Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No-Waistband = No-Muffin-Top?

I just ran into a couple products online and wanted to mention it here. 

A few months ago I posted about my hatred of the gross, muffin-top, super-obvious pantyhose (or tights) waistband line that can be seen underneath sweater dresses, etc... making it difficult to for me to rock the tights/dress look very often!  If you visit this blog often, you know how sensitive I am to clothing being clingy in the torso area, so this is something I struggle with a lot!


Delivers all-over smoothing from waist to toe...helps eliminate panty lines, too.

Tummy-toning zone built in for extra slimming.

Waistband-free design gives you ultimate comfort.

Energizing support gives your legs a lift all you'll love the silky sheerness.

Clothing Compatible fabric helps your clothes glide on easily


Sleek panty conforms to your curves for flawless fit and feel. Best of all, there's no waistband to bind or chafe. You get slimming control--and you hardly even know it's there.

Famous Sheer Energy stretch knit gives you an all-day massage. Silky-soft blend micro-tones legs for gentle, refreshing support.

Sheer toe is perfect with sandals and open-toe shoes.

Same L'eggs Sheer Energy pantyhose as retail style 60103.

Anyone tried either of these?  I wonder if they would truely be any different than other tights/ hose I have tried.  I'm also considering investing in some maternity tights .... surely those wouldn't be tight and binding in the waist!

J.Crew Spring Roll-Out #2 - Even Better

Just in time for me to buy more items that aren't quite weather appropriate yet!  This JC roll-out seems larger than the last couple ... which was confirmed by the great PS's at my B&M.  Dare I say there were less ruffles this time around?  Maybe I just purchased less ruffles from this roll-out!  I know most shoppers are a little ruffled-out ... and I'm almost there!  Anyway, here were my faves:

Our featherweight cotton is extra luxurious in a superfine yarn (so it's lightweight and incredibly soft). We made this cardigan extra long to make it even more extravagant, then gave it exposed lining for a touch of eye-catching texture. V-neck. Long sleeves. Welt pockets. Hits below hip. Import. Machine wash. #23007

This cardi comes in many yummy colors it was hard to choose!  Being from Louisville, KY (home to the KY Derby) I'm partial to this color called "Mint Julep", so that's what I went with.  I'm quite sure a professional stylist would say this color is not in my "color palette" but I've been obesessed with it lately, so I don't really care!
The weight is perfect for just about any time of the year and I LOVE that this is NOT merino!  The merino cardigans and sweaters always seem to cling in the wrong places and get holes easily.... we'll see how this holds up!  I'll definitely purchase the Naples Yellow and Dark Coral colors if this goes on promo.

I have the cardigan over a Swirling Cotton Perfect Tank in a size Medium in Cobblestone. It was just put online today!   I always size-up on the "perfect fit" items because they are very close fitting and that's not my "favorite fit".  I love the color and the flower detail... it's not as 'much' as the Tissue Garland Tank, which I just couldn't make myself love.

Back view to see the length. Pardon the peek-a-boo tag!

Tight rows of ruffled cotton and tulle create a tuxedo-inspired effect on this dressy tank in our light and airy tissue cotton. Scoopneck. Import. Machine wash. #23336

I really wanted a navy tank to layer with that I could also wear alone and this will be perfect!  I bought a size Small and might have up-sized for belly room but the top in the Medium was huge and I would never be able to fill it out (kind of the same thing with the tier tank).

The necklace is called Colored Pearl-and-Ribbon Necklace online (receipt says "gypsy long with ribbon") and I'm wearing the Bright Coral color.  All the ribbon details were different, I bought one with more yellow coloring in it!  The necklace is $39.50.  Here is a closer-up of the necklace and tank detail:
and a different combo:

On to my surprising favorite!

Vintage Silk Scarf Print Tunic (made that name up) $88 - Retail Only
This was such a surprise when I put it on! My PS really wanted me to try it and I wasn't so sure, but once I put it on, I fell in love.  Notice the cute detail on the sleeve!  It's 100% cotton, there isn't any stretch, so I went with a 4 for more shoulder room, which is 1-2 sizes larger than I normally buy in JC tops.  I recommend sizing up on this one.  This appears to be the same print as the Vintage Print Scarf:

*side note: I've noticed recently that JC's tops haven't been as crazy-huge-like-a-garbage-bag lately... so maybe a 2 or 4 will start being my regular size... anyone else find the sizing a little more TTS lately?  Could just be my prego belly and boobs!

This skirt has an elastic waist, so I knew I had to try it!  The color is called Desert Rose.  The solid colors were fuller and had pockets and totally didn't work .... I'm not sure who they would work for, honestly.  But this pattern was a thicker material, no pockets, and less full!  The length would be a bit shorter than what it looks on me fit I didn't have the skirt pulled down below my belly.   I got my regular size 2 in this.

I personally think this is a much better look, with the tank not tucked in.

The white tier tank in OK with this, but cream looks even better.

Would I dare?  Maybe while it's still cool outside!

That's all for now!  Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ann Taylor LOFT Spring Arrivals: The Long and the Shorts of It

LOFT is hit or miss for me.  Sometimes I walk in and it's like... yucky.  Other times, I walk in and love a little bit of everything!  This early spring roll-out has definitely been a hit with me so far!  Here are some of my faves!

Comes in lots of yummy colors and a great mid-weight!  It's freakin' hard to find v-neck cardigans these days ... even at my beloved J.Crew!  This is an XS, my regular size at LOFT.  This is the Bonfire Red color (which is a lot like pink, actually) and I also ordered it in Spring Coral and Navy (which is really dark, FYI.)

Painterly Blooms Scarf - $39.50
(no longer available online)
I just love this scarf.  It's very long and has different coloring than my favorite new J.Crew Watercolor Potpourri scarf in Papaya.  There were still a few in the LOFT store by me a couple days ago, so it would be worth it to check out your local store.

I bought this in my regular size 2 and they were way too big - at least at this point.  I think the zero would have fit OK.  However, these are just way too long for me.  I usually wear the 3" J.Crew chino shorts, but these 5" shorts just look a little too much like, well, mom shorts.  These went back.

This is a pic of the shorts rolled up - I could probably pull this off if I got desperate for shorts later on!

FYI - You cannot return maternity items to the store, which is a bummer... but at least you can return them for free.  I learned this the hard way.

I also ordered this:

I got this in three colors: white, yellow and spring coral.  I forgot to take pictures and it's cold in my house right now, so now IRL pics, sorry!  I would suggest ordering your normal size or a size up in this shirt.  A nice quality, cute neckline v tee in wonderful colors!  Love it!

Question:  Are there any other ladies out there who have hit the jackpot with maternity shorts?  I have a hard time finding ones that aren't super long!  I'd love some suggestions!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New J.Crew Items: Part II (tissue tier tanks, flower art tee, canvas tote)

Part II of the new J.Crew Spring roll-out items that I purchased is a little late in posting, but here it goes...

Tissue Tier Tanks: $39.50
Comes in light pewter, white, sweet guava

This is sweet guava in a Small.  I tried a Medium for longevity, but the neckline plunged and hung off of me to the point where I would never be able to fill it out or make it work.  Runs TTS but might be a little too low cut for ladies with a lot going on up top. (aka: not me!)

This is the white with a Melon colored cardi over it from last year.  Not sure I'm going to keep the white since I won't be able to wear it much longer (not until August at least) and $39 is a lot for a tan top!  These colors just make me happy together .... it's almost like an instant spray tan.... very flattering!

Hand-Cut Flower Art Tee: $45
Comes in light ginger, white, dark chartreuse

This is a size Medium.  Normally I would buy a Small.  This runs TTS to a little large.  The fabric is way more forgiving than painter, tissue, or favorite tees.  I have the sweet guava tank underneath here... not sure I'd actually wear it this way.  My PS also recommended putting the Vintage V-Tee in Moroccan Spice underneath.... it looks good that way, too but I didn't snap a pic.

Notice how this Melon colored cardi from last year makes the stitching on the flowers pop? Love it!

Canvas Tote: $10
Not online yet that I can find.
I just loved the idea of having a reusable bag with my favorite store on it! Actually, JC's paper shopping bags are super nice, but if that nasty rumor about the shopping bags becoming crappier ends up being true, thes canvas bags will have to be our fall-back! I can see using this for just about anything from a beach bag to the gym... and of course, as a shopping bag! I consider this my "returning-online-purchases" JC bag!

Lot's more to come soon!  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Banana Republic: Silk Ruffle Front Top in Seafoam

Silk Ruffle Front Top: $69
Available in Ivory and Seafoam
100% Silk; Hand Wash Cold
SOLD OUT online

Seafoam color... I really love this color although I don't think it compliments pale skin (or maybe just MY skintone) perfectly.  Also, there is no zipper.... making it slighty more challenging to put on, but no weird zipper bump on the side.

Not too 'boaty', even in a Small (sans baby in the belly, I would have gotten an XS)

With white Jackie.  I think you could also pair it with a light pink or lavendar for Easter.  Do the ruffles look like a hot mess?  I truely can't decide.

Here's the deal:  I'm not sure if I'm keeping this or not.  In fact, after taking the pics for the blog, I put it back in a bag with the receipt with the intentions of returning it.  But, after doing this post, I'm kind of changing my mind and have a new fondness for it.  A major reason I'm considering keeping it now is because it's hand washable.  That is a difference maker for me.

I am definitely swayed by the color, which I love and don't have any camis or tanks in yet.  Although, do I love this design?  And, will I love it come August and Sept when I'll get the most wear out of it AFTER I have my baby?

Chime in:  Should I keep this?  I got it for about $55 after BR's latest promo.

UPDATE:  Check out this Silk Dahlia Tank at Ann Taylor on sale for $29.  This is a great alternative on the cheap... sizes are going FAST!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day and V-Day Eve Outfits ala J.Crew Watercolor Potpourri Scarf

Just had to share my outfits from the last two nights.  Couldn't resist wearing my new scarf both nights .... I think I'm mildly obsessed with it!  It totally works with bright colors, but also with black. That's the only way I can justify paying FP!!

Valentine's Eve my parent's watched our two-year-old and we headed to Ruth's Chris for a late dinner and to watch the end of the Kentucky V. Tennessee game at the bar.  I changed about 50 times because nothing is really fitting great right now and ended up wearing a stretchy black dress I got from New York & Co. about 4 years ago for $5!

Valentine's Day we took the little guy with us to eat at Mitchell's Fish Market, so I went a little more casual with jeans.  Plus, a snow storm was moving in.

Shirt: J.Crew Frances Cami
Cardigan: Banana Merino Crystal Button Cardi
Jeans: Paige Premium
Jewelry: F21

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Garnet Hill: What's the Deal? I'm Intrigued!

I ran across a catalog sitting on the counter at my parent's house last night that I apparently don't get (this must be the only catalog that doesn't get delivered to my home!) from Garnet Hill.  Intrigued, I began flipping through the front section of the catalog, which consisted of women's clothing (the back part is home related items).

Much to my surprise, I find myself wanting to cheat on my long-time boyfriend J. Crew with some of Garnet Hill's new Spring items!  After much deliberation on their website, I've come up with my top picks:

Modern Merino Cardigan in
(sorry for the bad pick, go look on there website!)
Backordered until 6/10

and in

Currently Available

$38 (there are 3 great colors in this .... I want them ALL!)
Backordered until 4/15/10

$44 (or 2/$80)
There are many colors I want in this.  Look closely at the neckline .... gorgeous!

Here's the thing.... well, a couple of things:

1.) The shipping from this place is as bad as good ole J. Crew.  The more you spend, the more it ends up being.  With my shopping cart brimming with 5 items, shipping is a WHOPPING $17!!  Really?  AND, you have to return by mail.   Grrr.... if only companies knew the value in free, cheap, or flat-rate shipping!!

  **In fact, to go on a tangent here: I am WAY more compelled to purchase anything (and more than I really need) from a website that offers free/cheap shipping and FREE return shipping.  This is HUGE!  In my humbled opinion, companies are shooting themselves in the foot by charging outrageous shipping.  When I see it on the final step of checkout, I'm much more likely to forget about the order all together and head to a different website.  It might not be much, but at least there is almost always a Free Shipping code for J.Crew if you spend $150 .... and as a Luxe Banana cardholder, I get free shipping all the time.  {breathe}  Ok, sorry, I'm done.

2.) EVERYTHING cute from the catalog seems to be backordered.  And not just a few weeks.... the first cardigan I pictured is scheduled to be available JUNE 15th!  GEEZZ!  By that time I'll be a8 months preggo and barely able to fit into anything!!   So.... is this even worth the hassle?

3.) There doesn't seem to be a ton of coupons or online promo codes for this site, which is kind of a must for me before I'll pull the trigger on ANYTHING online.  I might even settle for a free shipping code.

4.) I'm not sure of the fit.  As we know, some online catalogs offer what they call a "Small" that is really a size 6/8 and nothing smaller, and the fit is termed "generous".  Well, that doesn't work for me at all.  Garnet Hill has an XS available in most items and lists it as a size 2/4.  This might work.

Why I'm considering an order:

1.) Maybe I should try to think outside of my J.Crew box.  Maybe.  I'm not convinced YET.  It's nice to see some new, fresh colors and patterns ... and maybe I wouldn't see other women on the street wearing the same clothes as me!

2.) I'd like to compare the t-shirt and merino quality to my current loves .... like Ann Taylor, J.Crew, etc... with the direction quality at most retailers has been heading these days (hint: down) I'm interested to see how Garnet Hill's quality is.

3.)  The prints are great and styles are cute .... online and in the catalog, that is.  This makes me curious, very curious to see and touch them in person.

Bottom Line:  I'm an online shopaholic, so this is just another exciting excuse for me to shop... but maybe it's totally worth it.  I'm considering placing a small order to test the waters.  Have any of your ordered from Garnet Hill?  If so, I'd love to hear what you have to say.  Anyone have a great coupon or promo code to use?

If I do place an order, I plan on sharing an in-depth review of the experience and clothing here, so I'll keep you posted!

Friday, February 12, 2010

New J.Crew Items: Part I (Ruffle Henley, watercolor potpourri scarf, slub v-neck)

Well, my self-imposed shopping ban (aka: I-don't-need-to-buy-anything-right-now-because-I'll-only-be-able-to-fit-in-it-for-a-month-or-two shopping ban) didn't last very long once the new stuff hit the stores the past couple of weeks.  I didn't think it would be a big deal to browse the store considering the last roll-out didn't interest me at all, but boy was I wrong.

I think I get sucked into Spring stuff every year because the colors are fun and it just gives me something to look forward to in my closet!  The last few years I've preferred JC's 'resort' roll out over their following 'spring' roll out (ie: giraffe shorts from last year, etc...) but that's just me. 

The only thing that sucks about trying on Spring/Summer clothing in February is that the shorts and tanks reveal much more of that lack-of-tan, probably-haven't-shaved-in-a-while (at least not paying much attention to accuracy if I do) and maybe-I-need-to-hit-the-gym-a-little-harder body that's been hiding under sweaters and jeans that past few months.

That being said, I steer far away from trying on any bathing suits or short-shorts until I can at least hit the tanning bed a few times.... but since I'm pregnant, that may have to wait until after we go to California for Spring Break.  Bummer.  So it's capri's and jeans for me until then! :)

On to the good stuff:

Tuxedo Ruffle Painter Henley - $39.50

I really loved all the colors in this shirt but the lilac color (hyacinth), which is funny because that's the color I initially purchased... but I have to admit,  lilac really is not my color.  So I ended up going back and getting white because I don't have many cute white tops, but I'll also get the dark pewter color if it makes it to the sale section.  I plan on wearing this with a tank underneath to help with the see-through issue.  I bought a Small which is a bit clingy in the waist area (although, honestly, everything is clingy in my waist area these days!)  This runs TTS.

Vintage Slub V-Neck Tee - $29.50

I freakin' love the fit and colors of this shirt.  I really want the neon rose, wild plum, and breeze.  I purchased a size Small in moroccan spice and feel this shirt runs TTS for a non-fitted tee.  I'm in love with the sexy but not slutty neckline, slim but not clingy fit, and perfect weight fabric.  Can't say enough about this tee.  Love it!

Possible Name: Watercolor Potpourri Scarf in Papaya - $59.00
(I say "possible" because I really have no idea what the name of this it, but here is the tag info as I haven't seen it online:  Style# 23288  Color PAP)

More pics with slub v-neck...

love it with white...

and with lavender tank from last year.
I honestly still cannot believe I spent $60 on a dang scarf, but I'm obsessed with the look and feel of this!  Not only will it compliment so many casual pieces and colors, it also has black in the pattern, so I plan on wearing it as a scarf/ shaw with a little black dress!  LOVE IT!

Ok, that's all I've got for tonight.  Check back soon for reviews of the Vintage Stripe Bateau top and tiered tanks!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

LOFT 50% off Sale Finds and Current President's Day Promo

Before I forget, I found 2 really great sweaters and a pair of earrings at ATL at the start of their "Extra 50% off Sale" promotion.  I'm not sure if they are still offering this in-store, but  it's definitely worth a look around your next time in the store. 

Cowl Neck Sweater - Size Medium - $15
Nothing super-special about this sweater, but I like that it's low cut enough in the neckline that it doesn't look like a conservative turtle neck.

Lounge Full-Zip Tunnel Neck Sweater - Size Small - $19
Loving the length of this butt-covering sweater for over skinny jeans and tights!

Can't go wrong with these great little fish-hook earrings.  They are set in gold. $8

ATL is currently running a President's Day promotion of "50% off Select Spring New Arrivals". Unfortunately, the items they selected aren't exactly the ones I was hoping for, but these are some of my faves.

Ok, this one isn't 50% off, but I'd like to see how it compares to my current obsession from J.Crew:

I want this tee in like every color, but I might check out the ATL version the next time I'm in the store to see if it's a nice 1/2 price alternative.

LOFT is also offering free shipping on $125+ orders.  JC is still running the "Private Sale" of 20% off any order of $175 or more with promo code SHHH through Sunday ... but not free shipping.  Happy Shopping!