Review: Banana Republic ponte sheath dress

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Banana Republic ponte sheath dress, Cole Haan pumps

I have always made it a rule never to purchase sheath dresses. They are often boxy in nature and provide no shape or form to the pearshape body. However, during a recent BR sale I ordered this sheath to test my theory again. I knew from experience that the ponte material was stretchy, and on the model the dress looked more like a fit and flare than a true sheath. While I was right in my assessments, this dress is a total dud and I promptly sent it back.

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Just for starters, the top is much too curve hugging to be work appropriate. I would have to wear a cardigan or sweater over this at all times and wouldn’t feel comfortable removing it. Also, the arm holes are incredibly wide exposing just a little too much side action for the workplace. Finally, the pleats in the front make me look so much heavier than I am… not somethin’ i’m looking for.

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The one saving grace of this dress is the tush area. It is surprisingly not form fitting for those of us with some extra back there, and would be completely office appropriate.

Have you tried any BR work dresses?

Review: J.Crew double-cloth metro coat for pearshapes

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J.Crew coat + boots, Vince Camuto blouse (similar), Banana Republic jeans, Louis Vuitton Speedy 30

I found out a few weeks ago that I will be traveling to Pittsburgh every week for work for the imminent future. I spent my first few days there last week and to say the least, it was COLD. Freezing. I am a California girl at heart and have no idea how I survived. I also quickly realized that I do not own the proper clothing to deal with such weather. Namely, a good quality wool coat. After reading Jean’s review of her J.Crew Lady Day coat with Thinsulate lining, I decided to jump on the J.Crew 40% off deal and buy this coat to keep me warm in the Pittsburgh snow. While I got it for an amazing deal, and it’s clearly great quality, there are definitely some alterations that I am going to need to have done to make this coat flattering and proportional on my frame.

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First, let me preface my review by saying that I ordered a size 12 instead of my usual 10 because I always like my coats a little looser to allow for layering. I cannot vouch for the sizing of the 10.

Likes: I like that the coat is great quality, lined in a silk-like material and the Thinsulate really does keep me very warm. The camel color is a classic and the tortoise buttons are an interesting contrast. The back paneling has curved seaming and a strip of material which creates some definition. The shoulders fit me well (I have standard shoulders), and the sleeve length is just about right. Furthermore, the bottom button closes over my widest part without any pulling! Woohoo! This is my #1 problem with coats and the main reason I ordered up a size. This simple fact makes this coat a winner as compared to many others.

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Dislikes: Because this coat fits my hips, of course, it is too wide in the waist. As you can see below, it needs to be taken in about an inch on each side to create that hourglass effect. As it is now, I look a bit like I am wearing an army uniform. The length on this coat is also an issue. It is abnormally long given that I am of standard height (for reference I am 5’6′). It needs to be taken up at least 2 inches to maintain a contemporary feel.

coat edit

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Aside from a few alterations, which I am more than happy to pay for, given the great price I got the coat, I am overall very pleased with the purchase. The Lady Day coat never fit me properly (the 12 was too big and the 10 was too small in the hips) so I am thrilled that this other very sophisticated non-belted coat fits pearshapes well. I can’t wait to use this for work trips and finally be warm!

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Have any of you tried J.Crew coats? What do you think of the Metro coat?

Details in black and burgundy

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Stitch Fix top, Oia Jules earrings, Levi’s Supreme Curve jeans, Madewell flats

A quick post from an outfit I wore out last weekend. I was in love with the details of this look: a breezy top, girly jewels, and stunning (yet comfortable) flats.

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This top was a fun piece in my most recent “fix.” If you haven’t heard of Stitch Fix, you really need to check them out. It is a monthly subscription service where the stylists pick out 5 pieces of clothing or accessories to send you in your box every month, and if you love the clothing then you keep it, otherwise you send the merchandise back. All you pay is a $20 fee every month which goes towards your purchase of any of the items. It’s actually a ton of fun and I really loved all of the pieces in my first fix. For an invitation to the service, click here.

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Alteration Story: ASOS wide leg work pant

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Express sweater, ASOS pants, J.Crew belt, Pour la Victoire wedge pumps

Last week I gave a sneak peak into a pair of pants I was having altered for work. Unsatisfied with every other formal pant option i’d found off the rack, I took matters into my own hands and ordered a pair of cheap polyester pants from ASOS on sale, 3 sizes too big, and had them tailored perfectly to fit my frame. In short, I couldn’t be any happier with the results!

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This is a total testament to my tailor. She did a superb job (and only charged me $16 to basically reconstruct the whole pant). She ended up taking in about 2 inches on each side of the waist, and pulled in the sides to fit my thighs like a glove.

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I am absolutely in love with the high waist style, the wide leg, and love how it pairs with these new wedge pointy toe pumps I scored on Lord & Taylor for dirt cheap. Overall, these pants will become wardrobe staples for work. While I am not thrilled with the 100% polyester material feeling, you get what you pay for at ASOS. Though, with the amazing result from the tailoring, and the comfort I feel with finally having a pant fit my properly, I would be willing to risk with a more expensive pant.

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I would love to know, have you ever done this drastic of an alteration? How did it turn out?

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