2012 / Brand Reviews

Crew love

With each changing season I find myself staring in to my closet with utter disgust for everything hanging in it.  Clothing I was so fond of just months ago simply leaves me uninspired and I come to the conclusion that I “have NOTHING to wear.”  Everything feels tired and over-worn. Been there, done that.  We’ve all been here.

New trends and color palettes that new seasons bring leave us feeling unappreciative of our wardrobe, suddenly becoming inferior.  When there’s new stuff to be had, nothing you have is good enough anymore.

I think this stems from a desire to change ourselves –our mindset, our lifestyle– each season, not just an urge to cleanse our wardrobe and have new THINGS.  We go nuts for seasonal novelties.  I can’t even count on my hand the number of pumpkin beers I’ve tasted this season and it isn’t even October. (And the first day of fall was only 6 days ago.)  It’s beyond clothing, but clothing’s the outward expression of this seasonal reinvention of ourselves.

I used to get so anxious to update my wardrobe for fall that I’d end up buying all sorts of random pieces, with no end goals in mind.  Needless to say, plenty of things bought this way have never been worn and reside in the dark corners of my closet.

Enter: catalogs.

With the overwhelming amount of fashion inspiration available to us online, it’s refreshing to unplug and flip through tangible forms of inspiration. I’ve been subscribing to J. Crew, Madewell, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie for a few years now.  I look to these catalogs for ideas for layering, color combinations, shapes and silhouettes to recreate on my own.

Now, I’m much more prepared when I shop for new pieces.  I leave the house with loose ideas of colors and shapes I want to invest in, sometimes even a particular ensemble I want to recreate/reinterpret.

I own all of 2 things from J.Crew (both from Goodwill).  But a girl can dream, right?  I always look forward to the masterful, creative color pairings and the new life J.Crew breathes into classic pieces.  The catalog looks are fanciful, but most certainly attainable and approachable.

Here are a few tasty fall inspirations from this month’s J.Crew catalog:

The models wore wispy up-do’s, tousled hair and bold matte lips–perfect thrown-together glamour.

I am so eager to incorporate athletic stripes and sporty pieces in to my wardrobe this fall.  This is such an easy look to recreate and vamp up with some deep red lips.  I’ll definitely be dusting off a few old baseball hats in the coming months. 

I ADORE this look—a bright orange sweater pulled over a crisp white button down.  I’m adding one of these versatile collared shirts to my fall shopping list, it offers an instantly pulled together look. I can picture statement necklaces tucked under the collar, too.

One of my favorite looks in the catalog.  This cozy structured coat is most certainly on my fall wish list.  It would brighten up a neutral ensemble, or complement a bold, colorful one.  AND HOW ABOUT THAT BOW TIE?! I’ve seen women in skinny ties, but this bow tie is blowing my mind. Partnered with yet another fabulous collared shirt.  So excited to incorporate ties into my fall workwear.

To me, THIS is what fall is all about. Pattern. Texture.  And this fab dress melds the two together beautifully.  A great investment for fall would be statement shoes like these gorgeous pointed-toe heels.  Combining plaid and rich texture, these could liven up existing wardrobes for ladies on a tight fall shopping budget like myself.

Well, since you got me on the topic of footwear, I’m obsessing over this classic aesthetic. Heels like these are a smart investment because they’ll be relevant for a few years AND can carry me through a few changing seasons.  I can imagine these in brisk fall, AND warmer spring.  Looks like my shopping list is growing…

Typically, I’d never go for a look this casual, but I see so much potential in the mix of fabrics—khaki, denim, and is that tweed I see?  Swap out those Keds for some statement heels (currently obsessed with a few pairs from Zara: 1 / 2 / 3 ) and I’ve got myself an ensemble here.

This look is GOLDEN.  I’ve never been an advocate of denim-on-denim, but I suppose I’ve just never seen it done so perfectly.  Break up all that dark blue with a buttery yellow blazer (which I can also see carrying me in to spring) and you’ve got yourself something special.  Those gold lamé heels add some dimension and flair.  Add denim button-down to my tab, thanks.

Take a look at the rest of J. Crew’s Style Guide.  Why not even request one to flip through on a rainy day? PS: While you’re on their site, check out their incredible jewelry collection. DROOLING over these earrings.

What are your favorite looks from the catalog?  What catalogs do you subscribe to?

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