Thursday, August 9, 2012

H&M August Reviews - faux leather panels, spots, poly blouses

**Today's deal: LOFT's Friends & Family starts now! 40% off your entire purchase w/ code FRIENDS. My fall work picks are the scuba (stretchy ponte) seamed pencil skirt in deep cabernet and the Penelope pointy cap-toe pumps in leopard, basic black, or plum for under $50.**

I'm traveling for work this week and don't have any posts planned, but wanted to share some fitting room photos from my phone. 1. First up, this knit dress with faux-leather side panels is very chic and affordable enough for a "night out" dress. It's super fitted, whereas I think a figure-grazing shift style would've suited the edgy design better. I sized up in the photo and it was still snug.
handmleatherside H&M "Divided" faux-leather panel dress sz 4, $19.95, item # 075950

The faux-leather material was decent, but as you can see in the below photo, the knit middle part was a crease-y mess. After trying on the H&M dress, I came across this beautiful Theory version with ponte center and real leather sleeves/side panel. Although similar in concept, the difference in quality and execution was like day and night. The clean, simple lines and buttery soft leather reminded me of why I used to shell out more for garments from Theory, and it made me want to start doing so again.
hmaugust1 2. I'm not too interested in polka dots, but since they are everywhere this season, I tried on this Divided blouse for fun. It's extremely boxy but looks a little better tucked with sleeves rolled up. As for the knit skirt ($17.95?), I was initially drawn to the rich burgundy color but the fit was awkardly curve-hugging.hmaugust 3. Next up, the spotted "dalmation" print from my pants also comes in a peplum shell with gunmetal back zip. The material of this is one of the "nicer-feeling" polyesters, and in my opinion looks more expensive than the price tag. The peplum line is low on me, but has the potential to look great on someone a little taller.hmaugust3 H&M Peplum Spotted Top w/ back zip sz 2, $14.95, item #099865
hmaugust2 4. Black & White shell, $29.95. I could not get this blouse to photograph well on my phone, however in person it looks very contemporary and more expensive than an H&M piece. It has a white base with black front/trim around the neck, plus a small placket seam running down the front center. I assume it is polyester, but again, is the nicer-feeling and non-clingy polyester that should wear and wash well.hmaugust7 5. Colorful slim-cut trousers and striped sweater. In the womens' work section, there are trousers made of decent material in all sorts of lovely colors for fall, including a yellow, a hunter green, and a burgundy. Unfortunately, these pants start at a size 4 and are definitely designed for someone taller. The fit was so frumpy on me, I did not even try envisioning how alterations would look. This striped sweater from the basics department, on the other hand, had a nice weight to it and a good casual fit.hmaugust8 H&M basics medium-weight striped sweater sz 2, $17.95, item 051924, and yellow pants sz 4

Oh, look what else I spotted...a rack full of Gap's sold-out polka-dot chambray!
hmaugust9 Just kidding...this was at H&M mens. Not sure why they chose to make this feminine design for men only. hmaugust6H&M white poly roll-sleeve blouse, sz 2, $29.95, item #073827

The last item I tried on was this polyester roll-sleeve blouse. It had good drape to it, but the polyester was the nylon-like, clingy type that I can see giving me a static afro. I've been wanting a classic silky blouse in both black and white, and contemplated buying this for a split second before deciding that a genuine silk version would surely be worthy of a splurge. I passed on everything in this post from H&M (except for the spotted pants), and went home to order this silk button-up blouse from Tinley Road in "Marshmallow" (7 colors available, free ship & returns). I've never tried this brand before for clothing, and will do a review once it arrives.

68 comments:

  1. love those pants on u. it's so cute! i bought the peplum polka dot stop in the pink and white version... <3

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  2. I love the black and white shell! Thanks for your reviews.

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  3. look forward to your review on the Tinley Road blouse! been eyeing a lot of their pieces on piperlime, but haven't tried any yet (im terrible about returns...)
    love the spotted pants you've been matching with your bold red pieces! love the combinations!

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  4. i also really love the flats you're wearing in the last picture! what brand are they? so pretty! :)

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    1. Thanks, Anne! They are super old Cole Haan/Nike Air flats found at Marshalls.

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  5. May have to head to Denver to try on the pants in Burgundy! Thanks for the sizing reviews. I've ordered Tinlwy Road - the quality is hit & miss, so I hope you get lucky! Also, Gap's been churning out some great offerings lately - I have 3 of the nautical shift dress, and they just started a 30% off sale tonight. I ended up ordering 3 transitional dresses for fall (blouson dress in black, cherry blossom dress in navy, black shift dress).

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  6. You have such a great body type, everything looks great on you!

    I have one big question for you, and I wonder this every time you show a great work outfit with a skirt. How do you tuck in a blouse, especially a button-down, so that it doesn't show in the waistline of the skirt (like with the polka dot blouse and wine colored skirt)? I know part of it has to do with fit of both the shirt and the skirt, but I always have trouble getting my shirts to be invisible beneath my skirts.

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Theresa! Each time I try on a skirt I tuck in a blouse just to make sure that won't be an issue. Sometimes the skirt is too thin so anything tucked will show lines, which makes it an instant no-keep for me. The skirts I own are fairly good material/lining-wise and blouses just do not show through. I suspect you can also buy higher-waist shapewear and tuck blouses in, but I'm not sure if that will fully resolve the issue.

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  7. eeeeek! i MUST get to my local h&m and gap! i neeeeeed that dalmatian peplum and the polka dot chambray shirt!

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

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    1. Jenn, Old Navy has acute on in-store right now for around $24! I got that one since Gap sold out.

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  8. Were you able to spot the $49.95 blazer in either yellow or red?

    I love that burgundy skirt btw!

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    1. I have the $50 yellow blazer but did not see it in red : )

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  9. How are the material on those Pants?? seen you working them in the past couple posts and I am dying to get to my nearing H&M to snag a pair. What is the material like?

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    1. They feel like a slightly ribbed cotton-twill. Like most H&M stuff it will probably shrink a little in the washer/dryer. I hope they do not stretch out.

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  10. I love the black and white shell on you Jean. The Tinley Road blouse is a good price for silk, but I've never tried it before either. Looking forward to your review of it.

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  11. love the dotted items! they are so much fun :)





    chocolatefashioncoffee.blogspot.com

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  12. My favorites are the black and white shell (looks a bit like a reverse tuxedo) and polka dot blouse (but maybe a cream background with slightly smaller black dots would be better).

    Have you seen the Old Navy version of dotted chambray? I haven't seen it online, but it is available on stores. The tag is 329637-00-1 and XS runs big. I did a fitting room review here: (erm, is it ok to post link? Please delete if not!) http://sewpetitegal.blogspot.com/2012/07/old-navy-fitting-room-reviews.html

    Have a great trip! There may be something waiting for you upon your return ;)

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    1. Yes of course it is! I definitely saw your review and noted you mentioned it ran big, otherwise a great candidate.

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  13. the dress is amazing...cute prints on all the items...can't wait to see how you will style them...

    xoxo
    Mady

    thegirlfromthemirror.blogspot.com

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  14. I went to H&M earlier this week and came home with that spotted peplum top and some of the colored crop pants - they fit perfectly for this tall girl! :)

    www.pennypincherfashion.com

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  15. Have you try on Fresh Joe's silk blouses?

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  16. thank you for these great reviews!! i love the dalmatian print on you.

    xox P

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  17. Ahhhh, again. I live vicariously through your H&M posts since there's not one near me.

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  18. My favorite is the polka dots blouse!!! ;)
    I invite you to visit my new fashion blog, I hope you like it.

    Kisses from Spain!
    Patri

    http://blogcashmeremafia.blogspot.com.es/

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  19. Hi Jean! The black dress and burgundy skirt look great on you! Question: why do you hate curve-hugging clothes so much? You're young and you have a great body...you should show it off!

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    1. Hi Lucy : ) I definitely don't hate curve-hugging clothes but my commentary on here probably shows otherwise. When I was younger (teens, college) I wore almost exclusively curve hugging clothes and I still like it for a night out. However, for work apparel I go out of my way to avoid it. I am friendly with the males at work and I hear how they joke about women and their butt-hugging skirts and what not as eye candy - there's a time and place for such clothing so when I shop for work apparel I instantly turn away from pieces that are even borderline too fitted.

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    2. Ok I totally understand now :) I used to work in Investment Banking so I know all about the inappropriate male comments, jokes, etc.
      Anyway, I love your blog! :)

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  20. Hi Jean,
    Do you ever shop at Express?

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    1. Hi there - I have tried their items in 00short and 00 and they did not fit me well. They do have good pieces at fair prices especially during sales but I personally don't shop there : )

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  21. I ordered GAP polka dot chambray to compare to jCrew's version and the material was too thick and it fit very boxy. Also, unlike jcrew's the dots were too big. I ended up returning it. I haven't seen ON chambray in person but at least in pictures it looks more like JCrew's which I ended up keeping.

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  22. Those pants look like they fit you perfectly. This makes me want to go to H&M!

    xo, Yi-chia

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  23. Try Nordstrom nexx silk shirt(http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/nexx-silk-shirt/3160974?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Blue+Topaz&resultback=297). I like it better than Equipment and it is much more reasonably priced.

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    1. Thanks for the link! I actually tried to order it but Nordies has a website glitch right now and won't allow it. Will try again : )

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  24. Thanks for the info! Saves me a trip!

    lifeandstylebylisab.blogspot.com

    Lisa B

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  25. LOVE the first dress!!!!!! And the last pair of pants!

    xoxo,
    Rachel
    Rachel’s Lookbook

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  26. I would really want that spotted peplum top, and the black and white shell. I'm tempted by the leather paneled dress, but I have soooo many black dresses, can I really justify another, you know? Thanks for a really helpful review.

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

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  27. Those spotted pants look amazing on you! Thanks for the reviews - it's so helpful to have yours picks in mind when I walk into h&m.

    http://inrejoyce.blogspot.com

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  28. I loved that black and white top on you. But have to say the pants are the best purchase.

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  29. I love the black and white blouse. Might have to go look for that. I tried on that burgundy skirt as well and was also disappointed about how tight the fit was. There was no way it would be work appropriate. :)

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  30. I have that dress! I tried both the 2 & 4, but the 4 was a little wrinkly at the hips. The tag is still on (like with most of my new H&M items these days...) because I'm still thinking about the purchase. I've styled it with a cardigan, tee, and blazer over it and all of those combos look great!

    I noticed the white blouse too, but already have one from Garage (reviewed on the blog a few weeks ago). The prices are about the same at $29. I really liked the pocket, sheerness, and drape of that one! Do they have Garage in the US? Like you, I'm on the hunt for a black blouse with nice drape as well. : )

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    1. We don't have Garage here but I know of the brand from all of your past reviews! Seems like a good brand to have around with petite-friendly fit and low price points.

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  31. All such great outfits! You look great in all of them!

    stylebymj.blogspot.com

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  32. I'm just now venturing into the peplum trend, but can never tell if it looks "right" on me. Where is the peplum line supposed to hit?? I feel like the line always hits me at different levels, especially depending on whether it's a top, skirt, or dress.

    Also, Jean, this is off-topic, but I think you had mentioned awhile back that you were doing laser hair removal treatment for your legs. Could you give us some insight into how that has been for you (pain level, results, etc.)? :)

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    1. Grace, you've reminded me of an old draft (amongst probably a hundred of others by now) that I started and never finished. I have so much to say on the topic but thought it wasn't relevant to most people. The pain level was mild for me but increases the coarser/darker your hair. The ideal candidate has really coarse/dark hair and fair skin...so the darker your skin is, the more likely you are to possibly get burned/experience pain, and some laser specialists do not treat southeast asian skin types because they are too tan. My results have been hair reduction (I never expected full removal) after a year of treatment on my legs, and it is spottier than I would have liked but still immensely better than before. I bought a year package so I wouldn't have to deliberate each time about paying the session fee.

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  33. First off, I totally agree with what you said about Theory...I know it's pricey but I never regret purchasing from them.
    I have had pieces for years and they always look refined, well cut and chic.
    Secondly, you did a great job of "selling" the first polka dotted shirt to me ;)
    What a difference the styling of a shirt can make...tucked in and rolled sleeves makes that polka dotted shirt look fabulous!
    XOXO

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  34. I have that white blouse. It actually wasn't static-y on me. I hear you on splurging on a great white blouse...luckily this more inexpensive version works for me for now ;)

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  35. Bummer nothing worked out. I do love the dalmatian pants on you! As Aubrey would likely mention, they look great from behind! :p

    I am curious how the Tinley Road top fits. I remember Ping had ordered that line awhile back. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

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  36. H&M is very hit or miss for me. For some reason I seem to have better luck at F21.

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  37. You're a bad influence! Sometimes I get so annoyed in H&M because it's hard to find nice things there, but I see a lot that I like in this post...

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  38. The dalmatian pants looks great on you. As I mention on twitter you look good in everything. It's been awhile since I last stop by an H&M. I saw a few items online that caught my interest.

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  39. I work at Gap and I've been dying for them to restock the polka-dotted Chambray! I'm so disappointed that they won't, I fell in love with it when it first came out. (Surprise surprise, I had no money). Those spotted pants are so cute!

    xx maggie
    saltandleather.blogspot.com

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  40. Love those LOFT pumps. Any idea if they fit TTS?

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    1. I am not sure...I have a very old pair of LOFT shoes and they fit true to size, but sizing could have changed since then.

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  41. I really want a nice silk blouse as well. Can't wait for your review.

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  42. All very great picks IMO. You can make anything look good Jean! - Kat

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  43. That leather panel dress looks really good for only $20.
    Thanks for sharing your picks!

    http://shortandsweetjoy.blogspot.com/

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  44. I really like that peplum top. I don't have much luck with H&M dresses and pants, but I think I could rock that top. Thank you for your honest fitting room reviews, I always learn so much from them!

    http://wardrobeoxygen.com

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  45. I love the first dress. It does look perfect on you and with that price tag, I think that is really a very good buy! You should go back for it and keep it!

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  46. Thanks for posting these reviews. I always find them helpful in deciding whether or not to visit H&M which is at the end of Newbury St. I don't usually frequent. lol I've tried taking fitting room pictures but feel bad taking too long and sometimes the small space makes it really difficult to get a good shot.

    I ordered one sleeveless polka dot top in XS from Tinley Road earlier this spring and it was roomy so I'm curious to see how the blouse will fit you.

    FYI. The J.Crew Blythe Blouse is now available in P00 and has been for a while. It's pricey but gorgeous. I ordered regular 00 a while back but it was like a tent on me. Kelly (www.alterationsneeded.com) also reviewed the fit of the P00 in March of this year and she had to 'fake' the fit. I've been tempted to order it myself ever since I noticed it back in stock. I wish they carried petites in store. I might just order it to try on since their returns are painless enough.

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  47. Hi Jean ! The black and white shell looks so good on you and it seems like your style.. what made you decide it`s a no-go ? I actually picked up that blouse today based on this post !

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  48. I'm just so inspired by the way you put stuff together and achieve a fabulous result! Btw, does H&M carry petite sizes?

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  49. Thanks for sharing the post here. Keep up the good work. All the best.

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  50. Nice outfit. Thanks for sharing the post here. Keep up the good work. All the best.

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  51. I like the polka dot with burgundy and yellow pants with stripes! I'm going to have to try that one day! btw, 20% off coupon for h&m exp Dec 31, in case anyone is interested. http://applycoupon.blogspot.com/2012/11/20-off-one-item-at-hm-exp-december-31.html

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  52. Ive Been looking for that H&M polkaDot denim shirt for so long....smh
    if you see it email me lol
    shoehefner5@gmail.com

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  53. nice dress and I like how you tucked the shirt in on the 2nd outfit. I also love the white blouse.

    the-renaissance-of-inner-fashion.blogspot.com

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