Thursday, March 28, 2013

{Outfit} Shine bright like a diamond...

Thought I'd give you guys a break from all the designer collaboration posts and Prabal outfits this week. ;) That and I'm currently in the process of unpacking a million boxes and have absolutely no idea where most of my clothing is right now. But yay for bigger closets!!! That means I can buy more dresses now right?

Speaking of.. this one from Zara became a fast and dangerous favorite. I can totally see myself buying this cut in multiple colors and patterns. Its insanely flattering. I have serious regrets about not getting the fish pattern way back when (especially considering how expensive it is now on eBay!). The funny thing is I'm not the kind of girl who loves bling. Aside from my engagement ring and a necklace FH (future hubby) gave me, all of my jewelry tends to lack that bit of sparkle--real or fake. But I love this print. I think its fun and casual enough that I could wear it to a day event, but can easily transition into night.

Hope everyone has a fun weekend. Wish me luck. I ended up with like 15 XL boxes full of shoes and clothing. FH is convinced I need rehab at this point. :X Ho hum...

Zara Jewel Print Dress (old - similar here and here)
Steve Madden Sarrina Heel
NY&Co Color Block Clutch (old - similar)
Angel Contacts Geo Nudy Grey Circle Lenses


Thursday, March 21, 2013

{Review} Duro Olowu for JCPenney

Duro Olowu is a London based fashion designer who grew up in Nigeria. He is more than evident from his collections where he draws his inspirations from. His line is full of bright, bold, and beautiful prints and colors much like you would find in Africa. I was really drawn to this line when I saw the advertisements for it. I kind of felt bad for the line as well. I feel like it was overshadows with the launch of Pearl by Georgina Chapman of Marchesa and the coming launch of Joe Fresh. I've seen JCP commercials for Joe Fresh and Pearl, but didn't see any for Duro. It is really quite a shame because I do feel like the line had a lot of potential. There are a couple of great pieces, but I did feel like the line fell a bit short. There were a lot of fit issues, and I feel like the pricing was a bit aggressive for the quality of the line. If anything, I felt like the accessories stood out a bit more than the clothing.

That being said, I love how the line builds on itself. I've always loved playing with layers and had so much fun putting together a couple of outfits. While the general asthetic of the line doesn't really speak to my overall style, I can see many people falling in love with some of these pieces.

I got a lot of good feedback in regards to the visual index for these kinds of reviews, so I'm going to try and keep it up. So click to your favorite item or scroll through! Hope you guys enjoy!

$50.00, Size 2

The Good: Obviously I love this dress. I think the big fat smile on my face is a dead giveaway of that. The color is amazing--beautiful and right on trend for the coming spring season. I really liked this take on jacquard too. The pattern that is woven is not like something I've seen before and in a weird way it kind of reminds of me of amoeba (but in a cool, interesting way not in an ugly woney). The choice of fabric is well done. The rayon/nylon blend is super soft and the dress comes lined.

The Bad: I'm not the biggest fan of collar line. I feel like it is a little too conservative and would've liked the straps to be a bit longer.

Fit: True to size.

Worth the Cost? Yes! I'm itching to take this dress home.

$40.00, Size 2

The Good: I really liked that despite the fact that this dress is in the exact same cut as the one above, its actually $10 cheaper. There's no lining to the dress which may explain some of the price difference. According to the website this is a cotton sateen, but it almost felt more like a poplin to me when I tried it on. It fits well and is flattering since it has the a-line skirt. It also feels super light, which will be nice to transition into summer (or fall here in California).

The Bad: For me the print is only OK. This isn't really a bad, its just not my preference in terms of the boldness of the colors. And again, I'm not a huge fan of the collar.

Fit: True to size.

Worth the Cost? Yes.

$40.00, Size XS (left) and Small (right)

The Good: This sweater is super soft. I'm quite in love with it actually. This sweater and the emerald jacquard dress are my top two items out of this entire collection. I can see this sweater working with a lot of the things in my closet. I actually love the style of it because I feel like you can wear it year round. The warm colors make it easy to transition into fall and the cream makes it very suitable for winner, however the boldness of the shades I can easily see being worn on a summer's night with a pair of brightly colored shorts.

The Bad: The torso on this is cut super short. I mean, I have a pretty short torso and some of my mid-drift is showing. I tried it on in the X-Small and the Small, and while I like the overall fitted look of the XS, the Small most definitely had a more comfortable covered feel. I'm sort of on the fence as to which size to get because of it.

Fit: Runs short in the torso, else true to size.

Worth the Cost? I'd say more like a $30 sweater because of the torso issues? Else, I think its a good buy.

$50.00, Size XS

The Good: AH! The mixed print on this is amazing. I love how structured the dress feels with the linen fabric, but I also love the edge the zippered collar gives it. You can be as conservative or risque as you like!

The Bad: Why do I feel like a fat cow in this? Ugh. I know shift dresses are suppose to be straight, but I swear you can make them flattering and feminine still. I have a fantastic one from H&M that proves it!

Fit: Runs large and very wide.

Worth the Cost? No.

$60.00, Size 2

The Good: I love color combination and the fact that it was incorporated into the belt and they didn't just use some solid patent colored one.

The Bad: Itchy. Itchy. Itchy. Itchy. Omg, so itchy. Its like they used the cheapest metallic threading possible on this. My skin was itching for an hour after I tried this dress on. The fabric feels really rough, thin, and cheap. Really awful and such a waste. This could've been amazing.

Fit: Runs large.

Worth the Cost? That would be a hell no.

$75.00, Size XS

The Good: Pretty much the same goods as the one above. Great color combination and incorporation of the colors into the belt. The buckle patter was probably one of my favorite components.

The Bad: Same cheap, rough, and super irritating material. The fit was also really off on this one. I found it to run really large in the chest and long in long in an awkward way.

Fit: Runs large and long in the torso.

Worth the Cost? Unless you like scratching yourself all day long, nopes.

$70.00, XS

The Good: Now see, this is a nice trench fabric. It is really nice and heavy and feels extremely durable--and a lot more comfortable than the brocade version. Incredibly, its actually cheaper than the brocade, too. I really wish this had actually fit me (and that the print did not overwhelm my small frame).

The Bad: The print in a trench is really super overwhelming on me. I think very few people will probably be able to pull this off. Also the fit seemed really off, same as the brocade trench.

Fit: Runs large, and very long in the torso.

Worth the Cost? I think if this fits you well its a great trench to have. Its not waterproof but its very thick and heavy and will keep you warm.

$40.00, Size 2

The Good: You know what my mama always said.. If you can't say something nice..

The Bad: I don't know how this pencil skirt manages to make my butt disappear but add about 10 lbs to my hips at the same time. I'm just totally lost in this. The material is the same as the brocade trench and dress, though a lot less itchy since the sides don't touch bare skin as much.

Fit: Runs extremely large.

Worth the Cost? No.

Elastic Waist Skirt in Floral and in Leaf Print
$30.00, Size XS

The Good: I love both the patterns for this skirt and I love the material. Its light weight and floral will be perfect for spring. The leaf pattern works perfectly in the skirt format without being overwhelming. Plus it has pockets! And we all know, pockets are cool ;)

The Bad: I hated the waist on this. I don't actually like elastic waists in general (I kind of view it as a manufacturer cheat) but if you're going to have one at least make sure if its someone who has a smaller waist?

Fit: Runs large, especially in the waist even though it is elastic.

Worth the Cost? No.

Soft Cuffed Pants in Black and in Print
$35.00, Size XS

The Good: So despite the fact that I think these pants make my hips look really wide, I like them. They're super comfortable and kind of give that chic but laid back vibe.

The Bad: Well one, they do make my hips look a lot wider than they actually are. I'm not totally feeling the polyester fabric either - mostly because I tend to have a lot of static issues with poly I cannot imagine how.. um.. unflattering it will be when these pants start sticking to unfortunately places. I like these elastic waist better than the one on the skirts, but again, it was a bit loose and so when I tried to tuck a shirt into these it didn't really stay put.

Fit: True to size.

Worth the Cost? So so.

$60.00, Size XS

The Good: Um. X.x ... The dress is lined? And has some fun tassels?

The Bad: O-M-G. Ok. If there was ever an item that did not need an elastic waistband it would be this dress. I just don't even know where to start other than it was awful on me. The color and the print is great, but it was just over kill? There's flutter sleeves, a ruffled bottom, a tie collar with tassels hanging on the end, and an elastic waist that creates a drop down top--oh and then the whole darn thing is a maxi length. I felt like I was drowning in every stylish cut/element possible.

Fit: Runs very lage and not meant for petites.

Worth the Cost? No. There's a lot going on with this dress, but give the attempt to hit a range of sizes with this, its definitely not worth $60.

$30.00, Size XS

The Good: I love this mix of print. Something about it really just works.

The Bad: I wish they had made the collar of this blouse a bit wider and maybe lower cut? It just felt overly closed up. As much as I loved the print, the shirt itself really did not fit well. I think if they had made this a sleeveless top the loose flow style would've worked much better. But between the wide body and fluffy sleeves it was all just too much.

Fit: True to size, but since the style is loose the mid-section runs very wide.

Worth the Cost? Eh. Not really, unless you can pull this off super fab.

$35.00, Size XS

The Good: I really liked this. The cut is a bit boxy, but in general I liked how it looked and how it wore. I didn't try it open, unfortunately, because I did not realize it was a jacket at the time. It honestly strikes me more as a shirt than anything. That being said, I do like it as a shirt. I feel like it can be worn quite a few different ways and would be a great item to add to your wardrobe.

The Bad: This is so not a jacket. Lol. Its just way too thin to be a jacket.

Fit: Runs true to size, but has a cropped feel to it. Barely fits the length of my torso, so I think someone with a longer mid section will have to wear this as a cropped item instead (which I think would look all kinds of awesome btw).

Worth the Cost? Borderline. The poly material feels OK, not fantastic, but I liked the hidden buttons and the mixed print.

$30.00, Size XS

The Good: This is such a pretty blouse! I think this would make a great addition to any ones closet (plus it comes in white too <3). I can see it being layerable or just a comfortable piece that you want to throw on but not look like a total slob. The Bad: The blouse is sheer and light weight, so you will need to wear a tank or some sort of bralette underneath. I had a light colored bra on when I tried this on and could still see it through the fabric. This was in bad fitting room lighting, so I imagine if I stepped out into the sun it would be a peep show. Its also not the most flattering top from the side given the loose nature of the blouse.

Fit: True to size.

Worth the Cost? So so. I wouldn't normally pay $30 for a 100% polyester top, but I do like the overall design of this. I think if you can stack it with a coupon (like those $10 off $25s that JCP has occassionally) it would be better worth your cost.

$30.00, Size XS

The Good: This blouse has already sold out on JCP so I guess that means this is the "hot" item of the bunch! I can definitely see the allure, although this is a top I wouldn't personally wear myself. The line in general does a very good job of creating these mixed print kind of items. I also love the pleated front. I think it makes it stand out more than just an every day button up.

The Bad: The one thing I really didn't like though was, again, that this was a loose, flowy kind of shirt. I get that this is a trend, and I have my share of shirts like this, but personally I'm a little over it myself and I feel like this shirt would've looked fantastic had it been more fitted. From the side, I just look like I'm being eating by patterns.

Fit: True to size but wide in the torso due to the style.

Worth the Cost? Hmm, yes, I would say so.

$45.00, Size XS

The Good: I styled this cardigan with the V-Neck Knit Top, but won't be reviewing that particular top on its own. There isn't much to say about that top, minus the fact that it is a basic v-neck. It is soft and comfortable and very stretchy and the color goes great with this entire collection. Now, the cardigan is a different story. The things that I liked about the cardigan was mostly in the color. It looks almost beige in the photo, but it is actually a light gold. Its a great color to act as an almost neutral with a bit of pizzazz to it. I also have a love-hate relationship with the waist band. I love how the waistband gathers in the material when the cardigan is worn open. It pull it in and makes you look slimmer because there isn't all this extra fabric floating around.

The Bad: I hate how the waistband is when the cardigan is closed. It just looks (and feels) awkward. I'm not sure if the placement of it looks weird because my torso is short? I feel like this line, in general, is cut for someone with a longer torso. Also, there is a bit of that metallic thread used in the brocade items woven into this, so its not as comfortable as it should be.

Fit: Runs a bit large and long.

Worth the Cost? No. I mean, thankfully the cardigan isn't woven with acrylic or anything, but I really didn't find it all that impressive or unique in person.

Bracelets - Spike and Swirl Acrylic Bangle
Spike - $25; Swirl Acrylic - $10

The Good: In general, I really liked a lot of the jewelry pieces in this line. Most had a very unique feel to them without looking cheap (at least initially), and seemed more appropriately priced. I also like that there were a range of colors available in the different types so its easier to find one that matches your skin tone. The spiked bracelet is probably one of my favorites and I'm glad that it has an adjustable clasp.

The Bad: The bangles are huge - wayy too big for my wrists.

Worth the Cost? Yes, I think they're all fairly well priced. Though, I'm pretty cheap when it comes to jewelry and probably won't be purchasing any of these until after they've gone at least 50% off.


The Good: True story. I will probably get arrested trying to stalk this purse - tote? I don't really consider this a tote, do you? I suppose you could say its a very small tote if you wear it flat. I prefer to wear it like a clutch--but I love that you get that versatility with it! I do wish they had included a side strap so that it could be worn as a crossbody as well. I think if they had done that, it would've been a solid $50 investment. I'm not a total expert when it comes to fast fashion bag materials. I often let FH take a look at something and ask him what his general value opinion is (he works with manufacturer materials so he really knows his stuff) before I buy. Obviously, I could not drag FH with me to do one of these reviews, but from what I could see this is a really great bag. Its thick and feels sturdy. The handle is great and it has a zipper closure. Often times I see bags like this with a magnet click or no type of closure and I'm turned off from the bag. I can easily see this bag going from day to night.

The Bad: I only have a slight concern with the weave possibly catching on things.

Worth the Cost? I was really surprised when I saw the price of this bag. While I think its a fantastic bag, I was really expecting it to be closer to $40.

My JCP didn't have a lot of the items I would've liked to seen in person. Particularly the blue faux leather crossbody bag, or the multi-print umbrella. I think if that umbrella proves to be constructed well, I will buy it in a heartbeat.

What did you guys think? Have you had a chance to check out the Duro Olowu line, or were you too distracted by Pearl/Marchesa?