Monday, January 30, 2012

J. Crew: If It Came Back Today, Would You Wear It?

I have been wanting to do this kind of post for a really long time! :)

Hope you all enjoy it...

I have so many ANCIENT J. Crew catalogs, including a handful from (gulp) the '90s, and whenever I have a few moments, I peruse the older ones as part of nostalgia for my youth.

(My severely misguided sartorial youth, but we will see evidence of that a bit later.)

One day it occurred to me..."would I wear the outfit I am seeing in this old catalog--as styled--if J. Crew (or x company) issued it again?" Often the answer is "yes," especially with any J. Crew from 2003-2008, but in the catalogs from before then the answer is "OMG, no, please dear God, leave it there with Roxette and this hairstyle that Hugh Grant made popular."

I sometimes (sometimes) can find a piece or two that is redeeming, but they are definitely far and few between.

All of this may well be because I wore the originals non-ironically (crazy twenty-something hipsters are wearing oh so ironically, yikes) but some of these older catalog images give me the skeevies. LOL.

So, I ask you..."if it came back today, would you wear it?"

Source: Summer 1994 J. Crew Catalog.  I am specifically looking at the LONG prairie dress at the right, but go ahead and have fun with the shorts/top/plaid shirt combo on the left.  (And those shoes.  The fisherman sandals.  I confess, I had a few pair...and may have worn them to my college graduation.  At least I was an Anthropology major.)

Source: Summer 1994 J. Crew Catalog.  Long, merlot, flowy, and not one accessory.  Minimalism 90s at its best!

Source: Summer 1994 J. Crew catalog cover.  Very appealing cover (really)!  These are all male items, fwiw.

I had a WINTER version of the merlot dress...and because I was super-challenged style wise, I actually wore this in 1997.  I was really behind the times, clearly.  :)

Wow.  That dress is LONG.  And very much placing me firmly in the sister wife category. 

(So you all know, at this point I was working with a boatload of LDS--aka Mormon--co-workers at the House of Representatives.  They always ALWAYS thought I was a fellow LDS until I would bring in a HUGE steaming cup of coffee into the office, usually because of a night of wine drinking the evening before made me a bit bleary-eyed.  I am not even kidding you.  BTW, my LDS co-workers were always way more stylish than I...I definitely was always the most covered-up and the most blah.  Yeah, I know, me "queen of the print" was a big fan of the solids, from head to freaking toe.)

Okay this one is from 1994, so more in time with the actual catalog.  This was a Pier One dress and because it was LONG and covered-up and the pattern was fairly simple, I was all over it.  (And clearly all over the really dark lipstick, yet another trend from the 90s that I really think should just stay there.)

So it should be fairly obvious that I will go nowhere near this trend, ever EVER again.

You all have a great night! 

P.S. If you really want a LONG red dress, here's a potential candidate.  ;)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Randomness in the Form of Outfits of this Last Week.

Hi, everyone.  I have been off the internet for a little bit.  Nothing I want to get into here right now (possibly in the future) but let's just say the things in overabundance in my life also included a few things that made me gun shy about publishing here.  Hence my need to take a few days to re-calibrate how I am going to go forward with this blog. 

I do appreciate some criticism, and felt that some of the things I was thinking and mulling over were constructive in nature, so I am choosing to do the things that make sense and should help this blog and not hurt it.  :)

One thing I will be doing is being MUCH MORE OBVIOUS about what the posts are about.  I know many of you come here for reviews, some of you come for the outfits of the day, some of you come for the stuff regarding my family and kids, and for some of you (!!!), you kind of just enjoy it all...BUT I really want to encourage the folks that only come here for one thing and one thing only (like Boden reviews) to look for the posts that have to do with that.  So from here on out, most posts will have a theme to it and the title will make it obvious what it including the words J. Crew Review, Boden Review, Outfits of the Day (or Week--like today's post), and My Superfluities Family Stuff. 

I will be honest...a lot of what I do will focus on outfits of the day, then reviews, then my family stuff.  I am feeling discouraged to talk a lot about things going on in my family because some of what I have said here has made for some fodder for folks to enjoy...even if it isn't really all that funny.  Yikes.  So I will bring it up, eventually, like things that are working for Rex or my pregnancy, but I WILL FIRMLY LET YOU KNOW THAT THE POST IS ABOUT THAT and if you are here just for the clothes, you can go elsewhere, lest it bore the cr#p out of you.

Okay, so this week has quite a few outfits, and in no special order (other than maybe fanciest to most casual), are the ones I wore this last week.

It was warm here, so bear that in mind.  I had very little use for any of my coats, really, and found that by the middle of the day, I was happy enough in no coat.

Baptism Going Outfit.  Was invited to another baptism for another darling baby yesterday, so we dolled ourselves up.

Top: Liz Lange for Target.
Skirt: Gap Maternity.
Tights: George (Wal-Mart Brand).
Shoes: Biella High-Heel Loafers, Size 9.5.  Not especially comfortable, but found I could wear them for around an hour and a half before they became painful. 
Earrings: J. Crew Acorn Fireball Earrings.

Church Going Outfit #1.  This is from last Sunday.  CW is in snow boots only because she wanted to be...not because she needed to be.  She likes pink.

Top: Random (loving that word today) Maternity Top.  Can't remember the brand. 
Skirt (Dress worn as a skirt): H & M Mama.
Booties: Naturalizer.
Headband: J. Crew.
Necklace: J. Crew Crystal Track Necklace.

Going Out to Dinner and 3D Ultrasound Outfit.  Nice night.  Feeling good in this one.  The ultrasound went great.  You all get to see Gus soon enough, so I will not likely publish the 3D photo.  He is really cute, imo...but enough talk about that.  ;)

Top: Liz Lange for Target.
Pants: Duo Maternity (JC Penny).
Shoes: J. Crew Glitterati Ballet Flats.  Great buy at a super sale price.  Highly recommend.
Headband: J. Crew.

Going to DC and Church Outfit #2. Beautiful day in the city today, sunny, warm-ish, but January, so parking was easy peasy.  I knew we were headed into the city so I wore conservative clothing but fairly comfortable so I could do a lot of walking and museum going.

Top: Isabella Oliver.
Pants: Duo Maternity.
Shoes: J. Crew Lula Jacquard Ballet Flats.
Purse: J. Crew Cameron Satchel (2008).
Necklace: Heart Locket Necklace, given to me by Mr. Dina after Rex's birth.
Coat: J. Crew Elements Coat.
Sunglasses: Target, Xhiliration Brand.

Preschool Run Outfit.  Needed comfort and so went really casual.  The boots are lined in faux and real shearling, but again unnecessary, just wanted boots for this outfit and the brown ones I own were the wrong shade for this ensemble.

Top: Old Navy Maternity.
Leggings: Madewell Convertible.
Cardigan: Boden Cashmere Cardi Coat.
Boots: J. Crew Alpine Boots.
Earrings: J. Crew Snow Sparkle Earrings.

I promised a blog friend of mine that I would upload a picture from the internet for her of a J. Crew item from a few years ago, so that is what this is.  :)  Very pretty coat, and I hope she wears it in good health!  I look forward to seeing your polyvore sets, Lisa!

And for me (not for polyvore, obviously)...a photo of my darling CW.  This may well be one of my favorite photos of her ever. 

You all have a great night.  Talk soon.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: A Lot to Look at This Week!

Hey, all.  With all my time being used in other ways (some mental, some physical), I don't have a lot of time for chit-chat today, so I will just lay out the reviews for you and you all can use them the way you need to. 

Reminder: My link to the bodenusa site is not working...sadly.   Still.  It takes you to the UK site.  Eventually I will receive a link that works, but until then, here are instructions on how to get access to the US site and get a discount.  :)

1. Instead of using the sidebar link, use an item stock photo (like the ones littered throughout this roundup) to get to the Boden USA site.

2. Click on that photo which will take you to the US item page. There will be NO discount applied, but no worries.

3. Once on the site, click on the shopping bag icon which will take you to the shopping bag page itself.

4. On that page, locate the code box (it is on the lower left hand side), and put in this code AF29 (which is what the affiliate link had as the code when I tried it last week). This code is for 15% off and free ship/returns. If you have another code, you can use it there as well.

(If this doesn't work for you, DEFINITELY let us know!) Thanks!

Spring 2012 Boden Reviews:

Textured Cotton Skirt.  This is actually the image from last week, but I received the exchange size pretty fast, so I will just use the same image (I am sure that is fine).

This new skirt is a size US 10 Long.  It fits just fine in the hips and is plenty long enough.  In fact, I anticipate it hitting right at my kneecap, which is a rarity in my life.  The waist, however, is quite large, with the difference between the waist and the hips being a mere 7 inches.  If you have a ruler or apple shaped body, this skirt may be perfection for you.  For those of us with pear shapes, you will have to size for your hips, and take in the waist (I will likely have to take the waist in a few inches).

I have read a few other reviews that are saying the same thing.  It's up to you if you are on the fence...if you love the print and don't mind the extra time (if you sew) or extra expense (if you don't) to have it altered, then go for it.  Otherwise, don't go there, it will just frustrate you.

Textured Cotton Skirt
Textured Cotton Skirt.  The printed floral pattern is selling quickly to backorder.

I have many blog friends who contributed new reviews to this week's roundup. One of them is even a new face here at this blog, so definitely go over and visit and follow her blog (Poppy's Style)! She is a big fan of Boden, so I know you all will relate to her. :)

Relaxed Knitted Tunic
Must Have Jumper
Effortless Cardigan
Relaxed Knitted Tunic and Must Have Jumpers and Effortless Cardigan. These items were all featured on Poppy's Style here. In fact, if you are a fan of the must have jumpers, she is modeling three different hues for us!

Ibiza Tunic
Notch Neck Tunic
Ibiza Tunic and Notch Neck Tunics. Poppy's Style showed off the quail egg blue version of the Ibiza Tunic and all four shades of the Notch Neck Tunic here at this post. If you are a fan of Boden tunics, this is definitely the post for you.

Speaking of the Notch Neck Tunic, Ema showed off the yellow version on her blog.

Chic Spotty Tunic
Chic Spotty Tunic. Poppy's Style gave a look-see of this tunic in the light brown/pink colorway (same one as on the model) at this post.

Clearance Boden (Spring/Summer 2011 and Fall 2011):

Pool Party Tunic
Pool Party Tunic. Ema picked up two colorways of this tunic (it's price has hit rock bottom--definitely a good buy). I have the pink version and am a fan...

A BIG THANK YOU TO Poppy's Style and Ema for their wonderful reviews!

Lounge Shoes (Tan Leopard).  I wore these as part of this outfit.  These are a size 40, which technically is a size 9 US.  Boden's shoes tend to run big and wide.  I often find I  have to buy a size 40 rather than what should be my size, a 41.  I made the right call going with the 40, the length was nice and long, but in a rare turn of events for Boden, these were made very narrow, which exactly fits my foot.  Normally the width is too wide, even in a smaller size.

The shoes are all leather construction, with a calf-hair upper.  The soles are leather, but have a rubber bit for traction.

Lounge Shoe
Lounge Shoes. Black Colorway is nearly all sold out, but the tan seems to be sticking around. The $58 price is good for what you get, especially when you compare this shoe to the one J. Crew sells for a whole lot more.

Pretty Party Dress (on CW--Baby Boden) and Big Appliqué T-shirt (Rex--Mini Boden).  CW is wearing the size 3-4, which is the largest that baby Boden goes.  She was a big fan of this dress, especially the "pink birds, Momma."

Rex's top is a size 5-6, and while a bit long overall, he is growing really fast and needs the length to ensure he can wear it next winter, too.  The pants are currently sold out (I have given you all an alternative below) but he took a size 5 in these, he has long legs but a smaller waist, so this was perfect...the jersey stretchy waistband wasn't too big or small and the legs are long enough that he should be fine to wear these into next year as well.

Pretty Party Dress
Big Appliqué T-shirt
Lined Cargos
Pretty Party Dress and Big Appliqué T-shirt and Lined Cargos.  If you find the size you need is sold out and it pops back, get it.  The mini and baby Boden stuff sells fast during clearance time.  Good luck!

Okay, all, that's it.  Hope you have a lovely afternoon and evening.  Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate all of you for spending time over here, I mean it!  :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In My Hood...

And wearing a J. Crew argyle sweater...

I was grocery shopping next door to Mrs. Obama and Rachael Ray today! While I grabbed produce and perishables, these fine ladies were eating lunch with some local elementary school students at one of our local schools (article says they were in Annandale, nope sorry, that would be Alexandria). No wonder I saw a secret service policeman at the Starbucks this morning! Rex and I even noticed the police officer which prompted me to quip to Rex, "you know, CW said she wants to be a police woman one day...did you know that?"

Rex said he didn't. But wouldn't that be pretty cool? My daughter protecting the lives of others? :) (CW was with Grandpa at her ballet lesson, btw.  She could be a second positioning, heat packing protector of lives.)

What surprises me more than anything with regards to Mrs. O and RR being in my hood? The traffic was unaffected. That never happens here in the DC area.

P.S. I love Mrs. O in this sweater, the jester sweater in orange is a perfect hue for her complexion!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

J. Crew: Carriage Coat Dress IRL.

I am FINALLY getting around to publishing this review.  I wanted to make sure I could edit these photos properly (teeny computer from heck didn't have adequate photo editing on it), so I had to wait to get the new computer. 

I figured if you all are interested in this coat/dress, then you need good photos and not crummy, non-edited photos.  Right now, this is SOLD OUT on-line, but we all know that J. Crew has popbacks.  Maybe one of you will even be fortunate enough to grab it tomorrow before the extra 40% off sale ends (which would bring the price of the coat dress down a whole bunch, most likely to cost).

Lots of photos, so let's just begin.

UPDATE: Shopwithm has a wonderful review of this dress, so take a look over there for more info.  :) 

Okay, all, this was early December, so the belly is only 24 weeks along, so there is only a teeny bulge in these photos.

I cannot wear this dress now, but the fact that I COULD wear it at more than the halfway point of this pregnancy should tell you something about this runs large.

I asked my PS for the measurements and she sent them to me.  I was sort of shocked by what I was reading...the bust/shoulders/waist AND hips were almost exactly my non-pregnancy measurements (up an inch or two overall, obviously, so it's not skin tight).  I thought for sure I would have to buy a small...but nope, the extra-small (!!!) was the exact right fit.

I could write an essay on the vanity sizing of J. Crew, but it would be a dissertation, and that would bore you all, so let's just move on...

I chose to style this dress similar to the way it was styled on the model, with a turtleneck and darker bottom.  I did not go for jeans, but anticipate doing that next winter when I am not pregnant.

Dress: J. Crew Collection Carriage Coat Dress, Size Extra-Small.  FWIW, the hips are about 43", which may be why this worked so well on me.  The shoulders and bust run smaller, though, so I expect that pear shapes will warm to this dress more than other shaped bodies.

Turtleneck: J. Crew Tissue Turtleneck, Size Medium.  From a few years back and definitely a workhorse in my pregnancy wardrobe.

Tights: Assets.

Shoes: Clarks Artisan.

Bag: Boden Leopard Tote.  Yummy.  Love this bag.  The other colors this came in are on super sale right now.  The tan is all sold out.

Earrings: J. Crew Snow Sparkle Earrings.  Also on clearance right now.

It has pockets!  That are perfectly placed!  :)

And lined!

The price was ABSURD for this coat dress.  For one, it isn't really a coat.  Come on now.  It is a thick dress made from some very pretty material and made in a beautiful mid-century shape.  This dress will make the long run in my closet as it is a classic in a great shade of red, but the original price?  Feh.

I got it at 30% off, so a much more reasonable amount.  I would have recommended it at the 30% off, but at this current super sale price?  Yes, ma'am, especially if you are a pear shape.

I was headed out to dinner with other JCAs that night (dinner at Oyamel) and the kids and I were going to see the White House Christmas tree beforehand, so the kids wore their own "festive" look.

Close-up of collar and material.  You can see that the linen (flax?)/wool blend is lovely, especially with the bits of creamy threading.  The collar also has a hidden button or two, which if you look closely, you can see the loop of one of them near the bottom of the placket.

I am so glad to have Picnik back.  Love having fun with photos!

This is the Highland Coat from a few years back, Fall 2006.  I bought this from Molly (My Closet Travels) in a size 10, and boy am I glad I did.  Turns out that the 10 is perfect.  Normally I would buy a 6, but clearly this coat doesn't suffer from vanity sizing.  I could go with an 8 during non-pregnant times, but the 10 will allow me to layer thicker sweaters.

It was a cold night, so I HAD to wear a real coat, not just a dress pretending to be a coat.  LOL.

This shot makes me so happy.  We captured three happy smiles, with a beautiful sunset framing the (now closed--boo, earthquake) Washington Monument.

Carriage Coat Dress IRL!

Above is the polyvore, for you addicts out there. (Smile.  I am one, too.  I admit it.)

Okay, I hope that helps you all!  :)  Good luck, and fingers crossed the Carriage Coat Dress will pop back tomorrow!