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.
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.
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.
Looking back, 2013 wasn’t a big spending year for me. I was living off my last bits of loan money for the first half of the year, and during the second half of the year I had all sorts of expenses associated with moving to a new city and starting a new job. That said, I still made some quality purchases. These are the ones that top the list:
Dior’s Hydra Life Pro-Youth Skin Tint: I tried to get on the BB/ CC cream bandwagon, but it just didn’t work out for me. But with the cold, dry winter upon us, I really needed something less drying than my go-to mineral foundation. Dior’s Hydra Life Pro-Youth Skin Tint was the winner for me (in #1). My skin feels so good with this stuff on. It has light coverage, looks totally natural and doesn’t break me out, which is nearly a miracle in itself.
Illamasqua Cream Blush: I pick up a new shade of blush every year, and this year I picked up Illamasqua’s cream blush in a tan-peachy-beige color called zygomatic. This stuff is gorgeous! The color is subtle and brings life to my winter skin. I’ve been using it with the tinted moisturizer every day and my skin is happy as can be. When it warms up one day I’ll grab one of their power blushes, which seem just as amazing (check out the reviews!). I never thought I’d find a blush that I liked better than Nars.
Shoes & Boots
Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots: I haven’t had these for long, but I already know they’ll be worn to death. They are so comfortable and flattering… somehow the OTK look elongates my legs! I justified the price (on sale) because they are quite versatile, so I can wear them to work or casually. I’ll be on the lookout for more SW boots when winter sales hit!
Attilio Giusti Leombruni flats: I did a glowing review of these after I bought them, and I’ve been loving them ever since. Comfort is this shoe’s biggest selling point (just check out the reviews!). Additionally, they’re slim and flattering on the foot. A great, basic flat that would fit in any wardrobe.
Sorel Cate the Great Boots: It took me ages to pick a winter boot this year. I was tempted to get another pair of classic tall Uggs, but with the constant salty-snow we have here, I was certain they would be ruined quickly. These Sorel boots, though? They’ll be able to withstand just about anything. They’re warm and cozy, too. They’re not slim and sexy, but they’re cute and appropriate. I picked mine up for 30% off from Sierra Trading Post.
Contigo travel mug: Essential to life. I put my wonderful hot coffee in my Contigo travel mug every morning. It stays hot for hours, which is perfect because I rarely am able to just sit and drink my coffee in the morning (constant on-the-go…). Best mugs ever.
Yogitoes mat towel: Hot yoga is likely one of the main reasons I don’t feel super depressed this winter. I’ve been practicing regularly, even when I’m on nights. Having a good mat is relatively important (I use a JADE mat), but I’ve found that having a good mat towel is even more important. The yogitoes ones are amazing. If you know any yoga lovers, this would be a great gift.
Green superfood: I don’t like to recommend any health stuff, but I do want to share my experiences with my green juice that I drink whenever I need a little extra energy (like transitioning from days–>nights–>days). I’m admittedly not great at getting all of my servings of fruits and veggies in. I try to drink green smoothies, but sometimes I’m just too lazy to keep up with it. This juice is quick and easy to mix up and drink in 30 seconds before work. I don’t drink it every day because “supplements” make me nervous, but its a good boost for those busy times. I’m trying the lemon-lime version next!
Aromatherapy: Its amazing that something as simple as a fragrance can really alter your mood! For me, especially this time of the year, the smell of pine immediately brings a smile to my face. I fill my car and home with a variety of relaxing aromas (not at the same time ) to help me relax and unwind. I have many favorites, but I’m currently obsessed with Aveda’s Caribbean Therapy.
I’m almost done with my second MICU month. Thank goodness it was a bit easier the second time around! Still, I haven’t really been doing too much outside of work. I do make an effort to attend yoga, which really helps my mood. And I’ve made some time to do some largely unsuccessful online shopping. I have found a few keepers, though.
I finally got around to trying out my new cosmetics from the Sephora F&F sale! Some things were awesome, but most things ended up returned (better for the budget, right?). One definite keeper was Lancome’s nail polish. They don’t have a ton of color options, but all of the colors I got were super pigmented, streak-free and easy to apply (and I have no nail painting skills)! Such a great formula. I also tried a bunch of foundations, BB creams and tinted moisturizers. Ugh, not fun. I was rash-y and broken out almost constantly. The two products that didn’t break me out and looked wonderful all day were Dior’s skin tint and YSL’s illuminating foundation. I’m in the process of deciding which one to keep! One last unexpectedly good product was Illamasqua’s cream blush. I got it in zygomatic, which gives a beautiful, natural tint. I’ve never heard of that brand before (maybe I’m the only one?), but I’m impressed. They have an array of beautiful powder blushes too, that I’m tempted to try out!
I think I’m gonna keep the few items I bought from J. Crew a while back. I got a pair of Sloane patent pumps (again). Last time I bought them in a 6.5, but this time I grabbed a 6. I’m in between sizes for these, so I’m not sure what to do. Maybe I’ll stretch out the 6′s with the sock + hair dryer trick? I’m also a fan of the Collection cashmere pocket tunic, that apparently went back up to full price. I took an xs in this (vs. xxs). I like the extra length and room in the arms and body. This comes in such beautiful colors!! I’m sure it’ll be back on sale soon (and I wouldn’t mind grabbing it in another color!). The “surprise” in this order was the Deep ivy plaid shirt. This is way thicker and warmer than I was expecting!! It would be do-able to layer a sweater over it (maybe a slight bit bulky), but I think I’m going to layer another button down under it and essentially use this as a “sweater.”
I caved last minute during J. Crew’s Cyber Monday sale and placed another order (just to try? lol). The stuff hasn’t arrived, so I can’t comment on the items just yet. Just a warning, this is the most random order ever. I think I was pretty tired! It started out with some toasty socks. Then I added a colorblock baseball cap (what?). Somehow, the Collection cafe capri in pintucked heavy shantung ended up in my cart next. In vivid avocado… interesting. Last but not least, the Collection tailored sweatpant in velvet hopped into the cart. They won me over with the “What to wear when you don’t want to get dressed” comment. I do appreciate some good advertising. I wouldn’t be surprised if the only think I kept out of this order was the socks.
Coat: Burberry (old) // Blouse: J. Crew, 00 (here)
Pumps: J. Crew (sold out, either wait for a popback or try the silver version)
Bag: Celine (old)
At the rate I’m posting these days, this could very well be my last post of 2013! Hopefully not I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy! Have you come across any amazing holiday recipes yet? If you do, please share! I’ve been looking for something new to try for a while now. And as always, thank you for reading. Have an awesome weekend!
Welcome! I'm Amber, and this is my blog. I'm not fashionable enough to have a true "fashion blog," nor am I exciting enough to have a "lifestyle blog." So, this is my "share-my-random-thoughts" blog. Shopping, fitness, finance, meditation, healthcare, food... you get the idea. I throw some outfit pictures in there for some visual interest!
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