a few last-minute try-ons

Somehow it doesn't feel like a real trip unless there's something new in the suitcase (business travel excepted, when one must know that everything can be relied on). And so I nipped into and out of a few stores to see if I could grab anything that would feel new but not put the luggage over the weight limit.

Hadley sweater, J.Crew - in artificial light this looked like brown and navy rather than deep red and navy. The yarn felt furry, and the little epaulets on the shoulders stood up too much for me. I loved the picture of Marissa (remember Marissa?) in this sweater with the henna-red striped silk shirt, but the sweater just didn't work for me, and I was afraid that the blended fibers would wind up being too hot. Tried on a few different sizes, didn't seem to matter (?) for some reason. Did not buy. Still glad I grabbed that shirt on a promo!

Cashmere slacks, J.Crew - thin, almost airy cashmere fabric, no lining. For the price ($595), I expect something that will stand up to being worn by an ordinary person with a sometimes extraordinary life. Well, at least I expect a lining. No lining, had pockets which will drag the stitches out of the waistband if used. Web site shows navy, I saw grey in store. Did not try on.

Prince of Wales Schoolboy Blazer, J.Crew - not as nice as last year's fabric, and a little shorter. I had last year's POW jacket at home for a few weeks, studied it from every angle, decided that the back view was, um, not for me, returned it. Cut is a little skimpier this year, isn't everything? Did not buy.

Stretch Perfect Shirt, J.Crew -  this was not marked down instore, is on web, loved that it comes in white! Will probably order but not in time for trip.

I had seen the new paisley skirt and a paisley knit top instore last week, and thought I might try on, but when I asked, the SA insisted that they had never been in that store (could the Flagship be sinking?) and could be found only in Paramus NJ. I know where that is, and what I mostly know about it is that you can't get there from here by public transportation. I also know that I was not in New Jersey last week, and I am very sure about that. Moreover I do not hallucinate items of clothing. Very puzzled.

There were a couple of nice pencil skirts that aren't on the web site, but I bet they too will have vanished into Rollout Limbo if I were to run back today. I thoroughly approved of a black and white tweed one and will keep it in mind nevertheless. Oh, and was told there is no gimlet skirt. Huh.

On to Anthropologie, tried on hats. I am sad to report that the Anthro store on lower Fifth Avenue now only carries "one size" hats. However, there was an interesting Sonia Rykiel sweater facing the front door, made of squares of bright color knitted wool sewn together. Decided that all those seams would not make for comfortable wearing. For $450, someone could learn to use bobbins, and Mme Sonia could find a distinguishing feature other than inside-out seams. That's old.

Oops, almost forgot - there were about a dozen pairs of the shiny pink flowery pants (in this post )   on the sale rack at the J.Crew (flagship),  also a lot of the Liquid Silk Skirts in both colors.

I guess this was just one of those days when my sense of style stops at "Does it itch?" This is not the proper attitude for a trip to France. Although I bet a Parisienne could wear anything, even sweat pants, with cute shoes and a scarf, and look stylish. I also bet that how a Parisienne looks in sweat pants is something that will not be tested in our lifetimes.

Home to finish packing; discovered when I took the skirt that goes with the blue suede shirt out of the dry cleaner's wrappings that someone had darned a tear in it. Expletives deleted: I do not like this kind of mystery. Still fretting that I may wind up checking in, opening suitcase, and finding that I resolved the raincoat dilemma by bringing a short, a long, and a foldable, but no slacks. Time to focus.


  1. Sad to hear about the decline in quality and, dare I say, the ignorance of the SA's. Crazy that they want a mortgage payment for a pair of unlined pants. There are only a few things left in JC that I would bring myself to buy (online especially). The Perfect Stretch Shirt is one of those things.

  2. Hi, ClosetCrisis, yes, this was not one of my better shopping expeditions. Could have saved the bus fare. Oh, well.

  3. I understand why you should want to get the outfits right for a trip to France. The French just do it so well (now the sweat pant and jaunty scarf combo I'd love to see!)

    You're right- the Sonia squares' sweater sounds uncomfortable and a bit 'old hat'.

    I've bought a smart black pencil skirt but can't get the right shoes yet.

  4. Hi, Trish! My shoes have their own travel adventures, like this one ...

  5. Southern Belle Ph.D.October 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM


    Thank you for the reviews from J Crew. I am not purchasing anything right now due to the quality issues noted by many. I am intrigued by your comments regarding the pencil skirts and will probably get the black and white one you mentioned. May even try another since you seemed to indicate they were nice. Thank you very much for taking time to post this when I know you must be very busy with last minute preparations for your trip. Looking forward to your trip posts!

    My word verification is: deredsm

    That is Southern speak for Dreads THem as in those awful quality issues!!! HaHaHaHaHa

  6. Hi, SB, thank Himself, whose pre-trip restlessness kept everyone up. Oh, Nd I love the Suthun-speak! Thank you for that!

  7. A J Crew angel has picked up the flowery pantaloons for me, thankGod I didn't pay $350 for them

  8. Hi, Tabitha, yes, I saw that, hope they're perfect!

  9. I had a closet meltdown before my trip to France earlier this year, so I know what you mean! I couldn't manage to put anything together that was chic yet comfy and couldn't nail it - and those cute French girls are rocking sneaks and jeans and looking rad ...

    As for the cashmere slacks - no lining, what gives?

  10. Hi, Lisa, have arrived in Brussels and guess what? When I grabbed my suitcase from the carousel, it was completely unzipped! GOK what I'll find (or not) when I unpack, but I'm having coffee first.

  11. I also couldn't believe they wanted so much money for a sweater I could easily knit myself for half or less the cost. But I guess your name is Sonia Rykiel you can demand the sky and some people will gladly pay it.

  12. Hi, Rose, up close it really looked like a deranged home ex project !

  13. I hope you are having a lovely week. We just returned from italy and I hope there's good weather left over there! Anything missing from your case? Did you need something you failed to pack?

  14. Hi, Lane, chilly, breezy, sunny. Topics in Brussels - besides Greece - Khaddafi, family of Khadaffi. Last time I saw him he was surrounded by black belt female commando bodyguards, and I find myself wondering what happened to them. Between meals, of course.


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