I haven’t been posting much lately, but am still sharing on-the-go finds / quick reviews via Facebook and Twitter (see twitpics). Please feel free to follow through either of those to receive updates : )
This is my third post featuring J.Crew’s cafe capri pants. You’ve seen the Crewcuts kids versions which I adore, but I was initially drawn to this womens pair in a rich color and a more “grownup” lightweight wool material. Unfortunately, they suffered a bit of damage from at-home frying in the dryer, but more on that later.
And as for this blouse…I wasn’t sure about it initially, but changed my mind after seeing how much fun it adds to otherwise solid outfits. I also couldn’t believe how similar it is to this Equipment blouse for a mere fraction of the price (given, that one is 100% silk)!
Several of you have asked why I don’t show pants more often, and the answer is not because I don’t like them. When done right, pants can be very lengthening on petite women (especially boot-cut trousers with heels that hit right above the ground), however…
– Pants that fit my body type (or most body types, for that matter) well are incredibly hard to find.
– Waist/hip/leg alterations can be tricky and may go wrong, unlike those for basic pencil skirts. Out of all my pants that have gone through alterations (~7 pairs?), only 1 pair came out fitting perfectly.
– I commute to work in flats (gotta balance on the jerky subway), and long trousers drag on the ground.
Therefore, I went overboard with J.Crew’s cafe capris and grabbed three pairs in one month. The color/print options are unique, the ankle length means no yucky dragging, and the Crewcuts versions with adjustable waists are some of the best-fitting pants I’ve tried. If you missed out on the print ones, their solid cotton version comes in 8 colors.
Unfortunately, the one pair I purchased in womens sizing ran rather generously. I fully expected this, knowing J.Crew’s history of vanity sizing and having seen less-than-promising reviews on Sydney and Kelly. I paid around $33 for these (planned on shelling out another $15-20 for waist alterations), and have to say they’re not worth much more to me. Especially not the $118 retail! Just as Sydney pointed out – the wool is thin (so thin it feels like I’m going to wear holes into the butt from sitting down), unlined and itchy, plus the cut did nothing for my behind.
Also, after trying these pants on, I realized that they needed a bit more than just waist alterations. The entire hips/butt/thighs were roomy on me, and the rise was high. I knew I couldn’t visit my tailors until June (they work rather leisurely hours), so I decided to attempt DIY shrinking via the dryer. That worked well for these LOFT wool ankle pants, and I wanted to try my luck again.
I didn’t do much research (shame on me) and hand-soaked these pants in hot water, then machine-dried on high heat. Literally the moment I submerged these pants in water, the wool started to look felted and worn. The tag says dry-clean only, so I knew the risks and take the blame.
On the plus side, these pants did shrink slightly in the aspects of length, thighs, hips, rise, and waist – at least to the point that I don’t need to Steve-Urkel them. The rear is also more flattering now than before when the rise was high. During the drying process, I stopped the machine and checked every 10 minutes, to make sure these didn’t over-shrink. If you’ve ever had beloved wool sweaters become teddy-bear size, then you know the importance of monitoring!