Tuesday, April 23, 2013

J. Crew Review: Collection Secretary Blouse in Hummingbird Floral.

Good Tuesday evening, all!

I made a promise in yesterday's JCA weekly exchange (looking to sell) post that I would do a quickie review of the beautiful secretary blouse in hummingbird floral that I was able to get from the Madison Avenue Collection store (via my awesome online personal shopper).

I am not going to be keeping it, but only because there are a few things that make it a less than justifiable purchase for me personally.  Had these few things not been part of the equation, I would happily keep it, since it is very lovely.

Size 4.  The size is pretty much spot on, fitting about the way that my perfect shirts fit.  It is a touch slimmer in the armholes, bust, and hips, but even still, it isn't uncomfortable, nor does it look like it is too small.

I tucked it in because I feel like the hemline is kind of blah, really wish they had made a more interesting shape there, so that even if it is untucked, it would still look unique and fresh.  Instead it is your basic flat shape, doesn't even have vents in the lower side seams to help give it some oomph.  On a $300 blouse, it should be exquisitely finished.  But that wouldn't detract me from keeping it, if that was the only issue I had.

From the back.  This really shows how special the fabric is, harmonious coloring, not too overtly twee birdie print (some sort of parrot, not a hummingbird, btw), and the prettiest shade of blue. 

That blue, though, is my ultimate downfall.  Even if I could justify the higher price tag, in the end, this blue is far too cool for me to wear on its own, and I would need to pair it with a jacket or cardigan in a more flattering color (like the red or ivory in the print) to make it work.  At the higher price I bought it for (I got a discount, but it was still very pricey), I would want a shirt that I could wear on its own too.

Not horrible, of course, but I have better blues for me, like the mid-teals, the deep cobalts, and the denim shades.  This would probably work better if it had a touch more green or if the blue was a bit more saturated.

It breaks my heart to have to either resell it or return it as I do adore this print. 

Here it is opened at the neckline.  The shape of the blouse is darling, and opened up the blouse takes on more of a sexy secretary vibe, while buttoned up, the blouse is definitely all business.  ;)

So, the pros of this blouse: Gorgeous fabric, exquisite print, soft, slightly sheer silk, neat details in the blouse's construction, and pretty colors.

Cons of this blouse for me: Wrong shade of blue, boring hemline, a touch too small at the bust, and way too high of a price tag for what I would be getting.  I would only keep this blouse if I had managed to grab it at $75, which is never going to happen since the blouse is now all sold out.

I had sort of given up ever getting the blouse, so I went ahead and made a plan B, which was to buy two yards of the blue Floral Eve print by Liberty of London (found it at Jones and Vandemeer; out of stock there, but they still have some with the white background) as it had a similar feel but with a more greeny-blue background.

Upon receiving it, I was thrilled as it was exactly the right shade of blue for my complexion, and the print was just as lovely. 

Of course, two days later my PS writes that she has found the secretary blouse, and because I know it would take me a while to make my plan B shirt, I figured I could wear that one in the meantime, and sell it when I had completed this shirt on my own. 

Now that I know I won't be keeping it, I will be pressing forward more swiftly with my plan B, so I hope to have it done by late summer.

If you look closely, version 1 of this mid-80s pattern looks a lot like the secretary blouse.  :)  Yay!

Okay, that's it!  I hope this helped any of you who are considering this blouse (either in the hopes of a popback or on ebay).