it has certainly been a minute since i’ve brought you behind the fitting room curtain and to be honest, it has been a minute since i’ve actually shopped in a store! so much of what i purchase is bought online -sometimes in just a few taps on my phone (which is very dangerous). but after lusting over so many items in j.crew’s latest collection, i carved out a few hours in my weekend to stop by my local store to try on a few of the pieces myself. of course i thought to share my honest thoughts and feelings with all of you! so enjoy 🙂
pleated tank top (xx-small) || i grabbed the xx-small by accident, but in trying it on, i think i would have been swimming in a larger size –so just keep that in mind when trying it on for yourself. this little pleated tank is a lot cuter on than it appears on the hanger and the tiers actually lay quite flatteringly as opposed to creating a boob shelf, ha. it’s definitely on the cropped side, so i would only pair it with a high-waisted pant (like the ones i’m wearing, more on them below) or high-waisted pencil skirt if you wanted a dressier look. it also comes in black.
size verdict: runs big, size down.
9″ cargo toothpick pants (26) || as you know from monday’s post, i’m crushing hard on green right now, so i decided to try this season’s updated cargo pant. j.crew has had their toothpick style for years and it is definitely a snug fit, so if you’re not used to this skinny style, i might suggest sizing up for some breathing room. while they fit well enough, i didn’t find these pants terribly flattering. i much preferred the chino style pictured below.
size verdict: true to size. size up for a relaxed fit.
merino wool cold-shoulder sweater (xs) || i’m a sucker for a bow-detail, so i was immediately drawn to this cute little sweater for it’s ivory trim and the bow-adorned shoulders. the cold-shoulder style and the lighter weight of the sweater itself make this the perfect transitional piece as we move from summer to fall. i’m used to wearing my sweaters on the baggier size so i’d probably size up to a small if i go back to snag this, but if you’re on the petite side (or short-waisted), i’d say stick with the size you normally take at j.crew. it also comes in a pretty lilac color which would be perfect to pair with a dark denim skirt and booties as we move into fall, and with white denim next spring.
size verdict: runs a little small, size up.
embroidered boyfriend chinos (2) || you can’t tell from the photos, but those little white dots are actually embroidered flowers which are a fun and feminine detail on an otherwise fairly tomboy silhouette. i love the juxtaposition of masculine and feminine on these pants and the fit was extremely comfortable. as a “boyfriend” style, these are meant to fit on the baggier side, which is why i paired them with a tighter top to balance out the bulk. though i think these chinos are more my speed (they sadly didn’t have them in the store), if i were to style these patchwork pants, i’d probably let them take center stage and wear them with a crisp white button-down and leather mules. i may be talking myself back into them…
size verdict: true to size. size down for a tighter fit.
one-shoulder bow top (2) + button-front striped skirt (2) || so this was hands down my favorite combination i tried on. given the fact that the stripes are going in different directions (top’s stripes are horizontal, skirt’s stripes are vertical), i took a gamble by pairing them together, but i’m really digging the result. truthfully the top is kind of strange. there seems to be a lot of extra fabric and the one-shoulder makes it feel a little like a miss america sash. the skirt, on the other hand, i love (it’s a midi-length, has stripes, and pockets, so of course i do!). it fit a little big in the waist, so i’d probably size down for a proper fit at my waistline as opposed to on my hips, but there is also a tie at the waist for cinching. since i already own two striped midi skirts, i couldn’t justify adding another one to my collection, but if you’re looking for a great skirt to transition from work to weekend and even from day to night, this is a great option. pair it with this sweater, this chambray, this tee, these sneakers, or these flats. the possibilities are endless!
size verdict: top is true to size. skirt runs a tad big in the waist, possibly size down.
bell sleeve stripe tee (x-small) || this shirt is actually better in person. it’s a heavier weight cotton than a regular t-shirt, making it easy to pair with everything from denim to dressier slacks. the dramatic sleeves definitely make a statement, but the playful striped pattern (also available in a navy and cobalt blue) keeps it versatile enough for everyday wear. if i wore more red, i would have definitely snagged this (it’s under $50!). it would be perfect for your labor day festivities paired with denim cut-offs and a straw hat.
size verdict: runs a little big, size down.
button-front chino skirt (0) || after wearing a uniform for most of my formative years, i tend to avoid khaki —especially as a skirt. but i loved the button-front detail of this midi style so much that i broke my rules and gave it a try. as suspected, it did nothing for me and was way too much fabric for my frame. i’m usually a 2 across the board at j.crew but i figured this might run big, so i grabbed the 0 instead. i was correct in my assumptions because with the elastic waistband, it did fit on the generous side. this piece is a perfect example of why sometimes it’s good to go into a brick and mortar store to try things on rather than chance it by ordering online. the models on j.crew’s website tend to make everything look good so sometimes it’s worth making a trip to the store to try it on for yourself.
size verdict: runs big, size down.
ruffle-sleeve sweater (x-small) || as soon as i spotted this sweater online, i bought it immediately in the deep moss color (stay tuned for how i styled it next week). the tiered ruffle sleeves make it unique but not overpowering and the wool makes it warm enough to wear through (a san diego) winter, but is surprisingly not itchy. i tried it on in the pale pink color at the store just for fun but i’m definitely contemplating about buying it in the heather grey, too. it’s the perfect addition to my sweater collection and i can’t wait to wear it all season long.
size verdict: true to size (the product description says it’s a “relaxed fit” so if you prefer your sweaters to fit close to the body, i might recommend sizing down).
open-front sweater-blazer (x-small) || i’ve noticed a trend with the last few fall/winter collections of creating a coat/sweater hybrid. a coatigan (coat + cardigan)? a swacket (sweater + jacket)? a sweatzer (sweater + blazer)? whatever you decide to call it, as someone who hails from a climate that stays pretty temperate from fall through spring, a heavy coat isn’t ever really necessary. so i love the idea of adding a piece of outerwear that’s somewhere in between your heaviest sweater and your lightest jacket. i immediately gravitated toward the camel version of this sweater-blazer though the coal color would be an equally as versatile neutral. at first blush, i liked the idea of this blazer. but i’m not entirely sure that love translated into real life. i will say that it is a very generous fit, the x-small still felt pretty big on me, so maybe if i had sized down, i would have liked it more. i also think the silhouette is a bit more masculine than i’m used to wearing. if the shoulders had been tufted or the sleeves had a bell or ruffle detail, then i think it would have felt more like “me.” that’s the thing about finally honing in on your personal style (after nearly a decade of trial and error!), i know what works and what doesn’t and although a great wardrobe staple, this sweater just wasn’t for me.
size verdict: runs a little big, size down.
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and there you have it! i hope you enjoyed my little sartorial stroll through j.crew’s fall collection. there are certainly some good finds this year so if you’ve taken a break from j.crew over the years (they’ve struggled a bit in previous seasons), i highly suggest you give them a second chance. personally i can’t wait to see what they do for the holidays.
p.s. i’m wearing the amelia tassel necklace from natalie borton.