J. Crew Chateau Wool Parka Review

December 4, 2014 in J. Crew Reviews

I usually pick out at least one J. Crew coat to try on every year. This year I was immediately drawn to the Chateau Wool Parka. Its something different. Its not constrictive and figure hugging, but its still elegant in a more casual way… especially in this lighter “dusty ginger” color!

J. Crew Chateau Parka Review
Sizing/ Fit: Nearly all of the reviews say to size down in this one, and I think I agree. My typically J. Crew shirt size is a 0, so I grabbed this coat in a 00 (regular, not petite). The coat fits exactly as I had hoped. Its not tight in any area, including the arms, so I have plenty of room for layering underneath. I prefer the regular version over the petite one. The regular gives me a bit more length in the body, which I appreciate. And the arms actually aren’t too long. But I typically prefer regular size shirts and blazers over the petite versions (I have broader shoulders and longer arms). If you typically wear petite sizes in those other styles, it may be worth giving the petite version a go.

Warmth: J. Crew calls this fabric “stadium-cloth wool.” Its their warmest wool type. This coat would be more than sufficient for most climates. I can wear it comfortably down to the 20’s, which is about my limit for any wool coat. The hood is nice and big and fits perfectly over any hat for a little extra coziness. And the front pockets are great for when you forget gloves.

J. Crew Chateau Parka Pics

Style/ Function: If you are going to buy this coat, make sure you realize that its A-line, as it says in the description. Its not going to flatter the figure in a curvy sort of way! If that doesn’t bother you, then I can only say good things about the rest of the details of this coat. It has an inner double zipper and outer snaps, making sure no cold air gets in. It has four nice and big front pockets either for storage or hand warmth! And it has one smaller hidden interior pocket :) The fur hood, like I said before, is nice and large. If fur isn’t your thing, don’t worry, its removable!

J. Crew Chateau Parka Pocket

Quality: J. Crew quality is so hit or miss now-a-days. Thankfully, this coat is a hit. The fabric is great. It most closely resembles by Burberry Brit wool coat in weight and texture. The hardware is very sturdy, especially the large zipper. There aren’t any hanging threads or stitches coming out. Nothing to complain about, really.

J. Crew Chateau Parka Zipper

Overall: I was surprised to love this coat as much as I do. When I wear it I feel wintery elegant… and warm! Its just plain expensive at $365. I got it on sale for about $270, which is still expensive, but at least that’s kind of reasonable. Of course, I’ll keep my eyes out for a better sale, but I doubt it’ll happen with this one.

Buy the Chateau Wool Parka Here

J. Crew Elsie Suede Pump Review

November 9, 2014 in J. Crew Reviews

I’ve been raving about these J. Crew’s Elsie Suede Pumps in nearly every post for the past few months. Its about time for an actual review post! I’ll go over the typical topics, but feel free to ask if you have any additional questions! Note that this review is only for the suede version of the Elsie’s. They also come in a leather camo version, a leopard calf hair version, and a printed fabric version (and likely a solid leather version in the near future!).

J. Crew Elsie
Aesthetics: I love the look of these shoes! They have a sleek, classic design. They feature a modestly pointy toe and medium-high heel. They come in a variety of stunning colors. If you’re a more adventurous type, perhaps the bright red, bold violet or neon pink would be your pick! I’m a neutral lover, so the beiges and black were calling my name.

Sizing: The sizing on these is, well, interesting. The first pair I got was the kraft brown. I got them in a 6.5, my usual J. Crew size (I’m a tts 6). They were a little bit big, so I put a cushion in the toe box. I still have a little extra room in the heel, but not so much that my heel slips out when I walk. When the next batch of shoes came out I decided to compare the 6 and 6.5 (I bought the black and the blush stone). I’m not sure if this second batch ran a slight bit bigger or if its just my feet, but it seemed like the 6.5 was just too big, even with a foot cushion. The 6 fit absolutely perfectly. Snug, but not too snug (and I’m sure they’ll stretch out a bit). So, while most J. Crew heels are 1/2 size too small, I’d say these are running pretty true to size.

Comfort: There are very few pairs of pumps that are comfortable enough for all day wear, but these are one of them! They have a few things going for them. First, the toe box is on the wider side, which eliminates the typical pinching of the toes (and allows room for my foot as it swells slightly throughout the day). Next, they’re a super soft suede and are lined in leather. The suede eliminates any potential painful rubbing at the edges (note this is not true with the fabric versions) and stretches just enough to conform perfectly to the foot. The leather foot bed is slightly padded, which is comfortable enough for casual wear (but I add some extra cushion in the ball of foot area for even more support). Last, the heel is advertised as 3 7/8″ high (with no platform). I was a bit nervous about the height (I typically don’t go above 3 1/2″), but they don’t feel so high… not sure why. Maybe its the placement of the heel?

Quality: To be honest, J. Crew’s quality is totally hit or miss. Sometimes the suede doesn’t totally match, or there are marks on the suede, or the leather lining is bumpy… you get the idea. I’ve already returned a few pairs of these due to defects. But the pairs that I’ve kept are perfect. So, good pairs do exist, but just be aware that you may potentially have to exchange a defective pair. I’d advise avoiding final sale, if these ever make it there.

Overall: Its already quite clear that I love these shoes. I have them in three colors already and will likely buy more (I’ve seen a leather version in the J. Crew catalog that I’m super excited for)! The price on these is middle-of-the-road ($245). Its definitely not designer price, but definitely not cheap, either. I’m a little bummed that J. Crew keeps increasing the price of their pumps, and I’m especially bummed that these have been excluded from every single sale. Oh well, I can’t blame them, I guess. If the shoes are selling out at full price, why put them on sale?

J. Crew Stadium Cloth Cocoon Coat Review (Petite)

January 7, 2014 in J. Crew Reviews

I went a little purchase crazy during J. Crew’s pre-holiday sales. I hate when all of their sale items turn into final sale after the holidays, so I buy everything I’m even remotely interested in before this happens. The stadium-cloth cocoon coat is an item I’ve been interested in trying for a while. I tried on last years version and it was too over-sized, so this year I grabbed the petite version.

J. Crew Petite Coat Review 2013

Sizing: I’m wearing a 0P, and I think this is my ideal size. The sizing is mostly based on shoulder width because the body of the jacket is so forgiving (I measured the bust at 18″). In the 0P I have full range of motion in my arms without feeling constricted at all. I think the 00P would have been too snug across the shoulders. So if you’re much smaller than I am, you’ll be sized out of this one.

Fit: The fit is tricky, especially for petites like myself. The cut is obviously boxy, but pretty slim overall. It hits at mid thigh, about 29″ in length. The length is long enough to keep you warm, but short enough so that the coat doesn’t swallow you whole. The sleeves in the petite version are on the shorter side, which actually looks cute with the style of the coat (I usually hate shorter sleeves). I measure mine at about 16″ from the underarm to cuff.

fit pics review

Fabric Content: This year’s stadium-cloth fabric is different than last year’s. Its still composed of 79% wool 21% nylon, but last year’s version was an extremely smooth, fuzz-free tight knit.  This years version is still a tight knit, but the finish of the fabric is fuzzier and softer. I actually prefer this year’s fabric, its so thick and warm! Not warm enough for -20F temps (+ windchill!), but definitely warm enough for the majority of winter weather.

Colors: J. Crew’s seasonal outerwear color pallets are hit or miss for me. This year is definitely a hit. I got the navy (on sale). My favorites from this year are the midnight green and gossamer peach! Stunning and saturated. I wonder when the rest of the colors will go to sale?

Quality vs. Price: J. Crew’s outerwear is typically of decent quality. Paying $350 is quite steep for this coat, as the style is pretty basic. But $200-$250 is reasonable. The fabric is nice and substantial. The zipper is hefty and appears un-damagable. The inside is lined with polyester, but has cute little trim details that give it something special. Overall, I think J. Crew did well with this coat this year.

More pictures to come!