Tuesday, February 3, 2015

J.Crew Reviews: Tilly Sweater, Painter Boatneck Tee in Stripe, Sleeveless Beaded Zip Top, Collarless Poplin Popover, Stretch Toothpick Cone Denim Jean in White, Laser-Cut Pleated Skirt

New arrivals debuted on the website last week, so over the weekend I stopped by my local store to make some returns and check out the new stuff. Sadly, they didn't have everything I was looking for, so I could only try on a handful of things. If you're interested in any of the following items and want to know my measurements for fit reference, you can find them here.

Tilly Sweater (Lemon XXS)

The Tilly sweater is being billed by J.Crew as an updated version of their popular Tippi, so I wanted to try it on and compare the two fits. First of all, I have to confess that I've never been a huge fan of the Tippi pullover (although I adore the Tippi cardigan which I wear all year round). I know a lot of ladies like it, but the few that I've bought on sale are all too tight in the shoulders/arms in my usual XXS. Before I bought them, I also tried on the XS, but the sleeves were too roomy, and the seams didn't lie flat against my shoulders. Anyway sale goggles were in effect, and now I regret those purchases. On the bright side, the Tippi comes in a variety of fun colors, and the merino wool is comfortable and low maintenance.

Now back to the Tilly, which is also available in a rainbow of colors. So the wool is pretty thin, but I found it comparable to the Tippi. Unlike the Tippi, the Tilly has long sleeves, which I much prefer. Also the XXS wasn't too tight in the shoulders. The torso was also wider. However, the length is way too short to be flattering on anyone tall or long-waisted. I'm only 5' 4", but this ended exactly at the hip, just below the top of my jeans. The resulting effect was very unflattering, as you can see in the pictures. I felt like that was due to the ribbed hem emphasizing my stomach pooch. However, I will allow that the Tilly may look better on short-waisted ladies and/or when worn over skirts and dresses.

Verdict: Blah for me, but might work on shorter/short-waisted ladies. True to size.

Painter Boatneck Tee in Stripe (Heather Slate Ivory XS)

J.Crew's painter tees always seem to run one size small, especially in the arms. This was also the case with this stripe version. I went up a size from my usual XXS, and that was the right choice. True to the color's name, these stripes were gray on an ivory background. The tee was fitted and the fabric was soft, but the sleeves were a little shorter than I expected. Also the torso was a little too long. Sadly the material isn't thick enough, because I can still see a hint of my belly button (and muffin top...), which isn't very flattering.

Verdict: Meh. Go up a size if you're interested, but there are better striped tees out there.

This beaded top isn't really my personal style, but I thought I would try it on for the blog. I like the color combination, and the unexpected use of stripes adds visual interest. The beading also doesn't seem like it'll fall off immediately. However, the fit leaves something to be desired. I usually wear a 00, and this gapes under the arms and is boxy throughout. Hence I would suggest going down a size. The fabric feels similar to what you would expect for a non-iron shirt. It's sort of stiff and has a small amount of stretch. I didn't care for the side zippers on this at all. I'm not sure why someone would intentionally add them. They felt unpleasantly cold against my skin in the fitting room, and I can't imagine wanting to wear this on a cool morning. The top was tunic-length on my 5' 4" frame, but it wasn't too overwhelming. Ultimately not a hit for me.

Verdict: Meh. A little too large.

I don't have much to say about this collarless top. I liked the gold detail on the placket, and the sleeve fit was good. Those were the only things I liked though. The whole top was a little too simple. The mandarin collar felt bare, and the lack of a shoulder seam was strange. Also, from the side, this popover makes me look a little pregnant.

Verdict: Blah. Poofy in the stomach.

(White 25)

I've been looking for the perfect pair of white jeans for a long time now. Not see-through, doesn't make me look fat, with a 28"-29" inseam. I had high hopes for these white toothpicks after my recent success with 3 other pairs of J.Crew jeans. However, in the course of trying these on, I realized that J.Crew denim sizing is all over the place. So I usually wear size 25 in most premium denim brands, but my miller wash toothpicks and blacksmith wash toothpicks were both size 24s, and my sateen toothpick jean is a size 26. I eyeballed these in a few sizes and took the 25 with me into the fitting room. I think that was the right choice, because the waist was close to right. The fabric felt decently thick, but I could still see the color of my underwear, the outline of the pockets, and the outline of my knees. Also they were wrinkly in the back of the thigh. The length was good though (I have a 30" inseam). Too bad they didn't work out.

Verdict: Wanted to like, but meh in the end. Runs small for J.Crew (true to size for actual denim), but best to try on in person.

Laser-Cut Pleated Skirt (Dusty Alabaster 00)

I saw this pleated skirt on a mannequin and had to try it on. The color was so pretty, and the laser cut-outs were very interesting close up! tried on my usual 00 and found it true to size. It's nice that they added a slip underneath in the same color, so it's not too see-through. I wouldn't go so far as to wear dark undergarments though just in case. Even though the fabric was a polyester blend, it felt quite nice and swooshy. The skirt was fun to twirl. The drop waist gives you the option of wearing your top tucked or untucked. I have a pet peeve about being able to see my belly button through clothes (weirdly specific, I know), so I would probably only wear this untucked.

Verdict: Like. True to size.

While going through these photos, I saw my very noticeable VPL! Yikes... I need to find a solution ASAP. Do any of you ladies have (comfortable) recommendations?

What do you like from the new arrivals at J.Crew?


  1. Appreciate your reviews -- very helpful! Have you tried Madewell's skinny skinny jeans in white? I haven't tried this year's version, but I do have last year's and they're not see-thru at all. 29" inseam and TTS -- I take a 24/25 at JC, and Madewell's 25 fit perfectly. Good luck!

    1. I remember trying on a pair of white jeans at Madewell last year, but I'm not sure if it was the skinny skinny in white. I'll have to look for this year's version since I really like their denim. Also, it sounds like you and I are basically the same size!

  2. Helpful reviews! Thanks.
    The laser cut skirt caught my eye when I first saw it on the website. Nice to know it looks so great IRL. The color looked a bit pink on JC's site, but in your photos the color looks like an off white. Did you see the black? Any thoughts?

    1. The lighting in the fitting room is always bad, so I'm not sure my photos are showing the true color. In real life, I thought it had a hint of pink but not as pink as it looks on the model. It was closer to the actual product photo, a barely-there pink with a slight yellow undertone.

      I saw the black one but didn't try it on. It wasn't as sheer as the light one of course, but it was also much harder to see the laser cut-outs. Hope that helps!

  3. Ugh I guess I've gotten lumpier in my older age, since VPL is a much bigger problem for me now! Not all seamless underwear seems to work for me but the laser cut seamless underwear and lace edge underwear from Uniqlo seem to work okay for me. I do find that seamless underwear takes a little getting used to though, since the edges tend to ride up (as there's no elastic to keep them in place!).

    Jemily Life

    1. I think the culprit might also be the thinner material used to make pants nowadays. For example, the J.Crew jeans I was wearing are relatively thin and have a lot of stretch. I'll look into seamless underwear. I'm also thinking about experimenting with boy shorts. :)

  4. loving your reviews and you look fantastic. Always fun to see these garments on real people. I like the skirt a lot! I wonder what the Tilly Sweater would look like with the skirt! (I'm 5'8" and long waisted so I doubt it would work for me.............)

    1. Thanks! I bet the shorter length of the Tilly sweater would go well with the skirt. Too bad I didn't think of that!

  5. I'm really loving all your reviews and just wanted to say thanks for sharing them!!