Thursday, October 27, 2011

My J. McLaughlin Favorites, Fall/Winter 2011


My fall and winter schedule has been filling up with meetings and events in New York that fall somewhere between khakis and boat shoes on the dock and formal fundraisers at the Hayden Planetarium. So I recently went to J.McLaughlin’s with a couple of specific goals in mind.


Pants were a priority as I have had a terrifically difficult time finding ones that fit, flatter and that are comfortable, as well as a notch (or two) up from my usual khakis.  I also needed a holiday cocktail party ensemble.


While I had known their downtown store for slightly over twenty years, their new Westport Store is so much more accessible. And, oh yes, parking!

It is hard to believe this building was transformed from a car-wash.  

Before getting down to business, I checked out the Men's collections.

Festive Socks

A Little Taxidermy 


The first thing that caught my eye was the Palomino Cardigan in the Off White.  Made of Italian Merino Wool it was as soft as it was thick.  And it was truly comfortable.



Then I tried on the Stockbridge Stretch Corduroys in Oyster.  These are made of 97% Cotton with 3% spandex.

I didn't want to take the sweater off.
I like a little stretch in any less casual pants.  It makes moving in them easier, as well as finding a more flattering fit.  These had a 31 inch inseam which was perfect for me.

Then I discovered the Palomino Cardigan also came in Camel.  It was hard to say which I like more.




The next pants I tried were the Slim Fit Bi-Stretch Dixie in Cape Hatteras Sand.   And again, the fit was exactly what I was looking for.   The J. McLaughlin sizing was consistent across styles and both had a flattering silhouette.  They are slim-legged, not the low-waisted, wide-legged, boot-cut styles which have been everywhere.
The Slim-Fit Dixies are somewhat less dressy, as you can see here with the back pockets.
These also came in corduroy, which too fit great.  Here, the 14-wale in Taupe.


Next, I had to find something for a specific holiday cocktail party.   As it will be in the city in the evening,  I turned to Black.  I found the Stockbridge Stretch Corduroys.   That was easy.


A somewhat simple white blouse was supposed to be next.  But I got distracted by this Blue and White Gingham Whitney Blouse.  I was just so taken by the colors and patterns.


The ladies at J. McLaughlin were right - I needed a size smaller.
This Whitney Blouse in White would be a good layering piece.


But the final cocktail party flourish came when I tried on this Kara Print Quilted Vest, with its equestrian vibe.   It was certainly more vibrant than anything I normally wear,  but I was feeling bold.


My cocktail party ensemble was complete. My goals had been met (although the right shoes will come later). I was also able to see everything here in less than 45 minutes, thanks to Jodi's acumen and good humor, which I also really appreciated.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, such pretty things and how wonderful you look in them!

And thank you so much for that first-hand report. I like J. McLaughlin very much - but we don't have a store nearby, so it can be hard to tell how clothes, especially trousers, will fit.

I'm very glad to have your review.

raed

The Reader said...

looooove the vest!

linda said...

J'adore! You look fab in your new outfits!
-linda,ny

Anonymous said...

First - I love that Palomino cardigan. It has such a flattering fit, too - substantial but not too bulky.

Second, I am curious about your cocktail party ensemble. I would never in a million years pick that vest myself (and I know it's not your normal style) but it really works for a conservative style with a flourish. The resulting look is elegant, somewhat androgynous, and understated (save for the vest.) I am wondering, though, if you ever wear a dress (or skirt ensemble) to a cocktail party? You've certainly shown yourself dressed in skirts and dresses for summer events. What about this particular event calls for pants? What would call for a dress, and what kind of dress would you choose?

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Anonymous 9:21 - This particular gathering has a history of a wide range of attire so I have the luxury of wearing what I want. Further, it will most likely will involve a certain of walking so I want to be able to wear flats. But yes, I will wear a skirt or dress when I can also wear heels (unlike in the summer which is inherently more casual).

Chip said...

Muffy - let me just say, as an internet stranger, those slim-fitting pants look great. You have a fantastic caboose!

Anonymous said...

Muffy - Ah, yes, the walking alone suggests flats (with pants) might be in order.

I also wanted to clarify - I meant that had I seen the vest in the store, I would not have picked it - but seeing it together with the rest of the outfit, it seems perfect.

Anonymous said...

Love the new vest but am hankering for the one you wore into the shop! Wear did you find the simple black quilted vest? It is hard to find one that is not too cinched, too narrow, etc.

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Anonymous 9:57 - That is a (Navy) Burberry that I bought many years back.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Love the GTH vest on you...smashing!

Simply Sam said...

Productive shopping trip! The texture of the sweaters look incredible. The shoes are what have caught my eye, along with the sock? trouser sock? no sock? Details, please?

Barbara said...

You’ve given us a new perspective and something to think about for the Holidays. You look exquisite as you do in every type of ensemble.

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Simply Sam - I have never been able to bring myself to wear socks with these shoes, which can at times can get pretty cold!

Farrell and Lauren said...

I worked at a J McLaughlin in CT until April- it's a fantastic company. I always wondered if the pants might work for you. They've done a nice heavy twill over the last few summers. Jodi is wonderful.

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Farrell and Lauren - Jodi is delightful and knows of what she speaks.

Anonymous said...

You look simply stunning in all of the outfits! Thanks for including links to the website for online ordering.

Bitsy

Susan R said...

Muffy the vest is gorgeous and my hearty approval to the gingham. I seem to be drawn to classic gingham designs.
I love the sweater and would have immediately bought both, but I particularly like the uniqueness of the camel colored one.
I'm curious, I realize the weather is a bit cooler in New York than where we are in the winter, but would you ever consider wearing a dress or skirt to a formal event? I find a black or navy wool shift essential at formal events during the winter.

Kathie Truitt said...

Both cable knits looked beautiful on you, but oh my! The camel really, really set off your coloring. I too, am sick to death of the wide-legged, boot cut...so if you'll excuse me, I am headed to Georgetown to J. McLaughlin.

Sartre said...

I like it all. Especially the cardigan sweater.

Anything worth looking at, do you think, for the male of the species?

Billsburg said...

The clothes look great; love the sweater.

I'm curious about your shoes though...care to share any info? They look so comfy and classic.

Anonymous said...

Their clothing is beautiful - on you and on their website. If I could, I'd buy everything. I despise boot cut legs and wish they'd go away; are their pants true to size, or must one go up in size? Those cardigans are gorgeous; if you bought one, which color did you choose?

John said...

Lovely things all! The gingham shirt with the equestrian-pattern detail under the collar is my obvious favorite. The quilted vest is pretty snazzy too. I remember when a lot of women were wearing scarves with those kinds of patterns.

Susan R said...

Sorry Muffy. No need to answer the dress question as I read some of the other comments and answers.
I actually went on the website (J. McLaugllin) and bought the camel colored sweater. It was too pretty to pass up, I'm glad you did this post or I would never have seen the sweater that I just absolutely had to have.
Now...how to explain to my husband why I just had to have it at $298.00. That's going to be a tough one.

Anonymous said...

Muffy,

Who is taking all those great pictures of you ?

Kathie Truitt said...

One more question, Muffy. Do you ever wear your hair down? Don't get me wrong - I love it pulled back. You have such a pretty face, however I would love to see it down. Just a thought.

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Sartre - Sadly I was short on time and did not give sufficient attention to the Men's offerings.

@Billsburg - They are Cole-Haans from at least ten years ago.

@Susan R - I am so excited that you ordered one! I really love mine.

@Anonymous 4:45 - My very patient husband takes all the pictures.

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Kathie - Never, ever! :)

Martin said...

I would kill for a store like this where I live. Just the men's socks alone.

Greenfield said...

You found my Old Stomping Ground!
;)

Casey said...

Lovely! I didn't realize they had a Westport store. I've been in the Norwalk store a few times, but not recently. I'll have to drive out to Westport soon.

Grace said...

The Westport store looks so quaint! And the cardigan is divine, I can understand why you loved it!

Kathy said...

Beautiful clothes that look fantastic/classic on you.
I was surprised you would choose a blouse with 3/4 length sleeves and anything with spandex in the fabric.

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Kathy - I know! The blouse is only for special occasions.

Kathy said...

Muffy,
Everything you modeled looks far more classic and beautiful than the pitiful clothes I can find available since I've become a fan of your blog. Everything is smothered in ruffles, enormous emblems ( Ralph Lauren ) and icky knits and spandex for days. Navy seems to be a lost color for the most part this season. Its a struggle finding classic clothes period.
I hope you'll share what shoes you decide to wear.
Thank you for sharing your sources!!!!!!

Kathy

darby said...

J McLaughlin is my new favorite store. I, too, have trouble finding pants that fit decently and theirs are great. Prices are steep but if you are on their mailing list you'll get in on their sales before everyone else.

Wharf Rat said...

THE CHOICE OF THE KARA VEST WOULD SEEM TO ILLUSTRATE THE POINT THAT SOMEONE WHO HAS POISE, AND IS COMFORTABLE WITH WHO THEY ARE, SELECTS ITEMS THAT COMPLEMENT THEIR OVERALL PERSONA.

MY GUESS IS THAT THOSE THAT KNOW MRS A WOULD SAY THAT HER PERSONA IS THAT OF "UNDERSTATED ELEGANCE". SHE CAN THEREFORE DO THE GTH VEST IN A WAY THAT MESHES WITH WHO SHE IS.

OTOH, MOST OF US NEVER FIGURE OUT WHO WE ARE, AND THE BACKGROUND NOISE THAT COMES FROM WHAT WE SELECT, LACKS AN OVERALL THEME. EASY TO SPOT WITH ONE WHO DOES IT WELL.

Billsburg said...

Oh good; Wharf Rat is back. :)

JoJo said...

Great outfit. It looks like one of those times when everything seems to come together naturally, with very little effort. If I don't get that feeling, I often walk out the shop, because I know I haven't really thought through why I am there and what I am looking for. Just a thought, but do you ever appreciate or are attracted to a more romantic aesthetic and if so, how does it fit with your classical aesthetic. I wonder sometimes at how I am drawn to both and yet always finally veer towards conservative. I find this in many aspects: music, art, clothes, literature, interiors. Perhaps I am confused, but wonder whether any other classical dressers also experience such longings and confusion? I have been through the experimentation of youth and feel happy with who I am and fairly fixed in my taste, yet it perplexes me.

j.mosby said...

Muffy,

Very flattering fashion show my dear!
Excellent choices!

j.mosby said...

P.S.
To qoute Tim Gunn... Major wow factor going on there!

Anonymous said...

Love the vest, love the camel with your hair color.

I have the same loafers. Nice! :D

Anonymous said...

Muffy, you inspired me to try a new style of pants. Today I bought three pairs from Lands' End - two corduroys and a pair of chinos. For years and years I have ONLY worn bootcut, despite my preppy wardrobe. I don't go for a very exaggerated bootcut, but I've long felt that something more flared than straight is most flattering, as I have a more curvy figure and I've felt the bootcut balances things. ("Curvy" is not a euphemism for overweight - I wear size 6.) But after seeing this post, I tried on the slim fit corduroys, and realized it's a much cleaner cut. They didn't have any slim fit chinos in the store, so I bought straight leg (which is slightly wider than I would like. Lands' End seems to have a problem with width/flare in many of their pants. Their bootcut is often almost like bell bottoms, and their straight leg is sometimes quite wide.)

Anyway... I think it will be slim fit for me from now on. (Lands' End slim fit is a somewhat more forgiving cut than a "skinny jean" cut.)

Hannah said...

I drive past the Westport store all the time because it's right next to my school!! I love J. McLaughlin!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great store! the vest is sharp and of course I am partial to the cardigans......

Anonymous said...

Another great post! I've been looking for a white shirt that isn't see-through. I may give J. McLaughlin a try.

Sarah said...

See-through white shirts are my pet peeve. Today I tried on a white Talbots shirt and could see every detail of my undergarments through the fabric. Ridiculous!