The past few days in Boston have been surreal, and I thank each one of you who have expressed care or concern. I read every message and truly appreciate your thoughts. We had group counseling at the office yesterday to help transition back to normalcy, only to wake up this morning to find the city panicked and in lockdown mode. As numerous tragic events keep unfolding around the world, I’m thankful for my friends and loved ones, and my heart goes out to those who’ve been affected.
It feels frivolous to be posting fashion at this time, but writing this was a welcome respite from the chaos on TV. I wore this outfit to work a few weeks ago, and loved the look of a fresh ivory canvas plus an accent color and some neutrals. For a more casual setting, I replaced the blazer with a cozy sweater jacket, which also provided a punch of color.
This 100% silk, Lauren by RL blouse is one of my most-worn thrift store finds. It was several sizes too big, but I couldn’t pass up the nice and weighty silk quality for $4 (especially when compared to the flimsy and sheer options typically found on today’s market).
I altered the shoulders in a few inches by adding hand-stitched ruching, then slimmed the sleeves and torso (all steps shown here). I recognize this method is a shortcut and does not look ideal at the shoulders, but didn’t have the patience to try a total re-sizing (tutorial here) again. After reaching for this blouse so much, I think it may have earned itself a professional tailoring overhaul.
This skirt went on my wishlist right after Elle’s review, and ended up being the last part of my J.Crew end-of-year sale haul. With the repeated price cuts and extra discounts, it’s easy to go a little nuts. I tried to narrow down the items I really loved, then considered which ones could withstand waiting through a few rounds of price cuts. I bought “online only” items first, but waited on things that could be found in stores. In-store sales are usually better than online, and sizes linger around at random locations – you just need to make sure the cost of store shipping doesn’t trump the savings. I was also willing to buy items earlier on that would make up for the price difference in frequent wears.
When all was said and done, I went back to assess my damage over 9 months and note any lessons learned:
1. Schoolboy blazer in wool flannel (worn here) – $150 – bought at small discount due to classic color to fill wardrobe void, and online only petite sizing.
2. & 3. Mustard wool Lady Jacket and pencil skirt (worn here) – $146 (includes $20 for taking-in alterations) – bought fairly early for the petite sizing, plus caught an online pop-back of my size.
4. Camel Mona pumps – $110 – bought fairly early due to classic color and online only sz 5.5.
5. Crewcuts burgundy corduroy pants (worn here) – $14 – unecessary impulse buy due to aimlessly browsing sales racks, which I now try to avoid.
6. Ivory wool mini skirt – $54 (includes $9 “item finder” store to home shipping & $20 alterations) – waited til end of season clearance to do store search. Skirt is available in regular size only and would require alterations regardless, and sold out online & locally early on.
Total: $474 for 6 pieces.
Despite all the sales and steep discounts, it’s easy to see that J.Crew prices can add up quickly. I also attempted to do the skirt alterations myself, but their waistband construction proved to be too complicated for my skill and patience. Except for the one impulse buy, however, I’m very happy with the purchases and have been wearing them on regular rotation.
Readers – How do you decide what items are worth buying earlier/at higher prices versus waiting for a better sale?