Thursday, August 16, 2012

J. Crew September rollout reviews part 1

It looks like the B&Ms have gotten the new arrivals from the September rollout already, so this will be the first of several review posts. Also, if you haven't seen it yet, I've uploaded the full September 2012 catalog onto The J. Crew Archives.

In contrast to the August rollout, there's actually a substantial amount of new stuff in stores so there was a lot to ooh and aah over.

Sandwashed Silk Tee, Sweet Fuchsia, size 00 (similar here, here, here)
This top looked enticing on the website, like a modification of the Talitha from the spring, but the shape just isn't working on me. It's waaaayyy too boxy. I get that it's supposed to be swingy in a 60s manner, but maybe I just don't have the body type for this top. I have narrow hips relative to my shoulders, so while it fits my shoulders, the excess volume only gets worse going down. The sleeves probably could've been slimmer on me as well. The fabric is quite lovely, though. It's a thicker silk material with a very suede-like feel - quite sumptuous. It's just too bad J. Crew couldn't have made something out of it that has a fit on par with the material. They seem to have had many loose, swingy tops lately, perhaps to try to get away from styles of the recent past that seemed too young? This one is a massive overcompensation though, in my mind. There's a short zipper in the back. Also a small chest pocket, which is hard to see.

Sandwashed Silk Tee (similar here, here, here)

Here, I'm pulling the shirt out to the side so you can see just how much volume there is at the hips.

Sandwashed Silk Tee (similar here, here, here)

Side view: pretty shapeless on me. Note the interesting asymmetric, curved side vents.

Sandwashed Silk Tee (similar here, here, here)
No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Multicolor Tweed

(similar here, here, here)

The tweed for this skirt was strikingly light, and pliable. I checked the tag and it's 61% acrylic, 39% wool, so maybe that's why? Nominally, it's thicker than the Wool No. 2s from this year since it's made of a multitude of woven threads, but the material isn't very dense at all; it's kind of light and fluffy. Looks-wise though, it's quite lovely. It fell decidedly below my knee, and my regular size, 00, fit perfectly. 

Here's the tag.


Perfect-Fit Long Sleeve Tee, Byzantine Blue, XXS (other options with interesting colors offerings here, here (recommended - thick fabric, but less fitted), here, here)
I wanted to take some IRL pics of the Perfect-Fit Long Sleeve Tee because the colors were just so, so gorgeous this time around. As some of you may know, I'm a bit of a collector of these tees - I probably have about 15 different colors at home. Nine months out of the year here it's long-sleeves temperatures, and these tees are the easiest stylish thing to pull on in the morning when you don't want to get up and have no clue what to wear - no itchy straps, no sweat-insulating synthetics, just smooth cotton all over, and in inspired shades, too! It's nice to have an interesting color peek out from under whatever sweater or second layer you're wearing. The thickness is quite good now, too.

The Byzantine Blue - ah, I've been waiting for a sharp, cobalt blue in the Perfect Fit for a while now! This shade is a gem, and it goes quite well with the skirt.

Perfect-Fit Long Sleeve Tee (similar here, here, here, here)

Perfect-Fit Long Sleeve Tee, Romance Pink, XXS (other options with interesting colors offerings here, here (recommended - thick fabric, but less fitted), here, here)
I liked this pink a lot because it has a subtle dustiness to it, which doesn't come across well in this picture. It feels very soft and vintage - something out of a Victorian doll house, perhaps. I think "dusty rose" would be a fitting name.  It's definitely not your same-old, cliche powder pink. This is why I like J. Crew's Perfect Fit [and well, all their other] colors - even though these tees are kind of a boring, basic item, they're treated to subtle, innovative colors, and not the same basic, boring shades you can find offered at Old Navy or Costco.

Perfect-Fit Long Sleeve Tee (similar here, here, here, here)

Colorblock Top, size 00 (similar here, here, here)
I really liked this top. What impressed me about it was that even though the material felt like a thick silk crepe, it actually turned out to be wool! Interesting. The texture was very fine for a wool and had a bit of a smooth, shiny quality. The fit was quite good - TTS and nowhere near as boxy as the Sandwashed Silk Tee even though this one is supposed to have an unfitted, shift shape as well. It felt maybe a little short though, but it should be safe with higher-rise pencil skirts and the like. There's a button keyhole in the back.


Colorblock Top (similar here, here, here)
Cafe Capri in Navy Tweed (similar here, here, here)

Cafe Capri in Navy Tweed, size 00 (similar here, here, here)
I was really surprised that these pants fit me. Normally, 00 Regulars in the Cafe Capri are too wide for me, so I need a 00 Petite. This one, however, fit me quite well, so sizing up may be advisable. I was quite impressed with the fabric, too. A world away from the Multicolor Tweed, this material was thick, dense, and tightly woven. There are also gold threads interspersed through the white and blue, which is a nice touch.

From the back: both pieces fit quite well.

Colorblock Top (similar here, here, here)
Cafe Capri in Navy Tweed
(similar here, here, here)

Here's the tag for the top.

Colorblock Top (similar here, here, here)

And the tag for the Cafe Capris. Silk! I would've guessed it was something typically thick, like wool. Sounds like a reversal with the Colorblock Top above.

Cafe Capri in Navy Tweed (similar here, here, here)

Tippi Sweater in Colorblock Stripe, XXS (similar here, here, here)
I couldn't help but notice the appealing, harmonious mix of colors in this sweater, even though otherwise it wouldn't be my thing. I'm loving all the camel/black that J. Crew's been doing and the light gray and blue are nice as well. The fit is slightly loose on me, which I actually kind of like for its chicness. This is a nice, stylish, everyday sweater that is comfortable but still looks sharp. There's a small chest pocket on the left side of this photo on the black stripe.

Tippi Sweater in Colorblock Stripe (similar here, here, here)

Boucle Peplum Jacket, size XXS (similar here, here, here)
This was my surprise LOVE of this try-on (well, also the jeans below). I wasn't drawn to them at first because they didn't look that enticing in the catalog photo - the peplum seemed too frilly and made the jacket look very grandma and frumpy.

September 2012 Style Guide catalog pg 87

However, in person, the sharpness of the colors comes out much more clearly, and adds an edge that balances out the ruffles. It also fit amazingly, which is the biggest reason I loved it. Note though, it's actually a knit! (See detail shot below.) That explains why it is in the knits section of the website as well as the jackets. As such, it conforms to the body quite well and was pretty snug on me. The fabric was a little limp and lifeless on the hanger, but I'm willing to forgive that fact because once on, it looks quite sharp. It also has a double-ended zipper, which I really like because if you leave a bit open at both the top and the bottom, it makes your waist look narrower in relation to your shoulders and hips, and creates an hourglass shape. I really hadn't given any thought to this top before I tried it on, but looking at it paired with the jeans in this photo is swaying me. It would be a great semi-suiting top, as well as an edgy, but classy, casual piece.

Boucle Peplum Jacket (similar here, here, here)
Toothpick Jean in Huron Wash (similar here, here, here)

Toothpick Jean in Huron Wash, size 24 (similar here, here, here)
I didn't intend to try these on, but need something to pair with the jacket and I LOVED these. The fit was like a dream - so body-hugging, so perfect. The material wasn't a particularly heavy denim; it was softer to the touch, too, but it still fit snugly. I wouldn't have expected to find my perfect jeans at J. Crew; I probably would've defaulted to the big designer denim labels at first thought, but the jeans I've tried from J. Crew have been excellent. The shade is a perfect medium blue as well, with just the right amount of fading.

From the side: both pieces fit snugly and flatteringly.

Boucle Peplum Jacket (similar here, here, here)
Toothpick Jean in Huron Wash
(similar here, here, here)

So you can see from the texture that the jacket is a knit! I don't know if all boucles are like this.

Boucle Peplum Jacket (similar here, here, here)

Here's the content of the jacket.

Boucle Peplum Jacket (similar here, here, here)

So, what do you think of these items tried on in person? Anything you're pleased, disappointed, or surprised by? Which pieces would you like to see someone do a review on?

18 comments:

  1. Yeesh! 61% acrylic in the tweed skirt?! That is just awful.

    Thanks for the helpful photos and reviews.

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  2. Do you think the boucle jacket will be snag city after a few wears? It caught my eye as well...

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    1. Hmm, I don't remember there being any very high loops; it didn't even occur to me that it was boucle until I went up to it and looked at it, and realized it might've been boucle, not tweed. The yarns were really pretty flat to the fabric. However, I don't own any pieces with a looser tweed or boucle weave (or knit, in this case), so I can't say for sure.

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  3. I'm with you. Love, love the perfect fit tees. I seem to buy a couple every year. They fit and wear so well.

    You mentioned the boucle jacket fit snug. Did it feel too tight? It looks like you have it layer over something. It looks fantastic on you with those jeans. I'm seriously considering taking advantage of the free ship promo on this one.

    The colors in the Tippi are even prettier IRL. Now I'm tempted by it too.

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    1. Yes, it was definitely a little tight - I wouldn't have wanted to do jumping jacks in it - but I didn't mind as I liked how structured it looked. Also the top I'm wearing underneath is the Paisley Applique Top (review coming up), which was somewhat stiff and had a bit of extra fabric on me - the sleeves were all bunched up at the upper arm - so a normal tee might take up less space.

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  4. Thanks SO much for these great reviews!!!!

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  5. Fab reviews, thanks for sharing! The peplum blazer really caught my eye too, and the color looks like it could easily translate to any year :) I'm glad you posted the Tippi too, I really liked it but I'm not feeling the minty stripe at the bottom and didn't notice it on the website. Glad your photos are so detailed :)

    Tasia

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Tasia, and I'm glad you found the reviews helpful! The peplum blazer has looked great on everyone I've seen it on so far; I think I might have to check out the silver one too even though it looked pretty drab to me on the hanger.

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  6. Love your reviews! I stumbled across your blog by accident. I don't live in America, but I adore J Crew and I order it from where I am. The problem is that I can never tell which styles would suit me best, so I find it incredibly useful to be able to see the clothes on a real person of a similar size and build to me. I've been debating whether to buy the cafe pants or a pair of the Minnie pants. Which style would best suit someone who wears a 00P or 0P and has a boyish figure? Thanks!

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    1. Hmm, well since you wear a smaller size I think both could work for you - it's the larger sizes that the Minnies can be trickier on, though I believe I've seen bloggers of all sizes wear the Cafe Capri. For me, because I have a wider upper body and skinny legs, I can look off balance in the Minnies if I wear something boxy on top, so I'd say that's a concern. If your proportions are more balanced, I'd say you can wear either. The Minnies are very curve-hugging, so that can be a beneficial to your boy-shape if your legs looking too skinny isn't a concern.

      Otherwise I'd say the biggest factor is what kind of a look you're going for. The Minnies are more urban and edgy - they hug your butt, after all - but can be very chic with say, ballet flats. The Cafe Capri would work better for more conservative situations and have a more properly-dressed look. Hope that helps!

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  7. Awesome reviews. I'm loving the colorblock top quite a bit :)

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  8. Just stumvled across your blog while looking for J.Crew reviews. Love love love that jacket! It looks great with jeans. How tall are you? I have a feeling this jacket will be too short on me :(

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    1. Laura - thanks for visiting! I'm 5'5" and have a slightly longer torso. Here you can see it on Cate O of A Package a Day, who is 5'6"; shopwithm, who is 5'5"; Angela of Notes From the Dressing Room; and ajc of A JC Shopping Habit.

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  9. Do you feel like the Perfect Fit long sleeve tee runs small? And does it stretch out? The lady at J.Crew told me to get one size up for a nice fit.

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    1. Hi, sorry for the slow reply! My regular size (XXS) definitely seems to fit much closer to the body than the same size in many of J. Crew's current woven tops and some of the straight-shaped knit tops. I don't find the XXS to be too small for me though, but that's because I'm going for a snug, curve-hugging look. If anything, I've thought that the woven tops of recent seasons have tended to be too roomy for the size they're supposed to be. But if that's the fit that works for you, then yes, you may want to size up in the Perfect Fit Tees.

      As for stretching out, I don't find that they do, but then again I wear them pretty tight to start with, and they still look well-fitted by the end of the day.

      Hope that helps!

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  10. Thanks for your review. I am 5'1", 97lbs and have just got the capris pants in tweed navy online. I chose the Petite0, but i am afraid that i have made the wrong decision, maybe i should pick P00. What do you think?

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    1. Hi there! I'm not very good with matching height and weight to size, but I can tell you that I'm about 34" at the widest point at the hips (more like the seat) and 25" at the narrowest at the waist (right under the ribs) and the P00 is perfect on me. So I guess if you're about those measurements, go with the P00!

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