Shopping: J.Crew Winter Work Dress Reviews

As much as I complain about J.Crew or feel disappointed when trying their stuff on, I still get excited when a new “rollout” hits the stores. Some of the items from the most recent batch of arrivals looked pretty promising, specifically a tweed skirt and jacket and a crepe mini skirt. Heck, even these polka dot pants looked promising, although potentially unflattering. Sadly for me, the store in Philly had none of those items.

What it did have was dresses. Lots and lots of dresses. So, I tried them on, thinking that my capsule for spring could use a new dress or two.

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Belted Tweed Dress

I figured the belted tweed dress would be the closest to the tweed suit I was interested in, so I decided to give it a try. Plus, it looked super cute on the mannequin. There was no 6 to try, so I grabbed an 8, and it was just a bit too big. Also, I never know how to tie sashes so that they look good. What I have looks really sloppy, which combined with the poor fit of the dress just looks like a mess.

I also wasn’t sold on the quality of the fabric. It’s a nubby, cotton/poly/viscose blend. Small threads were coming off of it in the fitting room, so I’m thinking no on this one.

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Herringbone Sheath Dress

I think this dress might have come out in the previous batch of new arrivals, but I only just noticed it. Of all the dresses I tried on, this one was my favorite. It’s a wool blend fabric, and I’m particularly keen on the ribbon detail running up the side of the skirt.

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It makes it just a bit more interesting. Fit was good – this is a 6, which I was worried might be a bit snug in the hips, but it wasn’t. My complaint about this is that it feels too heavy to be a good option this late in the season. It’s definitely too warm for spring and summer. I wonder why they didn’t release it in fall. That would have been perfect.

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9AM Dress in Super 120s Wool

I tried the 9 AM dress on more because I was interested in the cut and style than the color. Light gray just doesn’t do anything for me (there are navy and orange-red options available online). I liked the dress, and the quality was pretty good (it’s 100% wool on the outside). It was a bit loose in the chest and waist area in the 6, but I didn’t try on a 4 to get a comparison.

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Sheath Dress in Italian Stretch Wool

OK, I like the color of the sheath dress and the tropical weight, stretch wool. But what is going on with those sleeves? And, there’s a row of stitching around the waist that just looks shoddy up close. Fit wise, it was true to size.

 

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Paneled Geometric Dress

The paneled geometric dress is the type of dress that makes you go “eh.” It fits true to size – I’m in a 6, and thought I’d need to go up to an 8, but had plenty of room.

The fabric is a little unpleasant. It’s a poly/cotton jacquard and it kind of felt what I’d imagine it to feel like if someone were to make a dress out of wallpaper. The pattern of the fabric just isn’t that great, either.  It looks great on the model on the website, but in real life, it just doesn’t live up to expectations.

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Silk Popover Shirt in Polka Dot

I really can’t say no to polka dots (which is why I was so excited about those pants). So, I took the next best thing and tried on the silk popover in polka dot. I really liked the look and fit of the shirt, although the fabric wasn’t that great (it was a bit rough and thin).

 

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Consensus? I don’t think any of the dresses or the silk shirt are must-haves for me for the spring. The quality of the tweed dress has me cautiously pessimistic about the quality of the tweed skirt and jacket that weren’t in store, too. The herringbone sheath would be great for the fall, so we’ll see if it hangs around that long.

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