Tuesday, May 26, 2009

J.Crew: Burnished Linen Skirt Review

I need to preface this post with the following: I try to write reviews in a fairly neutral tone.  Even if I really don't like something, I try to talk about it in terms of my positives and negatives, and try not to be too harsh - after all, we don't all have the same taste, and I think it's better to hold my tongue rather than offend someone who likes a certain garment.  But I can't really do that this time.  I'm creating a new tag - Nienawidze - which means I hate in Polish.  I apologize to those of you are offended by the use of the word "hate"; I use that word to mean that I really don't like something (I feel like I may have mentioned this before, too).  Either way, consider yourself warned - I freaking hate this skirt, and I'm not going to be kind to it.

So moving on.  I believe that this is J.Crew's Burnished Linen Skirt (item #14805).  According to the tag from the skirt, I tried on item #16928; however, they look nearly identical, and are both the same price, so for now, I am going to say they are the same.  The skirt online is available in a brass color, and the one I tried on in-store appears to be the infamous light pewter.  The skirt is numerically sized.  J.Crew describes the monstrosity skirt as such:
A dressed-up take on a cargo style, in special Italian linen from the venerable Crespi mill (the oldest weaving mill in the world). The patinated effect is achieved by a closely guarded metallic-foil process. Slight A-line shape with inverted pleat in front. Sits just below waist. Belt loops and patch pockets with button closure. Back zip. 17" long. Import. Dry clean.
Poor Crespi mill.  The oldest weaving mill in the world is now a partner in a terrible fashion crime.  I tried this skirt on a size 4.  I tried it on because I was curious if it was as ugly on as it was on the hanger.  The skirt does fit fairly true-to-size, but if you're wary of the slit up the front and want it to lie flat, I would suggest sizing up.  As you can see from the skirt, it's fairly wrinkly on the bottom, which is almost always a concern with stiffer linens.

The fabric is a lightweight linen, and is on the rougher side.  It certainly was not smooth or soft to the touch.  There is a bit of an underlying metallic sheen to the skirt - this probably gives it that coveted "burnished" look.  I noticed that the brass color lends itself to more of a faux-leather look, but that's not the case for the light pewter.  The length on this skirt is nice - a nice cross between a too-short mini skirt and a too-long-for-shorties regular skirt.

I mean, where do I even begin?  I'll start with the slit.  I don't understand it.  J.Crew describes it as an inverted pleat, which apparently is code for our designers got drunk, started playing with scissors, and made a really ugly prototype, and now you're stuck with the eyesore of a result.  This is the second skirt where my eye is invariably drawn to my private lady parts.  The slit stops RIGHT THERE, and even in my regular size 4, the slit refuses to lie closed, gaping open, as if it wants to show everyone what's lurking beneath.

Now on to the pockets.  Just hideous.  I think I mentioned in a previous review that I prefer on-seam pockets for skirts, simply because front-loading pockets are much more prone to adding bulk to the midsection.  Well, if that's the look you're going for, J.Crew has taken care of that for you on two levels: deep, off-seam pockets, and a weird non-functioning patch pocket to top off each skirt hogging pocket.  The placement of the pockets is a little low (and a lot ugly) - look how awkwardly my hand is in the pocket in the picture below.  The fake patch serves no purpose, and I think it makes it look almost like you've put your skirt on backwards.

I also think the belt loops are gratuitous.  While a belt might help to distract from the rest of the skirt, I wouldn't want to draw any attention to the skirt at all.  And could a belt really make this skirt any better?  I think the beltloops were one detail too many.

I don't think I even need to tell you that I left this behind.  Normally when I don't like something, I can usually chalk it up to an okay idea, but lacking in design or execution, but this skirt is an exception.  There is not one thing I like about this skirt.

So now I'm very curious - what do you think?  Do you like this skirt?  If you do, please, please share your view!  Is there anything you would change about this skirt that you think would make it wearable?


AppGal May 26, 2009 at 9:01 AM  

hahaha...you had me cracking up with this review! This skirt is simply awful! It looks like something I could have bought back in middle school from Limited Too (remember those days?) You are a brave soul for trying this on AND posting pictures. Awful, just awful...

Anonymous May 26, 2009 at 10:10 AM  

I felt exactly the same way when I saw this skirt in-store. Linen in general is a tough material to love (heavy linen), but add the cut they put on this and it's a nightmare. Don't love it, never did. There are so many other beautiful things, didn't give this one a second glance.

HeidiG May 26, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

Trying to say this without sounding rude - so realize as I do that I am a size 8/10...I think this could be great in the darker color (to hide the wrinkles a bit) and on someone with a literally stick straight skinny figure. Not thin, but literally stick straight. On anyone with any curvature whatsoever (including me), that pleat is going to do the unfortunate high sign to the girlie parts. That's the only way I can think of to salvage the skirt. So again, 0.5% of the population can wear it, the rest of us - no way.

And out of morbid curiosity, I will probably have to try this on. :) Great and hilarious review!! Thanks.

dinagideon May 26, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

Thanks for your humor. Very nice!!! I think it looks okay on you...but you are right, I think it needs to stay in the store (where it will stay until it is priced at 10 dollars or below).

HeidiG: Remember when I tried on those short shorts at the April JCA event? I did that for kicks knowing full well I couldn't pull it off. I won't even venture there with this skirt. Those pockets are like me saying, "LOOK at my very wide birthing hips...oh, and look at how tee-tiny my upper body looks in comparison." No way, Jose!!!

I look forward to seeing HeidiG try it on, though... :)

Jemma Ruby May 26, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

I dont think hate is too strong of a word for that skirt- that must be a like the designer was playing a trick to see how many people would buy it. Heidi is right 0,5 percent of the population MIGHT be able to pull that thing off....

KatyO. May 26, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

I peed my pants a little bit laughing (well, not really, but I could have!). This is definitely a "hot mess". Thanks for the review. :D I'll be emailing you later about this weekend!

JTS May 30, 2009 at 10:13 PM  

@AppGal - Haha, isn't it!! I remember Limited Too, always though I was so cool wearing their clothes - especially with my purple plaid lumberjack shirt!

@cdp - So true! I wonder how this skirt would have worked in a different fabric, or even without the metaliic!

@HeidiG - It's not rude at all! It is always nice to have another perspective on clothes! Did you try this on? I agree - there is a teeny tiny percentage of the population who could probably pull this off, but definitely not me!

@Dina - Thanks, I'm glad you found it funny! :) I wonder how much this one will end up being marked down to!

@Jemma Ruby - I know, I wonder what they were thinking! I would have loved to see the design process behind this one.

@KatyO - Haha, I'm glad you liked it! Looking forward to this weekend :)