  They are in a size 9, which is 1/2 size smaller than I normally wear, but it was fine, maybe a millimeter too short, but nothing crazy.

Hand on hip, being all sassy.

You all have a great day.  I want to thank each and every single one of you for reading my blog.  I know I have been kind of busy lately, and not commenting very often, or commenting back, but I am reading other blogs (and enjoying the posts), and I am reading all comments that come to this blog.  You all rock!  Once this week is done (Rex has his last day of preschool on Thursday), I will have more time (gotta love that!).

P.S. If you have a Boden review for me, would you mind e-mailing me by tomorrow?  I plan to have the Boden Weekly Review Roundup published by late afternoon!  THANK YOU!

P.P.S. I have found the fresco cardigan that I so love in a smaller size! (The medium I had was a tad bit too big and loose.) So I have decided to sell the medium, below is the polyvore with info on that...

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Milly/Mini Milly on Another Mom/Mini Me...

When you "like" something on Facebook, turns out you get to see lovely images like this one in your feed.  Awesome!
Huh, this combo looks familiar.  :)

Looks like I have good company in my desire to have my daughter and I dress exactly the same.

Michelle Smith, you lovely fearless leader of Milly NY, I heart you.  Maybe you and I and our darling daughters should have a playdate?  ;)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Boden Limited Edition: Silk Feather Top Review.

I so cannot wait to style this puppy properly. These photos DO NOT do the beauty that is the silk feather top justice. ;)

I wanted to get a review in on this item before the 25% off expires tonight, so please do anticipate a better set of photos on this top at some point in the future (although on a cool day, which in VA may be a day when I stay inside all day, it is HOT here from May to October!).

I have to give major props to Boden...I ordered this on Monday and it arrived yesterday. That is a fantastic turnaround, in my opinion. It did come by UPS instead of USPS so maybe that made the difference?

I ordered this top in a size 6, which is my typical Boden top size and is one size larger than my J. Crew top size.

The silk is heavy, substantial, and very soft.  You can feel the quality.  Boden tends to do silk correctly, choosing the best of the best.  This top has the appearance of old school J. Crew with a Boden twist.  This heaviness also makes it the wrong fabric for summer.  :)  Or at least not NOVA summers.

The print is very mod, and the olive, grey, and pink coloring works nicely together.

The beading at the neckline is applied very well, and not one bead was loose.  Much like the with showstopping jacket, you can tell the workmanship is high.

From the side.  My one gripe on this top is that there are no side vents, which I feel would help make the almost tunic shape lay better.  Since this has no side vents the front can pouf a bit and that is something many of you would probably dislike (although I hear from some of my readers they love that because it helps camouflage a bit of a tummy).  I may tailor this top and add side vents, but for now I am fine tucking it under. 

I chose to tuck the hem under, which I believe helped to make the top lay a bit better.  It can also be tucked in, but I don't know that I will do that, although I can see it looking GORGEOUS tucked into a sleek pencil skirt.

From the back.  You can see how the hem is tucked under here.  The neckline detailing extends around to the back.

A bit of a close-up on the beading and print.  (It is a bit blurry, I had a TIME trying to get the camera to be my friend today, lol.)

I would say go for this blouse if this is your style.  I love tunics, prints, mod style, and a bit of bling, so clearly I had to have this one. 

One word of warning, though.  I have wee shoulders and while this top fits me fine, it was a bit more constricted through the shoulders than I normally experience.  I have to be careful taking this off because of how tight the shoulder line is.  If you have a larger shoulder area, please size up two sizes from your J. Crew size and one size from your Boden size.  If your shoulders are a bit smaller, go one size up from your J. Crew size and stay true to size with your Boden size.  I would not recommend sizing down for ANYONE.  ;)

Silk Feather Top
Silk Feather Top. This top also comes in a grey/navy version that is very pretty and a bit more subdued than the multi feathers option that I own. It is 110 dollars on sale with the 25% off.

You all have a great day.  Remember that the autumn preview is out, so enjoy!  I have had a glance, and while much of it seems derivative, and I definitely know I own some pieces that are being repeated...I did see quite a bit that looks so darling...so I will do a "picks" post either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Boden Autumn 2011 Preview! Yay!

Edda is "capturing" you with all sorts of yummy Autumn fashion.

Louise, of the fab blog Running on Anthro (and clearly Boden, too, lol), let all of us know that the Preview site for Autumn 2011 is up and ready to look at.  (YAY!)

Here's the thing, I am way overwhelmed with all these things I have to do today, but I *should* be able to give the site a really good look later today and maybe choose a few items as my "picks" for the fall.

Until then, would you all mind taking a view and letting me know your picks, too?  You can access the site here.

You all have a great day!

P.S. Don't forget today is my last day for 25% off with the Boden Diminishing Discount, tomorrow the discount becomes 20%, and then on Saturday, it reverts to "normal" with 15% off.  You can access the discount through my sidebar.  :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Boden Weekly Review Roundup...includes Johnnie B. and Baby Boden.

UPDATE, 8:40 pm: I have added three additional reviews to today's post...you can find them *above* CW's Fifties Dress Review.

CW is gonna kill you all with cuteness today in her adorable Baby Boden Fifties Dress, but you all are gonna have to wait until the end of the post to see it.

Going three months strong now, I am thrilled that the reviews still keep pouring in, and I really want to thank ALL of the wonderful women who have sent in their reviews either through e-mail, polyvore, JCA, or their own personal style blogs. I anticipate being able to keep this up, and I find that having a catch-all place for reviews wonderful, ESPECIALLY when it is sale time, so helpful!

Of course right now we are in the midst of a diminishing discount sale at Boden, and tomorrow is the last day for the additional 25% off your order. After that, Friday is an additional 20% off, and Saturday is an additional 15% off (basically what my "maternity" coupon can normally offer you).

Just a quick reminder...to make sure you receive the 25% off, do click through the diminishing discount link in my sidebar (it is the second link from the top), which will ensure that your shopping bag is calibrated for the sale.

To see an item at Boden more closely, please click through the Boden stock photo. To see an item more closely on me or CW, please click the photo, which will take you to a larger version of the photo. To see it on one of my sweet blogger friends, please click on the link I have provided.

And let's begin with a ridiculous romper that. I. just. had. to. have.  And will not see the light of any mall, eating establishment, or school.  It is seriously just for home and the pool.  ;)  But that is more than fine for me.

This is a Johnnie B. item which means that I *am not* the target demographic.  You all know that means squat in my mind, right?  ;)

I bought this is the right/wrong size.  More on that later.  This is a size large, and it is in the adorable sailboat print colorway.

Hand on hip to show off exactly wear the elasticized waistband is.  The straps of the play suit are adjustable, so if you are a bit longer-torsoed than me, you will be able to adjust the romper so that your waist and the waistband will align properly.

From the side.  This play suit has a very short inseam, which is why this romper is only for home and for the pool.  I ain't no teenager, nor am I an adult fool.  That said, this is insanely comfy, and very lightweight, which makes it utterly perfect for our HOT and HUMID summer days here in VA.

From the back.  It has a racerback, which means you *shouldn't* wear it with a bra, but I totally did.  But for you all, I totally photoshopped those pesky bra straps out, 'cause you all don't need the distraction.  LOL.

I kind of have one main problem with this romper's construction.  The fabric adjusters on the straps are plastic, and not metal or coated metal, which means they are very very susceptible to breakage.  If they break, I guess I will be forced to "fix" the straps to one length and sew the straps to that length, but here's to hoping I don't have to do that for a while.

Here is how I anticipate the romper looking on me after I do a bit of tailoring, nice and fitted on top and the perfect width on bottom.  It actually looks like the top half fits here, doesn't it?  Just wait.

Yeah, it doesn't.  My grandpa wanted to know why I had stolen some other woman's romper that is how large this top is.  ;)  I think the lower half of the romper is fine, I may have been fine with a size medium (my true to size Johnnie B size), but it wasn't available, and I was also a bit nervous that the medium would be like saran wrap on my non-junior sized hips.  Yeah, I should have known.

So the plan is to tailor the top, add a zipper to the back and keeping the hips the same.  I wouldn't be doing this if I hadn't gotten the romper for 30 and some change.  Is this romper worth $44?  No way, no how.  The cotton is thin, the construction isn't the best, and it runs large...BUT on super-sale, heck yeah. 

Any of you all gonna take the romper plunge?

Shorts Play Suit
Shorts Play Suit. As of right now, most of the smaller sizes are gone, but there are some mid-range and larger sizes still around. 

Favourite Crew Neck Cardigan
Santorini Skirt
Favourite Crew Neck Cardigan (top) and Santorini Skirt (bottom). Suburban Mom put a BIG smile on my face by pairing the yellow version of this skirt with the green version of the cardigan. She looked like the dressy version of her beautiful garden. :)

Rainyday Duffle
Rainyday Duffle. Polly and Fiona give a great review of this coat in two colorways, and I love the result of the dilemma they found themselves in...good luck getting the navy in the smaller size!!!

Textured Cotton Skirt
Textured Cotton Skirt. Yesterday I had a post where I not only reviewed this AMAZING skirt (I admit it, I went ahead and got the navy version with this sale), but I also wore it as part of an "Emma Pillsbury" inspired look.

Breezy Beach Dress
Breezy Beach Dress. I wore this wonderful summer sundress on Saturday, and wish that my size was back in stock in the radish colorway (it is so soldout).

THREE NEW REVIEWS (as of 8:40 pm 05/25/11):

Saint-Tropez Skirt
Saint Tropez Skirt. Lauren PhD, a bloggie friend from JCA, e-mailed me about this skirt and here is her take: First off is the Saint-Tropez skirt, which arrived in the mail today. It was so cute that I actually wore it right out of the package. I don't really feel comfortable in shorts so I wear skirts all summer and this one is my version of a perfect summer skirt. The fabric is cotton lawn with cute pintucks and lace detailing that give it visual interest. I got the pewter, which is an odd brownish-gray, but is a great neutral that goes with everything. It fits true to size. I also have a very high waist and I love that this hits slightly below the waist. I have the feeling that I'll be getting a lot of use out of this skirt.

Lauren PhD, I believe your review may be enabling a few of us with this glowing review. I didn't even know it existed before your review! :)

Twist Jersey Top
Twist Jersey Top. Lauren PhD also reviewed this top, about which she says: I also got the twist-front jersey tops a couple of weeks ago, but it's only recently gotten warm enough to wear it here. I got the poppy, which is a VERY bright coral. I have olive skin, so the color works on me, but it might be too bright for some. The cut is very flattering. I have a bit of tummy and the shirt hides that without looking like a maternity top. Also fits true to size.

Thanks, Lauren PhD. :)

Pool Party Tunic
Pool Party Tunic. Polly reviews this tunic, which is turning out to very popular here in the DC/VA region (all the reviewers have been local, lol).

Okay, you all ready for the cuteness overload?  ;)
Yes, that's her in the most adorable baby dress Boden has ever, hands down, come up with.  Agh!  It is the same print as the romper (of course it is, you all know me), but this aqua color looks divine with the red and white sailboat pattern.

She also happens to be wearing the tie-dye sandal from Calypso St. Barth for Target in the pink color.  She is very fashionable today.  Of course we aren't going anywhere, but that's fine.  Grandpa is impressed!

Close-up of her in the dress.  I bought her the 3-4 size, which is the largest size they offer, btw.  It fits a bit big, but it is nice to know that she will be able to wear it next summer, too.  I wish they had made this in mini-Boden, but the print was only in a handful of baby Boden and Johnnie B. items.  Huh.

And CW wanted a momma/me pic.  She is holding her "phone."  The phone just fits in one of her front pockets, too...

Fifties Dress
Fifties Dress.  It comes in other colorways, too.

Fifties Swimsuit
Fifties Swimsuit. Agh, so freaking cute! Won't be getting this for CW, but wanted to show it off for all you moms of adorable baby girls (it goes up to size TODDLER 3-4).

I have hopefully published all the reviews I could find this week, but if you have an additional one, would you mind e-mailing me? (dinagideon@aim.com) I try to catch all the reviews, but I freely admit not being able to get them all. :)

BTW, tomorrow I will be posting a review on the Silk Feather Top. It came FAST! I have to say I am not only thrilled with the top, but I adore that the limited edition is also part of this diminishing discount sale. Awesome! :)

You all have a great Wednesday!