After leaving empty handed and unimpressed the last time I went to J.Crew, I decided to pop back in again this weekend and see what was new. Some of the dresses and skirts in the most recent catalog (er, sorry, “style guide”) looked pretty cute and I wanted to check them out in person. While I had more success this time around, I again left empty-handed. Part of that is because the Philly store only had a limited selection of items and part of that is because I wasn’t too enamored of what I found.
Let’s do this in order from pretty good to very much not pretty good.
Up first: the perforated A-line dress ($148). Yeah, it looks a mess, thanks to all those wrinkles, but I really liked it. It was a bit on the fancy side, but not so much that I’d feel weird wearing it out and about on a lovely day. It even looks good with a pair of Docs. The drawbacks were that it was a bit wide in the bodice area, but not wide enough to justify dropping a size (this is a 6), and it was a touch short. Luckily, it is available in tall sizes online, so I may go that route at some point. While it was full price in store, online the version in black is $10 off.
Next up: the laser-cut pleated skirt, which is on sale both in-store and online for $79.99 and also available in “dusty alabaster.” I mainly grabbed this so that I would have something to wear with the shirts I was trying on, but ended up kind of liking it, too. There were only a few sizes in stock, and a 6 wasn’t one of them, so I went with the 4. It fit, but the shirt I had tucked in was visible through the waistband of the skirt, as in you could see the lumps and bumps of fabric. I’m not sure if that’s because the skirt fit tightly and was made of a flimsy fabric or because the shirt had too much fabric going on. Probably a mix of all those.
The fabric on the skirt was a bit dodgy, and felt somewhat plastic-like. The lining was strange, it was more a nod to a lining than an actual full-cover lining, if that makes sense. As in, it was there, but it also sort of wasn’t.
Points off for length, too: it was a touch too short. Maybe a 6 would have been okay, since it would sat lower on the waist, but this isn’t a skirt I’d feel comfortable wearing without tights.
Does it look good with Docs? Yes.
Let’s talk about the green top now. . . It’s silk. It’s olive green. It should be a hit out of the park or whatever analogy people who like sports would use. But, alas. It’s a hot mess. Look at that picture. All the wrinkles aren’t because the shirt needs to make friends with a steamer. That’s straight up static cling. If a shirt is going to get that clingy in the try-on room, just think of how it’s going to behave in the real world. It’s cut and fit didn’t do anyone any favors, either, and the silk was pretty thin and rough to the touch. Sorry, shirt, I’m going to pass on you. (I can’t find it online yet, either, so maybe everyone gets to pass on it).
The last style guide had a really adorable look in it, combining the drapey oxford crepe top ($88) in mint with the structured mini skirt, ($88) also in mint. The Philly store didn’t have the mint top or the structured mini skirt, but they did have the shirt in navy and a few other colors. I went with the navy.
Drapey’s a good word to describe the fit of the top. Another way to describe it might be “hangs on the body like a sack.” I wasn’t impressed. The fabric was also not quite what I was expecting. It’s got a bit of texture and is a little heavier than you might think. The shirt’s final offense was the two buttons, with loop closure, at the back of the neck. I didn’t even bother to try doing or undoing them.
Last, and very much least was the Jet-Set Geo Shift dress ($138). The dress has a cute print and I like the zippers running down both sides, but the feel of it was just ugh. I’d compare it to stepping into a paper bag. It’s a stiff shirting fabric (poly/cotton) blend that I swear actually rustled when I put it on. The dress wasn’t lined, either, which made it feel really flimsy.
Although I hate exposed zippers on the backs of dresses (it just make things look unfinished), I did like the two zips down the sides of this one. Those zippers and the print were the only things that redeemed the dress.
It looks good with the Docs, though.