Monday, September 10, 2018

Review: J.Crew Juliette Collarless Sweater Blazer

Sweater: J.Crew Juliette Collarless Sweater Blazer, heather gray, XS
Dress: old, from Loft (similar from Loft or Ann Taylor)
Shoes: Sam Edelman Tristan, black leather

Today's post is about a quick try-on of a new J.Crew item, the Juliette Collarless Sweater Blazer, which I was drawn to as soon as it popped up among J.Crew's "new arrivals". A few bloggers I follow have also mentioned their interest, though I don't think I've seen any blog posts featuring it in an outfit yet. (I've seen one post on Instagram, though!) Like with the collared J.Crew sweater blazer, now called the "Sophie", which I tried on and bought earlier this summer, it may well be another month before NYC weather cools down enough for me to wear it out of the house. I'm still thinking about whether to keep this, after trying on the size XS in heather gray, above, and the size S in burgundy, below. I haven't photographed the gray to its best advantage, as it got creased in transit. It also may be a bit difficult to see the differences between the two sizes in my photos, but of the two, I'd "size down" and keep the XS in gray. (I also sized down to XS in the "Sophie" sweater blazer.) 

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My interest in this item may be a bit idiosyncratic. It was ignited by my fondness for a very specific kind of business formal(ish) look, one involving a long "topper" jacket (something like this from Calvin Klein or this from St. Johnover a workwear dress. It's not conservative or formal enough for job interviews or a jury, but it's a look I've seen some stylish women pull off for other somewhat formal professional occasions in NYC (usually in a less matchy-matchy way than in many photos of similar outfits).

Opting for an "almost-jacket" or "pretend jacket" that's actually a sweater, and is therefore less structured and doesn't hold its shape as well may not actually be the best choice for someone who was interested in the look of an actual jacket. This is a notion I keep revisiting with all these sweater blazers, that I'll never be able to fully replicate the look of a jacket with them, but that I might not really care and still always opt for the sweater blazer over a real jacket nonetheless, because well, I kind of hate jackets. (They rarely fit completely right or comfortably over my chest and shoulders!)

Dress: old, from Loft (similar from Loft or Ann Taylor)
Shoes: Sam Edelman Tristan, black leather

For reference, I'm 5'3'' with shorter "petite" legs and more "regular"-sized torso for my height. My measurements are approximately 37''-27''-37''. To the extent that size XS has even a chance of being a better fit for me than size S, this item definitely runs large. It's hard to tell from the photos, but the sleeve length is  better on the XS, cutting off right at the wrist, rather than hanging over it a bit. The S could overwhelm my frame and be too loose in the arms when viewed from some angles. Naturally, the sleeves and body are both a bit slimmer on the XS, and as you can see from the photos of the XS in gray, it still has an intentionally oversized look. With the model photos (they took one for each color, which you can see when browsing their "sweaters" section, but not on the Juliette's actual product page), I think they're generally wearing the item in their "typical J.Crew size", i.e. one that's maybe a little too oversized for them, rather than sizing down as I'll do if I end up keeping this.

Oh, and I think this comes across in my photos, but the burgundy colorway is a noticeably darker and richer red than in J.Crew's official photos, particularly the one of the burgundy sweater blazer laying flat by itself (as seen on the Juliette's product page), where it looks like more of a medium-red. It's a significant color discrepancy, and I personally prefer how it looks in real life. I'm definitely not keeping the burgundy one I ordered, as it's the wrong size for me, but I like how the color looks on me... Ack, I don't know why I'm such a sucker for all these sweater blazers, I'm definitely long past the point where I have any need for more! 

Both the collarless Juliette and the collared Sophie sweater blazers are made of a 35% cotton, 35% polyester, 30% merino wool blend. The label says "dry-clean only" for both. From my past misadventures with laundering J.Crew merino wool cardigans (they often shrink after machine-washing in cold water, even though I never put them in the dryer and laid them out flat on a drying rack instead) I wouldn't dare machine-wash any of these J.Crew sweater blazers. The risk of damage is too great. 

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