Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Colorful Suiting From J.Crew - Super 120's Pencil Skirts

I have several suits and suiting dresses in my wardrobe and they are almost all navy, black, various shades of gray, pinstripe or menswear plaid.  This spring the forecast is for color so I made plans to add some colorful suiting to my wardrobe.


Although I have many pencil skirts in various colors, I don't consider all of them suiting.  The thick double-serge wool and nubby tweeds are not as formal as a finely woven fabric.  I have the Pencil Skirt in Super 120's in black with a matching jacket and trousers.  They are great to wear as separates or to pair up as a pant or skirt suit.  I recently bought the pencil skirt in Royal Violet.  


I ordered size 4 and it fits fine.  I'm usually between 4 and 6 in J.Crew pencils and lately find the 4 to fit best.  I liked the skirt paired with this vintage coral blouse in a key and tassel scarf print.


It's a lovely color and the wool feels lightweight and fine.  I can easily wear this skirt from autumn through winter and into spring.  With spring in mind I had fun styling it with silk blouses.  This is an abstract paisley print in silk chiffon from J.Crew HO09.


Worn here with another vintage scarf-print in a nautical theme with ropes and seashells.  One of the shells has the exact same color of violet as the skirt.  


This basic ribbed Calvin Klein sweater is a real wardrobe workhorse.  It is silk and cotton so it is light enough to be tucked but has enough body to be worn out as well.  I like this look with the gray belt matching the tights and Chie Mihara Kalu shoes.


If you're interested in the color comparison between Super 120's and the No.2 double-serge cotton pencil skirt in the same Royal Violet, the cotton version is on the left and the wool version on the right.  The online copy for the Super 120's skirt lists a coin pocket but it is not shown in the stock photos, and this season there wasn't one.  I use that little pocket when slipping out for coffee or to pick up lunch and I just want to take a small amount of cash with me.  I suppose removing that bit of tailoring is just one more cost-saving measure but I miss it.  


I also bought the Super 120's Pencil Skirt skirt in Deep Lagoon, in the same size 4.  The color is a nice deep teal that will mix and match with a lot of things in my closet.  I tried it with the Milla cami thinking that the olive portion of the print would pull it together but I'm not sure if it works.  Perhaps with the right cardigan.


This tiered silk blouse works for a tonal look, which I always like because I think it is more understated than wearing multiple colors.  I often get compliments on my tonal outfits so they must be a good look for me.


Another tonal look with varying stripes.  I wear a lot of blue, turquoise and teal so I can probably make a dozen tonal outfits with this skirt, and it seems a bit more neutral than the violet.  Even though I want to add color, when it comes to formal suiting it must be subtle.


I tried a bit of colorblocking with this drapey silk blouse in emerald green.  This is one of only two green tops I have, the other being a very pale green silk cardigan with pearl buttons.  I don't wear a lot of green because most green looks awful with my complexion.  This blouse has a hint of blue to it so it's fine. 


If I'm rushed and don't have time to try on tops I can always fall back on my white Calvin Klein sweater, belted at the waist.  


Overall the Super 120's pencil skirts are great additions to my wardrobe.  They are well-made, comfortable and flattering.  Have you bought any of the Super 120's suiting over the years?  What's your take on it?  I have more colorful suiting to come soon.  Stay tuned!

22 comments:

  1. OOOOOO, thanks for these reviews! I love these skirts on you. The colors are super cute, and I love your styling ideas!

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    1. Thanks rynetta, I was feeling very much like spring when I took the photos. I wore the deep lagoon skirt today with a dark blue sweater and graphite blazer. Winter is back, for now.

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  2. Two thumbs up for the Super 120's Pencil skirts, I love them as much as you do! Isn't that Royal Violet the prettiest color? I like the Lagoon, but I probably wouldn't get as much wear out of that color.

    Question: Is that Calvin Klein sweater still for sale online that you know of? I had a ribbed silk Banana Republic sweater like that from years ago and I loved it, but it finally wore out and I haven't been able to find a decent replacement.

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  3. Yes, Royal Violet is so pretty. I am contemplating the Emmaleigh or memo dress in the same color.

    The Calvin Klein sweater is a couple of years old already. I bought it at a Canada department store called the Bay. It's pretty basic so you could likely find something similar this season. Sorry I can't be more help.

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    1. No problem :) I need to branch out in my shopping habits anyway...J.Crew doesn't seem to really want to be in the business of selling nice sweaters anymore.

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    2. I really like THIS SWEATER from Madewell. It's much more casual but I think it would work for spring or even with cotton pencils for summer. I am definitely loading up my Madewell cart more than J.Crew lately!

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    3. Cuuuuuute, I love the little buttons on the side. Sadly, I probably won't be buying anymore sweaters until the post Thanksgiving sales. I probably didn't wear half the sweaters I own this past winter as it is.

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  4. Hello:
    What a rainbow of a post you treat us to here! The pencil skirt is such a wonderfully versatile garment and you wear it very well indeed. We should never be so bold as to splash out on all these colours but they do add zest to life and will surely brighten up the office!!!

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    1. It's a bit of a stretch for me to have all this color but if there ever was a season for it then this would be the year.

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  5. The skirts are great, terrific colors to lift up a workday. JCrew really does do color so well.
    They look terrific on you! I like your pairing with the interesting blouses.

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    1. It was great to pair these up with silk skirts last week but this week I definitely needed a blazer or cardigan on top. The colors are great, I really love the Royal Violet.

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  6. what do you think about the wrinkle/care factor? I hate to have things that need ironing.

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    1. I would never iron these skirts because it could make them shiny, although an ironing cloth could help avoid that. I do steam them as soon as I get them and then again after each wearing. They actually don't wrinkle much at all and have a nice, crisp look throughout the day.

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  7. the skirts do look nice but overpriced for what they are really. I can never get the nice colors on sale in my size either.

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    1. They may seem expensive at first but if you wear them often the cost per wear can be minimal.

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  8. So pretty. They look great with the shoes.

    :) Jen

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    1. The colors this year are very pretty. Kalu are one of my favorite shoes, you'll see them in my posts quite often.

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  9. I haven't tried the Super 120s skirts, I don't think. I love the colors you chose. The CK sweater is definitely a winner. From the pics the Milla cami seems to work w/that skirt. I see using a belt somehow as a bridge between the two, although it seems fine w/out.

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    1. Great idea on using a belt to bridge the Milla cami with the skirt. I'll have to try a few to see what works. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  10. My issue is the No. 2 skirts don't stay in place on me, they twist around especially the double serge cotton. That hint of stretch has way too much give. The double serge wool isn't so bad especially since I wear tights in the winter. I wear all my skirts below my navel and need them to stay in place.

    Have you tried the superfine cotton pencil skirts? I would like to try the super 120 pencil skirt.

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    1. Hmm, I don't find the skirts to twist unless I am carrying something that somehow rubs against me or changes my gait so that I'm swinging only one arm. I'm afraid I'm not able to offer any helpful advice.

      I have tried the superfine cotton pencil skirts and dresses. I posted about there HERE. I highly recommend them and the Super 120's pencil skirts as well.

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    2. Sorry, looks like my link did not work. You can use the search feature at the top left corner of the blog page. There are several posts on superfine cotton. HTH.

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