Product Reviews | J.Crew's Snail Print Underwire Bikini Top & Jersey Lomellina® Foldover Hipster

It's product review time and today I'm talking about J.Crew swimwear. I have not been shopping for anything that comes remotely close to swimwear in quote some time. Not sure why, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that a. working full-time while starting a business on the side has left me with little to no time on a beach or near a pool, and b. I too dread the experience of going under those harsh fluorescent lights while trying on what essentially is just colorful underwear.

Well, I have no more excuses. First, I'm leaving for the island of Tortola in a week and I'm certainly not going to be on an island for seven days without the perfect bikini (cover-up, sandals, the shopping list is endless really). Second, I left the day job to pursue my dream (you're looking at part of it right now) so I have decided to make the time to do what I love. And I love, love, LOVE being near an ocean.

I'll keep it short and sweet from here. First, the two pieces I bought from J.Crew.com. (I bought more than two, but I'll get to those reviews later. Baby steps.) Second, pics from my Instagram account so you can see what the goodies actually looked like when I received them. Finally, I'll tell you if they're coming with me to Tortola or going right back where they came from. Any guesses?

Let's begin.

First up, the J.Crew Snail Print Underwire Bikini Top:

7 snail bikini top

product shot courtesy of www.jcrew.com

Second, the J.Crew Jersey Lomellina® Foldover Wide-Band Hipster Bikini Bottom (slate gray):

8 foldover hipster

product shot courtesy of www.jcrew.com

Below two images courtesy of me and my fabulous Instagram account which you totally need to follow, um, right now. Click here.

snail top and bottoms

snail top

What did I think? Why did I buy a printed top and solid-colored bottom? What's up with the snail print? So many questions.

I mix and match my swimwear. It's more fun that way, let alone more versatile. I totally recommend that you give it a try.

Review time. First up, the underwire top: Fit was great. I'm a C-cup so an underwire is a great thing to have. I'll be doing more than just laying on a beach while I'm there (read: swimming with dolphins; ugh, I know, so excited) so I'm going to need a top I can trust to stay on while I'm doing my thing.

The rest: Fabrication is right up there with the Lomellina jersey. The top is lined, not really 'padded' so I'm happy about that because I don't need  the extra 'volume.' The tie around the neck makes this a halter top which is ridiculously flattering on most silhouettes. I happen to love it. As for comfort, I tested it out around the house to make sure the knot didn't dig into my neck. Not a problem. On to the print. I was worried the snails would be a little too strategically placed, but they're fine. Bottom line: I'm keeping it.

The foldover hipster: I'll start with the bottom line. I should buy this in every color they have. The slate gray is the perfect neutral that I can pair back not only to the printed snail (dusty burgundy) underwire top but other pieces I have in my swim wardrobe. The foldover means it doesn't dig. This is HUGE for me. I can't stand anything unnecessarily digging into my hips. A. it's not comfortable, B. it's seriously not flattering. These are ridiculously comfy, there's coverage on the back but not too much or too little. Just right. There's a tiny bit of ruching on the sides of the hipster which is a nice touch, more aesthetic than anything. And again, I am going back to get them in black as well. This is a keeper.

So, as you can tell,  it was a successful on-line shopping trip. Both picks are coming with me to Tortola and I'm looking forward to testing them out on those beaches. Counting down as I write this.

Side note: I will be hand-washing everything and laying flat to dry. The Lomellina fabric (jersey from an Italian mill J.Crew sources from) is lightweight and seems durable, but I'm not going to risk it. Swimwear is super easy to handle when it comes to hand washing and I want these pieces to last.

That's all for the reviews today. But don't let it end there. Shop more swim picks and other fashion categories that don't make you cringe when you think about trying them on, all served up on the shelves of my virtual StyleShaker Closet. Everything is updated weekly so click below and see the latest batch of favorite picks out there from my favorite shopping spots on the web:

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See more where that comes from. Check out more product reviews, style tutorials, and takes on how to wear the latest trends in fashion, all right here (click the images below):

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The Shopping List | 5 Swim Picks That My Packing List

We've covered step 1, the Closet Consult. Check. Step 2, the Virtual Lookbook, was covered for both her & him. Loving that, check and check. You know where you are (if you've signed up for the services that is), you know where you're going (again, this all applies when you get in on the action yourself, OR if you've been following along all week). Now it's time to hit up step 3, the Shopping List:

For some of us, shopping is therapeutic. For me, not so much. Go figure having spent the last decade or working in the fashion industry.

I love a good to-do list whether it's for produce or pumps. I like to get in, get out, and get on with my life.  Somehow, when you put everything down on paper and organize a bit, there's a sense of relief. The wave turns into a manageable puddle. It's bliss.

Those who sign up for my personal Shopping Lists tend to fall in-line with that same approach. When they use my service, they're collaborators, I take the reins from there. I create it, manage it (it changes all the time, same as life), and cross items off as I go. As soon as they have the perfect piece living in their closet, it's on to the next one. Oh, I almost forgot, the gravy on this is that clients can also see how to wear their new picks with what they already have in their closet via future Virtual Lookbooks.

The contents of each personal Shopping List is two fold. It's 1 part essentials and 1 part pieces to update & elevate the wardrobe.

First, the essentials. This sounds easy, and it really should be, but finding just the right black blazer, black pump, ankle boot, skinny jean, etc. to carry you through the season is a toughie (understatement). It takes time, that illusive thing no one can seem to get enough of. That's why I'm here...

You don't always have to throw down big bucks on the essentials, but don't go with the quick and easy option either. Trust me, you'll spend more money replacing disposable pieces in the long run. And plus, it goes against one of my biggest wardrobe guidelines:

"Your closet should always, and I mean ALWAYS, be filled only with pieces you feel good wearing."

Take a minute to let that sink in. Ok, now go to your closet. No seriously, I'll be right here when you get back. You're back? Great. Now tell me what percentage of your closet would fit into the 'feel-good' category? Answer me here if you like. If you're under 100%, it's time to reevaluate, clean house, and reach out for some help getting things back in line. You don't have to go it alone.

Whether it's an essential piece or something trend-driven, if you stare at it every day and aren't excited to wear it (assuming you've asked me for help if you had trouble figuring out how to wear it already) then it needs to go to a better home. Seriously, create that space. Good things will come in to fill it.

Now, onto the second half of what will be filling up your Shopping List, the picks you'll use to update and elevate your style quotient. Some are trend-driven, some are just more on par with the new perspective you have following the Closet Consult and Virtual Lookbook. Done and done. The picture is coming into focus...

The StyleShaker started with me when was working during the day and building my business at night, let alone trying to squeeze in a yoga class and maintain some semblance of a social life. I've tweaked the process over the years, but I still use it alongside my clients. Case in point, take a peek at my spring Shopping List below.

I'm looking for a few good swimwear pieces that will tell the story of my upcoming trip to the island of Tortola. Check out the list, and see the five swimwear shopping picks (usually a dreaded shopping experience, but I'm too busy going ga-ga over island images to get self-conscious about prancing around on white beaches more than half-naked) I have lined up and ready to go:

the list

Throwing in some pics of Tortola, just cause. Gorge-ous:

Fat-Hogs-Bay-Parham-Town-Tortola-British-Virgin-Islands-485x728

source: toptravellists.net

Roadtown,_Tortola

source: commons.wikimedia.org

On to the shopping picks (click to shop): 1.

1 Mara hoffman Frida Braided Bandeau Bikini Top

2.

2 Thayer Halter One Piece Swimsuit

3.

3 Eberjey Boho Beautiful Rafaella Bikini Top

4.

4 Red carter Glitter Bomb One Piece

5.

5 Juicy couture Prima Donna Ruffle Maillot

sources: 1 Mara Hoffman Frida Braided Bandeau Bikini Top  (www.shopbop.com), 2 Thayer Halter One Piece Swimsuit (www.shopbop.com), 3 Eberjey Boho Beautiful Rafaella Bikini Top (www.shopbop.com), 4 Red Carter Glitter Bomb One Piece (www.shopbop.com), 5 Juicy Couture Prima Donna Ruffle Maillot (www.shopbop.com) 

The shopping focus of this post is swimsuits, but why stop there? Keep the momentum going and shop the closet by clicking below:

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At The StyleShaker we believe 'when you FEEL good, you LOOK good.' It's an inside/out, holistic approach to style. We flipped the well-known saying on it's head for a reason. How do you capture that serotonin-filled feel-good moment everyone's always chasing? You create it. But you don't have to do it alone. The StyleShaker is here to get you inspired, excited, and in the end, help you take your personal style to levels you never thought possible. Aim higher, think bigger, walk into every day feeling confident and always, ALWAYS ask for help (a sign of strength, not weakness; took me awhile to figure that out) or know it's here if you need it.

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See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and soak up some inspiration that will help you redefine what you thought was possible.

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