Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monday, January 09, 2012

J.Crew - a case of mixed emotions

I am a huge J.Crew fan...I was all the way back in 8th grade when I pored over catalogs and ordered my fair share of striped rugby shirts. We had a falling out post-college...and only had the occasional meeting, but I was back worshipping at the J.Crew altar in 2008 when their fall rollout hit me like a ton of bricks. Since then, I have admired (and coveted) their unique use of color and texture, ladylike (yeah, I said it) and classic styling mixed with easy casual pieces for a simple chic. I am absolutely obsessed with the No. 2 pencil skirts in double serge wool. Fantastic weight wool -- perfect for the cold winters, lovely colors, beautifully lined and great, consistent fit. Who could ask for more? One thing I know is morning is so bad that a pencil skirt and a pair of heels can't fix.

But in recent years, I've also been disappointed in the apparent declining quality of some of their fabrics and construction. I submit to you the Toothpick Jean in garment-dyed twill. An adorable pant, exceptionally poorly executed. I couldn't believe the construction of these pants.

Notice how off-center the fly is?

I know no one's body is perfectly symmetrical and mine is no exception (given two pregnancies), but I assure you that my belly button is not that cockeyed. Also, notice the gap at the right side of the waistband. The entire pant was off kilter. It's absolutely unacceptable, especially at $108 full retail. And it seems strange that they're offering this pant in Tall sizes but not Petite...that decision certainly can't be attributed to high production costs.

I hope that J. Crew does not continue with this downward slide. They really need to pay attention to the community at great blogs like J.Crew Aficionada. There's a lot of love and a lot of frustration out there for J.Crew...and more than a couple of other retailers who are stepping up their game with improved styling, better price points for more consistent quality and better sales. AT anyone?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

That's it...I quit...

I may not be moving on, per se, but I'm definitely done buying stripes. For at least the next couple of months. A couple of experiences have factored into this resolution.

1) Walking around at the mall today and I think every other person I saw was wearing a striped shirt. It's feeling...tired.

2) I took a hard, honest look at my closet this week. It's like someone vomited stripes all over it. Seriously, how many stripes does one person need? It's beginning to look like a one-note wonder and that's never a good thing for versatility in the wardrobe.

So I'm taking a stripe hiatus for awhile. We'll see how long I can hold out.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Worth the wait

It has been said the "Patience is a virtue." Well, the patient get their reward with Nordstrom's Designer Finale at Mall of America. For about a year now, I have been making a truly concerted effort to buy quality over quantity. No more "disposable clothing" for me -- I squirrel away my shopping budget and wait for...opportunities. So, Finale is like a gift from the gods -- I get to buy great quality, beautifully constructed clothing and I don't have to pay full price. Tory Burch dresses, here I come!

Designer Finale pre-sale starts on Dec. 30 at 8:00 a.m. All the designer clearance merchandise from every Nordstrom store across the country will be shipped to MOA and marked 40 - 60% off and there will be an additional % off during pre-sale. Pre-sale means that you get to pick through and lay claim to the items you want before the racks open up to the general shopping public on Jan 5.

Yes, you'll still lay out a chunk of change. Even at 60%+ off, designer clothing is still at least as much as you'd pay full price in many other stores. If you're understandably hesitant, let me tell you about PPW, or price-per-wear. It's nothing fancy, just longer-term thinking about how you spend on clothing. This very simple idea is about making high quality, classic purchases on staples you love, and calculating the cost per wear over the lifetime of the garment. For example, I bought a gorgeous Max Mara coat in a beautiful, blush colored wool/cashmere blend 8 winters ago for more than I'd ever thought I'd spend. The high quality fabric, classic color and construction still looks brand new. My price-per-wear, now less than $1, goes down every year. That's a great buy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Award-winning website

The fabulous design duo, Wendy Ruyle and Diana Lillicrap, of 5 by 5 Design, recently learned they won a 2010 Web Design Award for my site. Of course, I knew all along that their work was award-worthy...

Monday, July 27, 2009


Carrying these at one of my favorite local shoe boutiques. Though I prefer a heel, I feel so validated.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Website is live!

My business website,, is live! I invite you to peruse its contents and check out the fun tips. Take the "Are you in wardrobe distress?" quiz to determine whether you are in need of services.

My fabulous design team, Diana and Wendy from 5 by 5 Design, were wonderful to work with -- they were patient, creative and supportive, going above and beyond to ensure that my business identity, website and collateral materials reflect my philosophy and style. They also invited me to be a guest author on their site in the month of June. Check out the article. Thanks, 5 by 5, for your fantastic work!