Reviewing the Reviews Part 2: J.Crew Circle Mini Skirt

Let’s do another review of the reviews, shall we? A few months ago (in March), I ordered and reviewed the J.Crew Circle Mini Skirt in Crepe. At the time of my review, I admitted to being skeptical about the skirt’s quality, but also pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t the train wreck I was anticipating. Here it is again for reference:

J.crew circle mini skirt in crepe

Review Revisited: J.Crew Circle Mini Skirt

So, flash forward about four months. How’s the skirt holding up?

Eh, not so well, I’m afraid.

In my original review, I said this about the fabric:

The fabric is a poly/viscose/elastane blend. It’s got some texture to it and a soft hand. I’d be afraid my cat would snag it, but he snags everything, so that’s not really an issue. The skirt is lined, which adds some heft to it.

Some texture and a soft hand equals a nightmare for cat owners. Every time I wear this skirt, it gets covered in cat hair. COVERED. It’s like a cat hair magnet. Even if I don’t pet or cuddle with my cat, the skirt winds up looking like a mess. I must spend about 15 minutes before leaving the house lint rolling the skirt and applying packing tape to it to remove the hair.

It’s not only cat hair that’s the problem, though. The fabric just seems to pick up every stray piece of lint and dust in the world around it. Keeping it looking clean and decent is pretty difficult. It’s dry clean only, so it’s not like I can just toss it in the wash and hope for the best.

I’ve gotten to the point where I wear the skirt at home and change into something else before leaving the house.

Yeah. That kinda sucks.

It’s not just that the skirt is a lint/cat hair/dust magnet. It’s also got some quality issues.

The grosgrain ribbon waistband I was so concerned about is holding up fine. But, the tag inside the skirt has fallen off. I have to say that this is the first time I’ve had a tag fall off of any piece of clothing. That sounds like a minor issue, but if I wanted to sell the skirt at some point, it would be a problem. Not that anyone wants to buy this skirt, given that it looks beat to crap after just four months of wear.

Another deal: the fabric is pilling in spots, notably on the sides of the hips. Blugh.

I think this circle mini skirt is the proverbial final nail for me. I’m done with J.Crew. It’s one thing to sell cheap, low quality clothing and fully admit that. It’s another to sell them while at the same time crowing about your commitment to quality and the like.

 

That all said, if anyone has any recommendations for a well made, black skirt, I’m all ears.

Shopping: J.Crew Cherry T-Shirt

This past weekend, J.Crew was doing a somewhat fun promo in store: they gave out scratch-off cards with different percent off values. I had stopped in to check out the J.Crew cherry T-shirt in person and landed a 30% off scratch off card. But, the cutesy discount offer isn’t the point of this review. The cherry print T-shirt is.

J.Crew Cherry T-Shirt

J.Crew Cherry T-Shirt

It’s pretty cute, right? The fabric is soft, thin cotton, and I guess I am a little worried about how long it will last. The care tag says to air dry it, so I think doing that will help prolong its life.

The website describes the cherry T-shirt as having a slightly loose fit. It looks pretty fitted in the picture above, but that is because I’m in the Extra-Small. The store in Philly was out of smalls, so I brought both XS and medium into the fitting room with me.

J.Crew Cherry T-shirt

There’s the medium. Whoa, did I gain 10 pounds? No, I just put on a t-shirt that is slightly too big. And then took a blurry photo of it.

In contrast, here’s the XS with those same green shorts:

J.Crew Cherry T-shirt

Seriously, much better. If you prefer your shirts fitted, I’d recommend picking up the cherry t-shirt in size smaller than usual. If you do want a looser fit, that you can slightly blouse out when you tuck in, go for your usual size.

What else? Let’s talk about those shorts.

J.Crew Chino Shorts, 4-inch Inseam

I own the chino shorts with the 4″ inseam in a light grey, which I ordered online a while ago. They seemed to have different colors in store compared to online, including a pinky-purple and the sort of mallard duck green pictured above. Although the grey shorts look cute and casual on me, for some reason I just didn’t dig the green color.

The fit is fine — these are a 6 and they sit right on my hips, but not too low. I think 4 inches is a good inseam length for me (at 5’10”). 3 inches is a little too scandalous while 5 inches is a little too matronly.

J.crew chino shorts

Another complaint — the lighting in the dressing room cast weird shadows on my legs, making it look like I had a lot of cellulite. I don’t get that. Retailers, the dressing room is the try-out room. It’s where your clothes get to audition for us. If you’ve got bad lighting that makes us look terrible, there’s no way those clothes are making it out of the dressing room and over to the register.

I’m not asking for movie and TV studio quality lighting here, but lights that don’t cast terrible shadows are going to help you all sell some more clothes.

Save

Reviewing the Reviews

Sometimes, when I read other review bloggers, I wonder what happens to the stuff they rate highly. Do they end up keeping it and wearing it? Or, does it end up in the back of their closet or cosigned/donated/trashed within a few months or years? To that end, I thought it might be worthwhile to look back at a few of my reviews over the years and give an update on the stuff I really liked, from pencil skirts to shorts, and let you know what happened to them.

pencil skirt

J.Crew Seersucker Pencil Skirt

Remember this (it’s totally fine if you don’t)? I got the seeksucker skirt from J.Crew when it was on sale for $59.99 – 40%. A week or so later, J.Crew took 75% off sale prices, so the pencil skirt went down to $15. Annoying.

At any rate, I mentioned that I got an 8 in my review and that it was too big. I didn’t think the slightly oversized fit would be an issue. But, guess what: it was. So, I ended up selling it after a few wares. I found the skirt difficult to style because it was so loose and long. Plus, the lavender color was so light it was almost not even worth calling the skirt lavender.

All in all, a purchase I regret.

pencil skirt

Anthropologie Telephone Print Pencil Skirt

Good god, people, I loved this skirt. It made it into my fall capsule and I wore it a lot – despite the eye-catching, vibrant print. But, here’s the sad thing about the skirt. It was just not very well made. The lining – made of acetate – ripped the first time I wore it. I stitched it up, but. . .

I had thought the skirt was dry clean only, then I rechecked the label. It was washable! So, I washed it, using cold water, and line dried it. Things didn’t go well. The hem fell out, so I stitched it up.

Then, I packed it away for winter, thinking all was fine, only to find, when spring rolled around, that the little spin in the washer had not only made the   hem come undone. It had also shrunk that stupid acetate lining. The skirt was now too tight, at least in the lining.

Sadness of sadness. But, unlike the J.Crew pencil skirt, I don’t regret purchasing the telephone pencil skirt. I just wish that it had had a longer life.

Banana Republic_Marimekko_Kivet_Shorts

Banana Republic/Marimekko Shorts

Given that Target has recently launched its own collaboration with Marimekko, it seemed like a good time to look back at my first review for  this blog, of a couple of pairs of shorts from Banana Republic’s collaboration with Marimekko. I was pretty happy with the shorts at the time of purchase, and probably pretty ecstatic about getting them, since the collection sold out so quickly.

Flash forward a year or so, and I only have one pair (the black and white dots pictured above) left. I sold the other pair to ThredUP, because I didn’t wear them all that much. I’m actually  not so sure about hanging on to the black and dots either, because there’s something about printed shorts that just screams suburban to me. We’ll see what happens this summer. I’ll most likely end up selling them if I don’t find myself wearing them all that much.

Do I regret the shorts? No, since I did get a season or two’s worth of wear out of them. Would I say they are my style and buy them again? No.

Kate_Spade_Saturday_peplum_dress

Kate Spade Saturday Sleeveless Peplum Dress

Aw, man. Kate Spade Saturday. My heart kind of misses the brand, which closed last year, but my wallet is kinda happy about it. I  tried on the black version of the sleeveless peplum dress during a visit to the brand’s store in Soho. I really wanted the purple, but they were sold out of it. After trying to convince me to get the black, or to get the purple skirt version, I ended up leaving empty  handed.

But! I did end up getting the dress, in purple (er, grape), just before Saturday shut down for good. And, I love it. The peplum feature is actually two front pockets, so it’s not your basic, boring peplum. The purple color is vibrant, the fit is good, and the dress washes well (line dry, no need for dry cleaning, although you can, if you prefer).

I’m so glad I waited to get the purple dress and didn’t settle for the skirt or get the version in black.

Reviewing the Review count: 5 garmets

Still in my closet: 2

Sold: 2

Fell apart: 1

Not too bad, but not that great, either

Shopping: J.Crew Circle Mini Skirt in Crepe and “Flouncy” Skirt

Thanks to the ravages of time and general wear and tear (RIP, pleated BCBG skirt, 2010-2016), my wardrobe was missing a basic black skirt. I had one skirt “gap” in my spring capsule wardrobe and I wanted to fill it with a flared or circle skirt.

I saw that J.Crew had a circle mini skirt in crepe and I thought it would be just the thing, though I was concerned about the length. I was also a bit wary because was online only and my experience with the ‘Crew lately (like so many other people’s) has been anything other than great.

After a pretty fruitless search at Century 21 and a local consignment store one weekend, I decided I might as well go ahead and order the circle skirt. It was on promo, so $10 off the full price, plus there was a 30% off sale promo going on. The second skirt in my order was definitely a whim and I probably should have left well enough alone.

circle mini skirt in crepe

Circle Mini Skirt in Crepe (Black)

I had a few concerns about the circle mini skirt. One, would it, at just 17.5 inches long, be too short? Two, would the grosgrain waistband be flimsy?

As far as concern one goes, the jury is still kinda out. I mean, yeah, look at it, it’s short. I’m 5’10” and it’s probably five inches above my knees. But, it’s hardly scandalous, right? If you’re the type not to wear skirts shorter than knee-length, this is not going to work for you. I’m a little iffy about it with bare legs, but I’ll probably change my tune when things warm up.

Circle mini skirt

Meanwhile, I think it looks perfectly fine with opaque tights. A part of that is probably because you can’t see my weird looking knees when I have the tights on.

J.Crew Circle mini skirt

Another nice feature, as far as length is concerned, is that it seems to dip down slightly in the back, so the back side is a bit longer than the front. I don’t know if that’s super clear in the photo, but it’s visible in real life.

Let’s talk fabric and construction. I once had a skirt from J.Crew that had a grosgrain ribbon waistband. It was so flimsy, because it was literally just a ribbon. It would bend and bunch and I wasn’t impressed. The ribbon waistband on the circle mini skirt is double thickness and it feels as if there’s a bit of interfacing between the ribbons, so it’s pretty durable. I can’t see it bending or bunching or whatever.

The fabric is a poly/viscose/elastane blend. It’s got some texture to it and a soft hand. I’d be afraid my cat would snag it, but he snags everything, so that’s not really an issue. The skirt is lined, which adds some heft to it.

When I hear phrases like “circle skirt,” and don’t actually see what the garment looks like, I envision a skirt that’s been cut in the shape of a circle. That’s not so much the case with this one. It’s got swing and movement, but those come from the godet panels that are sewn into it. There’s a lot that’s circular about the skirt, it’s just that in my mind, it doesn’t live up to what I traditionally think of as a circle skirt.

Oh! I almost forgot. Sizing. This is a 6. I’d say it’s pretty true to size. It fits comfortably right at my navel and the hips aren’t too snug or loose.

After so many misses at J.Crew lately, I’m so happy to have skirt that seems well made and that fits my needs.

Speaking of misses . . .

j.crew flouncy striped skirt

Flouncy Striped Skirt

Marvel at that hot mess of a skirt. I saw the flouncy striped skirt when I was about to order the circle mini skirt and I thought, eh, looks cute, might as well give it a try.

When it arrived and I pulled it out of the packaging, my first thought was, hello vanity sizing! It was a 6, but it was the largest 6 I’d ever seen.

Case in point:

J.Crew Flouncy striped skirt

 

I’m trying to show how much extra room there is in the waist while also looking like a model in a commercial about weight loss.

So, it’s huge, it adds like 20 pounds, what else is wrong with it? Does it need to have anything else wrong with it?

Construction and materials-wise, it’s made from woven cotton and has a poly lining. The pleats were all wrinkled when the skirt arrived, so I’d imagine they’d be a pain to keep neat and flat.

So, J.Crew, you’ve had one hit and one (among many) misses this time around.

Reviewed in this post:

Winter Capsule Wardrobe 2016: The End!

As far as my wardrobe and I are concerned, winter is over. Sure, temperatures and weather conditions might be a little rough for the next few weeks (although this has been a fairly mild season, and the groundhog didn’t see his shadow). But, I’m ready for spring. That’s the thing about capsule wardrobes. Having a limited wardrobe makes changing seasons pretty exciting.

Before I reveal my spring capsule (next week), let’s take a look at a few of the outfits I put together during the last month.

winter_capsule_outfit_0205

Work Outfit 1

I am in love with this navy blue dress from Theory. When I first got it, I was unsure about keeping it, but it’s really proved to be a good purchase. It fits well, it’s well-made, and I can wear it in a lot of different ways. Case in point, as pictured here, worn over top of a silk, clock print blouse from J.Crew. (Which surprisingly, hasn’t ripped.)

 

winter_capsule_outfit_125

Work Outfit 2

Here’s an outfit made out of a few of my favorites. Navy blue pleated skirt from J.Crew. A silk blouse from Equipment. And a merino wool cardigan. I keep telling myself that I’m “over cardigans,” yet I keep wearing them.

winter_capsule_outfit_0216

Work Outfit 3

I searched pretty long and hard for a stretchy black mockneck top like the one I finally found from Reformation. I think it looks particularly vintage when styled with the Julia Patch Pocket skirt from Boden.

 

winter_capsule_outfit_0216b

 

It was a bit chilly the day I wore this (it is winter, after all). So, before going out to meet a few friends at night, I added a tuxedo blazer from Boden and a pair of tall boots (another thing I keep thinking that I’m “over,” but still wear anyway).

 

winter_capsule_outfit_0219

Work Outfit 4

Another outfit made up of favorites: a hounds tooth print skirt from J.Crew Factory (which is, unfortunately, falling apart) and a cropped cardigan from a boutique in Oxford, UK. Plus, a watch pendant necklace from a local jewelry maker who, as far as I can tell, no longer exists).

 

winter_capsule_outfit_0220

Casual Weekend Outfit

Yeah, I like to wear pencil skirts on the weekends. They look cute and stylish, but are fairly comfortable, especially when paired with a flannel shirt. The big surprise of this outfit is those boots. They’re Steve Madden and I’ve had them for years. They are falling apart a bit at this stage, some of the buttons are missing and I should get them resoled. But, otherwise, they are still hanging in there.

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.

jcrew_tweed_belted_dress

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.

jcrew_herringbone_dress

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.

jcrew_herringbone_dress_closeup

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.

jcrew_9am_dress

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.

jcrew_sheath_dress_italian_wool

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.

 

jcrew_geometric_panel_dress

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.

jcrew_silk_dot_popover_tuckedin

 

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).

 

jcrew_silk_dot_popover_closeup

 

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.

Reviewed in This Post:

Shopping: J.Crew Winter 2016

I was in NYC last week and my trip happened to coincide with J.Crew’s latest roll out of new arrivals. So, I figured, why not go and check them out. I actually ended up popping into two stores, the one on Madison Avenue in Midtown and the one at Columbus Circle. The Madison Ave. store was a bit small and seemed to be pretty well stocked with size 0s, but not much else, so I left quickly. The Columbus Circle outlet was considerably larger (two floors) and actually  had my size.

Teddie Sailor Pant
Teddie Sailor Pant

Teddie Sailor Pant

I dunno, I have a thing for sailor style pants, so I was really excited to try on the Teddie Sailor Pants. Sadly, they weren’t the most flattering on me. The 6 fit, but wow, do these make my thighs look huge. I think it might be due to the length – they are meant to be cropped, but they look just a bit too short on my 5’10” frame (maybe a tall would work better? Never mind, the sailor style isn’t available in tall).

Jcrew_teddy_sailor_pants_side

I’m also not 100% sold on the buttons. The ones in the back look alright, but the ones in the front are just kind of there and look a bit cheap. The fabric is a wool blend, but they didn’t feel very  heavy.

J.Crew Regent Blazer
J.Crew Regent Blazer

Regent Blazer

I know the Regent Blazer has been around for a while, but I’ve actually never tried it. Since I love the Regent Topcoat so much, I wanted to give it a try.

Talk about night and day. While the topcoat looks great on me (I think), the blazer looks so drab and boxy. The size 6 is too wide in the shoulders and just kinda hangs there. Ugh, this is not a flattering look.

Jcrew_Regent_Blazer_Charcoal_2

There is a single button near the waist, but what’s the point of it? It doesn’t cinch the blazer closed or add any shape to it. I guess you can add me to the anti-Regent crowd.

JCrew_Frayed_Tweed_mini_skirt

Multicolor Tweed Mini

I like the Multicolor Tweed Mini, it’s fun and a bit silly. The size 6 fit fine, though it was a little low on my waist and the length was very short. I wouldn’t add this one to my closet, for a few reasons. For one thing, it’s an acrylic blend and I have a no acrylic rule (it wears poorly and always looks tired after no time at all). For another, the fray bits on the skirt were actually fraying themselves right off.

Look at the little stray piece of thread in the photo there. By the time I was finished the try-on, that piece of thread was on the floor of the dressing room.

JCrew_Frayed_Tweed_mini_skirt_back

The ultimate deal breaker is the exposed zipper. Nope. Just nope.

jcrew_silk_clip_dot_top_elm

Silk Clip Dot Top

For some reason, I thought the elm Silk Clip Dot Top was going to work with the tweed skirt. But, it didn’t. Oh well. I’m not super into this top, but it was fine. It’s a viscose silk blend with a polyester lining. The size 4 fit well in the body. The sleeves seemed short, but according to the online description, they’re meant to be 3/4 length. They looked more like bracelet length sleeves to me, which, on a person with long arms, can just look as though your shirt is too small. I liked the green color, but there’s not much special enough about the shirt to make it a good closet addition.

JCrew_Tipped_Jackie_Cardigan_twinset

Tipped Jackie Twinset

I really like the detailing on the Tipped Jackie Cardigan and Shell. But, otherwise, I wasn’t sold on them. Both are made of a lightweight merino, which was actually almost too lightweight. The shell was see-through and I felt sure I was going to snag the cardigan on something. The buttons on the cardigan felt like they were slightly too large for the size of the button holes — it was difficult to undo them. Although it looks cute and fits true to size (I’m in a small in both), it just feels like neither the cardigan or the shell will last for more than a season.

Reviewed in this post:

Shopping: Can We Talk About Quality?

A couple of weeks ago, I was getting ready to go to an interview with a recruiter. Since I work in a creative field (I’m a digital copywriter), I wasn’t in a business suit, but instead in wearing some pretty classic J.Crew. You know. A pencil skirt. Not-quite-a-statement necklace. And a silk Blythe blouse (they don’t make it anymore, but here’s a similar option if you’re interested. After this post, you might not be).

This looks great, I thought. Until I looked down a my sleeve and saw a giant rip in the silk.

ripped_blythe_blouse

It was about two inches or so long. Shit, I thought. Should I wear a blazer? The blazers I own look really frumpy with a pencil skirt, that was a no. Can I just chance it and hope she doesn’t notice? No, too risky. Should I change my shirt and go with this option?

winter_capsule_outfit_107

Maybe, but it was a cold day and I had a Heattech top underneath, which even with its scoop neck was still visible thanks to the deep V of the blouse. OK, I guess I’ll just go with a cardigan, which is fine, looks nice and all, but isn’t quite what I wanted.

The rip in the sleeve was annoying, but I got even more annoyed when I got home, took the blouse off and looked at other areas of it. In parts of the shoulder, the silk was pretty much completely worn away and you could see through the silk and there were other areas, like on the back, where the silk was starting to fray. I know I’ve complained about J.Crew’s silk before, but this felt beyond the pale. Should a shirt completely fall apart and wear out after a few years of not very frequent wear?

I can’t remember when I got the blouse, but it was either 2012 or 2013, so I’ve had it for either less than four years or less than three. Is a lifespan of more than three years too much to ask? I don’t think so, because I’ve had blouses and dresses from Target and New York & Company last for much longer even though they cost so much less.

That got me thinking about quality. I know “you get what you pay for” and all that, but how much is too much to expect from our clothing? Is it too much to think that a shirt that has a sticker price of upwards of a $100 won’t just randomly tear on some random day for seemingly no reason? Or can we only reasonably expect longevity from the  most expensive clothing?

Also, it made me wonder why there’s this move away from making garments that last. As I mentioned, I’ve had relatively inexpensive pieces of clothing last me for years and years, but I bought them at least a decade ago. And, yet, I feel as if everything I’ve purchased from J.Crew in the past 2 or 3 years has just not been up to snuff and has either worn out quickly or required a lot of effort to keep it looking good. It’s not as though the rip  is on a stress point, like the shoulders. It’s not really even on the seam, it’s about 1/16 inch to the side of it.

So why is it that retailers think it’s OK to sell us stuff that’s just no good these days? I know there’s fast fashion, but I’m an adult. I’m looking for stuff I can hang on to for years, so that I can look back in amazement on a blouse in 10 years and think, hey, I got this a decade ago. It’s still going strong. (As a funny side note – I was just in J.Crew and they had signs all over the store stating that they believe in “forever fashion, not fast fashion.” OK, prove it by making stuff that doesn’t completely break down.)

Clearly, making stuff that falls apart does make people more likely to buy  more, but that model doesn’t seem to be working either, looking at the constant markdown games stores need to play these days. Isn’t it better for a retailer to earn my confidence and trust instead of selling me stuff that I’ll need to replace very two years, if I’m lucky?

 

Winter Capsule Wardrobe: Month 2 Check-In

winter_capsule_collage

Winter, at least according to my capsule wardrobe calender, is almost over, although the blizzard we got here in Philly this weekend might seem to suggest otherwise. Since my winter season runs from December through February, I’ve just over a month to go before thinking about and switching over to spring. Perfect timing for a quick round up of some of my favorite outfits from this season.

Christmas Eve Capsule Outfit
Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Outfit

I know it’s traditional to break out either the red or green or the sparkles on Christmas Eve, but I went in a different direction and channeled my inner 1970s librarian, with the Miyani dress from Theory in navy worn over a tie front William Morris print blouse from Marc by Marc Jacobs.  At first, I worried that the outfit was a little too much — did I look like I was trying to dress like a character from Mad Men? But, then, I was like, whatever. My family has seen me in weirder. Also, I really, really like this look. So, thumbs up and all that.

winter_capsule_outfit_105
Phoning it in with this outfit

Casual Outfit

When it gets really cold, my brain so of locks up when it comes to figuring out what to wear. My default is jeans (which aren’t necessarily warmer than tights, but feel easier when it’s super cold) and a shirt. Here it’s a silk, zebra print blouse from J.Crew and Madewell’s Flea Market Flares. It’s not exactly the best or most inventive look and I will admit that I very much phoned this one in. Not every capsule outfit is a winner.

winter_capsule_outfit_109
Weekend lunch

Weekend Lunch

OK, this outfit is made up of three of my favorite pieces, so really, what can be wrong about it? Nothing. I’m wearing a printed button up from J.Crew Factory which somehow fits perfectly, even though cotton button shirts never fit me, my favorite skirt, a navy pleated number from J.Crew, and a sparkly necklace from J.Crew. The tights are from Boden and they fit well, but aren’t super exciting and the boots are from Garnet Hill. They fit well and are very comfortable.

winter_capsule_outfit_107
Work outfit 1

Work Outfit 1

I work from home, which often leads people to ask if I work in my PJs or in “casual clothes.” I usually smile politely and say no, but that question irks me, since the above is a typical example of what I wear on a work day. It’s a J.Crew Pencil Skirt in  dark green tweed wool (first tried on here) and silk V-neck blouse navy, some tights, and a necklace from the no-longer-with-us Piperlime. I don’t really get the idea that because no one sees you at work, you should just phone it in when it comes to your clothes. So I actually wear clothes when working. Plus, I’m weirdo who likes the business look (here’s a story: when I was a kid and thought about what I’d wear as an adult, I pictured myself in a fuchsia pencil skirt suit.)

winter_capsule_outfit_108
Work Outfit 2

Work Outfit 2

Here’s another work day outfit. You’ve seen these pieces before – it’s the Marc by Marc Jacobs Strawberry Thief blouse (which seems to be sold out, but here’s a similar option, minus the tie) and my favorite pleated skirt.

Work Outfit 3
Work Outfit 3

Work Outfit 3

Last capsule outfit for you and it’s another work one. I’m wearing the Theory Miyani dress again and the Graham Cardigan from my MM LaFleur Bento Box. The necklace is actually a tiny pocket knife from Erica Weiner Jewelry. I love the Graham because it’s pretty flexible – you can tie it in front, as I’ve done here, or leave it open for a looser look.

Shopping: J.Crew Winter Sale

After the holidays is typically the best time to get the clothing you’ve had your eye on all fall, on sale. Case in point: J.Crew is currently offering 40% off winter sale styles (through Jan. 6). OK, so that’s not really news, because they seem to do that pretty much every week. But at least this stuff isn’t on final sale.

While I was putting together my winter capsule wardrobe, I realized that a few solid, silk blouses would really round out the collection. Since I really liked the silk drapey V-neck blouse in navy, I decided to get another version of it, this time in bright blue.

jcrew_drapey_vneck_silkblouse_blue

It’s currently on sale for $69.99, minus 40%, although, many of the colors are sold out in many sizes, including the bright blue. The navy is still available in plenty of sizes, though.

I’ve got to say, J.Crew doesn’t have the best quality silk. I mean, it’s not that expensive, so I really shouldn’t expect much. It’s thinner and slightly rougher than the options you’d get from Equipment or even Everlane.

jcrew_drapey_vneck_silkblouse_blue_closeup

It also wrinkles fairly easily. I’m sure this blouse came from a store, as it was folded and crammed into a tiny little plastic bag and insanely wrinkled when I unpacked it.

jcrew__tuxedo_bib_blouse_navy

The sleeveless silk tuxedo bib blouse fared  better in transit, in that it didn’t get to my house a wrinkled mess. It’s currently marked down to $59.99 minus the 40%, and it doesn’t seem to be selling that quickly, at least in the navy/black version. There’s also an ivory that’s nearly gone as I write this and a coral version that’s hanging around.

jcrew__tuxedo_bib_blouse_closeup

What drew me to the top was the bib placket detail on the front. It’s a subtle touch that makes the shirt a bit more exciting than your basic silk sleeveless.

I took a size 4 in both of these shirts, which just seems to be the size I am in J.Crew tops these days. Fit was fine in the shoulders and in the body of both blouses. Sleeves were a touch short in the drapey blouse in the regular size, but I usually roll up my  sleeves, anyway, so it’s not that big of a deal.