Saturday, August 2, 2014

J.Crew Factory Reviews: Novelty Quilted Puffer Vest, Warmspun French Knot Sweater, Patterned Oxford Button-down Shirt, Flared Skirt

I went to J.Crew Factory earlier this week to try on some new arrivals and wanted to share my impressions. I will be using the following scale: love = 5, like = 4, meh = 3, blah = 2, hate =1.

Novelty Quilted Puffer Vest

Novelty quilted puffer vest (black XXS)
First up, the 2014 version of the coveted herringbone excursion vest. This is currently backordered online, but the store I went to had a full range of sizes as of Tuesday. If you want to get your hands on one but are too impatient to wait until November, try calling your local store. Don't sleep on it though, because they're going like hotcakes.

I took my normal J.Crew size of XXS. The store I visited had 3 in that size, so I tried on all of them and bought the one that fits best. It's not obvious in the picture above, but the vest is a little boxy, even when layered over my Madewell Bien Fait sweatshirt (which is admittedly thin). It also gaps slightly in the underarm region. For a light layer, it is surprisingly warm. I would recommend sizing down if you plan to wear it with thin tops and sticking with your usual J.Crew size if you want to pair it with thick sweaters. Personally I would have sized down if I could, but sadly I'm out of luck. Interestingly enough, an in-store sales associate told me that Factory is expected to start carrying XXXS in another year. I hope that's true, but I'm taking it with a grain of salt for now. Anyway, I still like the way the vest looks despite its imperfections and know I would have deeply regretted not buying it.

Verdict: Love the look but dock 1 point for fit = like. Bought and would recommend others to buy ASAP.

Warmspun French Knot Sweater

Warmspun French knot sweater (white XXS)
This sweater is similar to the retail merino Tippi sweater in french knot. I found the XXS to be comfortable, and the fit was comparable to other retail Tippis. The material was soft but seemed like it might be prone to pilling. The white was sheer, which you can see if you look closely at the waistband of my jeans. I suspect this may be an issue with only the white version.

Verdict: Meh. Don't need, won't buy.

Patterned Oxford Button-down Shirt

Patterned oxford button-down shirt (navy 00)

Patterned oxford button-down shirt (navy 00)

Patterned oxford button-down shirt (navy 00)
I impulsively grabbed this on my way to the fitting room, and I actually really like it! The shirt was a tiny bit long for my 5'4" frame but still within acceptable bounds. The print is inspired by the retail horsing around sweatshirt. The fabric is quite thick, so it's more suitable for late fall and early winter. The navy and white color scheme tones down this busy print and makes it easier to pair with other things.

Verdict: Like. Wishlist and wait for sale.

Flared Skirt

Flared skirt (ivory 00)

Flared skirt (ivory 00)
This skirt is a dupe of the retail fluted skirt, which I like and own in black 00. The sizing of the Factory version was comparable to the retail one if not a tiny bit bigger. My main complaint about this skirt is that the ivory is slightly see-through. In person, you could see the pink stripes of my Factory bar-stripe tee underneath the skirt. This bothers me and would limit the skirt's versatility since I would have to add a slip underneath. Also, the fabric felt a little thinner than the retail one.

Verdict: Blah. Don't like, won't buy.

What do you think of these items? How do you feel about the possibility of J.Crew Factory also carrying XXXS? Please share.


  1. Thanks SO much for these great reviews!!!! I've been eyeing the Warmspun French Knot Sweater.

  2. The herringbone vest looks great on you.
    I owned the original from retail but sold it,since i couldnt make it work on me.

    1. Thanks! Better to return than to regret keeping something. Lots of vest options coming up for fall. I ordered a Patagonia one from Nordstrom, because I have vest fever.