Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stumped.

    Club Monaco is one my favorite brands. I love the materials they use, the cuts of the clothing, and the quality is usually very good. The color palette is generally very neutral, but not in a boring way (ahem, Banana Republic!). It is also just a bit out of my price range for my current flow of income which is why you don't see me wearing very often. I do plenty of looking in-store, but buying? Not so much. If you have a student card, you qualify for an extra 20% off non-promotional items which helps a little bit. They also have some decent sales, but, sales in Canada are actually much better than the are in the US. Go figure. 


    One of the best news I've heard in the while? CM is online! It's unofficial, but you can check out the new site here. The best part? Free shipping and free returns (US only)! Woot! The website says it is only for a limited time, so take advantage of this now (you will also get a free shipping code if you sign up for their emails).  Otherwise shipping appears to be rather reasonable, $5 for the slowest shipping option (7-10 business days), but free for orders over $175. There is also the option of returning to the a B&M store if you have one near you. Also, student discounts are applicable online if you sign up with a valid student email address!


   There is a larger purpose to all this Club Monaco jibber jabber, of course. I've had a few CM gift cards burning a hole in my wallet for months, so when I went home to T.O. this past weekend I made it a point to head to Club Monaco to see if I could spend these gift cards. First day was a fail, but the second day was a success! I try to stretch my gift cards as much as I can by buying things that are on sale and trying to purchase as many pieces as I can with them, but I also see them as an opportunity to buy things I couldn't normally afford so I give myself a little extra leeway as to price since I'm not actually paying for it right out of my own pocket. Plus, smaller pant sizes tend to sell the quickest, likely because they only seem to carry one of each size and Toronto has a significant Asian population (i.e. lots of smaller-framed people). 00 rarely makes it to the sale rack.


   If you've never shopped at CM before, the brand runs on the smaller side compared to other typical American mall brands such as GAP and Banana Republic. CM items are generally cut for a boy-ish frame, so curvier girls may have a little trouble finding things that are flattering. They do not carry petites, however, so even though they are cut slimmer, they still tend to run long. The smallest size on top is XS and I can generally wear them very well although I have pretty substantial back and shoulders. Sometimes I find that some of their silk tops are a little too wide in the waist.


     For bottoms I can usually wear the 00, which is their smallest size. They seem to have gotten just a tiny bit smaller over the last few years, so where they used to be a smidge large around my hips, they fit much more snuggly. If you are smaller than I am, you are going to have a more difficult time finding bottoms, however, as I will show in a second, not all is lost. Some bottoms are actually cut very small and so they are certainly worth a look.


   I picked up two items, this Alesia Silk Blouse in Almond (size XS) and the Liz Mid-Rise Flare Pant in Dune/Khaki (size 0):




   I love the back of this blouse. It has a longer hem in the back with a large pleat at the neckline allowing for a bit of extra drape and volume. The pants still need a bit of hemming (I'm wearing 4" wedges), but I haven't decided on a length yet so it's as is for now. Initally, I wasn't really interested in these pants, but I pulled them into the fitting room at the last minute and when I put them on I was in love. I first tried the 00 and they were *PAINTED* on. I could button up and zip them, but they were just too tight. They are made of 97% cotton and 3% spandex and I knew that it would stretch a bit with some wear, but if I wanted to be able to eat while wearing these pants, I would have to go up a size. The size 0 fits much better although probably a bit looser than I'd like after some wear, but they are much more comfortable. 


     The material is a cross between denim and twill. Not quite as heavy as denim, but a little heavier than twill. I just love the color (they also come in navy). This cut of pant also comes in a shinier, cotton material with besom (welt) pockets which are much more appropriate for a conservative office place, and they come in four or five colors. I opted for the denim/twill just because I'm not really a fan of the shiny cotton material. Regular price for the pants is $145CA, and for the blouse which is 100% silk, $119.50. the US and Canadian prices are the same. You can pick up both here and here. I tried on a lot of stuff in store, and not that ClubMonaco.com is now online, I kind of regret not taking some fitting room photos. Sorry. A few things I do recommend are the Renay cropped pant:






It comes in five colors, but the inseam is 25" so it was a little short for me, but otherwise the fit was pretty fabulous. It's apparently one of the favorite pants of all the female sales associates. For shorts, the Marianna Solid City Short:



   It comes in three colors and also fits fabulously. I've been looking for a silk or flowy-type short, so that's why I passed on these. Also a favorite of the sales associates. And for tops, I came *very* close to purchasing this Amanda sweater:



   With free shipping and free returns, ClubMonaco.com is definitely worth a try if it's within your price range.


    Here's the dilemma: I have no idea what shoe to wear with my new Liz pants. I've always wanted a pair of bottoms in a dark khaki color, but the issue? If I wanted to wear these to the office in the warmer weather, what shoes do I wear ?? I usually don't have a problem styling pieces, but I think this time I am actually stumped. 


    The criteria:
  • It definitely needs to have a heel to maintain the "70s' look" of the flare. 
  • I would like a work-appropriate shoe--closed-toe, although, I would consider a peep-toe (personally, I'm not a fan of sandals or anything with a large open toe at the office). 
  • A wedge would probably look best with these although, I'm open to something with a thicker heel, but not too high, as I commute to work on the Metro, so 3.5" with a small platform or lower would be ideal. 
  • And they most likely need some sort of strap unless the shoe has a particularly narrow heel to accommodate my difficult feet. 
  • The color? No idea. Nude or beige seems a bit...bland? So I'm thinking either a darker brown or a pop of color. I have a deep red peep toe wedge that seems to work, but I am open to other suggestions. 
      Do you ladies have any ideas about what kind of "summery" work-appropriate shoe would work with my new pants?



      P.S. Draw for my Shabby Apple giveaway ends tomorrow! Be sure to enter! :D


   

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7 comments:

Stacey said...

The pants look great! Are they slightly ombre on the bottom or is that the light?

Good luck with the shoes! Office appropriate is not my forte so all I can offer is good luck. :P

Cher said...

Heh, definitely just the light. I took the photos around mid-afternoon when the sun starts to peek on to my balcony hence the strange lighting! :)

Alterations Needed said...

Thank you so much for the Club Monaco website information! I had no idea!

TOBeautyReviews said...

OMG the top and pants look amazing on you Cher! Yeah I love to browse CM but can never afford anything! Usually not even on sale LOL!

Press_rewind said...

love the top! will have to check out club monaco soon

Lisa Ng said...

I love the idea of a pop of color!

mona said...

I love club monaco but really wishing they would do something about the continued moth problem they have! I challenge all of you to look at your club monaco clothe and see if you find a hole.

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