Summer is HERE

Next week is Memorial Day. Summer is officially starting. And our calendars are actually filling up, so we need to get dressed to see people, not just from the waist up! So I headed to J Crew for a try on session.

The folks at the J Crew store at Pinecrest (Orange, Ohio) were so nice to open early for me – did you know they’ll do that for you too? Just make an appointment. And let’s just say, what I thought was going to be an hour stop, turned into a 3-hour try-on!  There was a lot of everything – swim, occasion dresses, day dresses, jeans, workwear, shorts – and it was all REALLY good.

We know J Crew has had its ups and downs in recent years. However, my feeling after the past few collections is that they are certainly on track. The pieces were, wearable, well made, fitting generally true to size (and btw, I’ll let you know what size I took in everything so you’ll know if it runs big or small). As well as pieces that mixed and matched to meet most aspects of a busy woman’s life.

I even Tried on Bathing Suits for you!

Because summer is basically here, and I love you guys. And know how torturous it is to try on swimsuits, I did the heavy lifting for you. I tried on a bunch of suits and even photographed myself in them – yikes! Yes, I want props for this! I don’t even have a tan!!

Anyway, if you’re able to get to the Pinecrest store, it’s worth the trip. The Pinecrest J Crew is one of 6 in the country to get a full assortment of merchandise – meaning more cashmere, more dresses, more new styles on the floor than most other locations. In fact, sometimes I find things in store that are not even online yet – like the rust jumpsuit – I can’t link it yet! When I can I will.

There’s a little of everything! And be sure to follow my Instagram Story today – I’m sharing the BTS of the try-on. Complete with fit assessments, tweaks I made or would make, and what else I’d wear it with.

A BIG Old J Crew Try On

Occasion Dresses:

Our Pinecrest J Crew received these dresses, but many other stores did not. I loved the yellow dress (I took a 4) but just not on me. It’s cut on the bias so it’s meant to highlight a woman’s curves (ie hug them). You can see it on my IG Story. So on someone else, this will be stunning! On me, I felt too exposed, especially in the tummy and tush. But the color is fab, and the hand of the dress was really luxurious. The pink dress (I took a 4) and the other white dress ( I took a 4)  were fun too.

Day Dresses:

This dress was the sleeper hit of the J Crew try on. I liked the color (it also comes in black) but it kind of looked like a nightgown on the hanger. But on, I loved it! So comfortable too. Runs TTS. The armhole allows you to wear a regular bra and hits at that becoming place on the shoulder.

The floral dress (also comes in a blue gingham) and I could have taken a small or xs (I’m wearing an xs in the photo). It is a strapless bra kind of dress – and that’s why I put the button up over it. For modesty, sun coverage, and just outfit interest. And the shoes run TTS. They’re kind of an updated Dr. Scholls, with a wood sole. They were very comfortable, and I wish I could wear them because they’re so dang cool. But I am not well skilled at wearing wood sole shoes or clogs so I was very clompy when walking.

This rust, linen jumpsuit is so new it’s not even online yet! It is FABULOUS! There is a detachable belt and adjustable straps. Here I’m wearing it casually – again with that shirt that goes with EVERYTHING! And I’d also dress it up with black strappy heels and some bold jewelry. In case you didn’t guess – this piece came home with me from J Crew.

J Crew Try On Swim + Coverup:

Ok, so this is the part of the J Crew try-on  feels scary, and exposed – because hey, I’m literally taking photos of my pasty white, post-pandemic, 51-year-old body IN A FLIPPING BATHINGSUIT! I barely take my coverups off while at the beach, so this is not in my comfort zone, at all!

But that all being said, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the fit and selection of the swimsuits. Now, I need a tan.

Let’s start with this adorable cover-up dress (I’m wearing a small). It’s lightweight and forgiving and comes in other colors. I like that this pattern is also available in a swimsuit (actually in 2 suits – a one-piece and a bikini). That’s a big trend I’m seeing for summer – the “coordinated” swim sets. I paired the suit with denim shorts (wearing a 27) and the goes with everything button-up (wearing a size 0) too!

I can’t believe I’m putting a photo of me wearing a bikini (I’m wearing a small in both top and bottom) – albeit a high-waisted one on here. The tie waist detail makes this feel more do-able for me than others because it camouflages the tum. And this coverup is amazeballs! It works like a cardigan in creating an optical illusion and allowing you to be covered and still show off the suit. With the cover-up on I feel great.


This linen suiting is great. It has stretch and a bit of poly mixed in to lessen the wrinkles that inevitably come with wearing linen. Can we talk about the color? This pale lilac is just gorgeous (the pieces come in white as well). I like that the pants (I’m wearing a 4) are mid-to-high waisted and the pockets are sewn up so there’s not that weird bulge that can happen. I’d also probably wear these with a small heel or pointy-toe flat but I didn’t bring one along.

And of course, I needed to put the shirt that goes with EVERYTHING with these pants as well!

So the end of the story is this – I found a whole bunch of good stuff – high waist trouser jeans, cashmere t-shirts, a stunning red summer dress. It’s all going on my Instagram story, with even more things I didn’t try on and show here. Make sure to follow me there – THE WARDROBE CONSULTANT ON IG – I put much more behind-the-scenes stuff and try ons, styling tips, etc.

I’m linking everything I tried below for you to access easily.


My friends at J Crew Pinecrest are doing something special for you! If you go into the store, between now and July 4, 2021, be sure to mention that you saw it here – or just tell them Hallie sent you!

They will save a copy of your receipt and you’ll be entered to win a shopping date with me at the Pinecrest store!! The winner will be announced on my Instagram (and contacted directly via email) on July 6, 2021.

Imagine, you and me playing dress-up together at J Crew – it’ll be so dang fun!

So remember – tell the folks at J Crew Hallie sent you!
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Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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