Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving :-)

Many of the J Crew b&ms are putting out a new shipment as of today, 11/24 & tomorrow, 11/25. I heard there are some new items and replenishment of current stock. I will not be visiting to try any new items. We'll be out of town, away from malls and I'll only have access to dial-up. Ouch! When we return I have a long work week from 12/1 - 12/5. I don't expect to be out and about until 12/6 or so. However, I ordered some boots from Piper Lime and will try to review when we return from our trip & before work.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. May you your holiday season be abundant in all ways and filled with joy! ;-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

J Crew - Quinn cami

Quinn cami (99696) - $78

It's silk so it feels goood on the body. It really struck me as something good for summer. Note that once you put a cardi on, the detail at the shoulder is lost. I think this is a good value for $78 considering you can wear it in multiple seasons. I think it would look just a tad better if the shoulder pleats can be ironed down. Pardon the camera spots. I'll have to clean my lens. ;-)

J Crew - tissue sequin tank

Tissue sequin tank (10561) - $88
Very...H&M-ish. I was surprised to see this in the store yesterday. I agree w/those on J Crew Aficionada
who says sequins are EVERYWHERE @ J Crew right now.

This isn't for me. I didn't like it on the hanger either. It looked HUGE! I simply tried for kicks and to report here. I'm in a size small. You see spots from my camera (oops), but what you don't see is how the bottom poofs. The bottom is gathered. It's very Oompa Loompa-ish. I can see this *not* working for those with a pear shape. It may depend more on how tall you are and if you tuck the bottom of the tank a bit. Too much to consider for $88. I'd go to Forever 21 or H&M if on the hunt for a top like this.

J Crew - Lili chiffon cardigan

Lili ruffle-chiffon cardigan (10000) - $110

I wasn't going to try this on and was pleasantly surprised. It's really cute. I'm pretty sure this is a small, but I can't remember.

Another shot. I can't say I would pay $110 to let it hang in the closet for awhile before wearing. However, if I had to shop very quickly for an evening outfit, I might remember this piece and run to purchase it. It also comes in a red color (cerise), acorn and navy. The only other color I would be curious about is the navy.

J Crew - chunky star cable popover sweater

Chunky star cable popover sweater (10174) - $128, 90% wool, 10% cashmere

IRL - This is a medium. I think if I weighed 5 lb less, I might try a small. I see this more of a comfort sweater than a fitted one, so the medium felt good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Forever 21 - zebra print crossbody duffle bag

Forever 21 - zebra (?) print crossbody bag, $24.80
I got this fun little bag a couple weeks ago. There is no hard bottom, but that's fine by me in this case. I love the off-white (not white-white) and black pattern. It also comes in a gray/black stripe, same pattern. And the price was right! My favorite way to use it is crossbody, but it works well with the 2 handles as a duffle.

J Crew - tissue sequin-placket henley

The tissue sequin-placket henley (99265) - I can't believe this is on sale already. It's $29.50 down from $45.

I thought it would be boxy on, when I saw it irl. I finally tried it on. I paid $29.99 in store. No mention that it is FS.

The moss is nice, although not all can wear the yellow green. I don't recall this color in the store, but maybe it just didn't catch my eye.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

J Crew - metallic mosaic jacket

J Crew's metallic mosaic jacket - This is from spring or summer and I think it's sold out. One popped up online on their site and I was able to get it.

I love it! I have seen a couple on eBay and the seller wanted $149 - $179. I think I paid $130 and it's well worth it. The pattern is beautiful and the metallic is not at all garish, imo. In mild weather I'd say it's a spring, cool summer nite or fall item. It's lightweight and feels great on the body. I got a size 4 and like it. I would have been ok w/a 6 as it fits close to the body.

Monday, November 10, 2008

American Eagle Outfitters - cami tank, ruffle tank, necklaces

I went into American Eagle Outfitters today. I haven't been in AE in ages. I saw a few things that I thought were really cute. This is a great store because they often have buy-one-get-one-half-off.

Ruffle tank - $19.50 It's made of cotton & modal. I think they are calling it a holiday tank.

Lace cami $19.50 - Some of us may not fit into the cups provided, but I *do* like the bust seams. The lace is very pretty. I didn't try it on, so I can't say how thin/thick it is but I held it up in the mirror and liked it. I would definitely try-n-buy on a promo.

The jewelry is currently on buy one get one half off promo. I couldn't get over how cute it was. I like the coin chain below, $15.50.

I pulled this one from the website, $15.50. I don't recall seeing this one in the store. There were a couple other cuties I saw in person that I don't see on the website. Pretty good to score two necklaces for $23.25 before tax.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ivory coat obsession

Bloomingdales - Currently $98.99 or thereabouts. They have a few petites left. It's called the Funnel Coat

Old Navy - around $100. I love funnel necks even though an ivory coat w/a neckline like that would be bad for makeup and vice versa. I am curious how it feels in person, but doubtful I'd buy it. I have enough double breasted coats.

Jolie for St. John

Two magazine cutouts I've had for quite some time.

J Crew Lady Day(79203, regular) - Wool/nylon. $330, most colors currently on sale for $280. Add $20 more for Thinsulate. I have no recs on Thinsulate because of our mild climate. The 5 buttons are nice, but too distracting for my taste. There is no back vent on this coat. I passed. Not because of the vent, but because of the number of buttons and I'm not moved by the 2 seams that run down the front on either side of the buttons. That creates a more structured look than I want and might be distracting on the bust area if the seams run in a funny way across a fuller chest. I would like to try this on person in the event a really fun color goes on Final Sale. I would be surprised if this satisfied my ivory obsession. I'm banking on the Plaza.

J Crew Plaza (96914, regular) - 90%Wool/10%Cashmere. $325, currently on sale or promo for $250. Apparently items ending in $0.99 are considered sale (not promo) and may be subject to Final Sale. And items ending in $0.50 or $0.00 are temporarily on sale. There are 2 seams that run down the front, but they stop at the pockets. Also, they are not stitched into a raised position and are, therefore, less noticeable than on the Lady Day. I ordered this one in Ivory and am hoping it works out.

The Plaza I ordered for my mom in Black in a P2. I could fit it and button it, but the sleeves were a little short. Plus, I'd want to wear a light sweater underneath. I am usually a P4 or P6. I ordered the P4 in Ivory. I asked the CS for the bust size and I can't recall what she said on the P4, but I know it was 37" on the P6. I will post pics of the Ivory when I receive it.

ETA: Received the ivory Plaza
Overall I like the cut & look of the coat. I have more of a waist in the coat than this photo shows. I think the Lady Day would cut more of a waist, but it might not work well on me.

I am very happy with the P4. I haven't tried it with a sweater underneath but I always do thin layers. The only minor thing I am not fond of is that the inside breast pocket makes an indentation that shows on the exterior. I thought it was a wrinkle but it is the outline of the pocket. Not really a big deal. I really wish I could try on the Lady Day (79203) because of the on seam pockets. You can't really rest your hands comfortably in the front flap pockets on the Plaza, but I like it for now.

GAP/BR/ON/Piper Lime - Friends & Family

GAP is having a fantastic Friends & Family promotion this week

When: 11/13 - 11/16/08
Where: Online or in store: Gap, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory Stores, Old Navy and Piper Lime

I am a Banana Republic LUXE customer, but did not receive notification in the mail. I saw it somewhere online. I've just emailed GAP to ask if I can be put on the email. No response and I wouldn't expect until tomorrow. I called GAP customer service to ask to be put on the list. The woman asked if I have a friend or family member that works for GAP. I said no. She said it's for FAF only.

I already got on the list as the guest of someone else. However, I want the capability to be able to share the savings with others. I'm hoping they'll put me on the list. If so, I'll update this post and ask for your emails so I can send it out. The way the coupon words is there is an in-store barcode at the bottom. The coupon can be used multiple times, in-store, for the duration of the promo. This means you can hit the mall for BR and GAP and on another day try the outlets if you like. I don't see ON Factory store mentioned, so I don't know if they are accepting it. It would be odd if they're not.

The same code can be used ONCE online. GAP has one check out online. So you can shop the 4 stores and pay for everything after putting in the 30% off code. The savings is great because it's usable on Piper Lime. It's very rare to see a 30% code for that branch of the company. What's extra cool is that 5% of each sale will be donated to the sender's charity of choice.

Here is the legalese copied from the promo:

Offer valid November 13, 2008 at 12:01 am PT through November 16, 2008 at 11:59 pm PT at Gap, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory Store, Old Navy and online in the U.S. only (including Puerto Rico). 30% discount cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Discount applies only to Eligible Purchases which are merchandise only, not gift cards, merchandise purchased with a gift card, packaging, applicable taxes, shipping & handling charges or telephone orders placed to stores or customer service 1-800/888 numbers. Not valid on Gap (Product) RED™, Junk Food™, babyGap Home, Converse®, and Robeez®. Not valid on the following merchandise at final sale items or the following select shoe brands: all Designer brands, Belle by Sigerson Morrison, Donald J. Pliner and OluKai. Not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Gap Inc. will donate an amount equal to 5% of Eligible Purchases to the nonprofit partner designated by the Gap Inc. employee or, if no nonprofit partner has been designated, such donation will be divided among Gap Inc. approved nonprofit partners in Gap Inc.'s sole discretion. Gap Inc.'s total donations to all nonprofit partners shall not exceed $3 million. Such donation does not entitle the Gap Inc. employee or any offer recipient to claim a charitable contribution deduction. Gap Inc. employees may not use their gift match benefit with this offer. Merchandise cannot be put on hold at any time during offer period. Return of discounted merchandise will be for the price actually paid. Exchanges for different sizes are permitted; however, the discount will not be applied to exchanges for different merchandise. Reproductions or photocopies of offer card will not be accepted. Not responsible for lost or stolen offer cards. Offer is not transferable or valid for resale. No price adjustments are allowed on previous purchases or on purchases made with this discount.

²The online code can be used only once. The barcode from this email can be used in our stores as often as you like during the 4-day event.

ETA: Here is the response I recved from GAP:

Thank you for your email regarding our Give and Get Day event. We appreciate your interest in this offer, however, to participate you must receive a Friends & Family Days invitation from a Gap, Inc. employee. Our employees may distribute the invitations exclusively to their friends and family members. Since this event is not being publicly promoted or advertised, unfortunately, we don't have invitations available to send.

We appreciate your understanding and look forward to shopping with you
again soon.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

J Crew - Maisie ruffle blouse

The Maisie ruffle blouse (99680) - $78 comes in white, fresh guava and mineral gray. White is a classic, the mineral gray is a good neutral alternative and the guava pops in person, but isn't too bright. It's available in stores as well as online. It reminds me of the classic Kelly blouse, which is a simple button down, and they added the chiffon ruffle collar. The fit is similar to the Kelly and I'd say it's TTS. I tried the white on and the ruffle looked like a leg garter around my neck. I'll probably pass on this one.

J Crew - Harriet wool cashmere coat

I want an ivory coat! The interest/obsession started last year and am still looking. I tried the Carrie in dark acorn (BEAUTIFUL!), but the collar sits in a popped stance and I didn't find it easy to press and keep down. It looks cutest when the collar is up. I wasn't sure I'd like the Carrie in ivory, so I thought I'd try the...

The Harriet wool cashmere coat (99252 Petite, 95222 Regular ) - regular price $325, currently $275. Unsure how long promo will last.

IRL. Not for me. It looks more like a bathrobe than a coat. It has to go back, unfortunately. As far as fit, I liked the 6P although I would love to try a 4P out of curiosity. The coat felt really nice to the touch and the ivory was beautiful. It's a comfortable coat. I think it would look better on me in black or gray, but I still think I need a coat that defines my waist for me since I don't always show up with one. ;-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

J Crew metallic Thomson tote VS Michael Kors metallic tote

The J Crew metallic Thomson tote (99192), $198. The metallic colors are attractive. One drawback is that the tote is unlined. I am loving the Candace patent leather tote ($150, unavailable online) that I got from J Crew earlier in the season, so I didn't try this one on my shoulder.

The Michael Kors metallic tote, $198. I'm not sure if this is unlined. I passed by it in Macy's and it struck me as being more attractive than the J Crew tote. I think the handles are thinner and more subtle. The ones on the J Crew tote look clunkier. The MK tote also looks more structured, as though it will hold its shape better over time.

If you're interested in the J Crew tote, I suggest you check out the MK one as well. I saw it at Macy's. It's offered at Dillard's as well.

J Crew - boucle Penny jacket

The boucle Penny jacket (98464) is very chic. It's eye catching in person and I tried on black in b&m. I am a 4 or 6P and feel this fits TTS. It also felt very good on the body, not too heavy, awkward or bulky. I have a personal issue with rounded collars, so I think that I might see about having the collar tailored. I've never tried to do that before, but after watching a couple of miracles on Tim Gunn's show, the thought came to mind. The black is still regular price at $228.

ETA: I also tried on the 2. The 2 also fits. I am a 34C and can button it, etc... It fits closer to the body like a blazer and was too cute to boot. The 4 also fits really well and is just a little looser towards the bottom, so it creates more of a jacket look than a blazer. I wanted it to look closer to a jacket than blazer (I don't know why), so I'm happy with a 4. I admit it would be a psychological boost to have a 2 in my closet, but I try to stay focused on fit rather than size numbers.

I ordered the ivory. I've been wanting a boucle jacket in ivory, don't ask me why because it could be quite poodle like. I'm hoping it creates the look I want. Not poodle, of course. I will definitely post an update. It will may be a week until I receive it, though, since I just ordered today (11/5). It is currently $159.99 before EXTRA30, good through this Sat.

I have not seen the honey glaze in person. It's still regular price, $228.

I received the ivory Penny. Noooooooooo...

It doesn't feel good on. I felt like a puffed up cotton ball. Definitely not chic. This is a size 4 and a 2 would definitely work better.

Size 4
Underarm-to-underarm - 18" (taken flat)
Sleeve - 24"
Shoulder to hem - 21"

I swear the 4 fit nice in the black in person. I am no longer confident that it is TTS. If you order this over the phone, be sure to ask the CS for the measurements they have on file for it.

J Crew - metallic cloque Clea jacket

The metallic cloque Clea jacket (96121) is currently $129.99 and you can get an additional 30% off by using EXTRA30 through this Saturday. I ordered the Clea jacket last week. Unfortunately I don't think I will receive it tomorrow or Friday, but if I do, I will be sure to update this post!

I have the t-shirt shown below and haven't worn it yet. I'm hoping it works IRL with the jacket as it would be an easy outfit. If not, the use of aqua green or aqua blue should work well.

ETA: I recvd the Clea. It's lightweight and doesn't feel like you're wearing an old school bedspread or piece of upholstery fabric. That was one concern of mine. It feels good on the body and doesn't make any funny fabric noises. Can't say mimicking the catalog look works in real life. At least not for me. I should leave my tummy alone, but if it were flat I think it *might* be a possibility.

Gigi: What do you think?
DH: Toreador.

Bullfighter is not really the look I'd like, so it's going back. I know the look I wanted to achieve by wearing this, but it's not a match for my vision. I want an ornate, decorative sort of jacket and it will probably be a piece in beautiful condition from a vintage store. If I were keeping this, I'd definitely get it tailored. I think this cut is too boxy for my frame. If it were just a smidge longer or had a higher stance it might have been better. And all that said, I was hoping it was more green than yellow. When J Crew said sour metallic, they meant it.

Bad scrunchy side view. Not a keeper.

The Banana Republic Luxe Card Event

Click on the image to get a larger view.

I was a huge Banana Republic shopper for the past 3 years, until I somehow lured by J Crew. I haven't opened a J Crew credit card because the benefits appear to be practically non-existent. As a BR Luxe customer, I am entitled to free shipping all the time, in addition to free alterations on both regular price & sale items, 5% rewards, etc...

J Crew claims to have special notifications and promos for their cardholders, but it seems that the information is going out to everyone in their email list. If they want to *really* know how to treat their cardholders, they might want to take a page from the BR playbook. I attended a BR event this past August or September and it was fantastic! It was open to all BR cardholders; not just Luxe holders. Fun was had by all. The champagne was flowing, there was a DJ and with a 30% off everything promo...of course I went over my budget. I talked about it for a good week and it definitely had an impact on my desire to keep my card even though I don't shop there as much as I used to. Not sure I will attend this event, but it's exciting to see they are keeping these types of promos.

J Crew - Extra 30% off sale

*DOES NOT INCLUDE J.CREW FACTORY STORES. 30% discount applies to sale items only. Offer is valid through Saturday, November 8, 2008 9:59 pm ET.
Savings are reflected after promotional code is entered at checkout. In stores, 30% discount is applied to prices as marked. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion. Limit one promotional code per order. Previous purchases are not eligible for this discount.

Apparently the EXTRA 30% off only applies to sale items that end in $0.99. I suppose the upside is that you can return items because the promo does not state this is Final Sale (FS). Although it is possible the CS may tell you the items are FS if you call in. Or they may simply show up on your receipt as FS if you place the order through the web.

J Crew really needs to get it together. I tried the promo to see if it works and it's not even working on items ending in $0.99 in the cart. Their website fiasco is no longer a temporary bad patch and is turning into an example of worst business practices. Also, the promo should state that the EXTRA 30% only applies to items ending in $0.99, if that is the case.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ann Taylor Loft - boucle, zebra print, ruffles, etc...

Went into ATL today and tried on a few things:

Metallic Boucle Tweed jacket (228398) - $129. Not exciting on. Wouldn't say it looked cheap, but it didn't look the opposite either.

IRL - color wasn't exciting. Might have been better in black. Only comes in olive.

Boatneck zebra print sweater dress (226212) - $79. This is a real bargain. It felt good to the touch and felt comfortable on the body.

IRL - I might have pulled the trigger, except I have a similar brown print dress I have yet to wear. This is a size small.

Zebra print cardi - $59. Don't see this one online. I think this is a size S, but I can't recall.

Bow neck tee (226598) - $29.50. Very similar to J Crew's bow tie top. The ATL version has some spandex in it so it fits more like a t-shirt than a swingy top. It was comfortable.

Cable v sweater(224889), $49.50. Didn't try it on, but it was very soft to the touch.

Sparkle button cardi (225646) - $39.50. Sparkle buttons on the J Crew version are way better. Also, the colors offered aren't that exciting. Green, black and pink. The pink is really nice and similar to J Crew's berry.

Long Sleeve Ruffle Button Front Shirt (223750) - $46. An attempt to give the J Crew Victoria a run in the style department, but they are definitely 2 different blouses. From what I can remember, I prefer the J Crew version. I'm on waistlist for the black stripe. The nice detail about the ATL version is that it has darts below the bust so it fits close to the body from that point downward.


With the ATL ruffle trim cardi (227037, $49.50) - The ruffle on the cardigan weren't big enough to make any sort of statement. And don't ask me why ATL has such bright colors for fall. Some of them just don't make sense when you see them in the store.


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