I have too many striped tees. This one by Maison Labiche is a favorite (tied with Petit Bateau x Kitsune collab). It’s a heavier material (not for summer), but it has a flattering fit and is soft. The sleeves are also not too long on my arms which typically align with petite sizing charts. I think it runs slightly big, yet tailored and neat. They come with an embroidered message on the chest, sometimes cheeky. You can also make your own (if you order from Paris or go to their Paris store). In comparison, Petit Bateau’s classic marinieres cut is boxier, the length/sleeves too long, and made of a stiffer material. And I never was into the classic Saint James tees either for similar reasons. This Maison Labiche top is of better quality than the striped tees that you’d find at J.Crew, Gap, etc. made of thinner material.
Petit Bateau tees have been a wardrobe staple of mine for over 10 years. I’d read about the women’s line of the French company who’s known for baby and child clothing in Vogue in the pre-blog days. In more recent years, they’ve added styles for men. I have mentioned them over the years, but this is my first proper review.
Net-a-Porter has marked down the entire J.Crew x Net-a-Porter collection (and many other things like these Comme des Garcons wallets and APC crossbody bags). If you like the boatneck tee in dotted stripe in pink (previously blogged about in blue), it’s 30% off and free shipping. (Still full price on J.Crew and excluded from most codes.)
I’m not sure when the J.Crew x Net-a-Porter stripe-happy collection launched on jcrew.com, but I’m quite loving the look of the boatneck tee in dotted stripes in blue (NAP only had a pink colorway). And strangely this top is less than $18 (from $40) today with code WARMSTYLE. I’m not sure if it’s an accidental sale, how the top truly runs, or is it hand wash (NAP page) or machine wash (J.Crew), but hey, it’s not final sale! I also have other dotted stripe top recommendations below.
Confession: I placed a huge Uniqlo order at the beginning of the month. It was so large that they had to ship it in two huge boxes. I was extremely unmotivated to open them until this weekend.
Lots on sale at Uniqlo lately. Here are my sale picks which all happen to be $19.90 and are polka dot or stripe strong. Three of the four pieces below are from the Ines de la Fressange collection that I previously wrote about. Really really love this collection!
Images from Uniqlo
- The striped top is cut to accommodate non-ruler figures. I love it. I highly recommend it and the dress version. Note: this is a thicker cotton so will not be suitable for a typical hot summer day.
- Lightweight parka comes in various colors.
- This hoodie is from a collection with Yayoi Kusama and was from the guys’ side. If you really like it, Moma has it in stock.
- Usually silk blouses are too high maintenance for me. This IDLF one is cut well and can be machine washed!
Petit Bateau mariniere ($102)
Lord & Taylor cotton bateau neck top ($29.99, pre-20% discount listed on site)
Lord & Taylor has great sales. It’s too bad their site is so hard to navigate and checkout, so if do not have patience, it’s best to stay away. Consider yourself warned.
I love striped shirts. I especially like these L&T tops because they are 100% cotton (typically anything with other content gets dingy after a few washes and I appreciate durability), have 3/4 sleeves (great for my petite length arms), and they are mid-weight (perfect for layering and doesn’t show each lump and bump). I tried both XS and S and think I’m going to go with S, especially if they shrink a little. If you have a ShopRunner account (which was heavily pushed by Amex last holiday season), link your account for free 2 day shipping and returns.
They are much more affordable than the Petit Bateau marinieres (which does go on sale), but the PB tops have a much heavier weight (no summer or spring wear), cut much slimmer, and have long sleeves.
My last StyleMint post included the red Broadway tee which since sold out, but now available in dress form (at double the price of the tee — 2 credits). I liked that tee because it is 100% pima cotton (see visual here). I forgot to opt out of a month for StyleMint, so I clicked around to see what I could spend my credit on.
This Berlin T is available in two colors: mushroom/ivory (as pictured below) in 50% cotton/50% micro modal or navy/heather grey in 50% poly, 38% cotton, and 12% rayon. Heather grey is a very casual color and can’t be dressed up for work. My wardrobe also lacks something like mushroom/ivory, so I opted for that. I wanted a drapey fit, so I sized up. (By the way, their Facebook wall is useful for asking questions!) The tee is opaque enough that it’s not see through, but wear nude underneath.
*Updated on February 16*
Many bloggers are obsessed with the old French label, Saint James. They are famous for their Breton tee (as they are Normandy-based and all). Most styles are unisex. I think it’s better to leave the unisex style to the men, unless you’re going for Gwyneth’s look here. I am not in the rail thin camp to go baggy.
- The plus about J.Crew is that they carry the kids’ version and even when their promotional codes state that third party brands are excluded, the codes work! That is, if J.Crew doesn’t hide the item, as they often do during % off discounts. I saw the kid tees in person at the lower Fifth Avenue store in NYC, but couldn’t find a 14 to try for sizing. They also special colors…
- The plus about Madewell is that they carry more styles and they tend to discount the classic styles. All styles are discounted on Madewell right now.
I go through phases of frequenting a store like crazy (most of the time, it’s just window shopping, unless it’s a crazy sale) and then don’t go near it for a while. I used to go to Soho just for Uniqlo (why else would you battle the awful throngs of tourists?) and when I had an unlimited month to Bar Method down the street… it was quite bad. I haven’t been there since late September when they opened pop-ups in Flatiron and the new flagship in Midtown. Since then, they’ve opened another store near Herald Square. I dropped in as I was passing by the area. It was prime rush hour and the store was dead. It is such a refreshing surprise from the Soho store, which used to be so congested (and mobbed with Taiwanese fobs).
I tried to do a quick browse through but it turned out to be more like a fifteen minute stop since there are so many areas and stairs. I looked for the ultra lightweight long down jacket… yep, still sold out. Even though it looks like there is tons of any one item, it eventually sells out as my procrastinating friends who wanted this jacket quickly learned.
After looking at the +J on sale (which was the first time I looked at this last collection) and being totally uninspired, I turned a corner and what did I see? Striped tees! There are plenty of colors and they are wallet friendly at $19.90. They run big, so my tiny Asian friends… too bad! One thing the American Uniqlos are missing is kids’ clothing.
Not in NYC? Uniqlo’s e-commerce isn’t live yet, but you can place an order through Suddenlee. Suddenlee is a fairly new shopping service and I wish I tested them out earlier. I’m envisioning that they have an army of shoppers who go out and look for whatever you want. Then they mail the items to you for a reasonable service fee. They also pass any savings at the store on to you. I tried to place an order for J.Crew final sale items. Everything I wanted was sold out in stores too (and if this business is based in NYC, I would agree — all of the NYC J.Crew’s were annihilated of sale merchandise!) So my order was cancelled but I was really impressed with their service and response time. Next time, I’ll have to place an order closer to the initial price drops. Same with Zara. If you try out Suddenlee, let me know how it goes! I really need a service like this in Europe… Even if you are in NYC, Suddenlee is a deal compared to crowds, subway fares, and avoiding the risk of buying more than you were planning to.
I’ve been buying tees like crazy this Fall/Winter. I’m definitely much less impulsive than I used to. You may have heard of JewelMint, ShoeMint, StyleMint… basically they are celebrity based businesses. The lovely Olsen twins represent StyleMint and often bring other well known fashionistas to collaborate with them. I jumped on the bandwagon a bit late. It’s a t-shirt club, so you have to make sure to log-in every month to decline that month’s offer if you don’t want to get charged. Signing up also takes a while because they make you take a series of survey questions to recommend styles to you — I prefer to see everything that is available.
This red striped mariniere top called Broadway jumped out at me. According to my research online, it is a more fitted tee and thicker — pima cotton. I had to get 4, which was a relaxed fit, because the smaller sizes were already out at the time I ordered. They are out for all sizes except 5. The blue version is mostly in stock. As with Forever 21, read the content carefully. This tee was a great deal at $20 and change because it is pima cotton. I also loved the packaging that it arrived with. Try out StyleMint! Once you sign up, check their Facebook for promotions.