Wednesday, October 24, 2012

J. Crew November rollout reviews part 1

So today our B&Ms got the new November rollout, which appeared on the website last Thursday, and it looks like there are quite a number of exciting items! I'll be posting reviews of more items in coming days, so keep checking back. Also, if you haven't seen the new November catalog yet, I have it up in its entirety on The J. Crew Archives.


Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral, style #36651, size 00 (similar here, here, here)
There was a lot of excitement over this top among JCAs, so I thought I'd start with it. I found the colors to be similar to the website images and rather bright for my liking -- the green has an almost nuclear radiance, and reminds me of the shocking colors in photo negatives that are complements of real colors found in the natural world, lol. One aspect of the print that is quite nice up close are the delicate floral outlines mixed in with the inky blotches (see detail shot below). The material is a very smooth silk that is thinner, but the top as a whole doesn't feel lacking since the body is lined. The chiffon is in fact sheer, but even on the sleeves it's hardly noticeable as the print is so dark. The silhouette is straight through the body so it's a bit swingy, and the top looked a bit heavy on me hanging from my wide shoulders, but the effect is moderate enough that other body shapes could probably pull it off. It's nowhere near as boxy as some tops I've tried on this season, and the fluidity of the silk ameliorates the effect. This top is of average length and could be tucked into a higher-waist skirt, or somewhat awkwardly into regular-rise pants (see below). Not quite the optimal drapey-ness for tucking.

J. Crew Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral
Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral (similar here, here, here)
Cafe Capri in Wool

Here I'm pulling out the excess fabric and showing how the top would look if it were fitted.

J. Crew Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral
Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral (similar here, here, here)
Cafe Capri in Wool

From the side: that the body actually narrows in, rather than tenting out, toward my hips is encouraging!

J. Crew Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral
Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral
(similar here, here, here)
Cafe Capri in Wool

The top is lined in the body, and the lining is secured at the armholes.


Here's a look at the delicate outlines, reminiscent of line drawings, that I was talking about.

J. Crew Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral
Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral (similar here, here, here)

Fabric content.

J. Crew Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral
Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral (similar here, here, here)


Cafe Capri in Wool, style #49398, Iced Lilac, size 00
The Iced Lilac color instantly caught my eye in the catalog and online, and I'm pleased to say I'm still drooling after having seen it in person! (I'm definitely making a beeline to the Blythe of the same color.) I'd say the patches in the light in the pictures below are an accurate representation of the color. I don't have a pair of the Wool Cafe Capris from last year, but I suspect that this year's might be slightly thicker. Can anyone confirm/deny this? I still wish they were lined, but I'd be ok with the weight of these pants as the wool is tightly woven and soft to the touch. The 00 Regulars are a bit wide on me, as expected, as I usually take a 00 Petite.

Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral (similar here, here, here)
Cafe Capri in Wool

From the back: fits nicely aside from being slightly large.

Chiffon Top in Hothouse Floral
(similar here, here, here)
Cafe Capri in Wool


Lustre Lace Mockneck Tee, style #28229, Mauve Blush, size XXS (similar here, here, here)
This seems like a dressed-up version of the numerous geometric knit tops from Spring and Summer. The top and the attached camisole are 100% cotton. The lace feels substantial and maybe a bit itchy, but I figure that's what you sign up for with such intricacy. I get a very strong 60s vibe from this top due to its swing shape and stand collar. When I stepped back from the mirror, I couldn't help but be reminded of a [truncated] shift dress! I actually found the volume to not look out of place on me since the swing aesthetic is so explicitly conveyed. The collar can potentially look a little *off* since it can move around your neck and sit off-center.

Lustre Lace Mockneck Tee (similar here, here, here)

Pulling out the excess volume, although overall, the shape felt right.

Lustre Lace Mockneck Tee (similar here, here, here)

From the side. Yes, there's excess volume, but when you see the entire length of the outfit, the swing aesthetic is very salient and the volume doesn't feel inappropriate.

Lustre Lace Mockneck Tee
(similar here, here, here)

Detail of the inside with the attached camisole + bra keep.

Lustre Lace Mockneck Tee (similar here, here, here)


Lady Jacket in Double-Serge Wool, style #99875, Berry Pink, size 00 (similar here, here, here, here)
Wow. This one was a stunner in-person. I have the yellow one on my wishlist and now know I'll be keeping it there. The jacket just feels very well-made and the 100% wool material is smooth and substantial. The wool is dense and fine, but not particularly stiff, so you feel like you can move around. The fit is wonderful and pretty much what you'd expect. If I remember correctly, it's fully lined. I don't really have much else to say about this jacket -- it's everything you were expecting and is incredible! (Sorry for the inadvertent McDonald's color scheme, by the way!)

Lady Jacket in Double-Serge Wool (similar here, here, here, here)

From the side: fits like you'd expect a cropped jacket to fit.

Lady Jacket in Double-Serge Wool
(similar here, here, here, here)

From the back: don't forget there's that bold piping down the center.

Lady Jacket in Double-Serge Wool
(similar here, here, here, here)


Stadium-Cloth Boulevard Trench, style #18597, Smoky Coral, size 00 (similar here, here, here, here)
I know many JCAs were disappointed about the style of this trench and that it was changed from last year. I'm mostly ok with it, as it looked like any other trench at first glance. One thing that bothers me is how there isn't enough lapel material for you to realistically be able to unbutton the top button and have a decent-looking lapel. I tried doing this and the lapel stuck out rather than folding down as there was so little fabric. The fit is also larger than what I'd expect for a 00, unlike the Double-Cloth Slim Trench and the Double-Cloth Funnel Coat, both of which I reviewed in this post. It's not as noticeable when belted. The Stadium Cloth is J. Crew's heaviest wool, and is soft to the touch, but not felted (see detail below).

Stadium-Cloth Boulevard Trench
(similar here, here, here, here)

From the side: a little awkward extra volume in the midsection.

Stadium-Cloth Boulevard Trench
(similar here, here, here, here)

Pulling out the excess fabric.

Stadium-Cloth Boulevard Trench
(similar here, here, here, here)

Interior details. Nice thick, satiny lining.

Stadium-Cloth Boulevard Trench (similar here, here, here, here)

Detail of the fabric. The wool isn't felted, unlike (I believe) the Peacoat Wool, so it's not all fuzzy/furry; you can see the threads. Still soft to the touch, though.

Stadium-Cloth Boulevard Trench (similar here, here, here, here)

Fabric contents.

Stadium-Cloth Boulevard Trench
(similar here, here, here, here)


Fair Isle Ski Sweater, style #30054, size XXS (similar here)
I think I rather like this one. I thought the orange would be too bold for me, but I don't envision myself wearing it 100% non-ironically (lol); rather, I imagine there will be some winking culture-referencing going on (if you're confused, just imagine this is a Madewell item and how they'd intend it to be worn). I love the diffusion of colors in the fair isle pattern, too. The material, a wool blend (see tag below) is quite thick. There are some interesting fit issues though, as Ema pointed out. For one, the arm holes seem rather low and come down on the arm slightly. Feels a little awkward but it's no biggie looks-wise as this is supposed to be a chunky sweater. Second, even though the patterned and solid parts are knit and stretchy, there seems to be a stiff band of fixed-length yarns at the bottom of the pattern where it meshes with the solid that tends to ride up your chest and get stuck on the way down(!). This probably won't happen unless you lift your arms way up. There is volume in the midsection but it doesn't look out of place as the banded bottom hem narrows in. All in all I'm willing to forgive the fit issues since again, it's a chunky sweater.

Fair Isle Ski Sweater (similar here)

I'm showing how much excess there is -- I couldn't even completely capture the other side. The volume is ok with me though, given the intended fit.

Fair Isle Ski Sweater (similar here)

From the side: the banded hem brings everything in so the volume just ends up draping nicely.

Fair Isle Ski Sweater (similar here)

The stiff band of yarns that I'm talking about is the section enclosed by the two chartreuse rows at the very bottom.

Fair Isle Ski Sweater (similar here)

An interesting detail: there's a bust dart! This is an indicator of where the stiff band of yarns on the inside is, and if this seam rides above your chest, where it normally sits, it will probably get stuck on the way down.

Fair Isle Ski Sweater (similar here)

Fabric contents.

Fair Isle Ski Sweater (similar here)

One more thing before I'm done: I spotted a green version of the Fall Floral Crystal Necklace (style #47811) in stores -- lovely! I really love this green colorway. It's not online yet. *EDIT: Thanks to Cate O for pointing out that this color is actually the same as the color shown online and in Jewelry section feature, which is called "Iced Lilac"! All three depictions look like completely different colors, IMO* I also spotted some other jewelry (some of it green-themed) that I didn't recognize, but I didn't think to get pictures. I'll try to get some next time.



Ok, phew, that was a lot. Are you excited about anything yet? Is there anything you'd particularly like to see IRL? What do you think of the colors? Shapes? Styles?

11 comments:

  1. I went into the store here on Monday. I noticed that odd stitching where the fair isle pattern meets the solid color, and it turned me off immediately. I can see where it would be an issue riding along the chest - ugh. I fell in love with the longer length necklace (it's like 80" long!) shown above with the garland piece in your photo. I bought the long one and have worn it everyday - it reminds me of some older Chanel pieces I've eyed in the vintage stores in NYC. I hope to put a pic of it up on my blog tomorrow. I bought the hothouse top, but I didn't try it on, and I have my PS looking for it in a size larger as it had that strange tightness in the upper arms! What is with the tops at JC lately??? Fix that sleeve/shoulder pattern area already. I am on the fence with the lace top, which I ordered online from my VPS. I'm on the fence about it. I haven't come up with many outfits that didn't look "grandmotherly." And it is on the itchy side - and the cami portion, although it is adjustable with snaps, felt short and uncomfortable (the type of cotton that rubs oddly along the braline.) Did you notice that?
    Thanks for your great reviews and fabulous pics!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Suzy! I'm glad to hear about the necklace; it looks like a versatile and classic style that will easily dress up an outfit. I haven't noticed tightness in sleeves or shoulders of blouses, but I did notice that on the Hothouse and Dot Chiffon Top, the cuff at the end is narrow enough it can get stuck on your arm. I didn't have a problem with the lace top coming off as grandmotherly, but maybe the exact opposite -- overly girly and twee! In that perky 60s way I mentioned. Lol, sounds like it's either one extreme or the other. I didn't notice the cami much when I tried it on but it does look very short in the picture. I hope you get the Hothouse to work out, and let us know what you decide on the lace top!

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  2. I was most curious about the lace tee, thanks for reviewing. And you are right, I see it as a dress and think that would be beautiful. I've been trying to resist but your review of the Lady Jacket is swaying me. A lot.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, I originally thought the Lady Jacket was going to be a "maybe" for me, but after trying it on I'm going to have to bump it up above a few other items on my wishlist to make sure I get it! I just saw another positive review for it today from phiphi.

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  3. Thank you so much! I wondering about the capris in lilac and i really like them - will watch for them on promo. I actually like all of these items, though i agree on the lace top - that would have made a stunning dress! I truly like the necklace at the end - I hope that goes on line!

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    Replies
    1. The Iced Lilac is such a sweet, lovely color; lighter than most of what appears in my pictures of it. I think I might have to make these my first pair of Wool Cafe Capris! And apparently, that color *is* the color online, which also happens to be the color in the Jewelry site feature (thanks to Cate O's comment below). The site photography throws us off again . . .

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  4. I wonder what J Crew UK on the label is all about?

    I've always loathed Fair Isles frumpy jumpers but that ones fantastic.

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    Replies
    1. I've wondered about that too! I first noticed them this Fall, but then I probably didn't look at the inside tag as routinely before. I wondered if it had something to do with J. Crew launching in the UK soon. I didn't love that fair isle at first, but you're right, it's refreshingly non-frumpy and I think I could do that!

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  5. Thanks for the reviews. I love that last picture of the jewelry. I think that's actually the same color fall floral necklace that's online - if you look closely, it has green in it. That other necklace is the knots and pearls necklace - I don't like the stock photo but it looks much nicer in your photo.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, I just checked the website photo and you're right! Thanks for pointing that out; I updated my post to correct this. You can barely see the green in the stock photo, which looks black instead, and the orange stones look almost ruby. I did a double-take when I realized the garland necklace in the feature on the Jewelry page is also the same color! There the yellow is more distinct, which looks almost clear in the stock picture. I completely thought they were three different necklaces/colors! Oh, inconsistent site photography.

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  6. I love your reviews! I don't need any of these items, but the Lady Jacket is lovely.

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