Follow Up to Spring Wardrobe Additions

Quick update on recent wardrobe additions:

These shoes got sent back to J. Crew.

The shoes were about half a size too big and the fabric seemed like it would stain easily.

Adios, berry print heels.

This necklace, however, was even better in person.

I wore it last week for a work photo along with a bright blue shirt, and I loved the color combo:

It’s definitely still available at J. Crew.

 

P.S. How fun are these earrings?

 

 

 

Spring/Summer Wardrobe Additions

Given that I’ve recently moved from academic medicine to private practice, I have new freedom to dress the way I want.

The dress code at my old job was all suits, all the time, and after 8+ years, I’d grown pretty sick of it.

Most people who worked there also dressed in really boring, predictable ways that were aggressively unfashionable.

Shedding my exoskeleton from that chapter feels wonderful, but to some degree I’m back to where I was when I graduated from high school.

I’d been stuck in navy-and-white uniforms for four years and when I left for college at a famously liberal campus, I owned exactly one pair of jeans. I didn’t know how I wanted to dress, because up to that point, I hadn’t been able to give it much thought.

Finding my style took some time, and there were painful missteps, like these off-white J. Crew shoes that I owned circa 1993:

These did not look good with almost anything, especially the forest green denim pants I would occasionally pair with them. Typing this makes me wince.

Lately, too, I’ve had a style crisis where I want to move in a more modern direction. A lot of my suits are already donated, but if given the chance, I’d get a completely fresh start with my wardrobe.

Getting the house prepped for selling also forced me to cull and organize my possessions in ways I hadn’t done for years, and seeing the embarrassing amount of clothes I own (many with tags still attached) brought the point home that if I am bringing in something new, it’d better be worth it.

With that in mind, here’s what made the cut for Spring/Summer 2017:

These Lucky Brand peep-toe booties are a cool taupe-y color (“Dark Driftwood”) that seemed like they would look good with skirts, dresses or pants, and they seemed like a way to force myself to keep up with regular pedicures. Another blog I follow described them as insanely comfortable, which was enough to tip me into buying. This was the first thing I bought for spring and had to wait over a month for the weather to cooperate enough to avoid snow on my toes.

These were impulse purchases from a boutique:

I can’t really justify them other than “impulse.”

After that, I was on a dry spell for a few weeks, and then got the shopping itch again.

With one of their many sales and a $25 reward card, I was able to get this coat from the Gap for less than $35:

The fit is a bit more oversized than I’d like, especially since I’ve been wearing it more like a blazer (i.e. all day) and less like outerwear. The pale pink color felt fresh for spring.

Speaking of pale pink, I added this tee during my biggest spend of the season, an order from J. Crew:

This was only $9.99, but it’s a final sale item.

The rest of my J. Crew order:

This was too cute to pass up. It’s even better in person. I love this shirt.

Also on sale, this bell sleeve sweater: 

With a pair of slim black pants, fun shoes and either a scarf or a necklace, this feels like what I want to wear this summer. 

I debated this move, but I ultimately added these berry print shoes to my cart when the price dropped to under $100:

What was much easier to justify was the berry print bandana (no longer available; I got the last one in store when I was on a scouting mission to see how the bell sleeve sweater was sized), which I got for less than $10 ($8.50, to be exact). And no, I do not plan to wear this with the shoes.

The final item on my J. Crew spree (and the last thing to make it into my closet): this necklace.

Argh, I know. I know. I know I said no more statement necklaces. And yet here we are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J. Crew May Edit

Pieces I will not buy. Repeat: will not buy. 

But I like them.Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 6.05.45 AM

This bright tee is so up my alley!

So is this floral print scarf, which comes in two styles, square silk and a gauzy rectangle:

This floral pattern was everywhere, but I like the skirt for spring:

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 6.09.59 AM

A modern shirt, also with a bow tied element:

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 6.06.10 AM

Of course, a statement necklace:

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 6.07.18 AM

And this retro sundress isn’t exactly my style, but it’s breaking the internet on other blogs:

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 6.08.33 AM

What do you like from J. Crew this month?

 

 

 

J. Crew March Edit

I will not buy these things.

I will not buy these things.

I will not buy these things.

(I am hoping that saying it three times makes this intention true, but who are we kidding?)

 

Seriously, many of J. Crew’s latest offerings feel fresh and spring-like. Check these out:

This embellished bell sleeve blouse has buttons on the back, although since it’s part of J. Crew’s Collection line, the price is steep ($250).

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-07-22-am

I’m not sure if the blouse would look good with this Soleil crystal necklace, but I’m willing to take the risk:

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-11-03-am

I don’t wear a lot of heavy earrings, but this pair is making me reconsider:

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-12-57-am

And how about the colors of this cashmere Pop Stripe sweater?

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-15-17-am

If the price of the sweater ($278) is too high, this boatneck tee in a vintage stripe has a similar vibe for less ($39.50):

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-17-29-am

I’m not usually good at switching my bags from season to season, AND a bag this light should reasonably make me nervous given my propensity to spill things everywhere, but this Marine salt hobo feels right for the warmer months:

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-19-51-am

And finally, shoes, shoesshoes and more shoes:

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-28-04-am

 

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-31-51-am

 

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-34-11-am

 

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-8-36-02-am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

f8198_wu63571

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).

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-5-00-51-pm

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.

img_1572

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.

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-5-43-14-pm

Here they are:

img_1575

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.

img_1576

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:

img_1577

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J. Crew Signet Bag

Have you seen these J.Crew signet bags?

img_0813

Starting at $128, they’re cute and well-priced.

 

f5231_gy6534_d6

Image from J.Crew

The best part is that you can customize the bag to make it your own with tassels, monograms, coin purses and customizable tags  (I would definitely get a gold one that says “Fancy”).

Here are some ideas:

fullsizerender

I love the contrast of the red bag with the blue key fob:

img_0812-1

This one might become mine. I’d add the gold “Fancy” tag and a leopard coin purse.