Joe Fresh striped fit and flare dress
Dress, Joe Fresh; jacket, Tommy Hilfiger Factory; belt, Holt Renfrew (via consignment); shoes, J. Crew (via consignment); bag, Coach (via Kijiji)

We are 2/3 of the way there, you guys! And when we get to the end of this blasted 30 x 30 challenge, let’s burn allllll of these clothes, yes? Just kidding.* They’re not that bad, and although I am pretty bored of most of them, I’m not, like, light-a-bonfire bored. In fact, I’m still positively crazy about some of them – these loafers, for example. Who woulda thunk it? They’re surprisingly comfy (not usually a fan of shoes with such a high vamp), and they even more surprisingly versatile. I just have one quibble: the quality.

For made-in-Italy shoes (supposedly), the quality has been a disappointment. I am fairly careful with my shoes, and these are no exception; I’ve worn them less than 10 times, for no longer than 2-3 hours each time, and there are a couple of spots where the patent leather has chipped. I don’t recall banging my feet into concrete walls or having an unfortunate grocery cart incident while wearing these particular shoes, so I’m guessing this would count as regular wear-and-tear. The chips (for lack of a better word) are not very noticeable but I don’t think they’re fixable either. I paid far below the retail value for these shoes, and I still consider this kind of unacceptable; I’d be downright pissed if I had paid the full price. Harumph!

J. Crew Toni oxford shoes
Hey, let’s admire my loafers again – chips and all!


* Except for this blouse. This one’s definitely getting the funeral pyre treatment.

Note: For those of you who are newish readers, and feel inclined to read my blatherings on topics other than clothes – which, particularly as this 30 x 30 challenge progresses, are apt to get tedious – feel free to check out some of my old Friday Flashback features. These were posts I wrote eons ago on a now-defunct blog, and re-published on BCRL in 2012. You can start with this one. Or this one. Whatever floats your boat. And do let me know if you enjoy them – I occasionally miss writing proper posts, and if y’all would be game, I may just get back into doing it … kids permitting.

13 Comments on 30 x 30: Twenty

  1. Too bad about the funeral pyre for the print top – I really like the pattern and was coveting it in your post earlier this week! Also too bad about the chips in those super cute shoes. I’ve considered buying JCrew shoes but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Have you had quality issues with the other JCrew shoes in your wardrobe?

    • I only have a few pairs of J. Crew shoes. The Factory ones are generally not real leather, so I don’t plan on buying more except possibly the Anya flats. They’re faux suede, and so far the ones I have are alright. I don’t expect them to last ages, but they are suuuper comfy. I buy them on mega sale (around $20-30), and I wouldn’t pay more. I have a pair of faux patent leather Emery flats from the Factory store, and I don’t like them very much at all. The quality is on par with Old Navy, but for 10 times the price.

      From the regular store, I have a pair of suede Everly pumps; they held up pretty well last year (I haven’t worn them this year yet). HOWEVER, I only wore them indoors/in the office, not outside. I think they should hold up OK for a few years if I continue to “baby” them. I have a pair of patent leather wedge pumps (Martina) that I’m excited to start wearing once I go back to work, and I’m hoping they will be of a similar quality. Comfort-wise, both the Everly and the Martina styles seem decent.

      I don’t have any of their non-patent leather shoes (or sandals), so I can’t speak to those.

      TL;DR J. Crew shoes are ok, but not worth the retail price IMHO. All of mine were bought for far less, in the $20-70 range. If you can pay under $100 for the “made in Italy” ones, I would say you are getting a decent deal. But keep in mind that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t usually spend a lot of money on shoes. To put this in terms of a comparison with other brands, I think J. Crew quality is closer to more run-of-the-mill brands (Calvin Klein, Ivanka Trump, etc.) than those in comparable price brackets (like Stuart Weitzman, for example). Again, just based on my experience.

      If you’re looking for reviews of J. Crew shoes, check out the blog Thousand and Sixty Pairs (by the same blogger behind Gigi’s Gone Shopping, where she does reviews of J. Crew clothing). I think she’s pretty fair in her reviews, although I think she’s used to/comfortable with a higher price point than me.

  2. I think all the pieces you chose for this challenge are great—the bird blouse too! Thanks to this dress, I’ll definitely give JC Penny a chance.

    • Is that where you can get Joe Fresh in the US? It’s sold at a large, national grocery chain here, believe or not. Anyway, Joe Fresh has some nice, reasonably-priced basics that are definitely worth checking out (like this dress). But I’ve noticed that they’re now trying to go “higher end”, which just means $40 polyester shirts. Not fond of that.

      And thanks!! It’s always so lovely to hear from readers. I’m constantly second-guessing the whole 30×30 thing, so I appreciate the encouragement 😉

      P.S. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I’m totally game for sending off the bird blouse to someone who wants the polyester glory … just say the word, you guys.

  3. Newish reader de-lurking here to say that I’m on board for more Flashback Friday posts! I didn’t comment on your post the other day, but I’ll take this opportunity to chime in with some of your other readers and say that I love your blogging style and fashion sense and hope you continue posting! While I do follow a few larger, sponsored style blogs, I find the ads and schmoozing etc. to be a little tiresome sometimes. It’s refreshing to visit a site where the blogger is doing it just because it makes them happy! Keep it up!

    • Hello! And thank you – that’s so nice to hear! Comments always make my day, and I feel extra accomplished when I succeed at getting someone to de-lurk 😉
      I will make a mental note about the Friday Flashbacks too. It’s sometimes tough to know what’s TL;DR for readers, and what features they actually enjoy, so getting feedback is always appreciated.

  4. I, too, appreciate the blog and think there’s a good balance between writing and photos. So many other fashion blogs just have the impossibly skinny blogger posing all fashiony in San Fransisco, New York, or somewhere similar where it never snows. (Okay, it snows in New York, but not in their photos!) And there seems to be a certain few poses that are in every shot. I don’t just want to see photos of clothes! I want to know how you found it and where and how you decided this clothing item would go with that one, etc. TL;DR I enjoy your blog very much.

    On the topic of shoes, I’ve decided Nine West is a reasonable price point but I’m disappointed with a pair of flats I bought recently and the sole seems to be coming off the bottom of the shoe a little bit. Like you, I baby my nice shoes and only wear them inside, so I’m a little bit disgruntled – this shouldn’t be happening with a $100 shoe I’ve only owned for a few months.

    • Aww, thank you! <3
      Nine West used to be my go-to for comfortable, affordable office shoes, but after a few not-so-great experiences, I've stopped buying them. I feel like maybe the quality has gone downhill in the last few years? I dunno ... At the same time, they have fewer good sales, and their prices are a bit much for the quality you're getting. Anyway, it seems harder and harder these days to find good quality shoes in the under-$100 range.

  5. Ok, I love, love, luuuuuuuuurve this outfit. It’s one of those “Omg, it’s so simple, but so effortlessly cute!” things that I have never been able to figure out how to throw together. There’s not even an infinity scarf here! Or maybe I have been throwing those kinds of outfits together for years, and I just don’t know it because, I dunno, they’re my own clothes so there’s no novelty there? Or something?