Thursday, April 7, 2011

JCA "Help Style Me!" Weekly Post

This is the weekly "Help Style Me!" post, where we can share items we are having trouble putting outfits together with. Elaine (in this post) says it best, "You know, that thing you bought because you love it and you keep pulling it out and then putting it away without wearing it?"

Please share your J.Crew item (either that you own or are thinking about getting) that you would love help creating an outfit with.

Also, please help out by offering your styling advice. Feel free to include links to your blog (where you incorporated that piece) or to Polyvore (where you showcased an outfit with that piece). Thanks in advance! :)

43 comments:

  1. Off topic .... since when does J Crew update the sale section in the late evening??? I'm seeing popbacks and new items in there. One new item, the lady lace popover in black.

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  2. What's a good suit alternative interview outfit?

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  3. Can anyone help me style the metallic beach cardigan in silver please?

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  4. Amy - I would suggest the "borrowed from the boys" look: Navy schoolboy blazer with gold buttons, a crisp white shirt or a white blouse with collars, khaki wool pants, and closed-round-toe mid-heels in navy, black or brown. Add a non-studded belt as desired.

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  5. hi tamara - probably since we started talking about update times on here! ;)

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  6. @Amy: Another option would be a dress, like one of the super 120s (or a sub) or a simple wrap dress either with a blazer or a cardigan.

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  7. Haha silver_lining! You're probably right. :) Hey, maybe I don't need to get up early any more, maybe I just need to stay up late (which I do anyway).

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  8. Amy, if you're interviewing for a job in a workplace where the employees can't dress totally casually, stick with a matched suit, either jacket and pants, jacket and skirt, or jacket and dress. You'll look polished and professional and you'll make the best first impression. The people who are interviewing you might be put off by anything else, it might appear to them that you didn't care enough to make an effort for such an important day. Remember, on interview day it doesn't matter what you think, it matters what they think.

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  9. Sorry...off topic...has anyone noticed the in-store price of the vintage cotton sunburst tank? It's 39.99 online and was wondering if there's a better deal to be had in-store. I don't live near a B&M but am heading to Chicago with DH and kids and wondered if it's worth dragging them to JCrew. I hate paying $8.50 for shipping! Thanks!

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  10. Amy et al- great advice! I am interviewing now too :-D and have no experience whatsoever with professional attire. Hearing how to assemble professional attire is really, really helpful! All the best, Karen

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  11. How do people wear J Crew Cafe Capri pants?

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  12. OT: The Factory Polka-dot poplin skirt is back in stock in a size 4! You'd probably be able to use the 20% promo on it, too.

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  13. I also agree with Tamara. I wouldn't even dream of interviewing in anything less than a classic suit, even if the job I were seeking was as a Starbucks barista. Some may disagree, but I think it helps project a professional, polished and capable image. Who doesn't want that at their workplace? :D

    I'll take my J Crew and Theory wool gab suits to my grave. I adore them. And I like to wear them every now and then to work, which is quite casual, because it makes my boss sweat just a *little* ... he'd never actually say anything, but I can see it makes him wonder if I am off interviewing somewhere, tee hee. :)

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  14. Lisa, I myself have not seen the vintage cotton suburst tank in-store. You should call the stores in Chi-town to see if they have it.

    Be forewarned, though -- another %off sale promo is probably right around the corner. If you can wait it out, you could save $$$$.

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  15. Just a note as someone who frequently interviews young job candidates: I realize that not everyone can afford a suit, but I would say that a blazer is a good way to make a professional statement. Even if it's worn over a dress or something that doesn't perfectly match, I would never hold it against a candidate.

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  16. @Amy: agree with everyone else here: Dress UP. I always wore a suit (or something very suity) to my interviews, even back when I was interviewing for a mall job. And now, if I'm meeting a client for the first time, same rule applies, doesn't matter if they run a farm or a pizza parlour, I'm still gonna dress up to project the proper image. Good luck!!

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  17. I'm remembering a girl who interviewed at my workplace not too long ago, very attractive, tall, great shape, but she had a suit on that was at least a size too small, the skirt was several inches above her knee and the vent in the back (which was permanently pulled open due to the skirt being too tight) showed the back of her leg higher than mid thigh, and to top it all off she was wearing super pointed stilettos that had at least a 4" heel. That might work on a TV show, definitely not in real life in most workplaces, especially mine. I actually felt bad for her, she might have been the brightest person on the planet with multiple advanced degrees and a cure for cancer in the works :), but her clothing projected an image that was absolutely contrary to intelligence and professional behavior. She didn't get the job, I don't know the exact reason but I'm certain her attire didn't help. The hiring manager is very conservative, MBA from a prestigious school, always wears a suit, always all business all of the time.

    The J Crew suits are so pretty, and yet they look totally professional too. I love the suiting dresses.

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  18. Agree with what everyone has said re: interviewing, and if you don't have a ton of money, the Limited has really nice suits and they are always on some sort of promo. No, they aren't J.Crew's lovely wool, but they fit really well and hold up. My first suits were from there and I still wear them.

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  19. I bought the Crosshatch Chambray shirt to replace my chambray popover that got torn up in the wash (darn bra hooks!) but I'm not sure how to style it. I wore it the other day with dark denim skinny jeans and got a compliment from my roommate, but I don't want to resort to denim-on-denim too often. Help please! =)

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  20. And to follow Regina's question AND tie intot he issues around suits... I bought the chambray schoolbuy jacket and see there are matching pants... can I even consider ordering the pants and ever wearing them as a "suit" this summer.... or will I just look old and dowdy doing so....

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  21. Amy - I agree w/others about wearing a suit or close to the look. However, without more info, I'll assume the place you're interviewing with has specific casual or business casual. If you do suit in that case, you would look like you're already being insubordinate. Why not try the cardi/top/trousers or cardi/top/skirt look. You can still achieve clean lines and look professional. It's easy to add your personal touch to the look in the way of subtle jewelry and nice shoes. Good luck!

    Regina - I like how they have the model in bright shorts in the online pic. I'd try any skirt with your chambray shirt. Treat the shirt as your neutral and it'll give you the opportunity to wear something with color or pattern on the bottom.

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  22. I agree with what others have said about interview attire. Try to get as close to a suit as you can. Conservative colors like black or navy are best. Possibly charcoal grey.

    Like J.CrewJD, my first interview suit was from the Limited. I was a poor law student at the time and the suit was affordable, looked professional, and held up well through my interviews, first job, and beyond. I wore that suit until the lining was practically in shreds. I know we are all about the Crew here, but the Limited is definitely a good option for an interview suit when money is a concern.

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  23. Amy, if you don't have a suit I suggest a well-fitting, streamlined skirt such as a pencil or slight a-line in navy, black or charcoal with a crisp white blouse; tonal or nude hosiery and shoes with a modest heel; minimal jewelery and a medium-sized, basic handbag or folio.

    The goal of your outfit is to help you look professional but also not to distract from your qualifications and classic pieces help convey confidence without drawing attention to your outfit.

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  24. Amy, always dress up for an interview, even if the job you interview for asks for say, business casual attire. I would probably wear something more formal than just business casual.

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  25. tamara - I so agree about those super-high pumps that are in right now. I saw a woman in a business suit wearing shoes like that, and she did not look professional. We were at an airport, and I'd hate to see her have to maneuver a concourse in those. At the airport, I always do flats.

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  26. I have to third Limited suits for good value! I bought a few there back in the day for less than $30 a piece on sale. I still have them :)

    savvy shopper, have you checked out polyvore? I've gotten a lot of ideas there for the metallic cardis. It wasn't until I saw other people's stying that I wanted it myself. Here are some with the silver cardi:
    http://tinyurl.com/3f3szla
    (scroll down to the bottom)
    And here are a few looks with a similar ON cardi:
    http://tinyurl.com/422opzn
    I have the ON one and have found it suprisingly versatile :)

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  27. Wanted to point out that with the exception of one amazing Theory suit that I scored for a song at a Saks outlet ($50 for both pieces! I felt high for a week, lol), all my other suits were pre-owned and/or bought on eBay --I didn't even pay close to full price.

    It can be done, you just have to want to invest the time, etc. Not everyone does, but I have and it's worked out pretty well for me.

    And as someone who has interviewed a LOT of people, I can honestly say that a clean, neat and professional appearance can only help an applicant. Clearly it's not the deciding factor (duh) but first impressions do indeed count for something, whether we like it or not. 'Dress for the job you want, not the job you have' is something that's always resonated with me.

    Of course, I'm not talking Savile Row here -- nothing wrong with a little Merona action, Vera for Kohl's or even something bought at Goodwill or a yard sale, for goodness' sake -- treasures can be found anywhere! :)

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  28. I think (I might change my mind tho) that a cardigan is actually worse than a nice blouse for an interview. I would rather see a business skirt and a patterned blouse (patterned so that it's not see-through) and a nice belt than a cardi and skirt. A cardigan seems too casual for an interview.

    My interview suit is from Eddie Bauer, stretch wool. I got the largest pants available and made a below-the-knee trouser skirt. It's not a fashionable suit but it works extremely well for an interview. All I want is to look competent.

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  29. re: interviews
    definitely depends on what type of work you do!

    Most important is clean, pressed, no holes or hanging threads and polished shoes! Quality is more important than item--a nice quality blazer better than a lesser-quality suit.

    It depends on the actual suit and accessories but if I showed up to a prospective client interview in a matching girl-suit I might be considered inappropriately dressed and dismissed as not creative enough for the project.

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  30. @Elaine: What a find! I'm jealous!!

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  31. Couple of questions...I just got the gorgeous Silk Driving scarf in the Flowery print (Modern Red). How is everyone styling and tying it? I wore it yesterday but ended up fixing the way I had it on all day! I had it with the Gap Shrunken Navy Blazer, White Tee and JC Ripstop cargos...

    Also, any suggestions for a "Good" Men's Navy Sport coat. Looking for Good quality but do not need to spend top dollar.

    Thanks, and Happy Weekend :)

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  32. I agree with gem twin. A suit can be viewed as the height of "interview attire," and also as "stuffy," depending on the position and the city/town in which you're interviewing. Is it a "creative" job? What do the bosses/supervisors wear?

    Unless it's a purely creative position, I would not do overly casual. If it looks to be a more casual place, I'd say wear a suit with pants, nice blouse (not white but another pale color) good, non-fussy jewelry, and mid-heel pumps. And a professional-looking purse - mid-size, structured.

    Definitely "dress above the position" if you can manage it. Outlet stores like Loehmanns have some good items - my "poor law student" interview suit came from there.

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  33. I personally would like to have a suit made out of a jersey-like fabric, like this classic Chanel suit. Think how comfy it would be!

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  34. I don't know, girls. Might be because I'm older than many of you, might be because I happen to like wearing a beautiful suit, who knows. The field and the role I'm in are both considered creative -- it just so happens that where I live right now, I need to do my job in a corporate environment.

    I may be alone in this, but I don't think a suit needs to look 'stuffy' -- perhaps it depends on how it's worn? I don't wear 'em like I'm a waiter, lol.

    But it's not like I'd ever be applying for a job in a place where everyone had 6 nose rings, full sleeves on both arms and spiky neon hair. Because certainly in that situation, wearing a suit would be weird.

    Everything I wear reflects my personality and my confidence in who I am and what I do. I just always err on the side of dressy and professional for interviews.

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  35. I have the gingham mini in green and am struggling to find something to wear with it! I'm trying to avoid just a plain white shirt but can't think of any other options. Maybe a chambray top? Any ideas?

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  36. I'm sorry, there's a green gingham mini!? And where c can I get it. :P

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  37. Jessie, chambray would definitely be cute. Here's a catalog picture showing blue gingham shorts with what appears to be a weathered wood colored shirt. I think green gingham would look just as good with this color of top. I also like that it's a more tailored shirt, it helps to offset the sweetness of the gingham.

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