Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flip Flop

I was rushing to take my son to the pool, and pointed out to him that I had forgotten to change into my good flip flops. He looked at me in amazement and asked “Why would you ever spend your money on something that is not good?” Wow.  Excellent question.  I won’t bore you with the ensuing conversation in which I compared a variety of video games to a variety of shoe choices- he didn’t buy it anyway.
Tiffany-  REALLY cute!

Flip flops were always one of my guilty pleasures.  I loved seeing which new patterns J Crew would come out with each spring, and added to my collection yearly.  I always would indulge at sale time. 
 Then someone must have noticed that the cute ribbon-ey critter flip flops were made of an bizarre toxic substance that dyed our feet J Crew Blue, so they switched to a fabric footbed.  So cute, but not very long lived, as the fabric did not hold up to sand and friction, but they were tempting anyway. 

 Then came the embellished flip flop.  All of a sudden glitter, ribbons and roses looked like they belonged on my feet.
 Every retailer followed suit.  Havaianas decorated with everything were everywhere at competitive prices.  But, I remained true to my J Crew  collection, and ignored the other brands.   Fast forward to this year. I purged all worn flip flops and planned to refresh my selection.  Where did they all go?  I asked my PS and she told me that they were online/catalog only this year. I looked online and they were plain and boring.  So I took a quick peek around the mall and found a pricey and meager selection of Havaianas, and $50.00 Tory Burch styles. 
Tory Burch
  I also noted that for $70.00 I could buy Missoni for Havaiana  and for  $195.00 I could buy Burberry Check Leather flip flops. 
 J Crew, can you hear me? I really miss your sparkly, clever selections of frivolously charming footwear. *
*No, Capri sandals and Espadrilles don’t count.  Especially getting out of a pool, or walking on hot sand.  Don’t ask me how I know this…

What are you tossing in your beach bags? I know I can find flip flops that I can mountain climb in, and flip flops that will make me fit, and Old Navy  inexpensive, but with headache inducing fumes, flip flops.  But, darn it, I just want cute ones.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Aging well

What is the time frame in which a coveted, stalked item loses its value? Why do we look down our noses at these same items once they have been marked way down in price? As captivating as the new rollouts are, I also like to enjoy the pieces I  already own.
Pepper Tweed JacketWill I snub you if you make it to  final sale?
I peruse the racks eagerly looking for that elusive great deal on a real keeper.  Timeless, classic, comfortable, not too trendy,  and preferably in a go with everything neutral.

 But why do I always get up in the morning, stare at a closet full of clothes and  try to formulate an outfit based on my newest fancy? Why buy timeless if after a while they seem staid and tired? 
J Crew Cafe Capri
Oh, no.  Now you are in my head!
  I don’t have the mindset nor the wallet for all new, so I am trying to be more loyal to my former "I can't live without "purchases. Those white Cafe Capri's made me so happy a few months ago.
 This summer, I bought some fun  final sale items that were out of my (embarrassingly neutral) color comfort zone and I am really enjoying the lift they give to my wardrobe of old and newer pieces. They add spark, and were not very costly. They are perfect for the weather now!

Cecelia High Heel Buckle Sandal
Whisper Linen Cardigan Cerise
I never would have looked at this FP, but I love it! So comfortable and I can throw it right in my handbag.
What about you? Do you cherish your well worn pieces or always cast a fickle eye to the next and best?

Tory Burch Romy 2011
J Crew Zafrina Skirt 2010
J Crew Estella 2010


I have worn these 3 pieces  so many times that they are probably in every family photo   :) . I would buy them again today if I could.
Wouldn't it be great if every purchase got so much use!

Which pieces do you feel have stood your test of time?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer scarves

As enticing as I find the new fall roll outs at my favorite stores, I need to remind myself that it is still July(yay!) and that it is really, truly, ridiculously hot out.  I know I am not alone when it comes to wanting to get the most use out of my summer items, and I am deliberately trying to discipline myself  to use every (perhaps ill-advised) final sale purchase. I can totally be tempted by sale accessories that are out of my usual comfort zone.  Good, because they can add an unexpected lift to my wardrobe, bad because sometimes I let the rarefied atmosphere and crazy lighting in a store sway my better judgement(extremely, blindingly, NEON, striped bangle  I am talking about you).
Trust me- it is not  a soft coral IRL!
 I fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to  scarves.  I am a confirmed textile-aholic.  My job and my pastimes are both fiber related.  Nothing takes dye better, or is a better garment surface for artwork than a scarf.  Hand rolled edges speak to my appreciation for finer needlearts,  and lovely silk twill is a luxury fabric still affordable in small pieces.  From the iconic scarves worn by Grace Kelly to the current collections of couture designers, scarves add panache  to any outfit.
Celine Fall 2012 from Style.com

But, I don't wear  really them in the summer.  Why then was I compelled to purchase not 1 but 2 ?
Orange polka dots- so cheery, and navy and modern red- well, I do wear a lot of navy...
J Crew Scarf

I even agreed with the wonderful  "Shopping with M" when she said in this post " I just can't make those look like anything other than an airline stewardess".
So  I burst out laughing when I saw this headline the other day,

Banana Republic designs Virgin America crew uniforms.

 I have to admit that my J Crew scarf certainly looks like I could fly the friendly skies.

 Thank goodness for the helpful insight from another favorite blog, the amazing In Pursuit of Pretty Things a few months ago in this post. 

This Nordstrom video is such an inspiration.

 And, for a virtually encyclopaedic blog about Hermes, scarf rings and scarf knots, I love to (aspiration-ally) visit the magnificent site created by a genuine scarf donning blogger, Mai Tai's Picture Book.


So, I am going to practice those great knots, and in the meantime, fall back on my old trick of rolling up my scarves, and wearing them as belts.  And, I am going to remind myself, that I really, really don't need to buy this right away.

Printed Silk Scarf J Crew


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Early Fall Rollout 2012

Brompton Hobo (BTW the IRL color looks nothing like this- it is a richer green.)
The much anticipated JCrew rollout has arrived online this morning.  I see some definite winners, although I am surprised that some of the more "gasp- worthy" pieces that caught my eye in store are not online yet. (The Chanel style pumps, the gorgeous embroidered lace top, the cobalt crystal jewelry, and the tweed capris are all MIA.) I may try to run over to a store this afternoon.
This is my wishlist from the rollout...

Cashmere polka-dot sweater

                                      The caramel dusk is lovely and I could see wearing this all the time.

Nicky top in herringbone

                                                 The print, a distinct herringbone is unique and versatile.

Zigzag sequin tee

                                               I think this is very striking, and the chevron is very on trend.

Collection lace-trim shift dress

Pencil skirt in abstract floral

 I am a little concerned about 23.5 inches for the length, but I will try it on and see...

I love the Heather Caramel color of the blazer as pictured and since I missed out on the Heather acorn last year, maybe this will be equally pretty IRL.  There is some contrast detail (yay!) under the collar, but I can't make it out clearly in the picture.

Schoolboy blazer in wool flannel 

Café capri in silky dot


  In my defense, polka dots and brown and silk!

Cece Patent Bow Ballet Flats

I like this, but I am not convinced about the cotton and poly mix.  The cut is adorable.

Pepper tweed jacket

Toni Tassel Loafers

Now for the shoes.  As I mentioned earlier, I did not see of the beauties I saw in person on line, but I still found some calling my name...

JCrew,  I LOVE  this.  It has style, grace, fabrication, and a signature print.  But , with all due respect, if I were to spend $695.00 (SERIOUSLY?) It would be for this...
David Yurman  Noblesse ring Praseolite

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New JCrew Part 2

Here are some more pictures from the new catalog.  There are some lovely pieces and color schemes- as usual! I did feel that the in store pieces were more interesting than many of the catalog items, so tomorrow's rollout is certain to be exciting.  My initial impression is that it was the first July roll out of Fall merchandise that I have seen in ages that actually is perfectly transitional both in color and fabrication.  Many of the pieces could be worn even in hot weather. I have always felt that many of my favorite retailers missed the mark by thrusting tartan and cashmere to be admired from a distance by sundress and sandal sporting shoppers. AJC on her awesome blog is posting her reviews of some of the more "covetable" (okay- I giggle when I see that)  pieces that are save your coins worthy, but there are also some lighter weight blouses and pants that more wearable now.  Shop with M posted her polyvore  today of  great end of last season buys in anticipation of fall, and that just underscores the message that some of the great summer buys today are still worthwhile  to contemplate. Not only is it still ridiculously hot (here at least), but some of those fun pieces on sale today will be the anchor for our  next spring and summer wardrobe.  After all, I think it is the timelessness of Jcrew's styles that makes us fans.

All pictures are from the JCREW 2012 Style Guide and are Copyright JCREW

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New J Crew

I just was at my  local JCrew store which happens to be a concept store.  There were legions of beautifully coiffed , groomed and garbed personnel  designing and merchandising the shop.Honestly, regardless of age, sex, and weight, they all looked they belonged in a print ad. I took a catalog from the register as I left, and couldn't wait to share  some of the beautiful images. One page has more than the next. Enjoy!

All of the images are copyrighted by JCREW