Monday, November 24, 2014

J.Crew Reviews: Fringe and Elephant Parade

I stopped by my local J.Crew this weekend to check out the new arrivals and poke through the sale section. They were taking an additional 40% off sale, but I couldn't find a single thing I wanted to buy. That's okay, because I'm saving up for after-Christmas holiday shopping anyway. After pawing through the sale stuff, I moved on to looking at items from the latest roll-out.

The two themes that I loved best from this roll-out were fringe and the elephant parade fabric. I've always loved fringe, because I associate it with flappers in the Roaring 20s. And the elephant parade print is actually the first time in a long time that I've fallen head-over-heels in love with a print from J.Crew. The gold and black brocade was used in several items. My top pick was this gorgeous pair of smoking slippers (online only), but sadly they sold out almost immediately. I'm vigilantly watching for a popback. Luckily there are other options that I'll review below.

Silk Fringe Scarf (Style B6255)
The website describes this fringe scarf as silky and drapey. Although it is made of 100% silk, it wasn't soft or drapey at all; the one I tried on was sort of stiff, almost like a lighter satin. That bothered me at first, but once I got over it, I noticed that this scarf really is quite beautiful. I love the length, the swingy fringe, and the subtle luster of the material. It comes in three different colors: ivory, black, and shell pink. All were gorgeous in real life, but I would steer clear of the lighter colors, because they're more likely to get stained. I think black would be the most versatile and very nice for the holidays, especially paired with a little party dress. As pretty as the scarf is, it really isn't very functional for my day-to-day life since silk can be high maintenance and it doesn't provide any warmth. Personally I would only buy it on sale.

Verdict: Like. Not very functional, so wait for it to go on sale.

Fringe Tank (Style B6374)
Black XS

This top immediately caught my eye when I was browsing online, because I'm obsessed with all things fringe. When I got to the store, I didn't see any xx-smalls on the floor so I had to ask a sales associate for help. Turns out they were too popular at my store and sold out, so I grabbed an XS to try on instead. The XS was a little loose in the torso but not noticeably so. The armholes were also fine, so I think this top runs a little small.

I don't know what it is exactly, maybe the fit or something else, but this top just lacked pizzazz in person. It was a little too long (tunic length) and a little too boxy. It felt like a very simple tank that someone slapped a random fringe layer on. The material of the main body was a little thin and sheer when held up to the light, but the dark color masks that fact well. It had a back zip that makes getting in and out easy. However, I really disliked the fringe itself. It should have felt swingy and silky. Instead I can only describe the tactile feeling as greasy. Somehow it felt like the fringe had a layer of oil on it, which made touching it unpleasant. That aside, the tank was fine but didn't feel all that special.

Verdict: Meh, runs slightly small.

Origami Skirt in Elephant Parade (Style B5282)
Size 00
This mini was my second favorite elephant parade item online, and I'm so glad I was able to see it in real life. First of all, the fabric did not disappoint. It was absolutely stunning! The gold elephants really popped against the black background. The silhouette was a semi-faux wrap style, with the inner wrap extending to the opposite hip as the slit. The slit shouldn't open too much unless you stand with your legs far apart. In general I don't really foresee it being an issue. I tried on my usual 00 and found it true to size. Not too tight in the waist, and nice fit in the hips. The length is definitely short but not immodest. While it was fine on my 5' 4" frame, I would not recommend wearing it at a conservative workplace, and I would suggest being careful when bending down. The skirt was lined on the inside, and it had a back zipper. Instant love for me, and it's a must-have.

Verdict: Love, true to size.

Girls' Pull-on Skirt in Elephant Parade (Style B4727)
Size 14
After my success with the ladies' origami skirt, I thought I would try on this full skirt from the children's department. Big mistake. I tried on both sizes 12 and 14 (pictured above). Both were terribly poofy and oddly square when viewed from the side. The elastic waist was too tight, yet there was too much room in the hips. Maybe it would be cute for a very small little girl (7 and under?). The shape is incredibly unflattering on grown women, and I imagine it also wouldn't work on preteens.

Verdict: Blah, not suitable for grown women.

Girls' Elephant Parade Dress (Style B4732)
Size 14
I eye-measured this dress and thought I could squeeze into a size 14. Actually the result wasn't too bad. I would compare it to a 00. The dress was lined, not too poofy in the skirt, and it even had pockets. However, it wasn't cut for my body shape. The waist was a little tight for me and ended up sitting on my rib cage (I'm long waisted). Also it was too tight in the shoulders, and it was hard to step into the dress, because the zipper didn't go down far enough. The zipper issue can be avoided if you slipped it over your head instead of stepping into the dress. I do like the silhouette and adore the fabric, so I think this could be a great option for someone who is shorter than me (5' 4") or short-waisted and had normal to narrow shoulders. If that's you, congratulations!

Verdict: Like, pass for me personally.


Since the origami elephant parade skirt is a must-have for me, I placed an order with today's 30% off global promo. We'll see if the prices get better by Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I'm not sure if other people are loving the print. If not, we could see even better discounts after Christmas.

How do you feel about J.Crew's elephant parade print?


  1. Morning Engineer L :-) Thanks for the review. I like the elephant parade skirt and the fringe scarf on you. The skirt is the only thing that I'm interested when I visited it last Saturday (I didn't get the $20 off coupon, sad face). My store didn't have my size so I was not able to try. I'm glad you mentioned that it is TTS so I think 00 will also work on me.

    1. Hopefully it works on you! I saw a review on the website that complained about the waist being too big, but my waist is 26" and the skirt fits fine. Also, you were interested in the J.Crew Factory puffer vest before, right? The herringbone is sold out, but there's a red check one that's 50% off now.

  2. I like the origami skirt on you! Glad you got it! I think it would be too short on me, I'm 5'8". It's really great on you!