after eyeing these tops for a few weeks, i recently snagged them at 40% off (i know i speak of it all the time, but seriously, make sure you are signed up for j.crew’s emails or check their site often because they offer a promotion nearly every other day!). after i posted about the purchase in my instagram stories, i received a couple messages requesting a review of the pieces. ask and ye shall receive! below is a mini try-on session of my recent j.crew order, including what i plan on keeping and how i intend on incorporating the items into my summer wardrobe:
vintage cotton crewneck t-shirt in leopard (small) || this tee is from j.crew’s vintage collection, meant to offer a softer, worn-in feel. while it is soft, it definitely doesn’t compare to say, madewell’s whisper tee collection whose pieces feel like your most beloved pajamas. the slightly stiffer feel may be the result of the leopard print as all fabrics aren’t created equal. regardless, it’s still very comfortable, just not as ‘broken-in’ as i expected. in the same way, all leopard prints aren’t created equal either. let me tell you, this is a good leopard print. the colors are vibrant with warm undertones, a combination, i’d imagine, that would compliment most skin tones (in the very least, mine!). in terms of sizing, the reviews mentioned it ran a little small. i’d say that’s pretty accurate as i’m used to wearing my tees a tad bit oversized. i’m debating if i should exchange mine for a medium for that very reason. i managed to snag this tee for under $20 on sale and for how much i’ll be able to remix it, i’d say it was a pretty smart buy! here are a few ways i’d style it using pieces in my current wardrobe:
smocked ruffled top in liberty favourite flowers (small) || admittedly i couldn’t decide which pattern i liked so i ordered the same top in two colors. if you haven’t noticed, smocking detail is everywhere this season. for a small-chested gal, i for one am very appreciative of the accordion-like bodice which offers a close fit to the body (and makes wearing a bra unnecessary!). the frilled straps and peplum hem give a feminine silhouette, evoking an almost retro vibe. in terms of the tank’s length, i’d say it hits me right at my true waist. as you know, i do have a long torso so the length was definitely a concern, but as you can see from the photos below, as long as i was to pair the top with high-waisted bottoms, there’s no issue. i usually waver between an extra-small and small at j.crew, depending on the type of garment. while the top is a bit gappy in the back, i’d be fearful that sizing down would shorten the length of the hem. so stay true to size -or if you’re in between sizes, choose the larger of the two. i was shocked to learn that this top retails for $98 on its own. i think the fact that its made from the liberty fabric has something to do with the higher price point. as i mentioned above, i bought all three pieces at a discount, but even still, this is definitely more of an investment piece (comparatively, of course, as you’re used to seeing me in abercrombie camis that cost a third of the price). in terms of print, i’m not going to lie, it feels a little little house on the prairie to me. the liberty fabrics are always whimsical floral designs but for some reason, this one reads a little dated. i had ordered both colors with the intention of choosing my favorite between the two and after seeing them in person, i’m definitely leaning toward the white-background pattern. however, tastes are different! so if you’re #teamblueflowers, i wanted to offer two potential styling options:
smocked ruffled top in liberty ros floral (small) || i could pretty much write ‘ditto’ to the sentiments above, couldn’t i? the two tops are identical in fit, price, and composition. the only difference, of course, is the pattern. this ros floral option reminds me of strawberry shortcake in the best possible way. i can see it paired with cateye glasses and a headscarf and a ’62 convertible studebaker cruising down PCH. the flowers read as pansies to me, which i found to be a bit nostalgic as they were one of my favorite flowers as a child. while the blue-background print offers quite a few hues to pair with in terms of styling (mustards, blues, greens, etc.), i can’t help but feel that the white version feels fresh for summer. speaking of summer, below are two looks i’d definitely sport in the upcoming season:
so what did i end up keeping? let me explain...
i’ve mentioned in the past few posts that i can feel my personal style evolving. where once i used to gravitate toward overtly feminine -at times almost childlike (hello peter pan collars) designs, i now find myself drawn to classic, simplistic pieces and an overall minimalist vibe. while i was initially drawn to the ruffles and floral print of these smocked tanks, in trying them on, suddenly they no longer felt representative of my personal style. i think the biggest thing i’ve realized in the past six months especially is how much i gravitate toward pieces i can mix and remix a million different ways without having the outfits feel as though i’ve worn them before. albethey beautiful, these patterns definitely make a statement. while i could definitely find ways to style them with a few different bottoms (shorts, denim, wide-leg pants), i’m fearful they would soon become a novelty item only worn during a niche portion of the year. and while i did purchase them on sale, these tanks are still priced higher than i would normally spend on a summer top. sadly i think i’ll be taking them back to the store.
HOWEVER, as far as the leopard tee goes, i think it could be a fun piece to work into both my summer and fall wardrobes. we’ve long since established that leopard is not only a neutral, but also a mainstay in fashion collections all year round. for those reasons i believe it will become a bit of a power player in my closet. i’m definitely keeping it and can’t wait to recreate one/all of the looks i showcased above (hello overalls).
a few extra notes:
if you like one or all of the j.crew pieces, you’re in luck because the store is offering 30% off all regular-priced styles today with code SHOPNOW. this promo applies to online purchases only, so keep that in mind!
the earrings i’m wearing in every outfit are of course, natalie borton. while these specific hoops aren’t currently available, she IS releasing two different styles this thursday at 9:00 a.m. PDT. so be sure to set your alarms so you don’t miss out!
finally, not only have i uploaded interactive styling videos on my instagram stories (and saved them in my highlights), i’ve also linked the above looks in the liketoknow.it app. oh and keep your eyes peeled later tonight for a speedy video featuring all seven looks on my IGTV.
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