Sunday, June 28, 2009

OOTD: June 21, 22, 23, and 27, 2009

June 21: For Father's Day we went to my uncle's house for dinner. I wore:

  • Yellow print dress (Eddie Bauer) [Heavily tailored]
  • Black sweater with white faux-pearl buttons (Vintage, from my mom)
  • Black Jinger sandals (Payless)
June 22: Went to work and school. I wore:
  • Black Publicist pants (Express)
  • Black beaded cami (Gap Outlet)
  • Red tie-front sweater (Banana Republic Outlet)
  • Black chunky boots (Mudd)

June 23: I went to work and school. I wore:
  • Pink cotton pants (Banana Republic via JCA Exchange)
  • Black fine rib turtleneck (Gap Outlet)
  • Pink flower necklace (J.Crew Outlet)
  • Black Judy round-toe pumps (Payless)
June 27: I had to go to school for the day to work on a school project. I wore:
  • Dark purple tee (The Limited)
  • Khaki chino shorts (J.Crew)
  • Light purple flip-flops (Old Navy)
I have another OOTD from Friday night, but it's on another camera, so I'll post it later!

Gap: Pintucked Drawstring Shorts Review

These are a pair of shorts from the Gap, the Pintucked Drawstring Shorts (style #620780). The shorts are alpha-sized, and originally retailed for $39.50, with colors on sale online for $19.99 through $34.99. [Again, if you happen to like these shorts, check a local store if you can, as they may be cheaper there.] This is the rolling bay blue color.

I tried these shorts on in a size small. They fit true-to-size, although to be fair, I don't wear a lot of alpha-sized bottoms that aren't skirts; however, I fit into Gap's numerical equivalents to a size small, so I think you'd be safe going with your regular size. If you are on the smaller end of your size range, you could potentially considering sizing down, as the shorts have an elastic waist with a drawstring.

The shorts are a cotton/viscose rayon blend, and they are pretty soft. They're fairly comfortable, with a more relaxed fit and cut. The shorts themselves are also very comfortable - the leg holes are cut very comfortably, and they are a nice lounge/very casual pair of shorts. The fabric is a tad bit on the wrinkly side, but not overly wrinkly.

As I said, these shorts are pretty casual. I don't think there's a really wide range of styling options for these shorts. If you get them in a more neutral color, I think you have some more room to play with color pairings and dressing them up or down a bit more, but in the end, the details and fabric are pretty casual, and don't lend themselves too easily to being dressed up.

The waist is elasticized with a drawstring. There is pleating on the front with slant pockets in the front, and button flap pockets in the back. I don't like the waist detail - there is too much going on for me.

So I left these shorts behind because all I can see when I look at them is gym shorts. They remind me of the pair of shorts I would bring to school once a year, put in my gym locker, and then wear with shame once a week while I attempted to be athletic. I don't mind gym shorts, but I mainly keep them to inside the house (and SCUBA diving - you can wear whatever you want when you go SCUBA diving :)), and I already have a lot of "around the house" shorts.

What do you think? Do you like these shorts? Have you seen them or do you own them? Would you consider picking them up now that they are on sale?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Boyfriend's Current Obsession

Our local grocery store was running a buy one, get one free special on Sobe's Lifewater. So Boyfriend took advantage of it and stocked up.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

J.Crew: Navy Jakarta Shorts Review

These are J.Crew's Jakarta Shorts (item #15012), which retail for $58. This is the only color they come in (navy). J.Crew notes that they have an "abbreviated fit", are city rise, and have a 3" inseam. They are machine washable. I've included an online picture of the pattern above, as my pictures came out a little blurry.

I tried these on in a size 6. I really liked the fit - I thought it was very comfortable, and fit very true to size. I would not have sized down in them, especially because the size 6 lets me where them just a tiny bit lower on the waist, and get a few more inches of coverage in the leg area.

The fabric is a nice, thick cotton. It isn't quite as stiff as some of other J.Crew's heavily patterned shorts from this eason. I'd liken it to a canvas feelm but a bit softer. It's just a rather basic pair of slightly-sturdier cotton shorts, so not much else to say. There are on-seam pockets, which I like. They work well with the overall design (including pattern) of the shorts.

As for the pattern, I much prefer it on the shorts than on the cardigan or skirt. I think that because the fabric is heavier, the pattern appears a bit more saturated, and I think that really works, especially with the navy color. The color is a nice, rich, dark navy, so that allows you to play with a lot of different color combinations. I think the pattern is pretty versatile, too - you can really dress up these shorts, or keep them casual.

I left these shorts behind because I've already picked up a few pairs this season, and I have realized that I don't really have that many places to wear shorts. If these ever go on sale, I would definitely consider them though!

What do you think? Do you like these shorts? Have you seen them or tried them on? What do you think of the pattern? What do you prefer it in (shorts, sweater, skirt)?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gap: Eyelet Cami Review

**So I'm making another change to the reviews, at least for now. I'll be including less or no pictures from the store websites with the reviews. I'll only be including them if I think that the website pictures are misleading or really pretty.**

This is Gap's Eyelet Cami (style #587410), which originally retailed for $54.50, and is on sale online for $48.99 now. [HERE IS A GOOD TIP: If you see something on sale on Gap's website, always always always check out your local Gap, if you can. See this tank? $48.99 online, and I saw it for $17.99 in-store just a couple weekends ago.] Anyway, this tank is alpha-sized, and is available in petite and tall online. It comes in this blue color, white, and a bright yellow.

The sizing on this tank is weird. (Also, if you're looking for it on the website, it's not under "Camis", which is weird, because it's called a cami. It's under "Tops".) I tried this on in a size extra small, because that is what I have been wearing in Gap's tops lately. Everything on this top fit except for the top-most band around the top of the bust. It was pretty tight. I tried this on in a small during another trip, and it was less tight, but still not very comfortable. In the end, I would have gotten this in a medium - I tried that on when it was on sale, and that was the most comfortable fit. The fit of the rest of the top didn't change too much from size to size, so that is a plus.

The fabric is a nice, medium weight cotton. It's actually a bit on the heavier side (for a tank), because there is a lot of embroidery detail, and there are a couple of layers to this tank. That being said, the fabric is a nice, soft cotton. It doesn't move terribly well, but I think part of that is due to the eyelet detailing on the tank.

The silhouette is iffy for me. I think it looks nice from the front, but adds too much volume from the side. It's also pretty long. It hit me on my low hip, but that might be a good length for some of you taller ladies out there.

I thought the allover detailing was nice. There is trim at the bust, along with a little bit of pleating, and then there is an embroidered pattern on the bottom hem that goes about 1/3 up the tank. I like the details, but I can see how they might be too doily-like or old-fashioned for others. I think the white especially would work well as a layering piece or on its own, and would work with a lot of different outfits. If you styled it correctly, you could easily dress this tank up or down.

I left this tank at the store. I was really tempted to pick up the blue and the white when it was $17.99, but in the end, I just wasn't totally in love with it - but I was pretty close to it. I kept getting hung up on the boxy-ish cut coupled with the length, which made the top look a little overwhelming in person.

What do you think? Do you like this top? Do you own it or have you tried it on? What would you pair it with?

Monday, June 22, 2009

J.Crew: Cotton-Silk Strapless Top with Flower Review

This is J.Crew's Cotton-Silk Strapless Top With Flower (item #16188), which retails for $128. It is numerically sized, and is available in white and bright coral. J.Crew describes the top as such:
A textured blend of cotton and silk beautifully designed into one of our most versatile summer tops. Wear it sassy with jeans and heels or sweet and feminine with a skirt. The detachable silk flower can be pinned onto the bodice or placed in your hair for special occasions. Inside you'll find a corset for extra support. Fitted. Strapless. Exposed back zip. Straight hem. Fully lined. Hits at hip. Import. Dry clean.
I tried this on in a size 4, in the white color. I was a bit iffy on the fit. It took forever to get on correctly (and you wouldn't really think so, right?), and the whole time, it felt like it was going to be too loose and fall off, but in the end, after all the adjusting and whatnot, I think it fit fine. I would have liked to have tried on a size 2 for comparison, but this one was at the tail end of this visit, and it did feel all right in the 4, so I didn't bother. I would say that it mostly fits true to size, but if you are on the smaller end of your size, then you may want to consider sizing down.

The fabric was a really nice, cotton-silk blend (73% cotton, 27% silk). The top is lined in 100% cotton, and is a tad bit on the sheer side. Note that in the picture above, you can just sort of see the shorts through the shirt. This could also be because it was the white color; I'm not sure if you'd have the same issue in the bright coral. The fabric itself is very soft and smooth, and also very light. It is definitely a nice fabric for a late spring/summer top.

The back of this top has an exposed metal zipper, which I was just okay with. It detracts (in my opinion) from the overall light and feminine vibe of this top. I didn't really care for that, but other people may like it, as it sort of adds some "toughness" so to speak to the top. There is "corset" (not really) inside, which is basically just another layer of fabric that zips up the back. This was nice to have, but made the top more difficult to get on (at least get on without help). The length on the top was nice for me, but may be a problem for some of you taller ladies out there.

The flowers are very pretty in real life - I think they photograph pretty true to life, but I don't think they look as big in real life as they do in the model pictures. Maybe the model had hers fluffed or something right before the shoot. The front of the top has a criss-cross pattern with some pleating, which adds some nice detail to the top. The flowers are initially pinned on to the side, but you can remove them and move them to wherever (or remove them altogether).

I like the overall style of the top - it's simple but with some nice details. It would work well on its own, or as a layering piece (probably without the flowers though in that case). I think you can easily dress this piece up or down.

However, my biggest issue with this piece is the price. I'm sure J.Crew has a reason to justify such a steep price, but it is a basic light, white, strapless top. I didn't really note anything particularly special about this top, in the fabric, design, details, quality, etc., that would make it worth $128, but that is just my opinion.

I left this one behind, but only because of the price. If this top were more reasonably priced (and I mean a lot more reasonably priced), I would probably pick one up in each color. I always reasoned with myself that I could just buy a nice white tank and some flowers, and have almost the same thing.

What do you think? Do you like this top? Do you own it (lucky you!) or have you seen it or tried it on? What do you think is a reasonable price point for this top? How much would you pay for it?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Anthropologie: Esmee Dress Review

This is Anthropologie's Esmee Dress (style #933094), which retails for $98. It is numerically-sized, and is only available in this color, white. Anthropologie describes the dress as such:
Delicate eyelet embroidery and subtle pintucks fill Maeve's breezy voile silhouette.
  • Side pockets
  • Side zip
  • Cotton; cotton lining
  • Machine wash
  • 36"L
  • Imported
I tried this dress on in a size 4, and I'll be honest, I was in love with this dress as soon as I saw it on the hanger. The dress fits true-to-size, and fits very comfortably. I'm probably biased, but this dress fit perfectly. I wouldn't have considered sizing up or down in this one.

The fabric is a wonderful cotton that is both soft and light, almost airy. It is a nice, comfortable cotton for the summer. Because of the cotton-on-cotton (due to the cotton lining), the dress itself isn't flowy at all, but the cotton on its own does move fairly well.

I think the dress itself has a nice shape - more fitted on top with a band to accentuate the waist, and then a slight flare in the skirt with a bunch of shirring at the waistline. I think it creates a fairly nice shape from the front, and an okay shape from the side. I also like the length - just about knee-length (so it may be shorter on you taller ladies). The dress also has side, on-seam pockets, which I really like.

The dress has a number of details - pleating on the bodice and again on the hem, as well as some ruffles and embroidered lace-like material. I think these details work well with the overall style of the dress, and especially work because they are all the same color. This way the details don't overwhelm the dress, and it looks a bit more interesting, without being over the top. I know there will be some (including Boyfriend probably) who think that this dress is too old-fashioned looking, but I like that look sometimes.

I like the color on this dress as well. It's a sort of off-white, like a light cream color. I actually prefer that to the white for this dress. I think it works well with the design. I think dress could be a casual dress on its own or with very casual accessories, but I think the cut and details make it a little bit more on the dressy side. The lighter color makes it pretty easy to pair with other colors. I would probably stick to lighter pastels or very dark neutrals for this one.

I took this one home (thank you, Boyfriend!). I haven't worn it out anywhere yet, but the summer weather is hopefully breaking through soon (after 10 days of rain), so I'm sure it will be making an appearance shortly!

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Have you seen it or tried it on? What do you think of the details? Would you like to see this dress in another color?

OOTD: June 18, 2009

Today's outfit is super simple. Today I'm wearing:

  • Navy Swiss-dot Fontana dress (J.Crew)
  • Navy/green/white flat sandals (Merona/Target)
  • Gold skinny twisted bangle (J.Crew Outlet)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

J.Crew: Soft Tee Ruffle Top Review

This is J.Crew's Soft Tee Ruffle Top (itme #16068), which retails for $39.50. It is available in the following colors: black, navy, heather light grey, fresh melon, natural, heather graphite, weathered stone, and warm blush. This top is alpha-sized. J.Crew describes the top as such:
A sweet ruffled style that's as soft as your most comfy broken-in tee. Pima cotton/lightweight Modal® rayon. Scoopneck. Fitted at chest. Self ruffles across chest. Import. Machine wash.
I tried this top on in a size small in the fresh melon color. I would say that this top runs on the bigger size, but I also think it is made to be loose. I did not try on an extra small for comparison, but I would say that if you don't want it super loose, then try to size down if you can. The small itself fit comfortably and fit well, especially in the bust and shoulders, where it is most fitted.

The fabric on this top is really light - it was much lighter than I was expecting. I was actually thinking that this was going to be more like a somewhat-lightweight jersey fabric, but it is much lighter than that. It is also very soft. This color was not sheer, but you might want to watch out for that if you are trying it in the lighter colors. The fabric moves and drapes very nicely. It's a very loose and flowy top.

The cut of this top is very generous. The most fitted part of the top is around the bust and the shoulder straps, and even that is not very fitted. There is a lot of fabric here, and even though it is light, it still an extremely loose-fitting top. I would say that the cut is fairly forgiving on the middle, but I also think it looks best on straighter figures. As you can see in my pictures, the bottom of it bunches up at my hips, whereas on the model, it stays pretty straight. This is probably due to a combination of the length and my hips.

As for the top ruffle, I think it's okay. I think it actually minimizes the bust (again, might be a combination of the ruffle and the cut of the top), but not sure if this would hold true for all sizes. There is one very large ruffle on the front, and a couple rows of smaller ruffles. I think it's a cute enough detail, but I kind of don't get it.

That being said, I do think it's a pretty cute top, and I think it would work well with a lot of different outfits. I especially think that you could do a lot with the neutral colors, in terms of color pairings and outfit stylings. As for dressing it up and down, it looks like a fairly casual top to me. They've managed to style it on the model so that it looks dressy enough, but I think the pictures are a bit misleading, to be honest.

I left this top behind because I wasn't in love with it. I really liked the fabric, and I would love to pick up some tees in that fabric, but the top just didn't really do it for me.

What do you think? Do you like this top? Have you seen it or do you own it? Which color do you prefer? How would you style it?

OOTD: June 17, 2009

Today I'm wearing:

  • Blue-stripe plaid Editor pants (Express)
  • White button-down shirt (New York & Company)
  • Blue V-neck cardigan (Gap)
  • Black square-toe pumps (Payless)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

J.Crew: Linen Getaway Dress Review

This is J.Crew's Linen Getaway Dress (item #15610), which originally retailed for $49.50, with current colors on sale for $39.50. This dress is available in caspian blue, bright citron, dark charcoal, warm desert, fresh melon, sweet papaya, and white. This dress is alpha-sized. J.Crew describes the dress as such:
Simply slip on and go straight from beach to bistro. Linen. Straight bodice. Straight skirt. Tied keyhole. Adjustable ties at neck and waist. Sleeveless. Falls to midthigh. Import. Machine wash.
I tried this dress on in a small, in the fresh melon color. I think the dress fits true-to-size. I didn't try this in the extra small, so I can't comment on whether or not it really runs large or is more true-to-size. I will say that the small was very loose and flowy, but I think that is the cut of the dress. I would recommend starting with your regular size and sizing down for a more fitted shape.

The fabric is a very light linen. It's very breathable and a nice weight for the summer. It moves and flows fairly well. I think that is a combination of the fabric and the cut of the dress. The linen is also a bit on the thin side. It's not sheer in this color, but I would be curious if it were more sheer in the lighter colors.

The cut of the dress is fairly shapeless. It's sort of an A-line shape I would say, with its being a little more fitted at the top, and flaring out towards the bottom. You could maybe size down if you wanted to get a more fitted shape out of this dress, but overall, it is very loose and flowy. I wouldn't look to this dress to get a lot of definition out of it.

The dress does have a tie around the middle that creates a sort of drop waist. It also has a neckline tie that creates a sort of halter/keyhole neckline. I think tying both of these makes the dress look a bit more pulled together (I guess literally and figuratively), and is a nice option to have, as the untied look is extremely casual. I don't think tying the waist really creates that much more definition, but it does help break up the line of the dress a bit.

Personally, I see this dress as a really casual dress, and maybe even as a beach cover-up. The length was fine on me, but it might be on the shorter side for some of the taller ladies out there. I don't know that I would ever really wear this as a dress - maybe as a tunic-like top, say over a pair of shorts, but that is just my personal style. I think it comes in a nice range of colors that are fairly neutral, and will allow you to play with color combinations a lot. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a lot you can do to dress up this dress, given the material, weight, cut, and style of it. I think you can certainly style it a lot of different ways, but I'm just not sure it's up to the task of being dressy.

Here is a close-up of the neckline tie. The tie itself goes around to the back, and creates the same silhouette in the back. The tie itself is very thin.

I left this one behind. I thought it was cute and all, but I know I wouldn't wear it. I would consider it if it went on sale for a beach cover-up though...if I ever went to the beach, that is. :)

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Do you own it or have you tried it on? Which color do you prefer? How would you style it?

J.Crew: Ruffled-Hem Dress

This is J.Crew's Ruffled-Hem Dress (item #15341), which retails for $78. It is available in nut, caspian blue, and heather cloud. The dress is alpha-sized. J.Crew describes the dress as such:
A ladylike silhouette in our refined, sophisticated viscose jersey. Ruffles at hem. Sleeveless silhouette. V-neck with fitted bodice. Self-tie at empire waist. Falls below knee; 23" from natural waist. Import. Machine wash.
I tried this dress on in a size extra small, in the caspian blue color. I think the dress runs a bit large - I usually wear a size small, and I was able to size down in this dress comfortably. The fit itself is fairly comfortable. I would size this dress primarily based on your bust size, as this is where the dress is most fitted.

The fabric on this dress is a midweight, substantial jersey, which is very soft, but also felt a little less smooth than say the dressy jersey. It's not rough by any means, but it feels a bit more worn and less polished. I actually think that fabric fits this dress really well. The dress was a bit heavier than I expected it to be (just from looking at it), but I wouldn't say that the fabric is heavy, and it definitely doesn't weigh you down.

I think the shape itself is fairly flattering. The empire waist and the tie under the bust helps to create a bit more definition for your midsection. Other than that, the dress hangs in a pretty straight line, but I would say it flares out just a tiny bit at the bottom, but not enough to be noticeable or anything. The dress does move and flow very well, mainly because of the fabric.

One thing I would note about the bust is that it is a little low-cut. I think this is a result of two things, which are related to each other. The tie on the bust did not hit below my bust (ribcage), but actually a little bit on the bust. So thus when I tied below my bust, it may have pulled the front down a bit. And that gets into size a bit - maybe if I wore my regular size, I wouldn't have run into this issue. However, the rest of the dress fit just fine, so you should make this call yourself.

I thought the dress was a bit long, keeping in mind that it is past knee-length on the model even. As for the bottom of the dress, it has three layers of ruffles (two shorter, one longer), and additional rows of trim. I didn't really like the bottom when I saw it in pictures online, but I warmed up to it once I saw it in person. I don't think the bottom is as stiff and heavy-looking in real life as it does online (at least to me).

I think the dress is available in a great palette - a couple of darker neutrals and a light neutral. I think the blue would work with a variety of colors. Personally, I would probably pair the blue with brighter colors, or other light-colored neutrals. This dress strikes me as mostly a casual dress, but I think with the right accessories, you could dress it up a bit.

While I liked this dress, I didn't totally love it, and I know that I would not wear it, so I left it behind.

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Are there any other colors you would have liked to have seen it in? What do you think of the ruffle hem?