Tuesday, March 13, 2012

J.Crew Reviews: Think Pink! (Plus Some Ill-Fitting Dresses)

Think pink! think pink! when you shop for summer clothes.
Think pink! think pink! if you want that quel-que chose.
Red is dead, blue is through,
Green's obscene, brown's taboo.
And there is not the slightest excuse for plum or puce
—or chartreuse.
Think pink! forget that Dior says black and rust.
Think pink! who cares if the new look has no bust.
Now, I wouldn't presume to tell a woman
what a woman oughtta think,
But tell her if she's gotta think: think pink—!

~Maggie Prescott, Funny Face (1957)

This was, apparently, my theme song when I visited J.Crew in Atlanta with my mother (best shopping partner in the world) this past weekend. I am by no means a girly-girl, and I don't like that advertisers assume that I will only purchase a product if it looks like it was drowned in Pepto Bismol, but I do love pink in all of its various hues. Pink makes me happy, it's an instant mood-lifter. As the days get longer and the first little bright green buds of Spring are showing on the trees, I guess that I'm just feeling the need to infuse my wardrobe with some freshness.

I am such a fan of J.Crew's Boy Shirts - improbably, they are the only button-down shirts that will fit over my bust without alterations. I also love J.Crew's mini-skirts even though I only get to wear them on weekends. I knew that I would be into the Boy Shirt in Folly Beach Plaid as soon as I saw it on J.Crew's website (the color is called "Old Barn"...how often do you get to own anything in that color?), but the fairly un-impressive City Mini in Linen was a pleasant surprise once I tried it on.

Size 8 top, size 6 skirt. Whatever top you wear really needs to be tucked in with the linen skirt, otherwise you don't get the same slimming effect from the paper bag waist. I tried on another top with this skirt that wasn't really tuck-able, and it didn't work at all. I thought that I would prefer the Lemon Zest color, but something about the Neon Azalea really appealed to me.

The Raindrop Lace Top is pictured in Apricot Mist on the website and I barely paid any attention to it. "Apricot Mist" is code for "totally washes me out". Then I saw it in the store in Neon Azalea. When I came out of the dressing room, my mom immediately said, "Ooh, you look so pretty in that top! I wouldn't have expected that bright color to look so nice on you." Me neither, but she was right. The jeans that I have on are the Ankle Stretch Toothpick Jean in White Denim.

Size 8 top, which is my usual. The lace is much softer than I expected it to be. I'm usually not a huge fan of lace on me, at least in large doses, but this particular knit pattern is more graphic than old-lady.

I had to size up from my usual 28 to a 29 in these jeans. The sales associates warned me that they would stretch out with wear, so I asked my mom for her opinion.
Mom = I can't tell a difference between the sizes on you.
Me = Look at the crotch.
Mom = Oh, ew, they look like they are trying to CLIMB UP your crotch! Get the bigger size and wear a belt.

Close up view of the top. The bodice is fully lined, sheer through the shoulders and sleeves. It does allow your bra straps to peek through, but I'm wearing a nude bra here and you can only see the straps if you're really looking.

Pictured here are the Postage Stamp Mini in Confetti Tweed and the Sequin Tank in Cream. I really wish that I had a reason to buy this skirt because the tweedy colors are super cute, but I think that it would just hang sadly in my closet. Better to leave it for someone who will get lots of wear out of it.

Really liked the skirt. The shirt is pretty, but itchy. The sales associate brought me a small to try on...as usual, it pulls across the bust.

Pleated pants are to me what Lex Luthor is to Superman, but these Chambray Cinch Pants looked so darn comfortable that I had to try them on.

Shown here in a small. Totally lived up to expectations comfort-wise, but, unless I spent a lot of time at the beach (I don't, sadly), I can't justify spending $68.00 on a pair of lounge pants. I can get those at TJ Maxx for less than $10.00.

Side view. Would look much cuter on someone with an actual butt instead of a person like myself who can only claim to have a "flass" (thanks, ajc!).

On a quick scan of the sale section, I was downright shocked to see a lone Heart Throb Silk Boy Shirt - those suckers sold out fast! It's no longer shown online, but xoxo did a review of it on her blog here. I didn't want to fork over the $130 bucks when it first came out a few months ago. I ran across the store to grab it before someone else did, thinking that maybe I could hold onto it and sell it on eBay for a profit. But...it was a size 8! My size!

You win, Heart Throb shirt.

And now we've come to the disappointing portion of the post. I am constantly on the lookout for work-appropriate clothing, especially dresses that are simple and polished. J.Crew has supplied me with many fabulous cotton shift dresses, but for some reason most of their workday dresses are not cut to fit my figure AT ALL. Too tight in the bust, too wide in the hip, and the waistlines are cut too high for me, emphasizing my bustiness in a very unflattering way. Below is a selection of J.Crew's Spring dresses, very poorly modeled by yours truly. If you have a smaller bust and larger hips, these dresses would probably look very nice on you.

Biggest disappointment by far: the Attache Dress in Linen-Canvas, not just for the fit but for the terribly itchy and crease-prone fabric. I wanted to love this dress so much and I planned to order it in Bright Papaya since they did not have that color at this particular B&M location. I couldn't get it off fast enough, the itching was so bad. The other fiber that is used in this dress besides linen is jute, which is often used in braided rugs, and it FEELS exactly like the rugs do under your feet.

Tight in the bust, lots of extra fabric in the skirt - you can see where I'm bunching it up in my hand. Look at those wrinkles, just from putting it on!

My usual size 8 from the side. Not flattering.

I don't think this dress is posted online yet, or maybe it is in-store only. I didn't think to get a shot of the tag until it was too late. The print on this dress is the same as the Cotton Cardigan in Ovebloom Floral, which looks kind of like a stylized leopard spot to me. I believe the dress was silk, but I'm not sure.

Size 8. Buttons gape over the front, but I'd be swimming in a 10.

Side view. Not terrible, but I'd never buy this dress for me.

Elinor Dress. Pretty color, but I'm just waaaaaay to broad across the chest to make this work.

The sash never looked quite right, no matter how I tied it.

I don't think that this dress is online yet either, but ajc reviewed it in Navy on her blog post here.

I can see two very large problems with this dress....

So that was my visit to J.Crew. There were lots of things on sale from the previous rollout - two whole standing racks of the Rugby Stripe dress, Fabiola dress in Abstract Leopard, Lilian dress in Gardenshade Floral (mom looked gorgeous in this dress so I made her buy it), etc. I feel like J.Crew rolled out too many warm-weather items too early in the season or something...or else they just priced a bunch of items too high to sell at full price.

Have you tried any of these items on? Purchased them? What do you think of the newest Spring rollout?


  1. Love the pink! How much was the heart throb shirt on sale for?

  2. It was on sale for $89.99 at Lennox Square in Atlanta. I have no idea if this is what it's selling for in other stores. I've gotten so much wear out of my stripe silk Boy Shirts that $90 is totally worth it to me.

    1. ETA: Heart Throb shirt is available as of *right now* on the website in sizes 4, 10, and 12. Full price = $135.00. Anybody who wants to purchase one might be able to get the price adjusted if they call CS.

  3. I love the neon azalea lace tee on you, it couldn't be prettier.
    Thanks for sharing that song! Pink is your color.

    I think you've nailed it, the items were priced too high to begin with. Like your Mom, I bought the Lilian dress on sale when I was in Florida, it is a very pretty dress.
    Thanks for the reviews!

    1. Thanks, DaniBP! Isn't "Funny Face" terrific? It's one of those movies that I could watch on a continuous loop for days.

      I liked the Lilian dress when I saw it online, but I knew that it wouldn't work on my figure. Mom has a different shape than I do - she has a dancer's strong lower half and slender upper half, so I knew that it would be perfect for her! It's even prettier in person, imo, and the hand is very soft and silky.

  4. Thanks for all the pix and reviews, Whitney! I have to say that I also love the neon azalea lace tee on you...very, very pretty. :)

    Loved your comment about TJ Maxx...so very true! I stopped into one yesterday and they had a lot of really cute spring and summer new arrivals, all at fantastic prices, and better quality than J.Crew, too. It makes it even harder to consider buying J.Crew clothes that aren't on deep discount.

    1. Thanks, FFM! I might wear that top to work tomorrow - Spring has definitely sprung here in the South!

      TJ Maxx has become my go-to source for work dresses, especially since I can buy a simple Calvin Klein sheath dress there for $40! Sometimes the sizes can be funny, and they NEVER have work-appropriate skirts in stock, but I always get the most terrific deals at TJ's.

  5. lol @ "two very large problems" that's a knee slapper

    J Crew has gotten really, really weird in the dress department. Everything looks like a dolly's dress. Silliness. Thanks for sharing the irl pics. The heart throb shirt feels so nice on. Good score!

    1. Thanks Gigi! My jaw dropped when I saw that the Heart Throb was my size - that NEVER happens. Usually the "golden tickets" are XS or XL.

      My two very large problems have been problems since I was 14. I wore my dad's shirts for most of Jr. High School. Thank goodness my puberty coincided with the Grunge movement, haha!