The Weekend in Review

One of my favorite new quotes is the following…

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And so because a rainy chilly weekend was not part of my plan… I reluctantly improvised. Here are a few things I read, watch, purchased and enjoyed you might be interested in too.

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How to Murder Your Life. Memoir + Magazine Editor = Super Love. I cannot put this book down!

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I had a a terrible time choosing between my book and this amazing Netflix show, The Fall. OMG!

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I attended two of my favorite 10 year old’s basketball games. (One plus for Basketball over Hockey is the environment is warm!). I am very pleased to see that my $1,500 investment in the hoop plus installation is paying off.  Not to mention, my own personal time spent outside playing with Jackson. Jackson brings an incredible about of energy and enthusiasm to the court. It is contagious and a quick “mommy moment”, when he scores and breaks out that million dollar smile we are both beaming with pride.

Side Note: The $1,500.00 doesn’t include the amount it is going to cost me to fix the dent in my bumper from backing into the new basketball pole. If anyone was making bets – it was 3 days, 3 days until I backed right into it!  Good times.

For fun, here is a recent conversation between Jackson and me while leaving the doctor’s office. (Jackson hurt his toe and it is always a catch-22 with something like this… If you go to the doctor, it is fine. If you don’t it is broken.

Jackson: “I am playing point guard in my basketball games this weekend.”

Me: “Teriffic!” ( let the record reflect that I said this with a ton of enthusiasm)

long pause

Jackson: “For some reason, I feel like you don’t really know what that means.”

Me: “What?” (acting highly offended)

I did get called out for clapping for the other team a few times. I told Jackson that I think sometimes it is important to clap when the kids do well, regardless of the team. A good shot is a good shot.

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I gained one GIANT point in “me vs my closet”.  It was not a question of “sparking joy” but “Have you worn it recently/ever?” and “Do you plan to wear it again?”.  I have also been weeding out items that have been replaced with an upgraded version too. I am not sure how long it takes most people to de-clutter but as you can tell it has taken me awhile. I am happy with my pace and progress.  Maybe there should be a working girl, mom, entrepreneur version of the book where it gives you twelve months to complete the program. Anyway,  I can share with  you two interesting things.

  1. I don’t miss a single thing I have thrown away, given away or sold. Not one.
  2. When I was looking for my 4th grade photo the other day. I went to the basement and was shocked by the fact that there were only a few photo bins. And when I looked thru the pics to get that one masterpiece, I noticed that all the pics I flipped thru were “keepers”.

Any chance you got the new NM Beauty Catalog? I did and fell in love with this perfume…

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Prive Pivoine Suzhou

“A peony accord that is lightly opulent and ultra-feminine, its addiction intensified with Centifolia Rose Absolute and rose essence.”

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Prive Eau de Jade Eau De Parfum

And this one which is actually my favorite!

“Giorgio Armani’s Eau de Jade magnificently refines Eau de Cologne by Giorgio Armani with an infusion of the world’s finest bergamot: the Calabrian Bergamot, fresh and subtle. A masterpiece in lightness, this fragrance reflects the radiance of Mediterranean mornings.”

I could not decide between the two perfumes above. Can you guess which one I got? Yes, you know me so well. Both. Life is too short to have to make such a big decision over the weekend!

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Prive Rose Alexandrie Eau De Toilette

If you like perfume with a Rose undertone, this is to die for. I loved this one too…

And, I totally set myself up for failure in trying this dress on knowing that I would love it and have to have it. It needs to be hemmed but I swear if it didn’t need an alteration, I would have worn it home. I loved it that much! I am not even going to lie and say I needed it. I am going to say I wanted it and every birthday girl needs a party dress. Am I right?

 

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Vince Dress

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I know I don’t need to justify my purchase, but I have always loved a nice new dress for my birthday.  I am providing evidence from 40 years ago. Just in case.

Side Note: I loved that dress I am wearing. Shocking it is White, right? Oh, and look closely at the pink satin ribbon that tied around the waist. Fabulous!  And I just noticed my cake is on a Silver platter! I cannot stop laughing. Priceless.

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If you are local, Hampton Paper will be featured this coming weekend at Chick’s Picks by Hillary. I worked on packaging some of our best-selling products including our gift wrap, gift tags, framed prints and our new spiral notebooks. The Show is April 27-30 at Vanish in Leesburg, VA. More info here.

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And finally, every rainy weekend needs some beautiful flowers, even if you have to buy them for yourself! I love, love, love the smell of Lilacs.

 

 

The Devil Wears Prada

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 5.16.16 PMThe Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite movies. What makes it even better is that I have watched it probably 100 times with my son, Thomas. I can’t even begin to quantify the milage and laughs we have gotten from so many lines like the following…

“By all means move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me!”

” I am just one stomach flu away from my goal weight.”

“I rarely say this to people who are not me but you have got to calm down!”

“Why is nobody ready?”

We incorporate the lines into our daily lives like at the Caps play off game on Saturday I handed Thomas my clutch to hold for a second and said, “Yeah, it’s the Chanel.”

I realize everyone may not get our humor and banter but like I said, we think it is hilarious and per a previous blog on motherhood, these are my favorite moments, the ones that are just little inside jokes between us.

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The belt scene above, you tube video here, is my favorite.  So, when I was packing for our trip to Kiawah, I noticed  these two Calypso shirts in my closet and I started cracking up. I ran into Thomas’ room and said, “Which should I bring? They are so different.”  Truth be told, I am still laughing…

Picture Day!

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 9.40.05 AMOn Sunday, I had the opportunity to chat with my neighbor who happens to be my favorite ten-year-old girl. I am always delighted to chat with another fashionista and what could be more important that a serious conversation about what to wear for picture day?

My neighbor is in fourth grade and shared details about the dress she was planning on wearing and without skipping I beat, I shared what I wore for my 4th grade picture.

A few things to note about this photo:

  1. I thought I looked AMAZING.
  2. I loved that dress. I can’t remember exactly what brand it was (maybe you recall) but I loved it.
  3. The Today Show did a segment in the fall on fashion and recommended adding a turtle neck to a summer dress in an effort to convert it to a winter look. I wanted to share this months ago as I think it is important to acknowledge that I created this look 35 years ago.
  4. Note, even at ten, I loved a white shirt.
  5. There are Purple flowers on the dress. Can you believe there was a time that I loved Purple?
  6. Typically, the two image photo was an option and I always opted out bc I think it is hideous but for some reason, this year it was the only option.
  7. Note the details on the dress. The satin piping and the pearl buttons. Oh my!
  8. My hair was cut at an angle and I took great pride and time every morning to achieve that look with a curling iron.

And, how about you? Can you easily remember what you wore for your 4th grade school picture?

P.S. My sister totally made fun of me for this “look” and when I had an outfit like this one that I loved, I wrote it weekly, usually on the same day each week. She teased me about that too. Please keep this in mind as I am going to write another blog soon that may mention a few things that I did growing up that were, well, not so nice.

Hourglass

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 2.01.14 PMYou know I love a good memoir and let me be the first to tell you, Hourglass by Dani Shapiro doesn’t disappoint! I find myself forever curious about someone else’s journey and I love when I read something that makes me understand myself better. I find another perspective offers comfort when it is something I can relate to, and even when it is not directly applicable to me, I find it increases my ability to be more compassionate.

I don’t want to share too much in case you plan to read this book but I will mentioned that there are so many thought provoking ideas for consideration and  a few beautifully written sentences that I read over and over because they deserved that level of attention. (You know the kind that stay with you long after you finish the book.)

This was one of my favorite passages:

“How do you suppose time works? A slippery succession of long hours adding up to ever-shorter days and years that disappear like falling dominoes? Near the end of her life, Grace Paley once remarked that the decades between fifty and eighty feel not like minutes, but seconds.”

I also loved her introduction of several thought provoking quotes and poems including,”Could Have” by Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska. She  said she typically gives the poem to her students and asks them to write about what could have happened.

It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Nearer. Farther off.
It happened, but not to you.You were saved because you were the first.
You were saved because you were the last.
Alone. With others.
On the right. The left.
Because it was raining. Because of the shade.
Because the day was sunny.

You were in luck — there was a forest.
You were in luck — there were no trees.
You were in luck — a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . . .

So you’re here? Still dizzy from
another dodge, close shave, reprieve?
One hole in the net and you slipped through?
I couldn’t be more shocked or
speechless.
Listen,
how your heart pounds inside me.

 

Thought provoking, right?

 

Beach Reads: Thrillers

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 12.11.14 PMWhile I love a luxurious vacation as much as the next girl, I am also just as happy sitting in my backyard by the pool reading a good book from sun up to sun down.  Although I do miss the drink service and occasionally feel sorry for myself that I have to walk all the way back to my house to get a glass of water!

If you are a fan of thrillers like Gone Girl  then add these three page turners to your summer reading list. They should come with a warning label though, like don’t start reading unless you have the entire day to read the book cover to cover.  All are available on Amazon.

Enjoy!

P.S. If you are someone like me who likes to read the book prior to seeing the movie, The Girl Before is scheduled to be a movie directed by Ron Howard.

 

The Sanctuary Hotel, Kiawah

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I am sitting at the adult pool looking out on the ocean. A beautiful day and it feels like the entire resort was reserved just for me!

I have just realized that Elouise is to The Plaza as Kristin is to The Sanctuary Hotel. Yes, I am planning to live at the Sanctuary Hotel. If you have been to this hotel, you understand my desire to reside here full time. If you haven’t been, add this to you must visit hotels.

The photos I took as well as the ones on their web site don’t do this place justice as they cannot properly capture the elegance and tranquility.

I am going to keep this blog short because I have a lot on my “to do” list today.

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So, what makes it amazing? Here are a few details that are not lost on me. They are signs of a good hotel.

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  • Arriving and being warmly greeted by the valet
  • No line to check in
  • Being address by name at all times
  • Fresh Flowers in the lobby ( My mom always said fresh flowers in the lobby are a sign of a good hotel. Truer words were never spoken.)
  • Spacious large rooms with a balcony and view of the ocean
  • Spacious and large bathrooms (large shower)
  • When you ask for directions someone personally escorts you to the location
  • When you order wine or champagne (by the glass) they bring the bottle to the table and pour you a sip first to make sure you like it
  • Cleanliness
  • No line for the elevator
  • A feeling that there are other guests at the hotel but it doesn’t feel crowded
  • Tons of empty lounge chairs at the pool (so you don’t feel like you have to reserve on in advance for the day or feel panicked or stressed there won’t be anywhere to sit)
  • Plush towels and lots of them

This hotel in particular has a beautiful lobby decorated in my favorite colors, sage green and yellow. It is spacious and bright. Everything is near by so it is a short walk from the room to the pool to the ocean to the spa. To me, a nice hotel is when you feel like the staff is always one step ahead of you and your every need is anticipated.

The Spa

  • Enormous and not crowded
  • A menu of services that provides and opportunity to try something new
  • Private changing areas
  • Beautiful waiting areas
  • Excellent magazine selection
  • Clean
  • Plush towels
  • Plush robes and shoes that fit
  • Filled with everything you need but there is still a sign that says “If you need anything please contact the front desk.”

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.43.13 AMI am glad I waited to get a swim suit (or four) as the boutique here had a great selection and it is much better to shop for a suit when you are not in a rush. I also love when there is someone assisting you to provide a second opinion. The Tory Burch and Milly suits are timeless and classic and the Helen Jon is fresh and fun.

P.S.

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.30.22 AMHere is what is important to a 10 year old:

Chess, golf, waterslides, ocean, bikes, basketball, paintball, chess, wifi to watch Dude Perfect, pools, chess (are you getting the point that I am raising the next Bobby Fisher?)

Here is what is important to a 13 year old :

wifi in which no password is required and a there is no device limit per room

I am having a great time and as per usual, I think I am being super funny but I am not sure if others agree…

Here is a typical text exchange between Thomas and me

Thomas: Where are you?

Me: At the adult pool

Thomas: I couldn’t find you

Me: Because I am so skinny

Thomas: Oh stop!

Here is a text exchange between my friend Beth and me

Beth: Hi Kristin! Are you watching the boys play three on three basketball or are you at the Sanctuary Bar?

Me: Is that a trick question?

Beth: No

Me: I’ll meet you at the bar

Hello Spring Break!

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I think I am the happiest person east of the Mississippi today! While I am a big fan of planning a trip months in advance I think there is also something exciting about planning a trip last minute and realizing your trip is only a few days away.

When it comes to packing, you know I start with my books. Yes, they are the most valuable thing in my luggage next to my swim suit. This year I am shopping my closet. (There are plenty of items in there with tags. Just ask my friend, Kimberly. Please note if she mentions a Blue dress I did take the tags of and wear it).  However, you may be in market for a few new items to pick up before you leave for the beach, so here are a few things I love for you!

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First, let’s start with glowing skin. You know I love my Drunk Elephant but I am a product junkie and Sunday Riley has been on my list of products to try. I purchased it last weekend and I won’t lie to you, it delivers radiant glowing skin overnight. Sephora had a kit with everything but the CEO lotion. I don’t see it online. Maybe it is only in the stores or they are temporarily sold out.

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I also love a new lipstick for travel and I had  wanted to try the new Dior Addict Lacquer Stick. Love that it goes on glossy!

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As far as clothes, here is what my packing list looks like:

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  • A few swim suits (translate this to 6 or 7). You know I love JCrew swim suits but I also stumbled upon Tommy Bahama last year at the Nemacolin Resort. If you have’t tried this brand before, it might be worth a look. I love the fit and some are reversible which creates a bunch of good options. I think Everything But Water has the best selection. Plan to try on 10, hate 8, like 1 and love 1. That is success!
  • White Shorts and Denim Shorts
  • Beach Cover Up 
  • Sandals and JCrew Flip Flops ( I know you are gonna order these See by Chloe shoes. Go for it, They are great!)
  • White Shirt(s). I have this Theory one from last year but anything similar is terrific.
  • White Long Sleeve Linen Shirt. I have one similar to this JCrew one from Calypso from last year.
  • Silk Top (The one shown is from Anthropologie.)
  • Statement Belt. Love this Gucci. Even with the denim shorts and a White T-shirt you will look polished.
  • White Capri and Denim Capri Jeans ( I love AG)
  • 6 or so dresses – a few long ones for night and a few more casual ones for day
  • White T- Shirts ( Jcrew or Velvet)
  • Green Jacket
  • Denim Jacket
  • Goyard Bag
  • Clutch I have one from last year that is woven and a bit different but any small casual clutch will work.
  • Hermes Necklace 

 

Mother’s Day Countdown

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I was sitting on the sofa the other day next to Jackson and he grabbed my hand to hold it. I snapped this photo because it is what makes it all worth it!

Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching and I take advantage of every opportunity to remind my children of everything I went through to have them. I do this to ensure I get a good gift. My children are not “eye rollers” per se, instead they look at me with a solid stare as to be saying, “Oh no! Not this story again.”

As the years have passed I have found I have become more detailed in my story to ensure they really get a sense of my sacrifice.  Things like 12 hours of labor now get the added detail of the fact that Thomas had to suctioned out (fun) and for Jackson, I am always sure to add that I had him plus a kidney stone. (BTW, a Kidney Stone is WAY more painful than labor but that’s just between us ladies. If a man asks, I am sure to say that labor is more painful.) And seriously who has both at the same time? Ugghhh.

While I can appreciate the big public moments as much as the next girl, I must admit my favorite moments are really the more private. The ones that catch me by surprise and keep me thinking how did I get so lucky and how it is possible I have these beautiful children?

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Thomas wanted to take this photo of the two of us to post on his Instagram account. It made my day, week, month and year. I love that a photo of us was important (and his most “liked” one to date!) Thomas always comments on how much his friends like me. It makes me so happy to have all the kids over to my house. I adore them.

With Thomas, it is after school when he comes to find me to give me a run down of his day or the way he will come in my room and invite me to watch something on Netflix with him.

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Jackson taking his first online chess class last week.

With Jackson, he wants to ensure I will be at his hockey or basketball game. That feeling of being wanted and needed is so precious. At 9:30 when I am exhausted after a long day, it is Jackson inquiring if I will play chess with him. I protest and then remind myself that there will be a day soon where I will long for the opportunity. (BTW on this one, what Jackson is really asking is can I beat you at chess, yet again?) I tell him yes and that I cannot say no to that beautiful face.  Jackson’s face literally lights up with delight while he contemplates his current and next moving. It lights up even more when he sees “check mate” in the next few moves.

Jackson looked online to find a chess tutor and his constant thirst for knowledge and improvement in everything he does leaves me in awe.

It all these examples, it is simply the joy in spending time with them as it brings sheer happiness and I realize these moments are fleeting.

As my boys have gotten older, I have noticed that whatever age they are, I absolutely love it and think it can’t get better but is does.  As they grow, they become even more interesting, more intelligent and articulate and move amazing and I find myself drawn to their enthusiasm.

As I look back on when they were babies, it seemed so overwhelming and stressful. Now, I can look back and laugh.

Here are a few things I wish I had known…

  1. Labor has a definite start and end time AND you get drugs. What happens next is really where the pain begins. No one tells you this bit of info.
  2. Your regular jeans will most likely not fit on the day you leave the hospital. This was a bit of a shock to me. Pack your maternity jeans, just in case.
  3. In the beginning of your pregnancy you will buy some clothes that look gigantic and you will think this will never fit and then there will come a day when it doesn’t fit because it is too small.
  4. Don’t bring a three piece outfit for the baby when you leave the hospital. Dressing a moving infant is much more challenging than you think. Don’t believe me, I can share the 45 min of the video of me trying to dress Thomas. We were both crying! To make matters worse, the nurse came in after I had finally gotten the outfit on him and said I needed to undress him because he hadn’t been checked out yet.
  5. Your newborn baby does not care if all your baby items match. It will not stop him/her from crying.
  6. Diapers are the best baby gift ever. Yes, better than a blue box.
  7. You will use the Tiffany silver spoon only once.
  8. Ditto on the Tiffany three-piece baby place setting.
  9. Ditto on the children’s silver Tiffany fork and spoon.
  10. There is sheer panic involved in bringing a baby home from the hospital. I remember thinking how can these people let me leave? Don’t they know I have no idea what I am doing?
  11. Get your baby dressed and in the car seat ready to go BEFORE you put on the shirt you plan to wear out of the house.
  12. At some point, your stroller will jam and not collapse when you are trying to get it in the car. This will most likely not happen in your garage but in a public place. Make sure your stroller will fit in the backseat or that you are willing to abandon it in the parking lot.
  13. At some point you will plan an elaborate Birthday party and your child will be sick with something contagious.
  14. You will be adamant about seat belts, helmets and safety and the first time your child gets hurt and needs to go to the hospital will be just like people describe, a random accident that wasn’t cause by any dangerous behavior. ( Thomas simply stumbled and hit the coffee table)
  15. The above will happen the day before you have a professional photographer taking family photos.
  16. The nicest thing you can say to a pregnant woman who is about to have her baby is “I hope your baby has a small head.”
  17. Return any baby clothing item that has a lot of buttons. Snaps and Zippers are you friends. Seriously.
  18. Ditto on anything that requires ironing.
  19. You will sit in the back seat with your baby and you will feel guilty for making fun of people who you saw doing the same thing.
  20. When you are pregnant with your 2nd child, you will think it is impossible to love another child as much as your first and yet when that baby arrives, it happens.
  21. If you go to one of those picture places in the mall, you will buy all the pictures, even if they are terrible because you can’t bear to have a photo of your child thrown away.
  22. They will be ready for the next step long before you are.
  23. You will wonder why it is 5:00 and you have been thinking about grabbing something in the fridge like a soda and be perplexed why you never made it to grab one.
  24. Your baby will start to cry as soon as you step foot in the shower.
  25. You will have a hard time remembering your life before they were born.

Creative Director Opportunity: JCrew

It has come to my attention that Jenna Lyons is stepping down as Creative Director at JCrew. The timing seems perfect as just last week I was talking to a friend of mine, Hillary, and I don’t know how it came up in conversation, but I was saying JCrew needs me to turn things around.

I like JCrew just as much as the next girl, but in my humble opinion the last 10 years has been more “misses” than “hits”. Here are my thoughts on what works, what doesn’t, and what they need to do to turn things around.

Here is what is not working…

  • Quality: Mediocre at best for the price. Most items last only one season unless you have something from 5 years ago, before they started cutting corners on quality. One major miss is that the needles they use on the t-shirts for sewing are too big which leads to holes in the seams after only a few washings. The second thing I always notice is the way they showcase the zippers on pants and blazers. JCrew tries to pull this off as a “look”, but it is not. It is simply a way for them to cut costs and that is not lost on me. It makes the item look cheap. I love their T-Shirt Cashmere sweaters. The fit is incredible and they are warm, but they pill and are only good for one season.
  • Cut: For a long time, I could not quite figure out who JCrew clothes were designed for. Then, I took a closer look at the models and the mannequins and it became clear to me; someone who is tall and very lean. In examining their classic layered style, (t-shirt, button down, sweater and/or blazer) I realized this is a very difficult look to pull off. Layers add bulk if you are not careful. So, any curves make this tough to pull off. The other thing is how narrowly they cut their shirts and blazers. If a shirt runs XS, S, M, L, XL they seem to fit well but once they get into numbered sizing the shirts get bigger around the body and chest but the narrowness in the shoulders stays the same. It is as if the pattern only expands in one part of the shirt.
  • Style: There seems to be some major inconsistencies in how they want to define their style. Classic is the underlying theme but they have tried too hard to infuse trendy and the way they try to make a “classic trendy” is a huge miss. Please don’t get me started on a turtleneck. I don’t think that is flattering on anyone. Adding tulle to the bottom of a sweatshirt is also a huge miss. I understand the idea of mixing casual with something a bit dressier but this doesn’t work. Also, the placement of the “fringe” is a miss too. It typically hits at the widest part of your hips.
  • Sizing: We really need to go back to XS, S, M, L and XL. When you add XXXS it becomes confusing to the buyer. We want consistency in the sizing so we can easily start with a shirt that we think is our size. When you had too many options in sizing, buyers are inclined to pass.
  • Color: This is a tough one for me because I am color phobic but the main bright colors they choose are slightly off.

Here is what I think they do pretty well…

  • Swim Suits: I love their swim collection. It fits well, there is a huge variety of styles and you can mix and match. Their strapless one piece is the most flattering suit I have ever worn. It is classic and looks elegant. I wish they sold the swim collection in more stores
  • Shoes: A good deal for the price. I was a big designer shoe fan for many years and then Gucci changed their sizing and while $500.00 was a lot to spend on a pair of shoes, the higher end shoes now start at $600-$7000.00, which seems ridiculous. I have a few pair of the heels and they look classic and more expensive than they really are. On sale, a great deal and they hold up well for the price.
  • Basics: JCrew does make some nice basics that last year after year. You probably already know my favorite, the Army Green Jacket. I have a collection of them and they hold up well. I always bring one when I travel as you can pretty much wear it with anything.  Love the fit on some of their T-shirts.

Here is what I think women want…

  • Quality: Mediocre at best for the price. Most items last only one season unless you have something from 5 years ago, before they started cutting corners on quality. One major miss is that the needles they use on the t-shirts for sewing are too big which leads to holes in the seams after only a few washings. The second thing I always notice is the way they showcase the zippers on pants and blazers. JCrew tries to pull this off as a “look”, but it is not. It is simply a way for them to cut costs and that is not lost on me. It makes the item look cheap. I love their T-Shirt Cashmere sweaters. The fit is incredible and they are warm, but they pill and are only good for one season.
  • Cut: For a long time, I could not quite figure out who JCrew clothes were designed for. Then, I took a closer look at the models and the mannequins and it became clear to me; someone who is tall and very lean. In examining their classic layered style, (t-shirt, button down, sweater and/or blazer) I realized this is a very difficult look to pull off. Layers add bulk if you are not careful. So, any curves make this tough to pull off. The other thing is how narrowly they cut their shirts and blazers. If a shirt runs XS, S, M, L, XL they seem to fit well but once they get into numbered sizing the shirts get bigger around the body and chest but the narrowness in the shoulders stays the same. It is as if the pattern only expands in one part of the shirt.
  • Style: There seems to be some major inconsistencies in how they want to define their style. Classic is the underlying theme but they have tried too hard to infuse trendy and the way they try to make a “classic trendy” is a huge miss. Please don’t get me started on a turtleneck. I don’t think that is flattering on anyone. Adding tulle to the bottom of a sweatshirt is also a huge miss. I understand the idea of mixing casual with something a bit dressier but this doesn’t work. Also, the placement of the “fringe” is a miss too. It typically hits at the widest part of your hips.
  • Sizing: We really need to go back to XS, S, M, L and XL. When you add XXXS it becomes confusing to the buyer. We want consistency in the sizing so we can easily start with a shirt that we think is our size. When you had too many options in sizing, buyers are inclined to pass.
  • Color: This is a tough one for me because I am color phobic but the main bright colors they choose are slightly off.
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I created this look book a few months ago. Great classic items from JCrew that you can mix and match. I recommended adding a few statement pieces to make the items appear more stylish.

We want recommendations on how to incorporate new pieces with existing pieces. I get JCrew wants to sell more items but if you showcase to your buyers how to incorporate a new piece with something from last year or take a few new pieces and show more options to create different looks, it is a win. I also think you can sell JCrew and showcase more non-JCrew items to provide alternative looks.  For example, there isn’t anything stylish or unique in wearing JCrew head to toe – shirt, pants, jacket, shoes, bag, scarf, jewelry etc. for two reasons. One, you look like the mannequin in the window and the chances of you running into someone with the same outfit is very likely. What women want, is for their style to look authentic and personal. Women want to look like they put together a beautiful outfit with minimal effort. The easiest way to do this is to have a few statement pieces and mix with JCrew basics.

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This is also from a previous style blog. Not all JCrew but take the striped shirt and add the Orange Hermes bracelet or bag and then you have style!

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Also from my blog showcasing how to make a basic like JCrew Lady Jacket stylish and original.

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The hits!

Ruched bandeau one-piece swimsuit  I love this swim suit.

Striped boatneck T-shirt This is a great JCrew Classic. Easy to layer and a great piece to pack as you can wear it multiple ways and layer it for different looks. (By the way, I like JCrew’s version better than the St. James. The Saint James runs short in the torso.)

Elsie suede pump A great classic shoe. It is comfortable from the first time you put them on and a great heel height. I have multiple colors. Makes everything look dressy.

Fatigue jacket Not my favorite version of this jacket. I would wait till the next one is released before buying.

One-shoulder ruffle dress in faille I have the Madewell version of this from last year. It is a great classic look that will easily go from year to year. The right accessories can dress this up or down and enable you to create multiple looks.

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The big misses.

Cropped trench coat with detachable striped cuffs This is a perfect example of JCrew missing the mark. I tried this jacket on and wanted to love it. The fabic is too thick so it doesn’t lay properly and appears bulky. The striped detachable sleeves are a huge miss.

Tulle-hem cardigan sweater  This item is hideous.

Quilted safari jacket The fabric is too thick on this jacket too. The detailing looks out of place.

Ruffle Sleeve Top Also hideous. What is this top trying to convey? I have no taste?

New perfect-fit T-shirt in stripe No surprise this shirt is on sale. Check out the sleeve length. This is a really difficult look to pull off. For some reason, the sleeve hitting right above your elbow can look very dowdy. Buyer beware!

So, based on our conversation, will you recommend me for the position?

P.S. I realize it is much easier to criticize something that has already been done/made and it is much more difficult to create something from scratch so my intention in the blog was not to be overly critical but to provide honest feedback as well as a few recommendations for improvement.

Summer Reading

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 3.05.42 PMI am so excited about the books I have chosen for my summer reading list! I decided to have a slightly different approach this year in that I would choose only a handful to start and be a bit more spontaneous in future selections.

I have had When Breath Becomes Air on my list of awhile but it seemed too sad. I did start reading it and it is beautifully written.  Evicted seemed like a nice follow up to Nickeled and Dimed. You know I am obsessed with all things Scientology and have been waiting for Ruthless to come out.  Driven to Delight was recommended by a friend as a great business book so I added that too. I love all books written by magazine editors as they are always so interesting s I am looking forward to The Price of Illusion.  Small Admissions seemed like a fun, light read.

Now, all I need is the sun.