Nov 8, 2015

My Fall Fashion Misstep

When it comes to making purchases, I am methodical.  I follow the advice I give my clients.  I take stock of what I have each season and make a focused, intentional shopping list.  This usually consists of one or two staple pieces which could be more of an investment (cost-per-wear) as well as a couple of less expensive which may encompass a trend so my wardrobe feels more current and updated without receiving an entire overhaul. 

I do my homework. 

That being said, I feel compelled to share my 2015 fall fashion flop.  Hoping my reflection might help in your thinking process when debating whether a future item is right for you.  

On my list this fall, was a new blazer or cardigan.  Something versatile with visual interest.  I was in J Crew during a weekend sale and found what I thought was the perfect piece.

Link for sweater on J Crew website

My rationale:

  • looks like a jacket but is actually a sweater; comfortable, could easily be dressed up or down
  • has Chanel-type vibe
  • I love navy and black, this has both.  The metallic threads also were a selling feature.  I envisioned it pairing with my work trousers, skirts, dresses and jeans
  • the fringe detail made it feel current - I always look for interesting details

I snapped it up, feeling triumphant with the flash weekend sale price and my additional teacher discount (love love love that J Crew celebrates teachers).  I went home envisioning all the ways I would wear my new go-to piece.

But this didn’t happen.  I’ve had it 2 months and worn it twice.  Both times, I haven’t loved it (or really even liked it).  I paid $110, I am at $55 per wear.  

My issues:

  • I liked that fact that it is a cardigan, but when it isn’t fastened, the shape is boxy (as you can see from the image)
  • rather than buttons, there are hooks.  I hadn’t thought about how these hooks would catch on my staple pieces such as lace trousers or textured skirts.  Leaning over, I get stuck.  Statement necklaces also get tied up in the clasps
  • when buttoned up, it has more shape but feels very warm.  The hooks pop open easily, another frustration

Admittedly, the kiss of death for this sweater probably came when I was watching a recent episode of Young and the Restless.  A guilty pleasure.  I enjoy a lot of the styling on this show and can align my taste with a few of the characters.  But, I was horrified when the least stylish character (Esther, the longtime maid who rarely gets to wear anything other than a traditional black and white maid uniform...and when she does her outfits are usually devoid of style) was called to testify in a jury trial and she stepped up wearing...my J Crew cardigan!

Image courtesy of The Young and The Stylish

How had I missed the mark so terribly?

I’ve gotten over that shock and am still not giving up on the sweater.  

I’ve since read reviews that reveal other customers experiencing the same frustrations.  On-line reviews for stores like J Crew or Anthropologie are very useful, if you are ever on the fence about an item this is definitely a great resource.

Despite all this, it is now part of my current fall/winter wardrobe and I am determined to drive down its cost-per-wear.  

Sometimes we miss the mark.  This fall misstep is forcing me to work the same sort of magic I attempt with my clients’ wardrobes when they can’t figure out how to style a garment they’ve purchased.  I always enjoy that challenge, so am keen to put this sweater to the test.

I'm going to take a page from style guru, Tim Gunn and try to "make it work".  

Wish me luck!

Nov. 10 - update

Gave it a go today...cost-per-wear down to $36.66