Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Raising the bar

I just received an e-mail, and idly glanced at the Banana Republic website.  I have been keeping my eye out for their  Trench Coat, especially because it received such high marks from AJC.
Banana Republic Sale Trench

 I always appreciated the review section on their website and on the Brooks Brother's website.  Even though I have access to many B&M stores, I always find the fit comparisons to be very useful.  (Sometimes it is nice to see that I was not the only one who could not zipper a skirt in my usual size!)
Brooks Brother's Sale trench

 I was DELIGHTED to see that Banana Republic has  a new feature- a "Find it from a local store" window. That is such a considerate time saving device.  And- the item that I was looking for was on sale and had an additional 30% off, so it was not a feature reserved just for full price items.  Absolutely wonderful.  I checked the site, and the GAP now has the same feature but, Old Navy does not. It does say BETA on the form, so it may just be a trial.  I give it very high marks!
J CREW Collection Icon trench

 J Crew- Why is there such a shroud of secrecy surrounding your inventory?  User friendly websites will enhance your business.  You have some great things to offer.  Now show us what you have.  From the comfort of our homes.
As it happens, the coat is not available anywhere particularly close.  If I were so motivated, I am certain I could call and put it on hold and drive a little out of my way to look at the size.  I am not going to do that, but I am so happy about the website addition, I can promise that I will visit their site more often.  And, isn't that what internet shopping(or window shopping!) is all about?
( I wear my trench more in the Fall than in the Spring, and mine is on its way out...)

Have you seen the new BR site?
What do you think? I'd love to hear!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Spring 2013 J Crew

Lovely colors

 I know that this post is a couple of days late, but a recent visit to the store made me wonder how I could buy now with an eye to the future. I love when I can get multi season wear from my clothes and accessories. It is pretty difficult to think ahead to Spring 2013, but J Crew had their show in NYC and this is the link
Some of my picks are:
Awesome pants
I love the lace detail!
SO pretty
Presumably the retail version will not have quite as large a slit!.  Very Lilly.
Great shoes
I just  don't understand the appeal of a"Mullet" hem, although I love the color.

The silk prints were pretty, but will probably be priced on the same astral plane as the photo prints this season.  I am  somewhat surprised that there are so many shiny metallic pieces. 
What  do you think about the Spring 2013 collection?  Or, Like me, do you just want to look ahead to Fall/Winter, and not even give these clothes more than a passing glimpse? I would love to know...

Monday, September 10, 2012

US Tennis Open, and a Schoolboy Blazer sighting

Andy Murray wins the 2012 Men's US Open

I was  fortunate enough to be asked to accompany a family member to the Men's Final game of the  
US Tennis Open in NY tonight. She had  amazing tickets for box seats-not my usual milieu ! The tennis was fabulous.  The players, Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia seemed so evenly matched that the sets went on forever- almost 5 hours!  ( Andy Murray won in the last set, becoming the first British player to win a Grand Slam Tournament since 1936.)
Villa Dress

Tory Burch Romy
I wore my trusty *Villa dress with a brown woven belt, and my go to old Tory Burch Romy flats- worn in anticipation of much walking.
Baby Cable Cardigan

 I also wore a cardigan from Talbots bought on super clearance. ( Mine is blue, although I love the pink!) Good thing too, as it became so cool and windy when the sun disappeared behind the stadium.
Classic Merino Long Cardigan
I popped an extra  Long Merino Cardigan in my handbag before I left the house, and wound up lending it to a member of our group.  I was actually surprised that it was that cool, as it has been extraordinarily warm around here lately, and I never wear wool this early. Merino is so multi seasonal, and takes up no room in a bag.
Kim Sears

I am not much of a people watcher, and I am hopeless at identifying anyone from afar.  I did see some famous people, but mostly when they had been pointed out to me first.  Our seats were wonderful, and we had remarkable views of both the court and the audience.  One pretty girl with gorgeous hair caught my eye, and she seemed so in tune with the action on court. I was certain she had to be related to one of the players, or a girlfriend.  I also admired her jacket.
Schoolboy blazer in Navy

 When I got home, I checked online- and sure enough, Kim Sears, Andy Murray's girlfriend was wearing what appears (to me) to be the J Crew Navy Schoolboy Blazer.
Are you a tennis fan? Do have have the Villa dress? I'd love to hear!
* Yes, I have to admit, I wore the same dress and shoes when I was lucky enough to meet up for Fashion's Night Out with AJC of the amazing blog- AJC Shopping Habit. Do you find you pull out the same things over and over again.  I definitely do that, especially when it is "in between" seasons...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fashion's Night Out

As part of Fashion's Night Out-tonight's industry wide kick off for New York's Spring Runway Fashion week many retailers are having great promotions and festivities in store and online. 
Kate Spade is having a surprise sale today only. Although the copy reads that both full price and sale items have both been marked down, the sale page does look rather like summer sale to me.
Some cute things:
Grove Court
Wild one Camel Pendant
Fashion's Night Out Tee

Tory Burch Promotion

Tory Burch is having online and in store promotions and Brooks Brothers is serving light refreshments and showing a preview of their Fall collection. C Wonder is teaming with Daily Candy- lollipops and drawings! LK Bennett has a double decker bus in NYC, and giveaways with a $200 purchase.
J Crew is having light refreshments and small giveaway promotion at my local store with a $100 purchase.Will you be attending any stores for a Fashion's Night Out festivity? I 'd love to hear!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Labor Day Sale at Tory Burch

Tory Burch  has a  percent off Labor Day sale going on right now.
 If you spend $300.00 you will receive 20% off of your purchase, $500.00-25%, and $750.00-30%.  Large numbers for me right now, but definitely worthwhile if you have your eye on a handbag or boots.
These are my wish- picks.
Shelby Ballet Flat

I love the subtle flower.  Pretty, but not over the top, with the small logo. I can vouch for the comfort of her flats.  The leather lining makes such a difference, especially if you are on your feet all day.
Jenna High Heel Boot
They are lovely, and not too high. I could see wearing these often.
Patent Eddie Bow Ballet Flats
I don't wear red well, but these ruby slippers might be just enough to brighten up my fall outfits.
Cecily Dress
 Dark green is my very favorite color, and this dress has it all.  A barely detectable print, silk fabric and a rich dark green.  Yummy.
Walden Cashmere Sweater
I like the cut and button detail.  I wonder how Tory's cashmere wears?
Suede and Leather Large 797

Green again.  Impeccable details and a timeless shape.  Love.
Pearl Embellished Collar
This has shown up on many blogs, and with good reason.  It is gorgeous.
Printed Robinson Smartphone Wallet
I am not certain if the print "reads" summer, but I love a sophisticated floral.  And it is so practical.

I have to stop now or else I would fantasy shop all day.  What do you have your eye on at Tory Burch? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Surprise Sale at Kate Spade

I received an e- mail this morning about a surprise sale at Kate Spade.  I loved Kate Spade for years, then was not impressed for the longest time.  Lately, I am pleased with how many interesting  and well made pieces they seem to have.  These are my wish list picks from the awesome sale-final sale, but only $5.00 shipping. This is the link to the sale . Have fun looking!
 I have carried Kate Spade handbags for years, and the quality was good overall for the leather bags, but not as good IMO for the fabric bags.  I did notice that some of the bags were made expressly for the outlets.  I did have one bag that was made for the outlet years ago, and it seemed to be well made with as much detail as my regular shop bags. Most of the sale styles are totes, but I love a nice tote- pretty and practical!

  The dresses are silk.  The Japanese print is much prettier in the "zoom" view, and the dresses don't appear to be scandalously short.  I can't vouch the quality of the jewelry, but these pieces caught my eye!
Did you look at the surprise sale? Did anything catch your eye? I enjoy your answers!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lovely New Pieces

 Save your money for the next roll out!  I just popped in to my local J Crew this morning, and the merchandising team was busy at work.  As this is the concept store, many items are on display that have not made their way to other shops yet. I don't have pictures- sorry no smartphone!, but I made note of some items that caught my eye. ( May be AJC can help with this- she is awesome with reviews and pictures.)
Colors.  Deep rich burgundy with black.  Navy with heather caramel, and accents and jewelry in fuchsia, navy and soft light green. 
The first thing that caught my eye was a sequin tank that was burgundy on top, and black on the bottom.  The sequins were oblong- very striking.
Majesty Peacoat

I looked at the Majesty peacoat in fuchsia.  It was a beautiful fuchsia, not too harsh.  It is $278, and currently online.  The color is scrumptious! There was a beautiful silk( I believe)dress that had a silhouette like the Jules dress with pockets and it was in a gorgeous muted paisley in shades of caramel and soft green.  It was $228.
Next was a  fitted cashmere blend pullover in 2 colors- black or light green, with the cheekiest , most adorable bird on the front.  The sweater is a cashmere blend, and retails for $95.00. I wish I had a picture.  Saucy.
Collection Cashmere in Colorblock

I also tried on the cashmere striped green and grey pullover.  Slouchy and marvelous.  The colors are unique, but wearable.
There was a collarless long sleeve silk blouse in shades of burgundy on a cream background in a simple  print, with a paisley type border.  Pretty, but not earthshaking and the price tag was $250.00?!?
As far as the jewelry went, I have already written about the lovely cobalt glass bead bracelet.  Now there is a jeweled elephant pendant with cobalt and "diamond" detail.  Stunning. ($79.00- I think). Cate of A Package a Day just pointed out that Rynetta posted  a picture on her blogJ Crew is my Favorite Store  I liked the timeless beaded acorn type pendant on a long chain in green. There were masses of enamel and jewelled bangles in pink, navy and green.  Many had crystal accents and were some of the nicest pieces I have seen for a while.  The only thing that concerned me was that many of the bracelets were the stretch kind.  I ruined 2 cashmere sweaters last year, and won't risk that again! (Yes, 2- clearly I am not a quick study.)There was a long goldtone necklace studded with enameled bows in black, a light pink, gold, and maybe green.  They were $39.50.  Very sweet.
I also noticed a rectangular, honey comb print  on navy,  chiffon scarf (see this post for tying tips) for $70.00.  Silk but very fragile, so proceed with caution, or buy online.
I  glimpsed a bright fold over clutch in the window, but they were changing the mannequins, so I could not get a closer look.
All in all it was a classic and well thought out roll out.  No new catalog yet, but I will check back soon. The staff is so wonderful at that store.  It must not be easy to work amidst all of the constant change and swarms of merchandising staff. But, they are always impeccably dressed, charming and helpful.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bling- Crystal Comparison

I got an e-mail from C Wonder advertising their “Bling Collection” and I was intrigued.  I have only recently and tentatively started to wear costume jewelry. Other than my pearls, I rarely wear necklaces, but I do enjoy the lift a statement bracelet can give an outfit.  
J Crew Crystal Marquis Bracelet

A couple of years ago I purchased a deep rose crystal bracelet from J Crew and it was the start of my new interest in fun accent pieces.  The crystal  pieces and their successor in the crystal jewel range, the pricier Martha necklace were solid, weighty, sparkly cut glass pieces.  They were unique at the time and well crafted.  I then purchased, again on clearance, the geometric piece- I don’t know its name.  I have truly worn this bracelet with absolutely everything, from dressy dresses to bathing suits.  I don’t know if it is the soft antique gold setting, or the smoky crystal, but there is nothing that it doesn’t match.  
Vintage J Crew "Jewels"

Finally I added the stretch bracelet to my collection, because by this time, J Crew had stopped offering the crystal bracelets I was looking for.  Well, I loved the soft black, and I didn’t even mind the stretchiness, because this bracelet, too,  was on a wonderful clearance.  However, I soon learned the hard way that I could only wear this bracelet with cotton shirts and twill or denim. Unfortunately, stretch bracelets are snaggerific( thank you gigiofca for that apropos word!) and destroy any fabric that is loosely knit or woven.

  I saw some faceted deep cobalt faceted glass bracelets, and a very dressy large stone faux diamond looking geometric bracelet today at the J Crew concept store, but they were undoubtedly expensive, and not as casual and versatile. as the pieces I already have. ( Sorry I don't have pictures, but they were in the display case.)

So when I saw that C Wonder was offering similar looking pieces, I thought I would see how they compared.  As I  noted in my previous post, C Wonder is a fabulously fun shop, but the quality of materials is not always up to the caliber of design. Some of their jewelry is awesome, some of it rather cheap looking.
Triple Stone Drop Earrings
In store, I looked at the Bling Stud earrings and  lovely drop earrings that  may have been the Triple Drop Stone Linear earrings, and the Glam  Bling  Ring.
Glam Bling Ring

They passed the J Crew of yore (thank you, Alexis of JCA for this phrase) test for me.  The stones were pretty faceted glass, and the metal settings seemed solid and the gold plating was attractive.  They did not have the full range of colors that is on-line in store, but what they had was so pretty. I think that $28.00 and $38.00 seems reasonable.
 However, the necklaces from the same collection were not as well made, and had epoxy stones rather than faceted glass.  They felt lighter, and IMO looked cheaper and were pricier . 
Banana Republic

 I saw similar pieces at Banana Republic, but my initial impression was that they all seemed cheaper and flimsy, although some of the pieces online seem to be made of nicer materials.  I rarely wear costume earrings, and I suppose that the lighter stone is easier to wear, but they just seemed plastic-y to me.

 I then looked in Talbots- OMG why do I even waste my time?  I have such fond memories of the Talbots of old- a venerable store with enviably crisp, classic, quality clothing.  I keep hoping, but suffice it to say that the crystal jewelry pieces I saw there were not inspiring, nor were they well made.
Madewell and Anthropologie were on my way , but they really didn't have any crystal style jewelry to speak of.
Do you wear costume jewelry? What is your favorite kind?