By: Revanche

The gang’s all here: sorting, sending back, and the tailor

December 9, 2012

All the packages finally arrived this Friday. A neat little row of J.Crew, Banana Republic, and NY&Co.

The Verdicts:

The purple hacking jacket in herringbone from J.Crew, ordered in the last smallest size they had available (2P), was like wearing my mom’s clothes. A bit of a burlap sack in the shape of a tweed blazer. Funny but not flattering, fit-wise. But the color was really pretty, and even PiC liked it, even though as he says: you pick colors I’d NEVER pick.

“Nope, I asked Twitter. I know how to compensate for my weaknesses like color coding or matching.”  My sincere thanks to @mello_yello_jen/Jenny for chiming in positively on the color of this blazer and @elleandish/Janelle for the same and helping me with possible outfit colors and ideas!

This was a maybe primarily because of the size, it’ll take a lot of work to make it fit: the color was gorgeous, it can be matched w/my closet of many neutrals: as Janelle suggested, dark trouser jeans and a nice dark blouse, a light blouse, etc. All of which I have. The jacket can be the color focus. I was in love with the many pockets. Three pockets in front, and an inside coat pocket. I always want an inside coat pocket. (Sucker). The lining was luxurious. The cut of the front was curved, not a straight severe cut, definitely in the style of my old hunt coat. Reminiscent.

This was on sale for $120 from $228.

The grey flannel blazer, my mentally dubbed “back-up option”, was a much closer fit but was still too big. No one makes a 00P like it’s supposed to be. (ie: fits me perfectly *cough*)     It was lined with a nice stripy fabric, but there was no fascinating inside pocket. The outside pockets weren’t fake though, which is always a concern for me.

Totally forgot that it had elbow patches which are amusing. Slightly off-centered, in my opinion but PiC insists that they’re centered enough. We could have argued the matter for a while longer but we needed to move on.

This was on sale for $90 from $150.

The yellow mustard cowlneck blouse was picked to add a little color to a closet full of blue, black, gray, splotched with occasional concession-to-color reds. It falls around the neck perfectly, the fabric’s soft but there’s just too much of it. You could fit another half of me width-wise in there – add a thicker ribcage or generous bosom or something to make full use of this top. Still the top itself is pretty and very easily altered by taking in the sides.  A shame I can’t save that extra material and make something with it. Extra value!

This was on sale for $36 from $60: KEEP, Alter

The black Cafe trousers from J.Crew I couldn’t remember ordering?  Yeah, they weren’t a hit. The fit was a little roomy in the derriere area, and the length was generous.  The biggest problem was they were mostly made of cotton, which means they were extra creased which doesn’t bode well for business clothes that might have to travel with me.  That’s the official reason. The real reason is that while I used to love ironing and used to love the crisp feel of clothes after I was done, I don’t really like doing it anymore. Also, I don’t have an iron anymore soooo….  And under the heading of “learning from past mistakes”: the last pair of mostly cotton pants I had didn’t wash and wear well. The black started to fade around the seams over time and looked pretty crap. So these are definitely going back.

This was on sale for $67 from 89.50: RETURN

The 1035 trousers in Super 120s were a wild guess, I didn’t know what Super 120s meant.  I didn’t read the description terribly carefully, these were a bit of a throwaway order for free shipping. Apparently it’s really fine wool, merino wool, and require dry cleaning. /headdesk/ The fit on these were amazing. Perfect, even. The length was too generous but that just needs a hem. Which is scary because these are p-r-i-c-e-y. *sigh* But I’ve gone through any number of cheap, literally and materially, black pants and they definitely show it. (It’s just … dry clean only? Really? I haaate dry clean only clothes, even if I don’t dry clean them, I have to be so careful with them.)

This was on sale for $97.50 from $130: KEEP, hem

The 7th Avenue Bootcut City Double Stretch from NY&Co in black and cherry – now these were a surprise. Hat tip to Extra Petite for trying and mentioning these pants and the company’s petites. I wanted to try a different pant in white but they were out of the smallest sizes so I went with these instead.  Partly poly, the black didn’t look very good. Black and poly just don’t always work well together I guess. But the cherry looks really nice and fits without needing any alterations at all. It offsets the cost of the black pants

This was on sale for $24 from $50: KEEP ONE, as is; RETURN ONE

The Tailor’s Shop:

When it came down to it, I could make my peace with keeping the crazy-expensive black pants, even having to figure out maintenance. It was a toss-up between the two blazers. Or so I thought.

When it comes to game time decisions, I must say that PiC is a terrible enabler. We went to the tailor, stack of clothes carefully folded and intending to return one jacket.

“Which should I keep?”

After some consideration: I haven’t bought and fitted a solid piece since last year. This year’s purchases have been a bust or one off pieces, totaling around $50.  My black pants are all frayed, pilling, or washed gray. The black jacket has been serving all duties and is starting to pill so I’ve needed a real stand in jacket. As much as it pains me to pay up that much all at once, this should take care of the jacket needs for a good long while. I really wish I’d managed better timing in ordering the purple hacking jacket even one size smaller to reduce the amount of work to go into the alterations, though.

The tailor and I had a lot of: “too much material,” “take this in,” “bring this in,” “and this in,  too” to bond over. And he’ll have it done in a week! It’s pricey but if it’s the usual excellent job, then between the fast turnaround time and having everything fit perfectly, I’ll be happy.

8 Responses to “The gang’s all here: sorting, sending back, and the tailor”

  1. Katie C. says:

    I’m glad you found a few pieces to keep! I don’t mind dry clean only anymore because I buy Dryel and do it at home. It’s still not as cheap as washing clothes in the machine, but it’s cheaper than taking them to an actual dry cleaner. Actually, I copy my mom and dry clean all of my nicer pieces including slacks and sweaters whether they specify dry clean only or not. I know that’s like a bad pf blogger confession, but my sweaters look the same as the day they were bought because they’re not put through the rigors of the washing machine. *shrug*

    • Revanche says:

      I’d actually forgotten about Dryel! I just wait a long time before actually dry cleaning the things I DO have. Which maybe is not the best approach, heh.
      I hadn’t considered always dry cleaning my nice pieces but if that’s how they stay nice – well, I spent a lot on these pieces and want them to stay perfect for as long as possible. We wash on delicate only and line dry tons of stuff but that might not be good enough for these.

  2. Exciting! I love getting packages in the mail. I like J. Crew but I agree sometimes the fit or the material is just off…and at the hefty pricetags, it’s easy to return them! I think the pants are definitely an investment that will get a lot of wear…and when you find pants that fit, you know it will be a long time before you find something like it 🙂

    • Revanche says:

      This was definitely the first time I was pleasantly surprised by the fit from J. Crew – they so frequently are too big for me no matter what.

  3. Glad some things worked out! Always a gamble ordering online… and I usually lose! haha. I need some new black pants, and I think I also need to just suck it up and buy a nicer pair. If they last longer, it will definitely be worth it, even if it sucks to spend so much at once.

    • Revanche says:

      Hah, honestly though, I don’t tend to mind keeping more than 50% of my purchases. Since I don’t want to spend too much over the year and want to be careful about NOT adding more flops to the closet, I have to learn to be picky.

  4. I noticed that Nordstrom cardholders get free alterations! Would that apply to jackets? If so, it might be worth it to shop there.

    I am so lucky–I can wear clothes right off the rack. Generally size 8. Easy to find.

    • Revanche says:

      I had seen that as well, but I don’t have a card. Might be worth it if they actually carry things I can wear (it absolutely has to be a Petite size), and I can muster the energy to try the big store in SF.
      I do envy you a bit that you can wear off the rack 🙂

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