Tuesday, February 28, 2012

$10 Denim Skirt, a.k.a. J.C. Penney, Part Deux

I've been singing the praises of J.C. Penney a lot lately. So much so that I feel like the recent Ellen Degeneres commercials for J.C. Penney are the stories of my life. Now, it's my turn to share more of my new-found love with you.

You may know that J.C. Penney recently went through a rebranding. A really big rebranding. They eschewed sales, instead opting for a "fair and square" pricing and returns policy. Basically, their regular prices are similar to Target and their return policy is the same as Nordstrom's. They even changed their logo. And it really seems like a different store. Not only are they standing behind their products, but from my unscientific analysis walking around the store, the new prices are about 50% less than the old original prices. That's right, the new regular prices are as good or better than the best sale prices used to be. That's exciting news, at least to a shopping fanatic like me.

So how does this play into more tznua clothing? Well, I just scored the Rocker Maxi Skirt by Bisou Bisou in Bisou Bisou's Dark Denim Collection. It has a more descriptive but less colorful name on the website. I'm reading the name off the tag. If you wear mermaid skirts, this skirt is near perfection. It fits extraordinarily well, is the perfect length for us taller women (it feels like a 39" skirt rather than the 41" listed on the website), and is a beautiful color. Order it in what you consider your "normal" size, not your size in clothing that's sized large. It fits the same as other Bisou Bisou skirts if your know your size in the brand. Since it's mermaid, it cannot be a true denim. Instead, it's 75% cotton, 23% polyester, and 2% spandex. The spandex really helps it stretch well to make walking comfortable.

Yes, the keychain is easily detachable.

The skirt is currently available in every size 2 through 18 for $25 online right now. In store, the current price is $10. Yes, that's right. $10. I recommend buying the skirt online and going to the store with your receipt for a price adjustment. Or, buy more than one and price adjust both. I now own two of this skirt.

I know it's not 100% cotton denim. It's not going to be able to replace everything a perfect real denim skirt can do. I really miss my old perfect $12 Gap denim skirt I had for 10 years before the fabric finally decided to disappear in the dryer. It really made me regret not buying the $100 7 for All Mankind long denim skirt from C-Mart (may it rest in peace) that I passed on 6 years ago because it was $100 and my salary was not supportive of such a purchase. I still haven't found skirts that are that good. But this Bisou Bisou skirt is a pretty good second and I'm not going to allow myself to be stuck without a long denim skirt again.

Also, I want to touch briefly on my recent shoe purchases. I'm not much of a shoe gal. I don't see much purpose in owning 6 different pairs of patent leather black dressy sandals, 4 pairs of black boots, 3 pairs of brown boots, etc. I like to keep a pair of black sandals, a pair of brown sandals, a pair of black patent high heel (4") sandals, a pair of black boots, a pair of brown boots, one pair of black dressy all-purpose flats, a pair of sneakers, a pair of flip flops, and a pair of non-leather shoes for Yom Kippur/Tisha B'Av. It's that time of year when I've pretty much worn out every pair of shoe I own and I'm trying to rebuild my shoe wardrobe, and maybe add a few extra pairs for fun. I've made several large orders at Nordstrom, including many pairs of Cole Haans, but they appear to be underwhelming. I'm downright disappointed in the cheap plastic materials used to make the platforms of the $158 and $168 pairs of Cole Haan shoes I bought (both in the Air Tali family). I understand that's the lowest price point for Cole Haan, but the shoes look cheap (although the leather is very soft) and they didn't even come with dust bags.

On the other hand, I just scored 2 pairs of $27 leather sandals, in black and tan, at J.C. Penney this evening. They may not win any fashion awards, but they seen to be very serviceable as everyday sandals for the office, long walks, shul (yes I'm casual, sorry), shopping, and everywhere else. The footbed is very comfortable even though it's definitely not leather (but the straps are leather).

So why would I buy $27 sandals at J.C. Penney when I'm a Nordstrom shoe junkie who's normal pair of shoes cost between $100 and $200? Because J.C. Penney is standing behind their products like Nordstrom now. I can wear these sandals out and if I don't like them I can return them. That's a really nice offer. This is the return policy that has prevented me from overstocking shoes over the past 10 years. Maybe now I'll even start saving both money and space because of it.

In short, kudos, J.C. Penney.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Shailene Woodley of the Descendents Wears Tsnius Dress to the Oscars!

You heard it here first! And here's a picture! The back is also crewneck. The dress is by Valentino Couture Spring/Summer 2012 Collection (which has at least 4 tsnius styles). And according to the link, she chose this dress because it has long sleeves! It's apparently chilly for Hollywood tonight, which may be why she made this decision, but I think it's exciting to have a 20-year old actress choose to wear a modest dress for a change!

84th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Amazing Dress at JC Penney!

So this weekend I went shopping, primarily for my 20-month old son. But I couldn't help but stroll by the dresses section at J.C. Penney. And what did I find but this gorgeous red number by American Living (J.C. Penney's private label by Polo Ralph Lauren) for the low price of $34. I know the site says $90, but it's $34 in store. This past weekend, the store in Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, MD had almost every size in red and bright violet ($45).  And when I had a different store pull up locations to buy the dress, there were many locations in the Maryland and DC area that still had it in stock. You can call your local store for inventory before stopping by. This dress is form fitting, and I think it looks best when worn one or two sizes smaller than your normal size. It stretches and it looks like it adds weight where it's baggy. The red dress is perfect for a date night with the husband, or when you want to be the center of attention, such as at your engagement party or your sister-in-law's engagement party (just kidding... maybe). The violet dress is perfect for attending a wedding, shul, or anywhere else where you don't want to completely stand out in the crowd (your best friend's engagement party, perhaps?).

It looked great with my black leather boots when I tried it on (but then again, what doesn't?). I think both colors would look wicked attractive with 4"-5" black patent leather pumps, but my coworker suggesting going with nude pumps with the red dress. What it comes down to is that it's incredibly easy to accessorize this dress and be a show stopper.

Please note, the dress covers my knees. I would suspect that the model is at least 6'0" or the dress was hemmed for pictures.

When purchasing a form-fitting dress, or really any clothing for that matter, it's important to stress the importance of proper undergarments. I believe the #1 most un-tznius thing a woman can have showing are panty lines through her skirt. And I see it all the time on people who try to dress very modestly. I think Spanx would be best with this dress for the most flattering fit, but it's not necessary. If you're not going the Spanx route, I would go for undergarments by Hanky Panky ($18/each unless you find discontinued styles on sale for about $12-$14) or a knock-off (Victoria's Secret's goes for 3 for $30). And make sure no matter what you wear underneath, make sure the sides of all your undergarments are smooth to your body and are not folded in any way.