Elizabeth & Clarke Fall 2017 Review

If you’re not familiar with it, Elizabeth & Clarke is a shirt subscription service.

Each season they offer a small collection (three items) of shirts, and subscribers can opt for one, two or all three of the designs.

I’ve been a two shirts per season subscriber for a while, and this puts me in good company since Elizabeth & Clarke says that this is the most popular option.

About six months ago, they also raised their prices from (as low as) $20 per shirt (with the three per season plan) to $40 per shirt for the same option. Currently, the two per season price is $50 per shirt, or $100 per quarter.

With the new pricing, the quality has taken an uptick. Many of the shirts feature their Unstainable technology and are winkle-free. Both of these are huge wins in my camp.

For Fall 2017, these were the three choices: a gray sweater (the “Florence”), a sleeveless Burgundy top (“Davis”), and a sleek open black cardigan (“Sloane”).

I chose the gray sweater and the cardigan.

Burgundy is not my jam.

I was excited when the package hit my doorstep last week. Here’s a look:

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Ok, this black cardigan may not look like much, but I swear the cut is almost identical to my beloved M.M. LaFleur Sant Ambroeus Jardigan (which is a jacket + cardigan). Given that the Sant Ambroeus is 4x the cost, this is a potential steal.

From Elizabeth & Clarke:

The Sloane is the best of a sleek black blazer combined with the soft, cozy knit of a cardigan.

My, that sounds familiar.

Regardless, this is a great layer for fall. I’ve already worn this a few times. Two thumbs up. This is one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever received from Elizabeth & Clarke.

Next, the Florence.

From Elizabeth & Clarke:

The Florence is a cozy, yet collected glacier grey jersey knit sweater with high-quality YKK rose gold zippers as a beautiful detail.

I didn’t realize that YKK zippers were a status item.

Actually, on further reflection, I’m not sure that’s a Thing, but I do like the sweater.

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The sweater was kind of hard to photograph. I think it definitely looks better with the zippers open.

And here is that designer zipper up close:

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Overall, I like the Florence. The zippers are a fun detail and I love anything gray, so this will be a fresh addition to what I wear this fall.

One tiny concern is that the knit seems like it will pill quickly. This is yet to be determined but this feels like an inexpensive sweater. I don’t think it’s a classic, but for a subscription box and a seasonal piece, this fits the bill.

 

 

 

 

Updates and Reviews on Things I Bought

I mentioned last week that I broke down and bought the red plaid J. Crew Chateau parka that I’d been pining for since November.

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It looks like it’s now sold out online at J. Crew, but I’ve discovered in the past that with diligent checking, many “sold out” items come briefly back in stock, so it may be worth your time to check back over the next few months if you’ve got your eye on this.

In the meantime, it’s still available at Nordstrom (via their J. Crew collab), but as I pointed out last week, you’re not going to get as good of a deal. At least not now.

However, this J. Crew Factory coat in “Electric Red” seems to be a very good substitute, especially at $150 even without any of their near-ubiquitous discounts (currently 25%, so you could get this coat for less than $115).

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I’ve only worn my Chateau Parka a few times, especially since it was so brutally cold in the beginning of January that I had to buy a much warmer coat than this. Survival, y’all.

Last week the temps climbed for a moment to the mid-30s, and it was time for the Chateau Parka to come out.

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I am so terrible at taking photos for this blog. Sigh.

For reference, I am 5’9″ and usually wear a size 8 or 10. I bought this coat in a 10 to have enough room for winter layers underneath.

The cut is slightly A-line, so the midsection and bottom are pretty loose, but not quite a swing shape.

The upper arms, however, are weirdly tight. The overall fit is still fine, but for the relative looseness of the bottom half I was surprised by the cut of the upper arms.

I didn’t capture an image, but the snaps and zipper are gold. The zipper pull is oversized and chunky.  The lining is a satin-y cream colored material, and the faux fur collar is pure fun. 

Final thoughts: This is probably not going to be an every day coat, but it’s a cheerful option for late winter when the temps warm up a bit and for days when a pop of color is in order.

I also recently received these Steve Madden “Nari” boots for the outrageous price of $45.

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Here they are:

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See my comment above about terrible photography.

I am not sure why my pants look so bunchy in that picture. They really weren’t, I swear. There is also a stuffed unicorn sitting next to a stuffed bunny on the sofa in the background.

I bought these boots in a 9. I’d say that my real shoe size is about an 8.75, which of course does not exist. 

Sometimes if I gamble and buy a pair of pumps or sandals in a 9, they’re too big and I walk out of them.

Boots are usually a safe bet to size up in, though, since they’re often paired with thick socks. Add the pointy toe effect of having less room in the toe box and the bigger size seems correct.

Even in a 9, though, these boots were tight, both in the toe and the heel. I still kept them, although I wore them with two layers of thick socks for a few hours to stretch them a bit. It kind of worked. They’d be ok for going out to dinner or wearing for about half a day of work, but they’re not comfortable enough for travel or all-day walking.

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One more thing: these look like $45 boots. The original price was $150, which is still cheap for boots, but these look and seem inexpensive. Still, the style is edgier than what I normally wear, so I’m ok with these being a trend item and not a wardrobe classic. Especially for $45. 

The last thing I bought recently is this printed tee from Elizabeth & Clarke:

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Elizabeth & Clarke is a subscription box service for shirts. They release three designs per season and subscribers can sign up to receive one, two or three shirts.

I was intrigued when I heard about this brand and signed up a year and a half ago. After about three boxes, I wasn’t feeling it and cancelled.

This printed tee was from the Winter 2016 collection. I saw it on several blogs and immediately regretted cancelling my subscription. There is something about the trompe l’oiel chandelier-style design that made me fall in love.

I also received an email inviting me back to Elizabeth & Clarke last month, with the further notice that all shirts will now be made with unstainable technology (which needs to be in my life) and that there would be a price increase on all subscriptions, but former subscribers could be grandfathered (grandmothered?) in with a discount. Ok, sold.

I was too late for winter but picked two shirts for spring. I haven’t received them yet but will review once they come. I also already picked out summer, which feels tremendously far away. Shirts from past seasons are available to purchase if they are available, so I sent an inquiry about this top. It was still in stock and I could have it for $40, which I thought was worth it.

The fabric is a nicer cotton than your standard long sleeve tee, and the print really sets it apart from almost anything else in my wardrobe. I ordered an 8 and the fit is perfect. I think this could be dressed up enough for work with a skirt, but it’s probably better suited for the weekend or going somewhere like an upscale quick casual restaurant. It’s not quite Going Out material, but it’s not Running Errands attire, either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth & Clark Fall 2015 Review

I signed up for Elizabeth & Clarke a few months ago but just received my first collection last week.

I’d been hearing a lot about this quarterly subscription box that focuses on shirts.

Each season they debut a tightly edited collection, and your subscription allows you to order one, two or three of the pieces.

The pricing favors consumption: $30 for one per season, $25 each for two, and $20 each for three.

I picked the two-per-season option, which apparently is the most popular.

For Fall 2015, I selected the Whitney and the Isabella.

Here’s how E&C describes them:

The Whitney is an incredibly chic sweater in elegant heather gray. The fabric is structured, but soft. The design in simple in the front but daring in the back.

The Isabella top features a cool vegan leather collar in the front and drapey gather in the back.

Here’s how they look:

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The Whitney

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Pleated back

The fabric is really soft and this is more stylish than a sweatshirt. It’s still more of a casual piece, though.

The Isabella would be a great going-out top:

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Here’s a close up of the collar detail:

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I wore it to work with a black jacket and pants. The back was longer than the jacket but it worked together.

Overall, these are both a deal at $25 each.

I would describe the quality as somewhere between a fast-fashion store like Forever 21 and a slightly more expensive one like the Gap.

The shirts arrived last week and yesterday, I got an email previewing Elizabeth & Clarke’s Winter 2015 collection.

Unfortunately, that looks like a big disappointment for me.

There is a black t-shirt with a weird cut-out collar, a gray sweater with a faux blouse underneath and an asymmetrical camel vest.

None of these appealed to me, but the email message said that subscribers could request any shirts from past seasons and if the size and style is available, they’ll send them.

This seemed like a great alternative and I asked for the Swan and the Davis. Fingers crossed I can get them.