20 September 2011

DC's Old Favorites: What I Saw in a Short Afternoon Wander

I found about an hour the other day. By myself. It was marvelous.

To use up the time before I met H and The Beans for an early dinner, I wandered the Friendship Heights stores. I had one quick errand to run at Bloomingdale's (that turned into 2, don't they always?), then I stopped in some of the DC staples stores, just to see what the hyped brands offered that wasn't expected. Some unexpected pieces, and some reminders about what I love: poppy, teal, stripes, and tweed and bouclé. Oh, the bouclé.

Talbot's - Yes. Their ads have been eye-catching, especially for someone who tends towards the classic (like most of DC). So I wondered if they'd really gone from frumpy to fabulous.

The Verdict? Some definite options. Reasonably well made versions of basic styles and silhouettes, just like you'd expect, hung on the racks. Some still veered to the Chico's side of things, at least in my head. I don't think I'll ever really like a long, belted sweater jacket or a drapey shawl collared cape/cardigan/wrap.

What Tempted Me: I desperately want a Little Corduroy Jacket. And they have nice ones. But I'm just not slender enough yet for me to wear it happily. Next year. Oh! And they have a red sheath dress that just might be a replacement for My Favorite Suit That The Drycleaner Ruined. I saw it in an InStyle fall issue 10 years ago, and rushed to the store to buy it for my new job. It wasn't in stores yet. It was the first time I had a store call me when something arrived.
Talbot's Fall 2011 Temptations

J. Crew - Here I found more of what you'd expect, with a return to some of the old-school preppy basics, like rugby-stripe Ts (for which I might just have an addiction, as they could supplant the out-of-reach Michael Kors version I'm coveting).

The Verdict? There are some fun pieces, as well as some basics, mostly well-made and often worth the money (to spend on a basic, or classic piece). They're clearly making their decades-old model work. I was lucky to overhear one of the (I'll assume) veteran stylists (?) explaining their merchandising strategy to a newer hire: make sure you mix a striped/patterned top into a wall, along with multiple colors; for certain corners of the store, they key is for shoppers to know they're getting what they came for, like henleys or favorite T basics

What Tempted Me: Anything poppy, teal, or striped; a simple textured shirtdress; equestrian-inspired leggings (+ big sweater + boots, perhaps?); and a Cobain-inspired long flannel shirt that I pray I'll never buy because if I do, I'll be reliving a part of my life that doesn't need reliving.
J. Crew Fall 2011 Temptations

LOFT - I've been lucky here recently, so I was hopeful. Never mind the bright poppy sheath in the window and main display.

The Verdict? I was disappointed. Despite those recent successes, I couldn't weed out anything interesting (perhaps summer was a better season for me) other than the poppy sheath, which was nowhere to be found in the store (I didn't have the energy to ask about it). The suiting had a sadly cheap hand, not what I've found recently, and the accessories were too predictable (pearls, chains, ribbons) to be worth the not-terribly-cheap price.

What Tempted Me: The Poppy Sheath


Kate (Perpetually Nesting) said...

poppies, teal and stripes, oh my! so excited for jacket and tights weather!

Miss Scarlet said...

Love it! Looks ill be headed to jcrew:)

Celeste said...

Just got caught up on your blog...it's been a while. Did you score anything at Target? I got to mine to mine at 845 and everything was sold out. I hung out by the dressing room and managed to get a few cute things that people decided against.
Did you do FNO in Georgetown? I went to NYC to see my friend and we stayed in the meatpacking district. Awesome fun! Stayed through Sunday and she scored tickets to a fashion show...Venexiana. Never heard of her but she only does evening wear mainly for Saks and Neimans so that's probably why I haven't. Dresses start at 10,000. sigh...

Fun posts!

DC Celine said...

it has been a while, celeste! so here are your answers:

Missoni - didn't blog it, oversaturation in the blogworld, but was planning on going, but got sick. 3 days later, scored skirt and cape for The Bean, 2 kinds of cereal bowls, and a vase (that I'm either gifting or returning)

FNO - went, covering for a soon-to-be-launched online mag, www.finessedfashion.com, but had to cut it short b/c The Bean was having a major "missing mama and only mama will do" moment

Never heard of Venexiana - will have to check out. But I am doing DCFW (also for finessed) Thursday and Sunday. I'll do some sort of post here as well.

thanks for reading!

Celeste said...

cool! I'll have to keep my eye out for the online magazine. The Missoni kids stuff was cute. I did buy my two girls each a dress. I just hope my kindergartner's teacher doesn't decide to whip out the non washable stamps the day she wears it. So annoying and it keeps happening. Sigh.

Allie (Wardrobe Oxygen) said...

I have been disappointed in LOFT for a while now. Got a great orange dress this summer that completely shrunk and got misshapen after following washing instructions to a T. Have one skirt in a year that is fabulous. That's it.

Talbots is far more appealing online than in-store where you get assaulted by embroidered cardigans and pastel-colored capris. Online they appear as positively chic and I have found many lovely pieces.

Anonymous said...

I bought that J. Crew skirt in the green color you feature (also in vibrant flame, as I am a sucker for most anything orange) and if the weather would just cooperate and cool down, it will be firmly in my work wardrobe rotation. I have three pairs of Chie Mihara's (bought from Simply Soles of course) that are all going to be stunning with these skirts. It is safe to say, I have recovered from being an all black clothes wearer.