Wednesday, June 6, 2018

J.Crew and J.Crew Factory Open Sweater Blazers

Sweater (right): J.Crew New Lightweight Sweater Blazer, small

Since buying two J.Crew Factory Open-Front Sweater Blazers in March, I've been singing their praises and wearing them frequently, at least once a week each until recently, when the temperatures and humidity levels started to climb. We're already at average temperatures too warm for wearing even those thin Uniqlo cotton cardigans outdoors. From other blogs, I was generally aware that J.Crew also had an open sweater blazer, and that it had various design elements that looked better, except that it was labeled dry clean-only and would never be that practical for me as a result.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links that could result in a commission, typically a few cents, for me if you click. Thank you for your support!

During the recent memorial day sales, I ended up ordering the J.Crew sweater blazer, just to try on. (I wasn't able to get as good a price as Engineer L got recently. I only got a 40% discount.) And darn, I'm really tempted to keep it, though I really shouldn't, given that I already have a slightly excessive collection of fall and winter cardigans, many of them accumulated in just the last year or so. J.Crew currently has two versions, first a limited range of size/color combinations in merino wool from last season and second, the "new lightweight" version, in 35% cotton, 35% polyester, and 30% merino wool. I've ordered the merino wool one in black and the new lightweight one in "heather khaki", a camel color, a fairly different shade from the beige, almost off-white "heather oatmeal" from J.Crew Factory. Although the new version is supposed to be more lightweight, I find the two fabrics to be of basically identical thickness and to have an essentially identical texture. In practice, the wool one might be warmer, but I wouldn't really have a chance to test that until it cools down.

Please forgive the photography and lighting here, as I think it makes both items look worse than in real life. I've been machine-washing the J.Crew Factory sweater blazer in a mesh bag in cold water, and then air-drying it on a hanger, but it ends up a bit wrinkly-looking. (It's worse when I lay it flat to dry.) There wasn't any shrinkage, it just tends to dry wrinkly and it's hard to smooth out. I have a full-size garment steamer that should do the trick, but am, er, too lazy to actually set it up and use it. I probably need to get a handheld steamer if it's going to be part of my regular clothing care routine. As for the J.Crew one, it still has creases from when it was folded up for shipping.

Everything I suspected about the J.Crew one being a bit better-designed and looking nicer is true. The fabric is thicker and looks and feels more luxe. It's a bit more oversized in the sleeves and body, but in an intentional way. The lapels are bigger and more proportional, as opposed to the awkwardly small ones on the J.Crew Factory version (though I do like that the J.Crew Factory lapels can be worn popped up). That's not to say that the J.Crew Factory sweater blazer is a bad item, as I've loved it all this time. The slimmer sleeves and body are not a bad thing, it's just a different look. Also, it's being machine-washable makes it so much more functional and practical for me, and obviously, there's also a significant price difference.

Sizing-wise, the two items are quite different. The J.Crew Factory version is true-to-size relative to most other mall brands, and my usual size small is definitely right, though the body is a little long. The sleeves are just right, though. The J.Crew version is  intentionally oversized and, therefore, runs bigger. I think my usual size small is still the right one for me, though, to get the relaxed fit you seen on Feather Factor. It is roomy enough that I do wonder a bit about whether to size down. I'm still trying to figure out if I need the extra small instead. It looks a bit awkwardly big in the photo, but in real life, when tried on over my work clothes, it feels like it has the fit of a just-right boyfriend blazer. Over something like a thin tee, however, it starts to feel a bit too loose.

This whole post may be a bit untimely and unseasonal, given the arrival of summer and how I don't think any NYC-dweller would really wear either of these in the next few months, but I'm finding that I enjoy both these sweaters so much that I can't help but share! As for the other things I'm wearing, the necklace is from Porcelain and Stone, a studio run by a woman artist based in the Boston Area. She has both an Etsy shop and her own shop, and can also be found on Instagram. I don't wear the Sam Edelman Tristan pumps except to interviews (but they're very comfortable and I can even walk a few blocks in them without any trouble). 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from anyone who might be reading! Please feel free to leave a comment or question.