Monday, September 3, 2012

Home Again, Some J Crew Reviews and six 20% off coupons to give away to faithful readers!

Well, we arrived back earlier today, and have started the laundry, realized that home is truly a lovely place to be, and have a kit load of memories and mementos!

There will be a few posts in the coming days about my trip and other things, but thought I would give you a taste of the BOXES that were waiting for me when I arrived home today!  And I mean BOXES - 5 J Crew packages in all and here is the good news - most of it didn't work (I say good as that saves me some money!)  I am sure my dog-sitter thought I have a shopping problem and she is likely right, though in my defense, I had ordered three things in advance of going in support of my fall list and the others were impulse 30% off deals that I thought I could not resist!

The first item, pre-ordered weeks ago, was the sweater from look #16 in the fall lookbook that my buddy AJC also reviewed here:



I am not going to lie.  I forgot I pre-ordered this until I saw AJC's review.  And there it was, waiting for me and was the first package I opened! 

This was a big disappointment!

I did not like the inside-out pattern - I do not typically love this look anyway, and I do not think I realized it was inside out until AJC noted it. She also mentioned it was a bit boxy and I concur:



Okay - a confession - I am SURE I have gained at least 5 pounds in France and the way I am holding my stomach above, I would say that I look many months pregnant.  However, I will never know, as I am now being virtuous and I do not plan to weigh myself for at least 2 weeks!!!! I grabbed the first skirt in my closet I saw and the combination was not terrible, but certainly exacerbated the boxiness!

A close-up of the pattern:



The trim is the cabernet/brown colour that i know some JCAs have not enjoyed so far this fall.  The blue (which looks purple-y here) is very bright and all those loose threads terrify me - they are snags waiting to happen! The inside is so much more beautiful!

I did not find this sweater itchy at all, and since I am prone to itchiness from wool, that is important for those of you who are interested in this sweater to know!  The merino is very soft and quite lovely and I so wanted to love this sweater!  But the fit was boxy and the sleeves are bracelet length and just kind of hung there on me.  Or perhaps it was the haggardness after all the travel.  (Who poses for shots within three hours of arriving home without a stitch of makeup?  Me I guess...)

This was a big pass for me and is heading back from whence it came...

My next pass is the Tippi colour block cardigan in fuschia/burgundy.  This is a lovely sweater, but I wish I had paid attention to the blogs before I ordered my typical M.  It was too large on me - the sleeves were at least 4 inches too long and there was WAY too much material on the sides and back.  I am not sure if i will reorder it in a small; I really need a couple of other more basic sweaters - a wool navy cardigan for example - so this may simply go by the wayside.  In the picture below I have pushed the sleeves up as they would extend all the way to the tips of my fingers! Shopping with M has a great review that shows how this cardigan is supposed to fit here.


The sweater does nicely match my walls however...note the shoes....

The third disappointment, and AJC called it correctly in advance,was the collection scoopneck top in silk scarf foulard. 

Collection scoopneck top in silk scarf foulard
I ordered a 6 in this top and it was too snug (now that might be the extra weight, but given how it fit regardless, an 8 was not more appealing).

The top is not flattering for a busty woman.  At all.  The material is lovely:


But it is designed to be more flowy, I believe, and thus would look better on someone who didn't "snag" the material at the bust!  In addition, I was expecting more of a "scoopneck", like the cream blouse the picture further below.




Oh the horror!!!  It was no better tucked in and everything about it for me - the neckline, etc, was simply not working for my body type!!  Given that this came to $250 CDN, it is not a bad thing to return it...Even One More Shopping Blog, who is teeny tiny, did not rock this top, so I took some solace in that.  You can read her review here!

But there were a couple of items I did love that came from J Crew:

The Valentinas in dusty jade:

Valentina patent pumps

With my 20% off coupon, these were reasonable, although I am not 100% positive I am keeping them.  Like my leopard print valentinas, despite sizing down to a size 6, my heel still wants to stubbornly walk out of these.  For those shoes, I purchased heel grips and arch grips, which seemed to do the trick and I am going to do go purchase a set today and see if these can be salvaged as well.  They are truly lovely!

Likewise, I truly loved the Collection Pencil Skirt in Abstract Floral.  When the 30% off sale was on a week or so back, I managed to get this on sale for $116 CDN, which seemed very reasonable to me for a silk/wool skirt. 

Collection pencil skirt in abstract floral

The personal shopper I chatted with when I placed the order was hell bent on me ordering the striped tshirt as well, telling me adamantly that stripes were now a neutral and I must treat them as such.  However, that lovely girl does not work where I work and I assured here that I did not need the tshirt but thanked her very much for her persistence in attempting to bring me into the light!

There is so much to love about this skirt!  It is soft and the colours are delightful.  I thought they reminded me of spring, but I can see that with black tights and boots, I could easily love them ino the fall/winter.  I also expected the material to be perhaps shinier than it is, given the shots on the website (Oh that damn website and its evil visual trickery!)



I did this accidentally, but my daughter took my picture in her tiffany blue bedroom, and it matched quite delightfully!  I am wearing the skirt here in a size 6 with the dusty jades, which stay on perfectly if I do not move and one of my monoprix triumphs - a shortsleeve, truly scoopneck, 100% silk blouse that I paid all of $39 euros for!  It is a gorgeous weight and looks just as lovely untucked!  I am wearing it with green glass beads I got early in the summer from Banana Republic.  It had the most god-awful cheap faux turquoise pendant on the end which I had my husband chop off and it is quite lovely now!

I can see many outfit combinations with this skirt, which has undertones of retro jade, kiwi green, cream, mint, pale pink, khaki green and black:



I was surprised by the mint colour and immediately created a little outfit with my mint Naomi Top:


The inner waistband is lined in the prettiest mint grosgrain ribbon.  I dug out my Valentina slingbacks in heritage green and they looked great with the skirt, so I will probably use them in September when the weather is still warm.  I have a lovely kersh cotton cardigan in turquoise that I can also pair with it in early fall and it perfectly matches the retro jade tippi sweater I bought in July in Boston:




The skirt is definitely staying, and perhaps the valentinas if I can get them to stay on my feet.  Sadly - all others are heading back!

However, every one of those boxes had 20% off coupons included!  I gave a couple to my son's girfriend last night and am keeping one or two for myself, now that I will be doing some replacement ordering, but I have 6 coupons to pass on to anyone who still needs one!  First come, first served! 

Am glad to be back with you all! I did get to read all of your blogs while I was away and I truly appreciated the great bon voyage wishes.  Paris really is magical!

UPDATE!!!! I realized I did not share the details of the 20% coupon!  The code is good till October 31 and you must spend $150 or more to get it online!  Sorry about that! 

Joelle got the last code!  I could not believe I ended up with 8 to give away!  Crazy how they do those codes, isn't it!  Sorry I didn't have one for everyone!

64 comments:

  1. Welcome home, we've missed you. I do that too, hope things don't work so I can lessen the impact on my bank account and closet. The look #16 sweater sure isn't as fitted as shown by JC, I hate when that happens. The colorblock cardi does look wonderful with your walls ;) and I think those colors are beautiful for your coloring too.

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    1. Ha! I didn't realize I had hit publish - was still working on it! I am obviously jet-lagged!!!! I may yet order the tippi in size small - I could not believe how big it was! What do you wee girls do when that happens????

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    2. Oh, and I must have made my comment before you said about the first to claim the coupon code ... :( on missing out. It's OK, will help me to not shop as much.

      When tops are big even in the smallest size, they become tunics or boyfriend looks for me. ;)

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  2. Back already, wow, modern life bamboozles me sometimes, I can't believe you've been to Paris and back again, good to see you back!

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    1. Well as I said above, I was still editing my bad grammar (I saw WFF's post yesterdat and I was sore afraid...)

      I loved Paris. I loved the croissants and the wine. I am now in some kind of detox program to get both out of my systems. But....

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    2. oops.
      Outside of work and cooking situations, I'm not really such a nit-picker. I can't be, because my computers and I-Stuff all have auto-correct. I love reading anything that's simply and honestly expressed, and especially in Blogworld, where enthusiasm often trumps rules. But when the System blessed one of my kids with a French teacher who didn't speak French, another with a science teacher who circulated a chart of the solar system with the planets in the wrong order and "Satern" swimming about up in a former somewhere - well, all of us have our Mother Tiger moments.

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  3. Welcome back and i cant wait to see pics of your trip!

    I have a question for you.When you bought the minnie pants in boston,did you buy TTS or down?
    How was the fit and how have they held up?
    TIA

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    1. Hi Ina! Pics are coming! So many and I do not want to bore people! I think they will be accompanied by little stories of my misadventures!!!

      I bought a size 6, which is what would normally buy in pencil skirts or capris. I would be a P8, but I do not particularly care for the petite length in the capris or minnies. I have only worn my new minnies once, and I think the TTS was okay - they do stretch during the day, but nowehere near as badly as the capris. I actually found a pair of navy minnies that I forgot I had (I know - shocking!) that are a couple of years old and I tried them on and they fit very well still, so my advice was to go TTS, but then I am not skinny and I also not like things skintight! Hope that helps!!!!

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  4. Bizarre, I missed the bottom half of this post, the skirt is a keeper!
    I'd snaffle up a 20 percent off coupon but i'm not sure that they'd work over for us over here

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    1. Tabs - I think they will as I shared my last bunch with some lovely Americans and they worked for them! I will send you one right now!

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  5. I love that floral skirt on you - the print is really pretty up close.

    ...and I'd love a code if you have a spare - findingcate at gmail dot com

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    1. Coming your way right now! 4 more left ladies!

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  6. Welcome home!!! Great reviews, thank you! The abstract floral skirt is just beautiful and I appreciate that close-up of the print. I hope you can make the Valentinas work, they are gorgeous with the skirt.

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  7. Wow, that skirt is really gorgeous! Thanks for posting detail shots of the print; I hadn't considered it looking at the website but I'm loving the fine floral detail in the print.

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    1. Hi! To be honest, I felt the same way - the screenshot does not do it justice! At approximately 50% off, it seemed worth a try, since it was not final say and was in my colour story for the fall! It is lovely! My husband commented on it immediately (always a good thing!)

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  8. Welcome back!! Can't wait to hear about trip
    I would love a code if you have any left!
    mini.19mail@gmail.com
    Thanks and have a great day!

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    1. Thanks mini! Coming right at you!

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  9. LOVE the skirt on you! Would also love a code if you have a spare: cjwade2@yahoo.com
    Bises!

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  10. I would love a code too:

    richard.mack@t-online.de

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  11. Hello- I would love a code but they may be gone!
    Love that skirt!:)
    Ccurran136@aol.com

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  12. welcome back! Love that skirt on you, would love a code if there's one left!

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    1. oops, it's wellfedfred@verizon.net

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    2. Just sent it! One left! (I actually realized I still had 8!)

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    3. Hey - did you appreciated that I re-edited my post to check for grammatical errors? That was for you!

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    4. damn! appreciate, not appreciated!!! the irony of that error is not lost on me!

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    5. merci, chérie, I am writing a special post on travel impressions just for you!

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  13. The skirt looks amazing on you, it's been an item that I have been debating for a while. If you still have a coupon left I'd love to get one joelle_tran@yahoo.com. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Joelle! You snagged the last one!

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    2. Thank you for sending it to me so quickly, I really appreciate it! Now I'm off to get the skirt! I hope you enjoyed your trip to France, pics soon I hope?

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  14. I loved this post WMM you are cracking me up! I am very happy you are home safe and sound.
    I agree that skirt is Magical Pretty, wow it is so much better in real life. You have so many things that will be stunning with it too. Oh the jade valentinas, lovely, I hope they can work for you.
    Too bad about the other stuff but you know I think J Crew is just not hitting it this fall, there are a few great things like your skirt but you really have to sift through it all.
    I hope you are not too jet-lagged, do you have to go to work tomorrow? I can't wait to learn more about your trip! xo!

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    1. Hi Dani!

      I do sadly have to return to work tomorrow! It should be okay in the mornings, as I was up at 4 this morning! It will be late afternoon that will be miserable!

      I am with you on JCrew this fall. So much has just not worked for me. The sizing is so frustrating as well! I don't mind so much this time, as I am only keeping things I truly love or look grand on me. I am contemplating re-ordering the tippi cardigan, but wondering if the plain fuschia might not be more practical - what do you think? I think I am becoming tabs!

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  15. Glad you had a nice trip. I agree with you about the first few items. They need to go back. The skirt is so gorgeous and will definitely match many things. I think it would like awesome with a black merino tippi or turtleneck too. I don't have any luck with the Valentinas, but the color is so pretty!

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    1. You are right - the black merino tippi would be very elegant with it, especially with my soon-to-be-found black boots!! we'll see about the valentinas - I am heading off to the drugstore now to purchase the fixings and if those don't work, back they go!

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  16. Welcome back! So glad you had a lovely trip. I was not at all interested in the Collection floral skirt until seeing it on you and how you styled it. I am always looking for something to pair with my mint Jackie and shallow sea Blythe. Now I must have it, dang you :)!

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    1. I hear you about seeing something IRL and realizing it is better than you had thought it was! I can also relate to the "Dang it" - I have thought that many times over the last year or two, cursing fabulous bloggers who wooed me with their great buys or spectacular styling Can you hear me, Dani and AJC - I am talking to you! :-) You have done that to me a couple of times yourself BCG!

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  17. Wow for the floral skirt, it is stunning! Definitely order small in Tippi, medium was too big on me too. If you need basic navy try it in Tippi, I really like mine and I decided tol get it instead of cashmere. I did not care for the colorblock and I like color blocking in general. The first sweater was much better fit in small but I also did not like the sleeves and the inside out thing. That monoprix blouse is lovely, lucky you! Can't wait to hear about you travels! Thank you for the link love.

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    1. Thanks AJC - I have another review of another item tomorrow then a few blog posts of some interesting moments in Paris and the south of France!

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  18. Thanks for the link love, WMM! I would love a coupon, if I'm not too late for it. :)

    I like that top sweater despite the inside out pattern and its boxiness, but I am convinced it would snag on the first wear.

    The floral skirt is very cute and is a keeper, I agree -- there are so many possibilities for it. Too bad about the foulard print top --it's a lovely fabric.

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    1. Thanks Rose - I think they are all gone, but I will double check the bags, as one of the packages actually had two code cards in it!!

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    2. Rose, if you still need a 20% code I have one to spare - email me at getfreshpress at gmail dot com

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  19. Welcome back WMM...you were missed! I am really looking forward to hearing all about your trip and hope you will share plenty of photos with us. :)

    The Abstract floral pencil skirt is absolutely gorgeous, and will go with so many different colors. What a fantastic purchase! :)

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    1. Thanks FFM! I will be starting Paris on wednesday - I have a special Gap purchase that I wanted to share ASAP that I love!

      The Abstract is amazing - I just so wish I could make the Valentinas work! I am trying every insert and heel grip known to man!

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  20. And my heart skipped a beat when I saw the skirt close-up. I had purposedly passed on that in my size, patting my self on the back for being good. But now I will stalk it. It is gorgeous on you and a lovely addition to your wardrobe.

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    1. I know - it is SO much better in real life, which is usually the opposite for me with J Crew!

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  21. Adding to the welcome back chorus WMM. And look forward to more of your Monoprix finds, fave France moments. Thanks for saving me on the jumper which I was on my "need print and pattern" list. As for buying thanks to IRL blogger styling, my take is the number of new items I consider is more than balanced out by the PTTO (Paying To Try On) and closet conundrums I avoid. Hang in there tomorrow afternoon...

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    1. I am thinking, after looking at the jumper that, I, too, may get out my knitting needles this fall, like Dani! My only issue is the finishing, but maybe knityarns can talk me through that!

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  22. Welcome home and I'm loving the abstract skirt on you. I also have the valentina shoes and my patent ones squeak! I also had to put grips at the back as I have a narrow heel. AJC got me stated on them and I love them as I don't fall over in them.

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    1. I tried the grips and nothing seems to be working - one last try tonight and if not, then they will sadly go back as well...

      The abstract is wonderful isn't it. So much better in real life!

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  23. Welcome back!!

    I have to say that the abstract skirt is stunning on you. I had passed right by it based on the photos on the website, but the detail photo is gorgeous, and I might have to give it a second look. I'm also giving the Tippi in colorblock another look, and appreciate the sizing advice. I rarely have to size down, but it seems like sizing down is universally necessary for this one!

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    1. Thanks Janet! I am with you on sizing! I was shocked that I was swimming in it!

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  24. I would pass on the colorblock cardigan... I like the idea of it, but on feel like the line breaks up the line of the body in an unflattering way unless your skirt or trousers are the same color as the bottom part of the cardi... Prefer a solid color cardi.
    The skirt is so lovely on you!

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    1. thanks! I agree - I think if I was to get another pink cardigan I would focus simply on the solid colour!

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  25. I LOVE the skirt on you!
    Lucky gal, and how kind of you to pass this codes to some JCA!
    I got one too from another nice person as you, and I'm getting it to use this week :o) right before the 30%off FS MUSTSHOP, argh, there I go again...have a nice week!

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    1. I hear you Andrea! I am trying to be good! I certainly have much more money now that I am returning about $600 worth of items that simply did not work! The heartbreaker for me was the valentinas, but honestly, I cannot justify jerry-rigging $300 shoes! If they were on sale for $100 - okay. But $300 - who's the fool then? :-)

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  26. Welcome home!!!!! I LOVE the Abstract Floral skirt on you!!!!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!

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    1. Rynetta - do you have this one? I wondered!

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    2. I wanted this pencil skirt, but alas, J. Crew didn't offer it in my size.....boo!!!

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  27. I fully agree with your assessment- the skirt and Valentinas are keepers and I just picked up Naomi in teal as well to go with my Schoolboy blazer. I am seriously leaning towards the flroal skirt, it looks so lovely on you.

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  28. Welcome back :) I love the skirt & Valentinas. Definitely keepers! If you come across another code, I hope you think of me: gigiofca@gmail

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    1. I placed an order this am - if it comes with a code, they are for you and Rose!

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Kindness is a virtue...