Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some Dandy New Arrivals at Madewell

You guys, can we talk about the adorable new Dandelion Jewelry at Madewell?

Dandelion Necklace

Dandelion Ring

Dandelion Cuff

Dandelion Charm

Raise your hand if these little sparklies remind you of hours spent lying in the backyard as a child making crowns, rings, and necklaces out of dandelions and daisies? Sweet with just a hint of edge, and I love how the opposite end of the cuff is made to look like a little knotted stem!

Oh, and they also made the white blazer I've been looking for (so nice when that happens):

Stable Blazer

ETA 4/20/12: I just got the dreaded e-mail telling me that the Stable Blazer sold out before they could ship it to me! This comes after I called Madewell yesterday to ask them why I hadn't received a shipping notice 48 hours after I placed my order. HULK SMASH!

What do you think of the new arrivals? Anything tickle your fancy?

Shoe Review: Anthropologie Stitched Chevron Wedges

I meant to post this review last week, but I fell into a Pinterest hole and had trouble climbing back out again.

So I immediately fell in luuurrrve with the Anthropologie Stitched Chevron Wedges and ordered them off of the website. I'm usually pretty reluctant to spend over $100 on a pair of shoes that I haven't been able to try on first, but these pretty babies just winked at me with a look that said "Summertime" and I was powerless to resist.

Fish are jumpin', and the heels are high.

Hurdle #1 was trying to figure out my European shoe-size equivalent. I can usually wear an 8 in most shoes, but every once-in-a-while I get hit with a tight fit and have to size up to an 8.5. As high as these heels looked online, I figured that I'd be better off going with my larger size and adding a padded insert if there was any slippage, so I bought a size 39.

Here's a close-up of the shoe so that you can see the materials: satin, natural woven jute, and rainbow woven jute in a chevron pattern.

Hurdle #2: getting past the fact that the material on the capped toe is satin. For some reason I thought it was leather when I saw the image online. I have issues with shoes made of delicate fabrics...I'm hard on shoes and tend to scuff up the toes and heels quite a bit. I definitely would have bought the shoes anyway, but I was bummed to discover that they will probably not be as hard-wearing as I had hoped. The fact that the toes are round instead of pointed should help to keep them looking pretty decent, though.

Satin toes.

It isn't mentioned on the Anthro website, but the brand of the shoe is "Plenty by Tracy Reese". I have another pair of "Plenty" shoes and they run slightly small, so I was doubly glad that I took my larger shoe size.

Leather sole and insole. These shoes feel strong and flexible...the price is well-suited to the quality, imo.

Hurdle #3 was the heel height. These are 4" high, and I usually like to stick within the 3" range since I'm already 5'8" and lower heels are just more comfortable to walk in. However, the wedge heel gives the shoe a bit more stability, and there is a little cushioned pad under the lining beneath the ball of the foot, so it takes some of the pressure off while you're standing. These aren't the kind of shoes that you can walk all over town in, but they aren't just Fancy Dinner shoes, either (i.e., only comfortable enough to wear them while sitting down for a fancy dinner).

A close-up of the woven rainbow chevron design. There are one or two threads that are sticking out from the bottom where the fabric tucks into the sole, but the weave is tight and I doubt they will unravel.

Kicking up my heels, mainly because it is really difficult to take a picture of your own feet while you are standing up.

I'd definitely recommend these shoes to anyone looking for a fun summer dress shoe that will go with lots of different outfits. They are actually ideally suited to an outdoor wedding or party since the wedge will keep your high heels from sinking into the grass! I'll be wearing these out to dinner, occasionally to the office on Fridays...they're a great warm-weather shoe :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

When Final Sale Attacks

Those who shop J.Crew are familiar with the dreaded Final Sale. You can get all kinds of great things for very discounted prices, but once you check out, that's it - no returns or exchanges. You can find some amazing deals in Final Sale, especially popbacks...but you can also get burned BIG TIME. I have had great luck with shopping Final Sale when I stick to this rule: Only buy an item if you have either tried it on in the store or it's a multiple of something you already own (Schoolboy blazers, Cashmere L/S tees, etc.). Sometimes, however, I drink too much of the Crewlade and make poor decisions.

J.Crew Souvenir Dress from Summer 2011, Ikat Print in Faded Black or Chili Pepper, 100% Silk.

So this little dress popped back in the Chili Pepper colorway in my size on Final Sale, and I was immediately drawn to it like I am with most red items. A pretty Summer shift in a sweet little print, done in fully-lined silk shantung. Originally retailing for $148, it was now priced for Final Sale at $99. Not dirt cheap, but definitely reasonable for a lined silk dress in such a great color. I even loved the way that the print marched vertically up the skirt and then switched to diagonal on the bodice. The dress was also shown like this in one of last year's catalogs:

Oh, hahahahaha, don't mind me! I'm just having the most delightful time in my antique speedboat, probably somewhere in Europe. I'm having ALL OF THE FUN, so you don't get any. Toodles!

I bought the dress despite knowing what I know about J.Crew's weird fascination with high waistlines, despite the fact that most of their dresses have not fit me very well for years, despite the obvious difference between the model's upper body and my own (read: boobs). I'm sure that you can tell where this is going....

Straight to disappointment. This does not look very nice. The placement of the waistline is in exactly the wrong place for my figure. Plus, there are two little pleats at the waist that make my boobs look really long and low. I mean, gravity will eventually take them in that direction, but I'm in no hurry to speed it up.

Side view. I'm actually fine with the length - this is a play dress, not a work dress.

Sometimes adding a belt can work wonders for a dress. Not in this case, unfortunately.

All of that aside, the really fun part came when I tried to do something crazy like raise my arms while wearing the dress:

Oh yeah, that looks great. If you wear this dress, you'll have to rule out reaching for things above your waist, touching your hair, hugging, raising your glass for a toast, dancing with a partner, or dancing to any song at all where you might be asked to "Put your hands up!"

So now I have a hundred-dollar dress that I can't wear. I've gone over the options in my head, and it seems to me that I can go one of three ways:

1) Take it to a tailor and have the sleeves cut off so that I can at least wear it around on the weekends.

2) Attempt to sell it on Ebay to try to get some of my money back.

3) Turn it into a really gorgeous pillow for the bedroom.

Which option would you choose? I welcome your thoughts and opinions in the comments. Feel free to say "I told you so" in regards to Final Sale, because I deserve to hear it on this one.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


You know how sometimes you will see a picture of something and you think, "I'ma die if I can't have that"?


Stitched Chevron Wedges, Anthropologie, $130