Fur Me

Skaist-Taylor faux fur vest from Neiman Marcus + Target limited edition collection.

Skaist-Taylor faux fur vest from Neiman Marcus + Target limited edition collection.

I like to think I’m a trend setter…but I’m the first to admit when I’m late to the game, and faux fur is one of those times when I was slow to pick up the trend.  I remember when it was elegant to wear real fur.  I was little, and used to admire the furs in my grandmother’s closet while tromping around in her pointy high heels.  And then I remember when people didn’t even wear faux fur because fur wasn’t cool or politically correct.  I am an animal lover, and I see no reason to kill animals for a fur coat.  At the same time, I haven’t stopped buying leather shoes or bags or eating poultry.    But for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to embrace the faux fur trend until this season.

Target + Neiman Marcus Vest worn under J.Crew Gray Tartan Boy Shirt.

Target + Neiman Marcus Vest worn under J.Crew Gray Tartan Boy Shirt

My faux fur obsession this winter started when Target launched its collaboration with Neiman Marcus, and I became absolutely obsessed with the Skaist-Taylor faux fur vest.  I walked all around Target with it on while my husband and I looked for a new fake Christmas tree, debating the entire time whether I should buy it because it was $79.99.  Then my husband turned to me and said, “you look cute.”  He usually has no opinion on my wardrobe, so I knew I had to buy it.  I have already worn this vest twice – once with J.Crew matchstick jeans and once with my black wool J.Crew pencil skirt.  I love that this vest dresses up and down so well, looking equally great with denim and silk.  I have a feeling I’m going to be wearing this vest with one of my sequined tops on New Year’s Eve.

Same outfit, different angle -- fur and shirt paired with J.Crew matchstick jeans and tall red boots by Lumiani.

Same outfit, different angle — fur and shirt paired with J.Crew matchstick jeans and tall red boots by Lumiani.

My second faux fur purchase happened — believe it or not — at BJ’s wholesale.  We typically shop there for toiletries, vitamins, cleaning products, and food, but sometimes they have well-priced team sports apparel.  So there I was, wandering through the ladies section (if you can call it that) when I came across a faux leopard print, reversible vest for $22.99.  I had to have it (this time my husband just rolled his eyes…he knows better than to stop me when I spot a great deal).  So far, I’ve tended to just throw the BJs vest over a wool sweater and pair of jeans.  It’s a little longer and a little less fitted, so I wear it for quick trips out or on “warmer” days, the same way I wear my J.Crew puffer vests.

Reversible faux fur vest from BJs Wholesale (who would have thought?!)

Reversible faux fur vest from BJs Wholesale (who would have thought?!)

I’ve received tons of compliments on both and I couldn’t be happier to have these two items in my wardrobe.  Are you sporting faux fur this season?  Let me know!

With love,

J.Crew Obsessed

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One Blazer, Three Ways

HoundstoothblazerI have always been a sucker for an elbow patch.  When I was in Manhattan for work this past September and popped into one of my favorite J.Crew stores on Madison, I just had to have this blazer (it helped that I had a 25% off offer).  This shopping day was particularly successful (this was also the day of the French Hen scarf purchase), such that I didn’t have enough room in my carry-on suitcase and had to ask J.Crew to send my purchases to Boston.  Those who know me am aware that I believe a blazer makes any outfit look sharper, so this was a no brainer addition to my wardrobe.  So, how have I made great use of this blazer?

With jeans and oxfords.

With jeans and oxfords.

1. Dressed down with jeans and oxfords. Jeans and a blazer are my “go to uniform” on a casual work day.  I have worn my houndstooth blazer with a J.crew. v-neck vintage t-shirt and J.Crew studded oxfords.  The jeans here are my favorite AG Angel jeans.  I wore this in the early Fall, and since the blazer is wool I chose to balance it with a t-shirt so that I wouldn’t be tooo warm.  I could have dressed this look up even more with some jewelry.

With jeans and booties.

With jeans and booties.

2.  Dressed up a tad more with jeans and booties. I wore this look later into the Fall season, pairing the blazer again with my AG jeans but this time wearing it with a J.Crew Tippi sweater and my Born booties.  The sweater and heels, combined with one of my favorite consigment shop necklaces (also shown in my post on the Heart Throb Shirt, 3 Ways), dressed up the denim.

With a black knit dress.

3.  Amping up a black knit dress. I bought this J.Crew knit dress in December 2011.  Sadly, I can’t remember the name of the dress, but I love it for its comfort, shape, packability (it never wrinkles) and ability to be a canvas for so many different looks.  I paired it with black tights and my tall Etienne Aigner boots, but this look could also work well with colored tights, booties, or heels.  I also think, for a more casual, trendy look, the J.Crew McAllister wedges would be a great complement.

How else am I thinking about wearing this jacket?  I love the Chambray shirt worn by the model (top of post, from J.Crew website).  I also think this blazer would look great with my black and aqua #2 pencil skirts.  And of course, the combinations of J.Crew perfect shirts and various jeans (I’m thinking matchstick or a dark Joe’s Jeans in a bootcut).  I could probably also throw this blazer over my blue J.Crew Teddie Dress.  The possibilities are endless, and I think I’ll have this blazer for several years to come.

Own the Houndstooth J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer?  Tell me how you’re wearing it!

With love,

J.Crew Obsessed

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J.Crew Silk Boy Shirt in Heart Throb, Three Ways

Silk boy shirt in heart throb, photo from jcrew.com.  On sale for $89.99 plus 30% off as of 12/16/12.

Silk boy shirt in heart throb, photo from jcrew.com. On sale for $89.99 plus 30% off as of 12/16/12.

This is my first installment of “One Item, Three Ways,” and I hope to keep these posts going on a regular basis.  This thought came to me as I was starting this blog and trying to edit my J.Crew purchasing behavior, and really my shopping behavior in general.  I am trying to only buy items that I can imagine working into at least three outfits.

I fell in love with the J.Crew silk boy shirt in heart throb the minute I saw it, but I waited until it went on sale and then snagged it during the extra 30% off sale.  I have this same shirt in the French Hen pattern, so I knew it would fit and wear well.

So, how am I making good use of this shirt?  So far, I’ve found that it works great with the J.Crew wool pencil skirts, jeans of any kind (I’ve worn them with J.Crew matchstick jeans as well as my very favorite AG “Angel” jeans, and under my J.Crew suit dress.    Here are the outfits so far:

1.  Accenting a monochromatic look.  I saw some great monochromatic looks in one of the Fall J.Crew catalogues, with a tip that this look works best when you add in some texture.  I paired my J.Crew #2 pencil skirt with a J.Crew cambridge cable.  The shoes are J.Crew Cece ballet flats in navy and the necklace is from a Consignment Shop called Pennywise in Mystic, CT.  This look would work with heels as well, but I often go for comfort and grab a pair of ballet flats.

2.  Dressed down.  This outfit worked great during the work week, as my work environment is fairly casual and I only have to dress up when I go to conferences or have external meetings.  The jeans are AG in Angel cut, which is a bootleg, and the shoes are Tory Burch black suede cyrstal bow ballet flats.  I got the jeans at Saks and the shoes were a Christmas present to myself this year during a Tory Burch sale.  The necklace is a recent J.Crew purchase, and a J.Crew colorblock Tippi cardigan is perfect over this outfit when it’s chilly in the office.

3.  Dressed up.  I haven’t worn this outfit yet, but I plan to next week.  Since the shirt is so soft and thin, it should work well under my black J.Crew suiting dress.  I usually belt this dress to add definition to the waist and wear the jacket open.  The shoes are Tahari and were purchased at least 5 years ago at DSW.  I think this look would work with tall black boots, black heels, or my black Born booties as well.

Do you have this shirt?  How are you wearing it?  Let me know!!

Accenting a monochromatic look.

Accenting a monochromatic look.

Dressed down
Dressed down

Dressed up.

Dressed up.

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Too Busy!!

ImageI’ve been wanting to write my “1 item 3 ways” posts all week but I’ve been working 16-hour days and am now off to Atlanta for a business trip.  What do you pack for a quick business trip to Atlanta (besides the obvious toiletries and undies?):

  • Pair of J.Crew matchstick jeans
  • Work out clothes (one can always hope)
  • Blue J.Crew Teddie Dress
  • Gray J.Crew suiting pants
  • J.Crew silk pop-over shirt
  • J.Crew button down perfect shirt
  • Tory Burch heels and flats

And what do you do before you go?  Why you make sure you take advantage of the J.Crew 25% off sale!  I wanted everything on the site, but I remembered what was in my closet and what I needed.  I bought a pair of match-stick jeans and the silk boy shirt in heart throb (pictured here).

More to follow, including the posts I really want to write, when I return from Atlanta!

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Screen Shot 2012-12-01 at 10.19.04 AM I didn’t just start this blog to write about J.Crew generally – I started this blog partially because I want to shop J.Crew smarter and ensure that the items in my closet can be worn many different ways.  Then came the J.Crew sale and my J.Crew holiday rewards.  I stopped in just before Thanksgiving and left with a tweed pencil skirt, plaid shirt and suede Cece ballet flats.  The great part about this purchase was that – between the extra 30% off event for cardholders, clearance section and holiday rewards — these three items only set me back $75.  The downside was that these three items did not coordinate with one another in any way, shape or form!

I was determined to integrate these items into my wardrobe and to prove to myself that these were smart purchases.  I wore each of these items last week (on 3 separate days of course)!  Check out my instagram feed to see them (@JCrewObsessed).  And I think there are multiple ways to mix them into my closet.  Stay tuned – my next posts will be “3 items worn 3 ways”!

Thank you, J.Crew!

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Holiday Gift Ideas Part 2: Around the Web

ImageI’ve made a good dent in my holiday gift shopping and still haven’t set foot inside a store!  I found a gift for my sister on Gilt (had a 20% off code), adorable compact nylon bags from Flip & Tumble at OpenSky and a stemless wineglass/decanter set at Crate & Barrel.  I also bought two pairs of jeans for my husband from The Gap ($25 each on sale), although I’ll probably give them to him early.  And while I tried to resist shopping for myself given how stuffed my closet is, I asked myself “shouldn’t you buy yourself just one great Christmas present as a reward for putting up with the craziness at work?” and then ordered the black Suede Eddie Ballet Flats with Bows.  I can’t wait to get them.  They will dress up any outfit for the holidays and incorporate well into my J.Crew-heavy wardrobe.  Oddly enough, I have only one other pair of black flats, and they are very summery, so this further justifies my purchase!

I have a few more items to pick up and am hoping that Cyber Monday will deliver.  What websites am I planning to visit?  Here are a few:

  • Converse.com:  Every pair of sneakers will be 25% off on Cyber Monday.
  • ArmaniExchange.com: 35% off and free shipping on Cyber Monday.
  • Piperlime.com: 20% off the site ends on Cyber Monday.
  • LandsEnd.com: 30% off the site ends on Cyber Monday.  Check out the fair isle hats, scarves and gloves.  They make great gifts!

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Gift Ideas Part 1: Ideas from J.Crew

Every year, I have a goal of finishing holiday shopping by Thanksgiving.  I’ve never achieved this objective, but this year it’s going to be so busy at work that I’ve determined to be finished by December 10th.  I’ve already purchased cashmere scarves (got a GREAT deal at the Boston ski show) for the women on my team at work, and yesterday I snagged a gift for my mother (can’t say what it is in case she’s reading this).  This should be a great week for online shopping, as the emails from online retailers are arriving in my Inbox in record frequency.  But before I get those in my next blog post, I have to point out my favorite gift ideas for “her” from J.Crew.  They’ve made it easy with their 101 Gift Ideas page, but here’s my edited list:

  • Vintage PJs.  My husband gave me a pair for our “cotton” anniversary (2nd year) and they were so great I bought a second pair.  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see they made my “perfect Sunday” post. $85
  • Iphone cases.  They come in many colors and prints, but I’m a sucker for sparkle. ~$25
  • Barnyard fair isle sweater.  This brings me back to my childhood.  I love a fair isle.  $98
  • Hats and gloves.  With so many choices to choose from, you can’t go wrong.  Starting at $28.
  • Cece flats.  This only works if you know the shoe size of the recipient, but I have 3 pairs of these and could easily buy more.  They are the most comfortable ballet flats I’ve owned (outside of my Tory Burch Caroline’s). $138-$168

Happy shopping and stay tuned for gift ideas from online retailers.

– J.Crew Obsessed

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Why This Blog?

Image

Wedding Day, May 22, 2010. J.Crew shoes and J.Crew Confetti dress.

I have loved J.Crew for a long time.  I remember my first roll neck sweaters (I had two – one charcoal and one hunter green) and my first J.Crew anorak (in maroon).  When I was in high school and thought I was fat, as most girls probably did, it was the J.Crew boy short swimsuit that saved my summer by providing extra coverage.  J.Crew has been a part of my life for about 20 years now (maybe more, though I hate to admit it).  J.Crew even made my wedding planning easier – as I could completely skip the bridal salon and all the awful things I associate with trying on wedding dresses, like strangers fawning all over me, bad satin, and too many ruffles.

However, my obsession with J.Crew is something more recent.  As I’ve become more senior in my job and tried to struggle with balancing work, marriage, family, housekeeping,  and friends (and the gym when life isn’t too crazy, which is rarely these days), I’ve come to rely on J.Crew to help keep me sane.  The reasons are endless:

  • I know how the clothing is sized (mostly)
  • Purchases ship quickly
  • There’s a store 5 minutes away for easy returns
  • It’s a timeless, classic, and effortless look, and new items coordinate well in my closet with older pieces
  • The clothes make me feel pulled together on the outside, even when I am not feeling at all pulled together on the inside
  • And last but certainly not least, I love a sale!

Now that my closet is about to explode, I’m starting to think about shopping my favorite store a little differently.  Should I set a seasonal budget?  Can I pull off one of those famous magazine editors “30 looks over 30 days” with minimal items?  I’m not sure, but I’m going to try.

This blog will capture my complete and utter adoration of J.Crew, my love of health and beauty trends, shoes, bags, and fashion in general, as well as my quests to maintain some sort of sanity in my life, to finally get back to my post-college weight, and finally organize the house.

Happy reading, and please send your ideas and comments this way!

– JCObsessed

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