What is J.Crew Mercantile?

While my mother and I were exploring the Park Road Shopping Center over the weekend, we stopped in J.Crew Mercantile. We had never heard of such a thing so we were curious. It turns out that J.Crew is bringing their outlet stores and original styles for the outlets into regular retail spaces. They are taking the outlet out of the outlet mall.

We didn’t intend to buy anything and there wasn’t anything there that was particularly thrilling, but I did need a new black long sleeve t-shirt and a pair of navy earrings caught my eye so I did pick up a couple of things, but my purchase total was only $34.06 when it was all said and done.

Solid black artist tee originally $29.50 purchased for $14.75.

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Navy beaded earrings originally $34.50 purchased for $17.00.

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These earrings aren’t too big and they come in really great colors. I am seriously thinking about getting them in another color. They are that cute in person. I might also get these pajamas. Had I seen them in the store, I would have bought them on the spot.

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Though I did have some success at this store, I’m really not sure how I feel about it. J.Crew proper is having a tough time staying afloat and nothing they have produced lately has been all that thrilling. The days of feeling like you are walking into a candy store are over. By diluting their brand further with this new outlet concept, are they not making things worse? How do they make any money? Are they entering Old Navy territory? I depend on J.Crew and have for over a decade. If this is the beginning of the end, I’m going to be so very sorry to see them go.

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The Real Real: You win some, you lose some.

My sister got engaged in the Spring of 2017 so as you can imagine, we have been wrapped up in the plans for the big event.

During our recent trip to Raleigh, my mom picked out a dress to wear to the rehearsal dinner from Charlotte’s. Because the perfect dress requires the perfect shoes, we had been trolling for just the right shoe and I thought I had found it.

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It is pretty universally known that Manolo Blahnik makes an exquisite and comfortable shoe. Since my mom doesn’t feel very comfortable in heels, I figured she could use the brand name to entice her to wear heels and why not pick a pair from the god of shoes himself.

I found these beautiful suede heeled mules on The Real Real and was confident they would be perfect with her dress. The shoes arrived over the weekend and they were stunning in person. There was just one problem. THEY WERE TOO SMALL!

Luckily The Real Real accepts returns and these beautiful shoes are on their way back to find a new home. [They are size 39.5 if you want to snag them once they are back in TRR’s system.] By returning the shoes, I freed up the funds to put towards a dress for my sister’s bridesmaid’s brunch.

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This dress by Tanya Taylor was only $75.00 with 15% off. There is a small pull at the front (tape marks the spot), but who cares! It’s in excellent shape and I can’t wait to wear it. This is the first thing I have bought for the wedding other than my bridesmaid’s dress.

Now it’s my turn to find the perfect shoes to go with my new dress.
Stay tuned!

 

Oops! A Sale

I haven’t been buying much to line my closet with lately, but that dry streak ended today when I visited Monkees of Lake Norman. They were in the midst of a major winter sale and I scored a couple of pretty major items.

The first thing I saw when I walked in was a beautiful black Tory Burch handbag. I haven’t bought a new handbag since I visited the Coach outlet last year and I haven’t bought a new black back since I lived in Raleigh and I gave that black back to my mom this fall. The bag was originally $398.00 and I bought it for $239.00. I hate that I spent that much on it, but I haven’t seen a bag I really liked in so long that I didn’t want to pass on it and then wish I had bought it. I will use and joy this bag for years to come so I don’t regret the purchase.

I also found a really great White + Warren cashmere sweater. It was originally $310.00 and I bought it for $189.00. Unfortunately I overpaid. This sweater is only $149.00 on White + Warren’s website. That’s a bummer, but I’m still very happy with the sweater. I loved it so much that I put it on instead of what I was wearing as soon as I left the store. It’s wonderfully soft and I love the length. If you are looking for quality cashmere, check out White + Warren’s sale items on their website.

I love what I walked away with, but I am sorry for spending so much money.
At least these are items I know I will have a long time. I’ll be wearing and carrying them until I get my money’s worth.

Changing Things Up

As you may have noticed, I changed the name of this blog.

When I started this blog, it was the next chapter in a shopping blog I kept on Blogspot called Armoire of a Reverie. Dumb name…I know. I had a descent following on that site. Elizabeth McKay actually followed me. I was finishing up college and had loads of time and energy to put into mixing and matching things that I was wearing. It didn’t hurt that I had loads and loads of clothes back then.

Fast forward five years: I have moved 3 times and have taken on some pretty difficult jobs. With each move, I left things behind and changed what I was wearing to better fit what I was doing. It became exhausting to keep up the parade of outfits and accessories. It was exhausting to pack and unpack all of that mess every time I moved. I’m tired just thinking about packing all of that mess. (I’m still selling stuff, if you’re interested)
Game over.

When I moved to this blog, I intended to focus on my gift for seeking out sales. I am signed up for just about every newsletter out there and I can almost feel it in my bones when a good sale is about to hit. I published notices about sales and posted show and tell pieces after I had shopped the sales myself. This was tough to keep up.

My shopping habits changed in a pretty noticeable way in the past year. Instead of mopping up at every great sale, I would pick up a few staple pieces. Plain stuff. Boring stuff. Bread and butter stuff. Stuff that doesn’t get readers excited. Basically… I got boring.

Sorry I’m not sorry!

I find myself gravitating towards more plain items now. I love items that can be worn with anything and I LOVE being able to grab something simple and not think too much about it. It is a pretty interesting change from what I was into only a few years ago. Layering necklaces and an abundance of color are just not my deal anymore.

So about the name…
What’s the deal?
What is my deal?
What’s the deal with this blog?

I don’t know.
Won’t you stick around to find out?

REPLACING MY GO TO BLACK HEELS

I have been wearing the same pair of short black suede heels with a bow on the toe for five or more years now. They are worn out and are very uncomfortable now. I have been looking to replace them, but couldn’t find anything similar until this year.

OLD SHOES:
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NEW SHOES:
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They are basically the same shoes.
I’m delighted.

The Ashlyn Suede Bow Pumps from Ann Taylor are $138.00 online, but during a recent promotion offering 40% off, I purchased these shoes for $82.80 plus tax. These are much more comfortable than my old pair and the heel is just a smidgeon taller which, oddly, makes them easier to walk in.

Ann Taylor has a bunch of great low heels if you want that little bit of lift, but need them to be practical. This may be my first pair of Ann Taylor shoes, but it certainly will not be my last.

SWEATERS, SWEATERS, SWEATERS

I’ve been on quite the spending spree lately and I’m not even the least bit sorry about it.
I had a bunch of sweaters bite the dust last winter and now that it is cold, I have been wearing the same couple of sweaters over and over. I needed to freshen up my sweater game.

 

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Gap made a sweater like this a few years ago and I hate that I only bought one. I didn’t make the same mistake this time. I bought two of this Merino Turtleneck Sweater with Side Slits, one grey and one black.

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I also purchased this Ruffle Crewneck in Boiled Wool. I love the color of the sweater and the ruffle is so fun, but the fit was terrible. I read the reviews online and people reported that it fit small. I would say the fit is true to size except for length. This sweater runs very short. I sized up to account for this, but it was still too small. Unfortunately I had to return the sweater.

ALL THE SNAKESKIN

I just realized something. The last two items I purchased through Poshmark were both snake patterned. Maybe the tides are turning from my leopard obsession.

This J.Crew Collection blouse is the favorite top in my closet at the moment. I wear it at least once a week. I don’t know what this top would have originally been, but I bought it for $42.00. I had credit on Poshmark from selling clothes I no longer wear and so I ended up only paying around $28.00 out of pocket.

My sister has put me on to French Sole New York (FSNY) shoes. She wears them to work and can walk through the city comfortably. I do a good bit of walking on uneven surfaces and since being on crutches, my usual heels are no longer an option. In addition to a black pair of FSNY shoes purchased this year, I bought these snake skin flats for $45.00. Again, I had credit from my own Poshmark sales so I only spend about $15.00 out of pocket.

I absolutely love being able to trade in things I never wear for fresh new items!

If you haven’t tried Poshmark, check it out! Check out my “closet” also! There are so many great deals to be had on this site. They have a really great app too.