Saturday, May 30, 2009

J.Crew: Beaded Etoile Cardigan Review

This is J.Crew's Beaded Etoile Cardigan (item #15091), which retails for $88.  It is numerically sized, and is available in stone and papaya.  J.Crew describes the cardigan as such:
Light up the room in our silk chiffon and seed bead-appliquéd cardigan. It's perfectly lightweight in cotton in a 16-gauge knit. Fitted. Crewneck. Rib trim at neck, cuffs and hem. Short sleeves. Hits at hip. Import. Dry clean. Catalog/ only.
Here is a the stock photo of the papaya color.

I ordered this sweater in a size small, in the papaya color.  I was really curious how this sweater would be in person.  First off, the color is not quite how it is depicted online.  The papaya color is a bit darker, and the beading is darker than the sweater (I think the beading looks a bit lighter than the sweater in the picture).

The cotton on this cardigan is really light and thin.  I was surprised that it was so light, but I think it works with the busy beadwork.  The sweater is about as light as the featherweight cotton cardigans (with the jewel-like buttons), but is silkier and smoother, in my opinion.  The sweater is also fairly sheer; I would definitely layer this sweater, and would not wear it without something underneath.

I believe that the sweater fits true-to-size, but I think it's a tad on the larger size in the body (not the sleeves).  The sweater was a tiny bit loose in places, but I wouldn't size down.  The sweater has a fairly straight line down, so I wouldn't look to this sweater to help create any waist definition.

As for the beading, I was really curious how this would look in real life.  Like I said earlier, the beadwork is darker than the color of the actual sweater, contrary to the stock photo.  The beadwork consists of allover tiny pieces of silk chiffon with a tiny bead accent.  I actually think the look is pretty cute.  The chiffon and beads are very small and delicate, so they don't weigh down or overhwhelm the rest of the sweater.

One thing I would note is that I think it is best to wear this sweater buttoned up.  In fact, when I started to unbutton this sweater and pull the sides apart, there was this almost tearing sound, as the sides separated from each other.  I inspected it very carefully, and there was definitely no damage - where the buttons meet, the sweater is lined with the silk chiffon beadwork all the way down, so this seemed to get stuck to the cotton.  While it looks okay open, I prefer it closed, because the pattern is so distinct.  Below is a close-up of the pattern.

I am keeping this sweater, because I think it is a very cute spring and summer sweater, and will work with so many different colors.  I'll be pairing this with simpler bottoms, to keep the outfit from being too busy.

What do you think?  Do you like this sweater?  Do you own it or have you tried it on?  Which color do you prefer?  What would you pair this sweater with?


Bianca May 30, 2009 at 11:48 PM  

Very pretty color and very nice sweater! Are you able to unbutton a button or 2 at the top?

HeidiG May 31, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

very pretty cardi! weird how the stock photo and IRL are totally reversed in terms of the bead/sweater light/dark mix.

As far as what to pair it with, I think it would be great with just about any neutral bottom, esp white jeans.

Paper Bag Princess May 31, 2009 at 10:00 AM  

I would have never guessed that those were bits of chiffon! I thought they were a clear, square-shaped sequin. It's a cute little cardi though!!

JTS June 4, 2009 at 11:24 PM  

@Bianca - Yes, you can unbutton all of the buttons, but I got freaked out by the tearing sound (which ended up being nothing, haha)! The buttons at the top are spaced out the same as the rest of the button.

@HeidiG - I know! It's a subtle difference I think, but still weird. I agree - I would definitely try to pair this with neutrals!

@Paper Bag Princess - That's what I thought when I saw the pictures, too, but I like it with the fabric bits better, I think :)

LinLos September 23, 2009 at 1:26 PM  

Does your cardi shed? I have it in the gray, and the chiffon design is fraying, littering strings all over my pants. A couple of the beads don't have squares attached to them anymore. And I've only worn it once!