Tag Archives: j.crew

haute or not: j.crew khaki ankle pant

i have a deep-seated hatred for capri pants of all shapes and sizes, and am generally not a huge fan of “khakis” of any variety.  so, imagine my surprise when i found myself falling for this chic, ankle-grazing style from j.crew:

these aren’t a capri by any stretch of the imagination, of course, but i can’t help having flashbacks.  yet instead of stopping unflatteringly at the widest point on your calf as a capri would, these trousers point right to the narrowest part of your leg:  the ankle.  skinnies are on their way out, it’s true, but these feel tailored enough to survive the trend, and they’re just the thing to transition you seamlessly through those mid-season months.  they’ll look perfect with a low-shaft ankle bootie now, and are just begging for a ballet flat when the weather gets warm.  add a slouchy sweater or a trim navy blazer (more on that later…), and you’re ready for spring!

of course, there’s no denying that these are tricky…khaki’s never easy to pull off, nor is a slim cut, especially if you’re at all blessed in the hips/butt area (in which case, i’d probably just avoid these entirely).  but if you happen to have a slim, narrow bottom half (there’s a reason audrey hepburn made this style famous), these might just be the best addition to your closet this month.

so, what do you think?  haute or not?

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sweet steals: 25% off sitewide at j.crew

in case you thought retail was doing better this year, i have news:  not so much.  i’ve been positively inundated with extraordinary friends & family deals this month, and this latest 25% off steal from j.crew (use code FALLSALE) is no exception.

so, how am i going to spend my $150 at j.crew?  i’m so glad you asked.  i’ll give you a little real-time glimpse into the frightful mess that is my online shopping routine…brace yourselves.

first up, pants.  i’ve recently realized i spend way too much of my life in denim (seriously, it’s frightening), and perhaps it’s time to branch out. and so, i’m debating the merits of these sweet straight-leg cords. but can a 30-something really get away with purple pants?

but then, i remember that j.crew’s vintage matchstick jeans fit me so well, perhaps i should just go with the matchstick cords in dark loden, and avoid the purple pants debate altogether.

hmm, speaking of the matchstick jeans…should i get a second pair while they’re on sale?  no, no, wasn’t i just saying i wear too much denim?  focus, b.

next up, i’m really in the market for a new black blazer…though my vince leather version is lovely, it’s not the most practical thing in the city of eternal rain.  perhaps this tuxedo version?  it’s a steal at $168, but i’m wondering how much i can dress this one down.

ooh, no…stop the presses. the tweed tatum jacket has my name all over it….right up until i see the $278 pricetag.  can i really spend that much on a blazer from j.crew?

next up would normally be sweaters, but i’m forced to bypass this section entirely, as i’m utterly over the sequins and ruffles that abound at j.crew lately.  could i see something without a chiffon rosette on it, please?

i did spot this heathered raglan tee recently in-store, and i can tell you it’s the perfect long-sleeved-tee/sweatshirt hybrid.  plus, i love that it has a scooped neck, rather than the crewneck that is so much more common on this style.  crews are just not a good look on girls with a large, um, presence on top.  this one, however, is extremely flattering.  i wanted it at full price, so i want it even more now that it’s on sale.  into the cart you go!

i’m intentionally avoiding jewelry…i never fail to convince myself i want another oversized, oversparkled necklace, only to get it home and realize they aren’t really jeans-and-cardigan fare.  but i could use a new belt.  love this dressage belt, but i wish it came in brown.  in black, it’s a maybe.

last but not least, i’m in desperate need of winter shoes…i have a surplus of boots and ballet flats, but i’d love a little something in between.  there are a few styles by minnetonka and quoddy on j.crew’s site that i’ve been eyeing, but they seem to have mysteriously vanished when this sale started.  i suspect they’ll be back on sunday morning.  sadly, j.crew has changed its shoe sizing in recent years, so i’m now perpetually between sizes.   so, i’m skipping the shoes to avoid temptation.

phew!  dear readers, thanks for hanging on this long…if nothing else, this little virtual spree has taken the panic out of my heart – if i miss the sale, i’ll be just fine.  but i strongly suspect those cords and the raglan tee will be on their way to me sometime between now and saturday, when the FALLSALE code goes the way of daylight savings…

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friday finds

happy friday, everyone!  i hope you’re all looking forward to a weekend of parties, costumes, and – in my case – eating far too many tiny candy bars.

i’m still in heavy-duty “cozy fall” mode, and what i’m coveting now is ugg’s new venture into knitwear. their chic snuggly grandpa cardigan ($295) has my name written all over it.  and check out those suede elbow patches!  the whole collection is simple and perfect, and nearly makes up for the footwear trauma they’ve inflicted on me in the past.

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oh, jonathan adler…the things you do to me!  he’s just released several new additions to his infamous menagerie, and i love them all.  if i had an office, you can bet your bottom dollar this peacock lollipop holder ($98) would already be on its way to me.  alas, i’m not sure having that many tootsie pops around without someone besides me to eat them would be good for my sugar intake.

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more coats…and this mackintosh trench, at $1,175, is purely lust-only. but really, that houndstooth plaid, and the classic fitted styling?  unbelievable.  now if only j.crew could stop including insanely expensive items on their site…i get way too excited seeing something this gorgeous and thinking it’s within reach.

i’m feeling a bit guilty for foregoing my annual ‘breast cancer awareness product lineup’ feature this year.  i just get a little tired of seeing the same old stuff being dyed pink each october.  but these emily elizabeth earrings ($50) caught my eye big time, and they deserve a mention before the end of the month.  at last, a chic way to display that infamous pink ribbon.  i love the rose gold, i love the sweet little studs, and i love that proceeds go to the “feel your boobies” foundation.

and last but not least, a query for you dear readers.  are these cole haan loafers as cute as i thought they were at first glance, or are they too white, making them look like something a nurse would wear?  (no disrespect to those of you in the profession….but really, the clown-print scrubs are tricky).  i realized i’d actually bookmarked a very similar version from prada to torment you all with, but these are strikingly similar for considerably less.  thoughts?

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(hint: cole haan’s on the left, prada’s on the right).

let me know your thoughts, and have a fabulous halloween weekend, everyone!  here’s to a fantastic sugar coma!

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friday finds

i have to say, i love these ‘friday finds’ posts…they really do turn out as random as my week typically seems.

these beautiful new chocolate bars from vosges chocolate showed up on my doorstep this week (i love my job!), and wow.  a belt notch later, i can tell you they’re positively amazing.  vosges makes some of my favorite chocolates – they do an amazing job of creating seriously unique, unbelievably delicious flavors.  the pink peppercorns in the white chocolate/lemon zest bar might have been a tad strong, but utterly unlike anything i’ve tried. and there’s nothing at all wrong with blood orange caramel!  count me in.  next on my list to try is their new bacon chocolate chip pancake mixyum!

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i ran into this skirt from the tucker for target collection during a target outing this week, and dear readers, it is utterly fantastic in person!  i am now scouring my local targets to find my size, as it’s totally sold out online (reviewers have said it runs small, so beware).  this gold and navy brocade looks so, so much more luxe in person than it gets credit for being online.  it reminds me of something j.crew or kate spade would have produced, but the $39 pricetag is no lie.  wear it now with a drapey silk top and navy belted blazer, or a sleek cream cardi…and just try to imagine the holiday potential here!

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speaking of j.crew, i was actively coveting one of the chunky bracelets from their fenton/fallon collaboration, but it sold out before i could justify the expense.  lucky for me their sister brand, madewell, has come up with a style i might even love more…and at half the price!  at $58, i’m having a very hard time finding the willpower to stop myself.

and last but not least, couldn’t resist sharing the friends & family action going on at hayden+harnett.  now through october 15, take 20% off any online order (including sale items, and pieces from other designers!) with code FALL10FRIENDS.  i checked with their designer, toni hacker, before i shared, and she assured me that she thinks of all you shoppingsmycardio readers as dear friends of hayden+harnett, so spend away!  i’d splurge on these tomtom pyramid stud earrings ($80) and the mystery scarf ($160), but i haven’t even gotten to the bags yet…

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have a great weekend, everyone!

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splurge vs. steal: the camel coat

i’ve decided my big splurge this fall/winter will be a new camel coat.  it’s a classic that’s never, ever out of style, and since it’s particularly on-trend this year, i should have dozens of options to choose from.  the trouble, of course, is finding “the one”…that perfect choice that’s sufficiently timeless, on-trend and with that little something extra that makes them really special.

i’m trying my best to track down a stylish, less-pricey option, and have come up with a few choices, but none that i’m head-over-heels in love with.

on paper, this version from j.crew ($325) is exactly what i thought i wanted: a wool-cashmere camel trench.  and the price is definitely right.  but it’s lacking that luxe factor i was hoping to find.  it’s just a little more all-purpose “utilitarian” chic than i wanted.

for a similar price point, i could pick up this version from talbots ($329).  i love that it feels a bit more dressed up, but i’m not sure it’s love.

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the color on this version from theory ($645) isn’t quite right (it’s a little dark), nor is the style (i like a belted waist).  but i do like the sharp tailoring, and for some reason, camel under $800 is a hard find this season.

or, for a considerably larger investment, i could get the one i really love.  color’s perfect, styling is divine, and it’s actual camel hair, which explains the price tag.  this one is $1195 from burberry.

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it’s a worthy splurge, to be sure – a camel coat really is forever.  but i couldn’t help weighing whether the splurgiest version (burberry, naturally) is, you know, proportionately more wonderful than the others.  and then there’s always the potential that something even more wonderful could come along later, and i’ll wish i had waited.  agh, the agony of the splurge!

this little exercise has helped…i think i’ve made up my mind.  but before i confess, i’m curious to know what you think.  be honest!

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friday finds: my summer closet

this week’s finds are as random as they come, but they’re all things i’ve fallen hard for in the last few days.  fortunately, there’s only one budget-busting splurge in the mix, and i’ve included a pretty serious steal to make up for it!

at first, i wasn’t enthralled with the fenton/fallon collection for j.crew…once again, i’m just not cool enough.  but the more i see of this bracelet (it’s been circling blogland something fierce this week), the more i want it.  i love the idea of pairing it with a grey burnout tank, the perfect cutoff shorts, and flip flops…a single decadent accent to the ultimate lazy summer outfit.

i spent the week debating exactly how many things i had to have from madewell’s new site.  their striped espadrilles didn’t make the cut…straw shoes fade and die so quickly, i couldn’t bear to spend $50. fortunately, anne at city sage and the stylish ladies at blue moss both noticed these chic stand-ins from target – for $16, thank you very much.  i snapped them up instantly.

(incidentally, speaking of cheap summer shoes, i’m digging these retro huraches too…and at $15, i may even be able to justify reliving that trend.)

of course, for every steal, there must be a contrasting splurge, or my superficial little shopping world would just implode.  smythe’s linen military jacket would blow my entire summer wardrobe budget at $650, but i also think i’d wear it just about every day, and well into fall, as this military trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

sigh.  heartbreakingly perfect, isn’t it?

with that, happy weekend everyone!

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currently coveting: the perfect nude cardi

at the risk of attracting all sorts of x-rated spam comments with that title, i’ve been fixated for the last few weeks on securing the perfect summer cardigan in a barely-there nude (not grey, not cream, not tan…it’s harder than it sounds!) to layer with tanks and shorts this summer. in other words, this:

j.crew infuriates me with their cardigan monopoly sometimes…no matter how hard i try to branch out, i inevitably end up adding yet another j.crew cardi to the mix.  but it’s hard to argue with perfection.  i love the drawstring tie, the chiffon ruffle detail, and that absolutely perfect nude hue.  it’s even under $100, making it a virtually guilt-free buy.

nice to know i can finally stop looking.

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this just in: madewell (finally!) goes online

meet madewell:  j.crew’s hipper, more relaxed little sister store.  that sound you just heard?  oh, that was my credit cards, screaming for mercy…

on my must-have list:  switchyard blazer in slate, $110; rail straight cutoffs, $65 (and, yeah, probably that striped sweatshirt too, for $58); and a great big pile of these artisan tees, $29.50.  and maybe this cardigan.  and ooh, this sheer pink vest would be perfect for warm-weather layering.

and a few other pieces that are off my list for purely technical reasons:  these bensimon sneakers are divine in person, but run a full size small (and therefore are unattainable for me); and this absolutely perfect mini crossbody bag, which is making me wish i hadn’t already gotten one this year.

hmm.  in light of my extremely overloaded shopping bag, now might be a good time to mention how much i love new advertisers (hint, hint).  so, if you know a small biz or a designer who could use some adoration from all of you devoted SMC readers, send them on over!

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